Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


Back in March 2022, when I declared the Reavon UBR-X200 one of the last remaining high-end universal Blu-ray disc players available for purchase, I didn’t anticipate the impending introduction of Magnetar’s UDP800 4K UHD Blu-ray player. It was launched in December 2022, followed shortly by the UDP900. Magnetar is affiliated with Groupe Archisoft, a company that’s connected to Reavon and also to Zappiti, a manufacturer of high-quality media players (although they’ve recently discontinued support for their Zappiti Video software). Magnetar and Reavon disc players are both distributed in the United States by Florida-based Let’s Get Physical Distribution Inc.


Whatever the origin of the Magnetar players, the UDP900 is one massively built component—it weighs 34 pounds! It dwarfs the Reavon UBR-X200 (which weighs in at just 15 pounds), and it’s even slightly larger and more robustly constructed than the Oppo Digital UDP-205 (30 pounds). At a price of $2999 (all prices in USD), the UDP900 has every right to be a heavyweight presence in your system. Its smaller sibling, the UDP800 ($1599, 17.6 pounds), received an EISA Best Product of 2022–2023 award in the Home Theatre Disc Player category, although I’m guessing the competition was pretty thin, if not nonexistent. The UDP900 improves on the award-winning UDP800 by seriously upgrading its two-channel DAC section and providing multichannel analog outputs, along with a USB-B PC digital audio input—all features coveted by audiophiles.

I suspect the new player’s appearance will be polarizing. The UDP900 is well built and looks it, with nicely contrasting matte and gloss finishes on its black panels, but I’m not convinced everyone will love the checkered design of its front panel. Although it is finished to a very high standard, I would have preferred a more symmetrical, balanced aesthetic.


However, inside its highly compartmentalized chassis, there’s a lot of good stuff. And I mean a lot. The power supply is said to be an upgrade over that of the UDP800. It has separate transformers for the analog and digital sections, and the analog section features a 60W toroidal transformer. Both the power supply and the disc transport are fully enclosed to provide additional rigidity and shield them from noise and electromagnetic interference.

The UDP900 has two separate audio boards, each with a four-layer PCB design. Magnetar uses an ESS Technology Sabre ES9028PRO DAC chip for the 7.1-channel board and an ES9038PRO chip for the two-channel board. The two-channel board has stereo RCA and XLR outputs along with a headphone output. Premium parts are said to be used throughout, including high-quality, oxygen-free copper wiring; capacitors from Murata, NCC, ELNA, WIMA, and Rubycon; and TDK magnetic devices. Everything appears to be neatly designed and sturdily constructed, so the guts of the UDP900 resemble an audiophile SACD player as opposed to a typical A/V disc player.


In addition to 4K UHD and standard Blu-ray discs, DVD-Video discs, and CDs, the UDP900 plays SACD and DVD-Audio discs, making it a true universal disc player. The USB input mentioned earlier also allows it to be used as a standalone DAC—in my opinion, an essential feature for any player used in an audiophile system. The UDP900 supports all manner of audio and video file types and formats, including PCM up to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD up to 11.2MHz, and MKV video files encoded with uncompressed Dolby TrueHD audio to allow playback of high-resolution Dolby Atmos. I found this especially useful for playing back MKV files with TrueHD Atmos audio that I had ripped from Blu-ray discs, such as the fantastic Point by Yellow and some wonderful Deutsche Grammophon classical recordings.

To round things out, the UDP900 has a functional, if slightly busy-looking, remote control and a large dot-matrix display on the front panel to provide information on the source media it’s currently playing. All told, the Magnetar UDP900 is a beast of a player that’s more robustly constructed and more feature-laden than any of Raveon’s competing models. In fact, the UDP900 appears at least as well constructed and designed as the discontinued Oppo Digital UDP-205, a universal player that is still coveted by A/V enthusiasts and typically sells for more than its original list price on the used market.


Time will tell how the Magnetar UDP900 stacks up against my Oppo UDP-205 (released in 2017), which is still my reference after all these years. But my initial impressions are extremely positive. I look forward to using the UDP900 to play my favorite optical discs, in addition to digital files with both high-resolution audio and video content. Look for my full review of Magnetar’s promising new UDP900 4K UHD universal BD player on SoundStage! Hi-Fi on March 1.

Roger Kanno
Senior Contributor, SoundStage!