Oppo BDP-95 vs. BDP-105 — Sound Quality Comparison?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by '67 Chevy, Jun 11, 2013.

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  1. '67 Chevy

    '67 Chevy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ohio
    My old DVD player finally stopped working yesterday, and rather than buy a cheap temporary replacement, I may as well go ahead and upgrade to an Oppo. My CD player still works fine but it's also old, and I would like SACD capability, so one of the Oppos seems like the best choice.

    I have read that some people like the BDP-95 for stereo playback over the BDP-105, with comments saying the BDP-105 is just slightly "brighter" or "harder" sounding than the BDP-95. Others disagree and like the BDP-105 slightly better, but my ears are sensitive to "brightness" so I wanted to find out more about this.

    For frame of reference, I almost never like remastered CDs (with the exception of DCC, MFSL, AF or similar), due to loudness, compression, etc. When an audiophile reissue is not available, I usually prefer the earliest redbook mastering, and since I listen to mostly 60s & 70s music, usually that means CDs that were mastered in the mid to late 1980s sound better to my ears than mass-market remasters from the 1990s to the present.

    If it matters, I don't have a modern home theater surround amplifier or multi-channel capability, just a stereo pre-amp and amplifier set up with Magnepan 1.6QR speakers. The TV (for Blu-Ray) is the Sony Bravia SXRD KDS-55A3000.

    Does anyone here have experience with both Oppo players, and can comment on any differences in sonic character or sound quality between them? Or differences in video quality?
     
  2. detroit muscle

    detroit muscle Senior Member

    Location:
    Edinburgh
  3. '67 Chevy

    '67 Chevy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ohio
  4. '67 Chevy

    '67 Chevy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ohio
    It appears that the difference in sound quality claimed by some is due to the way the audio is allocated to the DAC(s). In the BDP-95, apparently in stereo mode all 8 channels in the DAC are used (4 for Left, 4 for right), but in the BDP-105, only two channels in one of the DACs are utilized for stereo, with the rest dedicated to other functions (headphone amp, I think, while the second DAC's 8 channels are dedicated to 7 + 1 surround, if I remember correctly).

    So from a design standpoint, it seems there's a lot more 'processor power' (for lack of a more correct way to say it) devoted to stereo sound on the BDP-95 than with the BDP-105.

    I probably didn't explain what I was trying to say very well, the following comments are supposed to be from an Oppo FAQ, but I couldn't find it on the Oppo website:


    ____________________________________________
    Q: On the BDP-95 the ESS9018 DAC was stacked 4-DAC channels per stereo Left and Right outputs channel. How are they configured on the BDP-105?

    A: 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.

    Q: Does the lack of non-4+4 DAC stacking affect the audio performance?

    A: During the initial design stage, OPPO simply continued the BDP-95 approach by stacking 4 pairs of DAC for each Left and Right channel. However due to the complexity brought in by the newly added headphone amp and USB DAC, OPPO could not achieve an ideal PCB layout. The analog specifications became slightly worse than the BDP-95 in this 4 stacked configuration. OPPO's audio engineers and consultants analyzed the problem and made many experiments to further enhance the quality of the analog output stage of the BDP-105. In the end, they decided that the only way to ensure maximum performance was to separate the current-to-voltage conversion stages for each output path. This change enables us to have a much cleaner PCB layout which minimizes interference and crosstalk. It also eliminates the possibility of the load on one output path affecting the other paths. The drawback is that BDP-105 now loses the benefits of the thermal noise cancellation by stacking 4 DACs. The engineers were able to make up for that by designing an improved power supply, optimizing the filter and drive stages, and beefing up the power and ground paths."
    ____________________________________________
     
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  5. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    SamS, any insights?
     
  6. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    I have had both, at the same time. I believe I wrote some general comparisons in the big 105 thread. Bottom line: 105 is indeed better, but may not be worth an upgrade from the 95 unless you want to take advantage of the 105's extra features.
     
  7. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Don't forget that the 95 has a cooling fan, which can be noisy under some conditions.
     
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  8. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    Claude,

    You bring up a very good point that many might overlook. I had an 83SE for a few years and the 95 (two week demo) in my system with the fan noise from both audible at 8' away. I have the 103 and it is real nice to not have a player without a fan.

    Bill
     
  9. '67 Chevy

    '67 Chevy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ohio
    Sam,

    I found the following comment in a Q&A:

    _____________________________________
    Q: Will both HDMI outputs support full resolution simultaneously and are they independently scalable?
    A: Yes, both HDMI outputs can support full resolution simultaneously provided that the display devices connected to the two HDMI ports can both support the full resolution. The two outputs can output different resolutions but are not independently scalable. As described in the answer to the previous question, the HDMI 1 output is driven by the Qdeo video processor and the HDMI 2 output is direct from the main SoC. In order to make it simple for customers to properly set up the player, we offer a choice of “Split A/V” or “Dual Display” for configuration the two HDMI outputs. When “Split A/V” is selected, HDMI 1 is the primary video port and HDMI 2 is the primary audio port. HDMI 1 outputs video at the highest possible resolution and mutes audio. HDMI 2 outputs video at a resolution that can sufficiently carry the best audio. This mode is intended for users who connect HDMI 1 to a projector and HDMI 2 to an A/V receiver. When “Dual Display” is selected, HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 take a “best effort” strategy and output an audio/video signal that is commonly compatible with the downstream devices connected to both ports. This mode is intended for simultaneously supporting two screens. When only one of the HDMI ports is in use, the “Split A/V” or “Dual Display” setting is not applicable.
    ______________________________________


    I need to use analogue outs to a standard stereo (non-surround, non-digital) pre-amp for music listening. The layout of the room is complicated, the TV sits facing one direction and my stereo system and speakers face 90° to my TV viewing position (directly to my right). The TV is separated from the stereo components by a measured cable length of about 23 feet. I don't have the TV hooked up to the stereo at the moment anyway, my old DVD player just sat under the TV and hooked up to the Sony SXRD 55" via R-G-B outs for video and RCA interconnects direct to the TV for audio.

    If I put the Oppo 105 in the stereo rack in place of my old Pioneer CD player, connect the 2-channel analogue outs to my pre-amp for music listening only, I should be able to listen to CDs and SACDs through my stereo just the same as I did with the Pioneer CD player. But when watching movies, if I run a 25" HDMI cable from the Oppo to the TV using the HDMI 1 connection on the Oppo, will I get the highest quality video resolution AND the "regular" TV speaker quality sound?

    Or will there be no audio at all going to the TV set in that configuration?
     
  10. I have NEVER had the fan kick in on my BDP-95. At least, I have never heard it kick in.
     
  11. sgb

    sgb Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baton Rouge

    I want ONLY analog outs. And, as Enid Lumley so rightly pointed out in TAS, there shouldn't even be a TV in one's listening room.
     
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  12. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    It's been debated to death in the Oppo thread.

    Some players are audible (mine was constantly louder than the PC and notebook in the same room), some are not.

    There is no such risk with the 105.
     
  13. '67 Chevy

    '67 Chevy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ohio
    No problem (for me) having a TV in the listening room, as long as the TV is OFF and the lights are low/off when I'm listening to music, and as long as the TV doesn't need to be turned on to navigate any CD/SACD player menus.

    I want ONLY analogue outs for listening to music too. :righton:

    But I don't want analogue outs for Blu-Ray video when I watch movies, because if I understand correctly, that would defeat the purpose.

    According to the Q&A in my previous post, if BOTH HDMI ports on the Oppo are used, the audio on HDMI 1 is muted. What I'm trying to understand is whether the HDMI 1 connection on the Oppo will transmit the highest picture quality possible to the Sony SXRD and transmit standard 2-channel movie audio that I can hear over my TV's standard internal speakers, as long as I don't use the second HDMI port, which I have no current use for anyway.
     
  14. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    I don't see a problem there, because that's how I frequently use my Oppo 93, when watching TV series on disc or old movies where the sound isn't great.

    I'm not sure though if the Oppo downmixes surround sound to stereo before sending the signal to the TV or if that is done by the TV itself. If that even matters ...

    The second HDMI port is useful for two reasons: to connect a second display (I use a PC monitor when playing music files with the Oppo, so I don't need to have the big TV on) or to connect a home cinema receiver that is not 3D compatible and cannot forward a 3D signal to a display. In that case, the picture will be sent directly to the 3D-compatible display on HDMI1 and the audio to the receiver on HDMI2.
     
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  15. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I had the 95 in my system twice and I heard the fan come on quite a bit. I sit about 8' from my open component rack and it was audible from that distance. It was about the same with the 83SE I had as well.

    Bill
     
  16. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    That scenario will work just fine. You'll use the 'Dual Display' option, which I believe is the default setting.
     
  17. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I guess Enid Lumley doesn't listen to DVD-As ;). Kind of a silly statement if you ask me. What is so bad about having a display in ones listening room?

    Bill
     
  18. KariK

    KariK Forum Resident

    Location:
    Espoo, Finland
    Same here. And the noise starts about after one hour when playing cds.
     
  19. Turnaround

    Turnaround Sunday afternoon tunes

    Location:
    USA
  20. rbbert

    rbbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    Reno, NV, USA
    I'm not sure what you mean by this. For the vast majority of setups using an Oppo 105, the sound will always be best coming from the players analog outs.
     
  21. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Not much comparison really, and the unusually unenthusiastic wording suggests the reviewer hardly heard a difference.

    "While the original BDP-95 did a fine job in this respect, I would say the BDP-105 sounds better still."

    And be warned: ;)

    "Second, the player’s sound is so unashamedly refined and sophisticated that you may feel inspired (if not compelled) to use top-tier interconnect cables that will wind up costing more than the player does."
     
  22. lv70smusic

    lv70smusic Senior Member

    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    For people with enough money to have a room dedicated to music listening, I agree that having less equipment in the room (particularly a large TV/monitor) will improve the sound.

    In the real world, however, many of us don't have the luxury of a separate room whose sole purpose is listening to music.

     
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  23. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    Location:
    KCMO Metro USA
    Regarding the fan noise, if you put the player (BDP-95) in pure audio mode (i.e., turn off the video output), the fan never comes on. At least, not in my system. If in "regular" mode, the fan comes on after the player heats up. I guess outputting video must really tax the processors and other ancilliary systems.
     
  24. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    Location:
    So. ME USA
    I used the Pure mode quite a bit with the 83SE and the 95. The fan still came on just about as often as when the Pure mode was not used in my system.

    Bill
     
  25. '67 Chevy

    '67 Chevy Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ohio
    Thanks Claude, I think you and Sam both answered my question, sounds like it should work fine for my unusual and currently less than optimal set-up.
     
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