Oppo DV980H Audio Quality

Wondering if any local audiophiles have had a chance to review the Oppo DV980H from strictly an audio perspective (plenty of video reviews available)? Supposed to be improved audio over the other Oppos. Interested in CD redbook, SACD, DVD-A & HDCD playback quality. As a reference, I have a Sony DVP 9000ES now.

Also, any feedback on Oppo mods will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance. I know there are many others also interested in the Oppos.
I just sold mine. Bought a Blue Ray player. The Oppo 980 is a great video player, but nothing special with audio. My old Toshiba SD-9200 was so much better. Not even close. Even the new Sony blue ray sounds much better to me. The Oppo sounded like most cheap dvd players, very thin. But I bought mine for video.
Hifidreams, The 980 just came out and you have already sold it? Why didn't you just return it to Oppo? My Oppo 981 gave me a better picture and comparable sound to my sony 9100es so the sony got sold.
It was the 981 I had. Didn't know they had a new one. But I still didn't think the audio wasn't anything special at all. The video is some of the best I have seen, but the audio was about the same as an old Onkyo dvd changer I have. And it still looks like the 981 is there top model.
I have the DV981HD and a Denon 2900...I prefer the sound on the Denon by a longshot...thin, especially on the low end of the spectrum and slightly brittle at the upper end. The Denon sounds livelier and more natural than the Oppo for me.

Now that said, the 981HD is easily the best picture I have had in my system...simply a great combo with non HD or BluRay DVDs
I think this unit was recently reviewed in Stereophile. Conclusion was the player was ok but it improved dramatically when used as a transport. Perhaps it could be used as a DVD player/CD transport with an addon DAC ?
Remember, all the raves about oppo's audio capability are centered on using the oppo as a transport only. Its ananlog RCA outputs are nothing to write home about. You want to connect it to a decent DAC to appreciate its quality. On a side note, I think based on reviews the oppos are decent performers when it comes to SACD or DVD-Audio.
Stokjoc wrote: "I think this unit was recently reviewed in Stereophile. "

Nope. Earlier model was reviewed. This one will be soon.

Happybob, my take from the Stereophile review is a bit different. As I recall the Stereophile review suggested that the earler Oppo worked best as a transport, and that full resolution from HiRez audio formats were compromised, not being much better than Red Book CD. My take was that Stereophile liked the Oppo DV 970 HD as a CD transport.
Hifidreams, I thought Blueray players only played DVD's. How were you able to compare the audio?
Unsound, I should clarify myself. Oppo is a decent performer with SACD or DVD-Audio when used as a transport to output 16-bit/96khz digitally through coax connection to good DAC. Oppo players will not output DSD from the SACD, but it will convert the DSD to 96khz LPCM first before sending the digital signal through coax to the DAC. This only works on 2 channel SACD and DVD-Audio of course. With multi-channel SACD, you do have to rely on the multi-channel analog output of the Oppo, or use hdmi. But so far, you won't find too many high-end amps/pre-amps that will take HDMI. You are pretty much limited to those consumer grade Denon, Yamaha, Marantz receivers. Some nicer sounding receivers such as the Arcam ones do offer HDMI, but unfortunately only for video purpose.
Happybob... so are you saying that you can play SACD or DVD-Audio using the Oppo as solely a transport into an external DAC? Did I read that right?

If so, I'm curious about how the SACD 2 channel DSD to LPCM converted digital out stacks up... Have you compared it to redbook output of the same recording? (just using the Oppo as a transport in both cases)?
Mdconnelly, yes, that's what I'm saying. Oppo will convert DSD to LPCM first, at least that's what I gathered from the Stereophile review and other online posts. It's this capability to output 96khz LPCM that had stereophile raved about it. Unfortunately I haven't tried it myself since I don't own any SACD. But I'm about to go and pick one up and try it myself. I'll let you know once I confirm the finding.

What I'm wondering is how can you be sure that what you're getting thru the digital out is not just the redbook layer and not a conversion of the higher res SACD or DVD-A... It would be easy to check with an SACD only disk (I think most of the Sonys are like that).
Mdconnelly, okay,I went out and bought a Diana Krall Hybrid SACD (The Girl In The Other Room) and I'm sorry to say that I was wrong. The Oppo does NOT convert DSD to 24/96 LPCM and allow it to go through the digital coax or toslink output. It will only go through the analog outputs. I went back to check the Stereophile review, apparently they were only able to output 24/96 LPCM through the digital coax when using an unlocked DVD-A, not SACD. Supposedly some brands publish unlocked DVD-As. At this point, I'm not sure if I'm going to run out to buy a DVD-A too just to test this out since I have no idea which DVD-A is unlocked. With the Oppo player, you can select the exact layer from the SACD hybrid disc you want to play under the Setup menu. It allows you to pick among CD, SACD Stereo, and SACD multi-channel. I did a brief comparison of CD layer (Oppo's analog output) vs. SACD Stereo layer (Oppo's analog output) vs. CD Layer (Oppo's digital coax to Mhdt Lab Paradisea+ DAC). The SACD stereo layer definitely provides the most details. For example, the timbre of the guitar and piano was richer, and there seems to be a little background details than what would otherwise be heard as "air" in the CD layer. The CD layer output from Oppo analog just seems to sound thinner overall and adds a veil of digital harshness to the overall sound. By going through my Mhdt Lab Paradisea+, I was able remove most of the digital harshness and made the sound a little richer, but obviously couldn't get the overall details and timbre richness of the SACD layer. I think at this point, to feed 24/96 digital signal to the DAC, you would have to go hunt down those unlocked DVD-As or look for someone who can mod the Oppo to output 24/96 LPCM converted from DSD through its digital coax/toslink outputs. I think someone on the stereophile forum was able to do just that with a mod.
Happybob, thanks for the update... I thought what you were suggesting sounded too good to be true. I have sent off an email to a moder of the Oppo to get their take on this. I'll post whatever I hear.