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To extrapolate from the previous page, possible/popular areas of modification or rebuilding include the power supply, the master clock, the output stage and both D/A and current-to-voltage conversion. Areas usually left alone are the video circuitry, transport and user interface.

Oppo enjoys major thumbs-up from specialty audio firms. That's because those lack the video resources and global sales volumes necessary to engineer/build a universal player from scratch. They prefer harvesting donor platforms for core assemblies*.

* For a dazzling rundown on Oppo's feature sets, click here. Think Swiss army knife to the nth degree.

By now this includes Exemplar Audio, Jena Labs, ModWright, Nuforce and Reference Audio Mods. All offer modified Oppo models in various iterations (ModWright's include tube options of course). Unlike Ayre's total rebuild these firms retain the original enclosures to save costs. On specific digital projects NuForce and Modwright happen to collaborate with the very same Alex Dondysh—formerly of 3 Dimension Audio—as their outside consultant.

Jena Labs BDP-93 modifications

RAM's BDP-93 premium modification

NuForce's Jason Lim: "We designed our two audio boards with the original Cirrus Logic CS4382 DAC whose software coding is locked to Oppo's Xilinx XC9536XL FPGA but then built our 7.1 audio output board from the ground up rather than modify theirs. That's how we can offer it uninstalled for those wishing to do it themselves (go here for firmware updates). The extreme edition or NXE board reclocks all PCM digital data with an ultra-stable Silicon Labs VCXO that's completely asynchronous with the transport's clock for a theoretical jitter of <3ps RMS. We don't reclock DSD since the format is completely different. DSD data pass through hence SACD performance between the NE and NXE boards would be quite similar although the analog filters and opamps would give them a different sound signature.

Stock Oppo BDP-93

"Like others we piggy-back on Oppo's mass production scale to deliver super high-end performance at an entry-level price. If we tried to make such a machine alone, our volume would be so low that to recoup R&D costs each unit would have to sell at five figures. Here we only have to worry about the R&D cost of the analog board. In our opinion the BDP-93NE performs very close to our own CDP-8 player and some might even prefer it. We believe both can compete with players costing upward of $5.000."

Oppo BDP-93 with installed NuForce board