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Mark I think you will love the Oppo 105 I repeat 105 because it has dual ESS Saber dacs and better high end audio circuitry. I would go ahead and buy it in a heartbeat, Highly recommended. You will be very glad im sure. Great sound and features, very well made and reliable. Offers USB audio connection for future server, as well as others. Really best bang for the buck by far.
I understand the difference between the 103 and 105 is more than just balanced outputs. If OP is sure to use only HDMI output, then a 103 might the obvious economic choice; if analog output is a possibility, then a 105. Even if OP thinks use will be HDMI, a 105 provides flexibility for future analog use.
I was also thinking of a 103 or 105 to replace my Sony SCD777ES SACD player which is now a boat anchor. I would be running the player through the dac in my Parasound integrated amp(ESS Sabre dac) using the coaxial digital out and use the analog section of the player for SACD only. Do you think I can get away with using the 103 instead of the 105 in my particular case?
Get a 105, I think you have 30 days to try it out. Had I not already had a great DAC I would have bought the 105, but with a kid in college the 103D was exactly what I was looking for... The 105 has a great DAC in it plus it has every input and output you would need. I could have justified the cost of the 105 if I didn't have a NAD M51 DAC. I was just looking for a great universal transport I could afford. Most of what I use it for is pulling .wav and FLAC files from my hard drive, Netflix, and Pandora.... when it's quiet here I'll spin some of my favorite discs.
The 103 sounds pretty good through its analog outputs, I listen to the analog at night and with HDCDS, I like how I can use the Android app to see my hard drives Playlist and see the tracks and cover art on my tablet. Plus remote volume via the tablet is pretty nice. For $600 this machine was way beyond my expectations, i think you would be hard pressed to find a better player than the 105 for the money.
I've had it for two months and love it. I was able to check it out locally and bought it at a dealer right down the street. If there's anyone here in southeastern MA or RI you can demo these players at Audio Concepts in N. Attleboro MA
Stereo5, the HINT and Oppo 105 have the same DAC, so you don't really gain anything by running the 105 through it. If that is the plan, you are fine with the 103.
To the OP, the 105 is a great universal player. Mine has been modified by ModWright and I had to go up the food chain quite a bit in a dedicated Red Book player to get better sound.
For the price the Oppo is a fantastic player. I own one (actually two) and some other players/DAC (higher-end stuff). When I do A/B tests I am always pleasantly surprised at the performance of the Oppo. The price-performance ratio is great. It will handle anything you throw at it to play (unlike some pricer players) so your "universal" criteria would be met - it's amazing in this regard. I don't think you can go wrong with it. You can always move it to another system if you get tired and want to go really high end.
I just got the Oppo 103 for DVD/BlueRay playback, and the sound quality is superb. It has RCA outs for a 2-channel hookup (as well as 5 channel hookup), which is what I use.
My own feeling is that, where CD players are concerned, you can hit the upper limit on sound quality at a relatively low price point--heresy for some, I know. Could the discerning ear hear the difference b/t a 103 and the 105? I doubt it. In fact, I doubt discernible sound differences between my old Sony $99 dvd player and the Oppo 103 that replaced it. I only got the Oppo for it's build quality and versatility--not only playback variety, but convenience features.
"My own feeling is that, where CD players are concerned, you can hit the upper limit on sound quality at a relatively low price point--heresy for some, I know. Could the discerning ear hear the difference b/t a 103 and the 105? I doubt it. In fact, I doubt discernible sound differences between my old Sony $99 dvd player and the Oppo 103 that replaced it. I only got the Oppo for it's build quality and versatility--not only playback variety, but convenience features."
That's probably not welcome news for many folks who have sunk beaucoup bucks on high end CD players, including yours truly who spent a small fortune upgrading my own Oppo 103 to at least two levels above Nose Bleed level.
Oppo 105D owners,
Can you please comment on the load time for a standard redbook CD? I'm thinking about replacing my Oppo DV-970HD w/Ric Shultz mods that has server me very well for years.. However, I play a lot of standard CDs and don't want to suffer with long load times. I've used another brand of univeral player that was very slow loading for CDs, as well as other formats, and I don't want to make that mistake again.
If load time is a big issue for you, I'd look for a live demo or youtube vid. before buying. When I bought my 105 and later 105D I noticed definite slow reaction time in not just loading time, but also slow switching time (e.g. switching from USB input to disc input) compared to other gear. We're only talking about a few seconds, but I definitely had to teach myself to take a deep breath each time I switched inputs or tried to advance tracks, etc. After a week of use, I got used to it, and it wasn't a problem at all, but if this is a peeve for you, proceed with caution. Cheers,
Just FYI, I would hope by now that most people realize that universal players take considerably longer to load than a conventional CD player. I have an Oppo 105D and a Pioneer BDP 09 for video. On the rare times that I use them for listening sessions, I plan on almost a minute before music starts. My Pioneer PD 65 (used with a Benchmark DAC1) starts playing as soon as the drawer closes. I'm no engineer but I believe the newer machines (especially Blu-Ray and SACD) need time to read the disc to determine what format they are being asked to play.
Tony’s got it right...blue ray is more demanding than simple redbook player is...was told more accurate?
All i can say is i have had the 105d for some months now and it is a pretty capable player...every audio place i talked to..."to shake this thing down" recommended it to me...even if I wasn't using it for dvd...
It replaced a considerably more expensive player and was’nt wanting to go that route ever again...so I had my doubts about this thing...
Does it have more s#*t than ill ever use...yes...its nice to know i have though if needed....no remorse here.
The Oppo 103D uses a non-removable (soldered onto the circuit board) fuse, that looks like a small 2.5A (from the printing on the circuit board).
I ordered a Linear Power Module SE from OppoMod, and was able to replace the small 2.50A slo-blo with a Synergistic Red. Awesome improvement to the picture and sound (over the already stunning improvement of the LPM SE). I did ask Lee Jaehong of OppoMod what fuse he recommended, and he mentioned the AMR Gold.
For those with the OPPOMODS Liner Power Supply the large toroidal transformer responds very well to being wrapped in mu metal. I should also mention the circuit boards in the Oppo should be isolated against the 60 cycle hum of the toroidal transformer. This can be accomplished by mounting the transformer on cork or viscoelastic material. The bolt holding the transformer should not be tightened down all the way. And the standoffs of the circuit boards should have small cork squares inserted where the screws are located on the circuit boards.
Not sure about in the States, but in Melbourne, Australia I was able to purchase the Cambridge BD-752 brand new for half the RRP of the Oppo 105D. It was a no brainer at that price.
I personally prefer the BD-752, finding it more "musically involving" than the 105, which in limited listening was a bit too analytical and etched for my tastes.
The Oppo has a few extra features which I have no requirement for.
So if you can pick up a Cambridge at a good price that's the way I'd go.
FWIW, I have never put much stock in tweaks, or upgrades, believing that they are just snake oil. That was my error. I had my Denon 3520 (from the early 90’s) modded recently and it is like a new machine. I would never attempt upgrades myself but I do believe that tweaking, specifically updating older machines, makes good sense.