I currently have the Oppo connected to a Cambridge 640A (v2) amplifier and Sammy PS51D8000 plasma TV.
The Oppo is used for DVD playback obviously, but it is also my only/primary CD/SACD source in my under-developed 2-channel set-up. Speakers are some Zaph SR-71 bookshelfs that are currently just in basic 18mm mdf cabinets, waiting for me to get the time/motivation to build some much more specific and better looking cabinets.
I've been searching around and because of budget restrictions (saving for a wedding, paying off car loan, renting and saving for house deposit, blah, blah, blah) I'm trying to find an all-in-one blu-ray player that will still deliver excellent picture quality and pretty good audio too.
Obviously there is the following;
- Oppo BDP-95: The reference AIO player with excellent PQ and very good SQ. Plays everything, including streaming digital media formats. A bit pricey at $1200-$1300 though.
- Cambridge 751BD: Another excellent unit, seems to fit between the Oppo BDP-93 and BDP-95. Excellent PQ and very good SQ, with a different DAC to the Oppo (slightly warmer/musical sound, less detail?). Still rather pricey at $1100-$1200.
- Oppo BDP-93: Excellent PQ and good SQ, not as good as either above though. Plays everything, including streaming digital media. Much better priced at $650.
- Sony BDP-S790 + Schiit Bifrost or similar (Peachtree DAC-iT, Audio-GD 3.2) DAC: Reportedly excellent PQ (equal to or better than BDP-93), plays everything, has a fantastic streaming media interface and the best priced unit at just $350 (+ ~$400 for a nice entry-level DAC)
As much as I'd love either, the Oppo 95 and Cambridge units are just that few $hundred out of my ideal budget.
I've not had any experience with external DACs before and was wondering if people could give me some insight as to whether what I propose with the Sony+DAC will work/is a good idea/ will get me SQ comparable to the Oppo 95/Cambridge units (using digital from Sony to DAC)
I'm also interested to know if the blu-ray player is connected to the TV via HDMI, which is connected to the amplifier via RCA, how does the amplifier 'know' to take the digital audio signal from the DAC rather than the analogue audio signal from the TV? (or does audio not transmit via the HDMI between the source and TV?)
Also, another 'dumb' question:
What is the difference between optical digital and coaxial digital, and which should be used?