Originally Posted by charlesp210
I've been complaining about the BDP-95 fan noise since I got one the first month they were available. Finally, however, I have gotten around to doing a full chassis noise (and sound quality) comparison between the Oppo and my Denon 5900.
Apologists say the fan is "barely audible." That's less true for me, since I sit 4 feet from my speakers and about 5 feet from the disc player. But I wonder how cavalierly people disregard chassis noise but obsess about the difference between a electronic dynamic range of 98dB and 120dB (high resolution SACD, DVD-Audio, etc). Relative to a peak listening level of 95dB, 30dB is only 65 dB down, and relative to a non-peak level more like 80dB, it's only 50dB. So nearly any level of noise from a mechanism towers over the wisp of electronic noise even generated by 16 bit digital, let alone higher resolutions.
Anyway, I found that the fan is the least important part of the Oppo chassis noise. When playing DVD-Audio, the Oppo makes a much louder fan-like (woosh) sound coming from the disc spinning at high speed. It's a pleasant sound, but it's very audible with the music is stopped. My measurement was 39dB but it could be a bit lower than that because of background noise.
The Denon 5900 is far quieter playing the same disc (btw, Santana Supernatural DVD-Audio). I haven't been able to measure it because of background noise, but my guess is that it's at least 12dB quieter. It's a very different sound too, more low than high frequencies, a bit mechanical sounding, and a touch of clicking. It's a less pleasant sound, but the low frequencies are better masked by ambient noises, and it quickly becomes inaudible as you move away from the player. One misfeature is that you can hear a motor speeding up and slowing down when it changes DVD-Audio tracks, but after that, the motor noise disappears. And, of course, when disc is stopped, it's totally silent (no fan).
I can't control for the chassis noise level, both players in same location about 5 feet from listening position in between speakers (which is great for convenience, an important consideration, though I've thought of moving player to back of room or building a sound absorbing enclosure for it). But I did find the Denon to be considerably more transparent in the midrange and highs, maybe not quite as powerful in the sub 30Hz bass. It's a way more musical sound also, i more easily become aware of counterpoint, musician position and nuances, and ambient (non-directional) sounds in the recording.
So I've decided for now to use BDP-95 as a video player in my central video stack (why I originally bought it anyway) rather than as dedicated music player in my music system replacing the 5900. Unfortunately that means I won't be able to enjoy the Blu music discs in the Pink Floyd Immersion sets.
It seems outrageous to me that neither high end manufacturers nor modders have reduced chassis noise to zilch. It doesn't seem to enter any else's thinking. I would think that you could go a long way in making the Oppo BDP-95 quieter.