Originally Posted by AudioQuestions
I'm not exactly trying to save money, I'm trying to be talked into spending it
I'm not exactly looking to take me 1980's mouse and plug it into the serial port
The XLR connections are interesting. Is this to bypass a Preamp and go straight to the amplifier in stereo only?
While I'm looking for the HDMI solution found on the 100-200 sony, I am looking for the best sound and picture quality, but perhaps I'll wait for the newest batch of 4k. I hope those are backwards compatible with 3d bluray.
No one should need to be talked into spending money. That should come naturally :-)
You can use the Oppos as pre-amps, especially the 105/105D models which have better quality analog outputs and which can also serve as a DAC for other devices. There are 2 things you need to consider.
The first is that you can run into problems matching the Oppo to some power amps, just as you can matching a given pre-amp to some power amps. Not every combination works as well as others so if you already have a power amp you could use that way then I would recommend a try before you buy approach. It can work very well or it can work less well.
Second, you're after video plus audio by the sound of it. If you want to use an AVR or AV pre-pro and you're going to use HDMI for audio output, forget about the audio output quality of the Oppo players because you won't be using their DACs, you'll be using the DAC in your AVR or pre-pro. If you're using something like Audyssey or some other digital room correction process in your AVR/pre-pro, forget about the analog outputs. You want to stay with HDMI output for audio. If you're prepared to do full manual setups, balancing output levels for each channel and sub plus setting crossover frequency manually and you can do a good job of doing that, you can probably get better sound quality from an Oppo and power amps than you can using a cheaper AVR to deliver your audio but you have to put the time and effort into it. If you're already using an AVR/pre-pro with digital room correction engaged, then you may not end up being happy with the result. Digital room correction can deliver benefits that really good audio setup without that room correction may not be able to match, you can end up gaining some benefits by going with the analog audio output from an Oppo and lose other benefits by losing the room correction advantages. A lot can depend on your room and how your system is set up in it.
So there can be audio benefits, even some significant audio benefits, and there can be disadvantages. A lot depends on what you want to do.
If you want to get video with HDMI output for audio and you're not interested in using the player as a network audio device , go for the 103/103D rather than the 105D but also consider the players from other manufacturers. The 103/1-3D deliver the same quality video output as the more expensive 105D. The only difference between the 103s and the 105D is in the quality of the analog audio output and the added inputs for networked audio. If you want to use the player as a full featured network audio/video player as well as a disc player and/or if you want high quality analog audio output then go for the 105D but there is no point at all in going for the 105D over the 103 models if you're going to use HDMI for your audio output and you aren't going to use any of the added networking features. You would be paying extra for features you aren't going to use.
And the price of the 103 and 103D are $499/599 respectively, a lot less than $1000. The main difference between them is that you get a Darbee processing included in the 103D which saves you buying an external Darbee Darblet if you want Darbee processing. The $1000, actually $1299, Oppo is the 105D.
For the record I have an Oppo 105 and I'm really happy with it but I bought it specifically because I wanted the high quality analog audio output it offered. Since buying it a few years ago I've changed my setup and I'm now using an AVR and I'm no longer using the analog audio outputs. If I were buying an Oppo now I'd buy the 103D, not the 105D, but I'd probably wait for Oppo to deliver their next models with UHD Blu-ray instead of getting a 103D now. Having said that, I also expect the next models to be dearer than their current equivalents.