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post #211 of 228 Old 05-05-2015, 08:54 AM
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Wink A few additions

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Originally Posted by tblewy View Post
Now long retired I have worked for IBM, GE and Philips Electronics and have designed and repaired equipment for many years. I certainly know how to read specs and schematics and how to find my way through the BS they often slant you to believing.


I use specs as a starting point and loose reference only. I have often redesigned/modified my own already good audio equipment for years in order to improve the sound.


Much of the concept for the first Fluke ScopeMeter was mine.


I know that the only true test is in the real world with anything and that the engineering credo KISS (keep it simple stupid) is the best starting approach. IMHO

Like most engineers I don't always agree with others, especially when they start hawking products that make them money but this link to an excellent old site predates this MSEE's own product flow. Tubes and very efficient speakers can be great if done properly. I went the other way myself because I fell in love with the Ken Kantor designed NHT 3.3's and they need lots of power. There are several approaches to great audio and each has its benefits and problems.
http://lampizator.eu/UPGRADE/triodes...rometheus.html


I also love reading the sincere and experienced advice on the site too. I don't always agree with him either but I sure wish I could afford his highest recommendation's.
http://www.high-endaudio.com/


Oh yea, Ross Martin Audio has discontinued the Super Beast I and has a Gen II model with a four layer board and word clock out etc but no dsd. It should be one of the best dacs made though and cost around $450 delivered. I own the old beast, love it, and have no ties otherwise.
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post #212 of 228 Old 05-31-2015, 09:29 AM
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Welcome everyone, first post. I can add my experiences with this topic. I have the Oppo BDP 105 and a Parasound P5 both with built in DACs. The Oppo connected to the P5 via balanced out sounds much better than the P5 connected to the Oppo via digital coax out. Oppo uses the ESS Sabre chip and the P5 uses the Burr-Brown chip. Could it be a sound characteristic of the particular chip set used for the DAC operation?
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post #213 of 228 Old 05-31-2015, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
Could it be a sound characteristic of the particular chip set used for the DAC operation?
Read through CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports forum here and your question will be answered.
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post #214 of 228 Old 05-31-2015, 12:11 PM
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Thank you for the direction. I am new to the forum and haven't yet found my way through all the different sections.
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post #215 of 228 Old 06-01-2015, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tblewy View Post
Like most engineers I don't always agree with others, especially when they start hawking products that make them money but this link to an excellent old site predates this MSEE's own product flow. Tubes and very efficient speakers can be great if done properly. I went the other way myself because I fell in love with the Ken Kantor designed NHT 3.3's and they need lots of power. There are several approaches to great audio and each has its benefits and problems.
I also love reading the sincere and experienced advice on the site too. I don't always agree with him either but I sure wish I could afford his highest recommendation's.
http://www.high-endaudio.com/
Oh yea, Ross Martin Audio has discontinued the Super Beast I and has a Gen II model with a four layer board and word clock out etc but no dsd. It should be one of the best dacs made though and cost around $450 delivered. I own the old beast, love it, and have no ties otherwise.

Good link.

Last edited by NorthSky; 06-01-2015 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Link (singular)
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post #216 of 228 Old 06-01-2015, 12:54 AM
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Avoid at all costs. The guy has little engineering ability and just regurgitates his belief systems as if they were fact.
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post #217 of 228 Old 07-16-2015, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post
Avoid at all costs. The guy has little engineering ability and just regurgitates his belief systems as if they were fact.
Anyone tried the NAD M51?

I was going to sell it off if it didn't make much difference, but I ended up keeping it. Does indeed make a fair bit of difference with the sound and clarity

A: Mac Mini (Audirvana) Optical > NAD 775 > RF-7ii
B: Mac Mini (Audirvana) HDMI > NAD M51 DAC > NAD 775 (Analog Bypass) > RF-7ii


A = Good

B = Amazing, a substantial difference from A. I can't be bothered trying to 'detail' the sound. But is was superior to that of A. So really impressed with the M51.

Speakers: Klipsch RF-7ii LR, RC-64ii C, RS-62ii SL/R, RB-81ii RL/R, 1x R-115SW Subwoofer
Display: Sony VPL-HW40ES, 140" Evo 4K Screen
Gear: Shinybow SB5645LCM 4x4 HDMI Matrix, Oppo BDP-103AU, Sony PS4, Mac Mini, Foxtel IQ3
Control: Roomie Remote
Amps: NAD T775 Receiver (7x100W RMS|2x150W RMS), NAD M51 DAC
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post #218 of 228 Old 07-17-2015, 12:10 AM
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Anyone tried the
Why did you quote me?
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post #219 of 228 Old 07-17-2015, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
Welcome everyone, first post. I can add my experiences with this topic. I have the Oppo BDP 105 and a Parasound P5 both with built in DACs. The Oppo connected to the P5 via balanced out sounds much better than the P5 connected to the Oppo via digital coax out. Oppo uses the ESS Sabre chip and the P5 uses the Burr-Brown chip. Could it be a sound characteristic of the particular chip set used for the DAC operation?
A few comments:

1. After owning the Oppo 105 for a year and trying every angle to try to make music sound good through its DAC, I gave up and sold it. It is a lifeless DAC sound.
2. I also briefly owned the Halo P5 during this period and fully agree with the post stating that the P5 DAC sounded inferior to the Oppo's (but have to add "that is too easy!")
3. We have a good community of audio geeks in Pittsburgh, and when someone has doubts about how something they just bought and are considering returning sounds, we call an "Emergency Meeting" and head to their house to provide additional ears. That or we loan each other the equipment to test. We had an e-meeting for the Peachtree DAC when a neighbor bought it. The Peachtree DAC sounded good for about 5 minutes, then you notice a midrange exaggeration/forwardness [multiple systems, multiple speakers] and distortion [harmonic] that made cymbals sound like "shshhs" instead of what they are supposed to [go by that - instruments have a sound you can refer back to from live concerts, try to confirm that sound - you will be surprised by some of the equipment when you do this]. This DAC has the distinction of managing to sound worse than the Oppo's.
4. The Arcam irDAC - which I irrationally do not like for its file format compatibility issues at high rates (the model I have access to is from 2012 I think) sounds *great* - good enough to match my vinyl section on a virgin LP [if you are using Jriver or similar the software cab convert other formats to the format accepted by the DAC on the fly, the impact is almost zero thanks to buffering].
5. All the other DACs mentioned are decent and spank the Oppo's silly, IMO. I ended up with a Jolida Glass FX DAC III but only because I like to tinker with cap upgrades and tube rolling. Otherwise I would have Schiit Bifrost Uber in my system.

I sold the Oppo 105 and bought a used 83 that does fine for what I need it to do.

There is a myth out there that all DACs sound alike because the technology has advanced to that point. I can tell you that has not been my experience. The output stages are different, for one, and can make or break the sound produced by the DAC chips if the engineers cheaped out on the capacitors, for example. Of course, you have to have the equipment to resolve and hear the difference, if you don't then absolutely you will not hear it (and in that case go ahead and buy the Oppo or even better, get an AVR and keep things simple, as another poster suggested, would be happy to share my take on that if you wish - some AVRs have that DACs that sound better than others). But... if you have decent high end speakers and amplification etc. like it sounds you do, please feed them the best signal you can. Skip the Oppo's DAC.



Regards,

Namikis
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post #220 of 228 Old 07-17-2015, 07:54 AM
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I own the Oppo 95, 105, HA1, and Ibasso DX100 all of which contain the ES9018 dac. 105 sounds the worst because it shares the dedicated stereo 9018 chip with the headphone out although it has a very low noise floor. HA1 sounds the best with redbook material but the 95 sounds the best with dsd/sacd playback.

I was thinking about purchasing the M51 but I went with the Lite Dac 60. After some modifications, it easily tops all of the other dacs that I own. It is based on the PCM1704 - a 24 bit ladder dac and has a tube output.

I highly recommend using a good USB digital interface no matter what dac you own to isolate noise and reduce jitter. I am using a Schitt Wyrd and Audio Gd DI-2014.
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post #221 of 228 Old 07-20-2015, 08:16 AM
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[QUOTE=Namikis;35826226]A few comments:

"1. After owning the Oppo 105 for a year and trying every angle to try to make music sound good through its DAC, I gave up and sold it. It is a lifeless DAC sound."

Seriously? I am using the 105D after buying into some of the BS about how much a Dac can make your system sound so much better, the only really way to tell leaving biases out of it, is have some one switch devices and you not knowing which his playing. (That being said there are slight differences but not huge ones) The Sabre Dacs is used in many different Dacs that are highly rated and the implementation of it in the 105D is done very well. I currently am using the 105D for a music server with the Dacs in the unit to serve my music needs and I have compared many other Dac's too it, and frankly your splitting hairs when it comes to sound signature differences. Now if you throw a Tube dac into the mix that changes a lot of variables, the Jolida has a rich smooth sound to it, especially if you tube roll although the 12AX7 aren't too bad. I agree with some of your comments and disagree with others, some people will like the sound signature of the Sabre in the 105D just fine, others like yourself won't, I don't fault anyone for likely what sounds good to them... Some of you guys are comparing Tube Dacs, and that does change things, I suppose if I slapped a tube output on the 105D I might yield similar results as well. The best thing about the Oppo, is it reads pretty much any file and plays it back, which I can't say the same for the dozens of Dacs I have tried over the years. That being said I am all ears to another dedicated Dac if there is one that can play back all types of HiRez files including DSD etc..

Last edited by Garman; 07-20-2015 at 08:43 AM.
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post #222 of 228 Old 07-20-2015, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garman View Post
Seriously? I am using the 105D after buying into some of the BS about how much a Dac can make your system sound so much better, the only really way to tell leaving biases out of it, is have some one switch devices and you not knowing which his playing. (That being said there are slight differences but not huge ones)
Probably due to volume level difference. If you matched the levels and did the blind comparison, it's likely that the difference wouldn't be discernible.
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post #223 of 228 Old 07-20-2015, 08:46 AM
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Probably due to volume level difference. If you matched the levels and did the blind comparison, it's likely that the difference wouldn't be discernible.
Well the two guys that posted above about not liking the 105D as stand alone Dac are not being very fair, as the Apples to Oranges analogy comes into play when comparing a Tube Dac. I mean when I see comments, like blew away the rest of the competition and spank the competition etc etc. it makes me wonder..... This hobby is so subjective to ones own hearing, that some people just loose all common sense. <<<<< Sarcasm
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post #224 of 228 Old Yesterday, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
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Avoid at all costs. The guy has little engineering ability and just regurgitates his belief systems as if they were fact.
Wow, finally. I know some credible audio people that swear by this guy, but I don't buy his over hyped opinions/products. And regarding this thread, a lot of members and a lot of opinions. All of these posts are personal points of view, and should be viewed as such. I have had a lot of experience with DAC's and with Oppo (4 of them). Regardless of expense (my system retails for $150,000) there are no "best" products. I spend all my money on good quality speakers, a decent matching ss amp with tube pre. I have gone through $36K Burmester CDP, Wadia $15K CDP, McIntosh $5K CDP and then Oppo. For the price the Oppo is a no brainer. But, I was not satisfied, and up graded to a tubed ModWright Oppo 95 and then 105. DAC's make a huge difference IF your system allows it, and you zone in on it. And now, I just went to a whole new higher level with the ModWright Elyse DAC. HUGE difference. I am strictly 2 channel, old school amp and preamp, no avr for me, and have my audio and video in 1 system. Lastly, I like reading people's opinions, but like as*holes, very one has one.
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post #225 of 228 Old Yesterday, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Namikis View Post
A few comments:

1. After owning the Oppo 105 for a year and trying every angle to try to make music sound good through its DAC, I gave up and sold it. It is a lifeless DAC sound.
2. I also briefly owned the Halo P5 during this period and fully agree with the post stating that the P5 DAC sounded inferior to the Oppo's (but have to add "that is too easy!")
3. We have a good community of audio geeks in Pittsburgh, and when someone has doubts about how something they just bought and are considering returning sounds, we call an "Emergency Meeting" and head to their house to provide additional ears. That or we loan each other the equipment to test. We had an e-meeting for the Peachtree DAC when a neighbor bought it. The Peachtree DAC sounded good for about 5 minutes, then you notice a midrange exaggeration/forwardness [multiple systems, multiple speakers] and distortion [harmonic] that made cymbals sound like "shshhs" instead of what they are supposed to [go by that - instruments have a sound you can refer back to from live concerts, try to confirm that sound - you will be surprised by some of the equipment when you do this]. This DAC has the distinction of managing to sound worse than the Oppo's.
4. The Arcam irDAC - which I irrationally do not like for its file format compatibility issues at high rates (the model I have access to is from 2012 I think) sounds *great* - good enough to match my vinyl section on a virgin LP [if you are using Jriver or similar the software cab convert other formats to the format accepted by the DAC on the fly, the impact is almost zero thanks to buffering].
5. All the other DACs mentioned are decent and spank the Oppo's silly, IMO. I ended up with a Jolida Glass FX DAC III but only because I like to tinker with cap upgrades and tube rolling. Otherwise I would have Schiit Bifrost Uber in my system.

I sold the Oppo 105 and bought a used 83 that does fine for what I need it to do.

There is a myth out there that all DACs sound alike because the technology has advanced to that point. I can tell you that has not been my experience. The output stages are different, for one, and can make or break the sound produced by the DAC chips if the engineers cheaped out on the capacitors, for example. Of course, you have to have the equipment to resolve and hear the difference, if you don't then absolutely you will not hear it (and in that case go ahead and buy the Oppo or even better, get an AVR and keep things simple, as another poster suggested, would be happy to share my take on that if you wish - some AVRs have that DACs that sound better than others). But... if you have decent high end speakers and amplification etc. like it sounds you do, please feed them the best signal you can. Skip the Oppo's DAC.



Regards,

Namikis
Namikis speakest the truth. Listen.
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post #226 of 228 Old Yesterday, 09:33 PM
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Here are a few DACs I’ve tried very recently in my system. I am considering the 105 as my next purchase.
NAD D3020 DAC – I don’t know the chip – sold it.
NAD D7050 – Direct digital DAC – returned it. (Not a good match for my speakers and not as much real power as the D3020. It sounded good but it pissed me off that it had less power than 30 watt D3020)
CS4350 Bluesound Node – Sold it.
Cirrus Logic CS4398 – Built into my NAD C356Bee – still have it
Cirrus Logic CS4382A OPPO 103 – Still have it.
AK4430ET - airport express - Still have it.
The DAC in the NAD C356 sounds the worst and the Airport Express sounds the best.
It’s like chasing rainbows. – It makes no sense that 100.00 Airport express sounds better then all that other stuff, but it does for up to Redbook resolution off the LAN in my system.
I wish they “all sound the same” but they don’t. Level matched = yes - best I can with tones and a meter.
I realize this is all low to mid fi stuff. I might try a refurbished NAD C390DD instead of the 105 – don’t know yet.!
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post #227 of 228 Old Today, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJK1 View Post
Here are a few DACs I’ve tried very recently in my system. I am considering the 105 as my next purchase.
NAD D3020 DAC – I don’t know the chip – sold it.
NAD D7050 – Direct digital DAC – returned it. (Not a good match for my speakers and not as much real power as the D3020. It sounded good but it pissed me off that it had less power than 30 watt D3020)
CS4350 Bluesound Node – Sold it.
Cirrus Logic CS4398 – Built into my NAD C356Bee – still have it
Cirrus Logic CS4382A OPPO 103 – Still have it.
AK4430ET - airport express - Still have it.
The DAC in the NAD C356 sounds the worst and the Airport Express sounds the best.
It’s like chasing rainbows. – It makes no sense that 100.00 Airport express sounds better then all that other stuff, but it does for up to Redbook resolution off the LAN in my system.
I wish they “all sound the same” but they don’t. Level matched = yes - best I can with tones and a meter.
I realize this is all low to mid fi stuff. I might try a refurbished NAD C390DD instead of the 105 – don’t know yet.!
If you don't mind, can you share why did you sell your Bluesound Node??

HT Setup - Sony KDS-55A3000, Marantz SR8002, Monitor Audio GS60, GSLCR, GSFX & Martin Logan Descent
2 Channel Setup - B&W 805 Diamond, Bluesound Vault, Mapletree Audio Line 2C RM, Aragon 2004 MKII
Alternative 2 Channel Setup - KEF LS50, Marantz SA-15S1, Marantz PM-15S1 & Martin Logan Depth
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post #228 of 228 Unread Today, 03:36 PM
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If you don't mind, can you share why did you sell your Bluesound Node??
yes -
I sold the Bluesound Node because it will only support one library and it won’t use an external index,
I have more than one NAS and while it will support multiple shares from different devices it will only build one index and it will ignore the Twonky indexes on my NAS devices. I have 2 NAS drives and a bunch of duplication (different versions of the same music or because my wife is not too savvy – lots of reasons) The Node can’t display this clutter separately via multiple libraries or indexes. Other than that it’s a fine device with a nice interface and its DAC sounds good. It also has a digital out.
Now I just use the Creation5 IOS app and the Twonky index on the different NAS devices and this allows me to avoid looking at duplicates. I use the OPPO 103 or the Airport Express as the target (or the appleTV via the oppo 103)
The reason I would want to try the 105 is to see if its DAC is better and for the digital input.

JJK
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