What I dont understand is why they make premium Blu Ray players with on board decoding. Does anybody ever use it? I can understand in the old days before we all had nice AV receivers and used HDMI but really its just a wast of money.
I agree with you till last year. I have ordered the Oppo 105 which would be the hub for my new system. I add Power Amps of my choice and I am good to go (provided I have only two more HDMI sources which is so in my case). In addition 105 acts as a DAC too!
Same is with Oppo 103 and I think it is the ideal solution for any one who has two or less additional sources. Bluray playback is great. It doubles as Network player for Videos too (with all the goodies of nice video processing). I was never keen on 7 channels of amplification and 5 is my max. So adding a nice 5 or 7 channel amp, it is already in par with an AVR and might beat the similar priced AVR + Blur Ray Player combination. The only missing thing is Room Caliberation which IMO will be added in the next year version.
In my long term view, high end AVRs market is going to diminish as the price vs duration for which they can be held on to is not truly justified. Instead of the products like this are going to change the landscape slowly.
I find it very surprising that all high end CD players have great DACs in them but still refuse to make them work also as a stand - alone DACs till recently. Still there are many great CD spinner which do not accept inputs and I do not think it is lack of technology but the want / greed of the manufacturer to sell two seperate products when one can do both the jobs effectively.
Seriously though, what point are you trying to make? Why would I, a UK resident, want to look at a magazine or website that reviewed a load of products I can't buy?
Being a German Resident, I bought Italian, Canadian, American & British HiFi Products and I do not see any logic in categorizing the products based on the country of origin especially for the end customer.
However this might be a different reason for a Magazine whose survival might depend on the monetary equation and possibly mostly local products / manufacturers & residents who buy the magazine offer the needed revenues (I might be the minor contributor who still buys the magazine not being located in UK)
I don't know what the numbers are for overseas subscribers but the WHF team has stated (on more than one occasion) that they only review equipment that is readily available in the UK market, so that would exclude anything that would have to be ordered from outside the UK (ie doesn't have a UK distribution channel).
It's a UK magazine, if they started to review a load of gear that can't be bought in this country can you imagine the complaints that would create? Anyway, they don't ignore "non-British" products, they ignore products that aren't available here, there are plenty of non-British companies represented because they sell in the UK.
"comes clean"? That implies that WHF have deliberately given the Oppo a poor review for nefarious purposes, do you have anything to back that position up with? Btw, your Sony is less than £200, the Oppo is £500, WHF reviews are price-sensitive, so it doesn't imply that the Sony is actually better than the Oppo, just better value for money (in their opinion).
As you know,you can essentially get any product from anywhere in the world nowadays (and that's a good thing). If What hi-fi were an objective source for reviews they would be excited to support that open market. But, if what you just said about them only reviewing products that can only be purchased from within the UK, then it supports the point that there's a UK slant. And they probably shouldn't attempt award shows at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Also on a side note, I was watching a review of the KEF's the the reviewer blurted out : "they're so good, you just have to buy them". He quickly recovered and said "or at least listen to it". But the point is, the site is splashed with adverstising, the reviews include links to sites where you can purchase the product, and the reviewers themselves sometimes get a bit too "fanatical" with the reviews (especially when it comes to certain campanies). None of this really supports words like "trusted", "objective", etc..
Did you read the Oppo 95 review? It's as much an advertisement for Cambridge Audio as it is a review of the Oppo-95. Then go read the Cambridge Audio 751 review. No mention of Oppo? This time around with the new models it looks like they're setting it up to take things a bit further (unless of course we can motive them to "tame" the bias a bit in the near future). I've spent a lot of time with both of those units. One hits the "wow factor" (the Oppo). The other comes in just below, and the units break easily (Cambridge Audio 751) And again, I don't think of Oppo as an American Company, it's pure Chinese. And I don't care about either of these companies.
Anyway, where are the reviews for companies like Canton, Siltech, Crystal Cable, Wilson Audio, Gryphon, McIntosh, Definitive Technology, etc... How can you leave out some of these major global players if your aim is to steer your readers to the best possible equipment?
If the product isn't available in the UK, how can you demo it prior to purchase? (something WHF have always advocated). Besides, WHF reviews these products:
1) The manufacturer / dealer sends a product for review.
2) There is enough demand / excitement for a product, for WHF to buy the product for review.
In which category do international brands fall?
A lot of products announced in CES make their way to UK as well.
Cambridge Audio players are made by Oppo. Not sure how their quality is inferior to the Oppo.
Please let me know how can I order these products from the UK.
And check this:
My Home Cinema Pioneer KRP 500A, Yamaha RX-V1900, MA Radius R225HD LCR, R90HD rears, AW12 sub, Panasonic BD60, PS3, Boxee Box, Sky HD, Boxee Box, Logitech Harmony One, Logitech PS3 Adapter, Sonos ZP90
Bedroom Samsung UE32C6510, PS3 slim white, Apple TV, Sonos S5, Sonos ZP90, Audioengine 2, Oppo OPDV971H
Miscellaneous: Synology DS212J + 2 X WD Red 2TB drives, WD 1TB NAS, Sonos ZoneBridge, BT HH3 as modem & AirPort Extreme router
So no I don't have Bose, but you're little set-up probably sounds like Bose compared to either of mine...toodles
Oh you're so modest, aren't you!
1) He made an adult decision to start a conversation with a stranger saying "you probably have Bose don't you" (in an attempt to demean)
2) I replied with the truth of what I really own
3) You're put off by my comment
---you guys are acting kinda silly over there nowadays
Just pointing out who was being silly with bragging when the response could've been more polite.
WHF reviews aren't objective, they're subjective, opinions, nothing more, always have been. I don't believe they've ever claimed anything else.
I did not know that 'come clean' can be read that way as well. As I said, I hope WHF reconfirms or correct their position on their review of Oppo 103, given the much debate that is going on this thread on WHF rating for this particular bluray player.
Also, IMO that this Oppo 103 review will not appear in the online browsable verion under the section
I would love to be wrong in this prediction!
Whatever anyone thinks about What Hi-Fi's review of the Oppo 103, it seems bizarre to accuse the magazine of being parochial.
If all products manufactured in the UK received glowing five star reviews, and all products reviewed manufactured outside the UK were clearly marked down, such allegations might stand up to scrutiny. However, that's simply not the case.
What Hi-Fi reviews products engineered in a multiplicity of countries and countless "non-UK" products receive highly favourable reviews. It seems some are extrapolating on the Oppo 103 review because they're not happy with the verdict and applying skewed logic to discussion of the magazine in general.
I find the Oppo 103 review a little strange, since it's been so highly praised elsewhere. That said, I've not seen or heard the Oppo in action, so I'm not in a position to challenge claims made about this machine by any reviewer.
I'll continue to read the magazine each month, as it offers the most comprehensive coverage of new audio and video equipment available. I'll also continue to read reviews on sites like AV Forums and HDTV Test, as I value the kind of testing they perform. A more holistic view that draws on a range of resources is always sensible; and as much as I'm a fan of very technically-detailed reviews, the volume of products tested in such a way falls short of the volume of products tested by What Hi-Fi.
Hardware: Panasonic TX-P50VT65B (calibrated); Cambridge Audio Azur 651BD; Yamaha RX-A810; Teac PD-H600; PS3; B&W 601 & 600LCR (series 3); Q Acoustics QAV (rear)
Furniture and Accessories: BLOK Classix 3000 Oak AV Cabinet; Atacama Nexus 6 (atabite metal filled); 3D3 A1112
The criteria you listed sounds off on several levels. 1) WHF should be reaching out and requesting units to be sent to them to review. It should be "pull" as much as it is "push". That's how it's done here and I'm sure it is to some extent there as well. 2) I've never heard of a review site needing to out-right purchase all of the equipment they review. A lot of time it's demo'd and sent back. Sometimes kept and resold (so I guess I don't totally understand what you mean there). The point: take off World's Most Trusted Tech Reviews" if it's not true. It's as pathetic as when we American's call our Football and Baseball winners, "World Champions". Ugh guys, we didn't play anybody outside of the country...
They use different DAC's and the engineering of the housing construction is different. And I'm sure there are other differences that I don't know or care about inside the unit. There's no shortage of "supplier sharing". It doesn't mean quality is the same for all of the end-products. That's kind of a silly assumption, don't you think?
Out of that list, you showed me one pair of Wilson Bookshelves? If you're serious about any of one these companies, I'd be happy to find you sellers (and equipment that matches your power supply, when applicable), but I'm not going start listing out places in this thread. I mean my day isn't going to be very busy today, but I'm not going to fill it doing that I'm sure you can handle getting beyond the UK websites and UK vendors. Make an international phone call or something? Find some good things, hit some dead ends...
Wilson Audio www.absolutesounds.com
Crystal Cable www.absolutesounds.com/
Definitive Technology www.pulsemarketing.com
And – before Clare comes back and looks threatening – ,
Audio Editor, Gramophone
It will appear, but not until the print magazine has been on sale for a while, as is usual.
And possibly, I'm told, in an extended form.
Relax. There was no attempt to demean you, that was simply a joke hence the wink. Being a stranger, is it not polite to lighten the conversation with a little humour. You can come over and listen to my system if you like, I would say its somewhat better than bose and having the CM9 setup I believe you would agree.
I would love to go and demo the products you mention If anywhere stocked them. I simply do not subscribe to the notion that the magazine has an ulterior motive, you will need conclusive proof leveling such an acusation, simply saying you do not see it, is like saying you dont see the love I have for Manchester United when you are blindinded supporting Arsenal.
By the way we dont say toodles you know, despite the obvious stereotype of Brits :rofl:
Edit* Just reading more of your comments, you make some valid points, the Magazine would of course be in support of British brands, as would any other nation of thier own product. I will give you that, but the magazine is still quite objective for me and gives all bits of technology a fair run.
Panasonic 65" 3D TV (P65VT50), Pioneer LX83, CA, Azur 751BD, PS3, Water Cooled Xbox 360 (Modded), Nintendo Wii U, Xbox One, Sony PS4, Sky HD+, i7 PC overclocked with Nvidia 780 GTX, CM8 Fronts (Bi-Amped), CMC Center (Bi-Wired), DS3 Dipoles, PV1 Sub. Van Den Hul M.C. Snowtrack >Halogen Free< wiring, Chord Active Silver HDMI's, Cabridge Audio AUD700 Analogues Interconnects, QED Signature Subwoofer cables, Chunky Monkey custom oak AV cabinet.
Why does it matter if it does or does not appear?
Main AV Setup: Panasonic 50VT65 TV (THX calibrated), Pioneer Bdp-lx71, Pioneer Vsx-lx70, B&W FPM Series, B&W PV1, Optimum AV300 AV Stand, QED Silver Anniversary XT Speaker Cable & Chord Silver Plus HDMI Cables. Gadgets: iPad 4 & iPhone 4S.
Interesting that Oppo advertises heavily on Home Cinema Choice and AVForums websites.
Wilson Audio www.absolutesounds.comSiltech www.sugdenaudio.com/Crystal Cable www.absolutesounds.com/Gryphon www.music-room.comMcIntosh www.jordanacoustics.co.ukDefinitive Technology www.pulsemarketing.com
Right! I want reviews of everything those brands make on my desk, by tomorrow!
Andrew perhaps you would like to give your piece on this.
People talking about the Oppo getting a bad review etc because of some type of ulterior motive, need I remind you the 95 received 5 star. The accusation is simply not justified, these are nothing more that consipracy theories.
© 2014 Haymarket Publishing