You don't need a digital input to make digital audio work with the Oppo. You just plug in a USB cable from your computer hard drive into the Oppo directly. You will need a 21 inch LCD tv to monitor what you want to do, by using an HDMI cable connected from the Oppo to the TV. I have not tried this yet, but others have said the Oppo is fantastic with computer audio. I would get an apple I Mac or laptop computer. You will have to buy Pure Music 1.82 or Amarra 2.4 software for the computer. This will allow you to download High resolution software from the internet.
I don't run computer audio either and really have no interest at this point. I check it out every year at CES and while there are always new and more expensive options, I'm of the opinion that it's a long way from maturity. I intend to wait a couple more years and in the meantime, my Modwright Sony is easy on the ears and always makes me happy.
If I feel like taking it to another level, I listen to vinyl which I still prefer over the best digital.
Just my 2 cents.
The USB port on the Oppo is a USB host. It hooks up to other USB devices and "controls" them. This works with USB thumb drives and HDDs.
From my experience, playback of lossless files on the USB HDD ripped from CDs don't sound as good as the same CD played on the Oppo.
Playback of good quality HD tracks lossless does sound very good.
This is not the same as a USB client port on most modern DACs which allow the computer to work as a USB host and the DAC is the client.
What Dan Wright is working on is providing USB/SPDIF inputs to the Sabre32 DAC.
I am not sure if the design is finalised yet, but it was meant to provide an input to the good quality DAC in the Oppo partnered with Dan's tube analog output stage.
So this allows you to plug the Oppo to for instance:
a better CD only transport
a Logitech Squeezebox?
a PC with USB connection
no ones saying computer audio is better than vinyl(today). But bang for the buck is definitely better with computer audio and digital has the market capitalization to breeze past vinyl with future R&D improvements
1) entry level for high quality vinyl playback is in the $4~5k range for TT, tonearm, moving coil and a decent MC phono preamp. You can get into high quality computer digital playback for about half that price(server, DAC, asynch USB converter)
2) computer audio is portable, convenient and recording can't degrade with play
3) digital will only get better... vinyl is mechanical science technology limited
4) Computer audio elimnates the transport issues with CD/SACD playback; exact copy software insures bit perfect copy
How long did it take for Teflon V-Caps in CJ to break-in?
Dan Wright responded to the USB input question by saying: "This can only be connected via USB and a standalone drive, but not a PC." It's surprising to me, because when the 95 came out I got the impression many people thought it was a great thing.
Like I said you plug your portable hard drive with High Resolution music on it directly into the Oppo 95 with a USB cable. The only difference is you cannot see the titles on the portable hard drive with your computer, but instead need a tv plugged into the Oppo. This is the only difference. The Oppo is processing the same Hi RES files through Dan's tube mods.
Thanks...I guess I just don't know what a "portable hard-drive" is.
In any case, the big thing I think I'm learning is that people are not going crazy/happy about all the wonderful hi-rez music that's available - that sounds *much* better than one can get with CDs on a truly great player. So far anyway (and admittedly with a very limited sample), it seems more people are focused on ripping CDs. And - *I'm assuming* - this is because of convenience, the desire not to have CD cases around, etc. If I'm right about this, I think a Modwright player may be just the right thing for me. Maybe I'm wrong, though. This is a forum for pretty serious audiophiles, and it's hard for me to believe they would be moving to computer audio just because of convenience.
Be careful with Apple files. Oppo manual states they will not handle them. For PC only, burn files (using Exact Audio Copy) or save downloads to your PC hard drive. Back them up to a portable USB drive which you can connect to the OPPO USB input, or copy them to USB flash drives. I have a stick with classical, another with vocals, another with jazz, etc. You will need to hook to a monitor to see what you are doing. Do NOT hook to a computer.
First, having you entire music collection at your fingertips on an iPad / iPhone is priceless. There is no going back. Second if you have a good USB DAC or non-USB DAC with a USB converter, SQ computer audio is easily at par with spinning discs, in many cases better. If you go all out on hardware (I have the CAPS 2.0 servers, Offramp 5 USB converter with battery powersupply and a perfectwave MKII DAC), computer audio will blow CD out of the water. To me this is a total no brainer.
Jfz the modwright player is fantastic. It is better than many over 10,000 cd players and you have the choice of using it with High resolution downloads in the future. A portable hard drive is exactly what it says. All computers have built in hard drives. If you put a lot of movies and music on your computers hard drive you can easily fill it up to its limit. A portable hard drive allows you store more data and can then be accessed through your computer or by attaching it to the Oppo. They typically cost between 80.00 to 150.00 depending on how big you want the hard drive to be.
This is the mod I was referring to
We are designing an upgrade board that will allow as many as three digital inputs to be added to existing ModWright Modified players, tube or SS, thus allowing the ModWright player to act as both player and DAC.
Digital inputs will include SPDIF (RCA and/or BNC) and AES/EBU (XLR) inputs, USB not included. The decision to not incorporate USB was based on the fact that to do so would compromise THIS design. You can easily use a variety of external USB/RCA converters, such as those from M2Tech, that allow for up to 24/192 hi-rez data.