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Here at the Gear Patrol labs, we have what we consider our “reference” setups. In the home theater department, it’s a Sony PS3 for Blu-Ray, Panasonic P50V10 50″ plasma, Sony STR DG920 receiver, and Aperion Audio Intimus 6T Surround Sound Speaker System. But for straight audio, we prefer a more measured approach to our music. A well-weathered Rotel Stereo pre-amp, Neuhaus Audio T-2 stereo tube amplifier (for both amplification and bypassing our Mac’s internal subpar DAC), and a variety of headphones and speakers.

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While the ever in-tune Ben prefers his glorious high definition and 20.12 channel surround sound with Dolby Seriously2MuchHD processing, I’m usually huddled around the two-channel music setup listening to some Tchaikovsky, Till Bronner, or Jay-Z. We recently checked out the OPPO BD-83 Blu-Ray player, but they’ve followed it up with a new release, the BDP-83 Special Edition Blu-Ray player. A player that’s focused a bit more on the audio enthusiast. Recognizing the movement in A/V enthusiasts and buyers towards more refined, analog approaches to music, OPPO has equipped the BDP-83 Blu-ray player with upgraded analog audio components, most importantly utilizing Sabre32 DAC (digital to analog) converters. Four of them to be exact, for each pair of left and right channels in a 7.1 setup. Of course, the BDP-82 is Blu-Ray Profile 2.0, so you’ll be able to play literally every format under the sun: Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HDA Master Audio, DVD, DVD Audio, Super Audio CD, and standard CD’s. It’s almost as if OPPO heard the arguments between Ben and I.

Side Note: Existing OPPO BDP-83 player owners need not fret about their early adoption. OPPO can upgrade your player with the components in the special edition for $300. Read more on that here.

Cost: $899

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