But without listening to it (in a blind test) no one can say.
OTOH, it is always fun to speculate so my guess is that it will sound a lot better if it has a fancier case and is released on the date of the next harmonic convergence.
As ptss states, all you guys chasing the latest digital chipsets might consider that it is the power supplies in the Oppos, Marantz. Etc players that are holding back the sonics. Adding an Audio Magic Gen Zx clock and a Bybee DC power supply rail to your existing players will have these not-yet-released Mega-MIP players running for cover unless Oppo’s new one sufficiently addresses the power supply shortfalls of the 105.
There are lots of things that "improve" the sound of a player. The power supply has many parts. The Audio Magic thang is not a clock, by the way. It is a power filter and so is the Bybee thang. I have used both. I do like the Audio Magic thang. However, doing these things alone will bring very little change to a stock player. You really need to address the player as a whole: output stage, clocking, power supply to output stage, power supply to clock, power supply to DAC, raw DC supply, raw AC supply, damping, wires, jacks, etc. etc. Have been modding players and DACs for over 30 years. There are no shortcuts.
The rumor is that the new ESS DACs do indeed sound better, so I would imagine the stock 205 sounding a little better than a stock 105 (if it indeed has a 9038 DAC in it)......but without mods it will just be nice, nothing special. Yes, I will be modding all the new Oppos.
I cannot argue with any of your points, ricevs, nor do your points argue with mine, excepting possibly someone misconstruing your "Silly Boy" disposition toward my post as condescension toward two SOTA upgrades that are unanimously accepted by estabished modders and their customers for providing significant audible improvement.
Why that you post is if modding a player being a superior path is a source of contention with me, I am baffled. This was exactly my point. As you say, only after attacking the weaknesses in the power section will the improved dac make more than a small incemental difference in sound quality.
Check my Virtual System page if you have further doubts about my experience with and preference for modded digital sources. "I'm sure you will be more than satisfied", as Joe Pesci once said in My Cousin Vinny.
Best to you ricevs,
The mostly overwhelmingly positive reviews of the 105 were critical of leanness in the midrange, a trait shared by most "affordable" digital players. I found this to be true while auditioning a friend’s 105. This is likely attributed to a suboptimal power stage IME as the digital section is TOTL. Even Dan Wright commented on how good the digital section of the 105 is sans modification, so the improvements of the MW 105 version are primarily in the power supply/power filtering (external with a large toroidal transformer) and, of course, adding the tube sections to the player’s output stage and to the power supply.
No experience with the 103.
Best to you Randy,
The power supply in the 105 has a switching supply for the digital section. One of the things I do is change this to a linear supply. This makes everything better, including the picture. The power supply for the DAC system is OK but nothing great. I update the diodes in the power supply, change a bunch of caps, add WA quantum chips to caps and the DAC and update the clock on the DAC to a low jitter clock. I change the output stage completely to a zero feedback fet buffer running off my own custom shunt regulators. I also do extensive mods to the transport mechanism that no one else does or would even try. Check out my 105 mod page for details.
If you are looking for an all in one than a modded 205 could be good but as a DAC there are better options. For instance, my level 1.5 modded Gustard X20U Pro ($525 for the mod) simply kills my modded Oppo 105 ($1800 mod!). Hopefully, I can make the new Oppo Sonica DAC sound almost as good as the modded Gustard because it costs about the same and has a lot more features (wireless streaming, phone app., usb input for hard drives). We shall know soon.
The 103 has only a switching supply whereas the 105 also added a linear power supply for the DACs and output stages.