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Oppo BDP-105D USB DAC/Streaming Blu-ray player Review

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In My Reference System

I want to state from the start that I have not found my Teresonic speakers very friendly to Redbook CD. Mike Zivkovic, the president of Teresonic, disagrees with me on this point and often uses digital sources at shows. My reference system consists of Teresonic Ingenium XR-Silver speakers driven by the Pass Labs XA30.8 pure class-A stereo amp. The linestage duties are carried out by an Emia Remote Autoformer. All the cabling is High Fidelity CT-1 Ultimate Reference. So, there are some significant upgrades going on. I plugged a $13,500 High Fidelity power cable into the Oppo, feeding from a $9,000 HB Cable Design PowerSlave Marble power distributor. The interconnect between the Oppo and the Emia was a pair of  $13,000 High Fidelity CT-1UR.

By the time I put it in this system, the Oppo BDP-105D had over 500 hours on it, so I had seen no need for any break-in time. I started by listening to some SACDs and DSD downloads, and I was impressed. This was the best sound I had heard from digital in the reference system. It was big, bold, full of tonal colors, and not the least bit bright or stringent sounding. The soundstage was wide and deep with lots of superb spatial information with lots of natural sounding air.

The initial attack of instruments, especially string instruments, was quick and decisive. The decay had just enough air to sound natural and full. Woodwinds had the kind of air around and within them that sounded very natural as well.

The first SACD I listened to was Hilary Hahn’s Bach – Concertos with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. I so wish more of her LPs were on vinyl. This SACD has been one of my favorites for some time. The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra sounds very good on this recording, but the real star here is Hilary and her beautiful sounding violin. There are many ways to play and interpret Bach, but I find hers very captivating. It’s sweet, beautiful and just a touch playful like when I had the privilege of hearing her live. The violin through the Oppo BDP-105D has a wonderfully full and sweet sound.

The next SACD I played was Seiji Ozawa conducting Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. The first four cuts on this SACD are Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta. I have listened to this many times on multiple SACD players, CD players and vinyl. I was pleasantly surprised; this was the best I had ever heard this performance on a digital source, and it was very close to a good vinyl source. The dynamics, the micro-dynamics, the power of the bass and the vastness of the soundstage was very impressive for any source at any price.

I shifted to jazz and played Ella and Louis; the special edition Verve is a beautiful Japanese SACD. Again, on this recording, the voices were right there. The sound was immediate, and I could hear all the air around their voices. Both Ella and Louis have their own space even though it is a mono recording, and they are recorded very close to each other. The only way I have heard this recording sound better was on the 45rpm vinyl version.

I wish I could be as positive about the Redbook CD but I can’t. They still sounded digital in that they were a little hard and strident-sounding compared to SACD, DSD file or LP. This wasn’t the case in the upstairs system, especially with the Fritz Carrera BE speakers in the system. So, I don’t want to be too hard on the Oppo BDP-105D in this regard since I began by saying my reference system with the Teresonic Ingenium speakers is not very friendly to Redbook CD. I have to be honest though, when listening to Redbook CDs in the reference system I preferred the denser sound of my 47 Lab Midnight Blue CD player; but in the upstairs system, I preferred the Oppo over the 47 Lab even with CDs. SACDs on the 105D were in a whole different league, as I said: The best digital sound I have heard in either system for any amount of money.

Conclusion

There are a lot of different things to say and ways to look at the Oppo BDP-105D. The Oppo user’s manual is the best I’ve seen, and let’s be honest, with a piece of gear that can do so many different things that is very important. When it comes to setting up this kind of gear I feel like a novice, but their manual made the whole experience easy enough for a novice like me. If there is something you can’t figure out from the operating manual, you can simply pick up the phone and call, and you get a real human who will immediately hook you up with a technical person who can walk you through any issue.

Then, there are all the ways you can use an Oppo. I purchased one in black for my upstairs system. I hooked everything into it and then ran the outputs to the Electrocompaniet integrated amp. TV pictures, especially 1080i, and Blu-rays look much better than I have experienced before. The sound from the many stored files, especially hi-def files and even more so DSD sounded incredible in that system. I did prefer setting the volume on the Oppo all the way up and using the volume on the Electrocompaniet, which was a little better.

The Oppo isn’t just for a home theater or secondary system. If you have a good library of SACDs or DSD files, then this unit brings you a long way toward a state-of-the-art player for any system at any price. In fact, I believe that in most high-end audio systems, the Oppo BDP-105D will be one of the best digital sources you will find.

Finally, buying one is pretty much risk-free. When you buy online direct from the factory or an authorized Oppo dealer, you have a 30-day trial period to see how you like it. If you are not thrilled, then send it back for a full refund. I didn’t send mine back.

18 Responses to Oppo BDP-105D USB DAC/Streaming Blu-ray player Review


  1. lloyd smith says:

    Wait until you try a better power cord. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Than, for chuckles, try floating the 105[I use Gershman Levatation devices]. The Oppo clearly reaches another level when you do these two things…Just saying. YMMV Great review. And I can testify to the superb Oppo service. They go the extra mile. I’m a very pleased customer.

  2. Campo007 says:

    To be honest, i found the stock version of the BDP-105 to sound rather flat and uninspiring. Then i have it upgraded by Custom Analogue Audio in Sydney. Completely transformed it. Now it really is a giant killer.

    • Jamie Anderson says:

      Agree completely with your ‘flat and uninspiring’ assessment. Have recently got myself a standalone DAC which I run straight into the same pair of active speakers, same position in same room, and it puts to shame the DAC in my stock BDP–105D. It’s now like the recording musicians are in the room with me.

  3. D. A. Jackson says:

    I was using my Oppo as a player and transport for my DAC. I had the DAC setting on top of the Oppo. I rearranged my components and moved the DAC off of the Oppo. With this arrangement I had a hard sound that I did not like. I moved the DAC back on top of the Oppo and added some brass dampening weights. Sound that I liked returned, plus the dampening weights made improvements.

  4. lloyd smith says:

    wait until you try a better power cord. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Oppo easily shows the difference in power cords. And using isolation or floatation devices under the Oppo again improves the sound.

  5. Anthony Aaron says:

    “I have not found my Teresonic speakers very friendly to Redbook CD. Mike Zivkovic, the president of Teresonic, disagrees with me on this point …”

    My system is totally CD-sourced – and I’ve found that a 2A3-based integrated amplifier does wonders. Did you audition Teresonic’s own 2A3 amplifier when you auditioned their speakers? If so, you might have had different results.

    Just my 2¢ …

    Happy listening — and, by the way, if you ever get tired of that Oppo you’re reviewing, let me know – I’ll send you an address for its proper disposal and a check for the shipping.

    Ciao …

  6. Ken says:

    Did you try it as a Transport into a stand alone DAC?
    SPDiF out? Optical out??

    Thanks..Ken

  7. Mike Johnson says:

    Great review Jack. I personally have a BDP 95. I have been wondering if MQA would work thru the Oppo. Do you know if this would be possible?

  8. Mike fanelli says:

    Did you try the oppo with the stock power cord or just use your $13,000 power cord.
    Red book CDs may have been improved.

  9. Mike P. says:

    Hi, Jack. A longstanding limitation of the Oppo is that when using the network (DLNA) connection, it doesn’t support gapless playback. This is pretty critical for many recordings in various genres of music. I have no doubt it’s a fine video and audio disc player and also a fine USB DAC. But no one should buy this and expect it will work well for network audio.

  10. david says:

    First, Oppo’s parent company is BBK Electronics (China). Lets get that straight and out of the way. Next, I’m beginning to think a LOT of publications were paid a good sum of money to favorably review this unit. Prior to learning this I did purchase the BDP 105 and to say it was a disappointment is an understatement. Right out of the box is sounds compressed and very, very sharp. This got slightly better after about 300 hours of break-in. Lastly, I would look elsewhere if you’re purchasing this for audio only.

    • Sean says:

      I just read this David and I am not sure what you are saying, unless your misguided inference is that all things Chinese are bad. Most people who checked about Oppo would know the parent company is Chinese and Oppo digital is a partnership with US interests. I, like Jack, use my 105D in a reference system and like Jack it is second in sound only to vinyl. I have even used the 105D with an Opera Consonance Pre and Amp valve system and it was quite wonderful.

      Cheers
      Sean

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