Classe SSP 800's DAC vs Oppo 105's DAC


Hello,
I am wondering which is a superior sounding DAC for listening to CD? The DAC in the Oppo 105 or the DAC in the Classe SSP 800 preamp processor? 

I have the Oppo 105 connected via Transparent Premium HDMI cable to my Classe SSP 800 in my dedicated home theater room. My power amps are : Classe CAM 600 monoblocks (pair) to power front speakers; Classe CAM 300 monoblock (single) to power a center speaker; Classe CA-5300 multi-channel amp to power the surround speakers. Doing 7.1 setup. 
My front speakers are B&W 800 D3, B&W HTM1 D3 center, B&W 804 D3 & 805 D3 used for surrounds. 

I'm using these gears strictly for home theater, bluray movies mostly but occasionally I wanted to spin some red book CD in this home theater room.
I do have a dedicated stereo setup in a separate dedicated 2ch listening room that consists of completely different equipments and speakers. And I use this 2ch room to listen to music (hi-rez PCM/DSD, SACD & CD. My 2ch equipments in this dedicated 2ch room are of much higher qualities than my Classe/B&W gears in my home theater room. 

So back to my dedicated home theater room setup....before I purchase a pair of xlr balanced analog interconnects to connect my Oppo 105 to my Classe SSP 800 I wanted to know which has superior sounding DAC for listening to CD, the DAC in the Oppo 105 or the DAC in the Classe SSP 800 preamp processor? So far I've only been using the Oppo 105 strictly as a bluray player for bluray disc playbacks only via HDMI to my Classe SSP 800. I never got to try the quality of the DAC in the Oppo 105.
Again this would be for occasional listening to cd.

Thanks in advance.


caphill
C'mon.  Buy/borrow a pair of XLRs (or lend them to yourself from your other system) and try it yourself.  It's the only way for you to know.
I have a ssp800 and oppo105.   The oppo105 is superior imo, however i agree with kr4, borrow some xlrs and listen for yourself.  Happy Listening!
rshad0000, is your Oppo 105 modded or standard? If it was modded I'm pretty sure the modded Oppo 105 would sound superior to the Classe SSP 800. 
I just snagged a pair of XLR analog cables from my own HT setup, the ones that connect the SSP 800 to the amp drive drives the surrounds and plugged them in between my Oppo 105 and the SSP 800 and set the SSP 800 in analog stereo bypass mode and have been listening to some stereo CDs in my dedicated HT room. This was the first time I listened to stereo CD in my HT room. 
I also played some SACD through the Oppo 105. FYI, my Oppo 105 isn't modded as I don't feel a need to because I'm only using this system for strictly HT. 

Anyways, both DACs sounded pretty good and IMO the SSP 800 is slightly superior but not by much. IMO the Classe was a bit more refined and smoother overall. The difference wasn't large. That was just my own observations and subjective opinion. As a matter of fact, I was using better quality XLR analog cables than my Transparent Premium HDMI cable that's used between the Oppo and the SSP 800. I was using the Transparent XL Reference XLR analog cables to connect the Oppo 105 105 to the SSP 800 during comparison session. I would have to say that the Oppo 105 is a bargain and offers great value for what it does. 

So rshad0000, I was curious if your Oppo 105 is a modded unit cause you said that the Oppo 105 was superior to the SSP 800.  

Now I'm a bit tempted to borrow a pair of Transparent Opus XLR analog interconnects from my own dedicated stereo listening room to patch between the Oppo 105 and the SSP 800 and see how it would perform or sound. 

rshad0000, is your Oppo 105 modded or standard? If it was modded I'm pretty sure the modded Oppo 105 would sound superior to the Classe SSP 800.
Why would you presume that an unspecified modification would make the 105 superior or, indeed, make any difference at all?

People usually have their gears modified for the better, right? I've heard from a lot of people who have their Oppo 105 modded and they claimed that they sounded significantly better than the stock Oppo 105.

I've personally never experienced it myself. 

Two comments:

(1)  After spending the money for a mod, isn't it likely the spender would feel compelled to think the mod improved the sound?

(2)  The sound with a 205 is superior to that with a 105, so that might be the place to spend money.

Stereo from my 105 is both HDMI and XLR to a Bryston SP3, and passed through a Parasound JC 2 BP to JC 1 monoblocks.  I'm not sure which sounds better, but I use an Esoteric SA-60 for music in that setup.

db


I agree with 'dbphd' 2nd comment, the newer Oppo's 203 and 205 have much better DAC's than any of the previous generation models. 

The Oppo 'Modwright' Mod is whole another level for 2 ch purist and I would not recommend this upgrade with SSP800/CAM600 unless you plan to use modded Oppo in a dedicated 2 ch setup. 

You have a very nice HT setup; If you plans to upgrade video to 4K, I would lean towards switching out 105 with 205. 

First of all, my tv isn't 4k. I'm still using the Pioneer Kuro 1080p. 
I'm not going to mod my Oppo 105 as I'm only using this setup mostly for playing or watching bluray aka home theater. Occasionally I just need to spin CD through the Oppo 105 in my dedicated HT room. This room isn't for 2ch music listening sessions. So I'm not really compelled to have my Oppo 105 modded. 

I have a dedicated stereo setup in a separate 2ch listening room used for listening to 2ch music only. In this dedicated 2ch room I'm using the following equipments : 
* DCS Vivaldi stacks which consists of a master clock/streamer unit, upsampler unit, DAC unit, SACD/CD unit.
* Linn LP12 Klimax version turntable with all Klimax upgrades & accessories that includes : Linn Ekos SE tonearm, Linn Kandid mc cartridge, Linn Urika phonostage fitted internally, 2x Linn Radikal power supply units, one for the TT and the other one for the Urika phonostage preamp, Keel machined sub-chasis and armboard, Trampolin suspended aluminium base board integrated.
* Dan D'Agostino Momentum stereo analog linestage preamp.
* Dan D'Agostino Momentum M400 monoblock amps (2pairs) in bridge mode
* Wilson Audio Alexx speakers. 

Question for you guys regarding the subwoofer in my HT room. Currently I'm using a JL Audio Gotham sub. Do you think I should sell my Gotham and get 2 smaller sized JL subs for my HT system. My SSP 800 can be configured to use 3 subs. The HT room is rather large (40×60). 
Btw, my DCS Vivaldi CD/SACD transport unit is based on Esoteric transport.

Your 40 x 60 room is really large and doesn't have many bass cancellation problems, except for right dab in the middle. 

http://amroc.andymel.eu/?l=60&w=40&h=8&ft=true&r60=0.6

Based on this, there is a lot of low frequency room nodes right in the middle.  If you feel that you are getting full and good amount of bass, then you are probably okay with one Gotham.  Generally it is the very small rooms (like 10 x 17) that have bass cancellation problems.

That being said, having 2 subs will definitely help reduce any bass cancellation further.  3 subs will be better.  You could sell your one Gotham and get two or three Fathom F113 subs (same 13" woofer).  And place them left/right or even left/center/right.

Or look into SVS PB-16 Ultras if you want really low earth shaking bass.  They are cheaper than JL Audio.

Yes, my Oppo is a EVS modded 105.
I might add another JL Gotham sub in my HT room.
@caphill,

With a 2 ch stack like that next door; you will not be able to achieve that level of satisfaction in your HT room from a stock Oppo 105 :-)

Given your exquisite taste in components, Modwright Oppo 205 is the only way to go in your HT room, IMHO. 

Cheers! 

Some people are just never satisfied no matter how exquisite and expensive their setup is. 
I use my Oppo 105 stock to stream Tidal directly to Krell 300i integrated amp using XLR balanced. using iPad to browse and control. Super easy and sound is super.

lalitk,

Of course, I'm not expecting the same level of 2ch audio performance in my HT room as the one I have in my dedicated 2ch room. They aren't at the same level of sonic fidelity. From time to time I just wanted to listen to 2ch music in my HT room. But again I will not be purchasing an expensive stereo source somponent in this HT room since the main usage of this HT room is movies (bluray). I might purchase the Oppo 205 once I upgrade to a 4k tv or 4k projector display pretty soon. Still loving my Pioneer Kuro plasma (1080p) tv though. Great picture quality.


lalitk,

Actually the Classe SSP 800 is very good when used as a stereo analog preamp in stereo analog bypass mode, especially coming from an AV processor. I tried it in my dedicated 2ch listening room yesterday for the first time. I swapped my Dan D'Agostino Momentum stereo linestage preamp with the SSP 800 and use the SSP 800 as a stereo analog preamp. It did not perform at my D'Agostino preamp level but it isn't fair comparison to begin with trying to compare a $40k stereo preamp with a $9500 av pre pro. But the SSP 800 did not embarrass at all. 

It kinda took me by surprise and I can easily recommend the SSP 800 for someone looking for a great sounding quality pre pro that can excel in both stereo and home theater.  

I used to own all Classe Delta system, including SSP-800.  It was traded for a Krell Evolution 707 processor which in my opinion have a much better multi-ch / 2 ch analog sound among any processors currently available in the market.  

Unfortunately, high end Audio / Video processors are now dead or obsolete. Hang on to SSP-800 as long as you can :-)
I've heard great things from other people about the Krell Evo 707 processor but it is much more expensive than the SSP 800 though. If I'm not mistaken I think it did retail for around $30k when purchased new. IMO for an AV pre pro costing that much it usually would perform really well in both 2ch and surrounds. 

I am planning to get a dolby atmos & dts-x equipped HT processor and am looking into Datasat or Theta Casablanca or perhaps the new Lyngdorf MP-50 processor that was recently introduced. I am also considering the Meridian Reference 861 v8 but will wait till Meridian releases the new modular board that will support dolby atmos, dts-x etc. Do you think the Krell Evo 707 will upgrade its audio & video boards to accommodate dolby atmos, dts-x etc in the near future? Is the Evo 707 still in production by any chance? Cause I couldn't find it on Krell website anymore and we don't have a single Krell dealer in our area. 
My local dealer sells Dan D'Agostino but not Krell any longer. They used to carry Krell in the past when Dan was still with Krell. It's where I purchased my Dan D'Agostino Momentum gears at. 



caphill,

The 707 is no longer in production. Like Classe, Krell has also moved to more value priced range since Dan’s departure. I seriously doubt if they upgrade the 707 with latest codec’s and 4K video board.

In my 7.1 setup, 707 sounds phenomenal. I honestly don’t feel the need for an audio upgrade as much visual upgrade. I am going to buy a 4K projector once prices are bit more competitive.

Thanks for sharing your picks on processors. You should also add Trinnov Altitude to your list.

Cheers!



lalitk,
I did suspect so cause the Evo 707 is longer on the Krell website. The only HT processor currently offered by Krell is the Foundation. 
Eventually I want to go dolby atmos & dts-x setup in the near future but currently waiting for more processors that will support them. And when that happens I will need to add more multi-channel amp and of course speakers. 

Are you doing hybrid setup or do you have separate rooms and setup for each 2ch and home theater? What are the rest of your equipments and speakers? 

In regards to a 4K projector for your HT setup I would highly recommend Sony. 

Classe is bringing out a new pre-amp at the start of 2018 it will be called delta ssp and will do all the new formats 
I’ve been on a fence for getting a used PreAmp for over 4-5 yrs now. However my budget is very low ~$2000, especially after reading about some of you guys’ setup & investment.

My Setup: Oppo 105, Parasound Halo A51 amp, Tyler Acoustic Linbrook System II for L, R, C; JBL S312 for Surround, & SVS 2039 PC Plus sub, connected to Panasonic ZT60 plasma (1080p). I primarily watch movies but also love music that emphasizes on vocals (80/20). That’s why I’m leaning more towards tube or tube sounding preamps that can also provide 5 channel balanced XLR output. Also Video processing is not a priority.

I’ve shortlisted SSP-800, Krell S-1200U or HTS 7.1, Anthem AVM-50V or D2V, McIntosh MX series (don’t know a specific model yet), etc. Modded Oppo 105 may not be an option because I think most enhances Stereo but don’t affect HT setup much.

After reading some of the comments above, I’m still not clear:
@ caphill: "... Both DACs (Oppo 105 & SSP 800) sounded pretty good and IMO the SSP 800 is slightly superior but not by much. IMO the Classe was a bit more refined and smoother overall. The difference wasn’t large..."
@ lalitk: "... Modwright Oppo 205 is the only way to go in your HT room, IMHO ..."

Is it worth spending $2000 for a slight improvement on SSP-800 or go with Modded 205 or something else?
Some additional info for you all.  I recently discovered that 2 channel PCM through HDMI is really bad.  Sound is compressed without dynamics and tends to be shouty in the upper midrange (due to clock/jitter issues with spdif through hdmi).  You will get highly superior sound quality by using a really good digital coax cable from your Oppo (or other Blu-ray player).