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Upgrade question pre amp replacement and or OPPO95


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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   etuoce007

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Posted December 12 2011 - 10:15 AM

Let me start with explaining that I have always been more of an audiophile person but all the new technologies of the last few years are really showing that my existing system cannot keep up, mostly , if not specifically considering all the HDMI developments and 7 plus channel video etc. My current system: Theta Casanova pre (has only 2 balanced out), 5.1 surround, only 2 TOSlink and several Coax, works fine but only 1 TOSlink in working. Sounds fantastic! The balanced 2x are connected to a Classe CA300 powering 2 VonSchweikert VR4 upgraded to VR5 . regular RCA connecting 2 bridged channels for center channel to my 6 channel Classe CAV75 with a Vandersteen VCC and the rear channels driving 2xVandersteen VLR and last but not least a Vandersteen VTW sub. I have an old Denon DVD layer that needs to be replaced and I have been thinking about an OPPO 93 or 95 and actually just bought a MARANTZ AV7005 to replace my Casanova. I realize I may have to give up somewhat on the sound quality as the DAC on the Theta is much better than the one on the MARANTZ but I really cannot afford spending the money on AV gear the way I used to. I like to listen to 2 channel music streamed via SONOS to my theta connected to the coax input but needless to say the compressed music quality doesnt really allow my system to shine. Now I just read somewhere the new OPPO 95 has a really good DAC and I was wondering if it is possible to use the OPPO 95 using its excellent DAC and by pass the pre amp if I decide to keep the MARANTZ or better yet keep the casanova and return the MARANTZ and buy the OPPO95. Thanks for any suggestions you may have!

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted December 12 2011 - 01:10 PM

The Oppo will give you nice Blu-Ray (and DVD-A) and be able to provide very good playback capability on SACD, DVD-A and CD. If you want to use a DAC with other sources (e.g. Sonos), I'd look at getting a BDP-93, a DAC - either used or something like the Emotiva and if you want high better quality SACD buy an HDMI audio de-embbeder (for example monoprice.com product ID 5557) to use with the Oppo player and convert SACD to PCM and go through the DAC. If SACD (or DVD-A) is not an important source, then the BDP-95 is probably overkill. The Marantz probably has a good preamp in direct mode. As with many HT pieces, it may be geared to sound best on HT. In the main system, I finally gave up on the every changing landscape of digital changes and bought a very high quality 2-channel only preamp with HT bypass. I bought a used Integra processor at a good deal and now I have the 2-channel I want and excellent HT.

#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted December 13 2011 - 06:11 AM

The Oppo 95 actually has two excellent DACs... one for multi and one for two channel.  Using the external outs, and a config setting, you can take advantage of the DACs from the Oppo.  I use these for music listening (for 5.1 and two channel).  When watching movies, I use the HDMI from the Oppo and let my Denon's DAC handle processing to take advantage of Denon's audisey (I have a 7.1 config for movies).  I offer no suggestion but just a little more info on the Oppo that may help with your decision.



#4 of 6 OFFLINE   etuoce007

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Posted December 15 2011 - 05:09 AM

The Oppo will give you nice Blu-Ray (and DVD-A) and be able to provide very good playback capability on SACD, DVD-A and CD. If you want to use a DAC with other sources (e.g. Sonos), I'd look at getting a BDP-93, a DAC - either used or something like the Emotiva and if you want high better quality SACD buy an HDMI audio de-embbeder (for example monoprice.com product ID 5557) to use with the Oppo player and convert SACD to PCM and go through the DAC. If SACD (or DVD-A) is not an important source, then the BDP-95 is probably overkill. The Marantz probably has a good preamp in direct mode. As with many HT pieces, it may be geared to sound best on HT. In the main system, I finally gave up on the every changing landscape of digital changes and bought a very high quality 2-channel only preamp with HT bypass. I bought a used Integra processor at a good deal and now I have the 2-channel I want and excellent HT.

The Oppo 95 actually has two excellent DACs... one for multi and one for two channel.  Using the external outs, and a config setting, you can take advantage of the DACs from the Oppo.  I use these for music listening (for 5.1 and two channel).  When watching movies, I use the HDMI from the Oppo and let my Denon's DAC handle processing to take advantage of Denon's audisey (I have a 7.1 config for movies).  I offer no suggestion but just a little more info on the Oppo that may help with your decision.

Thanks for the responses. Since I am really more of a 2 channel music person which my Theta Casanova does extremely well I decided to keep it and send the MARAntz av7005 back and ordered the OPPO 95. From reading the reports this is a really exceptional piece that fits well with my higher end system in my opinion. Since the Theta does not have HDMI I figured I will go direct from the OPPO with HDMI to the TV for picture. The only part I am not sure about is the the sound part. The best way may be using the coax out from the OPPO to the coax in of the Theta and this way I will use the DAC of the Theta I believe which is actually very good. The OPPO DAC may be a step up but not sure how I would be able to utilize that with the Theta or perhaps I should use the analog out of the OPPO into the analog in of the Theta? Most of my music is 2 channel and movies watching will come from netflicks or the cable box , the latter has HDMI which feeds directly into the TV and I am using the TOS link into the Theta for sound which will all be DOBLY 5.1 . I just wished the cable box had a coax out but it is what it is. btw the SONOS is currently playing in direct way via coax into the Theta using its DAC which as mentioned is actually a high quality DAC already. Just a shame it does not do HDMI but I honestly see the point in buying a lower grade HDMI capable pre with lower grade processors. I rather use this set up with high quality sound until I have sufficient money to buy a perhaps slightly used higher grade HDMI processor that is comparable sound quality to my current gear. 7.1 or even 9.1 and all those latest technologies dont bring any advantages in my opinion to my existing 5.1 set up. Anyway, I am always interested in any additional suggestions you may have !

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   Phil A

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Posted December 16 2011 - 01:15 PM

I went through the same thing with my old Bryston SP1.7 which I sold just over a year ago. I decided to get out of a pre/pro for those reasons. I have a Modwright LS 36.5 DM pre for that reason. I bought a used Integra DTC 9.8 about a year back at a great deal and HT sounds great and the Modwright has HT bypass. I used my modded BDP-83 with the old Bryston SP1.7 and it sounded great. I used the multi-channel outs of the BDP-83 for movies.

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Gary Seven

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Posted December 19 2011 - 05:11 AM

The only suggestion I have is if you don't plan on using the Oppo 95 DACS (which can only be accessed using the external outs of the Oppo), then save yourself 500 bucks and buy the 93.  You will not make use of the Oppo DACs if you are using its HDMI connection.