Yesterday I was lucky enough for my friendly Arcam Rep to bring in their new Universal player, the FMJ UDP411, I only had an hour of so of listening and then unfortunately he had to box it up and take it away, what a spoil sport, but I did get a chance to put it up directly against the OPPO 105D for 2ch only, as for me sound quality will be the UDP411 main selling point and the OPPO is its main competition.
Firstly we hooked up the UDP411 via both RCA and XLR into the Bryston SP3 as the Arcam AV950 950 wasn’t hooked up unfortunately, and flicked between both connections, both sounded great but the XLR just edged it for me offering a slightly bigger soundstage with more drive with better dynamics, it was only slight but noticeable, I also tried it as a streamer, it saw my NAS and played with no problem at all, compared to Naim though Arcam’s app needs a fair bit of work, the good news is that Arcam have their own coder now who’s main job is to improve the app so all being well this should improve shortly.
So onto sound quality, to sum up I would say that at long last the mighty OPPO 105 has some real competition, not that either was better or worse, which sounds like a real cop out, but both sounded excellent but offering 2 very different presentations. I love OPPO’s presentation, I find it clean, detailed, immersive and all that stuff, but I have have always loved Arcam’s more slightly more laid back and smooth presentation and for me that was the main difference, the UDP411 came across with all the detail of the OPPO but with a weightier more life like presentation, especially apparent with vocals, it just felt more organic.
I guess the OPPO could be considered better value for money with the Darbee processing built in and the M/C analogue outs, but for out and out sound quality it is now great to have two great high performing options that offer 2 very different presentations, I can quite easily see the UDP411 ending up in my system, as I do like my system to match and having a full Arcam rig would be very satisfying, it will also be interesting to try it over HDMI into the AV950 and also digital out into the D33.
It looks like it is still a couple of months away before the UDP411 is available but yesterday’s taster has certainly left me wanting to explore it in more depth as early signs sounded very promising so needless to say we will have one on demo as soon as released.
Please see a link below for more info and couple of pics -
[url="http://hifilounge.co.uk/arcam-fmj-udp411-bd-player"]Arcam FMJ UDP411 Audiophile Blu-ray player[/url]