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Oppo BDP-105 Blu-Ray Player Review

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Blu-Ray Music

The BDP-105 obviously plays Blu-Ray music files encoded with Dolby TruHD or DTS-HD Master Audio, as wells as 24-bit/192 kHz. I made a few comparisons to see if there’s any difference in these digital formats.

Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is available on Blu-Ray Pure Audio with 24-bit/96kHz files from Universal Music. Switching between the 3 formats mentioned above makes absolutely no difference. They all sound terrible. Poor Amy. You’d think Universal would make a better effort to commemorate Ms. Winehouse; but they made a quick 30 bucks from me, which may have been the main purpose of the release.

The Spirit of Turtle by Turtle Records in cooperation with dCS is a wonderful collection of Turtle’s music. The box contains two discs, one SACD and one Blu-Ray with 5.1 DTS-HD MA and 2.0 LPCM 24-bit/192 kHz tracks. The tracks represent both jazz and classical. The recordings are of excellent quality and certainly worth the $60 investment. The LPCM tracks sounded better than the 5.1 DTS-HD MA converted to 2 channels, which is not much of a surprise. Less processing is an advantage.

One of the tracks is a movement from Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 2 with two sopranos singing. The SACD soars with the great tonality and extension of the voices. The LPCM version is good but does not match the SACD top end resolution.

To get a comparison, I swapped the test SACDs to my Sony SCD-XA5400SA which had a “tube-job” by Modwright a few years ago. This modification involves installing a 6SN7 tube analog output board fed DC from an external tube rectifier power supply. The base XA5400 has a list price of $1,500, the modification costs an additional $1,995.

ModWright offers a similar mod for the Oppo BDP-105 for $2,495. I’ve auditioned the ModWright Oppo at several audio shows and it sounded promising with well-organized top frequencies. I’ve have not had an opportunity to hear it in my system so I can’t comment on how a ModWright Oppo compares with my XA5400.

The ModWright XA5400 was clearly superior to the stock Oppo BDP-105. The highs were both cleaner and more extended. The bass felt tighter and voices more natural. The soundstage of the XA5400 is world class, with instruments placed distinctly against a wide stage. The stock Oppo has a good soundstage but it’s no match for the ModWright. The Mendelssohn track on the Turtle SACD changes from a great recording on the Oppo to a live experience with the ModWright. The better the recording, the more evident are the shortcomings of the Oppo. “The Meaning of the Blues” track on Opus 3’s Showcase SACD is a good example. On the ModWright, the jazz trio is nicely separated on a sound stage well behind the speakers against a dead silent background. The Oppo is not as quiet and can’t pull the same resolution from the source material.

Digital Files

My initial impression of downloaded files played from a USB stick was rather disappointing. I compared discs and downloads of the same recordings. The disc was generally better for high rez content. For Red Book CD there’s no major difference between the CD and the ripped version. Consequently, it would be no hardship to rip a CD collection to a hard disc and conveniently play the tracks trough the iPad App. For high rez files it’s worth the extra bucks – and additional computer time – to get the 192 kHz rather than the 96 kHz, provided the original recording is good enough. The Oppo can bring out the extra detail with the higher format. Downloaded DSD files certainly sound better than 24/96 and even 24/192 tracks.


Transport & Media Center

The best feature of the Oppo BDP-105 is that it can function as a media center for all your music files and discs. CDs, DVDs and DVD-Audio discs can be played and digitally transferred to the DAC via coax RCA, optical cable or HDMI (there’s no USB output). Files on an attached USB drive will also transfer to a DAC.

I tested the Oppo as a transport/media center by hooking it up to a Benchmark DAC1 with an Analysis-Plus Oval SPDIF RCA cable. SACDs did not play since the DAC1 does not handle this format. Digital files of the USB connection will play including DSD and DFF formats. The Oppo obviously converts DSD to PCM. There are several other conversion options are available in the set-up menu.

Comparing the Benchmark DAC1 with the Oppo was interesting. The Oppo has big, boomy bass. The Benchmark has tighter bass and slightly better high frequency extension. This applies to all material up to 96 kHz. On the 192 kHz files the Oppo is better – especially on the highs. On big symphonic pieces the Oppo is also better with greater representation of a large orchestra. The newer Benchmark DAC2 is a more appropriate match for high rez files than the DAC1 since it can process DSD and DFF files.

I would not hesitate to use the Oppo as a media hub with a high-end DAC and cable, controlled from an iPad or your ever-present iPhone. This would eliminate the need for hooking up a cumbersome lap top to your audio rack.


The BDP-105 has a headphone amp with a jack on the front panel. Volume is controlled by the remote control which is a handy feature and allows for easy adjustment from your comfy armchair. Hook up a hard disc and the Wi-Fi app and you can spend the whole evening without getting up from your listening chair.

The headphone amplifier on the BDP-105 is quite good. It was able to drive my high impedance Sennheiser HD800 at a volume setting between 90 and 100%. At 100% it was usually too loud except for quiet passages on classical music. Since the HD-800 cans are hard to drive there should be no problem using most headphones with the Oppo. The sound off the headphone outlets on the DAC1 was marginally better than the Oppo with tighter bass and a more open sound stage. The DAC1 was also capable of ear splitting sound levels – with the volume knob half way to max.


So is the Oppo BDP-105 a real audiophile device? It certainly is a great sounding player and a good entry to high rez audio. If you need a Blu-Ray player and want to stream TV, the BDP-105 is a bargain. But the best feature is that the Oppo is a practical and inexpensive way to set up a media center. A high end DAC can be added when means allow.

My main objection is that on high quality recordings it does not satisfy my requirements for low noise and precise resolution. For the Audiophile looking for a bargain, this may be the best sound you’ll ever hear for the money.

3 Responses to Oppo BDP-105 Blu-Ray Player Review

  1. audiofool says:

    You missed out on the hidden bonus with the Oppo; it has a competent DLNA streaming capability. Surprised you didn’t try NAS high rez audio streaming, should have given the disc playback competition vs doing the inevitable fail with a USB stick.

  2. I, too, own an OPPO 105 D with all the latest mods downloaded into it from the factory. And, I can honestly say that it is the quietest Blue Ray CD/DVD player I have listened to in my “he-man” hi-fi rig.

    Further, the Oppo sports a signal to noise ratio of 130 dB at full out put of 2.2 volts. This is one quiet machine. I use my Oppo as a preamplifier and surround sound processor, too. Getting a separate surround sound processor or stereo preamplifier out of the system and go directly from the CD super quiet Sabre DtoA converter chips to 8 super quiet analogue outlets to the power amplifiers works very well. Indeed, it has the quality of sound found in $50,000.00 stereo preamplifiers I have carefully auditioned and ABX blind tested with the Oppo. It’s very “live” sounding, yet smooth. It’s grain free with sound coming from a silent black velvet background. All details are laid bare. I have even heard musicians turning their music pages that simply cannot be heard on other high end CD players hooked up to a high end preamp. If you like detail, a real “you are at the live venue” quality of sound with absolutely no electronic sound found therein (no hiss, no noise, no grain…just silky smooth, very detailed sound, then get an Oppo BD105D player and also use it as your preamplifier for stereo or surround sound. It’s a joy to set up and simple to use and understand. It also has an wonderful owner’s manual that cover EVERYTHING and should be the standard all hi-fi gear manufacturers use to model after.

    One last thing, the surround sound qulaity and operation of the Oppo is simply “state-of-the-art”. It is very enveloping and properly blended to place you in a cacoon of sound as it should. Every conceivable adjustment for picture and sound (be it stereo or 7.2 surround sound in the most advanced varieties available). The remote is excellent, easy to use and lights up in the dark with a press of a button so you can make adjustments to picture and/or sound in the dark. Honeslty, there is noting out there that can touch this instrumetn for $1,300.00 or even $10,000.00. It’s the best bargain in stereo sound reproduction and home theater surround sound, too.

  3. Luka Koprivica says:

    I must say, people like youself will never be able to enjoy music again, like “most people” do every single day.
    I am not saying that 105 is the best, but I assure anyone that you cannot possibly distinct 96 from 192 kHz recording.

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