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Possible flaw in the setup menu of Oppo UDP 203

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Mellotronix, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

    I finally figured out why my Oppo UDP 203 sounds anemic compared with the Yamaha BD A1060. The problem is in the setup menu of the player, and it probably only applies to users who are not using a multichannel home theater receiver with an HDMI cable.

    If you indicate that you have a 2.1 system the player will not pass the bass signal (.1) unless you are using an HDMI cable into a multichannel home theater system. If you set the crossover to 100 HZ, you will only get a highly attenuated signal below 100 HZ sent downstream to your preamp or integrated amp through the coaxial or analog outputs. I have not tested the optical connection yet, but my guess is that if it is connected to a 2 channel amp, it's going to attenuate the bass as well.

    It's an easy fix. Go to the setup menu and select audio processing. Indicate that you have a 2 channel system with no sub. Set the crossover to the lowest value (40HZ). Make sure that you select large speakers--even if you have small speakers--so that you get the full frequency range sent to your preamp. Set the downmix to stereo.

    It makes perfect sense once you understand what the amp is doing. It wants to send the low frequencies separately to your preamp and it is set up to do this no matter which connection you are using. But the manual indicates that using stereo mode in the downmix menu will mix all of the channels, including the bass channel, into a stereo signal. The problem is that the bass is very weak. I had to turn my SVS sub to around 8 before I was hearing any low end.

    I did load the latest firmware and it does not solve the problem. Maybe Oppo will address this issue in a later update. I suppose that only a few of us luddites are using old fashioned 2 channel integrated amps these days.


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  2. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Midwest USA
    Is your subwoofer connected to the Oppo?

    I’ve set-up my UDP-205 the same as my BDP-105 and BDP-95 when connecting the dedicated stereo analog RCA outputs to a stereo amp (usually a vintage tube amp), and connecting a powered subwoofer to the Oppo (i.e., 2.1 configuration).

    No HDMI audio. No AVR.

    Oppo settings:

    Audio Output Setup

    Secondary Audio: “Off”

    HDMI Audio Format: "Off".

    S / PDIF Output: 192k LPCM (I don’t think this comes into play, but not certain.)

    SACD Priority: "Stereo".

    SACD Output: PCM. (If "SACD Output" is set to "PCM", then the UDP-205’s bass management functionality is engaged, i.e., bass for SACDs is sent to the subwoofer. If "SACD Output" is set to "DSD", then bass for SACDs is NOT sent to the subwoofer.)

    A/V Synch: 0​

    Audio Processing Setup

    Go to the Setup Menu and select Audio Processing.
    Select Stereo Signal and change it to Front Left/Right.
    Go to Speaker Configuration.
    Set the Downmix Mode to Stereo.
    Set each of the connected speakers to Small and set the subwoofer to On.
    Exit Speaker Configuration and set the Crossover setting to whatever your preference is.

    I have crossover set to 80Hz.

    Output Volume: Variable

    Power up Volume: 40.

    Max Volume: 100.

    Dynamic Range Control: Off

    Filter Characteristics: Apodizing Fast (You can experiment with this parameter.)​

    When the player is configured as detailed above, audio from a source that does not have a dedicated .1 or LFE track will be directed to the subwoofer based on the crossover frequency you select.

    Based on my experience using Oppo players for several years, this configuration works for SACDs, CDs, Blu-ray (audio and video), DVDs, downloaded FLAC, etc.

    The Oppo 2.1 “bass management” configuration listed above offloads low frequencies from the main amp and main speakers – meaning they’re less likely to be overloaded during loud passages. IMO, if you set the main speakers to large, you are not realizing one of the main benefits of a subwoofer. :)
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  3. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

    Excellent point. There are no dedicated stereo outputs on the 203 and this, I think, is the root of the problem that I have encountered. The system seems to have no way to mix the sub channel with the 7.1 Front Left ant Front Right which are used in a stereo setup. It will mix the surround channels, but unless I am mistaken, the .1 just gets ignored. So to overcome this issue, I have to tell the system that there is no sub and make sure that it sends a full range signal to my integrated stereo amp. Otherwise, I would probably send a cable from the 7.1 output directly to my sub. That would require an extra switching system to go between sources which I would like to avoid.

    My integrated stereo amp does have a subwoofer management system (sub out), so it is taking advantage of the 2.1 configuration with a fixed crossover at 90hz.
  4. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Midwest USA
    If you set the Oppo parameters as I detailed above, the Oppo's "bass management" is engaged, and therefore most of the bass below the Oppo’s configured crossover frequency is sent out the Oppo's subwoofer connection, and not the main speakers. (It's a sloped roll-off. In my UDP-205, there are options for the roll-off.) If your sub isn't connected to the Oppo's subwoofer connection, that is why the bass is weak - i.e., you've told the Oppo to route the bass to a subwoofer that isn't connected, and therefore that audio content is lost.

    OTOH, if you set the Oppo's parameters for the recommended 2.0 (i.e., no subwoofer) stereo settings (including downmix mode: "stereo", front L/R speakers: "large", and sub "off"), the Oppo's "bass management" is NOT engaged, and all audio content (including bass) is sent to the L/R main stereo RCA outputs. I therefore don't understand your statement: "The system seems to have no way to mix the sub channel with the 7.1 Front Left ant Front Right which are used in a stereo setup. It will mix the surround channels, but unless I am mistaken, the .1 just gets ignored." The Oppo is mixing in the bass, when the parameter setting for L/R speakers is set to "large", per the instructions. (That’s what “large” vs. “small” does.) I don't understand what flaw you perceive in the Oppo?

    I've used my Oppos with and without subs, and I've done extensive testing using a test CD to play test tones over a wide range of frequencies, and IME everything works correctly - with the right settings. The Oppo’s settings can be confusing. (And if you play SACDs, see my note in my earlier post about setting SACD Output to PCM – I don’t think that’s documented.)

    Am I correct that your amp has its own "bass management" functionality, and subwoofer connection? If you want to use your amps' bass management functionality, you’d connect the subwoofer to the amp (not the Oppo), and you'd set the Oppo for 2.0 (no bass management). (Otherwise – if you were to engage the Oppo’s bass management in this configuration, you’d discard the bass before it got to your amp.)

    Do you play LPs, and want to the use the sub when playing LPs (in addition to digital content played via the Oppo)? If so, then using your integrated amp's bass management is indicated. (FWIW, I don’t use my sub when playing LPs.)

    OTOH, if all your music is played through the Oppo (no LPs), then I'd connect the subwoofer to the Oppo (with correct config parameters) and off load bass from the main amp and speakers.

    I don't understand your statement: "Otherwise, I would probably send a cable from the 7.1 output (meaning Oppo?) directly to my sub. That would require an extra switching system to go between sources which I would like to avoid." What sources are you referring to? As I said above, if you play LPs and want the sub engaged for LPs, the integrated amp should provide the bass management – not the Oppo.

    Please let me know if I’m understanding you correctly. Unless I’m missing something, it seems to me that the Oppo is functioning as designed, and you have 2 options for connecting your subwoofer.

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  5. Mellotronix

    Mellotronix Active Member

    Thank you so much for taking so much time with this. It definitely helps confirm what I thought was happening.

    Everything you have stated here is exactly what I have worked out. Oppo has fantastic support from what I hear and their manuals are among the best in the business, but there is some ambiguity regarding how the down mix of the 7.1 outputs work with the "stereo" option selected. Oppo simply needs to include owner's manual support for the new breed of stereo integrated amps that have bass management systems. They may even have an update online--I have not checked. People like you can easily visualize what the system is doing, but some users aren't gifted with that sort of visual thinking.

    Yes, I do have a TT and I am using the Yamaha for bass management.

    Thanks again. I've bookmarked your response for future reference if I notice anything that's not sounding quite right.

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