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Oppo Sonica DAC with flagship ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC

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

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  1. cyclistsb

    cyclistsb Forum Resident

    I've sampled Roon...which is the pinnacle of music apps IMO and used the OPPO Media Control which is borderline poor to ok. I think it is better than the OPPO Media Control...in all honest, I just use it to browse folders...I don't use the other features much. What I haven't figured out (or if it is supported) to change the sources on the Sonica between inputs...I have to manually do this, but it isn't often so not a big deal to me. Think its time to read the manual http://download.oppodigital.com/sonica/Manual/Sonica_App_Guide_V2.1_clickable.pdf :)

    The setup buttons are not easy to find, the UI is poor for adding a new device or setting up network. The "OK" button is hidden in the corner...but you should only need to do this once or twice. Also, it sets up the device on the network you phone/tablet is connected. So make sure you are on the fastest network before setup...my phone is typically on my 2.4 network for range and I couldn't see an option to add it to my 5G network until I just figure this out.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017
  2. centurymantra

    centurymantra New Member

    East Lansing, MI
    Good deal. Thanks again.
  3. Sigma6

    Sigma6 Forum Resident

    I have a feeling it's the whole Sonica range, which is a shame as I was looking to pickup the Wireless Speaker.
  4. toddrhodes

    toddrhodes Forum Resident

    South Bend, IN
    If they would support Roon via Ethernet (Roon Endpoint) on this, I'd very likely buy one.

  5. cyclistsb

    cyclistsb Forum Resident

    While I agree with the sentiment, let's be honest...Roon is expensive and the equipment to run Roon is expensive (using a NAS). For $800 DAC, it does quite a bit right...but yeah it would be nice to have it as an Endpoint.
  6. cyclistsb

    cyclistsb Forum Resident

    Just to kick start some discussions again on the Sonica, this was recently posted regarding the Sonica and some issues with jitter. A beta firmware has been released for testing.


    Please download and install the current beta firmware http://download.oppodigital.com/sonica-dac/Sonica-33-0505B/Sonica.bin using the upgrade instructions at: http://oppodigital.com/sonica-dac/sonica-firmware-33-0422.aspx

    PS And Roon may be back on the table for the Oppo Sonica DAC
  7. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    jamie anderson and Linger63 like this.
  8. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    Does Spotify Connect still work with the Sonica DAC?

    I cannot get spotify to connect to my Sonica DAC and the Oppo website for the Sonica DAC does not mention Spotify and Tidal streaming anymore.
  9. Agitater

    Agitater Forum Resident

    The product page still mentions Spotify and TIDAL. From the Sonica web page:

    "Convenient Control and Connectivity
    Sonica DAC is controlled via a dedicated app for smartphones and tablets, allowing you to easily find and access content from DLNA servers, connected USB drives, and streaming services such as Tidal and Spotify. (A smartphone or tablet running Android or iOS is required.)"

    It should still work fine. Reboot your smartphone or tablet, and reboot the Sonica.
    PATB likes this.
  10. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    Thanks @Agitater . Rebooting the sonica did not do it, but rebooting the router, ipad, sonica, and gateway fixed it. Now streaming xmas songs again!
  11. The Oppo Sonica DAC has two USB connections which will accept HDD's, if I understand correctly. One on the front and one on the back.

    I have the Oppo 105 and it also has such connections. On the Oppo 105, the max. size of the connected HDD was 2 TB. I am not sure if this size limit has been eliminated with a more recent firmware upgrade (I haven't tried it).

    My digital music collection is quite large in the meantime, maybe around 8 or 10 TB.

    I am considering the Oppo Sonica DAC for my system so that I can benefit from the upgraded DAC.

    What is the max. size of HDD which the Oppo Sonica DAC can handle. Would be nice if I could connect something larger than 2 TB.

    Thanks in advance.
  12. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Berlin, Germany
    Can't say for the Sonica, but my Oppo 105 handles my 6 TB HDD I occasionally connect with no problems.

    In the long run you might consider another solution though. Handling a large amount of files on a hard drive with just an Oppo app is not very comfortable.
    JediJoker and Hymie the Robot like this.
  13. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    There are no HDD size limitations.
  14. Is it a Windows or Mac formatted HDD?

    And what kind of formatting have you used?

    I have no problems using the Oppo app. I have all CD's etc. ripped each into one single audio file and i am using cue-sheets. I usually listen to complete albums, so the Oppo app has been working fine for me.
  15. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    I just tried a 4TB drive, windows formatted. It works, but I mainly stream from a Synology NAS. The drive is just a back up off the NAS.
  16. I don't have a LAN connection in my stereo room, only a WLAN receiver. I don't want to stream high-res music over WLAN, that is why I am using a local HDD connected to the Oppo and have to keep it that way for now.
  17. PATB

    PATB Forum Resident

    SF Bay Area
    I use the Sonica's WiFi -- more than good enough for music. Actually, I use the same WiFi to watch Netflix or YouTube on my Roku. Believe me, Wifi is more than fast enough for music (or even video).
  18. wolfram

    wolfram Slave to the rhythm

    Berlin, Germany
    I only have Windows computers, so I guess it's Windows formatted. I just had a look and it's formatted to NTFS.

    Hope that helps.
  19. cyclistsb

    cyclistsb Forum Resident

    I did have jitter and drop outs when using 2.4 wifi and DSD format files on my OPPO 105. Using 5G on my Sonica DAC no longer exhibits this behavior.
    JediJoker likes this.
  20. -=Rudy=-

    -=Rudy=- ♪♫♪♫♫♪♪♫♪♪ Staff

    I've read the technical reason is that the chipset Oppo uses does not and cannot support gapless playback. Having said that, I've also seen the "promises" from Oppo that they would fix the gapless playback bug in my BDP-105, and that never materialized. Now, they're offering the same "in the future" excuse for the gapless bug.

    Sorry, but they've now lost me as a customer. This is 2018, Oppo--seriously, no gapless? Play with the big boys, or go home.

    It grates on me now to be streaming from the network and have all of my classical music chopped up each time the track changes. Not that I care for these two works, but try listening to Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" or Bach's "Goldberg Variations", which are comprised of smaller movements...it's so nice :rolleyes: having those chopped up every two minutes with two to three second gaps. I don't listen to many live recordings (or much pop/rock anymore, for that matter), but consider a string of tracks, like the three on Face Value (Phil Collins), starting with "The Roof Is Leaking." Or, any medley with track changes. Nice, huh? I think not.

    The real shame here is that I've heard the Modwright version of the Sonica DAC on two occasions and it sounds stellar, and even the stock version sounds mighty good for the money. But after reading the same tired "maybe in the future" excuse one too many times now, it's crossed off the list.
    Mike-48 likes this.
  21. Via USB B-Type, my Oppo 105 plays gapless anything just fine.
    JediJoker likes this.
  22. Billy Budapest

    Billy Budapest Forum "Member" Thread Starter

    Gapless is certainly on the drawing board as Oppo has been able to implement workarounds in its other products. However, it does not seem to be a priority for the Sonica ecosystem, probably because not as many customers have requested it. I find it a little bit frustrating when listening to music that should play without gaps, but it’s not a dealbreaker for me. I can see how it would be for some people who have a lot of classical music or live music in their collections.
  23. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Portland, Oregon
    I have concluded that no one at Oppo cares anything about music.
  24. Bill Mac

    Bill Mac Forum Resident

    So. ME USA
    Yeah right :rolleyes:.
    trd likes this.
  25. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    The Sonica made the 2018 Editors’ Choice Awards in The Absolute Sound magazine, March 2018 issue:

    “This network streaming DAC from Oppo offers a vast variety of capabilities coupled with outstanding sound quality. It will play files from a NAS drive, computer, or a wireless source. A free Apple or Android remote app controls playback. The Sonica produces plenty of bloom and air around the outlines of instruments. The Sonica also splendidly portrays music’s forward momentum and dynamics.” Reviewed by Vade Forrester, and originally reviewed in TAS issue #278.

    Oppo Digital Sonica Network DAC

    Other DAC’s in the Sonica’s price range that made the Editors’ Choice list were; Channel Islands Audio Transient II ($699), NuPrime DAC-9 ($749) ad Rotel RDD-1580 ($799). The next DAC in the list is priced at $1,200 which is the Musical Surroundings Mydac II.

    I’m considering a new DAC to replace my Schiit BiFrost and the Sonica is at the top of my list. I understand it does not support gapless playback which is not a deal breaker for me. I’m more concerned with overall SQ than the silence between the SQ. I originally wanted to stay around the $500 pricepoint however it appears to me the Sonica is worth the extra money.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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