Above you see two Blu-ray players. On the bottom is the Oppo BDP-83, a $500 machine. On top is the Lexicon BD-30, which will set you back $3,500. Can you spot the difference, apart from the price?
It’s a trick question. There is no difference, at least not on the inside. In a daring matryoshka-like move, it appears that Lexicon simply bought a batch of Oppos and put them in new cases. Lest you think we are being picky here, or that Lexicon somehow took the guts of the Oppo and redesigned the surrounding circuitry, let us clarify. If you open up the $3,500 Lexicon, you will find an entire Oppo Blu-ray player inside, intact, with its original chassis.
These were the findings of Audioholics, the “Online A/V Magazine”. Suspicions were raised after spotting the Lexicon at the 2009 CEDIA Expo in Atlanta: “Looking at the player, its button layout and, most importantly, it’s [sic] rear panel, showed us that this product had the exact same layout as the Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player” writes Audioholics’ Clint DeBoer. Clint called one in for review, and here’s what he found:
When we received the player the first thing we did was open it up to get a look at the inside. Imagine my surprise when I found that not only did the Lexicon share the same boards and transport as the Oppo - it was in fact AN OPPO BDP-83 PLAYER, CHASSIS AND ALL, SHOVED INSIDE AN ALUMINUM LEXICON WRAPPER.
Oops. Audioholics didn’t bother to actually review the machine, as the Oppo had already been tested. The reviewers did, however, run some audio analyses to check out the one real difference between the two players: the more expensive Lexicon has THX certification.
The test shed more light on the THX certification process than on the players themselves. The units tested almost identically, no different than had they been two examples of the same model (which, really, they are). So that’s what an extra $3,000 buys you: a THX label and a new, aluminum faceplate. Audioholics has the whole scandal detailed, along with comparison pictures of the two Blu-ray players.