Oppo UDP 203 vs. Yamaha BD A1060 Universal Players

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Mellotronix, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    I find myself with both of these players for reasons more complicated than interesting, but I've spent enough time with both by now to feel comfortable making sweepingly general statements about them that nobody will probably find particularly insightful. But, here goes.

    Oppo UDP will do 4K and 3D Blu Ray video.
    Yam BD A1060 will not do 4K but yes for 3D Blu Ray and will upscale to 4K.

    Give the Oppo 1 point for its 4K capabilities..

    The Yamaha has balanced XLR outputs so it gets 1 point.

    Yamaha decodes HDCD, so another 1 point.

    The rest of the audio formats including SACD are shared by both.

    The Oppo decodes and plays DVD-A. A supposed audio pro who recently reviewed the Yamaha said that it decodes and plays DVD-A content. I say it doesn't. My take is that It will load the DVD-A disc but it is playing a down mix or an alternate audio track. I will check on this to be sure and I'm wrong about 27% of the time, so the jury is out. But I'm gonna give the Oppo a point because it really does play DVD-A and info is included in the manual. 1 Point, Oppo.

    The Oppo has an audio-only HDMI out and an HDMI in (convenient for hooking up my Mac). Half a point for each, so +1 for the Oppo.

    Oppo--motion activated backlit remote. +1. Yamaha has crappy 90's era style remote. Boo.

    Yamaha--CD mode, slows disk spin and bypasses all unnecessary circuitry. +1.

    Oppo gets one more point for having outstanding, unambiguous setup instructions and manual. +1

    Yamaha gets a point for having a magnetic shield between the power supply and the audio pcb. +1.

    Other than that, build quality is dead even.

    Video quality--who cares, this is an audio forum and I already gave the Oppo a point for 4K.

    Oppo total = 5 points.

    Yamaha total = 4 points.

    There. Settled. If you don't care about 4K they are probably pretty close to even, but you might find that one of them has a feature that you can't live without (balanced outputs?). SACD's sound tremendous on both of these machines.

    I have the Yamaha set up in my large home theater room with a Yamaha Aventage receiver and Bowers and Wilkins 600 series speakers (two big towers, center channel, small surrounds, Tannoy subwoofer).

    The Oppo is in my smaller mixing/mastering studio hooked into a Yamaha integrated stereo amp (A-S801). Speakers are Bowers and Wilkins CM 6 S-2. The sub is an SVS SB2000. It also can be routed to my Focal Alpha series studio monitors.

    I could live with either of these players for a very long time. They go for $500 (Yamaha) and $550 (Oppo). You get a lot of features for the price.

    oppo.jpg yamaha.jpg yamaha2.jpg

    Edit--I need to mention that the Oppo has discreet analog 7.1 channel outputs which may be critical to those of you who have 8 Macintosh tube powered mono blocks on your yacht. Sorry for the omission.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
  2. NeedForSpeed

    NeedForSpeed Rock'n And Roll'n Night And Day Subscriber

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    Nice review, Thanks. OPPO always does well in the review/award dept on the so-called audiophile websites. I've owned one since the 970, Always upgrade, But always one model behind, lol. That pesky budget issue. Next up early next year, BDP 105.
     
  3. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    148
    Thanks for the comments. I tried really hard to justify shelling out the cash for the UDP205, but I just could not do it. I've always had good audio karma with second tier products that have inherited features that trickle down from the higher end stuff. I also know that my hearing has an upper limit in terms of resolution. Years of standing five feet in front of a loud drummer has left me compromised just enough to not fully trust my hearing.
     
  4. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Nothing to add, but @Mellotronix, I have the exact radio in your profile pic! It's a keeper, too. Have thought about setting it up with a mono turntable but no space.
     
  5. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    I think it's a Blaupunkt. The image comes from one of the plugins that I use in Pro Tools. I can't remember which one...maybe a Lo Fi tool or something similar.
     
  6. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yep, Blaupunkt Virginia.
     
  7. lightcapture

    lightcapture Active Member

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    I have a Yamaha BD-S677 universal BluRay player and I'm very impressed with it's excellent and musical sound quality with CDs, and even better w/ HDCD and SACDs. So much so that I'm now considering the new Yamaha BD-A1060 with it's dedicated audio board and balanced XLR output, of which my Opera Consonance (Hegel H1 amp behind the Consonance faceplate) integrated amp accepts.
     
  8. kfalls

    kfalls Well-Known Member

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    I just went to Amazon and Crutchfield and each say the Yamaha is no longer available. I'd say that's a +5 for the OPPO. At least you can still buy one new.
     
  9. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Oppo is great... I have no experience with other products at their level, but I can say this, I bought a used BDP-95 as an upgrade for my "good" 2 channel rig but it was from a pawn shop and had the wrong remote and no WiFi dongle. After a pleasant exchange with their CSR, I got a non-backlit remote (sadly the heavy backlit original is NLA, although they sell the ones for the 103/5/203/5 dirt cheap, NEVER buy one of those on eBay for an extortionate price!) and a new dongle for less than $30. They even threw in some extra RCA jack covers at my request because a few of mine were missing.

    I can't say whether the SQ is better than any other competitive products or not, but it's definitely at least very good, and the darn thing is built like masonry sanitary facilities. (which can't hurt, there won't be any mistracking due to stability issues!)
     
  10. lightcapture

    lightcapture Active Member

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    Yamaha bda1060 is their newest and available for $500. And if you want balanced XLR output like I do you'll have to spend over twice that much w/ Oppo.
     
  11. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    So over the weekend the Oppo UDP 203 went down for the count. It prompted me to update the firmware. The upload went fine; the installation was a disaster. Ten hours later (when I got up on Sunday morning), it still said "upgrading." The player was inoperable. I tried a hard reboot. I hardwired it to the internet to see if it would reinitiate the firmware update. Nada. Crutchfield sent me an RA and it is on its way to the company that handles their returns at the moment. They will send me a replacement hopefully soon.

    I moved my trusty new Yamaha BD A1060 back into my studio. The interesting thing is how much punchier the Yamaha sounds with CD's and Blu Ray audio. When I get the Oppo back, I'm gonna have to set them up side by side for a better comparison because humans have really pathetic memories for musical timbre, but I'm listening to Hand Cannot Erase right now on Blu Ray (96/24 stereo) and--holy decibels!--is it ever punchy. I'm using the internal PCM decoder straight through my Yamaha A-S801 in pure direct. The sound really hits my little B&W CM6's hard and slams the sub with what seems like a much quicker attack than the Oppo. Again, it could be that my musical memory is playing tricks, but in any event, the Yamaha is a great sounding player. I'm hoping they come out with the exact same unit with a 4K processor soon.

    +1 for the euphonic phonics on the Yamaha
    -1 for the Oppo giving up the ghost so soon

    Advantage...Yamaha. Stay tuned and don't take any of this too seriously if you are making a purchasing decision on either of these units. Remember that this is just the rant of an eccentric musician.
     
  12. Njoy-Music

    Njoy-Music Old Time Rock & Roll Subscriber

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    Odd to see this as I had been looking at some Oppo's to replace my current blu-ray. Also wanted to keep it around the $500 mark so this tongue-in-cheek review is timely. I won't take it too seriously but you at least gave me other things to consider than sticking to just Oppo. The Pioneer Elite I currently use I got on an open box special and while movie side is okay the audio side is not. So thanks for at least giving me some clues about other things to consider. :)
     
  13. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    One other point of confusion in various reviews of the Yamaha I can confirm. The Yamaha will read DVD Audio discs, but it will only play the DTS and LPCM tracks. The Oppo will play back all of the tracks including the rarely encountered but really sweet sounding MLP files in 96/24. I have a full set of King Crimson DVD-A's of their first seven albums plus the three Discipline projects from the 80's, and they have MPL files encoded at higher bit rates than LPCM.

    Next month, all of the early albums will be released on Blu Ray audio/video in a set. Not sure if they will be available separately.
     
  14. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    One other thought. This may only apply to a few who have home recording studios, but the ability to run line level XLR cables from the Yamaha to my Universal Audio Apollo interface and the accompanying Console software allows me to capture anything that the Yamaha will play back onto my computer in whatever bit rates I prefer. I usually stick to the original source bitrates. Yes, you can do the same thing with unbalanced outs, but the balanced format allows long cable runs with very low noise, so there is no need to break down my gear and move it across the room to capture audio. There are some exceptions based on copyright protection, but I have work arounds for those--mostly multi-track SACD that will only play back in HD using an HDMI cable.
     
  15. N8Nagel

    N8Nagel AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You do know that you can rip a SACD without leaving the digital domain using an Oppo player (and a few others) yes?

    I have not personally done it but the info is out there.
     
  16. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    No, this is new to me. I will look into it. My replacement Oppo arrives tomorrow. In the meantime, I've enjoyed having my Yamaha in the studio. Listened to some HDCD's today (Lateralus) and The Raven that Refused to Sing in Blu Ray audio. Both very inspirational in their own unique way.

    I will avoid the firmware update until I get the go ahead sign from others on the web. Don't want history to repeat.
     
  17. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

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    148
    Got the replacement Oppo UDP 203 today and set it up in my studio. The menu options were quite different from the original and it did not prompt me to do a firmware upgrade, so I assume this player is more recent. Sounds really clean--frightfully accurate. It does not hit the subwoofer as hard as the Yamaha. That would account for the punchiness that I heard when I moved the Yamaha into my studio last week. But here's why. I have the option on the Oppo to set the crossover and I have it set pretty low. The Yamaha probably defaults to 100hz. I will double check the Yamaha to make sure that I didn't miss anything in the setup menu.

    Almost forgot...+1 for the Oppo having an adjustable crossover for the sub. Lost track of who's winning. It's gotta be the Oppo with its 4K and MLP audio. Oh, wait, the Yamaha does HDCD. Maybe it's like this. If you don't care about 4K video, it's pretty much a tie in my estimation.

    Incidentally, Guardians of the Galaxy II looked AMAZING on the Oppo with my Sony 4K HDR TV.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017 at 6:10 PM

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