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Oppo Sonica DAC (an affordable ES9038PRO Sabre DAC)

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by mtoc, Sep 11, 2016.
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  1. Peterde
    Is it really a shock? I think the writing was on the wall when they canned the Sonica DAC and all of the other Sonica related products. Also, they never invested much in marketing anything that wasn't Mobile Phone related - not to mention the whole thing about high-end audio quality included with the Blu-Ray players. I believe that did more to confuse the mass market than anything else. I, for one, will be sorry to see them go because my BDP-105D was a really awesome, high-quality machine.
  2. ekrauss
    The company Oppo Digital is a wholly different entity than the Oppo mobile phone company. Oppo Digital is an American company (headquartered in Silicon Valley) that designs and develops its products in the US, albeit with manufacturing done by OEM partners in China and the Phillipines.
  3. Peterde
    Yeah - but both companies are owned by Chinese firm BBK Electronics - so not wholly different.

    ekrauss likes this.
  4. ekrauss
    Well, different in the way that T-Mobile is owned by Deutsch Telecom. Some common ownership, but different companies with different products, strategies, markets, personnel, C-level employees, and incorporated in different countries. Even more different than that, though, as Oppo Digital is a very small company, while Oppo the mobile phone company and BBK Electronics are very large companies.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
  5. zilch0md
    The performance, value, quality assurance and customer service were so spectacular - rare, these days, among any retail product family, in any industry. Somewhere among those attributes we can probably discover why they couldn't compete with companies who lack their virtues. Oppo Digital was customer-centric in every way possible and they exhibited a self respect, a dignity, that never crossed from confidence into conceit or loss of empathy.
    ekrauss likes this.
  6. Peterde
    Yeah, I get it. But I would guess that someone from the Parent Company would be sitting on the Oppo Digital board. Furthermore, if the profits are not there (following an agreed period of time) then it's time to close the shop - BBK Electronics probably much prefers the Volume Sales model of their Mobile Phone subsidiary. You won't find many cases where subsidiaries of large companies operate without fiduciary governance from above - especially if they are not performing well in terms of net profit.
  7. ekrauss
    Yes, this hits the nail on the head! Oppo Digital unfortunately probably had to deal with all the problems of very small companies and very large companies at the same time.
  8. Audiofiend1
    Hey guys how does the Sonica sound with the HD800S, and does the HA-1 dac similarly sound with the 800S?
  9. zilch0md
    I don't have the HD 800S, but I do have the HD 800, as well as the HA-1 and the Sonica DAC. It really depends on which input you are using, as the HD 800 sounds a lot better with the HA-1 when not using the HA-1's internal USB interface. Optical or Coaxial inputs sound smoother - a little less coarse.

    So, the Sonica DAC's handling of USB inputs is hugely better than the HA-1's DAC with USB input, while all other inputs are significantly better with the Sonica DAC, rather than hugely better. I hope that makes sense.

    Another way of saying it is that the Sonica DAC is simply better all the way around (not to mention the joy of streaming from Tidal HiFi, controlling everything with the Sonica App on your iPhone, for example). But if you intend to use USB sources with the HA-1 and Senn HD 800 (or 800s), you can enjoy an easily discerned improvement just by adding an outboard USB-to-SPDIF converter to the HA-1 - to bypass the HA-1's internal USB receiver.

    I'm not alone in this observation regarding the very slight graininess of the HA-1 USB interface. You can't hear it with most headphones, but the HD800/800S are brutally revealing.
    purk and Audiofiend1 like this.
  10. Audiofiend1
    Hugely helpful thanks!
  11. jgwtriode
    The Oppo Sonica DAC is pretty amazing. Least expensive well implamented 9038 Sabre Chip! With Full EVS tweak shop mods it will pretty much hold it's own with most anything out there. Mine also has a custom high current class A output stage that Ric shoehorned into place. With that I am able to directly drive my Auteur Blackwoods!

    To bad Oppo is closing shop!
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  12. ImperiumDX
    In the meanwhile, has the no gapless playback issue been solved or has it been completely abandoned?
  13. jgwtriode
    Its a dead horse! Oppo is going out of the audiophile business. Might still be able to find a used Sonica. Ridiculous good if you get it modded! MIne is amazing with all the EVS mods and a custome Class A output stage.

    Happy Listening!
  14. sethkong
    I have recieved mine, used one, yesterday. I really love it!
  15. jgwtriode
    If you want to see how far you can take this with mods check out EVS tweakshop. Give Ric a call
    For a bit more money this can be turned into a world class DAC! Seriously! Mine is beyond ridiculous!
    So much better than stock!
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