Lexicon BD-30 reviewed: an Oppo BDP-83 at 7x the price

Take a look at the guts of these two Blu-ray players; can you spot the difference?  If your answer is "no, Chris, I can't" then pat yourself on the back, since as far as Audioholics can tell, there is no difference.  That would be fine, if the Oppo BDP-83 (on the left, and which has an MRSP of $499) hadn't been used as the donor machine for the Lexicon BD-30 (on the right, and which has an MRSP of $3,500).

In actual fact, it looks like Lexicon have basically taken the BDP-83 and dropped it wholesale into a new chassis of their designing, complete with cut-outs on the underside that match up with the Oppo deck's vent holes.  The milled aluminum front panel apparently sits in front of Oppo's original buttons, and Lexicon made a new backplate since the BD-30 is a little taller than the BDP-83.

More worryingly, while the cheaper player isn't THX certified, Lexicon initially claimed their more expensive player was; however Audioholics' testing showed basically no difference in output (and performance below what THX certification would usually demand).  Mention of THX has since been stripped from the Lexicon site (though the front panel of the BD-30 still has the THX logo) and the company insists it has made changes to the donor hardware that justify the price mark-up.

Audioholics have plenty more evidence and internal photos, and they've published their comparative test results for bass management, frequency response and distortion (including pointing out what THX certified hardware should be scoring).  In the end, they reckon Lexicon picked well out of the potential players to base the BD-30 on – the Oppo is tipped as "the best Universal BD player on the market in its price class" – but they can't justify the inflated cost.

[via Slashdot]