Oppo Sonica DAC with flagship ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Billy Budapest, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    The Absolute Sound has published a little "sneak peak" at the Oppo Sonica DAC due this fall:

    The Absolute Sound's Buyer's Guide to Personal Audio, Analog, and Vinyl 2016 | The Absolute Sound »

    Given the interest in all things Oppo at this forum, I figured I'd post what TAS wrote as it is somewhat buried in their 2016 Buyer's Guide.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
  2. skriefal

    skriefal Forum Resident

    Location:
    SLC, Utah
    A possible glimpse towards what we'll see in the upcoming UHD replacements for the BDP-103/105?
     
  3. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Should be fun!
     
  4. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I'm very curious to learn more about its streaming capabilities.
     
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  5. cordobaman

    cordobaman Rich Corinthian Leather

    Location:
    Erie, PA USA
    If it will do gapless DSD over network and have pre-amp functionality then I would be interested for sure. Right now is the only one-box-does-it-all for under $2k is the Auralic Altair?
     
    Mike-48 likes this.
  6. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    How many DACs per channel though? The 105D uses one 9018 chip (4 DACs per channel). The 9038 (like the 9018 and 9028PRO) can be run in 'mono' mode with all 8 DACs used per channel (of course, you need two DAC chips then).

    It's all about the noise floor.
     
  7. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    The BDP-105/D does not stack the 4 DACs in stereo mode.
     
  8. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    From your link: In the BDP-105's stereo board design, the 4 pairs of DACs in the ESS9018 DAC are allocated as: 1 pair for the RCA outputs, 1 pair for the XLR outputs, and 2 pairs stacked for the headphone amplifier.

    What a waste! I want my money back!! :)
     
  9. mreeter

    mreeter Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest, USA
    Thanks to the OP, I've been eyeballing DAC's the past few days...going to have to wait to see what becomes of this new offering:whistle:
     
  10. It might be time for me to upgrade.
     
  11. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    If this dac does multichannel I am in!
     
  12. bmoura

    bmoura Forum Resident

    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    The Oppo Sonica Speaker is a stereo speaker. So I'm guessing that the Oppo Sonica DAC would be a Stereo DAC.
     
  13. Hymie the Robot

    Hymie the Robot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    $800 dac for a $300 speaker system?
     
  14. bmoura

    bmoura Forum Resident

    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    The Oppo HA-1 DAC at $1,199 is even more expensive than the Sonica DAC ($799) and it is a Stereo only DAC.
    We will see what the story is with the Sonica DAC.

    OPPO HA-1 Headphone Amplifier »
     
  15. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    The Sonica DAC and Sonica Wi-Fi speaker are separate products, you don't use them together.
     
  16. bmoura

    bmoura Forum Resident

    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    And they are in the same Sonica product line. Just like the HA-1 and HA-2 Stereo DACs are in the same Headphone Amp & DAC (HA) product line from Oppo.
     
  17. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm glad that you mentioned gapless. It is a trap for newbies to streaming audio that this is even an issue, but Oppo's current players (103, 105) and some other gear available doesn't do this. It is a critical feature needed for music in any genre. Though classical listeners will need it the most (the Goldberg Variations without gapless has 31 excruciating breaks that shouldn't be there), others will eventually find an album (Sgt. Pepper, anyone?) that needs it. It continues to short my circuits that well-respected audio manufacturers release gear that claims to do streaming, but doesn't support gapless playback. Don't the manufacturers ever listen to music?

    I believe the Cambridge Audio Azur 851N would be another model that does it all.

    Mike
     
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  18. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    really, gapless is a "critical" feature? DSD gapless? that's like .0000000001% of the market that will care about it.
     
  19. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    I wouldn't jump to any conclusions regarding gapless playback and products that haven't been released yet.
     
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  20. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Bach wrote the Goldberg Variations with a brief rest between each one. Go to a performance and listen. Study piano and learn for yourself. Mozart wrote the Ah Vous Dirai Je Maman variations with a brief rest between each one. Every one of the hundreds or thousands of themed variations ever composed for piano by dozens of composers over the past two centuries contains rests between each variation. So what are you talking about?

    Gapless playback is a listening preference for some people, nothing more. It's not a necessity or a preference for the rest of us. I don't object to the gapless playback feature, but suggesting that its absence is a "trap for newbies" is just bizarre.
     
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  21. Old Audiophool

    Old Audiophool Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Melbourne, Fl.
    +1
     
  22. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    Maybe Bach intended clear "rests" between each Goldberg Variation, but there sure are some recordings out there not having them. Listen to Gould's as a rather popular example (both '55 and '81) and you'll hear that many of the variations are played very close to each other, often the last tone of one decaying into the next. Playback with gaps would enter an audible break that's clearly not intended in the performance by Gould.

    But anyway, there are lots of classical compositions that are clearly intended to be performed without any break. Take the 2nd and 3rd movement of Beethoven's 5th piano concerto. Or the 3rd and 4th movements of his 5th and 6th symphony. Or some of the parts in Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition". In all cases a gap added in playback definitely goes against the structure of these compositions.

    Are you really calling listening to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon", "Wish You Were Here" or "The Wall" without any added gaps during playback a mere "listening preference for some people"? In that case I definitely am one of those people, because I can't accept listening to the examples I listed any other way than gapless and find it hard to imagine that most people wouldn't mind or at least notice these unintended gaps.

    In short, for me gapless playback is absolutely an essential feature in a playback device and I won't pay good money unless it's included. If that makes me part of a minority, so be it.
     
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  23. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    You're confusing a musician's idiosyncratic nature with a composer's written intent. Gould is only one of dozens of pianists who've tackled Goldberg Variations. Dinnerstein's interpretation is better, to me. So, to me, are the recordings by Landowska, and the later recordings by Serkin, Nikolayeva and Pinnock among others. Rests between variations. You're free to like Gould's versions better. I don't.

    You're confusing your preference for gapless playback with compositions that have been written without rests between movements. They're two different things. Nobody is suggesting that music recorded without rests between movements or sections should be listened to with added rests. A composer's presumable intent and a performer's interpretation are often different too, and I have no argument with that either. It's not a "trap for newbies" as you put it, to be satisifed with hearing a recording with the rests that the performer either recorded or played through.

    It's not a matter of being in a minority or majority! It's a matter personal preference only. But the absence of a gapless playback feature is certainly not a "trap for newbies".
     
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  24. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Location:
    Berlin, Germany
    I'm not confusing anything and which interpretation you or I prefer is not the point here. When I listen to Gould's performances (for whatever reason), I want to be able to listen to them as he recorded them.
    Again, no confusion on my part. But when you say that "Nobody is suggesting that music recorded without rests between movements or sections should be listened to with added rests" I wonder if you are somewhat confused about the gapless playback issue discussed here. Because that's exactly what happens when a playback device doesn't offer proper gapless playback. You get a short break (1 second or longer) between every track played. And it gets noticeable when two tracks segue into each other. You have to listen to the mentioned Beethoven movements with an added break (added by the playback device), very much against the intention of the composer and performers.

    You also seem to confuse me with Mike-48, who used the words "trap for newbies". But I kinda agree with him.
    Given the confusion surrounding this topic, it might be. ;) LPs and CDs have always been "gapless". Someone new to streaming might expect the same. I surely did.
     
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  25. Mike-48

    Mike-48 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    It's hard to add to what @wolfram has said already, but a few points.

    1. I think we need to define "gapless," as it's a technical term, and there may be confusion. (For example, I can't belive @Agitater considers gapless only a preference if he really knows music, as he seems to do, and also understands what gapless really means.) Gapless playback of a recording is playback without silence other than what one would hear on an LP or CD of the same performance. Gapless does not mean that silence at the beginning or end of recorded tracks is eliminated (a weird option of some music players). It means only that a recording is reproduced exactly as recorded, without added digital silence. I don't see how that can be relegated to "preference," any more than playing an LP at the correct speed is a preference.
    2. Some have pointed out that BWV 988 is usually played with pauses between the variations. OK! But during those pauses, on players that don't do gapless, the room ambiance and decay of the instrument's strings are jarringly interrupted by digital black, only to come back, equally jarringly, a couple of seconds later. That's not right! It's not musical, and it's not what you would hear in a concert. As @wolfram said, LPs and CDs have always been gapless. I'll add, it's a fair expectation for "high-end" music reproduction of any kind.
    3. @Agitater : "Nobody is suggesting that music recorded without rests between movements or sections should be listened to with added rests." It seems to me that anyone who call gapless capability a "preference" is saying exactly that. Worse -- digital silence is far more jarring than a rest.
    4. @Agitater : "the absence of a gapless playback feature is certainly not a "trap for newbies"." Newbies often assume that streaming will work at least as correctly as LP or CD. They are the ones who don't know to ask about gapless playback, and when they buy gear that doesn't work right, that's a trap.
    5. @Billy Budapest : "I wouldn't jump to any conclusions regarding gapless playback and products that haven't been released yet." Right, I wouldn't and I didn't, and I don't think anyone should -- either way. That's why I posted. I fell into that trap (with the PS Audio PWD/Bridge), and I don't want others to fall into it, too.
     

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