This is a beautiful Oppo 105 in good condition with
several mods including a new linear power supply that really transforms the Oppo. (With these mods, this Oppo 105 will sound better than the 205 which is going for a lot of $$$ these days).
The big improvement you get in sound quality with the ultra expensive digital players is often mostly in the well designed power supply. The Oppo 105 has great sound and video capability but it's chief weakness in stock form is the power supply. When powered by a proper high end linear power supply, the player really opens up and becomes more dynamic. In short, it sounds like an ultra high end player, which it now is. The stock Oppo 105 sounds tubby and sluggish compared to this modified unit.
Besides a complete removal of the stock power supply, and an installation of a new low noise Linear power supply, this unit also has a bypass of the 220v selector to give a direct power feed. A new Hifi Tuning audiophile fuse is installed. Additional chassis damping has been applied (the kind that is used in car panels that reduces vibrations and noise).
All video and audio qualities are improved and refined. True high end on a
budget. It includes remote, original packing and streaming stick. It sounds amazing.
(this unit can be used to drive an amplifier directly through XLR or RCA output with volume control on the remote.)
I am also an authorized dealer for PS Audio, Oracle, Resonessence, COS Engineering
Verastarr, Magnus, and Canary Audio. Paypal or CC adds 2.9%.
Admittedly, I’m a little late to the game when it comes to reviewing
the Oppo BDP-105D. It is Oppo ‘s flagship Blu-ray player or maybe it
would be more accurately be described as a digital media player.
According to Oppo, “The Oppo BDP-105 is designed from the ground up
with components optimized for enhanced analog audio performance. The
Oppo BDP-105 features an all-new analog audio stage powered by two ESS
Sabre32 Reference Digital-to-Analog Converters (DAC), balanced (XLR)
& unbalanced (RCA) dedicated stereo outputs, a Toroidal linear power
supply, and asynchronous USB DAC input. These high-grade components are
housed in a rigidly constructed metal chassis and work together to
deliver exceptionally detailed and accurate sound quality along with
reference quality video.” Believe it or not, the Oppo-105D actually
has a lot more features than that, but equally important to me is that
it works great as a straightforward disc player.
The reason I’m a little late to the party is that I just never took
this product all that seriously; shame on me. Then, back in March, I was
over at Constantine’s place, and he was playing his Esoteric K-03
SACD/CD player and 32-bit USB DAC, using the Esoteric G-01 rubidium
clock. Then, just for the heck of it, he said, let’s listen to a couple
of SACDs on the Oppo. To say I was shocked is an understatement. It was
literally a jaw dropping experience.
I owned one of the early Oppo players, and while it sounded very,
very good for the money, nothing about its build quality, packing or
even its sound said “high-end.” Well, that’s changed, almost everything
about the 105D says high-end in an understated way. It is a world-class
product, from the casework to the thoughtful packaging. If I hadn’t
known the price, I would have thought I was unpacking a five-figured
priced player. This Oppo feels like something very expensive as you
unpack it and hold it in your hands.
Thankfully, the Oppo BDP-105D has a very thorough and
easy-to-understand owner’s manual that guides you through all of the
setup procedures. The remote is good enough, but I ended putting mine
back in the box. I loaded the free, downloadable app for Android or iOS
users on my iPhone. I found this much easier and more convenient than
the remote. The menus are easy to read, and the app separates
functionality into three screens that you just stroll through, and with
my iPhone the unit responded quicker to the app than it did to the
remote. This turned out to have one downside, when a firmware update
comes along it updates on the app and won’t work until you update the
firmware on your unit. So, I guess you need to keep the remote out for
Oppo Digital is a very interesting company; it is an independently
operated division of Oppo. Founded in 2004, it is based in Mountain
View, California and quickly became known in the audio industry for the
sound of their universal DVD and Blu-ray disc players. Almost from the
start, their players were highly respected as being so close in sound to
the very best digital that often in audio shows they would be the
source in very expensive systems.
Just looking at all those specifications, and I only shared the audio
ones, is enough to show why I don’t like using modern digital devices.
At least when I looked at the back panel, I actually thought I could
hook everything up. Still, this explains one of the reasons I really
like units like my little 47 Laboratory Midnight Blue
player, or one of the Audio Note digital devices. Because you just drop
in a disc and play music. Oh, it doesn’t hurt that they sound great.
Well, the good news is you can do this with the Oppo if all you want to
do is use it as a player. Even better, you can drop in almost any kind
of disc including SACDs and it just plays them. One of the best things I
can say about setting up the Oppo BDP-105D is that you have to work
hard to mess things up.
If you’re a music lover who has music on lots of different files,
this is the player for you. It uses a 24-bit/192-kHz DAC that lets you
play all the digital downloads in your music collection. It is even
capable of playing DSD files from any optical or USB storage device. It
also did an excellent job of streaming TIDAL’s high-rez files.
What else do you get in the heavy black or silver box? In my
video/digital system, I was able to plug my DirecTV box into it, as well
as using an Ethernet cable to hook it up to my network. So the only
other thing I needed in the system was a power amp. By the way, I should
mention that I not only used the Oppo BDP-105D in both my video/digital
system and my reference system, but I expect I’m going to buy two of
these. I want a black one for my video/digital system and a silver one
for my reference system.
In My Digital/Video System
I started the Oppo BDP-105D in my video system for break-in and to
see what the picture would look like. My system consists of a 65-inch
Sony XBR 4K TV, an Electrocompaniet PI 2D Prelude Integrated Amplifier,
DirectTV HiDef DVR. The Electrocompaniet is driving a pair of Audience
ClairAudient 1+1 V2+ Loudspeakers and TBI Audio Systems Magellan VIP su
Active Subwoofers. The speaker cables in this system are Audience for
speaker cables and digital. The interconnects are Teresonic Clarison
cables. I used the Oppo with the stock power cord.
I started only using the Oppo as a movie player. I was shocked by how
much better the picture was than my Marantz player. Even more
surprising to me was how much better it sounded than the Marantz which
was serving as a transport for the excellent DAC in the Electrocompaniet
PI 2D. I would eventually use the Oppo as the media player for the DVR
and for all the music and videos available on our house server. It
sounded best using the Electrocompaniet just as an integrated amp. I
also used it both with the wonderful Audience ClairAudient 1+1 V2+
speakers and the new Fritz Carrera BE.
The biggest compliment I can give the Oppo BDP-105D is that it is the
only digital player I have had in the digital/video system that I have
been able to sit and listen to for a long periods of time without
deciding to go downstairs and listening to the reference system. Until
now, I have mainly used this system for TV, movies and background music
when I’m cooking. This has not been the case with the Oppo BDP-105D in
This video system is not setup for listening from a sweet spot, but
for group enjoyment. Thus, I’m not going to get into talking about
audiophile sound in this part of the review. I simply want to say that
this system has never sounded this good and I have always had high
regard for the DAC in the Electrocompaniet, which is what the server,
the Marantz Blu-ray player and the DirecTV box were playing through. The
sound has less of a digital edge, is fuller, has more tonal color and
more detail. It is especially better than the Electrocompaniet when it
comes to air and spatial information. In this system, I felt the bass
was powerful with nice air and decay. Voices, both mail, and female
sounded really natural with great air and space around them. This was
true of solo voices, small ensembles or even choral works.
I think it is safe to say this is the best this video system has ever
sounded, and I know it’s the best picture I have seen, except for the
few 4K videos I have. What a great media player for a fair price. It
fits perfectly into a system designed to play for a group of people
whether we are watching movies, sports or listening to music. What more
can you ask for? Well, let’s see how it does in the reference system.
In My Reference System
I want to state from the start that I have not found my Teresonic
speakers very friendly to Redbook CD. Mike Zivkovic, the president of
Teresonic, disagrees with me on this point and often uses digital
sources at shows. My reference system consists of Teresonic Ingenium
speakers driven by the Pass Labs XA30.8 pure class-A stereo amp. The
linestage duties are carried out by an Emia Remote Autoformer. All the
cabling is High Fidelity CT-1 Ultimate Reference.
So, there are some significant upgrades going on. I plugged a $13,500
High Fidelity power cable into the Oppo, feeding from a $9,000 HB Cable
Design PowerSlave Marble power distributor. The interconnect between the
Oppo and the Emia was a pair of $13,000 High Fidelity CT-1UR.
By the time I put it in this system, the Oppo BDP-105D had over 500
hours on it, so I had seen no need for any break-in time. I started by
listening to some SACDs and DSD downloads, and I was impressed. This was
the best sound I had heard from digital in the reference system. It was
big, bold, full of tonal colors, and not the least bit bright or
stringent sounding. The soundstage was wide and deep with lots of superb
spatial information with lots of natural sounding air.
The initial attack of instruments, especially string instruments, was
quick and decisive. The decay had just enough air to sound natural and
full. Woodwinds had the kind of air around and within them that sounded
very natural as well.
The first SACD I listened to was Hilary Hahn’s Bach – Concertos
with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. I so wish more of her LPs were
on vinyl. This SACD has been one of my favorites for some time. The Los
Angeles Chamber Orchestra sounds very good on this recording, but the
real star here is Hilary and her beautiful sounding violin. There are
many ways to play and interpret Bach, but I find hers very captivating.
It’s sweet, beautiful and just a touch playful like when I had the
privilege of hearing her live. The violin through the Oppo BDP-105D has a
wonderfully full and sweet sound.
The next SACD I played was Seiji Ozawa conducting Bartok’s Concerto
for Orchestra. The first four cuts on this SACD are Bartok’s Music for
Strings, Percussion, and Celesta. I have listened to this many times on
multiple SACD players, CD players and vinyl. I was pleasantly surprised;
this was the best I had ever heard this performance on a digital
source, and it was very close to a good vinyl source. The dynamics, the
micro-dynamics, the power of the bass and the vastness of the soundstage
was very impressive for any source at any price.
I shifted to jazz and played Ella and Louis; the special
edition Verve is a beautiful Japanese SACD. Again, on this recording,
the voices were right there. The sound was immediate, and I could hear
all the air around their voices. Both Ella and Louis have their own
space even though it is a mono recording, and they are recorded very
close to each other. The only way I have heard this recording sound
better was on the 45rpm vinyl version.
I wish I could be as positive about the Redbook CD but I can’t. They
still sounded digital in that they were a little hard and
strident-sounding compared to SACD, DSD file or LP. This wasn’t the case
in the upstairs system, especially with the Fritz Carrera BE speakers
in the system. So, I don’t want to be too hard on the Oppo BDP-105D in
this regard since I began by saying my reference system with the
Teresonic Ingenium speakers is not very friendly to Redbook CD. I have
to be honest though, when listening to Redbook CDs in the reference
system I preferred the denser sound of my 47 Lab Midnight Blue CD
player; but in the upstairs system, I preferred the Oppo over the 47 Lab
even with CDs. SACDs on the 105D were in a whole different league, as I
said: The best digital sound I have heard in either system for any
amount of money.
There are a lot of different things to say and ways to look at the
Oppo BDP-105D. The Oppo user’s manual is the best I’ve seen, and let’s
be honest, with a piece of gear that can do so many different things
that is very important. When it comes to setting up this kind of gear I
feel like a novice, but their manual made the whole experience easy
enough for a novice like me. If there is something you can’t figure out
from the operating manual, you can simply pick up the phone and call,
and you get a real human who will immediately hook you up with a
technical person who can walk you through any issue.
Then, there are all the ways you can use an Oppo. I purchased one in
black for my upstairs system. I hooked everything into it and then ran
the outputs to the Electrocompaniet integrated amp. TV pictures,
especially 1080i, and Blu-rays look much better than I have experienced
before. The sound from the many stored files, especially hi-def files
and even more so DSD sounded incredible in that system. I did prefer
setting the volume on the Oppo all the way up and using the volume on
the Electrocompaniet, which was a little better.
The Oppo isn’t just for a home theater or secondary system. If you
have a good library of SACDs or DSD files, then this unit brings you a
long way toward a state-of-the-art player for any system at any price.
In fact, I believe that in most high-end audio systems, the Oppo
BDP-105D will be one of the best digital sources you will find.