Oppo Sonica DAC

Discussion in 'DACs' started by rickmusicman, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. rickmusicman

    rickmusicman Member

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    has anyone heard this unit that can give an opinion on it? I am looking for a DAC, and was considering a Schiit Bifrost Multibit or Gungnir Multibit. I saw some reviews and articles on the new Oppo Sonica and I may change my mind from the Schiit to the Oppo. Thanks
     

     

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  2. seminole54

    seminole54 AK Member Subscriber

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    Rick

    I have owned one since the week they were released. It is an excellent DAC and Streamer which will only get better as they continue to upgrade the app and firmware. If having a physical remote other than the one included in the app is important to you I would order it with the unit. Or if you already have a Harmony unit it can be programmed to operate the Sonica.

    Jack
     
  3. AvFan

    AvFan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It is great to learn the Sonica DAC sounds good and I hope others will chime in with their impressions. The Sonica is also on my wish list and its Swiss Army knife list of functions look terrific but with an interesting caveat. The Sonica can't currently do gapless playback when using its ethernet or USB Host connections. Oppo confirmed it with this reply to my email:

    "For any audio that the Sonica DAC is processing and decoding, it will not be able to playback gapless. You would need to use Asynchronous USB with a computer or connect to an external device with digital coaxial or optical. The ability to use gapless playback with attached USB storage and through the network is something that we hope to add in a future firmware release."

    My goal was to avoid having to connect my computer to play my digital music including live records. Maybe it wouldn't be a big deal and the sound quality, the potential for gapless playback in the future and its current feature set are enough to buy it.
     
  4. stoutblock

    stoutblock If it sounds good, it is good... Subscriber

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    Great box of goodies! Modwright has a modification that turns them into giant killers.
     
  5. ictwoody

    ictwoody I like vintage gear — my preamp is from 2007. Subscriber

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    I love Modwright products. I currently have a 36.5 and a 9.0SE preamps in my first and second system respectively. That being said... the cost of Dan's mods to the Sonica seems like a lot to me. I would be looking at other devices like the Brooklyn DAC before I'd have the mods done to the Sonica.

    That being said, I've owned a Sonica for a little over a month and I love it. It sounds awesome. I love streaming Tidal with it connected to my wifi via the Sonica app on my iPhone or iPad. It works flawlessly. It sounds awesome and it replaced my Schiit Bifrost Multibit in my main rig... along with a Chromecast Audio, MacMini etc...

    My only reservation about the Sonica was the lack of MQA support (currently, hopefully added in the future.) But the Saber DAC sounds awesome. I'm running it fully balanced out via the XLRs into my Modwright 36.5 and I couldn't be more pleased. I'm running it with the volume adjust bypassed. Line level out.

    It's a super well built piece and feels very high end. Highly recommended. Owning both... it's a no brainer... get the Sonica over the Bifrost MB.

    - Woody
     
  6. rickmusicman

    rickmusicman Member

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    Seminole54,
    Ok stupid question, this will show I am new to DAC's. This will be my first DAC and not sure what I'm doing yet. I have a Onkyo C-7030 CD Player and want to get a DAC player to improve sound quality by using the CD player as a transport only and using the DAC to convert the signal for playback into my pre-amp - amp. Is this possible with the Oppo? Thanks, Rick.
     

     

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  7. AvFan

    AvFan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes. The Sonica has coax and optical digital inputs so just connect one of the two digital outputs on your Onkyo CD player to the Sonica DAC's corresponding digital inputs. I plan to do this same thing with an older Oppo BluRay player I have in the wings.
     
  8. AvFan

    AvFan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for sharing your comparison of the Sonica to Bifrost MB. Good to know as the Schiit was on my list too. Has the lack of gapless playback been an issue for you?
     
  9. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

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    I would say get the oppo if having a network streamer is necessary, part of the appeal of the sonica is that its a true high res network streamer and it has multi room wireless streaming capabilities, similar to a sonos, but has the audiophile guts to make sound quality much better than sonos or squeezebox.

    If you are going to be using this primarily as a outboard DAC for your CDP I would get the best schiit you can afford, both the gungir and bifrost multibit are excellent and offer better SQ IMO

    It's a compromise between features and fidelity with the oppo vs schiit. The network streaming aspect of the oppo is a great if you don't have a laptop or HTPC to pull USB audio from. I believe the schiit will offer better sonics though.

    either way they are excellent products
     
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  10. Mamrak1

    Mamrak1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I too bought the Sonica DAC from the first few days. The sound is superior for an $800 piece of equipment. As others have mentioned there is no remote currently. You need to download an app for file playing. The gapless play is a red herring in my book. Are you constantly listening to 'Dark Side of the Moon?'

    If you are patient MQA will eventually show up. I am not one completely sold on that. Otherwise buy the Mytek Brooklyn DAC for $2k and be done with it.
     
  11. seminole54

    seminole54 AK Member Subscriber

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    You can now order a remote from OPPO for $29 dollars or if you have a Harmony remote the Sonica codes are in their database. The remote control in the app works fine. As to the gapless playback to me it is only ever noticeable on live concert recordings where there can be a momentary drop out where you miss hearing "crowd noise", so no big deal. That is more likely to be addressed than MQA which if a DAC is submitted to them for approval can take over a year. MQA would also result in an increase in the Sonica's price.
     

     

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  12. AvFan

    AvFan AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No, but like seminole54 I have a number of live concert recordings and I thought it would be annoying to have a gap between songs. Oppo said they may correct that with a future firmware update but didn't offer a timeline. It is interesting to know the lack of gapless playback it isn't a big deal to some.

     
  13. seminole54

    seminole54 AK Member Subscriber

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    AvFan

    No music is missing only crowd noise or chatter. It is something you may notice more to start with and then with time it fades away. The combination of sound and features for the cost more than makes up for it. Also if everyone remembers the release timeline both the Sonica and the 205 were many months late of original projections due to Chip supply and heat dissipation issues with the 9038 Pro. Once the Sonica was released all of OPPO's focus was on getting the much bigger selling 205 to the market. Since that has been accomplished OPPO has spent more time tweaking and updating the software and firmware for the Sonica. I don't know about them ever doing MQA due to cost and requirements but I think the other issues will be addressed. Quirks aside the sound and features are outstanding. The only other DAC close in features is the Ayre QX-5 as $5000.

    Jack
     
  14. wcward

    wcward New Member

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    Bought one of these about a month ago, been listening and making up my mind about it.

    Hardware: Very nice fit and finish screams high end quality.
    Hardware Performance: Again very nice, lives up to expectations for sound quality. Very clear and clean sound with authority and depth. never any odd sounds or glitches.
    Software: I'm not a streaming guy so I have not spent too much time with the ipad app but from what I did play around with I would have to say that this is where Oppo falls down. Software is not very intuitive and seems to be very hit and miss as to how it reads and organizes metadata from portable hard drives, network drives etc, does not make good use of file tags in organizing tracks (example read artist from tag but use track file name for title.....what?), some other odd things that might change or improve with time.

    All in all I like it, bit pricey but a solid performer.
     
  15. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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  16. seminole54

    seminole54 AK Member Subscriber

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    If your're going to link the one "middle of the road" review why not bother links to the multiple rave ones from Tone Audio, Home Theater Review, Dagogo, Home Theater Hi-Fi, etc.?
     

     

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  17. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    Why don't you?
     
  18. frahengeo

    frahengeo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  19. seminole54

    seminole54 AK Member Subscriber

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    I've made my thoughts pretty clear on the quality and value of the Sonica DAC so I don't need to. You apparently have another agenda for posting the one none rave review from a publication well known for favoring their own "home grown" products on top of the CNET type quality of their reviews. Maybe " always "how much" "
     
  20. frahengeo

    frahengeo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Personally, I have high hopes for the Sonica, and will be buying one soon.
     

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