In the market for Oppo, but which one is "good enough" for my needs?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by AmericanPie, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. AmericanPie

    AmericanPie New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    I currently own all vintage equipment which includes a 1970s Sansui 75wpc receiver and a small collection of JBL speakers (L150A, L200B, L100, etc.). Although I'll probably upgrade someday with separate components (and possibly other speakers), for now I'm looking to make my first purchase of a Blu Ray player that I will also use to play CDs. As such, audio quality is important to me....probably more so than video.

    From what I've read the DAC in the UDP-205 is supposed to be "audiophile quality" and superior to the one in the UDP-203, but would I really be able to hear the difference with my current equipment? Of course I'd like to buy the best-performing unit I can, but the difference is price between the two is quite significant. At the same time, I want to buy a player I won't "outgrow" anytime soon if/when I make upgrades in the rest of my system.

    Which one do you folks suggest? Would the UDP-205 be worth the extra cost for me, and would I likely be more satisfied with it in the long run?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,635
    I have a 103, but my priorities are reversed - it is mainly for video and lives in the HT.

    Since you're more interested in audio quality, I would purchase an inexpensive, but quality player like this Sony with a digital output and invest the difference in a good DAC.
     
    awillia6 likes this.
  3. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

    Messages:
    5,229
    Location:
    Bucks County, PA
    I have 2 93s. Mostly used for video but also for streaming, Pandora, and CD playback in my 2nd system. They don't equal my Rotel 1072, but do sound good. Obviously, the 10x and 20x versions are better.
     
  4. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I think that it’s important to get a player that supports all of the available recorded music formats for the music that you like – so that you have the most options for enjoying high quality recordings.

    I listen to classical music and opera. SACD (including multi-channel) is common for classical music. Downloaded hi-res (24bit/192kHz) FLAC is also common for classical music. Many operas and ballet (and some classical concerts) are on Blu-ray video. (Only a few are currently available on UHD.) Some classical recordings are on Pure Audio Blu-ray. Some classical recordings are available as a DSD download (but I don’t own any - yet).

    I use the analog outputs from my Oppo players (UDP-205, BDP-105, BDP-95) to drive vintage tube amps. The UDP-205 has “audiophile grade” DACs and analog circuitry built-in, and doesn’t need an external DAC to achieve excellent sound quality. (The UDP-205 has digital inputs allowing use of its DACs by an external device. I have my HDTV connected via TosLink to my Oppo BDP-105 in one system. Chromecast Audio is connected via TosLink to my UDP-205 in a different system, facilitating streaming audio such as Spotify Premium and Tunein radio.) The Oppo’s variable output can directly drive power amps, in addition to integrated amps and preamps. (This effectively adds a remote volume control to vintage amps.) The UDP-205 also has a headphone jack.

    The UDP-205 provides “bass management”, and supports 2.1 (i.e., stereo plus sub) in addition to 5.1. Bass management involves a built-in crossover (adjustable), and an RCA line-level connection for a powered subwoofer. The low frequencies eat up a lot of power. With Oppo's bass management, the low frequencies are off-loaded from the main amp and speakers, and therefore the main amp and speakers are less likely to overload (and sound congested or distorted) during fff passages of music.

    My hi-fi systems include 2.0, (two) 2.1, and 4.2 (LCR, single rear channel, 2 subwoofers). With a UDP-205 universal player, you can start with stereo, grow to 2.1, then 4.1, then 5.1 if you wish. (If you have a large room that might benefit from surround-sound, I suggest that you audition a top quality SACD or Blu-ray music recording that features surround sound – you might get hooked.)

    The Oppo UDP-205 isn’t cheap (though not terribly expensive by hi-fi standards), but given its versatility (for music and movies) I think it represents a great value. For stereo, simply connect an amp and speakers (or a pair of headphones). No AVR or preprocessor needed. No external DAC needed. No preamp needed, unless you listen to LPs, or want tone controls.
     
    ben_, enginedr and awillia6 like this.
  5. WobblySam

    WobblySam Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    Middle of NC
    Yeah, according to "somebody", the 205 is vastly superior to the 203. Perhaps it is to that reviewer and to others who have seriously listened to both over an extended period of time. Do you know the folks who said the 205 is so much better? Do you know what constitutes a good sounding system to them? Is it the same as what you find is important in your system? Don't let the parrots dictate what you should buy. I'm not unaware that the 205 has all sorts of audiophile construction goodies and higher quality parts, et al. As you said, it's your first universal player, so what will you compare it to?

    Get a 203 from somebody like Crutchfield that will let you return it inside 30 days. Try it out for 2 or 3 weeks - see how the sound meshes with your system. If it hits the spot, keep it. Otherwise, send it back and try the 205. If you have a sonic epiphany, keep it - you've found the one for you. At least, you'll know for sure which one suits you and your system.

    Good luck with your quest.
    Merry Christmas, too
     
    PAGS and Hyfi like this.
  6. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    awillia6 likes this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. trinhsman

    trinhsman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,041
    Location:
    On a lake in Georgia
    After tons of research, I opted for the 105D. Found used in mint condition for less than 800. It gave me everything I needed that quite a bit less then the new model . IMHO
     
    cnolanh and Wildcat like this.
  8. AmericanPie

    AmericanPie New Member

    Messages:
    31
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    Thank you for the replies; some very useful information and practical advice. It's been a long time since I've purchased any new electronics and am very "old school". At this point I'm leaning towards a new UDP-205, but I have another question.

    I own an older (circa late 1990s) Sony ES CD Player (CDP-X303ES) which is still like new. How does the audio performance of this unit compare to that of modern Blu-ray players like the UDP-203 and UDP-205? Would there be any notable benefit from using the 303ES mainly as a transport, and running it through the DAC in the UDP-205? Or should I just place the 303ES in storage as "outdated tech" (seems a shame), and begin using the UDP-205 for all my audio and video playback?
     
  9. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    Some people apparently think that when playing CDs, a CD player has a simpler user interface (UI), and faster response to commands, compared with a universal player like the Oppo. Some of the earlier Oppos could occasionally be slow to respond to a click on the remote, but I don’t recall that being a problem with my UDP-205. (Oppo stripped apps from the UDP-205. I’m not an expert, but I think this helps with response time. You can listen to Spotify, Tune-In, etc via a Chromecast Audio connected via a TosLink optical connection to the Oppo UDP-205’s DAC.)

    AFAIK, the only digital format that the UDP-205 doesn’t support is HDCD. If you have a large collection of HDCDs, and want a player that will play them as HDCD vs. CD, then that’s where the UDP-205 has a feature deficiency. However, I don’t see that the Sony CDP-X303ES supports HDCD – I think HDCD came out shortly after the CDP-X303ES was manufactured. (HDCD is not a requirement for me. I’m not knowledgeable about HDCD.)

    Unless there’s something you don’t like about the UI when playing CDs on the Oppo, I can’t imagine why you’d want to use a separate CD player as a transport.

    Your Sony CDP-X303ES appears to be a nice CD player. I suggest that you hang onto it. You might have use for it in a separate hi-fi system someday. If nothing else, do a side-by-side comparison of the vintage Sony CD player vs the Oppo UDP-205 and tell us what you think.

    As I said earlier, I think the point of the Oppo UDP-205 is its support of many more hi-res digital formats such as SACD, hi-res FLAC, DSD downloads, Blu-ray audio and video, and UHD video. In light of the fact that you are accustomed to a TOTL solidly-built vintage CD player, I think you’ll be happy with the UDP-205.

    You know you want the UDP-205 … :) … let us know what you think when you receive yours.
     
    AmericanPie likes this.
  10. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    DV980H works well here on my '70's classic system. That's kind of dated for video, but I only use the audio section anyway except for menus and such. So far it will play any CD, audio DVD, or SACD I throw at it.

    One interesting feature is that you can turn the video off completely, and that leaves all the processing power dedicated to audio only. They're also dated enough you can get them cheap if you dig some.
     
  11. pauld5999

    pauld5999 New Member

    Messages:
    37
    Do you have any experience with playing flac files on the DV980H from an external hard drive hooked up to the USB port? It seems like there is limited and conflicting information out there as to if this is possible, trying to get it figured out.

    Also, playing SACD's via the 2 channel RCA outputs to a vintage receiver is possible with the DV980H, correct? I just got it yesterday and was not getting any sound output with that setup on SACD's but need to put more time into trying to figure it out
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Can't help on either. Only thing I play on the Oppo is multi-channel SACD, DVDa, and DSD. I rip all my media to FLAC and play that direct from my HTPC. Ditto for the two channel version from my SACDs.

    * Anybody ever comes up with a straightforward software solution for ripping and playback of the multi-channel using the HTPC (NOT involving some Rube Goldberg collection of playstation hacks and patches), I'll do that as well and retire the Oppo.
     
  13. PianotunerNJ

    PianotunerNJ Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Central NJ

    Use the outputs from the 5.1 section instead of the basic stereo outs. I think that’s the trick there.
     
  14. PianotunerNJ

    PianotunerNJ Active Member

    Messages:
    164
    Location:
    Central NJ
    Just a couple of weeks ago I hooked myself up with the PS3 ripping solution and I’m thrilled, works great! My SACD rips sound better than my other formats. I’m now set up to rip all formats to server, and I’m very happy with the results. Who needs discs?

    I have the Oppo dv970 and it’s nice for all pre-Blu-ray offerings, but it does convert DSD to PCM. I don’t know about 980. I got mine for about $70 with shipping I think from eBay.

    Only issue I have now is that some audio DVD’s are not DVDA but rather DTS or Dolby Digital and my software solution doesn’t always grab the highest resolution version on those discs. I tried a demo version of DVD audio extractor but wasn’t wowed by results so I’m skeptical about buying it if it doesn’t open up all options. Anyone else have any ripping tricks to share?
     
  15. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    778
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I use the USB ports on my UDP-205, BDP-105, and BDP-95 to play hi-res FLAC files. IIRC, the USB port on the DV-980H does not play FLAC.

    The DV-980H can be configured for 2.0 and 2.1. SACDs are supported.

    You can download from oppodigital.com the DV-980H User Manual, and latest firmware update.
     
  16. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,621
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    If you can find a used BDP-105 for a reasonable price it has built in USB DAC unlike the 103. I am hoping prices come down so I can upgrade my 103. You do give up 4k capabilities by not getting a 203/205.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,621
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    You may need to hook the unit to a monitor temporarily to set it up to work with other than 5.1 however. I have found that the DVD players are finicky which computer monitors they play nicely with however. I haven't had that problem with my 95 or 103.
     
  18. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Huh - I share the HTPC monitor with the Oppo DV980H using an HDMI switch ... no issues.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,621
    Location:
    Sterling, VA
    I dunno... I have some HP something or other computer monitors that I use for doing CAD work at home, and they're 1080p so they can be used as an impromptu "TV" if someone comes to visit, but they don't play nice with an Oppo DVD player for some reason. May just be one of those quirks.
     
  20. trinhsman

    trinhsman AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,041
    Location:
    On a lake in Georgia
    I have a 105D and based on what I see in the manual, it does do 4K upscaling. I also did a lot of research on the comparisons between the UPD205 and the older 105. For what I needed ( mostly quality stereo along with great DVD), it was not worth the extra 500-600 I would have to spend to get the 205 model. I found a used 105D that was mint for right at 750 dollars. That included the shipping to my door. It took a while, and I almost broke down and got the 205. But I'm glad I had the patience to wait. Very happy with my 105D.
     

Share This Page