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4.6 out of 5 stars
OPPO BDP-105 Universal Audiophile 3D Blu-ray Player (Black)
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85 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2012
Thought I was looking for a new pre-pro or receiver until this came along. As a very happy owner of an Oppo BDP-93 but in need of some additional capabilities as my Outlaw 950 pre-pro was getting very long in the tooth and my ancient Carver C-1 stereo preamp had no way to decode the Dolby Digital from the new TV (no analog outs!).

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but an audiophile grade blu-ray player (not just blu-ray - virtually everything, SACD, DVD-A, etc.) with pre-pro capabilities, accepting inputs from external devices and able to act as standalone high quality DAC as well. Unless you have a plethora of gear you may find as I did that you can use this BDP-105 to directly drive your power amps and act as your main processor and preamp. Streaming (wired or wireless) from DLNA or SMB shares and handling many file formats including .flac and .mkv. All this in addition to possibly the best blu-ray and upsampling output you'll ever feed your display.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2013
Verified Purchase
I bought an Oppo BDP 83 in the fall of 2009 for its improved audio circuitry and Blu-ray capability. Shortly after I bought it, Oppo released a new version with vastly upgraded audio circuits, the BDP 83 SE, and offered a program by which previous purchasers could send their machines back and pay to have them similarly upgraded. I took advantage of that program and was so impressed by the improvements that I wrote a review of it for Amazon that many people found helpful (it is the second review). That old review OPPO BDP-83SE - Blu-ray disc player - upscaling - black might be worth reading, since much of it also applies to the BDP 105, which I recently bought and which significantly expands some of those benefits. Like the BDP 83 SE, the BDP 105 also has a pair of ESS Sabre DACs plus additional circuit improvements. But unlike the BDP 83 SE, there are new ways you can use them.

When I bought my first multichannel player, I found that there was a significant improvement to be heard when playing the many wonderful RCA and Mercury 3-channel stereo (left , right, center) SACDs as 3 channels on 3 speakers in comparison to the 2-channel mixdown with a phantom center and this improvement was more apparent than ever when I bought the BDP 83. But with the significantly improved audio output once I upgraded my BDP 83 to a BDP 83 SE, there was a big trade-off and I ultimately found that the benefits of 3 channel play, of necessity through the multi-channel outputs, were considerably outweighed by the distinctly superior audio quality available from the dedicated stereo outputs, which automatically down mixed the 3 channels to two with a phantom center.

There are two Saber 8-channel DACs in the 83SE, and now in the 105. One is used to feed the 7.1 (actually 8) channel analog outputs. The other dedicates that 8 channels of processing power to just 2 channels, the dedicated stereo outputs, which undergo an extraordinary amount of processing, jitter reduction, etc., not available when the same processor is processing 6 or 8 channels of information What this yields is an extraordinary improvement in sound quality listening to stereo music through the dedicated stereo outputs as compared to listening to the same music through the front left and right outputs. On the BDP 83 SE listening in stereo through the Sabre 7.1 channel outputs was a major improvement over listening through the 7.1 or stereo outputs on the unmodified BDP 83. But listening in stereo on the BDP 83 SE through the dedicated stereo outputs was an even more dramatic improvement over listening through the lesser processing of the front left and right outputs. This is also true on the BDP 105. The problem with listening to multichannel recordings on the BDP 83 SE was that in order to listen to a 3 channel stereo recording like the Mercury and RCA SACDs of classic 1950s recordings the only way you could get a pure front left and front right signal was to use the 7.1 channel out front left and front right outputs. That meant that in order to listen to 3 discrete channels, you had to lose the advantage of the improved circuitry available through the stereo outputs. The stereo outputs automatically mixed down multichannel recordings to stereo at the stereo outputs. After listening to a few recordings, I found that it was better to listen to the improved stereo mixdown of the 3 channels with a phantom center than it was to listen to the comparatively degraded 3 discrete channels and consequently my center channel speaker has sat mostly unused for several years, except for an occasional DVD movie. But on most DVDs and all Blu-rays and music, I have been listening to the stereo outputs for front channels.

BUT, the BDP 105 gives the listener a choice. You can select to have EITHER a stereo mixdown of all channels through the dedicated processor feeding the the stereo outputs. OR you can have that dedicated processor just work on just the front left and front right signals with no mixdown. So you can have maximum processing feeding your front left and right speakers and the other 8 channel processor can feed the center, surrounds, and sub-woofer channels. This means your two most important channels have the best possible sound quality and the others have excellent, but honestly, not-nearly-as-good sound quality of an 8 channel processor dividing up the work of processing 8 channels, two of which you (front left and front right) you are actually listening to through another source.

We had heard the Baltimore Symphony perform Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto with Garrick Ohlson this weekend and my wife wanted to listen to the Rachmaninoff second. To maximize sound quality, and also listen to a fine performance, I chose the Mercury SACD of Byron Janis performing both concertos and decided to try out listening to the isolated left and right through the dedicated stereo outputs and the center channel using the regular center channel output.

Now, having sat down and listened to Rachmaninoff's 2nd and 3rd concertos, Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances, and Hanson's Symphony #2 on Mercury 3-channel stereo SACD last night, I can say that this ability to switch the stereo output back and forth between processing a multi-channel mix down and a dedicated front left/front right signal is worth upgrading from the BDP 83 SE to the BDP 105 all by itself. Excellent center channel and extraordinary front left and front right is wonderful to hear--way better than 3 excellent channels or an extraordinary mixdown with phantom center, but admittedly probably not as good as 3 extraordinary channels. Now if Oppo would offer an upgrade to allow 4 channels of the second processor to be dedicated to the front center channel and the other 4 to the other channels, omitting either the subwoofer or the back channels but retaining the surrounds, that would be even better. I guess that will wait for the Oppo 125 or so in a few years. But to be honest with the front left and right speakers putting out such wonderful sound, the fact that the center channel was somewhat less wonderful was hardly noticeable. And it is a fantastic upgrade from 3 channels of somewhat less wonderful sound quality. My center channel speaker is going to working a lot more in the future.

There are also other reasons to buy the Oppo BDP 105. It can be used as an outboard DAC for processing signals from other sources. You can send the audio and/or video from a HDTV tuner or DVR, a computer, an ipod, another CD, DVD, laserdisc, or SACD player into the Oppo, preferably by HDMI, but it also accepts USB, coax, or TOS-link digital inputs, though some of those options might not allow maximum resolution. It has no analog inputs.

And it does streaming. And it plays 3-D if you have an appropriate display, which I don't, yet.

And in my few weeks of listening, I have found that the 105 does sound a little better all the time than the 83SE. There is better articulation of details. Front to back depth information is significantly improved. I used to really enjoy listening to music through my BDP 83 SE. Through the BDP 105 listening to the same music in the same way, it is better. But for me, being able to listen to multichannel recordings with isolated front left and right channels coming through the dedicated stereo outputs makes the biggest difference.

Update: 1/30/13

I played Bach's first cello suite on the Janos Starker Mercury SACD in 3 channel mode this afternoon using the dedicated stereo outputs for left and right and the regular center channel. It was wonderful. Then I pulled out another recording I am quite fond of, the CD of Edgar Meyer playing the same suite on the double bass. What a mistake! It brought back memories of the 1980s when I played a good record first and then put on a CD. The sound was SO disappointing. Back then there was a saying, if you want your CDs to sound good, don't play vinyl first.

I thought that CDs sounded very good on the Oppo, and they do. But I guess mixing SACDs and CDs is not a good idea in the same listening session, unless you listen to the CDs first. Next time, some other day, Edgar Meyer will have to come first. And this was with Starker's cello coming primarily from the reduced quality center channel (with the dedicated stereo channels providing mostly room and space and supplemental signal) and Meyers double bass coming exclusively from the enhanced dedicated stereo left and right! I had to put on another SACD of unrelated music just to clear my head of the sound.

A little later, just to be fair, I put the Starker first movement back on, first the CD layer, then the SACD stereo layer, then back and forth once more, and finally the 3 channel SACD track. The collapse of the sound was just as apparent on stereo CD vs stereo SACD. And 3 channel SACD was a significant improvement over stereo SACD, even with the relatively inferior center channel where, in this somewhat unusual case, most of the direct sound of this SOLO cello originates.

I have really enjoyed listening to CDs on the BDP105 and found that everything sounds a little better than it did on the BDP83SE. But I am also finding that SACD playback has apparently improved more significantly than CD playback.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2013
There is nothing like it in the market PERIOD - 4.5 Stars actually!! Truly a landmark product!!

At the time of writing this review, there is nothing like it in on this planet that does everything it does and the way it does. Simply OUTSTANDING!! Just buy it now if you can afford it or save for it if you can't at the moment.

I will be mainly reviewing the DAC/Audio side of it and few other features that are of interest to me.

I won't be doing the review of its video capabilities as it has the exact same video guts as its less expensive sibling BDP-103. Also if you are going to be using the HDMI/SPDIF audio out to another proc/receiver/dac, save your money and get the BDP-103 for $700 less. OPPO BDP-103 Universal 3D Blu-ray Disc Player SACD & DVD-Audio.

Packaging:
Top notch. The 105 comes in a soft bag and is very well padded inside the box. Accessories come in a separate small box. Reusability of packaging very high.

Included accessories:
* Remote control.
* Beefy power cable
* HDMI cable.
* Wifi USB stick
* USB extension cable.

Build Quality:
Disc drive is better than most but doesn't compare to some high end stand alone transports.
Built like a tank.
Heavy grade aluminum and steel body.
Top notch gold plated analogue and digital connectors.

Competitors:
As mentioned, there is no one to one competitor but following are some of the closest competitors with fewer features.

Disc Players
* Marantz UD7007 - No audio only digital inputs
* Marantz SA8004 - No bluray video.
* Cambridge Audio - 752BD - No USB audio input. Exact same video board as the OPPO.

DACS with 32 bit ESS Sabre.
* Benchmark DAC2
* Wyred4Sound DAC-2
* Audiolab M-Dac

Implementation is key here. Having an ESS DAC is no guarantee that they will all sound great.

Pros:
* World class 32 bit DAC with built in clock and digital volume control.
* Can replace your receiver. Just hook it to your power amp directly.
* Bass management.
* Both balanced and unbalanced stereo analogue outs.
* Plays every disc format that is in production.
* Plays files on USB drives, UPNP and network storage devices.
* Fast startup time.
* Wifi remote control.
* Digital volume control - No tracking / channel imbalance issues like its analogue counterpart. According to ESS, the -135dB of the ESS Sabre DAC would need an exceptionally low noise analog volume control to beat its internal digital one.
* Universal voltage.

Cons: Takes away half point.
* Doesn't play Apple's ALAC and AIFF. AIFF - may not be an issue anymore. Check the latest update.
* Except for the power and eject buttons rest of the buttons on the front panel are soft touch buttons with no tactile feedback.
* No physical volume control. Problem for headphone users.
* Digital volume control - According to ESS, well designed analog volume controls can still beat even the very best internal digital volume controls if they have a lower noise floor than the DAC itself.
* Headphone output is not better than Benchmark. Volume maxes out on Senn.HD650
* Not really a con for a regular disc player but 105 can almost replace a receiver if it had the built in Audyssey room correction software.
* No wifi media control app like the 95.
* No DSD playback via USB. - may not be an issue. Check the latest update.
* Windows 8 USB driver issues.
* Hangs sometimes. Reboot fixes it luckily.

Sound Quality:
Two channel audio only. I'm not interested in the multi channel audio sound quality hence I woun't be commenting on it.

OPPO has 2 ESS 8 channel DACs. One DAC exclusively for the multi channel (7.1) out and the second DAC's channel are assigned as 2 channels to the LR RCA, 2 channels to LR XLR and remaining 4 channel stacked to the LR of the headphone out. From what I heard the ESS DAC chip alone costs about $50-60 where as most of the other DAC chips from BB, AKM, Wolfson, Cirrus Logic and AD etc cost less than $5-10.

I don't want to reinvent wheel here hence I would like to compare it to the Benchmark DAC-1 which has been extensively reviewed by professionals and audiophiles. Benchmark is a great American company that I very much respect and DAC-1 has been my reference for all things DAC for a long time.

Is it better than the 10 year old design of the Benchmark DAC-1? Not a whole lot but it is a bit different. I have changed all my components several times and never felt the need to change the DAC-1. 105 is musical and is forgiving in a good way but the ruthless DAC-1 being a professional gear, tells you like it is on your face whether you like it or not. Pick your poison.

Sound stage is wider than DAC-1. DAC-1 has a more forward vocal presentation and as expected, high end has a bit more sparkle. For everything else, you are really splitting hair. Can't really choose one over the other. Strictly as a DAC only, to be honest, if I had to choose between the two, I would give a very very slight preference to the Benchmark. But OPPO leaves Benchmark in the dust when it comes to features and price to performance ratio. Just for $200 more you are getting way more. No contest OPPO wins hands down!!

Audio out on RCA and Balanced XLR seems pretty close. XLR has higher gain and separate opamps/relays for the left and right channels as opposed one opamp/relay for the RCA out.

Two channel Bluray, HDCD and SACD sounded pretty good and OPPO had no issues playing any of these formats. I heard that OPPO is planning to add the DSD playback via USB with a future firmware update.

For those of you who with .VOB files, OPPO plays them with no issue be it locally or over the network.

UPDATE 5/03: Latest firmware 50-0422 comes with lots of new features namely
1. Added support for Direct Stream Digital (DSD) file playback from local storage. The DSD files can be either stereo or multi-channel. Both the DFF and the DSF formats are supported. NO DSD streaming support as of yet via USB Dac.
2. Added support for the AIFF audio format.
3. Added support for the ExFAT file system.
4. Added additional Crossover Frequency selections (50, 70, 130, 140 and 160Hz) in the "Setup Menu"->"Audio Processing"->"Crossover".

UPDATE 5/24:
Added support for a newly developed iOS application named "MediaControlHD" (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mediacontrolhd/id648243911). It is designed for iPad and iPad mini, and can be downloaded from the iOS App Store for free. It works with the BDP-103/5 installed with firmware 50-0422 and newer. Andrioid and iphone users are out of luck at the moment.

This is an awesome feature that enables you to remotely play the media content on USB drives attached to OPPO. Thanks OPPO.

TBCont ...
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89 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2013
Having tried both the BDP-95 and the BDP-105 in my own system for 2 hours + of critical listening, I vastly prefer the sound of the 95. I was very surprised when I first listened to the 105. What I found was that the sound was less three-dimensional, and that the treble register (cymbals, guitars, violins) was harder and harsher, but at the same time less detailed. The midrange of the 105 did not hurt my ears like this, but was still harder and less 3-D than the 95.

The other bad news is that the headphone amp did not sound great with either of my headphones (Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro, Sennheiser HD-580). The 770s were no surprise, but I would have thought the 580's would have done pretty well. No luck.

One thing a lot of people don't know is that each of the two ES9018 SABRE DACs in the BDP-105 has 8 channels. In the BDP-95, ALL 8 channels of 1 DAC were used for the stereo outputs. In the BDP-105, they "stole" 6 of these DAC channels for other things: the headphone amp gets 4 channels, and the XLR output gets 2. Think about that-eight versus two channels of digital processing. That is a lot of processing power. Oppo tries to defend this on their wiki, in a way that really looks like they are making excuses. Here is what it says on the Oppo BDP-105 Hardware FAQ:
_______
Q: On the BDP-95 the ESS9018 DAC was stacked 4-DAC channels per stereo Left and Right outputs channel. How are they configured on the BDP-105?

A: In the BDP-105's stereo board design, the 4 pairs of DACs in the ESS9018 DAC are allocated as: 1 pair for the RCA outputs, 1 pair for the XLR outputs, and 2 pairs stacked for the headphone amplifier.

Q: Does the lack of non-4+4 DAC stacking affect the audio performance?

A: During the initial design stage, OPPO simply continued the BDP-95 approach by stacking 4 pairs of DAC for each Left and Right channel. However due to the complexity brought in by the newly added headphone amp and USB DAC, OPPO could not achieve an ideal PCB layout. The analog specifications became slightly worse than the BDP-95 in this 4 stacked configuration. OPPO's audio engineers and consultants analyzed the problem and made many experiments to further enhance the quality of the analog output stage of the BDP-105. In the end, they decided that the only way to ensure maximum performance was to separate the current-to-voltage conversion stages for each output path. This change enables us to have a much cleaner PCB layout which minimizes interference and crosstalk. It also eliminates the possibility of the load on one output path affecting the other paths. The drawback is that BDP-105 now loses the benefits of the thermal noise cancellation by stacking 4 DACs. The engineers were able to make up for that by designing an improved power supply, optimizing the filter and drive stages, and beefing up the power and ground paths."
_______

I'm not buying that argument. My ears tell me it does not hold up. (In case you want to know what the other DAC in the 105 does, it devotes one channel of processing to each of the surround sound outputs).

Having said all this, I should also say that I am a very tough customer. I have been an audiophile and musician for over 30 years, and have gone through many sets of speakers, amps, disc players etc., and have listened to many others. I stopped playing musical chairs with my speakers and amp 10 years ago (Krell KAV 300i amp and Martin Logan Aerius i speakers). I know my ears and I know my system.

If you can, I say go find a BDP-95. If you can't, try the 105. It is a very good sounding player. If I had not heard the BDP-95, I might give the 105 4 stars.
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
I know of no other player that can compete at this price range and you have to spend more than 10K (Ayre, MSB technology) to better the sound. Regarding CD playback, this player holds its own with high end players costing several times more. My Wadia 861 is superior, but is was $6500 purchased in 2002! So, the Oppo is an amazing high end universal player and is the only one to purchase in this price range for sure. I have a system worth 220K and the Oppo is right at home here. Highly recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2014
Last year I decided to enter the High Resolution Universe, and the OPPO seemed like a good choice. I have used the player for a fair 500 days with a number of ups and downs, but am confident in announcing that our love will last.

My use of the OPPO has been limited to two channel stereo. I have used cds and several high resolution disc formats, and have a library of high resolution files on a portable hard disc that I access by plugging the disc directly in the front of the machine. The OPPO is wifi linked to the internet. The upload of software updates has been easy and flawless. At the time of purchase the Ipad app did not yet provide a display of hard disc stored files, so I added a small led monitor.

A first question I encountered is what interconnects to use, since the OPPO's XLR outputs allowed me to maintain a fully balanced path from dac to power amp rails. I settled on a 1 meter pair Straightwire Serenade II that have done the job admirably and will be reviewed separately.

My downs with the OPPO were twofold. First there was the slow evolution of the sound quality. The combination of player + cable required two months of break in to reach optimal performance. Secondly, the software upgrades have each resulted in a number of annoying artifacts from clicking sounds, interrupted hard disc replay and skipping to a new disc's track X, when I stopped listening to the previous disc on track X. However, knock on wood, since the latest software update a few weeks ago few annoyances remain. One thing that could be improved is the ease of starting listening to a disc on any given track. At present, pushing on a track number while the disc is still loading has no effect. Only when the first track is ready to go, does a targeted track instruction succeed.

Now to the overwhelmingly good news: the OPPO is a heck of a player at a very competitive price. Prospective buyers should ask themselves: "do I like a player that sounds good, or one that is accurate?" As someone who listens to a variety of musical styles and settings I prefer accuracy. Especially in the early days of digital a good sounding interconnect or tube pre-amp could ameliorate the effects of digititis significantly. However, in the light of the current quality of source materials like DFF files, the time that artificial sweeteners were needed is over. Sure "bright" recordings will sound that way on the OPPO, as will all recorded artifacts be transduced, but based on how the very best DFF downloads sound on the OPPO, I would describe it as a prototypical "machine without properties".

In my formative years I attended many a high end "Star Trek" convention and witnessed the digital vs. analog wars at close range. Based on what the OPPO squeezes out of the best DFF downloads, like e.g., Fischer's latest Mahler recordings on Channel Classics, the book for me is closed. Let there be no doubt, hearing a Bruckner Symphony live in concert results in a sonic experience that is far, far removed of the best that recorded sound has to offer, but to my ears hi res digital gets way more things right than analog.

So, prospective buyers, is this player something for you? Can you live with a none-jewel-finished machine with highly detailed neutral sound? Is it ok for a lousy recording to sound as bad as it is, and a great one to sound truly amazing? If so, the decision is really, really easy.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
Verified Purchase
I bought this player for its versatility. I've hooked it up in my home office with an extra Emotiva XPA-3 amp that I wasn't using and am using it to stream music from Pandora, listen to music on my computer (via the USB DAC port) and listen to CDs/SACDs. Space is limited in my office and with the Oppo, I don't need a receiver or pre-amp. I'm not even using it to watch Blu-Rays (I already have a BDP-93 for that).

The built-in headphone jack was also a big reason I got this player. I recently got a pair of Beyerdynamics DT 990 Pro headphones and they have never sounded better hooked to this unit (although the only other place I use them is hooked to my laptop, non-amplified)!

I love the build quality of the Oppos. One of the first things I noticed with the BDP-93 and now this one was the sound that it makes when you open the disc holder. It just sounds solid and well-built compared to the cheaper players I have/had.

The network features that I have used on it are also "rock-solid". I connected the network cable and did not have to mess with any other settings. I entered my Pandora information and it loaded within seconds. The upgrades to the firmware on this are also amazingly fast! The whole update process only took about a minute! I've had a Panasonic and LG and their updates can take 15 minutes or longer to download and install.

Eventually I would like to have a dedicated home theater room and will use the 105 as the main "media server" (that will have to wait for a bigger house). Until then, I am in audio bliss in my home office! :)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon February 12, 2014
What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable pic
nic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited! -- A Clockwork Orange
______________________________

A TOP-SHELF, ALL-IN-ONE DIGITAL SOURCE AND COMPONENT ARRAY IN A BOX

"Universal Audiophile 3D Blu-ray Disc Player, ESS SABRE32 Reference Audiophile DAC. Headphone Amp & Asynchronous USB DAC, Stereo & Multichannel Analog Outs, 4k Up-Scaling, 3D Playback, 2D to 3D Conversion," say Oppo's marketing people.

If all you want to know is what I think of the Oppo BDP-105D, please know that I very much admire this product, and I highly recommend it, then read no farther. If you are carefully researching the Oppo BDP-105D and need detailed information about the Oppo BDP-105D AND someone's actual hands-on experience with the 105D Oppo prior to pulling the trigger, then read on. You have found the right place.

Included here along with my personal BDP-105D experiences is a short excerpt from the original and necessarily lengthy professional review that you should find very useful. AVS, Audioholics, HomeTheaterReview, The Absolute Sound, and Stereophile are good sources too, and those reviews are thorough, detailed, and long. Read the full BDP-105/105D reviews on these sites as they are better than any BDP-105/105D Amazon amateur review I have read, and that includes mine.

SO WHAT IS THE 105D LIKE?

I never was a fan of the Swiss Army Knife. I never was a fan of ANY all-in-one tool or gizmo. Such things, to me, were flawed designs, almost a joke. But this Oppo thing is an entirely different concept. For me, I sought out the Oppo BDP-105D for two reasons: 1) I wanted a superior transport/CD player, and 2) a superior Blu-ray/DVD player because my two-channel stereo and TV set-up are in the same room. My Darbee'd 105 was obtained factory-direct from OppoDigital in Silicone Valley.

At this point I must laud Oppo (pronounced Oh-Poh, by the way, not Ah-Poh) for its wonderful shipping carton contents...the most fastidious, well-cushioned and professionally packaged effort I have EVER experienced...such a beautiful presentation as you open it. This is evidence that Oppo has respect for itself, but mainly it is an offering of respect for Oppo customers. A handled, black carry bag contains the unit itself. You will notice its 17.3-lb heft as soon as you pick it up, something you will never experience with a CD or Blu-Ray/DVD player, and even with any standard universal player. I am now in the midst of playing around with its myriad permutations and features. Most of my music is now heard via high-res downloads, but it is good to have such an excellent CD function on hand.

Updates to this review will be forthcoming as I proceed in this techie adventure. So please be patient and check back for a more detailed review.

Here are my experiences with the BDP-105/105D so far:

VIDEO PLAYBACK. After closely watching many Blu-Ray movies and some DVD flicks, it IS well worth the extra hundred bucks because it cleans your glasses for you, so to speak. The D puts a smile on your face. Oh yeah! Pull the trigger on this one, doods and doodettes. And again yes, after spinning Blu-Rays with the Darbee hot rodded mod 105D you will never go back to vanilla after running this urbane, with-it hipster. And like the 105, the 105D's audio section will leave your jaw dropped, if not drooling, even without decent speakers and a good, matched amp. It is that good. I really do not like being a fanboy, but I cannot help myself. Please forgive. As far as 3D upconversion goes, and other such issues, please give me more time.

AUDIO PLAYBACK is superb and a little lean, but after one day I sense less of it. Oppo says you need up to 200 hours of break-in before the leanness fades and is replaced by a warmer, richer top end treble. Bass is good and deep, rolling off only at the very bottom of the barrel. So hold on...be back at this in a few days with more detail.

Do not forget to go to your AUDIO SETUP SCREEN and select not Auto, but DSD, and if you do...Oh...My...God! You will not believe the sonics. Now my reaction might seem overenthusiastic, and it does to me, because what I had before this was passable, but not super excellent, and nothing like this '105D. So take that into perspective. If a professional reviewer begins to talk like me, then rest assured, what I said above will be more than confirmed. And those pro reviewers have...search on it.

The HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER performance is unexpectedly, stunningly good. Another reviewer here states that the '105's headphone amp section is very good but will not match the performance of a top end dedicated headphone amp. I disagree. After doing some careful listening the '105's can amp sounds lusciously good to me. OppoDigital says, "The headphone amplifier is connected directly to the ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC and offers a unique performance advantage over standalone headphone amplifiers." My opinion is borne out by most of the picky members of the Head-Fi forum's "Oppo BDP-105 as a headphone amp" thread. The only caveat is that gain is a problem with only a few fussy planar cans and cans such as the Sennheiser HD800, and you might be pushing it with the Senn HD600 and Senn HD650 cans, but you will be pleased. Here is a quote on that board from a member, BruinAntEater:

"Previously, I was driving my HD650s from a Yamaha S2500 to a Yamaha HTR-3064 Amp via analog, to a Fiio E9. Just recently I bought an Oppo 105 (and Denon 4311) and plugged my HD650s....OMG!!! I absolutely love the sound with CDs, SACDs, DVDAs and even DualDiscs!!!! The combination of Sabre DACs with the high quality amp in the oppo sounds sublime! I think the Oppo has plenty of gain for the 650s, on most music 95/100 on volume is enough, only once did I need to go to 100 and again that was fine. The SQ is amazing!" Of course, this does not cover HiFiman, Grado, or Beyerdynamic or other headphone compatibility. You need to do your own research on that.

Though a few members of that Head-Fi board thread are a bit less enthusiastic, the consensus is that '105 headphone amp is not embarrassed by high-end stand-alone can amps. Search Head-Fi for more info. From my experience I think that the only other reason to go with a separate, dedicated can-amp is if you want a tube sound that only a tube can-amp can provide. Me? I can forego the syrup and the tube rolling.

The Oppo 105/105D Has Everything Going For It.

The Oppo BDP-105/105D is an over-achieving audiophile quality all-in-one media hub/server for digital audio and video playback functioning as a computer media hub or server, and possibly as a digital stereo music preamplifier with volume control (more on that later). Now that is a mouthful. The BDP-105 is OppoDigital's flagship "media hub." The lesser performing, discontinued BDP-95 was rated highly enough to be ensconced in the A+ class on Stereophile Magazine's annual list of 2012 and 2013 Recommended Components in the disc player category! In the audio world that is equivalent to an Oscar. On top of that, the 105D carries this quality and versatility to the next level.

This is what an Oppo BDP-105 really is: a single chassis replacing several separate chassis incorporating several entirely different audio and video components (this is why Oppo should label the chassis front as such, and not as a mere Blu-Ray player, as it makes the other functions appear secondary, when they are definitely not). Not only is a separate chassis eliminated, but also redundant cabling, internal electronics, possibly separate volume control attenuation, power supplies, power cords, and more. The signal paths connecting each component section are extremely short, and that serves to improve signal quality by a leap!

Fabricating such a product costs much less than separates. The savings have been allocated by Oppo to provide the highest quality sonic performance possible for every function, sparing no expense in doing so. That is why it costs what it does. The BDP-105 is well worth its price tag. For an outstanding, quite overall objective review I can recommend Googling: 6moons dot com/audioreviews/oppo. Here is my take on how it breaks down into separate, mid-priced components, as I see it:

SIX-IN-ONE CHASSIS:

1. A quality BLU-RAY-PLAYER with maximum playback capabilities, and now even Darbee is available

2. A quality CD/SACD PLAYER of the highest sonic quality and resolution.

3. A quality ESS Sabre32 DAC, one for audio, one for video, of the highest quality available today.

4. A quality HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER powerful enough to drive all but a few notoriously difficult to drive cans.

5. A quality MULTI-FUNCTION DIGITAL PLAYBACK HUB. so flexible and multi-possibled that there is no space here to describe it all (DSD, FlAC files, streaming, Wi-Fi, Roku capability, on and on). The 105 is an unapologetic Music Server: especially so now that the 105D has incorporated the iPad app, with iOS, we now have a universal media server as well.

Use an external USB hard drive to store and organize your music, hi-rez or not, plug the hard drive into your 105's front USB input, and the rest is history!

6. A high-end DIGITAL PREAMPLIFIER with enough juice, 2.1 volts, to drive signals to an amplifier and has digital volume control, but problems do arise if you play at lower volumes when you just connect the Oppo directly to your amp (more on that down below)
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Here is what Myron Ho has to say about the BDP-105:

HOME THEATER REVIEWS MAGAZINE, by Myron Ho, Jul 8, 2013:

"Oppo Digital has become the default recommendation when looking for a high fidelity source component...If ever there is an audio/video component that offers great value with a capital V, it's the Oppo Digital BDP-105. While it's billed primarily as an audiophile-oriented universal disc player, it brings so many other perks to the table: networking connectivity, Ultra HD upscaling, a reference quality internal DAC, preamp capabilities, a headphone amplifier, and a host of other functions.

It's easily a $5,000 universal disc player, $1,000 headphone amp, $4,000 outboard DAC, $1,500 AV preamp, plus a video switcher, network/media server and so on - all rolled into one $1,199 unit. If you have the money, buy the Oppo BDP-105. Even if you have significantly more than $1,199 to spend on a dedicated component for any one of the functions that the BDP-105 provides, consider carefully whether you might not just save the money and go with the BDP-105 instead.

Then you can invest the savings elsewhere in your system, for speakers, amplifiers or some facet that the Oppo does not cover. You could easily spend more and actually get less performance than the Oppo BDP-105 provides. Chalk up another well-deserved five-star review for Oppo."

Thanks Myron.
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The 105D as a Preamplifier

All this ensures audiophile quality digital music playback, especially because the BDP-105 can, theoretically function as a preamplifier and uses its volume control for multi-channel video audio and for stereo audio playback. This can bypass the need for an preamplifier's box full of capacitors, resistors, toroidal transformer, and all that wiring. Nothing is in the way of the pure signal path, nothing there to degrade sonic quality of both video audio AND stereo audio output. For stereo audio, just plug in the RCA, or the preferred balanced XLR outputs, directly into your amplifier inputs. Is that right? NO

The 105D can be a preamplifier, true, and to a degree it is designed to be so, by providing inputs and outputs for sound sources, speaker outputs, and volume control, as well as power to drive current and sonic signals to the amp. That is what a traditional preamp does. BUT! There are bit strip problems. This is what George Stantscheff pointed out to me:

"While digital domain volume controls are good but, they what's called "bit strip". That is if they are not used in the top 25% of full volume output they will reduce "resolution" by instead of giving full 16bit, they will cut the resolution back to 14bit or 12 bit the further you attenuate them. This is where the Lightspeed Attenuator comes into the picture and as there is no contacts in the signal path, it's like the sound of just having the digital domain volume control without the "bit stripping" problems.

If you are skeptical about what George just said, read this article: http://www DOT esstech DOT com/PDF/digital-vs-analog-volume-control.pdf (tighten up the DOTS).

To solve the problem, allow me to suggest looking into the Lightspeed Attenuator (See Stereophile Recommended Components 2013: preamplifiers, Lightspeed Attenuator (Sam Tellig). It will work wonders as a preamp, but without the detriments of the digital attenuator on your Oppo, IF you need only ONE input for ONE digital music source, RCA line level only and no XLR, balanced inputs. Please read this review: http:// electra-fidelity DOT squarespace DOT com/lightspeed-attenuator/ to become a believer, believe me.

By the way, if you are concerned about any lean solid state clinicality, or when you go preamp-less, then consider a tube power amp, or a hybrid tube/solid state amp, to warm the signal a bit for an increase in musicality and warmth, but I think you might not need to. I do not. Or select a solid state amp known for its warm sound. No question about it, choosing a matching amp will take some time to research and audition, and never buy without a money-back guaranteed in-store or home audition, never. A good blog: Audiophile Musings has more info.

Chris Deering, audio expert at Sound & Vision, online, 1/13/2013, has this to say about the BDP-105:

"The Last Player You'll Ever Need
Allowing you to tap into the reference-quality DAC and video processing so the rest of your system can benefit is a feature that truly sets the Oppo apart. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the BDP-105 as a replacement for a high-end digital preamp if your switching needs are covered. Once again, Oppo has raised the bar, and I honestly can't imagine recommending any other product with more enthusiasm. The BDP-105 is an audiophile's delight and the most complete performance package I've seen from a Blu-ray player." I do disagree with Chris here though, on the preamp issue.

On the other hand, a preamplifier or integrated amplifier is required when playing ANALOG components such as a record player, tape, or AM/FM tuner. In any case, running interconnect cables, especially balanced XLR cables rather than RCA cables, directly from the Oppo to your amplifier keeps the sonic signal path pristine, with far less noise.

In the meantime, this is as good as it gets in my opinion. The sonic paradigm shift big-banged here with the Oppo BDP-105D. Yeah, yeah, there will be an Oppo BDP-107D-DeluxeXL trickout. You cannot wait forever for the next level...you have to jump in at some point. I chose this current state-of-the-art BDP-105D. Upgrades and firmware updates from Oppo will keep obsolescence at bay. Five years from now I will take a look at the BDP-305DXL II, or whatever it will be called.

This is obviously not your $175, simple, single-task Blu-Ray player either. It costs much to provide excellence in every department. This Oppo BDP-105 will forever change the face of home theater video, and digital stereo music. A huge achievement. It is not hype to say that Oppo's BDP-105/105D is a mind-boggling excellent piece of electronic hardware and appears to truly be the Master of, not just the jack of, all playback and digital component trades so far, according to Myron Ho. I agree.

MY AUDIO/VIDEO BUDGET PRIOR TO BUYING MY OPPO BDP-105D

Putting together a new, "affordable" $5,000-$8,000 stereo system can be great entertainment in itself. Stressful at times yes, challenging, yes, but fun. You have to learn much to make shrewd decisions to get the greatest bang for your beer budget buck. My audio buddy has a $45,000 stereo/home theater set-up that sounds spectacular and it should for that kind of money, but he shakes his head and admits that my amp and speakers with the 105D in it almost sounds as good as his, and in some respects better, for nine times less Federal Reserve Notes.

Of course you can go wild and go ultra high-end, or bi-amp two reference level Pass Labs XA-100.5s for $6,500 each, and I'll pass on the Mark Levinson ripoffs, and the Ayre and Classe amps (ca $16,000) thank you, that cost as much or far, far more than the entire system detailed below just for the power amp, and that make Brystons sound like toys. Or how about a pair of $68,000 Wilson MAXX 3 loudspeakers if you like trophy display or want to make your audio hobby into your entire life, but maybe go with big-bang-for-buck, under the radar components that can almost match the ultra high end in sonic quality...you can go with what I have detailed below, or similar, and top it off with your splendid Oppo. If you are merely trying to impress yourself and others, good luck with that chuckle. Prior to discovering the BDP-105, then the BDP-105D, here is what I had budgeted for my new, under-the-radar modestly-priced audiophile 2.0 stereo system:

$2,500 LOUDSPEAKER PAIR (Tekton Seas Pendragons)
$2,500 POWER AMPLIFIER (Parasound Halo A 21)
$1,100 STEREO PREAMPLIFIER (Parasound Halo P-5)
$ 500 CD PLAYER (Emotiva ERC-3)
$ 500 BLU-RAY PLAYER (Higher end Sony or Panasonic model)
$ 500 DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTER, aka DAC (Schiit Audio USB Bifrost)
$ 500 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER (Schiit Audio Lyr)
$ 500 DIGITAL STREAMING SERVER (Sonos music server)
$ 400 BLUE JEANS' CABLING (8' Speaker Bi-Wire X 2 ea., interconnects X 6 pair, 6' HDMI cables X 2 ea.)
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$9,000 TOTAL

BUT HOW ABOUT KEEPING IT SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE? HERE IS HOW I DID IT:

$2,500 LOUDSPEAKER PAIR (Tekton Design Seas Pendragons)
$2,500 STEREO AMPLIFIER (Parasound Halo A 21)
$1,300 UNIVERSAL BLU-RAY/CD PLAYER (Oppo BDP-105D: as a headphone amp, DAC, music server, stereo and A/V preamp)
$ 200 BLUE JEANS' CABLES (quality 8' Speaker Bi-Wires X 2, 1 pr. XLR interconnects, 2 6' HDMI cables)
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$6,500, TOTAL

The difference:

$9,000
-$6,500
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$2,500 TOTAL SAVEDby choosing an Oppo BDP-105D! (including full HDMI, DSD and Darbee features!)

The BDP-105 replaces and improves upon the discontinued BDP-95. The BDP-105, and the BDP-105D, are stunningly versatile pieces of electronics. Just because its separate components are squeezed into one chassis does not mean that the 105D's components will function less well than if its components were stand-alone units. For example, in my opinion, the best sweet-spot, "affordable" stand-alone DAC out there, for just the DAC alone, is the Benchmark USB DAC2, and it costs about the same as the entire Oppo BDP-105! Really, it does.

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A FEW IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER

But what is the difference between the BDP-105 and the BDP-105D? Here is "Smarty-Pants," an amateur reviewer from the AVS Forum online to detail that:

"The BDP-105D subtracts:

~the Marvell Qdeo video processor

...and adds:
~the Darbee Visual Presence video processor
~the Silicon Image VRS ClearView video processor
~updated USB DAC interface to support DSD64 and DSD128
~the ability to send DSD over HDMI on the HDMI-1 output
(this was only possible on the HDMI-2 output of the BDP-105)

...and replaces:

~the remote with a slightly new version with a Darbee button
(otherwise the remote is identical to the BDP-105/103)

All other aspects and functions of the two models are identical."
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THE BDP-103D
But what about the BDP-103D? The 103D has the same exact video section as the 105D. The major difference is that the audio section of the 105D is far more sophisticated and will deliver superior sonics. Is it worth the large price difference? Only you can determine that. Rather than go into the details here as this is a 105 review, do your own research on the specifics so go to the Oppo website, or better, read the reviews on it from consumers, and not just Amazon ones either. Check out Audiogon, the Audioholics forum, the hometheaterreview forum, and the AVS customer forum just to name a few.
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The BDP-105D has full DSD capability, the 105 does not. That is just another reason to step up from 105 to 105D. Neither one has the new HDMI 2.0 capability...that is another, new story...Google that (See the new AVS article on it).

I connected my Oppo, via HDMI cable, from my HD cable box to HDMI IN on the Oppo BDP-105D, and thence from Oppo's HDMI OUT to my HD TV's HDMI 1, triggered with the remote Darbee button, or settings. The standard cable picture using Darbee is just spectacular. Set the DVP at about 35% to start then experiment to find the best setting for you and your TV brand and model). The texture of skin, for example, in fine detail, is unbelievably real. So Darbee remarkably improves not just Blu-Ray and DVD video resolution, but your regular programming as well.

The audio output of my '105D', in my set up, has indeed warmed up, resolution has blossomed, the mid-range and sound stage has remarkably extended, and the bass dynamics have reached farther down to the lowest octaves. Of course, your amp and speakers must also be capable of supporting such sonics.

As for the benefits of different cable brands, after having tried Transparent, AQ, Kimber, Cardas, etc., is that there is no audible difference compared to broadcast quality Blue Jeans Cable, none. I remain convinced that interconnects, if properly shielded, and employing good termination, sound the same. Blind tests have confirmed this. The placebo effect is in full swing when it comes to audibility in interconnects and speaker wire cabling is my take on the issue. Almost to a person, audio engineers cannot find any empirical evidence contrary to what I have posited. If they cannot hear it and cannot detect it with sensitive instruments, then for me, and for them, the issue is moot. But as far as interconnects go, analog interconnects are the way to go.

On the other hand, I have A/B'ed RCA line-level, unbalanced cables connected to my amp compared to XLR balanced cables and found the XLR option audibly superior in every way. Evidently, recording professionals, professional musicians and TV and radio broadcasting industry audio engineers agree: RCA unbalanced connecting cables are rarely specified unless convenience overrides a choice for some reason, but not for high fidelity sonic applications. Then, it is XLR three-pin all the way. Again, I would highly recommend Blue Jeans Cable as a source for your Balanced Cables, or for any cabling need.

SOME ADDITIONAL INFO ON KEY 105D FEATURES

4K is The Way!
I wonder what the BDP-105D's 4k-Ready "4K coming soon to a local 105D near you" 4K feature will bring to the game. I hear that it will make your jaw drop even more than the 105D's already fantastic Darbee Blu-ray/DVD and TV program playback that already gives you eye-popping video imagery no other product comes close to, so far. Yes, like having a much better TV, much better.

The Digital Volume Control on the BDP-105/105D
There are those that malign digital gain, but with the Oppo, I am not one of them. Also, speaking of preamp functions such as gain control, I understand that under the aegis of Oppo audio engineers the 105D was carefully designed to function also as a preamplifier, so a 2.1 volt output was specified so that plenty of power would easily pump the audio signal to an amp. A preamp is no longer needed for stereo applications if you own a 105 or 105D. Some of these features might also apply to the 103 and 103D, but I am not up to speed on those models.

HDMI 2.0 Debut is here!
The HDMI 2.0 technology has just come out...how that can be upgraded on Oppo products I have no idea, but I hope that can be done.

XLR Balanced Three-Pin Interconnects
This is the way to go versus RCA unbalanced if you want sonic quality, less noise, I agree. Using XLR balanced cables will also double the voltage available to an amplifier, providing voltage headroom, another reason Oppo engineers specified XLR. Unbalanced RCA outputs are required because many amplifiers have no XLR inputs, the gold standard in professional audio, musical performance, and broadcast applications. Why XLR balanced capability is not a standard connection in all "audiophile" quality amplifiers is a mystery to me.

The DSD Feature
DSD delivers superb rendering of sonic detail and markedly improves the top end resolution of my speakers that needed a little help in that department. Of course, the source I hitherto owned was not in the same league as the 105D, but everything will improve even more when I take delivery of my Tekton Design Seas Pendragons.

Audiophilia Nervosa Put in Perspective
Is there a better universal disc player than the BDP-105D? Not yet. But when it comes to other components, YES of course, there always is something better, but at what cost? Anything made by man is not perfect and never will be, including any Oppo product. After all, the main issue should always be the MUSIC, and in the case of video, the MOVIE, and that often gets lost in these gear talks of ours. The equipment needed to reproduce such pleasure should be the lesser priority. Enjoy what you have, buy more music, watch more quality movies, relax, and enjoy the show! Upgrade when you can, but shop very carefully and sagaciously, one step at a time. And just how much better is better anyway, sans rationalizing and without going maliciously sour grapes with angry envy?

WHAT OPPO SAYS ABOUT ITS BDP-105D (Features and tech specs can be found on the OppoDigital website).

SUMMARY

Are you stunned yet? I am. Work out the finances, but buy this thing! Five stars, reference level quality in almost all departments, a one stop shop for digital sources and peripherals.

For feedback or questions, please respond in the Comment section below.. If I have helped you please let me know.
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To view my Blog, THE GOOD STUFF REVIEWS, please go to my Profile and click on the blue highlighted link.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon October 7, 2013
"What you got back home, little sister, to play your fuzzy warbles on? I bet you got little save pitiful, portable picnic players. Come with uncle and hear all proper! Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones. You are invited! -- A Clockwork Orange
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A TOP-SHELF, ALL-IN-ONE DIGITAL SOURCE AND COMPONENT ARRAY IN A BOX

"Universal Audiophile 3D Blu-ray Disc Player, ESS SABRE32 Reference Audiophile DAC. Headphone Amp & Asynchronous USB DAC, Stereo & Multichannel Analog Outs, 4k Up-Scaling, 3D Playback, 2D to 3D Conversion," say Oppo's marketing people.

If all you want to know is what I think of the Oppo BDP-105D, please know that I very much admire this product, and I highly recommend it, then read no farther. If you are carefully researching the Oppo BDP-105D and need detailed information about the Oppo BDP-105D AND someone's actual hands-on experience with the 105D Oppo prior to pulling the trigger, then read on. You have found the right place.

Included here along with my personal BDP-105D experiences is a short excerpt from the original and necessarily lengthy professional review that you should find very useful. AVS, Audioholics, HomeTheaterReview, The Absolute Sound, and Stereophile are good sources too, and those reviews are thorough, detailed, and long. Read the full BDP-105/105D reviews on these sites as they are better than any BDP-105/105D Amazon amateur review I have read, and that includes mine.

SO WHAT IS THE 105D LIKE?

I never was a fan of the Swiss Army Knife. I never was a fan of ANY all-in-one tool or gizmo. Such things, to me, were flawed designs, almost a joke. But this Oppo thing is an entirely different concept. For me, I sought out the Oppo BDP-105D for two reasons: 1) I wanted a superior transport/CD player, and 2) a superior Blu-ray/DVD player because my two-channel stereo and TV set-up are in the same room. My Darbee'd 105 was obtained factory-direct from OppoDigital in Silicone Valley.

At this point I must laud Oppo (pronounced Oh-Poh, by the way, not Ah-Poh) for its wonderful shipping carton contents...the most fastidious, well-cushioned and professionally packaged effort I have EVER experienced...such a beautiful presentation as you open it. This is evidence that Oppo has respect for itself, but mainly it is an offering of respect for Oppo customers. A handled, black carry bag contains the unit itself. You will notice its 17.3-lb heft as soon as you pick it up, something you will never experience with a CD or Blu-Ray/DVD player, and even with any standard universal player. I am now in the midst of playing around with its myriad permutations and features. Most of my music is now heard via high-res downloads, but it is good to have such an excellent CD function on hand.

Updates to this review will be forthcoming as I proceed in this techie adventure. So please be patient and check back for a more detailed review.

Here are my experiences with the BDP-105/105D so far:

VIDEO PLAYBACK. After closely watching many Blu-Ray movies and some DVD flicks, it IS well worth the extra hundred bucks because it cleans your glasses for you, so to speak. The D puts a smile on your face. Oh yeah! Pull the trigger on this one, doods and doodettes. And again yes, after spinning Blu-Rays with the Darbee hot rodded mod 105D you will never go back to vanilla after running this urbane, with-it hipster. And like the 105, the 105D's audio section will leave your jaw dropped, if not drooling, even without decent speakers and a good, matched amp. It is that good. I really do not like being a fanboy, but I cannot help myself. Please forgive. As far as 3D upconversion goes, and other such issues, please give me more time.

AUDIO PLAYBACK is superb and a little lean, but after one day I sense less of it. Oppo says you need up to 200 hours of break-in before the leanness fades and is replaced by a warmer, richer top end treble. Bass is good and deep, rolling off only at the very bottom of the barrel. So hold on...be back at this in a few days with more detail.

Do not forget to go to your AUDIO SETUP SCREEN and select not Auto, but DSD, and if you do...Oh...My...God! You will not believe the sonics. Now my reaction might seem overenthusiastic, and it does to me, because what I had before this was passable, but not super excellent, and nothing like this '105D. So take that into perspective. If a professional reviewer begins to talk like me, then rest assured, what I said above will be more than confirmed. And those pro reviewers have...search on it.

The HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER performance is unexpectedly, stunningly good. Another reviewer here states that the '105's headphone amp section is very good but will not match the performance of a top end dedicated headphone amp. I disagree. After doing some careful listening the '105's can amp sounds lusciously good to me. OppoDigital says, "The headphone amplifier is connected directly to the ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC and offers a unique performance advantage over standalone headphone amplifiers." My opinion is borne out by most of the picky members of the Head-Fi forum's "Oppo BDP-105 as a headphone amp" thread. The only caveat is that gain is a problem with only a few fussy planar cans and cans such as the Sennheiser HD800, and you might be pushing it with the Senn HD600 and Senn HD650 cans, but you will be pleased. Here is a quote on that board from a member, BruinAntEater:

"Previously, I was driving my HD650s from a Yamaha S2500 to a Yamaha HTR-3064 Amp via analog, to a Fiio E9. Just recently I bought an Oppo 105 (and Denon 4311) and plugged my HD650s....OMG!!! I absolutely love the sound with CDs, SACDs, DVDAs and even DualDiscs!!!! The combination of Sabre DACs with the high quality amp in the oppo sounds sublime! I think the Oppo has plenty of gain for the 650s, on most music 95/100 on volume is enough, only once did I need to go to 100 and again that was fine. The SQ is amazing!" Of course, this does not cover HiFiman, Grado, or Beyerdynamic or other headphone compatibility. You need to do your own research on that.

Though a few members of that Head-Fi board thread are a bit less enthusiastic, the consensus is that '105 headphone amp is not embarrassed by high-end stand-alone can amps. Search Head-Fi for more info. From my experience I think that the only other reason to go with a separate, dedicated can-amp is if you want a tube sound that only a tube can-amp can provide. Me? I can forego the syrup and the tube rolling.

The Oppo 105/105D Has Everything Going For It.

The Oppo BDP-105/105D is an over-achieving audiophile quality all-in-one media hub/server for digital audio and video playback functioning as a computer media hub or server, and as a digital stereo music preamplifier with volume control. Now that is a mouthful. The BDP-105 is OppoDigital's flagship "media hub." The lesser performing, discontinued BDP-95 was rated highly enough to be ensconced in the A+ class on Stereophile Magazine's annual list of 2012 and 2013 Recommended Components in the disc player category! In the audio world that is equivalent to an Oscar. On top of that, the 105D carries this quality and versatility to the next level.

This is what an Oppo BDP-105 really is: a single chassis replacing SIX separate chassis incorporating six entirely different audio and video components (this is why Oppo should label the chassis front as such, and not as a mere Blu-Ray player, as it makes the other functions appear secondary, when they are definitely not). Not only is a separate chassis eliminated, but also redundant cabling, internal electronics, separate volume control attenuation, power supplies, power cords, and more. The signal paths connecting each component section are extremely short, and that serves to improve signal quality by a leap!

Fabricating such a product costs much less than separates. The savings have been allocated by Oppo to provide the highest quality sonic performance possible for every function, sparing no expense in doing so. That is why it costs what it does. The BDP-105 is well worth its price tag. For an outstanding, quite overall objective review I can recommend Googling: 6moons dot com/audioreviews/oppo. Here is my take on how it breaks down into separate, mid-priced components, as I see it:

SIX-IN-ONE CHASSIS:

1. A quality BLU-RAY-PLAYER with maximum playback capabilities, and now even Darbee is available

2. A quality CD/SACD PLAYER of the highest sonic quality and resolution.

3. A quality ESS Sabre32 DAC, one for audio, one for video, of the highest quality available today.

4. A quality HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER powerful enough to drive all but a few notoriously difficult to drive cans.

5. A quality MULTI-FUNCTION DIGITAL PLAYBACK HUB. so flexible and multi-possibled that there is no space here to describe it all (DSD, FlAC files, streaming, Wi-Fi, Roku capability, on and on). The 105 is an unapologetic Music Server: especially so now that the 105D has incorporated the iPad app, with iOS, we now have a universal media server as well.

Use an external USB hard drive to store and organize your music, hi-rez or not, plug the hard drive into your 105's front USB input, and the rest is history! You must read this pro 105 review...THE best...[...]

6. A high-end DIGITAL PREAMPLIFIER with enough juice, 2.1 volts, to drive signals to an amplifier and has digital volume control (just connect the Oppo directly to your amp!)
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Here is what Myron Ho has to say about the BDP-105:

HOME THEATER REVIEWS MAGAZINE, by Myron Ho, Jul 8, 2013:

"Oppo Digital has become the default recommendation when looking for a high fidelity source component...If ever there is an audio/video component that offers great value with a capital V, it's the Oppo Digital BDP-105. While it's billed primarily as an audiophile-oriented universal disc player, it brings so many other perks to the table: networking connectivity, Ultra HD upscaling, a reference quality internal DAC, preamp capabilities, a headphone amplifier, and a host of other functions.

It's easily a $5,000 universal disc player, $1,000 headphone amp, $4,000 outboard DAC, $1,500 AV preamp, plus a video switcher, network/media server and so on - all rolled into one $1,199 unit. If you have the money, buy the Oppo BDP-105. Even if you have significantly more than $1,199 to spend on a dedicated component for any one of the functions that the BDP-105 provides, consider carefully whether you might not just save the money and go with the BDP-105 instead.

Then you can invest the savings elsewhere in your system, for speakers, amplifiers or some facet that the Oppo does not cover. You could easily spend more and actually get less performance than the Oppo BDP-105 provides. Chalk up another well-deserved five-star review for Oppo."

Thanks Myron.
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This is obviously not your $175, simple, single-task Blu-Ray player either. It costs much to provide excellence in every department. This Oppo BDP-105 will forever change the face of home theater video, and digital stereo music. A huge achievement. It is not hype to say that Oppo's BDP-105/105D is a mind-boggling excellent piece of electronic hardware and appears to truly be the Master of, not just the jack of, all playback and digital component trades so far, according to Myron Ho. I agree.

MY AUDIO/VIDEO BUDGET PRIOR TO BUYING MY OPPO BDP-105D

Putting together a new, "affordable" $5,000-$8,000 stereo system can be great entertainment in itself. Stressful at times yes, challenging, yes, but fun. You have to learn much to make shrewd decisions to get the greatest bang for your beer budget buck. My audio buddy has a $45,000 stereo/home theater set-up that sounds spectacular and it should for that kind of money, but he shakes his head and admits that my amp and speakers with the 105D in it almost sounds as good as his, and in some respects better, for nine times less Federal Reserve Notes.

Of course you can go wild and go ultra high-end, or bi-amp two reference level Pass Labs XA-100.5s for $6,500 each, and I'll pass on the Mark Levinson ripoffs, and the Ayre and Classe amps (ca $16,000) thank you, that cost as much or far, far more than the entire system detailed below just for the power amp, and that make Brystons sound like toys. Or how about a pair of $68,000 Wilson MAXX 3 loudspeakers if you like trophy display or want to make your audio hobby into your entire life, but maybe go with big-bang-for-buck, under the radar components that can almost match the ultra high end in sonic quality...you can go with what I have detailed below, or similar, and top it off with your splendid Oppo. If you are merely trying to impress yourself and others, good luck with that chuckle. Prior to discovering the BDP-105, then the BDP-105D, here is what I had budgeted for my new, under-the-radar modestly-priced audiophile 2.0 stereo system:

$2,500 LOUDSPEAKER PAIR (Tekton Design Seas Pendragons, bested my Gallo References)
$1,500 POWER AMPLIFIER (Odyssey Audio Stratos)

$1,100 STEREO PREAMPLIFIER (Parasound Halo P-5)
$ 500 CD PLAYER (Emotiva ERC-3)
$ 500 BLU-RAY PLAYER (Higher end Sony or Panasonic model)
$ 500 DIGITAL TO ANALOG CONVERTER, aka DAC (Schiit Audio USB Bifrost)
$ 500 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER (Schiit Audio Lyr)
$ 500 DIGITAL STREAMING SERVER (Sonos music server)
$ 400 BLUE JEANS' CABLING (8' Speaker Bi-Wire X 2 ea., interconnects X 6 pair, 6' HDMI cables X 2 ea.)
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$8,000 TOTAL

BUT HOW ABOUT KEEPING IT SIMPLE AND AFFORDABLE? HERE IS HOW I DID IT:

$2,500 LOUDSPEAKER PAIR (Tekton Design Seas Pendragons)
$1,500 STEREO AMPLIFIER (Odyssey Audio Stratos)

$1,300 UNIVERSAL BLU-RAY/CD PLAYER (Oppo BDP-105D: as a headphone amp, DAC, music server, stereo and A/V preamp)
$ 200 BLUE JEANS' CABLES (quality 8' Speaker Bi-Wires X 2, 1 pr. XLR interconnects, 2 6' HDMI cables)
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$5,500, TOTAL

The difference:

$8,000
-$5,500
_______

$2,500 TOTAL SAVED by choosing an Oppo BDP-105D! (including full HDMI, DSD and Darbee features!)

The BDP-105 replaces and improves upon the discontinued BDP-95. The BDP-105, and the BDP-105D, are stunningly versatile pieces of electronics. Just because its separate components are squeezed into one chassis does not mean that the 105D's components will function less well than if its components were stand-alone units. For example, in my opinion, the best sweet-spot, "affordable" stand-alone DAC out there, for just the DAC alone, is the Benchmark USB DAC2, and it costs about the same as the entire Oppo BDP-105! Really, it does.

The 105D as a Preamplifier

All this ensures audiophile quality digital music playback, especially because the BDP-105 functions as a preamplifier and uses its volume control for multi-channel video audio and for stereo audio playback so no preamplifier is needed. This bypasses the need for an preamplifier's box full of capacitors, resistors, toroidal transformer, and all that wiring. Nothing is in the way of the pure signal path, nothing there to degrade sonic quality of both video audio AND stereo audio output. For stereo audio, just plug in the RCA, or the preferred balanced XLR outputs, directly into your amplifier inputs. How simple is that?

The 105D IS a preamplifier, designed to be so, by providing inputs and outputs for sound sources, speaker outputs, and volume control, as well as power to drive current and sonic signals to the amp. That is what a traditional preamp does. In addition, check this out: there is a subwoofer output on the back of the unit. So NO active audio or video preamplifier, not even a passive one, nor even a passive attenuator is needed for video, multi-channel audio, or digital only 2.1 stereo playback. This Oppo IS your digital preamplifier, not an analog one. Just connect it straight to your A/V processor/receiver or your stereo power amplifier! Go ahead and pass Go. The choice of power amplifier is then critically important.

If you are concerned about any lean solid state clinicality, or when you go preamp-less, then consider a tube power amp, or a hybrid tube/solid state amp, to warm the signal a bit for an increase in musicality and warmth, but I think you might not need to. I do not. Or select a solid state amp known for its warm sound. No question about it, choosing a matching amp will take some time to research and audition, and never buy without a money-back guaranteed in-store or home audition, never. A good blog: Audiophile Musings has more info.

Connecting an Oppo, as a preamp, directly your amplifier requires that your amp is compatible with the 105D's 2.1 volt output, and I find it is not too bright at all, and that your audio source on the front end is sweet, such as this Oppo BDP-105. Or break down and buy a preamp. Then you have to redundantly run everything through the collections of wires, transistors, transformers, capacitors, resistors, a potentiometer, and other artifacts and put up with a reduction in sonic purity, overlaying your signal with syrup and noise. Call your own shots.

Chris Deering, audio expert at Sound & Vision, online, 1/13/2013, has this to say about the BDP-105:

"The Last Player You'll Ever Need
Allowing you to tap into the reference-quality DAC and video processing so the rest of your system can benefit is a feature that truly sets the Oppo apart. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the BDP-105 as a replacement for a high-end digital preamp if your switching needs are covered. Once again, Oppo has raised the bar, and I honestly can't imagine recommending any other product with more enthusiasm. The BDP-105 is an audiophile's delight and the most complete performance package I've seen from a Blu-ray player."

I'll believe the experts first, and the Oppo Tech I spoke with agrees with Mr. Deering. With 2.1 volts coming out of the 105, that is normally plenty of power to operate most power amps, check your amp specs on power input requirements.

A preamplifier or integrated amplifier is required when playing ANALOG components such as a record player, tape, or AM/FM tuner. In any case, running interconnect cables, especially balanced XLR cables rather than RCA cables, directly from the Oppo to your amplifier keeps the sonic signal path pristine, with far less noise.

In the meantime, this is as good as it gets in my opinion. The sonic paradigm shift big-banged here with the Oppo BDP-105D. Yeah, yeah, there will be an Oppo BDP-107D-DeluxeXL trickout. You cannot wait forever for the next level...you have to jump in at some point. I chose this current state-of-the-art BDP-105D. Upgrades and firmware updates from Oppo will keep obsolescence at bay. Five years from now I will take a look at the BDP-305DXL II, or whatever it will be called.
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A FEW IMPORTANT POINTS TO CONSIDER

But what is the difference between the BDP-105 and the BDP-105D? Here is "Smarty-Pants," an amateur reviewer from the AVS Forum online to detail that:

"The BDP-105D subtracts:

~the Marvell Qdeo video processor

...and adds:
~the Darbee Visual Presence video processor
~the Silicon Image VRS ClearView video processor
~updated USB DAC interface to support DSD64 and DSD128
~the ability to send DSD over HDMI on the HDMI-1 output
(this was only possible on the HDMI-2 output of the BDP-105)

...and replaces:

~the remote with a slightly new version with a Darbee button
(otherwise the remote is identical to the BDP-105/103)

All other aspects and functions of the two models are identical."
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The BDP-105D has full DSD capability, the 105 does not. That is just another reason to step up from 105 to 105D. Neither one has the new HDMI 2.0 capability...that is another, new story...Google that (See the new AVS article on it).

I connected my Oppo, via HDMI cable, from my HD cable box to HDMI IN on the Oppo BDP-105D, and thence from Oppo's HDMI OUT to my HD TV's HDMI 1, triggered with the remote Darbee button, or settings. The standard cable picture using Darbee is just spectacular. Set the DVP at about 35% to start then experiment to find the best setting for you and your TV brand and model). The texture of skin, for example, in fine detail, is unbelievably real. So Darbee remarkably improves not just Blu-Ray and DVD video resolution, but your regular programming as well.

The audio output of my '105D', in my set up, has indeed warmed up, resolution has blossomed, the mid-range and sound stage has remarkably extended, and the bass dynamics have reached farther down to the lowest octaves. Of course, your amp and speakers must also be capable of supporting such sonics.

As for the benefits of different cable brands, after having tried Transparent, AQ, Kimber, Cardas, etc., is that there is no audible difference compared to broadcast quality Blue Jeans Cable, none. I remain convinced that interconnects, if properly shielded, and employing good termination, sound the same. Blind tests have confirmed this. The placebo effect is in full swing when it comes to audibility in interconnects and speaker wire cabling is my take on the issue. Almost to a person, audio engineers cannot find any empirical evidence contrary to what I have posited. If they cannot hear it and cannot detect it with sensitive instruments, then for me, and for them, the issue is moot. But as far as interconnects go, analog interconnects are the way to go.

On the other hand, I have A/B'ed RCA line-level, unbalanced cables connected to my amp compared to XLR balanced cables and found the XLR option audibly superior in every way. Evidently, recording professionals, professional musicians and TV and radio broadcasting industry audio engineers agree: RCA unbalanced connecting cables are rarely specified unless convenience overrides a choice for some reason, but not for high fidelity sonic applications. Then, it is XLR three-pin all the way. Again, I would highly recommend Blue Jeans Cable as a source for your Balanced Cables, or for any cabling need.

SOME ADDITIONAL INFO ON KEY 105D FEATURES

4K is The Way!
I wonder what the BDP-105D's 4k-Ready "4K coming soon to a local 105D near you" 4K feature will bring to the game. I hear that it will make your jaw drop even more than the 105D's already fantastic Darbee Blu-ray/DVD and TV program playback that already gives you eye-popping video imagery no other product comes close to, so far. Yes, like having a much better TV, much better.

The Digital Volume Control on the BSP105/105D
There are those that malign digital gain, but with the Oppo, I am not one of them. Also, speaking of preamp functions such as gain control, I understand that under the aegis of Oppo audio engineers the 105D was carefully designed to function also as a preamplifier, so a 2.1 volt output was specified so that plenty of power would easily pump the audio signal to an amp. A preamp is no longer needed for stereo applications if you own a 105 or 105D. Some of these features might also apply to the 103 and 103D, but I am not up to speed on those models.

HDMI 2.0 Debut is here!
The HDMI 2.0 technology has just come out...how that can be upgraded on Oppo products I have no idea, but I hope that can be done.

XLR Balanced Three-Pin Interconnects
This is the way to go versus RCA unbalanced if you want sonic quality, less noise, I agree. Using XLR balanced cables will also double the voltage available to an amplifier, providing voltage headroom, another reason Oppo engineers specified XLR. Unbalanced RCA outputs are required because many amplifiers have no XLR inputs, the gold standard in professional audio, musical performance, and broadcast applications. Why XLR balanced capability is not a standard connection in all "audiophile" quality amplifiers is a mystery to me.

The DSD Feature
DSD delivers superb rendering of sonic detail and markedly improves the top end resolution of my speakers that needed a little help in that department. Of course, the source I hitherto owned was not in the same league as the 105D, but everything will improve even more when I take delivery of my Tekton Design Seas Pendragons.

Audiophilia Nervosa Put in Perspective
Is there a better universal disc player than the BDP-105D? Not yet. But when it comes to other components, YES of course, there always is something better, but at what cost? Anything made by man is not perfect and never will be, including any Oppo product. After all, the main issue should always be the MUSIC, and in the case of video, the MOVIE, and that often gets lost in these gear talks of ours. The equipment needed to reproduce such pleasure should be the lesser priority. Enjoy what you have, buy more music, watch more quality movies, relax, and enjoy the show! Upgrade when you can, but shop very carefully and sagaciously, one step at a time. And just how much better is better anyway, sans rationalizing and without going maliciously sour grapes with angry envy?

WHAT OPPO SAYS ABOUT ITS BDP-105D (Features and tech specs can be found on the OppoDigital website).

SUMMARY

Are you stunned yet? I am. Work out the finances, but buy this thing! Five stars, reference level quality in almost all departments, a one stop shop for digital sources and peripherals.

For feedback or questions, please respond in the Comment section below...I would be glad to help. I hope this was helpful to you.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2013
Verified Purchase
I bought the OPPO-105 so I could start playing high resolution digital music sources such as SACDs, DVD-Audio disks, downloadable DSD recordings and other downloadable high resolution sources (96k, 192k PCM, etc.). Plus I wanted to stop buying and storing CDs and I wanted to have all my digital music stored on the hard drive of a lap top that would become my high resolution digital music center. (I only listen to 2-channel stereo music on the system in my living room that the OPPO is hooked up to).

The OPPO-105 does everything I wanted and then some, and it sounds absolutely fantastic as an audiophile grade digital music source (and crazy as it may seem, I am not using any of its video capabilities-- I have a dedicated video system in another room and am thinking seriously about getting a second OPPO-105 for that to make use of the video capabilities). I have compared the sound of my older regular CDs on it to my older CD player, and every CD I've compared sounds far better on the OPPO than on my old Denon player. The sound is more open and has clearer, more precise imaging. Then I've been able to start listening to SACDs and downloadable 2.8mHz DSD files--and I am absolutely blown away!! The audiophile DAC of the OPPO-105 is amazing. I am now listening to as many 2.8mHz downloaded albums from Blue Coast Recordings and HDTracks as I can find. If you have never listened to music in 2.8 DSD-DSF format, especially recordings from Blue Coast, you have no idea what you are missing. To my ears it is the equivalent of going from watching TV on an old 36 inch CRT set, to watching on a 60"LED HDTV in 1080p. Yes-- its that amazingly better!! Whoever claimed there is no audible difference between PCM CDs and DSD recordings either never heard the two compared side-by-side or was deaf!! I spent 2 years doing research looking for ways to improve my audiophile-grade stereo system -- reading Stereophile magazine and numerous online publications and sources, going to audio shows, auditioning all types and prices of new gear (I listened to $100,000+ systems, $30,000+ speakers, $12,000 turntables, etc.) with the objective of making improvements to my system. And the bottomline is that by buying the $1199 OPPO-105 "digital music center" (I don't just call it a Universal Blue-Ray player-- its much more than that) and now being able to play downloaded 2.8 DSD recordings and good quality SACDs, I have advanced the sound quality of my system a hundred-fold. This was the best improvement and investment (talk about value!) I could have ever made.
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