Is the Oppo-105 with Modwright modifications

As good as they say it is. I was talking to a dealer today and he said you can't have a state of the art product when you start with crap. He said the Saber DAC's were junk and I'd be wasting my money doing the Modwright upgrades. On the other hand I have heard people rave about it. What is your take on this player and the Modwright upgrades? Am I better off buying a high-end used CD player without a warranty. I like the Idea of a modded player but I don't want to be disappointed and take a big loss.
One respected opinion in the community:

I have the 95; it's a steal at full asking price. Would upgrade to the 105 in a heartbeat if I hadn't just bought the 95.
Gen. Custer to Little Big Man: Muleskinner, what do you think? Should I go down there (Little Big Horn)?

Little Big Man: You go down there, Gen. You go down there are you and all of your men will be slaughtered.

Gen. Custer: I see what you're trying to do, Muleskinner, you're trying to make me think I shouldn't go down there, but the subtle truth is you actually DO want me to go down there.
I'm using the stock 105 for audio. I think it's an incredible value given the price and performance. As a transport, its better than Bel Canto CD-2 it replaced. I also use it as a pre-amp. It does a fine job in that capacity as well. Oppo just added DSD support with a beta firmware release. Cost - $0. As far as upgrades are concerned (Modwright or others), you will probably lose 75% of the value. If your decision criteria is only about ROI, don't bother.
Since sound and taste and all the other things we discuss here are all so
subjective, I doubt that you will get an answer that is not subjective and
therefore of little use to you.

These types of questions just end up going in circles to nowhere. As you
know from being on here so often, the Oppo units are a favorite by a large
margin. Your dealer made a foolish and opinionated comment and should
not be taken as a fact. I would wonder why he called one of the best selling
and most widely used components at this years AXPONA

I heard the Oppo many , many, many times with $5k to $300k of
equipment. I cannot say that about any other CD/SACD/DVD-A/Blu-Ray
player from ANY manufacturer!

If it is crap then the majority of audio industry demonstrations must be in
collusion with the Oppo company. Lol!

Was this a serious question or are you just trying to be provocative? :-)
WOW would I NEVER listen to this dealer again. The '105 is one of the best-sounding SACD players money can buy and is maybe a quarter of the average price of the other SACD players that MIGHT be its equal. It uses the best DACs that money can buy...the SAME DAC, ESS's Saber32, that other hi-end DACs costing 2 to 4 times the price of the entire Oppo discplayer.

But don't believe me or other owners, read all the reviews.
Tom 6897,

This is a serious question.

Are you saying I will lose 75% of the Modification if I don't like it and have to sell?
Taters the Modright Oppo 105 is one of the best sounds you will get out of digital. It is so close to the best of analog. If you worry about resale you will never own some of the best products on the market. This goes for other electronics as well. The point is when the product is great you will not want to sell it and you don't have to worry about resale. Digital products in general don't have great resale because of the nature of the market.
I believe the actual question was to compare the stock Oppo 105 to a Oppo 105 Modwright mod. The Modwright mod adds $2,295 to the Oppo 105's list price of $1,200. I heard one comment saying "The ModWright 105, IMHO, is the best sounding source I have heard in my system". I am considering the Oppo 105 (like SACD option) and cannot decide if I should get the stock Oppo 105, the Modwright mod or the Upgrade Company mod ($1,399 Signature Edition).

Unfortunately, I cannot audition all three in my living room. As per the question above, my gut reaction says to buy the stock Oppo 105 and listen before you spend money for either upgrade. Most likely, I will keep my Ayre CX-7eMP player and just listen. Has anyone heard all three units? Comments?
The Oppo is not going to weigh as much or have as solid a feel as a high-end player. If microsonics is important to you and heavy metal construction is a priority i don't think $1200 is going to get you there. The DAC has to be incorporated into a component with a well-designed analog stage, 1st class connectors on the back, isolated power supplies, etc. OTOH, cdp's have come a very long way since the Sony SCD-1 player was introduced, and as has been observed by so many, Oppo has overcome many of the price/performance barriers that used to separate the high end from mass-produced units.
The 105 is however has more "video" refinements over the 95, and i wouldn't want to call it a SOTA 2-channel player by everyone's definition.
as far as Modwright alterations go, you're looking at an outboard power supply, an umbilical, and tubes protruding from the top of the player. their
reputation is very good but by the time you consider getting the best umbilical vs the stock wire, various power cords, different tubes, etc., that should be a set-up you really are going to want pretty badly (or not).

If the modded 105 is the best source you have ever heard in your system why not sell the Ayre player and get it. I'm sure you can get good money for your Ayre player.
Well Taters it seems you have received a few philosophical/anedotal comments, one quite funny, thanks for that Geoffkait and SO FAR only ONE real world informed opinion. I think you ask a very valid question unfortunately I'm not sure you formatted it a way that would elicit the response I think you are looking for, which might be how does the Modwright stack up against digital in its price range and above? Your dealer sounds a bit angry and maybe even more frustrated, after all, how many Modwrights can he sell? Any good designer of digital knows what is MOST important is the power supply and output stage, not the chip. The issue with the chip, as far as I'm concerned is that is used in less expensive compromised designs so it might be easy to pass on the blame to it.

I've come to the conclusion that so far as my experience in budget digital is concerned, the Oppo 95 superceded by the 105 is the BEST digital product you can buy for money spent considering all it offers. The 2-channel analog output compares favorably if not the most preferable to 4 different DACs I have compared it to directly and extensively. When I say budget, up to 2.1K and THAT particular DAC was clearly the best of the lot but still not even close to "analog like", nice but still clearly digital and thats ok, they are two different formats but GOOD digital DOES sound more like analog.

I think it is VERY telling that the Modwright Oppo 105 was used in numerous set-ups at Axponia as noted by Tom7897. I would imagine that it is a considerable step up from stock and the budget competition. I wasn't at Axponia this year but someone I know was and he seemed overall impressed by the systems using the Modwright. Of course this does not really help in deciding what he LIKED about what he heard, unfamiliar systems and all that entails.

I too am like you, I would like informed comparative opinions concerning this mod and how it stacks up with the competition in its price range and above, real world opinions in familiar systems. It seems JWM is the biggest advocate I've seen so far in comparing it to the best, anyone else?


You are right, I did not word it right. You obviously understood what I was trying to say. Thanks for pointing that out.
Tubegroover I owned the Playback Designs CD player that retails for 17,000.00. The build quality and sturdiness was out of sight. Guess what, the Modright Oppo 105 kicked its ass in every sound category. I have heard the best DCS, Wadia, Esoteric, Meitner, and to me I would still choose the Modright. The only separate DAC and Transport that I think is better is the 4 stacked MSB which I think sells for 60,000.00.

Do you currently have the Oppo 105 modded? I would like to find someone that has this unit so I could listen to it. Preferably in my system. Of course I would be ok hearing it somewhere else if need be. I just don't want to do a crap shoot in the dark. I would be a lot more comfortable hearing it first. I have talked to the people at Modwright and they are very nice.

If someone in Southern California would let me audition this unit I would be happy to pay you for you're time.
You ask if you'd be better off buying a used CD player
I guess if you don't need or want DVD-A, SACD, Bluray audio or a Dac a used CD player may be the ticket for you
I just ordered the EVS modded Oppo 105
Will let you know how it does against my Ayon CD-2 and my EasterN Electric mini max plus
I hear you Taters, I am just exhausted with budget digital and want to step up but I've got to hear first, no shots in the dark if I'm going to lay out more money. I want to hear first preferably in my system but any familiar system would give me some idea. Otherwise I would probably look at a used unit to minimize loss if things don't work out.

Jwm, you also had the Modwrighted Sony SCD-XA5400ES and Oppo 95 correct? It seems you felt the same about the Modwright Oppo 95 in comparing it to the Playback and other high end, cost no object designs. How would you compare the Modwright Oppo 95 to the Modwright Oppo 105. Are there any notable differences, improvements in sonics and design in your opinion? I have had my eyes on the Modwright Oppo 95 for quite a while and is high on my list of "must hear first" but STILL haven't had the opportunity to actually hear one. Now we have the 105 and you may be one of the few on these forums that has owned them both it seems. I live in Florida but don't know anyone with a Modwright. I was in touch with Dan a while back about some units in the Sunshine State but never heard back from him, too busy I suppose.
fwiw, i've not heard the 105 w/ modwright mods. but my modwright 5400 is a wonderful player, and i do not regret for one moment having bought it. its in a reference rig (if you'd call my rig reference-caliber).
that said, when i compared it to the K01 and the P02/D02 by esoteric (i reviewed the latter), they were handily better. sorry JWM, it wasn't close. while i'd have never traded the MW5400 for the X-series players, the K01& P/D02 esoteric players are amazing (i've not heard the K03 or lower). so lets not pretend the MW is the best out there; its just a remarkable performer for the $$, and tough to improve on without throwing in another $10k...
Taters go to the Audiocircle website and look up modright and then Oppo 105. There you will see my comparison to the 95 and 105. I am in Michigan so you are welcome anytime. Abruce I never heard an EVS mod so I can't comment.

Who is EVS?
Someone in Southern California must have a player I can listen to. I've been a member of Audiogon for 12 years and have perfect feedback. I would extend the courtesy to another member if they had the credentials that I do.
EVS is Electronic Visionary Systems also known as Tweakaudio,
Ric Schultz up in Boulder Creek Ca
His mods are way less than Modwright, I'm just taking a chance
EVS is Ric Schultz.

If I decide to modify the 105 I'll use Modwright. His modification is a lot more thorough.

I know his mods are cheaper but do they sound as good as Modwright. Plus if you ever want to sell the unit more people are familiar with Modwright than EVS. I think having a modded setup by EVS would be harder to sell.

You live in southern California and you want to audition a Modwright Oppo 105.

The last time I talked to Dan Wright, about a month ago, he was definitely planning to exhibit at the T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach (May 29 - June 2). I'm sure he will bring his own brand amp and pre-amp. Not sure about the Oppo 105, but give Dan a call and ask.

I also live in S. Cal. and own a Modwright Sony 5400ES, with which I'm very satisfied.

Don't summarily dismiss Ric Schultz and EVS. He does not have quite as high a profile as Dan, but many Audiogoners have expressed satisfaction with his work. Search his name in the archives. One thing to consider is that Ric does not incorporate tubes into his mod, whereas Dan does. Depends on how you feel about tubes and how a tube front end would work within your system.

I'm a tube guy.

I'll call Dan and see if he will have the oppo-105 modded at the show. The only problem is I don't like to listen to gear at shows. It's very distracting. I was hoping someone would bring the player over here or I could bring my player to someone else's house. I just want to make a comparison before I spend 3500.00. The modification is almost twice as much as the stock 105.
My reading of the recent 6moons review of the mod is that it changes the sound, but not clearly for the better. In fact, perhaps the opposite.

See third from last paragraph of the review beginning"• What the modified Oppo 105 isn't:".
I'm unclear what your statement means, given that Srjan has not heard the stock 105.

In any case, I find the Modwright version extremely fast; incisive; airy; flat (as in neutral); very resolved, separated and focused; not soft on leading edges, image outlines, and bass control (I'm particularly surprised by the latter observation); and not "bassy." I can't help wonder if this is a system, cable, room thing. My other equipment is very high-end solid state, and I'm using the best power cords and power conditioning I've been able to find.

In any case, one can change tubes and get different sound "to taste."
Jfz, I'm not clear about what you are unclear about.

Srjan says the Modwright version is "Slightly soft on leading edges, image outlines and bass control. Dense. Generous. Relaxed. Midrange-y and even mildly bassy, i.e. very extended in the bass if not ultimately taut in the bottom octaves." Sounds like it is very tubey in an old fashioned sense!

This is definitely a complete opposite to most descriptions of the stock version.

Now, you may differ with what Srjan writes, but I wouldn't trade my stock Oppo 105 (which I think is terrific) for what Srjan describes. And I certainly would not pay $2300 for the privilege.
Fair enough, Melm. I have not heard the stock 105. What I was unclear about was the phrase "it changes the sound." I thought you were saying Srjan said or implied that.

Anyway, I had the 95 in my system, and have read all the comments I could find about about both the stock and modified versions of the 95 and 105 (over several months). The stock 95 was something I would never want to listen to again. And this was after playing it for at least 500 hours. Buying the modified 105 is one of the very best decisions I have ever made in 40 years of audio. In my system, it is clean, clear, open, airy, articulate, fast, tonality correct, does not have too much bass, has little things like great texture in the bass, etc. I hear absolutely nothing of what Srjan describes as negatives. Having said that, I have no doubt that "it" will sound different in anyone else's system, the quotes being there because it is really the system - and the room - we are hearing (and the synergy or lack thereof).

Just so I'm clear, I'm not arguing with you or Srjan. I’m just trying to express my experience clearly. By way of expressing even more clearly that I am enamored with the sound, I'll just add that I would have gladly paid more than $2300 ($3500 total) to get the sound I'm getting.
Does Modwright publish distortion data for its mods?

In its review of the Oppo 105 Audioholics writes:

"The balanced analog outputs were just stunningly excellent (.001% THD + N) measuring almost down to the noise floor of my test gear and this was despite the fact I was driving the player at 0dBFs (digital full scale). This is just superb performance.

Oppo specifies distortion as 0.0003% THD + N using a 24 bit signal at 1kHz with a 20kHz LPF. Our measurements were done full bandwidth with no LPF which is why our figures were a bit higher. Oppo confirmed our results using the exact same test equipment, test conditions and signals."

I know that measurements are not the whole game, but it's clearly part of the story.
So who has heard both a stock Oppo 105 AND a Modwright Oppo 105?

Please explain how they sound alike or different.

Is the modwright a definite "no doubt about it" upgrade or something less than that?
Since the 105 is a relatively new product, you may not find anyone who has heard the stock and modified versions. If you do some research, though, I think you will find a lot of comments made about Modwright's modifications of previous players.
A p.s. to Dsper:
I have an Oppo 95 that I use only for a separate video system. I have had it my audio system, and the differences between it and the Modwright 105 are sort of like night and day. I couldn't stand the 95 in my audio system, and I love the modified 105. I hope this helps, at least maybe a little bit.
To say that Jfz "couldn't stand" the Oppo 95 in his system is certainly to go against the grain of virtually all press reviews, sophisticated audiophile reviews and virtually everything else written about the product. The Oppo 105 is said to sound much like the 95, perhaps just a bit better and is also getting raves all around.

One thing we know is that tubes almost always add harmonic distortion. A lot of listeners prefer it that way. Many years ago Bob Carver experimented and proved that, even with solid state. That's why I asked if the moders publish their distortion figures.

Another issue is that Oppo has improved its audio circuits with each release. But judging by the rapidity with which the mods appear, they likely stay about the same so that with each new version they would add less and less.

Just one person's views.
I purchased the 105 with out listening to it first and to my surprise it sounded wonderful so much richer and refined than my previous Musical Fidelity player. At that time it was in a bedroom system. I then purchased a used Jeff Rowland Concerta integrated amp which took the place of a NAD and the sound quality improved 1000 times. After that I exchanged the interconnects from budget ones to Acoustic Zen and once again the sound improved greatly. My point is every part of your system changes the sound. The 105 is very good but consider it as just a portion of all of your components.
Gztone, Sounds like it's working well for yo as it is for me. I'd be interested to know if you have tried an after-market power cord on the Oppo.
If you haven't replaced the stock cord, I strongly suggest you look into that, especially if you have an otherwise very transparent system. I recently replaced my stock 95's cord with a Synergistic Research Element Copper Tungstan, and literally can't believe how much better my system sounds. As stupid as it sounds to have a power cord that costs more than the device, it made the biggest difference in my system for the dollars spent. My situation is a bit unique as I'm currently in the middle of making a source upgrade (which is why I'm lurking on this thread to research the 105 Modwright). The rest of of my system is high-end solid state, and very revealing, so the 95 is definitely the piece that needs upgrading, as there is a noticeable sharp edge (etch) in the treble that I need to remove. Anyway, my two cents on the power cord. And Gtzone, +1 on the Jeff Rowland. I'm using his Coherence Series 2 preamp and Model 312 Amp. Awesome stuff.
I agree with the other responses on changing the power cords. I own an Oppo 95 and the difference from stock cord (decent) to a Zu BOK power cord was substantial, but far better with a Morrow Audio MAP 3 in audio and video as well.I switched to all Morrow cables in my system and use MA6's and MA5's on the analog outs, with the performance upgraded about 100% in my system. .The Morrow HDMI cable is amazing as well.
Tubegroover, I am in North Central Florida. I own Modwright Oppo 105. Before this I owned Modwright version of xa-5400es and oppo 95. PM me if you are interested in auditioning. BTW, I could try your Berning amp with Merlins, if possible:)
Keephowlin, I have another mod. Oppo 105 and initially used the provided pc to the stock portion. I thought that the moded unit sounded very little better than the stock unit. BUT when I put an Exemplar charged Portal pc on, it was night and day. I cannot imagine why the pc would have such a negative impact or why Oppo would use it or exclude it if they could not do better.
I love my 95. Best Sonic VALUE I've ever purchased. I am using an aftermarket power cord, but no mods other than a region free kit.

Question: did they get rid of the 1-2 seconds of silence between flac files on the 105 (the one thing I don't like about my 95)?
Moomoo, my understanding is that the 1 second delay remains in the 105. This is the one thing that prevents me from buying the 105 and having the ModWright truth mod done. I can't imagine the frustration of trying to listen to Bach's St Matthew with a 1 second delay between all 72 tracks, where a delay is not written into the music. It could be less of a problem with a standard symphony, where a delay of several seconds between movements is normal. Still, Oppo has got to understand that this quirk is a show stopper for many lovers of classical. One of the attractive features of the Oppo 105 is the asynchronous in, enabling using the unit as a DAC for a computer based system. So here is stand, in a holding pattern, hoping Oppo fixes this in the 115, 125, 135, or 495. Oppo, how bout it? We need a seamless transition from one file to the next.
Brownsfan, I have had no delays between tracks with my 105, either playing discs or from my music server. I have, however, not been able to get my USB connection to play higher than 96/24. It just clicks and does nothing.
I thought that the moded unit sounded very little better than the stock unit
Tbg, so you found stock 105 sounded similar to MW mod?
Moomoo, my understanding is that the 1 second delay remains in the 105. This is the one thing that prevents me from buying the 105 and having the ModWright truth mod done. I can't imagine the frustration of trying to listen to Bach's St Matthew with a 1 second delay between all 72 tracks, where a delay is not written into the music. It could be less of a problem with a standard symphony, where a delay of several seconds between movements is normal. Still, Oppo has got to understand that this quirk is a show stopper for many lovers of classical. One of the attractive features of the Oppo 105 is the asynchronous in, enabling using the unit as a DAC for a computer based system. So here is stand, in a holding pattern, hoping Oppo fixes this in the 115, 125, 135, or 495. Oppo, how bout it? We need a seamless transition from one file to the next.
Moomoo, I know a guy who has compared the Oppo 95 and 105 each with no mods. He much preferred the 95. Of course, this doesn't mean much about moded units.
Tbg, Thanks for the information. One of these days I'll have to chat a bit with Dan Wright about the 105. I've already got a ModWright Sony, with which I am very pleased. I'm sure the modded 105 betters it, but I need to make sure this is going to do everything I want (and do it well) before I pull the trigger.