OPPO 980 h dvd mod?


Just got the Oppo 980h. It sounds incredible.
I don't think I will want to spend more than what this costs, on a player ever again.
How much better is the mod?
I can't believe it can get better than this, especially in a chassis this light and thin!
Is the mod worth the extra expenditure?
Where do I get it modded and how much is it?
pedrillo
http://www.tweakaudio.com/ Ric Shultz Best value for the $ IMHO.Others twice as expensive.Twice the improvment?I doubt it.Again My opinion.If you are going to spend more than $350 on mods I'd get the Oppo 983.JD
Pedrillo
Just got the Oppo 980h. It sounds incredible.
I don't think I will want to spend more than what this costs, on a player ever again.
My thoughts exactly. I've had CD players for 21 years, including NEC, Kenwood Basic (25 lb. Japanese high end), Audio Alchemy purpose-built transport plus AA and later Soundstream/Krell DAC, CEC, Pioneer Elite, and Philips SACD/CD players, all signficantly more expensive than the Oppo. I've also listened to very expensive rigs from Linn, Classe, and others.

The Oppo DV-980H is so good for so little that $169 has has become my new point of diminishing returns on CD/SACD/DVD-A playback. I suppose I'd hear the improvements with the new DV-983H, but any extra money at this point will probably go into my LP playback rig, where I hear bigger dividends for the money spent.
Awesome, I love Audiogon. I was just thinking about getting a DVD w/Divx playback that I could use as a CD player for my few CDs.... $169 isn't much more than the $70 mass market box I was going to get..

I have a Monarchy M24 Tube DAC preamp.. you think it would be better to use the Monarchy DAC or the Oppo players?

I guess only one way to find out.

03-20-08: Elf73
I have a Monarchy M24 Tube DAC preamp.. you think it would be better to use the Monarchy DAC or the Oppo players?
You can't lose either way. When Wes Philips reviewed the DV-970H, he thought it was a pretty good player, but when he plugged the coax SP/DIF into a good DAC, it turned into a seriously good transport and competed with much more expensive setups.

The 980 is a significant improvement over the 970, so its internal processors probably narrow the gap. I use mine in a 7.1 channel setup, and I slightly like the Oppo's internal surround processors over the one in my Boston Acoustics AVP7 (a 7.1 ch pre/pro based on the Sherwood Newcastle, which is also the basis for the Outlaw 990).

Still, I think you'll have fun comparing and picking.
I recently purchased the Reference Audio Mod Oppo 970. Full mod with digital clock, separate PSU and cyrogenic treatment for $1.6K. Easily the most resolving, transparent and vivid player I have heard at this price level.

I do find a slight tendency towards sounding thin and a subjectly lower output level. The player seems to lacks some tonal colours, but so was some other more expensive players I have heard.

My former SACD player was the $6.5K Musical Fidelity Tri-vista. The MF player was warmer and has a effervescent quality, but sound flat, veiled and diffused in comparison. Not even close in terms of redbook CD performance.

It was only with SACD that the MF player gain scores. SACD advance over redbook is hardly detectable with the Oppo, most likely because the player converts SACD format into PCM.
Sorry, my player is RAM modded Oppo 980 (not 970)
Could someone please explain the logic in modding a $350 player for $1,600 and cancelling the warranty instead of buying a fully warrantied new player for $1,950 ?(there are a few that sound really good in this range). Do the mods come with a COMPLETE RE-Warranty? Even for the transport? How long is the warranty, and is it only for labor?
Hi Storyboy,

The firms that modify and provide new modified players for the oppo units provide full warrantys on the entire unit top to bottom. So in case a transport laser goes out or something happens, the entire unit (including labor) is under warranty by the modification company instead of oppo, so there is still peace of mind like with the stock warranty.

The reasoning of modifying a $169-399 player is to take it much much further sonically than the $1950 stock player (obviously) but more so take it further or equal to players costing 5-10 times the price of the modified oppo. Basically if you want the best bang for the buck and have a swiss army knife, buy the modified oppo from your firm of choice.

However, if you want prestige of owning a something that might make your friends jealous to look at or know that you own, then buy that flashy stock player.

Same thing goes for cars. Want prestige and speed, buy that BMW or Benz. Dont care about prestige but only care about performance, then buy a used dodge neon and throw a turbo and some other parts on it and blow right past the BMW down the road. Its all in want you want.

Different strokes for different folks!

I hope this answered your question.
I'm getting one tomorrow.. $169 CDN.. can't lose. Do coaxial cables matter? Any suggestions?

Note: I'm not paying anymore than $100 new or used for such cable... actually $20 would be nice.... this hobby has other priorities right now..

As well, does isolating this unit from vibration matter?

Thanks.
Has anyone compared the oppo to the expensive stuff out there? Any comments out of curiousity.
"Same thing goes for cars. Want prestige and speed, buy that BMW or Benz. Dont care about prestige but only care about performance, then buy a used dodge neon and throw a turbo and some other parts on it and blow right past the BMW down the road. Its all in want you want." I hate car analogies because they can be twisted so easily. I want speed and comfort and reliability, so I'd choose a BMW or Benz. If I was less concerned about these other aspects or couldn't afford to be, I might consider fixing up a street racer. Entirely different experiences.

As for the 980, it is a more than decent player but is even more competitive when used via the HDMI outputs (or, in my case, by a 3xS/PDIF mod output) into a high quality external DAC/processor. I would not bother playing with its DACs or analog stages when there's so much better for that already out there.

Kal
Pedrillo-

In my May column, I compare the 980 with the 983 and the BelCanto, but mostly on SACD multichannel, if that's an issue for you.

Kal Rubinson
www.stereophile.com/musicintheround
Yep I have a oppo too.. Excellent.. Hate to say it but its 95% as close to any of my really costly players were.. Missing a little midrange bite and clarity but thats about it! And I have countered that with a good power cable and interconnects even dropping a really Sweet sounding dac for the built in circuits! Took about 25 hours to really open up from new, but after that it just does everything well, including concert DVD's, SACD, HDCD etc... And its well built, fairly fast, and reliable.

As for mods.. I have done them to higher end players with varying results, its a crapshoot and there is no guarantee, sometimes it seems to take away the organic sound of some players.. Best bet is first invest into a good DA convertor and you can always go back, and a DA convertor will be fairly universal with really good future options, including you can buy one with a USB input to handle the fastly growing transportless computer based audio.

Good Luck
QUESTION: In order to benefit from the 980's excellent sound quality, do you need to use the analogue outs?

That is, if I use the 980 in my HT where I use optical out to the A/V receiver (not hdmi), would I really benefit from the 980s sonic improvement over my old 970?

Thx
Art
Artmaltman
Most likely not, the best thing is the two outputs your are skipping which is the HDMI and the ANalogs, a standard optical out will more or less probably sound like the same transport.. However it will give you better picture, much better features like it will memorize your last 10 dvd movies, better adjustments, and faster read times over the old model. For the price its still worth a shot.
For those of you that love the 980 sound - did you use it straight out of the box, analog stereo into your audiophile system? Or did you make any changes to the settings prior to using it?
Thx
Art
I used it straight out of the box.
Kal, the most recent column that I see on that Stereophile site is March 2008. I guess we'll need to wait in suspense?
Art
The May issue will be out shortly.

Kal
I just got OPPO 980 h and connect it directly to my EAD PM1000.
And I am very dissapinted - OPPO sounds very detailed but harsh and forward. My speakers are Proak 1.5, interconnets - Wireworld Eclipse, and speaker cable - Wireworld Equinox.
- Would you suggest to modify OPPO? (Ric Schultz (tweakaudio)
is working now on installing 32 bit AKM 4397 DAC to OPPO.)
- Get good tube preamp (eluminate digital OPPO volume control)?
- Get more expansive universal player?
Thank you.
Definitely, get a preamp. The digital VC in the Oppo is not better, or worse, than the typical attenuation in most mass market players. You need to use the Oppo with the VC eliminated.

Kal
Homosapien
Honestly thats very strange, this is one of the most laid back and warm players I have ever heard!

Chalk another one up to impedance or system matching I guess.
04-07-08: Homosapien said:
"I just got OPPO 980 h and connect it directly to my EAD PM1000.
And I am very dissapinted - OPPO sounds very detailed but harsh and forward. My speakers are Proak 1.5, interconnets - Wireworld Eclipse, and speaker cable - Wireworld Equinox.
- Would you suggest to modify OPPO? (Ric Schultz (tweakaudio)
is working now on installing 32 bit AKM 4397 DAC to OPPO.)
- Get good tube preamp (eluminate digital OPPO volume control)?
- Get more expansive universal player?"

I think that a best next step would be to get the attenuation out of the digital domain into analogue by adding a preamp or Ric Schultz "Ultimate Attenuators". Almost any universal player is going to sound better with volume control in the analog domain.

I'd talk to Ric about his 32-bit DAC mod. He was very pleased with it a couple of weeks ago when I last spoke with him, but he thought that the modded Pioneer AV-58DV still sounded better. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he's worked with enough that he's now as pleased or more pleased with the Oppo.

Dave
My Oppo 980 is outstanding in reproducing cds via it's analogue outputs into my high end stereo - Cary SLI-80, Silverline Sonatina II's, etc. It's a very enjoyable sound.

Personally whenever I've tried going without a preamp or using passive volume control I am initially enamoured with the detail, but also find that it sounds thin, kind of threadbare, and lacking in dynamics. To me, preamps rule.

Art
I have to admit that I was wrong about OPPO 980 - you just can not connect it directly to amp. I got Integra 9.8 for MH, and OPPO sounds great!
For 2 ch audio I loan tube preamp Cary SLP-03 from a dealer, and could not stop listening - it was a great please, especially vocals (that's what Cary is known for). I absolutely agree with Art - player outputs a lot of audio information, but it's preamp that creates a music.
BTW, what tube preamp can you recommend? I'd like to have true HT bypass, but found only Cary SLP-05 which seems to be an overkill.
Thank you.
Boris.
I too am interested in a tube preamp to match to the Oppo 980. Thanks in advance.
Do youse a dac with this oppo?