I own an Oppo BDP-105D. The D stands for Darbee which takes a standard hi-def picture and adds contrast where needed to give the picture a very “alive, you are there” look. The picture is very real and three dimensional-looking with no artifacts or problems. I have yet to find a DVD player at any cost that can produce a better, cleaner, life-like picture on my top-of-the-line Sony Projector and 94-inch screen.
As for the sound, I use this unit as a 7.1 preamplifier processor for surround sound and as a two channel pre-amp for 2.1 stereo. I listen mostly to hi-def recordings streamed to my computer and played via a Chrome unit that transmits from my computer to the chrome receiving HDMI device plugged into the front of the Oppo. The higher-definition transmissions sound amazing on my stereo and 7-channel home theater system. They produce a “you are there” very live sound with clarity in depth, width and realistic image. I have never experienced nearly this high quality sound through a $4,500 pre-pro I used prior to using the Oppo as one.
It’s amazing to spend only $1,300 for the Oppo (bought online) to act as a “state-of-the-art” CD and SACD and streaming player and enjoy the best, most realistic sound I have ever experienced on my $40,000 speaker system. The Oppo BDP-105D replaced the $4,500 pre-pro and a $3,500 top-of-the -line Sony SACD/CD/DVD player. I now have an additional shelf for other items. I run one 200-watt mono Anthem for each individual driver in my theater. My front speakers are tri-amplified and crossed over electronically. The Oppo handles all of the amplifiers’ power to the multitude of drivers built into the seven surround speakers plus two 1,000-watt, 15-inch sub woofers.
Meanwhile, my Oppo provides a 7.1 audio signal to 15 separate amplifiers used to power each speaker’s individual drivers. Hence, 200 watts RMS, 20 to 20,000 Hz of power is provided to each individual tweeter in each speaker enclosures. Ditto the mid range drivers, the bass drivers and the Sub Woofer amplifiers. Each of my speaker is either bi or tri-amplified. This is accomplished via an elaborate “electronic” cross over that is external (out of the cabinet and in the equipment rack) for each speaker and individual driver. This adds to the clarity of my audio system. My tweeter and mid range speakers are all Scan Speak speakers. The bass drivers and sub woofer drivers are Dayton speakers. The enclosures are custom designed via computer modeling, and weigh nearly 200 pounds each. The sub woofers are in separate matching enclosures, which features 1-inch thick left, rear and right side MDF wood and 2-inch thick front baffles. They are porter. Each driver is equalized using a special calibrated microphone and a computer program. In this manner, each speaker (driver) is first equalized in free space to be flat within its working range. Then the speaker enclosures are placed in the room for best directivity for general seating on an 8-foot wide sofa and equalized to the room. This is done with 7 separate speaker enclosures plus two sub woofer enclosures. My audio and theater room is 24 feet wide, 18 feet 4 inches deep and 11 feet high. The room has light sound improvements and is on the “live” side of reflectivity. The walls have been draped where first and secondary main reflections occur. The ceiling is flocked (pop corn) and the floor is tile, covered with a 9 x 11 feet carpet. The furniture is leather. The tables have glass tops. This gives the aliveness to the room needed to cause music to sound natural and not muffled (as is experienced in overly treated rooms).
Finally, the Oppo is very attractive aesthetically. Mine is in silver to match the face plates of my Anthem power amplifiers which makes for a handsome high-end display on my home theater shelves which contains all of the items needed to run the theater’s visual and audio equipment. The Oppo IR remote is excellent, has a strong back light and is effortless to use.
When you remove a preamplifier processor and adjoining cables from your audio system and replace it with the Oppo 3-D Blu-ray DVD/CD/SACD player to act as your surround sound processor and as your stereo preamplifier, a great improvement in clarity is realized. Literally, hundreds and hundreds of electronic parts, processing chips, and many-many feet of wire have been eliminated between the sound source (CD, etc.) to the amplifier. The digital-to-analog conversion chip set in the Oppo is the high end Sabre D-to-A chip, considered one of the finest in the world. Their signal-to-noise ratio is an astounding 130 decibels with a full 2-volts of output. The Oppo has plenty of power using a heavy duty transformer to power any amplifier on the market today without clipping.
The Oppo is the quietest preamplifier and surround sound processor I have ever experienced. Turn the volume up to maximum, put your ear right next to any speaker and you hear nothing. It is dead silent. A full volume setting on my speakers will drive up to 130 db of sound pressure at 1 meter. That’s ear damaging loud! A quiet amplifier allows the instruments played to be heard in a manner that brings them across as “real.” I hear the saliva on the reed of a sax, the wood vibes of a bass viol, the resonance of a cello, the wood sound of a clarinet, the bite of brass and the ring off of a triangle disappearing into infinity. And, oh my gosh!… the bass. It is clean, not boomy. It is precise, clear and tuneful, yet so clearly deep I can feel the pressurization in the room as the molecules of moving air flood my inner ear. The Oppo is very close to neutral. It does not favor mids, highs or bass. It simply plays all octaves of music at the level in which it was recorded. Because of its quiet nature, I hear things on a CD never noticed before such as an air conditioner cycling on, the closing of a door quietly in the background, a motor vehicle driving by outside the studio…breathing of musicians, the turning of pages of music and things just not heard on any CD player I have experienced to date until I played my CDs, and rediscovered them, on my Oppo.
I can’t say enough good things about Oppo’s customer support. A phone call to their west coast office puts you in immediate touch with a technical person who can walk you through any issue, and answer questions in such a manner you don’t have to be an electronics engineer or technical type to understand what is being said. The Oppo user’s manual is, without question the standard of the industry for use, clarity, and appearance. It dots every i and crosses every t in a manner that can be understood by the novice, and appreciated by the audio video enthusiast. Finally, buying on-line is risk free. When you buy online direct from the factory or an authorized Oppo dealer as I did, you have a 30-day trial period to experience the Oppo. If you are not completely delighted, send it back for a full refund. There is no risk when you buy this Oppo player.
I hope telling you readers out there about my experience with the Oppo player over the past year is of benefit to you. If you are short on funds to buy a decent CD player and a stereo preamp/processor, then get the Oppo for hundreds of not thousands less and get a unit that equals or exceeds most other high end players out there costing many-many thousands of dollars more. Also, the Oppo will not go obsolete on you. Hooking it up to your wi-fi allows for update downloads to keep it current with meaningful changes and self-improvements created by the Oppo engineers. This is a fantastic piece of primary audio gear you will enjoy for many, many years.
Copy editor: Laurence A. Borden
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