As many of you know, I've been a fan of Oppo Blu-ray players for a number of years. The company manages to put out solid hardware with impressive specifications at a price point that's virtually impossible to ignore (and no they don't paid me to endorse their products…I've paid for my machines). The recent BDP-95 is the latest piece to emerge from the development team at Oppo and it is a knock out. Oppo supplied a unit for our demonstration room at AXPONA in Atlanta last, which when connected to three Boulder 1012 stereo preamps, three 850 mono block and a 1060 stereo Boulder amp and finally to a complete set of the latest B&W 800D speakers supplied a listening experience that couldn't be topped by any turntable, stereo tube amps or pair of speakers
The Oppo BDP-95 is much more than a universal optical disc player. Yes, it can play virtually any disc format from CD-Audio, DVD-Audio/Video, SACD, Blu-ray and the new Blu-ray 3D formats…but it does so through a set of balanced XLR outputs (for the front left and right pair) using the latest ESS Sabre DACs running at up to 192 kHz/24-bits. This is what HD surround music is supposed to be and the Oppo was easily the match of the much more expensive equipment in the room.
But the most amazing aspect of the Oppo unit is that it is among the first, if not the first, multichannel music server. There are jacks for both an eSata hard disc drive or USD memory stick. The on screen interface and internet connection allows the BDP-95 to be a completely functional music server of the first order…for HD stereo tracks AND more importantly for 5.1 surround tracks. I've taken some of our MCH downloads and loaded them into the Oppo and with a little setup, output 96 kHz/24-bit audio to a full set of 5.1 surround speakers. And it didn't cost even close to the cost of a sonically comparable two-channel server from SONOS or Sooloos.
This is machine is revolutionary. It covers every possible need for digital audiophiles and points the way to the future of HD downloads. This piece continues Oppo's dominance in the world of affordable music playback and competes with pieces costing ten times as much.