We've been fans of Oppo's upconverting DVD players for quite some time now, but it's been harder to recommend them recently with the company's latest player costing as much as a Blu-ray player. There has been tons of speculation over when Oppo might release a Blu-ray player, and it looks like it's finally going to happen: Oppo showed off the BDP-83 Blu-ray player at CEDIA.
You have two grand to spend on a fantastic stereo system. Can your cash get you there? Yes, it can!
In this case, we're talking about a headphone-based system, but I will in the coming months cover speaker-based audiophile-grade systems for less than $3,000.
For the headphone system, I'm recommending the Woo Audio WA6 Special Edition vacuum tube headphone amplifier ($1,050) I reviewed in yesterday's blog, along with Grado RS-1 headphones ($695), and Oppo's DV-981HD SACD/DVD-Audio player ($229). All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail price.
Mind you, the Woo and Grado are … Read more
The SACD is a "super" CD, it sounds better, offers multichannel, high-resolution sound, and hybrid SACDs are backwards compatible with CD players. Sony initially pushed SACD as a CD replacement and the market yawned. OK, but you would have thought that audiophiles would have, en mass, supported SACD, especially after so many of them bashed CD for its harsh digital sound. SACDs, at least ones sourced from high quality recordings, really do sound better than CD (but a crappy original recording, remastered to SACD, still sounds crappy). No, just a small segment of the audiophile market embraced SACD, … Read more
It's safe to say most, I mean like 99 percent, of music buyers don't give a hoot about sound quality. Why else would CD sales continue to plummet and worse than CD quality downloads go up every year?
OK, that's the mainstream, what about the other 1 percent; why have the audiophiles, according to a poll on the Stereophile website, already given up on SACD and DVD-Audio? Before I cite their feedback I'd like to point out that despite the naysayers, the super sound formats are still hanging on. Neil Young's latest release, "Chrome … Read more
While the rest of the world is driving around listening to compressed music files on home-brewed MP3 discs and iPod tracks broadcast over FM, Sony is betting that there is a market for audiophiles who want a far richer in-car acoustic experience. The company this week released the XAV-W1, the first superaudio CD-compatible (SA-CD) in-car stereo, which is able to play the proprietary Sony format in 5.1-channel surround sound (if you have the right car speaker arrangement).
With a 7-inch LCD screen, the XAV-W1 is also the first in-dash DVD player from Sony, which has to date confined itself … Read more
Much has been made of how the PS3 is Sony's not-so-secret weapon in the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war. But I actually held out some small hope--call me naive--that the PS3 might be able to breathe some new life into Sony's near-dead, high-fidelity audio format, SACD (Super Audio CD), which competes with another near-dead, high-fidelity audio format, DVD-Audio.
In case you hadn't heard, the PS3 supports playback of SACD discs. There aren't a whole lot of SACD discs out there, but I happen to own five of them. I made an effort to find them the … Read more