Oppo BD 105, stand alone DAC, or music streamer

I am trying to improve the resolution of two channel digital files played on my Home Theater system. I have an Arcam AVR400, an older Yamaha cdp and a Panasonic bdp. I have tried various configurations (HDMI, S/PDIF and analogue) for two channel play back, and the best so far is analogue out of the Yamaha to the Arcam. The DACs in the Panasonic and the Arcam are less musical than the Yamaha for two channel, but do a little better with the bass (except flac files streamed through the network connection on the Arcam, which have weak bass - go figure). The Panasonic/Arcam combo is terrific for both multichannel sound and picture on Bluray disks. The Arcam's amp section is the best for an AVR I have heard at this price point for two or multi channel playback.

My current ideas to improve 2 channel reproduction include adding a $1,000 or less stand alone DAC (say an Arcam irDAC, MyDac or similar well-reviewed modest priced dac), using the Panasonic bdp as a transport, and ditching the older Yamaha; or, getting a Oppo BD105 to replace both transports.

Question - how good is the Oppo for two channel? Is it better than a good but not reference level stand alone dac in your opinion? Absolute resolution and accuracy at frequency extremes are good in my opinion but should not come at the expense of tone, air and musical flow.

All ideas and opinions within Oppo BD105 price envelope appreciated. Speakers for this system are Monitor Audio Apex A40 in the front and A10 in the back. Sub is a B&W PVD1. Solutions that simplify streaming from iDevice or wireless hub welcome.

Thanks for your suggestions,

Ag insider logo xs@2xknownothing
I think the Oppo 105 analog is quite good, but you can decide for yourself by taking advantage of Oppo's 30-day return policy if it doesn't satisfy you. You'd be out only the cost of return shipping. Lots of folks who post at AVS argue for using a 95 or 105 direct to amps, eliminating a preamp or processor. The Oppos can do speaker configuration, bass management, and volume control, and their video processing is excellent.

We use analog from a 105 in our HT setup. Stereo goes through a Parasound Halo JC-2 analog preamp that it shares with a Sony XA5400ES and JC-3 phono stage. The amps are Proceed HPA monsters that drive KEF Reference 107/2 mains and 102 surrounds. The sound, whether music or HT, is superb. Video projected onto a 100" screen is also superb. We use the 105 as the processor for all surround, including that from a DirecTV HD-DVR. SW from the 105 goes to a pair of Velodyne SMS-1s that control a pair of HGS-15s.

I use an Oppo 105 as a DAC in my stereo and HT system. Stereo is mainly via computer audio through a MacBook Air running Aurdirvana Plus and 24/96 HDTrack files via USB into the Oppo. From the Oppo to a Krell HTS 7.1 (Analog, with the Krell just acting as a volume control). See my previous post on this subject. IMHO the results are spectacular, I am very happy with my system now and do not plan to change anything. Furthermore, regular CD via the Oppo is also excellent.
The 105 analog is quite good. Very good USB DAC as well. I'm one of those who run it directly into amps (W4S Mamps). The 105 appears to like amps with a higher input impedance based on my experiences. Really very happy with the combination. So simple as well.
I use the Oppo will not let you down. The break end is long and I think the XLR outs sound better than RCA
Update on this thread.

I haven't moved on a 2-channel DAC or universal disk player yet, but my Panasonic Blu-Ray quit working reliably, so after some consideration of Arcam or Oppo BDP players, I decided to just replace with another mass market player for the time being, a Samsung BD-H6500 Blu-Ray player. Turns out it was a terrific idea.

Sending raw bitstream data to my Arcam AVR400 via optical toslink, The Samsung sounds glorious. Timing is great, sound is detailed but not harsh. Bass is clear and pianos sound like a piano. Zero listening fatigue, even at high volumes. It is the best transport I have used to date, better than Sony ES, Cambridge Audio and Yamaha CD players, Panasonic Blu-Ray and Toshiba DVD. Granted, have not compared to dCS or other super high end transport, but this player only cost $149 new. And it does a good job with video and audio on Blu-Ray disks and streamed sources (Sound and Vision compared H6500’s HT performance favorably to Oppo 103D, although Samsung build is highly suspect). The Samsung has two built-in processors – don’t know if that helps with jitter or what, but results are really quite good.

Up to this point, while high res multichannel audio was terrific processed and amplified with the Arcam receiver, I was ready to write-off the DACs in the AVR400 for two channel redbook playback, and was shopping for an external DAC as the analog-in from my phono pre and old CDP were killing streamed data played through the internal DACs using mostly the Panasonic BDP as source. Now the two channel digital is every bit as enjoyable as (but different from) vinyl through the Arcam, and noticeably better than my old Yamaha CDP. While the Samsung may not last as long as an Oppo 103/105, neither will the current video specs. The fact that the Samsung does such a good as both a Blu-Ray and redbook transport is frosting on the cake. I may still get a stand alone DAC to support multiple digital sources, but in no rush now.

Your post doesn't make much sense. You write that your $149 Samsung is a better transport than a Sony ES and that S&V compared it to an Oppo 103D rather than the 105, the Oppo with the superior DACs. I assume you are aware that Stereophile rated the Sony XA5400ES A+ and the Oppo 105 A in their recommended components list. Since I wrote my original reply, I've added an Ayre C-5xeMP that I suspect also wouldn't match the $149 Samsung in your view.

But if you're happy, so be it.
The optical Toslink connection from the Samsung as described here is set up to bypass it's DACs, so I was comparing it to CDPs, BDs and DVD players used as transports only in my system, IE unprocessed digital out to AVR. Not comparing with all CDPs listed above used as full-on CD players, IE analog out. For comparison with full CDP performance envelope, I only carefully compared Samsung digital to Arcam DACs versus the Yamaha CDC-715 analog out to Arcam AVR. I was making the point that the Samsung sounds good used as a transport sending bitstream data to external (to the BDP) DAC, and that the Arcam AVR400 internal DACs can sound very good in two channel when fed by an effective (raw bit for bit) transport. Good enough that I have lost the immediate urge to upgrade anything, and am now content to focus on listening to and increasing my collection of music.

In my system, it would be reasonable to expect that the Oppo 105 would sound better than the Samsung when both are compared as transports only, and might have better quality and implemented DACs and analog circuits compared with the Arcam AVR's internal DACs and circuits when the Oppo is used as a stand alone CD player with analog out and good cables. I haven't compared that in my system and have not critically listened to the Oppo 105 at a dealer, so don't want to say. I have heard the Ayre you mention at a dealer, and it is terrific. I would expect it to sound as good or better than the Samsung used purely as a transport with the Arcam AVR, and to be a clear step up over the Samsung transport/Arcam internal DAC combination when the Arye is used as a full-on CD player with analog out and good cables played through the Arcam AVR amps.

I should be sure to qualify my previous post as the best I have heard in my system, with the gear I currently have on hand. Not trying to make ridiculous claims here, just saying the Samsung BD-H6500 is surprisingly good used purely as a transport for CDs given that it is a relatively cheap mass produced box. If I could afford one of the Arye players right now, I would probably buy it. But yes, all things considered, I am happy for now.

Hope that helps put my points in perspective.