+ 30 Day In Home 100% Refund Period
+ 5 Year Parts & Labor Warranty with Every Signature Edition Upgrade
+ 100% GUARANTEED to beat ANYTHING else on the market!
Nothing we sell ever comes back.
We don't even have to advertise. Once our clients experience for themselves the extreme high performance & "bang for the buck" we deliver, they keep coming back as funds permit.
The Upgrade Company would not continue to be A+ rated on the nationwide BBB algorithm month after month unless we were delivering on our promises.
Please call +1 269-352-7609 to place order
Unsolicited Customer Testimonials sent to The Upgrade Company LLC
Every client has paid The Upgrade Company LLC in full. No kickbacks, no commissions, no fees of any kind for recommending our products and services.
Oppo 103D With Signature Edition Upgrade
In theory, the Schulte SE Upgrade Modification prevents RFI and EMI radiation from collecting out of the air and stacking inside chipsets and parts as “standing waves”, preventing and reducing the parts themselves to ring in disharmonic resonance, muddling the signal with frequency and timing errors, while dramatically reducing power supply consumption leaving the Power Supply capacitors more fully charged at all times. That is my understanding of the THEORY. But does it work?
Oh Hell YES It does. Immediately on connecting l was astonished at the sound coming out of my modest entertainment system. My favorite Jazz Station (fed via HDMI into my Oppo BDP-103D Signature Edition Upgraded from my Comcast cable box (which is undergoing upgrading next) was playing Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. Usually l do not listen to accapella jazz, but the sound was so sweet, the voices so distinct l listened with interest for 20 minutes, with increasing pleasure. ln fact l spent the entire day just experiencing the new sound. Artifacts and details before buried in the jitter and sludge of a system l thought I had tweeked with expensive cables were still there before, l realized NOW I WAS FINALLY HEARING THEM. By the way, it is amazing to hear the sound get better as the Oppo in new “SE” form eases into its electrons.
The main effect is like this. Before SE the sound appeared to be force fed thru the room's volume of air. FORWARD HARD THRUST AT YOU. l am now listening to deep layered soundstaging with greater clarity and transparency and AT 20% LOWER VOLUME GAIN. Bass & highs at modest volumes.
After SE the sound lays upon the air volume and envelopes the ears. The entire room is alive with relaxed sound. Relaxed, open, complete and detailed, with increased smoothness in treble and further extentention in the bass. Background is completely silent increasing the presence of ANY music played. ln all, the musicality is increased, fingers on strings easily apparent as are the breath attacks on horns and woodwinds, the bending of notes in trumpets and subtle sounds now heard but not before even imagined. Dynamics are improved. The whole affect is of pleasure.
ls it worth the cost? Look at it this way: over a years listening it works out to just two dollars a day ($2 USD) to finally hear the music l previously THOUGHT l was hearing. You people are missing most of the music listening through stock gear.
The Upgrade Company performs a sonic public service at a very reasonable affordable cost. The service is speedy, the shipping is quick. And l did not have to chase new equipment any longer.
Definite improvement in performance and over 1,000 CD/SACD/DVD-A/DVD-V/Blu-ray discs waiting to finally be heard & SEEN CORRECTLY. WORTH EVERY PENNY.
Life is short, take pleasure.
David Berger, CA
Oppo 103D With Signature Edition Upgrade
Oppo UDP-205 Signature Edition Upgrade
David, it is 4:00 am, can't sleep, realizing I have just won the Mr. Stupid Award and can't stop watching movies on my new Oppo UDP-205 Signature Edition FedEx dropped off earlier this evening. Still marvel at the performance of the TimePortal cables I got from you several years back for my audio system, since getting those I have never had the itch to try other cables, almost a sin in the audiophile world. As we have discussed golf was my other true passion but ruptured lumbar discs ( like the famous golfer) has taken that off the table. So, as you know, I got into movies because have always loved them since I was a kid going to the Saturday Roy Rogers/ Gene Autry serials.
Have assembled a nice home theater and of course my first player of significance was your Signature Oppo 103. So why Mr Stupid? Quite simple answer. Was real excited about 4K HDR innovation so purchased a stock Oppo UDP 205. Was pleased with performance but just seemed to fall short of my expectations. Then I remembered your company, we talked and despite your upcoming relocation you took the time to discuss my issues in a most courteous and informative manner. I then decided to get your Signature Edition Oppo UDP 205. Arriving today I hooked it up, matched the settings to my non-upgraded stock OPPO 205, sat down, put in a movie( not expecting a great improvement as the player was cold, not yet burned in) but was I ever wrong. I finally see what the the 4K hype is about. Video images were sharper, but not overdone, more depth, the colors more vivid yet more natural. As I watched I felt more like I was a part of the movie not just a spectator.
Same with the sound, dramatically improved over the stock 205 unit which sounds rather dull dead lifeless weak bass/highs blurred detail noisy sounding in comparison.
So why Mr. Stupid? Simply put, for forgetting how much your SE Upgrade modifications improve the performance both Audio & Video, a lesson I shall not forget.
From a most satisfied customer I very strongly urge all in the market for new audio or video equipment to consider working with David on any equipment purchases or post purchase modifications of stock items.
You will be most pleased!
Ronald S Stroud, M.D.
Oppo BDP-205 Signature Edition Upgrade
I’ve had just a couple of days of listening, but here’s what I’ve got so far:
You told me the Oppo 205 SE was better than my Theta Compli Blu SE, and you were right! I’ve got it set up as you suggest below. The best-sounding filter is the Minimum Phase Fast (default); second best is the Apodizing Fast, but it doesn’t have quite the heft and body of the MP Fast.
The first thing I noticed was the BASS: holy S%$&! The bottom end is head and shoulders better than anything I’ve heard. And it’s not just the amount of bass, although that is far better by itself. It’s the bass detail – much easier to hear things like the actual vibration of the bass drum skin, and individual strikes of the drum.
Second thing is DETAIL. The texture of individual instruments in an ensemble is much easier to discern. And that detail is presented without any brightness – very easy to listen to.
This player is a bit front-row sounding than either the Theta Compli Blu or Linn Unidisk 1.
All in all, your Oppo UDP-205 SE is the best source component I’ve ever heard.
Congratulations, David, you’re still the Master!
Oppo BDP-203 Signature Edition Upgrade
I recently sent my Oppo BDP-203 player and Krell KAV-400xi integrated amplifier to Dave Schulte's Upgrade Company for their Signature Edition upgrade. The improvement in how they sound is beyond my greatest expectations. The music they present is significantly better in all respects i.e., blacker
background, greater transparency , much greater presence of individual instruments, higher highs, more liquid middle and much tighter bass without smearing or sacrificing one of the musical properties over the other(s). I could go on but I believe you get my impressions of David's ground-breaking products. In conclusion, I have been into Stereophile Recomended equipment for some time now and The Upgrade Company's products are the ONLY ONE's that have lived up to their claims that once installed the music sounds demonstrably better.
Oppo 103D Special Edition with Signature Edition Upgrade
Just wanted to give you an update on my experience of EMI RFI Riddance.
Phenomenal. Just jaw dropping.
We started out gosh I don't even remember! Somewhere back in March 2015.
I'm going to cut to the chase here ... because to me the listening tells the story in the best way possible. I continue to be gobsmacked and awestruck. Just by the most humble of sources. And if you haven't listened to it through my system just listen to me please. I can play YouTube though my Oppo 103D Special Edition upgraded by Dave through Dave's Time Portal HDMI Cable, to my Marantz AV8002A upgraded model, into a non upgraded Emotiva XPA 5 via upgraded Time Portal XLR balanced cables, out to my PMC Twenty 26's biwired using Dave's Time Portal speaker cables and also out using silver tinned copper 10AWG wires to the rear surround speakers.
Phenomenal. Just jaw dropping.
Dave and I have become friends since we began. Through his amazing advice and experience with EMI RFI, I can sit here in my villa living room in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and listen to the most amazing incredible sounds from my currently super minimalist system of 4.0! Supplied by YouTube. Imagine...
Over the past couple of nights I am astonished how good it sounds. I have this system now in its current form for about six months, some of it more than 1 year. And it is well a truly burned in.
My benchmark source is the Oppo playing either FLAC or BluRay. In either case it is ground breaking. I constantly sit here shaking my head in disbelief.
My goal is a completely closed system by that I mean as much as possible all power, speaker, and interconnect cables and all components will be EMI RFI shielded.
I want to get my next cable set top box upgraded too! Because when I first installed the Time Portal RCA cables between my current box and the Marantz preamp I found a whole new level of audio. I mean it was palpably better everything: sound stage dynamic range everything was better. One humble example only.
To give you some idea of the amount of business Dave and I have done, its a lot! He has been the Prince of direct and honest truth. And I have enjoyed every minute of the journey we are taking together. We are in the process of returning back here, two amps I managed to blow the transformers on, upgrading the current Emotiva with 2 Reference Upgraded units, returning the Furman power supply unit, the digital front end supply an Upgraded Cocktail Audio X40, an upgraded Sub Woofer amp various speakers and cables to complete the home theatre system version 1.0. This is the largest single pallet load, and I trust it will arrive here safely.
Early on in our relationship I explored the EMI RFI domain with a view to understanding what it was all about. I did an internet search and uncovered engineering standards for military and medical applications, loads of specialist suppliers and products and began to understand the depth and expertise that Dave has gained over his work so far in this field. I also realised that very few engineers have much if any exposure to this field. Electrical Engineers or not. They know about speaker cable capacitance that's about the size of their knowledge and scope of their discussion. Its only if they have done especially military work or research work or work for example on large array telescopes where shielding is mission critical (I met a few of these guys here in Saudi Arabia at the one of the Universities and ...surprisingly they didn't get it either, only once they hear the system do go mmmmm...)
There's an engineer in the Bronx...now he gets it....cos he's done work on some serious EMI RFI related projects....I'm guessing military since he was citing that standard.
Today, tonight as I listen to humble YouTube...I remain convinced that I have one of the best combined stereo/audio/video home theatre systems available. And I'm running my minimalist 4.0 system right now.
So come on, sign up. You will never regret it. Dave's work is second to none. I have never met or heard of anyone else in the world doing this work to hi fi equipment like Dave does. Unique, powerful and complete. Results delivered immediately (and get better until burn is achieved). I've looked under the hood. I can only say wow. The amount of careful hand work required to place thousand dollar paints, shielding and other materials is artisinal in its standard.
With Dave's help you should seek your audio and video nirvana. You have the right. And David has the answer.
Dr John Read
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Oppo BDP-103D Signature Edition with the Bybee & ISOCLEAN
Oppo BDP-105 Signature Upgrade feedback from a BLIND client:
Wow, wow and wow! Love my new SE Upgraded Oppo 105D. You may recall I advised you that I am totally blind and as a consequence I need my wife’s assistance at times. She took care of the set-up while I made the necessary connections. But being blind has it’s own advantages in that it eliminates cognitive bias. I have no idea which player is playing! Yours killed the others.
Our first play was an SACD by Nora Jones. MUCH more then I was expecting. If it sounds this good now then I can only imagine how it will sound after the burn-in period. The lower mids & bass sound very full and especially tight and deep. Everything on drums, brushes, individual strikes, etc. are very crisp and very well delineated & very dynamic top to bottom. The highs are not truncated or bright, nice. The midrange sounds SPOT ON. The sound stage is wide and unusually immersive. Nothing every sounds forward or out of its spatial context. I think you get the picture. I LOVE IT.
I will keep you posted with respect to audible changes as I hear them throughout the burn-in process. Thanks so much for doing such a superb job on the mod. I will certainly be singing your praises to all of my friends.
Mike Reed, FL
Everything I said in my initial assessment of the wonderful SE upgrade remains. I am hearing improvements daily my SE’d Oppo 105D burns in. It continues to sound better & better. Music is way better then it was at first and my sighted wife has mentioned that the picture on our 65” Panasonic Plasma TV has continued to improve in clarity with a greater depth in colors & inky blacks.
I am looking forward to sending you my Marantz AV8801 along with power amp in the not too distant future so you can perform your magic on them as well.
For any of the skeptics out there, rest assured that burn-in does indeed occur and the sound and video continually improve as the break-in time goes on.
Again, Upgrade Co. greatly advanced what I considered to be a good piece of equipment and made it way, way better.
Mike Reed, Florida
Oppo BDP-105 Signature Upgrade
The Journey from Stereo to HiFi
I bought a stock OPPO BDP-105 after I’d read all the reviews and the hype and was convinced that this item maybe the Swiss Army Knife of CD / DVD / Blu-ray players. This turned out to be correct. I enjoyed it for a while stock. Then I thought to myself – just how good could the 105 sound if it were improved somehow?
That is when I did my research for Oppo modifications. I found websites offering various sonic improvements. I have to say at first, I was quite skeptical but after more reading and thinking, I thought why not? Venture forth – as in life – you won’t know unless you try it yourself!
That is where The Upgrade Company came in. I’m in Canada and a bit far from being able to visit or really know firsthand how good Upgrade Company’s modifications are – so no endorsements or bias on my end. It made sense to me that having a bunch of RFI-EMI noise in electronic equipment would produce unwanted digital noise. So it was no wonder the stock player looks and sounds so blah in comparison to Upgrade Co’s SE upgraded version.
I anxiously waited getting my OPPO 105 back from Upgrade Company. It came back about 2.5 weeks later. It definitely sounded better then the stock 105 but at this point my jaw was not hitting the floor just yet.
After playing the unit for over 3 weeks as much as possible to complete the mandatory 600 hour initial burn-in period, that was when things really changed for the better!
In a brief nutshell, I would describe the transformation as very much like going from that first generation of digital to the warmth and buttery smoothness of a good vinyl LP. I’ve not got Vinyl like sound quality before from a digital front end. My 105 SE digital playback has better separation & more dynamics then vinyl, more detailing without being etched or aggressive, and without the ticks and pops of vinyl!
I am still mesmerized that I can now go back and play some older “classic” discs that I love like Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and The Beatles. I can now listen to all the poor sounding discs in my collection on the OPPO 105 SE without ducking for cover from the shrill-brittle forward hard electronic sound that I had with the non-upgraded OPPO 105.
Highly recommended as a SUPER transformation from Stereo to Hi-Fi!
Addendum: Later once I knew the amazing level of wizardry Upgrade Co. provided, I sent my Oppo 105 SE back to Upgrade Co to have their $299 Bybee Purifier Option installed along with a $55 ISOCLEAN audiophile AC line fuse upgrade.
It came back and needed more hours to burn-in to achieve the full effects. Again, I was content as there was an immediate noticeable increase in transparency, separation, deeper and taught bass, more fleshed out mids, crystal clean sparkling highs - an even more amazing portal to fine live sounding recordings in my living room.
Finally, I would like to mention that after each upgrade, the video image quality was improved significantly. Now with full burn-in the video quality is absolutely amazing on my Panasonic Plasma. I get to see black
as black without any grayish hue or video noise, absolutely no artifacts, very live looking.
Chris Huggins, Canada
Oppo BDP-105 Signature Edition
I am way beyond pleased with your Signature Edition upgrades in my Oppo 105. Right out of the box it sounded very good, significantly better than the stock Oppo 105 and my other modded Oppo from another well known modifier.
I have a hard time imagining a 105 player sounding better.
Thank-you for what you do,
Brian Breslin, Canada
Oppo 105D Signature Edition
I´ve been an audiophile since I was about 10 years old, I'm 50 now. I've listened to a lot of systems in my life both here and in USA. I knew David about four years ago when I started purchasing from Upgrade Co., and he has helped me to build a dream system. I have to thank you for that David, with this modified Oppo 105D I am closer to the audio nirvana than never before, music sounds awesome WAY better then your older Denon upgrades, Bluray's are just gorgeous and even internet music sounds really beautiful. I could not imagine this level of performance before at any price.
So again David Thanks a lot!!
Dr. Alfredo Piñeyro-Garza, Mexico
Oppo 105 SE upgraded, Furman Elite 15PFi Power Conditioner w/SE upgrades, TimePortal Reference Power Cords
Here is a testimonial for The Upgrade Company website on the purchases I've made so far for my system.
I started out by upgrading the source first per Upgrade's recommendation:
A brand new SE upgraded Oppo BDP-105. Against a stock Oppo BDP-105 which had quite a bit of burn in time, the SE 105 was night and day superior using any adjective you want. With burn-in period completed, the Signature Edition upgrade firmly puts Oppo's into that rarified fine analog LP playback dimension throwing a huge lush airy liquid simply surreal sound stage with brilliant highs and big, bold, huge dynamics, full bodied yet fast & tuneful bass response, simply crystal clear & musical, even on my worst discs like the old Beatles. The comparison to the stock 105 is positively stunning. On the video side, I played a couple of music videos which I know well to A-B compare the stock & SE upgraded 105's. I was impressed with the greatly (not just slightly) improved color saturation, lack of grain and haze, improved detail and resolution of the RFI/EMI shielded 105. The stock player looks washed out in comparison and grainy. Your SE upgrade is a much bigger bang for the buck over buying a far expensive player or even new speakers. Speakers can only reproduce what the source is giving it, right?
An audiophile friend of mine is very critical of digital and listens only to vinyl. He didn't like my system at all prior to the SE upgrade to the 105, TimePortal power cords and SE upgraded Furman power conditioner. He really surprised me when he said the sound is now comparable to a really expensive system with the warmth and clarity of a great turntable without the usual clicks and pops. He was genuinely impressed and wondered how you pull this off. I directed him to Upgrade's website to learn more.
OPPO BDP-103D Darbee Edition with Signature Edition upgrade mods and BYBEE Slipstream Quantum Purifiers installed during Signature Edition upgrade mods
Hello again Dave,
I wanted to take a few minutes to follow-up of my review back in May after having the system burn-in for 2000+ hours. We really never shut it down completely…ever!
All I can say is, thank you for allowing me to make your acquaintance and taking the time bring me in as a client of your company’s’ products. Home entertainment in the Dalton household has never been better. The sights and sounds in our Home Theater continue to impress all who experience it.
As for the value received…fantastic! I admit that your claims of a 10X return on my investment was met with…cautious optimism…I’ve heard it all before. But the truth of the matter is that you did it Dave!
Top of the line McIntosh etc. doesn’t sound or look this good and it costs more than 10x my investment.
You have exceeded my expectations beyond words. Suffice it to say that my Panasonic Plasma has never looked better and my M&K speakers and subs are giving stellar performances at every opportunity.
BTW, even at sustained THX reference levels, the upgraded Onkyo AV receive has yet to trip my Elan ZFan2 component rack cooling fan. Not having to work overtime reproducing all that RFI regenerated by the numerous clocks inside has really reduced the heat.
So let’s recap and compare our observations from my initial SE upgrade review on the Onkyo, Oppo, and TimePortal Cables:
- The soundstage is always wide open and transparent; totally jet black backgrounds, liquid velvety, punchy, sparkling crystal clear. No grain or glare or hardness like you’d expect with an A/V receiver. None!
- Far better performance than my high priced separates were able to deliver…huge difference!
- The noise floor…jet black…I’m still impressed. After auditioning other AVR’s (Anthem, Integra, Onkyo, Denon, and Emotiva) and having had listening opportunities to compare several “mega-dollar” separate component systems from EMM Labs, Audio Research, Mark Levinson and McIntosh…All great big-name, hi-end and big-buck separates, but… we all like our new system’s sound quality better at a fraction of the cost!
- The video output from the RFI/EMI ridded Oppo player to my Panasonic plasma looks even more amazing. Blacker blacks, colors unusually fleshed out & brilliant. Images now appear like a veil of fog has been lifted, obviously by your upgrades…really!
- Even when running Comcast cable feeds through our new Oppo SE upgraded shielded/attenuated/dissipated HDMI input…it looks simply fantastic on HD!
The bottom line is that my family and I are still being blown away with the level of performance of this system when compared to the previous systems I’ve owned & really expensive stuff we’ve auditioned. Head and shoulders above the rest!.
I just re-queued up the Re-Mastered SACD of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon…Wow!
Still a believer!
Dave Dalton, Indiana
OPPO Signature Edition Upgrade for Jean-Michel
I installed my Upgrade Company Signature Oppo yesterday and tested it with my reference Avatar 3D. My jaw felt on the floor right from the start of the movie. Crisp colors and a much more fluid 3D image. I was a little skeptical when ordering but now I swear there’s a true “Night & Day Improvement” between stock and upgraded Oppo on video and not just on audio. I could not be happier.
OPPO BDP-105 Signature Edition Upgrade
You have been on my mind as late as yesterday. I got the JL Audio Gotham powered sub & your Oppo BDP-105D Signature Edition installed Saturday and have been in amazement ever since! I am very happy with my system, at least for now, but you know how it goes, always need bigger and better.
Thank you for your help and for producing such a great product in the SE upgraded 105D.
Below are pictures of the upgrade:
Dear Upgrade Company,
I was about to write a reserved narrative with limited adjectives, but it would be a grave injustice to what you electronic wizards have accomplished.
You guys are stone-cold crazy skilled!!
As you know my wife and AV friends were all highly impressed a year ago with our new Upgrade Company Oppo 93 which blew away our stock 93 and all the other players we auditioned, (we picked yours to keep), that was NOTHING compared to what you guys deliver NOW with your $299 SE upgrade UPDATE!!
My 7.2 speaker/subwoofer system has been thru top of the line Yamaha, Onkyo & Integra flagship components, and never…I repeat, NEVER, have I seen so much woofer cone activity, and sheer "in the room presence" that is totally rocking my house. You guys put the "Vulcan Mind Meld” on my Denon AVP-A1HDci & Oppo. The picture and sound is just incredible. We now proudly sit in my home theater with a larger group of friends, and trust me, it has nothing to do with our social skills. There is nothing we've heard ANYWHERE that even comes close to what is now happening in my system.
You’ve outdone yourselves and raised the "State of the Art" bar in a redonkulous way!! WOW! WOW & WOW!! When you recommended that all clients promptly send back their SE upgraded gear to be updated I couldn’t pack it up fast enough. Eight days later, I got my gear back. Acoustical depth/width were INSTANTLY GIGANTIC IN TNE ROOM POWERFUL AND LIVE. We are "in the movie" dude. While you were working on my components, I used my stock naked unshielded non radio frequency treated Denon AVR-4308Ci and stock internally naked non-RFI/EMI treated Oppo 93 (factory).
When I got the components back, transparency, soundstage, bass slam & depth, overall liquidity/detail/speed, sparkle, "liveness" and imaging were ALL DRAMATICALLY improved!! No comparison between factory components and your LATEST Signature Edition upgrades! Not even close, no way no how!!
All our AV friends say the same thing: WOW
The audio through the SE’d Denon AVP-A1HDCI & Oppo 93.
DVDs & Blu-ray's & CD's & SACD's are ALL incredible sounding now!! No bad discs. I do not need a separate 2-channel system. No way. A much higher audio performance with GREATLY improved picture quality. Blu-ray's look & sound like I'm THERE. My 10 speakers (2 centers) and 2 huge subs in my HT have amazingly just DISAPPEARED!!
I am now a proud owner of imaging WAY beyond the speakers themselves. SEEMLESS - like I'm IN THE MOVIE. Background ocean waves, birds, stuff buzzing or flying through my listening room, the sound of ocean breezes (let alone waves! That stuff came out in your last SE upgrade) are in my room. The ultimate thing I’ve now heard is the soft sound of the actor’s garments rubbing as they move around during dialogues. Even when cranked up to the MAX everything is sooo buttery smooth and velvety liquid and crystal clear. Try THAT with stock gear - We're still grinning.
The Upgrade Company's technology has completely removed the veiling that is so awful with ALL stock naked radio frequency contaminated HiFi & Video equipment irregardless of the name on the front if it!! Stock Krell EVO & stock McIntosh sound like crap compared to your SE upgraded gear you guys are cranking out. That stock sky high priced stuff is so harsh veiled fuzzy flat tinny small & boring sounding in direct comparison with video that's noisy and washed out - not live like we're getting.
My wife loves Sabrina (Harrison Ford version). We’ve seen this movie 20 times, if not 100. She thought I’d purchased another expensive component. She was absolutely amazed at the video clarity and the total sonic transformation that occurred after your latest SE upgrades. Sabrina showed shockingly bright sparkly garments and very black properly graduated tuxedos with super white shirts that do not glow like stock gear. 3D. Background video resolution is much more detailed and wonderfully distracting. Not fuzzy washed out full of artifacts like stock players and video scalers. Mind you we have good power line conditioning on everything in the system - that is a must do: right off the bat.
Prior to The Upgrade Company's technologies, our big plasma was looking long in the tooth…BUT SHE”S NEVER LOOKED SOO DARN SPECTACULAR!!! We do not need a new TV. DID I TELL YOU WE ARE WATCHING ALL OUR MOVIES AGAIN!?!? This is a true testament to your technology. Exponential dividends. My plasma has never looked sweeter (really 3D-ish ), my audio is over the moon wonderful, my woofers are dancing like I'v never seen them PUMP, and I now have a larger posse’ of friends!! Nuff Said!! Gonna send you my large beverage & snack tab now....
Keep us informed as your discoveries evolve on your quest for the ultimate audio & video SIGNAL INTEGRITY.
These online geeks and "reviewers" are a total sham. They are keeping the TRUTH from consumers.
Absolutely MIND NUMBING & ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING!!!
Thank you so much for finally delivering an IMAX-like experience in our home.
Love what you're doing!!
A client FOR LIFE
Isaiah in Ohio
OPPO BDP-103 Signature Edition upgrade $299 UPDATE results from client Dr. Stroud MD
OPPO 103 Signature Edition arrived Monday A.M. safe and sound. Actually got through with work in time to watch about 1/2 of the Hobbit, a movie I am very familiar with being a great admirer of Tolkien's genius. When I bought the SE edition of the OPPO from you in 2012 all I could tell was that it was a heck of a lot better than the other players. Well I am now a full fledged believer! The improvement in picture quality/sharpness and vividness of the colors jumps off the screen! Sound is much improved as well. Hard to believe so inexpensive ($299) an update could make such a difference. Again thanks for your help, and your enthusiasm to get me to go forward with your latest SE updates. You can add another loyal customer to your clientele.
To: David Schulte
From: Michael Lee
Subject: Signature Edition upgraded OPPO BDP-95 Player
Stereo has been my hobby and passion for many years. I was very pleased with my system as it was. This included the Walker Proscenium Gold turntable, Air Tight PC-1 cartridge, Walker Reference line stage, Walker phono amp, Viva Aurora mono block amps and Coincident Total Victory speakers. (Didn’t want to list this stuff but David asked me.) While I mainly concentrate on analog, my digital front end has been the EMM Labs DAC6e and its accompanying transport.
When my transport failed, I discovered EMM Labs no longer supported the CDSD model. I spent time casting about the web looking for someone to repair the transport. After a number of false leads, I found David and the Upgrade Company. I sent Upgrade Co. my dac and transport for repair and their proprietary Signature Edition upgrades. I must admit I was quite skeptical about paying for an upgrade as well as a repair but thought this was my only choice so save this expensive equipment. I’ll spare you the details, but after considerable efforts on David’s part to repair the transport, it was not possible as parts are no longer available. David sent me an upgraded OPPO BDP-95 to demo as a replacement.
Again, I was skeptical, replacing a transport that had retailed for $8000 with an OPPO. David said it would require 600 hours for full break-in. At this point, I was afraid that it might sound like ‘death’ for sometime to come. Imagine my surprise when I tried the OPPO as a stand-alone front end for CD/SACDs and out-of-the-box it outperformed the $16,000 EMM Labs separates on any criteria you might imagine.
Over time the SE upgraded Oppo has continued to improve. I am very happy to dispense with the very expensive EMM Labs equipment for the ‘humble’ OPPO. The Upgrade Company’s OPPO is really something to hear.
It has been my experience that through out this process of attempted repair and replacement, David was very concerned that I would be happy. He seems incredibly busy but has always taken the time to address my needs. I do not think he has given me some kind of special treatment, but rather this is how he operates The Upgrade Company.
Michael Lee, NY
OPPO BDP-105 Signature Edition
Sorry I didn't write back to you sooner. A comparison of an Audio Aero CD player was not possible due to equipment failure on his part. I'll have to do this at a later date. However, I was able to compare it against my turntable. But, first let me mention that my brother had a stock Oppo 105 and we compared his stock player vs my new Signature Edition upgraded version. Even after about 330 hours of the required 600 hours of burn in time, he was blown away by the improvement the upgraded 105 has to offer. His Legacy speakers never sounded better. He immediately wanted one and now has one from Upgrade Co. and is extremely content thanks to you.
My experience with your Signature Edition upgraded Oppo 105 player has lead me to believe the Oppo 105 SE continues to improve well past 800 hours of burn-in time. Right out of the box the Oppo-105 SE showed lots of potential, but had some sonic demons that needed to burn out since it was a brand new player. Once burned in the sound is amazing and so musical. Inner detail like I have never heard before, while maintaining an utterly smooth and liquid tone. Timbre's now sound fundamentally correct, much closer to live music. Transparency, soundstage and imaging have dramatically taken a huge step up.
Being someone who is pro-vinyl, I have always treated digital playback as a secondary source. My mantra was vinyl rules. No longer. The level of musicality is definitely up there with vinyl. Everything I played, whether it was 16 bit cd's or high rez discs on SACD, the 105 SE easily kept up with my turntable. It also made mediocre recordings sound emotionally involving and exciting.
One of the many comparisons I made was Holy Cole's Temptation high def. double vinyl album against the 16 bit CD (not even the SACD) and it sounded great against the turntable. My wife, who has no preconceived notions of what high end audio should sound like, actually preferred the CD version. She actually said that the CD had a smoother sound. She also noticed that the upgrade had far more separation vs the stock player. For me, the SE upgraded version of the Oppo-105 is now in vinyl's analog territory. Does the Oppo-105 SE sound just like vinyl? I don't think so, but just as musical. Perhaps once it burns in. Now it sounds more like high quality studio reel-to-reel tape. I've heard high quality R2R tape in my friends mastering studio (Ampex recorder) and that's what the SE upgraded Oppo sounds like to me. The same type of tonality and pristine analog character.
Just a quick comment on the 105's video reproduction: Just like you claimed, the picture is smoother, with less grain like film. Blacks are blacker and colors are displayed more accurately. This improvement is not subtle and I would think this improvement alone would be worth the cost of your $1399 SE upgrade for videophiles.
I now find myself listening to the Oppo 105 SE for hours on end without listening fatigue.
The Upgrade Company's "Signature Edition" upgraded version of the base Oppo BDP-105 is wonderful both for audio and video. Your recommendation of purchasing your Oppo 105 Signature Edition and selling my $9000 Esoteric UX3 is correct. Thanks very much.
Ricky, Hong Kong
OPPO BDP-105 Signature Edition
Hi David---Absolutely love the player. This is the best sounding device I ever came across. It's sound and video is amazing. Blows my mind when it can take a bad sounding CD and make it sound like it's coming out of my expensive turntable. Thank you very much and will soon be sending more stuff to you after the Superbowl. Even playing in stereo through just the Bozak Concert Grands you would swear that you were listening to a 5.1 system. Thank You buddy you are a genius--Tom Drummond
OPPO BDP-95 Signature Edition
I just wanted to let you know of my experience with my new Signature Edition upgraded Oppo 95. When I got the player I listened to a familiar CD to establish a base line sound. The player out of the box sounded much better than before I had sent it to you, but had a long way to go to be a true giant killer. I put the player on repeat and checked on it every hundred hours or so. The first one hundred was showing promise, the next one hundred seemed to sound a little worse, next one hundred bouncing back nicely, 400 sounding fantastic and at 500 I didn't think it could improve any more and did serious listening at this point. My impression here is that “this is what everyone is talking about”.
I then put another one hundred hours of continuous play and this player has become stellar. 600 hours just like your SE literature you included says. The sound is neutral, extended from top to bottom, very highly resolving and draws me into the musical performance unlike any other digital I have heard. The player displays what is on the disc. These impressions are of Redbook CD with a balanced analog connection. The lossless audio of DVD-A and SACD are also extremely good but I have very few titles on those formats compared to my CD collection. The outstanding CD performance you have a reputation for is why I bought your company's Signature Edition upgrade.
The other benefit I'm experiencing from your SE upgrades is on home theatre: My 95 SE now delivers the best surround performance I have experienced to date. The picture is now extremely good too.
I want to recap my entire system for you: VPI Super Scoutmaster Reference with a Dynavector XV-1S phono cartridge, Ayre K1-XE two channel preamplifier, Pass Labs X-350 power amp, Harbeth Monitor 40 main speakers, Pioneer Elite Pro 111 KURO plasma television, Pioneer Elite SC-07 A/V receiver, Nola LCR reference center speaker, two pairs of Monitor Audio Silver RSFX surround speakers, Bryston 9B-ST multi channel power amp, Kubala Sosna Emotion balanced interconnect from Oppo to pre and another run of Kubala Sosna Emotion balanced from pre to power amp, Morrow PH6 balanced phono from turntable to phono stage, Morrow SP6 triwired speaker cable from Pass to Harbeth, PS Audio Statement SC and AC-10 power cords.
I have good components in my system and it is very easy to hear changes in the system, whether it is a cable change, different forms of tweaks or a component change.
This player has slid into my system very nicely and has elevated the performance considerably.
I am a believer in The Upgrade Company and David Schulte.
This is a follow up to my recent review of the upgrades/updates to the Oppo 93/95 because I'm dismayed that some audiophiles say they doubt upgrades/mods can truly elevate a modest unit like Oppo to State of the Art. I know your players are State of the Art. As you recall my Denon 5910 player you first did for me many years ago just totally creamed by $70,000 dCs stack.
I've been really enjoying my new Esoteric from you and my new Oppo 103 Signature Edition you did.
On the 103 SE, wow, the crystal clear picture, HDMI audio and analog audio are even better then my Oppo 95 SE. Your Oppo's sound like we all dream tubed units should sound like. Your Oppo's are better then tubed Oppo's. Fuller lower mids, way bigger soundstage, very 3D and holographic, more analog sounding, deeper faster more tuneful bass response, much more open and "sparkling clean" compared to your competitors units which sound fuzzy and small, much weaker bass response. I'd like you to consider publishing my comments because I think it could aid other audiophiles to discover for themselves that your totally unique players are the very best out there. _______________________________________________________________
Let me start by saying the biggest bargain in all of High End audio or video just got better…. At just $1,399 the Upgrade Company SE upgraded Oppo 103 is a STEAL.
Yes it has State of the Art video, the cool part is that as a straight CD/SACD/HDCD player, the new 103SE surpasses everything I have heard, and the video is the best as well. I owned and used almost daily a $70,000 dCs setup before my Upgrade Co 5910 killed it, then with Upgrade's new multi-layer RFI & EMI advancements my Oppo 93/95 killed the Denon 5910. Now, Upgrade's new 4 layer RFI & EMI shielding has just elevated their "Signature Edition upgraded" Oppo to State of the Art. I've A-B'd the higher priced modded Oppo's and I am here to inform you that they do not even play in the same ballpark. Waste of money. Do not let Upgrade Co's lower price fool you. Remember I came from a well burned in $70,000 dCs 3 box CD/SACD player with expensive cabling looming it all together, I'm no rookie to high end audio. I have multiple systems, tubed preamps and amps, I have had a variety of gear over the years and recently. But I keep coming back to The Upgrade Company. For 3 years now. I started based on their "100% Two Week In Home Buy Back/Money Back Guarantee", and positive "word of mouth" referrals from other audiophiles. Based upon my previous excellent experience with The Upgrade Company and the fact they were willing to take one of my other players back in on generous trade-in allowance, I decided to make yet another Oppo player purchase. I wish the Oppo 105 had been out, I would have ordered a new 105 SE . I am hearing that Upgrade's new Oppo 105 SE is far better on analog out then ANY other modified or stock digital in the world today. I can believe it based on my 103SE's sound. More tubelike then tubes. How is this possible out of solid state you ask? Try one.
By now you should be feeling curious enough to purchase one of their SE upgraded Oppo 103/105 players and perform tests and comparisons in your own system or a friends. Upgrade Co's doing close to a million a year in sales, so you are only fooling yourself if you doubt this.
Within the upgrade/modification aftermarket “world” there are several companies, several of them very serious but others (maybe the majority) not nearly as serious or successful as The Upgrade Company, so the claimed benefit of some aftermarket modifications such as clocks with no proof or measurements and money back guarantee should really be questioned. I think its clear where I stand regarding modifications. I'm no rookie to this field. If you are still skeptical rather than taking someone else’s opinion its easier to validate your own and test drive a brand new Oppo at home with a 100% money back guarantee. There is no downside and you will definitely learn a new experience which will give you more arguments to defend your own opinion. Should you take advantage of this opportunity I can think of a lot of good reasons to keep it: if it sounds better than what you have you can keep it and sell what you have for more money. Or, if you have a better more expensive stock unit send it for an upgrade to achieve even higher performance over the Oppo SE and keep the Oppo SE as a backup or for it's State of the Art video playback. Or keep the Oppo SE to complement your capabilities to play different types of digital media or streaming wireless audio or video, 2D-3D conversion, 4K conversion, etc. In all these circumstances you can get your modest investment back many times over or simply return the unit with two weeks.
I cannot think of one good reason for not trying out The Upgrade Company's unique and State of the Art gear. The fact that they are selling nearly a $1 million annually in upgraded gear with a .01% returns rate, should speak loud and clear, well above anonymous comments on a chat room forum.
The new gear- Integra DHC-80.3 SE prepro and matching Integra DTA-70.1 SE amplifier and Oppo 103 SE upgraded/shielded blu-ray player is amazing. While watching movies, I have noticed that the video, colors, contrast, etc. is spectacular. I cannot recall seeing a better picture. The sound is equally as impressive.
I'm extremely pleased with my purchase and your work.
Oppo BDP-95 Signature Edition upgraded player delivered to new client
My wife and I spent several hours today listening to music. What a treat!
After only 50+ hours of burn-in your Oppo 95 "Signature Edition" has far surpassed the $8500 Classe CDP-502 player. We performed the A/B with unbalanced Transparent Super balanced analog interconnects and the same power cords.
I'm going to send you my Esoteric DV-60 next for your "Signature Edition upgrade".
Given the impact of your SE upgrade on the OPPO 95, we cannot imagine what the DV-60 will sound like upon its return.
Thank you again for your efforts and support. The journey has begun!
Stewart D. Massachusetts
Oppo BDP-95 Signature Edition upgraded & Onkyo PR SC 5508 Signature Edition upgraded feedback:
Dear Mr. Schulte,
I would like to thank you for the upgrades you have provided to my Oppo BDP-95 and Onkyo PR-SC5508.
Your Signature Edition upgrade on the Oppo 95 has taken it to a new level that is truly exemplary. The bass slam is impeccable and betters my Rega P9/Dynavector turntable combination that I used to think blew away the Oppo 95. The imaging and reality from the Oppo 95 Signature Edition are truly phenomenal, pulling you into the music like a never knew possible. My B&W 802D's have never sounded so good.
As for the Onkyo 5508... holy &@%*! It's awesome. Side-by-side with a stock 5508, it is so much more warm, flavorful and inviting and musical - it sounds like the perfect tubed preamp, but without the tubes. It betters my Audio Research tubed preamp with expensive top of the line NOS military 7308 tubes - absolutely blows it to smitherines! The richness and warmth of the SE upgraded 5508 betters the majority of 2-channel high end preamps that I've heard.
Many many thanks!
Brian C. Silverman, M.D.
The following letter is unsolicited and is written to David Schulte, founder of The Upgrade Company, out of the sheer joy of now having a system that has restored music to my home. As a retired college professor turned businessman, my time is limited and the available leisure I fill with music.
For the last forty minutes, I have been seated in front of my stereo system listening to Rossini overtures. This was one of the first SACDs I purchased when SACD first hit the market. Frankly, I never liked the way it sounded. No sound stage, little differentiation between instruments—everything seemed to run together. Now, on the system that The Upgrade Company has fundamentally built for me, the disk sounds glorious with a great soundstage and wonderful differentiation between instruments. What depth, what tonality, what precision.
For some time, I had contemplated upgrading my system. My dedicated SACD player was Sony’s first, and while it was an outstanding piece of equipment in its time, it created a soundstage that was less than satisfying. Reviews of more recent Sony products and products by others told me, now is the time to step up. Furthermore, my Sony blu ray player was an entry level machine and while good, was not great. Then I came across a review of the Oppo 95. I spent time on the web reading reviews of the Oppo and also talking to folks from a couple of independent A/V stores who of course did not sell the Oppo but had solid opinions based on years of experience in the industry. Everything pointed to replacing my two pieces with the Oppo 95. My only concern was not its delivery of blu ray material but its ability to deliver high quality audio for my extensive SACD collection. Well, I purchased the Oppo, and was delighted but still desired more.
One of the web sites that I read that helped convince me to purchase the Oppo was The Upgrade Company. This site also talked about turning the Oppo into a machine that could rival the reproduction of music of machines costing $70,000. Wow. Bold statement. But was it a reckless statement? Was this snake oil or the real McCoy? A couple of reviews of The Upgrade Company accused its founder, David Schulte, of being a charlatan. There was only one way to learn for myself: I called The Upgrade Company and spoke to Schulte directly.
What I learned after numerous conversations with Schulte—and does this guy make himself available—is that he knows his industry, he knows the equipment he sells and upgrades intimately—who needs the manual when you have Schulte--and, most important, that he is a person of integrity. When a small but rare problem occurred to my Onkyo 5508, before I could finish describing the problem to him, he told me that he was shipping me a fresh 5508 and that he would cover the cost of shipping the new one to me and the cost of returning the damaged one to him. That deserves another Wow. Schulte does business the way I do—quality before profit. With Schulte, you not only get his outstanding upgraded equipment—the Onyko and the Oppo are what he said they would be after his upgrade--but also his guarantee. It is as if his personal integrity is found in every box that that he sends to you.
One last point before I give Schulte a swelled head. I also purchased TimePortal power cords, speaker cables and interconnects. What a difference these make, truly make. I had good cables before, but TimePortals are truly as good as the most costly cords on the market today. These make a huge difference even if you do nothing more to your present equipment.
Alfred Balitzer, Ph.D.
A brief bio on Dr. Balitzer can be found on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Balitzer
My Oppo-95 Signature Edition arrived in September-2011. Connected to the system it perform good but not State of the Art until it burned in. I know this is usual with any brand new high end audio or video component. Now after the ups and downs of the burn-in period, the sound is stable and just fantastic. I will not be surprised if it continues to progress over time. The sound is wonderful; relaxed yet dynamic, voices are absolutely analog sounding even with recordings which sounded intolerantly bright with my previous player. My previous player was a killer in the midrange, the Upgrade Co. Oppo 95 smoked it!! I may have to sell my turntable now.
The picture is the best I have seen. Given the 95's multiple format possibilities, the possibility to connect to external music drives, connection to the Internet, all make the Upgrade Co. Oppo 95 the perfect do-it-all player.
I have to say thank you to David; I don't care what you do inside the player. For potential customers out there; don't worry about the negative speculations about The Upgrade Company; you will only fool yourself!
Mr. Rud's previous player was a highly modified Pioneer with LC-clock XO3 with a dedicated power supply, WBT silver teflon wires, silver solder, tantalum resistors, all Black Gates in power supply and all electrolytic caps on the circuit boards, Mundorf Silver-in-oil bypass-caps, WBT Nextgen terminals, analog audio op-amps - and the transport was dampened with 1-kg of lead, as well as the player itself with 10 kg.
I have received the upgraded OPPO DBP-95 equipments.
I have listened to it with my High End friends (VIVID Audio B1 speakers, PASS First Watt J2 Amp, ASI Cables) and we stated that this is the best Disc Player we have ever listened to and seen. Every single signal source fall ( Esoteric, Jadis, Zanden, DCS, Wadia etc.) well behind the performance of OPPO. Music is streaming from OPPO. It is said by a professional bassoon player who has been bassoon artist since for 45 years and has been playing in a Hungarian National Filharmonic Orchestra.
Congratulations and thank you very much.
Tamás S., Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra
I contacted The Upgrade Company to purchase a new upgraded Oppo 95. Once home with about 48 hrs of running in on repeat I found it to be leaps and bounds above my very well burned in NuForce NX-93 player. I did not expect this level of improvement. Prior to the NuForce I had a stock McIntosh MVP-861 and I've demo'd my share of high end CD/SACD players in my system. None of these players are even in the same ballpark with the Upgrade Co. Oppo 95. Enough said.
After hearing what Upgrade Co. did with the Oppo 95, my skepticism was gone. I called them back up to discuss the rest of my system, to see what they could offer. Upgrade Co. advised me to take the plunge to upgrade my $12,000 Linn Kisto surround preamp and my $7,000 Nuforce MCH 300-SE top of their line amplifier. David explained how the final sound is only as good as the worst sounding component, never the best. Think of a fire hose: if you run it through a garden hose, the amount of water will be reduced. This is what happens when you run an Upgrade Co. maxxed-out upgraded player through stock electronics: half the upgrade or better is gone. The stock equipment simply cannot keep up. Sounded convincing, but both the Kisto and NuForce amp were already sounding great I thought. However after hearing what they did to the Oppo 95 I took the plunge and had my Linn Kisto and top of the line NuForce MCH-300SE amplifier upgraded.
I got both back in about 2 weeks. Hooked them up, let the system run for an hour or so while I did some work. Entering the room I could hear immediately: the sound quality had been transformed. I sat down in the middle seat...My jaw literally hit the floor!
There's so much more bass weight & slam. Backgrounds are now a deep black. There's dead silence between notes with far greater musicality and dynamics, higher resolution, the highs are sweeter than grandma's apple pie, and most important the midrange finally has that "live" presence.
Prior to having the Kisto and NuForce MCH-300SE upgraded, I was ready to dump my Martin Logan Ascent speakers: the sound was always too forward and shy in the bass and highs, and spatially flat, despite lots of burn-in: probably well in excess of 1,000hrs. I've never heard any Martin Logan's sound like this at the stores. The sound stage my Ascent's throw is now wide open and deep. They now have a strong low and extended top end, and good depth, not so forward at all.
The new stock preamps, prepro's and amps I've demo'd barely made a difference.
The Upgrade Co. "SE" upgrade is truly "Night and Day" superior.
Doing business with The Upgrade Company is a no brainer.
Brand new NuForce Edition Oppo 93 Signature Edition upgraded player
I have now been playing for 3 weeks with my new NuForce Edition Oppo 93 Signature Edition upgraded player and I must say that this is my best buy I have ever done. Yes I am very VERY happy with it and everything you said turns out to be true.
I am hearing more music and more information than ever before and the whole sound is up to a new level over anything I have tried. Big improvement to my system.
Heidar G. Iceland
Oppo 95 and Marantz SR-7005 Signature Edition upgrades
The Marantz SR-7005 and OPPO 95 are great so far; their performance has kept improving day by day. Excellent Upgrade!
Henry Chin, CA
Oppo BDP-83SE w/Signature Edition Upgrade and NuForce Edition mod
Your upgraded NuForce Edition Oppo 83SE has got to be one of the biggest bargains in the high-end industry. It is so much better then my Wadia 861 it replaced, the Wadia sounds really old fashioned next to it, bloated and grainy. Your upgraded NuForce works really well as a transport also, it bested my friends Mark Levinson 31 hands down: much more musical, fuller more colorful mids, more soundstage depth. However since these are older machines, I borrowed an 8,100 euro new model Audio Aero Capitole Reference from my dealer modded with the latest Audiocom Superclock 4+PSU, V-Cap TFT coupling cap upgrades, and a built in preamp. Your upgraded NuForce 83SE creams it, even when I connect the NuForce to the Audio Aero's own internal pre-amp (it has analogue inputs next to digital). Much more detail, way bigger soundstage, stronger tighter bass, it's really quite sick how much better your upgraded NuForce is.
Emile B., London UK
Oppo 83 Special Edition and NuForce Oppo 83 Special Edition
I'm writing this and including pictures we took. I'm still flat-out amazed.
I made an appointment with David Schulte of The Upgrade Company to trek 5 hours north up to Harbor Springs to compare the stock versus upgraded Oppo 83 Special Edition and stock vs upgraded NuForce Oppo 83 Special Edition players. I was contemplating purchasing one if I liked what I heard.
David first put on a new OPPO 83 Special Edition player he'd just upgraded. We double blind A-B compared it against an entire Esoteric P-03/D-03/G-0Rb 3 box digital CD/SACD system worth about $45,000 MSRP. The "upgraded" Oppo beat it bad. Right off the bat. Since I'd just met David an hour earlier I was in disbelief and had to literally pull the interconnect cables from each one as it was playing to believe it.
When I arrived I'd offered to help David unbox the heavy Esoteric P03/D03/G0Rb set that had just been delivered earlier that day. I helped him carry it inside and set it on the demo rack. The P03 transport weighed about 70 lbs alone, the D03 dac not far behind. The 3 Esoteric boxes were all still sealed, I actually broke all the tape myself with the box cutters. Each box had his customers shipping labels on them, so I asked David to track the shipments and show me when they arrived. UPS.com showed all 3 boxes had just been delivered less then 2 hrs ago that day. I had David pull the tops off all 3 Esoteric pieces to see if they were indeed still stock, and they all looked original, and the screws showed no signs of prior removal, and I looked close.
I think anyone would agree with me that the upgraded Oppo creamed the Esoteric P03/D03/G0Rb set. My girlfriend sure did. Not only did we both find the sound of the upgraded Oppo to be far larger and more open and more musical with higher resolution, the Oppo's bass was real quick and deep and just slammed. The Esoteric had very weak bass, a small soundstage and it sounded aggressive, forward and harsh sounding. When we switched to the OPPO 83SE, the treble and mids were clear as a bell, intelligible and detailed. I checked behind everything to see if there were different power cords or analog interconnects. Everything looked the same. David offered to switch the power cords and interconnects on the OPPO and D-03 dac around just to further eliminate variables. He did so, I heard the exact same results. We then switched duplicate discs back and forth, same results. We swapped various power cords and interconnects, still the upgraded OPPO always was way ahead sonically. Volumes were level matched as to within 0.1dB using a digital tripod mounted SPL level meter.
We let both the Esoteric and OPPO play on repeat using identical discs, power cords and interconnects for a couple of hours on that demo system while we hung out and checked out his place and the other systems. Couple of hours later, the OPPO ended up pulling even farther ahead as it warmed up. The Esoteric set was reported to be 2 years old and well used, so it had plenty of burn-in on it. David said the Oppo was brand new & shipping out to it's new owner shortly. So clearly the Oppo had a disadvantage being brand new. The Esoteric's Transparent Reference AES-EBU and MIT BNC-BNC clock cables were reported to be 4 years old, so in my eyes the cables were not holding the Esoteric back at all. Switching to the upgraded OPPO was like letting the dog off the leash. Woosh!
David switched, I listened. I switched and listened. David paused each player to show which one was playing after I had voiced my preference as to which sound I Iiked better. This way it was truly double blind.
We also put in and double blind A-B'd an Upgrade Co. upgraded NuForce 83SE that had about 40 hours of burn-in on it, and we double blind AB-'d some other "modded" players, some older Upgrade Co. upgraded players, and yet more stock expensive players including an $11,500 EMM LABS CDSA player which I expected would easily surpass the upgraded Oppo 83SE, but it did not, not in any way whatsoever. However when David pulled out his upgraded EMM LABS CDSA it creamed the NuForce, as would be expected out of an upgraded $11,500 player with a pricey upgrade.
I'd heard about Denon 5910's being popular to mod so I asked to hear one. David had on hand a 2 year old SE upgraded Denon 5910 that was traded in, and it too was also better then the stock P-03/D-03/G0Rb and all of the other players we tried including the stock EMM LABS CDSA and the other modded & stock players. I got the sense that Upgrade Co. has improved a whole lot over the years, because the 5910 was clearly not in the league of the Oppo/NuForce 83SE's that were upgraded.
I wanted to demo the upgraded McIntosh MVP-881, but unfortunately they did not have one in stock the day I was there. David claims the upgraded McIntosh 881 player is even better sounding then the NuForce 83SE. They did have a new stock Denon DVD-A1UDCi, but not an upgraded one on hand. The Denon didn't sound very good at all stock, rather poor.
Overall I liked the NuForce Oppo 83SE with the Signature Edition upgrade the best of all the players I heard that day because it was the only upgraded player within my budget. It beat all the stock players, but clearly the upgraded $12,500 EMM LABS CDSA and upgraded Esoteric DV-60 players were better then the upgraded NuForce 83SE but out of my budget.
I heard clear and utterly convincing sonic variations between each and every player. Some were clearly worse and some were clearly better. There was not one stock player that I could live with after hearing the upgraded players.
Only when heard next to an upgraded player did I find that stock players have a characteristic "whitish" hazy background and overall lack of clarity, lack of bass weight, veiled ill-defined mids and scratchy/screechy highs and mids, a characteristic lack of musicality, lack of dimensionality, generally flat, small, rolled off, and boring sounding. I don't want to slam manufacturer's or other modders, but I can tell you it was a real eye opener. I can now see why Upgrade Company is the only one who can provide a 100% Buy-Back Guarantee and still stay in business after all these years. They had lots of customer's stuff in there waiting to be upgraded.
The work you do at The Upgrade Company stands alone and is unmatched. It's impressive to see you take a stock $899 Oppo 83 Special Edition and surpass the stock $45,000 Esoteric P-03/D-03/G-0Rb 3-box CD/SACD player.
Some audiophiles do not believe in upgrades/mods. I too was skeptical and did not believe Upgrade Co's claims until I performed live double blind A-B comparisons myself and checked all the wiring and eliminated every possible variable I could.
The Upgrade Company is providing audiophile's a huge "bang for the buck" option.
OPPO BDP-83 "Signature Edition" Upgrade
I wanted to get back to you regarding the Oppo BDP-83 you upgraded for me with your Signature Edition upgrade. I'd like to write something up for your website.
You know the history I have with you and your mods over the past nearly 5 years and you know the equipment I've had on hand here which includes an earlier APL modded Esoteric, Underwood "Ultimate Edition modded" Marantz SA-11 with the tubed ultimate mod that Underwood charged like $5 grand for, and the highly regarded $11,500 EMM LABS CDSA-SE SACD/CD player. I've also owned a few mid-fi components in the likes of Marantz SA-1, Sony SCD-1, Arcam CD-92, Arcam CD33t.
The first piece I had you upgrade for me nearly 5 years ago was a Marantz SA12 S1 SACD/CD player and I very much liked what you had done to this unit . After a year or so went by you sent me an Upgrade Co Denon 2900 to try out because you said you had found more ways to improve upon digital players. As you know I bought that Denon 2900 from you and I ended up selling the Marantz SA12 to a good friend of mine who still uses it to this day. He has also demo'd a few of the latest high dollar players wondering if he got his money's worth but your SE upgraded Marantz has stayed in his system and he loves its performance. Well about two years ago you told me that I should try moving up the ladder and find a good deal on a Denon 5910Ci and then send it to you for your latest upgrade so I did and then sold the Denon 2900 and it ended up with Jim Winey of Magenpan, which I understand is still playing great at his winter home. When I had the 2900 I had the opportunity to listen to an APL modded Esoteric, Underwood modded Marantz SA-11 and s stock EMM CDSA-SE. Your upgraded Denon 2900 easily outperformed the first two but the EMM was a struggle. It did hold it's own which was an amazement to both my wife and I. The APL and Underwood went out the door and the EMM CDSA stayed a little longer. I decided to send you a Denon 5910Ci to upgrade and you promised me that the 5910 would surpass the EMM with ease and it did. This was done two years ago and I have been a very happy listener since.
Two years go by and you tell me that your parts selection and techniques have further improved but I was just happy with what I had and didn't want to invest more money at that point. I was just to busy to do too much. Well, Blu-ray came on the scene and was growing rapidly.so I knew I wanted to get a Blu-ray player next. I'd been reading about the Oppo BDP-83 and the price looked great in regards to the reviews. But you know I had really been looking at the Denon 3800BDCi Blu-ray and almost pulled the trigger at one point on one but never did. Then one day you emailed me and asked If I had seen the new Oppo and I told you I had and you said I really needed to hear one of these upgraded. As you know I decided to buy a new Oppo 83 online and play it for a while to hear what it was like in stock form. It wasn't bad for a $499 player. RBCD was pretty weak and strident and SACD was better than I thought it was going to be. Perhaps close to a stock Denon 5910. One thing I noticed about the stock Oppo in regards to its house sound was it's texture and bite. The stock 5910 is more of a pansy in this area. Perhaps a bit more listenable at higher volumes but I think the Oppo has more detail retrieval and is better at lower volumes. But, as you turn up the volume on the stock Oppo the sound gets pretty bright and hard which fatigues the listener fast. I ended up putting about 500 hours on the stock Oppo which did help it relax a bit, but it was still miles behind the upgraded Denon 5910Ci you did a couple of years ago for me.
As you know I still was not sure I wanted to pour money into my new Oppo, but I was really wanting to know what it's true capabilities were. The Oppo BDP83 plays all of the formats even HDCD and the video is outstanding, so with your 100% money back guarantee, I pulled the trigger and sent it off to you. The whole time it was gone I was listening to the Denon and saying to myself there is no way the Oppo is going to be better than this but you kept telling me that I am going to be very surprised.
When the OPPO arrived there was excitement in the air. I took it out of the box and let it come up to room temp and then plugged it into an outlet for a little longer and spun a disc. Once it was warm I put it on the shelf by the Denon. The Denon was playing this whole time as well. I then unhooked all cabling from the Denon and put it on the Oppo and went through all of the settings. Now I was ready to throw in a disc. The Denon was playing Dixie Chicks on HDCD so of course this is what I was going to put in the Oppo. I wanted this disc because of the female vocals and is recorded well. Their voices on some songs are very peaky in the upper midrange and the stock Oppo absolutely fell apart at moderate volumes (70db at listening position). Same thing on the higher notes on a piano. The stock Oppo would just really ping and harden. Well, when I hit play I was not expecting too much at first because it has only been in the house for a couple of hours. When the first note played there was a bigger sense of liveliness that was more revealing than the Denon 5910. Within the first 10 seconds my skin crawled and chills went up my spine. The vocals were very immediate and big and the hardened glare was completely gone which was so prevalent in the stock Oppo and to a similar degree on the stock EMM Labs CDSA. The Oppo was playing bigger and more forceful than the Denon and EMM and the detail retrieval was already better. The soundstage had great layering. Then it really hit me when I put on few tracks with heavy bass and percussion: The bass had massively changed and the music became tremendously more involving.
I am absolutely stunned by the transformation over the stock Oppo. Your upgraded 83 just crushed the already superb performance of my Upgrade Co. upgraded 5910Ci sitting right next to it.
Now that I've had my Upgrade Co. Oppo 83 for a month, all I can say is how do you do it? Not that I really care how, but it is amazing what you've achieved out of an Oppo. I know that my Denon 5910Ci has a two year old Signature Edition upgrade, but it bettered the stock fully burned in $11,500 EMM LABS CDSA SE I demo'd in my system right next to it for days. I have no idea what digital at any price could rival your upgraded Oppo 83, and personally I don't really care. The fact that you can transform a budget player to this magnitude is beyond me and must say it is worth much more than the Signature Edition upgrade investment.. All of the money I've spent on cabling and the new speakers I bought have not come close to the performance leap I got out of this Signature Edition upgraded Oppo 83.
Nuforce Oppo BDP-83SE "Signature Edition" upgraded review by Mark Coles, London, UK
As the owner of an Upgrade Company (TUC) Esoteric X-01 referred to by EM Lee (Lloyd) in his OPPO review elsewhere on the www.upgradecompany.com site, my interest was piqued by what I heard at that shoot-out back in January. Whilst the early TUC Oppo 83 Non-Special Edition wasn't in the same league as my player, it had an inherent musicality and was fun to listen to.
As we all know, the world of digital evolves quickly and I'd been having reservations about having too much invested in a player whose sole media is in the twilight of its years. A number of conversations with David Schulte led me to believe that the 32 bit Oppo Special Edition version of the Oppo had a far greater audio potential than the base 83 and was the way forward for me. Having found a new home for my Esoteric after 3.5 years of ownership, I placed an order for the NuForce edition with all the options available at that time (Bybees and hi-end fuse). The Upgrade Company's balanced XLR output stage hadn't been fully developed at that stage and I understand that gives a considerable further improvement.
When I received my NuForce 83SE player, I left it playing with a burn in disc on repeat for a few hundred hours before attempting any critical listening. My initial impressions were that it was good, more transparent than the upgraded $14,000 Esoteric X-01. I had a chat with Lloyd, who told me about the improvements he heard with HRS damping plates. As an experiment, I had a go at dampening the chassis with things close to hand - some polymer deflex pads, a large book and a 5 kg dumbbell. Wow. Everything now clicked into place musically and the player sounded nothing short of sensational!
Compared to my Esoteric X-01, the extra transparency allows one to see deeper into the recording and better place instruments / voices within the sound stage. Greater tonal decay is also evident, as are stability and solidity. The Esoteric had a tendency towards a more analytical and tipped up presentation and the NuForce OPPO is better balanced throughout the frequency range, testing the bass extension of my speakers more fully. The only negative I can report is that I miss the battleship build quality of the 60lb Esoteric!
In closing, I would also like to give praise to the service David Schulte has given me consistently over the four years that I've known him. He has always been attentive in answering emails with helpful advice and 100% committed to customer satisfaction.
With The Upgrade Company's 100% money back guarantee, there's little risk to putting their uprgade to the test in your own home!
OPPO BDP-83 Upgrade Review
I burned in my new Upgrade Company "Signature Edition" upgraded Oppo 83 (standard version upgraded by TUC) for 600 hours and then got my high end audio friends together for a shoot out in 2 sessions:
- Wadia 380
- Wadia 781
- Zanden MkIV Signature DAC
- Esoteric X-01 Signature Edition SACD/CD player
- ARC DAC7
- Unico tube CD player
The Upgrade Company (TUC) OPPO 83 Signature Edition handily beat the Unico and nosed past the lesser Wadia 380. (I preferred Oppo). If Oppo is a 1.0, Unico was only 0.6 & Wadia 380 .95. The OPPO 83 Signature Edition was preferred by all present.
The Wadia 380 (in UK) currently costs 7x the cost of the TUC Oppo 83 including shipping!!
The $17,000 Wadia 781 (15x price!!) was better... however, my OPPO 83 is the earlier standard edition and not the new "Special Edition 83" that is much better with 32 bit dacs and redesigned power supplies and beefed up analog output circuitry. I've heard the NuForce OPPO 83SE "Signature Edition" upgraded by TUC will beat the big Wadia. I do not doubt this based on my experience with standard TUC OPPO 83.
The ARC DAC7 was very warm, very natural...but did not deliver on the detail. The trouble with detail is stridency. Not with the Oppo and not with the Esoteric X01 by TUC.
The $14,000 Esoteric X-01 by TUC was a solid margin better than the Wadia 781. Unanimous by all three of us who directly A-B compared the two players for several hours. The Esoteric X-01 Signature Edition upgraded was the more natural, had the better decay, superior detail, and deeper soundstage... exceedingly natural and unlike digital. It bettered the Wadia 781 across the board. TUC has done it again.
- The standard edition OPPO 83 I have which was upgraded by TUC to "Signature Edition" exhibits loads of detail and is very comparable to the most expensive world leaders in "State of the Art" digital made today...with a strong solid soundstage.
- The TUC Oppo 83 is very natural. I own the $15,000 Zanden MkIV Signature DAC. While I am not replacing my Zanden... I was simply stunned at the quality of the TUC upgraded Standard Edition Oppo 83.
For less than $1800 shipped overseas, you could well prefer this to anything else in the world into the low 5 digit range... I do. But if you want to spend more than $1800...go ahead! But I'd speak with David first, TUC's OPPO's are that good!
He was helpful, responsive and utterly reliable. Thank you, David!!"
Lloyd, London UK
Denon DVD-A1XV and OPPO BDP-83 Upgrade
This is the second time I send a player to David ( Denon DVD-A1XV and OPPO BDP-83 ) and although the Denon was a very very good job, I think the Oppo has only one word to describe it, AWESOME.
I have the Oppo right out of the box ( no 600 hours burning in ) and it sounds PERFECT, it has the sweetness of a vinyl and the power of a solid state and it’s not expensive comparing with other models. The video is PERFECT too but I think most of the people that send David a player are more interested on improving the sound.
I have experience with the Denon and I know the Oppo is going to improve more and more with the hours…
If you are thinking about buying a Blu-ray player just e-mail David and voilá.
Thank you David, good job man.
Jose Madrid, Spain
NuForce OPPO BDP-83 Special Edition "Signature Edition" Upgrade
Today I had a few hours to connect up the audio of the new Oppo that I got from you and run it through its paces. I used all the connections and cables that I formerly used for the Esoteric. I used the two upgraded stereo outputs on the Oppo and went through the CAT and the Lexicon in by pass mode to the VK600 (all of which is Schulte Signature upgraded equipment) using all of your cables. You should have warned me. This player is awesome. I am extremely impressed right out of the box with no break-in. Wow.
Bass was unbelievable. I never heard digital bass like this before. I played several of my favorite well known CDs and SACDs. It is pretty damn amazing that this player can do - with your improvements of course. I have never heard it before but I am sure the latest chips in the SE version and the Nuforce upgrades also contributed. This is real damn impressive.
So I know the multi-channel analogue output for DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 sound is going to be killer along with the 5.1 PCM tracks on a lot of Blu-rays. I have the entire Neil Young Blu-ray box that I have not listened to yet to experience all that.
Thanks a ton. I know there cannot be many machines like this in the whole world right now - and I have one thanks to you.
The SE upgraded OPPO 83 arrived today. It has been playing around 3 hours only and yipeeeee!! It is awesome!! This is the best player I have owned by a mile!! I am going to let everything settle but the sound is so big and smooth, just pristine. It just doesn't just beat my older SE upgraded Denon and Pioneer Blu-ray players, it smacks them down. What is this going to be like in a month or 2 when it burns in? You should sell loads of these $1500 a snip!!! No one in the UK or US has modified Oppo's anything close to this and you would still pay $2250+ at least for all their mumbo jumbo and not get this, WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!. I can now use the 240v for everything which is great and multi region no problems at all. In future I am going to set up denon in another room as I still like it.
Thanks Again, I will let you now how it improves
James Brown, Ireland
Page information last updated: 20/04/2017
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