Oppo 205 revelations, questions..


Just installed my OPPO 205 27.09.18. •Surprisingly pleased with having a volume control on the remote! No comment on its quality just the pleasure when answering the cell. Hadn’t even checked the features of the 205 before buying- just wanted to grab this “Swiss Army knife equivalent in disc spinners. 
•Dr. No, 1st James Bond flic,a very old DVD,was very significantly enhanced on my 52 inch Pany plasma from 8’ viewing using HDMI . I was surprised at the improvement of this low budget film. Sound quality also significantly more clear and dynamic than that off my Lexicon RT 20, which I had found acceptable for DVD’s. No going back. 
•Improvements to sound on CDs obvious from the first turn on.  I will listen to some RR discs tonight to use for comparison after a week of “break in”. 
•my biggest take away from the improved CD sound : an itch to obtain even better CD sound from a dedicated DAC. Perhaps a Berkely DAC 1 or ?? Something similarly economical but better??? Thanks in advance for comments on this. 
•I set the the DVD 24p conversion ‘on’ and custom resolution to 1080p 24 hz. The movie looked good. Is this the optimal setting?
• obviously I was one of the last few to receive a 205. I’m fully satisfied with purchase; and consider myself very lucky not having to to consider other options. Thanks for reading. Pete
ptss

If you add a DAC and use OPPO for transport, you should be aware of the jitter on the coax outputs. See these plots:

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=154408.0

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=157348.0

Adding a reclocker like the Synchro-Mesh can make a huge difference in the clarity of 2-channel, depending on the DAC. For Dolby Digital, I recommend the iFi SPDIF iPurifier. I use both in my system.

Steve N.

Empirical Audio

Thanks Steve. Is there another connection than the coax out. I’ve never considered, nor had the least interest in a separate dac before now. 
@ptss - You might want to get a spare Laser assembly or two. Oppo will provide support for next five years whereas the Laser may quit after ten years of frequent use. 
Thanks dweller. Good idea. Any thoughts on upgrading the smps?
So I kind of lucked into the last tranche of recipients as I received my 205 on 9/12.  It is pretty versatile.  I use the balanced stereo outs to a Parasound Halo 2 channel and removed the Marantz AVP from the chain.  I use the OPPO volume control and dial back the channel gain on the Parasound to keep my OPPO output above 70.
I also ran my Apple TV hdmi into the OPPO for a significant improvement, which I was surprised by.  I expected the audio to improve, which it did using the dedicated OPPO stereo path in diwnmix mode.  But the picture also improved relative to a straight hdmi from AppleTv into Sony Bravia.  
I am rediscovering  2 channel. After decades fussing with mch a simpler setup is nice.  The only problem has been using the usb dac input on the rear panel.  I hooked up an onkyo HDP which also has top grades DACs and the sound did not benefit from two rounds of processing.  Also, the OPPO did not index the HDP contents, making use a hassle.
i glad I got it, though I hesitated.  I have  a 105 and 105D also for smaller rooms,  
Great to hear about video improvements. Such a useful unit. But I’m not surprised there’s no improvement from 2 rounds of processing. I’m running my Oppo into my Spectral preamp using Mit 350EVO Shotgun i/c’s ( equivalent to basic Oracle i/c’s) which are a very refined cable. I have found simpler is usually better. Why did you feel there may be a benefit?
@ptss - out of my league. Maybe @erik_squires can help?
4 days of play later and the sound has improved considerably. Harshness I noticed initially has gone and the sound has more weight, much more full and natural. I will be checking the linear fast phase setting in a few days. Any others have experience with it?
After experimentation I I have changed to “linear phase fast” from the default minimum phase fast. Better life and dynamics. More natural vocals. Although I appreciate the improvement through my Spectral electronics,and high level a/c isolation I seriously doubt it would be apparent with lesser equipment. I do wonder why Oppo made min phase fast the default. Anyone know? 
@audioengr . Your knowledge and ideas are appreciated. Any ideas on Oppo default to min phase fast?

If you are enjoying the burned in stock 205.......you will be super happy with my mods. You can read a couple of reviews on this thread:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/oppo-205-modification

I have a limited time 25% off on the mods right now. I have done a couple of more improvements to disc playback since those posts....so it is even better.

My modded LKS DAC is way way out there in DAC land.....however, the modded 205 is even better playing discs. You would have to spend thousands on a DAC to make discs sound as good or better than the modded 205......seriously great sound. Then you need a great digital cable, great transport and a modded IFI Spdif Ipurifier to get even close.

BTW, my custom linear power supply is way better sonically than the Oppomod one......less money too.  I had to do 4 serious mods to the Oppomod supply to make it even better than the stock supply.

FWIW, I used music with Julian Bream playing a 12 string Spanish guitar. Complex dynamic passages were rendered more naturally; faster, more concisely and powerfully. Not simply more clearly. More lively! I was surprised. 
@ricevs. Thank you. I will be looking into this possibility. Just to confirm, you use the Oppomod lps, but improved by you, to replace the smps for the digital side, as part of your upgrade?

No, I bought an Oppomod power supply to try (used to use modded Oppomod power supply for my 105 mods). I found that even with extensive mods it was not what I could make.....so, I am making my own even better power supply (you can see pics on my site). One of many things that is better on mine is that the power transformer is located in the back......not butting up right against the other toroid. You do not want two transformers interacting.  My power supply is normally cheaper than the Oppomod one too.....and now 25% off.

The sound has improved. Significantly. Don’t know how much the filter choice has made;but, listening to a Nat King Cole album again the processing of the recording is readily apparent; not the case on listening a few days ago. I think this album is very relaxing. Timeless for me. 
@ptss - Took your lead and switched to "Apodizing Fast" in the filter menu. Seems to have opened things up a bit more. Did you try this one before choosing “linear phase fast”? Thanks for the inspiration! 
@dweller. No I hadn’t checked any other than linear phase fast. Had you checked linear phase fast?  I may experiment next week. Very pleased at the moment. 
No, haven't tried Linear Phase Fast. I have to drag the 205 into my TV room to access the menu so I went with the Apodizing filter as I familiar from my Rega DAC. May experiment in the future. The 205 sounds so good! I really must hear an "Uber" player sometime to find out why they cost so much more.
@dweller   I’m using high level Spectral Pre and amp with high level MIT throughout. The sound is excellent. Way above it’s price point as far as I’m concerned. 
For Oppo 205 owners. Gary Galo’s review of the 205 in Audio Express is very detailed and thorough. Perhaps more informed as he owns the 205 and 105. He’s a retired educator at the University level who remains highly involved in music and technology. I appreciate the new information he provides. A bit of a reference for some inner workings and background. 
I appreciate the use of the Oppo 205 to add “life” to basic Stingray Oldies and Jazz channels through my Spectral stereo. Lacks detail but dynamics are better than they ever were back in the day. I’m enjoying for background.  Will be useful in choosing new jazz albums. 
A big benefit of the Oppo 205. Listening to Starlight( or whatever the tv gives free) renditions of Chamber Music has convinced me to buy into a high quality streaming service. Now. Which one is it to be? This Oppo has really been worth its weight in Gold!
Anyone else having this much joy from their 205?
I am, its making me rethink my whole system. Well maybe not all of it, but certainly the front end.
I don't know guys.  I like mine very much, but I would have to say my favorite part is probably the headphone jack.  It sounds really good with the Oppo PM3 headphones, which I was lucky enough to get on Amazon for $399.  I like the simplicity of just plugging into 1 box and listening.  But sonically I think it's good but not surprisingly so.  I am pleased that the CD replay is better than I thought it would be, but the SACD doesn't really seem much better, if at all.  But if we're passing along any tips here, I would say that it sounds markedly better when warmed up for a few hours and leaving it on Pure, or whatever it's called when you turn off the video, makes it run much cooler.  But all in all, given the fact that it's a 1-box player that plays everything and has a good headphone output, I'm very happy with my purchase at the original list price.  
@ptss  

 I am loving mine too. I got my 205 modded by Ric Schultz at EVS and his mods make a really big difference in pretty much every way. I am simply shocked at what a Redbook Compact Disc can now sound like....even once bright sounding discs sound great. As good as a stock 205 sounds after having Ric's mods done I bet it competes very well with dacs costing a whole lot more. I would also highly recommend the Schroeder Method of using double IC runs (Teo Audio Ultra's) using RCA Y connectors as well as the Perfect Path Contact Enhancer. My system has kept improving almost weekly, for the past 11 weeks, to the point where I may not purchase new speakers anymore. I am simply thrilled at the sound coming out of my Hales Transcendance 5's now!
@tuffy72561  Appreciate input. I like Caig Gold for cleaning and Stabilant 22 for contact enhancement. I’m considering EVS mods. 
@allanblissett . I don’t know your system. Please be advised using an isolation transformer to reduce common mode noise and ground leak,for just your Oppo 205 will give an “immense” improvement in sound quality. Please: try it! It was truly startling in my setup Spectral,MIT. I was pleased before but gobsmacked with the improvement :). Cheers
@ptss  How are you getting "stingray" through your 205 and where did you get the isolation transformer?
@ptss. @ptss. Thanks for the tip, I will try it. I will try any DIY,  too scared to ship it anywhere for any mods. 
I just got a iFi purifier to try on the optical input. 
@bultaco.  Stingray,a large music provider in Canada,is the music provider on Telus, a major cable tv provider in Canada. I take the feed directly from the cable box via high speed HDMI cable to the Oppo 205. I’m pleased and when I think back to the old days when all we enjoyed was AM radio on a transistor portable; I realize I’m getting better sound with decent dynamics from the cable; even though it’s a far cry from Oppo CD quality - which I’m amazed with!
@bultaco. The isolation transformer is an old MIT ISO HC I’ve had for years but wasn’t using. That unit is for common mode noise and elimination of noise transmitted via ground.  It’s surprising how effective it is. You should also have something to eliminate differential mode noise. I’m very happy with a Sound Application unit I have for that. But even the MIT Z Stabilizer 2 is very worthwhile if the rest of the system is refined. Mine is Spectral and high level MIT cabling. FWIW I use a separate Equitech 2Q for the Spectral; works well for me. 
[email protected] The ifi sounds interesting. I’d like to hear your experience. My experience is that no single isolation/conditioning unit does what I achieve using a combination of balanced power for common mode noise and other units for differential noise. MIT has recently brought out a $16,000 unit. Im sure it’s a serious effort - but I’ll bet dollars to donuts it will complement Equitech balanced power. It relates to the nature of ac power. Blessings to Martin Glasband, the inventor of the patented Equitech Q series. IMHO the humble Oppo 205 plays “vastly” better than anyone listening to less than a state of the art system (or my system even) can imagine; when it receives pure ac power. The only mod I’d do is to change the digital power supply to one like the Oppomod unit. But I’m amazed at my CD replay as it is. FWIW I attend live classical concerts including opera and ballet regularly; music lover, fussy ears. Cheers :) !
 @allanblissett  It seems to me the ifi addresses ac noise. I don’t understand your reference to the optical input??
@ptss Thank you for your response. My personal E-Mail didn't notify me that I had a response like it usually does. 
@ptss , the iF1digital purifier is suppose to lower jitter, so I am trying it on the optical input of the 205. It can also do coax.
So far it seems to give a smoother presentation using it between a Audioengin B1 and the 205. I will try it on the coax from my Directv box next, that should be a bigger improvement. 
The only negative so far is more clutter. 

I saw some technical reviews on iFi purifiers that were decidedly mixed. They seem to be prone to a lot of noise.

I can recommend the Wyred4Sound alternatives for high jitter sources and devices (Chromecast, AppleTV, etc.)