Just Got My Oppo 205!

So - I wanted an Oppo 105 for about 3 years and when I heard they were closing it down, I popped for the 205 through Amazon. Got one of the last ones. I’ve owned some very good CD players - Naim CD5x with flatcap, Naim CDX2 with Supercap, Doge6, Lector and my current EAR Acute. So how does the Oppo compare you might ask. Well, it is new and I expect some improvement, but my first impression is - flat, sterile, uninvolving, compressed and basically lacking in musical texture. I’m just being honest and letting you know that this thing is no great shakes and certainly nothing to lust after, IMO. I happened to need a new DVD player anyway and, as I said, I have no doubt it will improve, but these are my honest first impressions that I’m sharing with you just in case you think you need to run out and buy one. Of course, I may (and I hope) I will be surprised at a vast degree of improvement with break in, but somehow I doubt it will ever improve to the level where I sell my EAR. All that said, I remember having an old Oppo 981 I think it was, that did a very credible job with SACD, so I’m thinking that the 205 will come around. I’ll let you know.
I agree 100%. I own the 95. Thought the 105d would be better. I don't like that either. I currently use the 105d as a transport feeding a DAC. Will not be buying a 205. Just my opinion. Flat, sterile, uninvolving and lacking musical texture is on the mark. I don't understand how they have been rated Class A in reviews. I hope there is a cult when they stop production. I'll dump then. Till then I'll listen to my Esoteric CDP or on my other system the 105d feed into external DAC. Moving forward, I will stay away from all Oppo products. 
Like all equipment it requires burning in,maybe several hundred hours.
+1 markwatkiss.
After break-in it still might not meet your expectations and better your other CDP's.
Comparing a midfi CD player with something like a $7K EAR Acute tube CD player is not fair comparison. Same with Naim CD players. 
Don't hold your breathe.
I absolutely agree with the fact that burn in may well improve things significantly.  Just giving my first impressions.  But I remember my Esoteric X-05 experience.  I kept it 6 months and it never really improved.  So we'll see.  But I think it's important to pass this on right now, as there is a feeding frenzy for Oppo, so just lettin' you know.  
The Oppo needs time, but if it's anything like the 105, it still isn't going to be some sort of giant killer from its analogue outs. For me, I've always used a lower player as a transport with a DAC. For quite a while now, I've been using the 103 with a DAC for watching concerts, etc. Works very well.

My apologies up front if you are intimately familiar with how to set up your 205 but it took me a while to understand the different ways to set mine up for my application. Once I got the setup correct, the difference in sound was immediately apparent - and for the better.

Perhaps explain your components and connections and someone may be able to confirm your settings for the best setup.


I wouldn't say intimately familiar, but I'm pretty experienced with this stuff.  I know there is a dynamic range compression feature, which I know I turned off.  I really think it needs some break in.  As I said, I just put this up due to the recent surge in interest in Oppo and I don't want people shooting themselves if they can't get one.  
The 205 is a $1299 multi-featured, “Swiss army knife”, universal disc player. I bought one last week with expectations based upon the aforementioned facts. 2 channel audio is not competitive with the $10k CDT/DAC combo I downsized from - not hardly. But well worth the price I paid given the ever shrinking choices for such products in its price range.
Well, I have my Oppo 105D with the Modwright upgrades and it's among the best sounding CD players I have heard.  Of course, most of what I have heard costs under $6,000.  But, in that range, with the Modwright upgrades, it blows away all the CD players I have owned or auditioned.

I guess you’ll compare the Video qualities of the Ear Acute to the 205 as well??  IOW - did you buy the 205 expecting to upgrade your CD performance?Seriously?
Tell us how the 205 video compares to what you’re using now. 
I bought the 205 and thought it competent but a bit harsh in the treble with some SACD’s I have. I upgraded to the full Modwright 205 that included the Gen Pulse, and I now listen to it for hours. Absolutely rich and organic without a trace of digital hardness. I’m just now waiting on some 6DJ8 Telefunkens and a new GEC rectifier to see how much more it levels up. 🙌🙌🙌
I  bought an Oppo 205 about 2 months ago.  I didn't buy it necessarily for sound quality, but for playing 4k HDR DVDs.  IMO it is/was the finest DVD player on the market.  A big bonus is the built in roon endpoint support.  The Oppo 205 roon + soundbar are no competition to my main 2ch system, however, it still sounds pretty good and its main purpose (for me) is to playback bluray.

The bluray is fantastic - its built like a tank - it has very fast loading - it does not have a bunch of half-baked crappy apps like my previous UDP 900 from Panasonic.

I know the world is going streaming for video, and even though I have a gige connection to the internet, compressed streaming doesn't compare to compressed bluray (bluray is like 4x more bits/sec iirc then Vudu 4k HDR).

@ptss - no, I didn't buy the 205 as an audio upgrade.  After my Oppo 981 broke, I was using a $30 DVD player someone gave me and I needed a decent player.  Plus, I wanted very much to play my SACDs and DADs, which I couldn't do on the Acute.  Tell the truth, the 981 did a very good job with hi-res, so I expected the 205 to do a better than very good job with it.  Maybe it will.  I also like the built-in headphone amp, so I can do some casual listening with no fuss.  Video?  It has video?
Chayro, I have no experience with Oppo products, but assuming you are using the 205 with the Viva Solista integrated amp listed in your system description I’m wondering if the fact that you have to use the unbalanced outputs of the 205 may be a factor in your assessment. The 205’s description, similarly to the descriptions of some of Oppo’s other models, states as follows:
The balanced output features a true differential signal path all the way from the DAC to the 3-pin XLR connector.
... which could conceivably mean that its balanced outputs would provide better results than its unbalanced outputs, if used with an amp or preamp providing **high quality** balanced inputs. (I’m certainly not suggesting that you change your amp, though; I’m just suggesting a possible explanation of your findings).

Also, unbalanced interfaces generally tend to be more susceptible to ground loop effects than balanced interfaces. As an experiment, it may be worth temporarily putting a cheater plug on the Oppo’s power cord, to defeat its safety ground connection. If that makes a difference it would suggest that ground loop effects occurring between the Oppo and the amp are affecting sonics.

-- Al

I have an OPPO 205 that sounded quite good after break in. However if you want it compete with single purpose CD players,
you need to have the MODWRIGHT modification done. I just received mine and it transformed the 2 channel performance of the OPPO into something that competes with the high end CD players
at a far more reasonable price. You will actually find yourself wanting to use the OPPO for sources that you would usually reserve for vinyl.  I have an extraordinary vinyl system and I can say that the OPPO comes close on some discs especially SACDs.
@ chayro, Your impression's does not surprise  me a bit, I have listened to quite of few of these oppo unit's,  including the best modright model's,  cheers
205d doesn’t have tidal streamer app built in. I would think 105(D) is better overall except the 4K video.
Still waiting for my 205 to arrive but I bought it really to replace an old OPPO83 in the ht rig so will not be overly worried on its CD playback ability.
Saying that I will connect it in the main rig to see how it compares to my OPPO95 that I use for sacd and bluray audio playback.
I am connected with xlr on the 95 and will hook the 205 up the same way.
Tracking says should be here Tues!
Are you some kind of sells person for modwright?
People,this mod is rip off. I made mod on my 205 w/ less than $350 parts cost, and achieved hugh improvement, better dynamics,silky high frequency and better seperation of instruments.

I doubt browndt is a Modwright employee pushing their mods, but a happy customer. I have not heard the Oppo players with Dans mods but a person who has owned two of their preamps and still own the later I can say they are outstanding and great value especially when you compare them to equipment at twice the price. I do not work for Modwright either but when a question pops up that I feel my Modwright is a good comparison with I happily mention it as I am a very happy customer and highly recommend their product. I’m sure your modded Oppo sounds better than stock unit as a $350 PC would probably make a difference as well. I’ve spoken to Dan several times and shared many emails and can say he’s not out to rip anyone off. I’m sure he’s doing a lot more than your mod, plus extra cost of outboard power supply and power cable; sure it’s a chunk of money but I bet if you add up the cost of the parts he uses, figure in an honest wage for time to do the work and figure in some cost for overhead for running a business you’d be presssed to do it for less. 

Ive personally done plenty of mods to equipment over the years so not bashing people doing their own here but do respect people like Dan Wright. I’m on the list to possibly get a 205 if Oppo makes a last run to see if this player is what many claim it is. I’d be very curious what you did to your 205 if you don’t mind sharing as I suspect many others might be interested as well.

I am not a Modwright employee either but I can speak to the sound quality of the Modwright 205. It’s a world class player/DAC. This DAC bested my 6K PS Audio DS.

I admire the DIY crowd and do a little of it myself but for anyone to say their mods beat Dan's does make chuckle.
Please do not tell people spening more than the cost of a equipment to do a mod is not getting ripped off,unless you change definition of rip off from englih dictionary.
That put aside, let us focus on what i weak points of 205 as a dac.
1. Bad rectifiers for +-15 volts audio ic power supply. That is why 205 stock sounds lean and slow. 
2. Power supplier for digital path is not properly filtered, too much noise causing timing issue.
3. Single ended audio buffer path uses 2 stages of cheap capacitor coupling, total screwed up high frequency timing and response curve. That is why balanced audio outputs are strongly  recommended for 205 as a dac/dsd/cd player.
As mod goes, level 1 mod is obvious:
1.replace bridge for 18v ac to dc with fast recovery diodes. 
2. Bypass 3v, +-5v and +-15v dc with silver mica caps.

Level 2 mod is more personal:
1. Simple and right way is to build a dedicated preamp outside 205, get balanced analogue signal from dac chip pins directly bypassing internal amplify circuit. You can build a k&k audio style ultra path pre amplifier using nickle input transformer as IV driver.
2. If you only using balanced output, you can just roll ic chips. Since level 1 mod already solves the dynamics glitch.
3. I need single ended output since i connect 205 as control center hooking directly to my ultra path pre amp.  So i bought best v-cap to bypass 4 cheap coupling caps, which sweatens high frequence nicely. I likes national ic chip, but folk could roll opa627 or muse family ICs as you wish.

Enjoy diy if you walk this way. 

If you bought it to replace a DVD player— why not compare the DVD aspect? Why criticize CD sound when you knew it wouldn’t/couldn’t live up to the gorgeous dedicated player you have. Seems strange to me. Fwiw. 
You should be shamed of not chuncking.the so called dan wright mod is fundalmentally flawed from cost no object mod  point of view as i pointed out in my othet post. 

With this amount of money, first of all, any tube amplication should be using shunt regulator to sound good. Since shunt power regulation tends to dispatching a lot of heat and has to have short return loop, amplification circuit  has to be out of 205 box, reside with tube power supply. 
This wright rip off does not do that, i am sure it is less musical even than my not so dramatic mod since he cant fit shunt power regulator into 205.  Go figure if he does what i described, how much would it be??

Thanks for sharing what you did to your 205.

I get your point taking a player and spending more on the mods than the original cost of a player. Years ago I recall Lexicon took someone else’s player and basically just throw a thick metal face plate on it and nearly doubled the price, which several reviewers called them out on it.

I would like to think what Modwright is doing is more like taking a base BMW 5 series, the lowest price one can build which is a great base platform to build a M5 upon. Both are essentially built off the same platform, share many parts but a lot of the parts were put in to meet a price point on the base model. Dan saw the 205 was a good platform to start from and instead of building his own player, I’m sure he felt it would cost more than a modded 205. I can’t say the Modwright 205 is the holly grail of players but I would think if it doesn’t hold its own against players of same cost the market would shut him down but I think many praise these players. I too would like to hear one personally.

If if I get a 205 I’ll first see how it stacks up against my current machine and maybe look at modifying it myself or send it to Dan. First I’m curious to see if all these users running it stock really know what they’re talking about. I’ll be surprised if it meets or blows my current player away but hopefully we’ll see. Until I hear one in system I’ll hild off on judging it first.
You are correct.
Lexicon used an OPPO....lol
And MORE than doubled the price
And got caught with their pants down.....
Who are Lexicon?
I have an Oppo 103 with modest upgrades by Stereo Dave's in Seattle and it is fantastic.  My pal has a tube-upgraded Oppo 105 and just got a 205 and we compared them side by side and I  thought the they both sounded pretty much alike, both excellent.  In my view, Oppo CDP's are simply outstanding, and, in my experience, alleviate the need for an external DAC.  For their cost, they serve up a fine musical experience.  

Is your friend's Oppo 205 a stock version? Is the tubed Oppo 105 a Modwright or another company's modification?
How are you guys hooking these up xlr or rca ? I hear rca connection are having a horrible sound . Have you tried the filter settings as well?
....I hear rca connection are having a horrible sound.....
Where have you heard that? XLR is best/preferred, but RCA is very doable and definitely not horrible.

Have you tried the filter settings as well?

Tried them all. Get the stethoscope ready if you’d like to determine which is your preference. Personally I like the default mini phase fast, but have reason to believe linear phase slow is the theoretical best.

I read from a post that the rca outs had a issue where the output caused brightness and thin sound vs the xlr something due to bad circuitry . I am using a marantz sa14s1 right now , wondering if the 205 would be a better choice 

Guys, You really need to get at least 200 hours of play time on the Oppo 205 before it makes its magic (put it on repeat non stop for 10 days straight).  Then it will be really good.....not great, but really good.  Modified, it is really out there.....really great!

Does the playback need to be loud for the 200 hour burnin?
You don’t need any volume at all. Just have it running and connected to your Pre. Cheers
So - I've had the Oppo for about 10 days and I really haven't done any vigorous burn in on it.  Ran the Purist disc through a few times and let some SACDs play just to break in whatever parts play the SACDs that may be separate from CD.  I have to say - not bad at all.  The headphone jack sounds very good with SACD and my Grado 1000 phones and I listened through the system last night with a Boston Chamber Orchestra SACD and again, not bad at all.  I haven't really compared it AB with my EAR Acute because I'm not a big A/B test geek, but I will once the 205 gets some more miles on it.  But again, at least with SACD, very listenable.  Had no desire to get up and turn it off, which is always a plus.  I think if Oppo does another run, it's worth getting if you're so inclined. 
It’s nice to hear the Oppo 205 is becoming decent for you to listen to. Your reference quality CD player has no doubt been a treat for your ears so it’s very positive that this jack of all trades machine can provide enjoyment to a naturally fussy listener. Thanks for the updates :) 
Oppo website go to model 205 and you can get on email list to perhaps have a last chance to buy a 205 if they make a final shipment to sell in US. (they say June 2018)
Would it be better to do a Modwright modification on my Oppo 105D, or get a new 205? (assuming it becomes available in June.)
Get the Oppo 205 and then do the Modwright upgrade.
So I've had the Oppo for about 5 weeks and I've really come to like it.  I even got one of the last pairs of the PM3 headphones because I wanted a pair of closed-backs.  I have to say, I really enjoy the simplicity of just plugging a headphone into the Oppo and listening.  I don't think it's reached it's full potential, but it's very ok for some late listening.  The phones are really good too, even compared to my Grado GS1000s.  
So I'm just saying this because you may want to pick one up if they do another round, but you need to be realistic about the sonics.  It's good for what it is, if that helps any.  
Oppo emailed everyone on the list to make sure they are still interested.
If you did not get a recent email from Oppo (requiring a click on a link to verify) then re-enter your email at Oppo.
 If you are interested in one last chance to buy a new 205 from them direct.
I bought one of the last open box 205's from Best Buy in May.
Havnt run 4k disc thru it yet, but have listened extensively to my Hi Rez (88 to 192KHz) music collection thru it's USB input.

Agree w OP.  HP output pretty good and sonics thru my HT system are step up from my 105.

Not at same level as my Esoteric K-01x spidf input fed by my Win10 music server, but for 1/15th the cost, is a really good value.   

Am on the list for a June production one that i plan to use in my other house's 4 k HT system.
Oppo makes/made fantastic 4K bluray players. Best in the market.
If you’re serious about 2ch, you should look elsewhere I think.
I got the 205, and I concur it does take a substantial break in...just like any other "good" piece. 

I bought it mainly, because my transport (Data II) took a dump, and I wanted 4k for my new 4k TV. 

I haven't messed with it too much, connections and filters and such, but I think the humble old Theta Prime II betters it for 2 channel. It doesn't SEEM to be as good a transport as the Data II, but I don't have it to compare, and it's a different system, so my opinion is unreliable. 

But, it's 1300 bucks. Really. For 1300 bucks, it's quite good...not bad at CD playback for that price, plus ALL the other stuff it can do. 

I mean really...1300 bucks, man.
I found that it sounded significantly better after being on for a few hours.  I was hoping to leave it on all the time, but it gets a bit warmer than I am comfortable with for a 24-hr/day thing.  The Oppo PM3 phones sounded very good through the headphone jack, which is really what I was looking for, as opposed to having to fire up an 845 tube amp for an hour before listening.