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Nelson Au

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Guys, I was lucky enough to buy the last 205 at my local Best Buy Magnolia store. I wasn’t planing to buy one as I’m not 4K ready yet. I was planning to upgrade to the most current Oppo player when the time comes. But because Oppo announced cease of blu ray player production, I decided I better act now.

My current set-up is an Oppo 105 to Rotel RSP-1572 Pre-pro. Speakers are B&W 804 Diamond Nautilus mains with B&W center channel and surrounds in a 5.1 configuration. The display is a Panasonic VT-30 plasma. I swapped out the 105 to the 205 last night and setting it up was pretty quick. I had to set audio output for SACD to PCM as the Rotel cannot accept the format. I mainly listen to music files I ripped from CD into ALAC files with a hard drive attached to the Oppo.

This is a really nice solid machine! The new brushed aluminum bezel is very nice and matches the Rotel. Though I was disappointed that the feet appear to be plastic. The 105 appears to have metal feet. I’m not sure if the metal feet make any difference in the stability of the unit, but it sure looks better. Looking at the 105, the metal might be only a thin outer skin attached to the plastic feet. So maybe a third party has an upgrade for the feet. :)

I was surprised by the updates to the Oppo 205. I was going to use the old remote, but I’m glad I used the new one as I didn’t expect the lighted keypad that activates when it senses motion. That small, but a cool thing! I like the new user interface, while the same, it looks so much better. I wasn’t expecting that when I browse the files on my hard drive, the Oppo lets me see the music files as albums, or artists or songs.

So far, I’ve only spent a few hours with the Oppo 205. I’ve played an SACD, Dark Side of the Moon. Sounds great! I’ve played ALAC music files I ripped from my CD’s that I own. I played the Apple Beatles FLAC files and those sound better then the CDs. I was surprised, as I haven’t listened to The Beatles FLAC files in a while. I’ve set up the Rotel to by-pass so I’m playing the analog output for stereo music listening as I let the Oppo’s DACs do the processing. And it sounds great! For SACD, right now I’m letting HDMI do the work with the Rotel.

Last weekend I was indulging in the some James Bond Roger Moore sound tracks, Live and Let Die and that led to watching the blu ray, I was really impressed with how good that blu ray looks. I had not seen the blu ray in a while. I was listening to The Man With The Golden Gun and carried on with the blu ray of the movie last night. So that was the first blu ray I played on the 205. It really did sound great! For movies, I’m using the HDMI connection for video and audio processing from the Rotel. The music was clear and detailed on the title track in the film. I listened the CD afterwards and I could hear the same things that I hadn’t noticed before.

Video wise, I’m not sure I’m seeing any major improvements from the 105. The image from this blu ray is great. You can see the dark spots on Roger Moore’s hands and face. I even saw the toupé edge lacing on Christopher Lee in one shot where it was lifting. Surprised the make-up people missed that. I’m sure the Lowry restoration of the material is what I’m seeing so clearly and not due to the Oppo making it better.

By the way, the Oppo had firmware that dated to June 2017. So this machine must have been built a while ago. So I updated the firmware this morning before I did the music listening. It was such a pleasure to do the firmware via wireless with the built-in WiFi. Nice upgrade from the 105.

I’ll have to try another blu ray after the firmware update. I have the Blade Runner blu ray/4K combo set. While I can’t see the 4K, I can try the disc. I’ve been more focused on the audio side which is why I went with the 105 and now 205.

I have a lot of other blu rays to watch and try-out and other types of music to try, so it’s going to be a lot of hours to spend to get to know the Oppo 205. So far, I’m really liking it.

By the way, I read about the ModWright audio upgrades to the Oppo players. They have an upgrade for the 205 and it is over a $2000 modification on top of the cost of the 205. This upgrades the audio side. I’m not sure I want to go that far, but I’m really curious about how that sounds. I’m not too crazy with the look of two vacuum tubes sticking out of the top of the Oppo. I like the idea of trying a tube amp, so nothing against the tubes, but I’d hate to cut up a perfectly good brand new Oppo!
 

Carlo Medina

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Yeah I was tempted to buy another 203 and keep it in box. But I have to give Sony some credit, I bought their X800 because it was cheap for the bedroom...and it performs pretty darned well, and supposedly also plays SACD and DVD-A (haven't tested it yet because my main system is the living room HT with the Oppo).
 

Nelson Au

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Mar 16, 1999
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Thought I’d add that I got the Oppo app for my iPad. I hadn’t done that for the 105. I used it to successfully control what the Oppo was streaming from my hard drive as I was experimenting with the app during music playback via a hard drive connected to the Oppo.

The reviews for the app were poor but I was curious. I used it mainly to see the contents of the drive and pick tracks or albums. Worked fine! What’s nice is I don’t have to have the TV on or set to display the Oppo screen. It’s on my mobile device. So I don’t have to worry about image retention on the TV.

Carlo, I just saw your post about pausing a Blu ray and then stepping frame by frame. I haven’t tried that yet. Might do that and see if it works. Maybe the limitation is on the HDR discs.
 
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Carlo Medina

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Thanks Nelson. It's only frame step backwards that doesn't work. Frame step forward does work. Also A-B Repeat I think only works for BDs not UHDs.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Yeah I was tempted to buy another 203 and keep it in box. But I have to give Sony some credit, I bought their X800 because it was cheap for the bedroom...and it performs pretty darned well, and supposedly also plays SACD and DVD-A (haven't tested it yet because my main system is the living room HT with the Oppo).
Carlo,

Your Sony will handle SACDs and DVD-Audio discs just fine. I use my X800 for both formats. The newer X700 dropped DVD-A support but added Dolby Vision, via a promised future firmware upgrade.
 

Carlo Medina

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I'm not super worried about DV right now. I upgraded my 2 sets last year and the year before and neither supports DV, so I won't be in the market for a DV capable TV probably for 5 or more years. Unless I hit the lotto or get a ridiculous raise in the near future.
 

Nelson Au

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Guys, I’ve been messing around with the Oppo 205 this past week. I was going to see if anyone here uses their Oppo’s to play SACD discs? I only have one, a hybrid that is Dark Side Of the Moon. I’ve never heard the stereo layer on that disc before as I listen to the multichannel version. It wasn’t clear how to make the Oppo only play the stereo layer. I think I figured it out by setting the SACD priority to stereo and SACD audio output to DSD. I wanted the Oppo to process the signal and I think that was the stereo layer I was hearing out the analog output.

I also listened to a DTS CD of Gaucho. I will listen to that CD again as I recall from earlier listening more panning happening. I also listens to a version of The Planets , the track for Uranus. Earlier listening on the 105 I thought revealed some details I didn’t hear as clearly this time. I’ll also listen to this again. Maybe the DAC is processing it differently from the 105.

Other then that, I was playing a lot of ALAC files I ripped from my CD’s and some FLAC files using the Oppo’s DAC. This had me going down a path that’s off topic, and I was wondering about the debate of vinyl verse digital and CD’s. I think after some reading that they are two different animals. Analog vinyl will introduce the noise of the needle on the record and the pops and crackles that are what people may love about the sound. From what i’ve Learned, mastering for the vinyl records is done such to suit the limits of the vinyl record. CD’s can be mastered differently to take advantage of its abilities. I’ve not listen to LP’s much after the mid eighties and before that I only had a real stereo, and not a very audiophile one, with a turntable for a couple of years. So I guess I’m more of the CD era. Though I grew up in the vinyl and tape era. I wasn’t able to afford my own gear til that period of transition to digital CD’s. I think vinyl has pluses and minuses and the same for Digital. Though the dynamic range is wider for CD’s and digital. I’m not a fan of the compression we are seeing. My point is from this digression is whether listening to digital files and CD’s is giving a truer experience of what was recorded in the studio? In listening to a discussion on NPR of audio experts, the answer is yes, you get out what you put in, more or less with digital. However, I still want to get a decent turntable and try the experiment. :)

Back on topic, I enjoyed watching a few blu rays. I still have to try a DVD. So far image quality is no less then expected. The new experience this time was using the Oppo app on my iPad. As I said earlier, it’s a really convenient too to use to avoid having the TV on or switching it to the blu ray input for finding music files and playing them. It’s crashed a couple of times, but I think I know why.
 

PMF

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From one very jealously inspired HTF member to another, I say...Congratulations to Nelson Au.:cheers:
 

Nelson Au

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Hey Philip, thanks! I’m sure you’ll be getting your 205 soon! And i’ll Look forward to your impressions.

Hey Carlo, I forgot to mention, I wasn’t sure how to make the Oppo do a frame by frame step. But I did pause and then used the slow motion forward and back at a very slow rate. I’ll try again the next time.
 

Carlo Medina

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I don’t think frame backwards works for me at all on 4K discs, although I didn’t try slow motion backwards. I’ll check later. It’s only on 4K discs these functions didn’t work. Worked perfectly on standard blu rays.
 

PMF

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Hey Philip, thanks! I’m sure you’ll be getting your 205 soon! And i’ll Look forward to your impressions.

Hey Carlo, I forgot to mention, I wasn’t sure how to make the Oppo do a frame by frame step. But I did pause and then used the slow motion forward and back at a very slow rate. I’ll try again the next time.
At the moment, my only impressions are that of Marlon Brando, Stan Laurel and Diane Keaton.
Until then, I am forced to live vicariously through your posts. Keep 'em coming!
 

Nelson Au

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Hey Carlo, oh yes, you are referring to the 4K discs. I’ll see if I can do the frame by frame step on a 4K disc.
 

Nelson Au

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Carlo, backwards does not work for me on the 205. Forward does. Maybe it’s part of the 4K spec.
 

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