Oppo for HT & stereo without a processor?


Given not only my antipathy toward AV processors in general, but also my meager shelf space, I'm thinking of dispensing with an AV processor entirely and running the unbalanced outputs of my Oppo BDP-105 directly to the power amps.

In favor of this idea are the facts that the Oppo's audio processing is at least marginally up to date, the option reduces the shelf space, cost, and wiring required.  Additionally, and in general for audio, simpler is better.  I don't need any more than 5.1 in my room, and the Oppo should suffice without much ado.

Against this idea is the fact that the Oppo, while capable of driving the power amps directly, may not be the ideal tool for this job.  For one thing, the Oppo's digital volume control has the theoretical potential to truncate bit length.  For another, the buffer amps in the Oppo's outputs aren't (or at least don't seem to me) to be as robust as those in dedicated preamps and processors.

I hope to ameliorate the latter by using a tube buffer (probably the ubiquitous Yaqin SD-CD3) between the Oppo & the power amps, at least on the stereo R/L front channels.

Are there any logical reasons to accept, reject, or modify this course of action?

Thanks - Boomzilla

boomzilla
I suspect the reason you haven't received a reply is that this topic has been covered many times.  There are plenty of folks who think a direct connection from the Oppo to the amp is optimum, others who prefer an intervening prepro.  My Oppo 105D goes through a Bryston SP3; my 105 goes through a Cary Cinema 12.  But I've gone directly to amps in the past, and thought it sounded very good, just not quite as good as through the prepro.

Well, I tried it last night for the first time, and I didn't think that it sounded quite right either.  The Yaqin tube buffer might have done better but for its hum.  I may have to start lopping off grounding plugs to achieve a "star ground" for the system.

Should I ground through the Oppo or through the power amp?  I'm suspecting the former since the signal voltages are lower there?

For 2 channel it may be best to have a direct connection but for 5.1 surround sound movie applications, you want impact, a good and exaggerated surround field, clear vocals on the center channel, chest shaking bass, and most importantly, a calibrated system that an AV processor can provide.  
The Oppo's outputs do best @ 100% output.  So I need a preamp (preferably, with HT bypass, but can work around if not).  

Other than Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, & McIntosh, who else has good tube preamps AND enough stability to be sure they'll be around if I ever need service?

Issue resolved - I've gotten a CJ ET-3 preamp (has HT bypass) to handle stereo duty.  Now I'll be able to turn the Oppo outputs to 100% & attenuate in the CJ.
I think you set the Oppo output to fixed.

Never pull a ground pin from a plug. Multiple safety reasons. 

I use an Oppo 103 to a Halo P7, but I use miniDSP for equalization. There are several models. The bass management in the Oppo is pretty full featured but there's no room correction available.

Best,

Erik
boomzilla,

dpphd is correct, I remember he and I both responded on a similar thread about a year ago.  We both have systems that utilize the Oppo-105; although he uses a prepro while I go direct to multiple class D amps.

     I originally used a VTL 2.5 tube preamp with ht bypass with the Oppo but, after comparing this to direct using XLR cables from Oppo l +r stereo outputs and my mono blocks, I sold the VTL  since the Oppo was surprisingly very good as a 2-ch preamp but I understand that's subject to taste. I'm also using the unbalanced outputs in a 5.1 system.  and the processing is solid. As erik mentioned, you do lose the room correction if that's important to you.

     According to this thread on Audio Circle the 105 does not lose bits due to its digital volume control:because it's 32 bit and the volume adjustments are done in the Saber dac chips:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=114588.0

Enjoy,
  Tim
 
I believe Oppo direct to Amp will sound better without a pre-amp. The problem is the line-out is 2v single end and 4v XLR, it will be too loud for my speakers. To get to listening level, I have to turn digital to 50% which will loss some bits (until reatch 75%). Add a -re-amp will degrade sound quality and cost more money. What shall I do?