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Oppo 83 SE vs Emotiva ERC-1

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Has anyone compared the sound from CDs in both the Oppo 83 SE and the Emotiva ERC-1?

If DVD isn't a factor, does one have a clear advantage as an audio-only player?
post #2 of 55
Thread Starter 
I have just received the Oppo SE. Already I can tell you that it is a damn fine sounding CD player, competitive with a $2k-plus Arcam FMJ-23, with its widely praised Ring DAC.

Is one better than the other? That will have to await more detailed listening. But it is clear that the SE, with ESS Sabre Ultra DAC, is not embarrassed by the comparison.

In addition to Vandersteen speakers, I am running the Oppo through Headroom's Max headamp with the current Max module and Senn 650s.

This is a sweet combination!

Now -- has anyone listened to both the Oppo and the Emotiva?
post #3 of 55
I would also be very interested in this comparison. I dont know how I feel about the lack of sacd capability on the emotiva. It seems a Very strong player. and sacd also seems to be gaining popularity. at least until it all goes to some kind of blue ray audio. Please chime in people.

heres an interesting read:
http://reviews.audioreview.com/blog/...player-review/
post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
I'm a sucker for a good slot-loaded CD player and, after reading everything I could find about the Emotiva ERC-1 and talking at length with the company's Dann Laufman, I ordered one today.

The sale price through Dec. 31 is $319, plus $17 shipping. Returns accepted within 30 days.

Emotiva claims this unit can play with the big boys. We will know soon.....
post #5 of 55
Woah, so you ordered both in the end? Nice. I ordered the ERC-1, it hasn't shipped out yet, but would be curious to see how it compares to the Oppo.
post #6 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberburger101 View Post
Woah, so you ordered both in the end? Nice. I ordered the ERC-1, it hasn't shipped out yet, but would be curious to see how it compares to the Oppo.
Yes, I went a little funny in the head and couldn't resist trying out both.

The Emotiva makes some big claims, but it is going to have to be pretty darn good because the Oppo SE really does play with the big dogs.

We shall see......
post #7 of 55
I owned the ERC-1 and found it to be pretty decent. It was about as good as the DacMagic, with slightly better bass extension and impact. However, I returned it within 30 days and went with a DL III instead.
post #8 of 55
Thread Starter 

The Emotiva ERC-1 has arrived

Ordered Monday, arrived today, Wednesday, and I set it up before heading for bed.

Did I sneak a listen first? You bet?

And how does it compare with the Oppo SE and my reference Arcam FMJ?

Sorry, that will have to wait...this puppy is still cold out of the box.

But I can tell you that anyone interested enough to order before the sale ($319) ends on Thursday, Dec. 31, should be in for a treat.

This sucker is bigger and heavier than I thought -- and beautiful!
Based upon looks alone, I want to keep it.

But that too awaits some extended listening.

I'll file an update as soon as I can.

Until then, Happy New Year everyone!
post #9 of 55
looking forward to everyones reviews
post #10 of 55
Definitely.
post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsplice View Post
I owned the ERC-1 and found it to be pretty decent. It was about as good as the DacMagic, with slightly better bass extension and impact. However, I returned it within 30 days and went with a DL III instead.
That doesn't sound to good. I was thinking about ordering one but i think i pass. It happens that i auditioned a MHZS tubed cd player last week and i compared it to my more expensive Xindak Dac-8 with it's tube output stage. The mhzs player really shines in my system. It was simply more musical, more weight to the sound more organic and simply better sounding in the midrange to. The Xindak seemed a little flat in comparison and that Xindak allready was slightly better then my modded DacMagic. That means something is it!?! It was the MHZS CD88 i listened to but it appears that the cheap entry level MHZS CD33 model is as good and even cheaper then the Emotiva.
At least that's my experience. I did A to B comparisons, so no room for suggestions of the sound.
post #12 of 55
I love my 980, was wondering if everyone is using the RCA out, or if anyone is using the 83 se as a transport?
post #13 of 55
Hatmann any sound comparisons yet?
post #14 of 55
Thread Starter 

Results in OppoSE vs Emotiva ERC-1 comparison

My home Internet connection is down again -- my third AT&T DSL modem in six years just failed-- so I must be brief.

I tested the Emotiva ERC-1 CD player with Analog Devices 1955 chips against the Oppo 83 SE with the new Sabre Ultra Dacs, against my reference: an Arcam FMJ-23 CD player with the highly acclaimed Ring DAC.

The Arcam listed for about $2,200 in 2002 and is wonderfully musical. It remains one of the best CD players Arcam has ever produced.

I listened through Vandersteen speakers and Senn 650 phones via Headroom's Max amplifier, updated with the current Max electronics. (Thank you Mike Olson at Headroom!)

In A-B testing, I thought I found some differences, but frankly, they turned out to be so small as to be meaningless.

At first, I thought the Oppo was a tiny bit ballsier on the drums, that the Emotiva was a tad bit more laid back on Steve Earl's "Christmas in Washington," and that the Arcam was a hair more refined on Emmy Lou Harris' voice.

Nah!

Believe me -- if you listen at length to one player and then another, you would find it hard, if not impossible, to tell any meaningful differences. All three produce first-rate sound.

I want the best sound I can get without spending crazy amounts of money. And I would be happy with any one of these three.

Summary: If you want the sound of a great $2k-plus CD player, get yourself a used Arcam FMJ 23.

If you want sound that's just as good as a great $2k-plus CD player, but comes with Blu Ray video, get yourself an Oppo 83 SE for $900, plus about $30 in shipping.

If you want an audio-only player that's as good as a great $2k-plus CD player in a modern, stand-alone unit, get yourself the Emotiva for $399, plus $17 shipping.

All three pieces look good. The Oppo SE is heavier and better looking than any past Oppo product. For an audio-video piece, it is a steal.

The Emotiva, at 17.5 pounds and with a slot-loaded drawer that really works, is well-constructed and looks great. To my eyes, it's easily the best looking of the bunch.

I've heard some criticism of the Emotiva's bright lights. But you can dim them from the remote, so that's no problem.

One nit: While the remote works fine, you have to remove six screws on the rear to install the two (included) batteries. I tried four Phillips screw drivers and finally had to borrow one that fit from a techie friend.

You have to do this every time you change the batteries.

Emotiva should include the correct size Phillips screwdriver -- magnetized to make it easier with the tiny screws -- with each CD player.*

Emotiva's Dan Laufman credits the ERC-1's chips and line stage amplifier design for its fine sound. Based upon my listening, I wouldn't hesitate to try Emotiva's other electronics. The ERC-1 may not be better than its more expensive competitors, but it is every bit as good.

It's exactly what consumers need in this tight economy.

Since I can't decide between the Oppo and the Emotiva, I plan to keep both.

*Update: Emotiva reports that the screws on its remote take a standard No. 2 Phillips driver.
post #15 of 55
Thread Starter 
The Emotiva has been cooking and now sounds even better.

(Cooking also helped the Oppo, but for some reason, it sounded better right out of the box than the Emotiva.)

Both highly recommended.
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