The Sony is a very good player. Since you are using it for 5.1 DVD movies, you most likely feed its signal into a multi-channel processor. In that case, you won't hear any difference at all. If I were you, I would save the money for something else.
I agree with Sidssp. I doubt you will notice any difference between the 2 if you are using it as a transport. There is one thing you may want to try. I had the 9000ES and had a very interesting experience with it. It took me a couple of weeks to figure it out, but what happened was it degraded the sound quality of my system when I was using other sources. When I removed it from my system, it went back to normal. You may want to try a power cord like a JPS Digital AC or a line conditioner that isolates each outlet. Even if the Sony is your only source, you could probably make it sound better with some power products. Try before you buy, though. I get everything like this from Cable Co first. That way I don't waste money.
Thanks, Just what I wanted to hear, as the Sony is working great and is so easy to use.
Well, let's not forget that the Oppos also offer many more format playback options. I realize that the OP asked about DVD only. But chances are that he will eventually want to explore the rapidly increasing world of Bluray audio and video. The Sony cannot do this.
Additionally, the Oppos will also allow the playback of DVD-Audio discs, the Sony cannot. And even more: the Oppos will also connect to a home network and/or the internet. This opens up a whole new world of music sources for him to explore. The Sony cannot do this.
And, in the case of the Oppo 105, this unit can operate as a stand-alone, multi-channel DAC that uses the ESS Sabre DAC chips, regarded by many as the best in the world.
Plus Oppo's customer service is head and shoulders above Sony's in terms of responsiveness and overall customer satisfaction. And Oppo are constantly updating even their out of production units with new features and capabilities.
All in all, the Oppos are *much* more versatile machines and will future-proof his system for years to come...
Though at this time I am not interested in those other features, if I want blu ray, is there a difference between the 103 and 105 when used for 5.1 channel movies only? Processor is Sunfire TGP-5.
Oppo for blu rays..... you will want to use an hdmi connection and there is not a difference. Now, that is straight from Oppo. also if you have a newer and on the better side prepro....mine is a av8801.... Oppo recommends that the prepro does ALL of the processing.
i only write this, not as a consumer opinion, but what Oppo told me within the last week.
shoot them an email.... they are tell good at getting back to you.
I concur with RW points. The analog section of the 105 is superior to that of the 103, but If OP is certain he will not want to use analog in the future, then the 103 is the less expensive buy.
Re Sony 9000ES and 9100ES. I've had both, the 9000ES is very handsome, so it's sitting on the floor of my closet; the 9100ES less so, and I gave it away.
Agree about the 9000ES, I still have mine on bottom shelf...
A prepro needs to be pretty damn good to better the analog of a 105. I think most of those prepros cost around $10K. I think the AV 8801 represents very good value, but I doubt it's in that top category. OTOH, if room correction is important, that may argue for HDMI rather than analog connection.
The 8801 is very close indeed to the Oppo 105 for 2/ch and could easily live with the least cost solution of running everything to it.That is saying a lot and I'm glad I don't have to choose between the two, now having said that if I had my choice and I do ! I use the 105 for all 2/ch as it does nudge pass the 8801 just enough to justify buying it, the 8801 excels beyond expectations as preamp ( hidden gem) I compared all three.
1. I hooked the 105 direct to my Halo A21 as it can function as a preamp, and this became a solid reference point yielding some great sound.
2. I hooked the 105 via hdmi to the 8801 and set the Oppo to bitstream and let the 8801 handle the 2/ch conversion to pcm (no Audyssey )and couldn't believe it was hdmi as it rivaled an analog connection in musicality but has great pacing of the music.
3. and lastly I hooked the 105's balanced outs to the xlr inputs on the 8801 and used the Pure direct mode, let's just say finally you don't need a separate preamp with HT/bypass anymore!
This is my preferred connection,I use the 105 for 2/ch usb/cd and stereo sacd playback, with the 8801 via hdmi for all else and this includes 2/ch when I want somthing different.
This isn't mentioning the SOTA multi/ch processing the 8801 is capable of which is so good , I use it multi/ch sacd with Audyssey and its the best reproduction of music I've heard period!
You will need to spend well over 20k to justify getting better!
For a complete comparison did you try the 105 analog to the A21, using analog stereo for the front LR of 7.1? I can believe that Audyssey might provide an advantage with multiple speakers, though I wonder if set up using a tape measure and SLP meter would accomplish much the same.
The ARC of the chip used in the Cary Cinema 11a is useless, so I use a Velodyne SMS-1 bass manager for room correction for a pair of HGS-15 subs. The 105 outputs analog to Cary inputs set to bypass; the Sony XA-5400ES outputs HDMI. The amps are Proceed HPA 2 & 3 driving KEF R107/2 mains and R102 surrounds.
I'd like to try an 8801 in my room. I've been told I'd be disappointed for balanced stereo, but multichannel might be a win -- I've never tried Audyssey.
Hi! if you reread my post, the 105's analog outs for a stereo comparison to the Halo A21 was the first connection method , I used the XLR connection and this became my reference point to judge the 8801 as a 2 channel preamp in which you won't be disappointed, but rather shocked at just how good it is. Its because of that comparison to the 105 going directly to my amp, I feel no need for a dedicated 2/ch preamp, as the 8801 kills in this regard.
My question was did you try 5.1 or 7.1 analog directly from the 105 to the A 21? If I understand your last post, and I'm not sure I do, are you saying you prefer XLR stereo through the 8801 to XLR directly from the 105 to your A21 or that there is no sonic difference whether the Halo or Oppo does the analog? I don't know anything about the A21, but I assume it accepts XLR input. I only belabor this because I have a lingering interest in the 8801 as a cost effective way to Audyssey, but I read Kal Rubinson's review to suggest the 8801 is not quite in the same sonic league as the Classe CT-SSP or Bryston SP-3, i.e. . . ."is the best sounding preamplifier-processor I have heard at or below its price".
Kal bought the 8801! that should tell something and as for the Halo A21, its a stereo amp. I didn't try the 5.1 or 7.1 only the stereo balanced outs from the Oppo 105 direct to the A21 ( with no 8801 in the chain)But in the end I ran the balanced outs of the Oppo through the 8801 because its in addition to being a top notch processor and outstanding 2/ch preamp.
Thanks, Jdub39. What amp are you using for the surrounds? I'd really like to try an 8801, but I'd feel obligated if the local dealer did let me take one home. The local guy I bought the Cary from seems to have connections, so maybe he can line up an 8801 for me to try -- it might also come with a big discount as in the case of the Cary. By the time I bought the Cary, it already had a reputation for outstanding sound combined with annoyingly buggy processing. The 8801 has a reputation for great processing, but I remain skeptical about its sound given Kal's price-oriented caveat. IIRC he also has a very expensive Meridian.
For surround duty I use an Anthem MCA 30 3x220, and good luck on getting a demo on the 8801 I think you'll like what you hear.