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Has anyone compared this unit to the Sonica DAC?
I think it's over priced. The udp 205 is about 500 bucks more and it also doubles as a bluray player. And believe it or not I think the build quality all around on the udp 205 is better than the sonica.
All, the market the OPPO is directed to is, I believe, folks who want to play multi-channel SACDs through legacy amplification which does accommodate HDMI input. In fact, I do not know of any other SACD players which still have multi-channel analog output. So, for some, the OPPO is the only way to enjoy multi-channel SACDs. I'm one of those folks. Whether or not its headphone amp or DACs are the best, who really knows without having some very good ears and the convenience of listening to every DAC on the market. I understand the OPPO has a really good 4k transmission. I don't know about that as my TV is 1080.
The headphone amp and DAC are state of the art. To me they are quite satisfying and I see no need to consider any upgrades.
bad decision. a modified oppo 205 (fewer than $250 IN PARTS) reached the level way above those schitt yggy solid state discrete component types. may still behind well design tube based dacs, but at faction of cost.
oppo udp 205 worth every extra penny over sonica dac unless you want a stand alone dac (w/o hooking to monitor/tv)
I own both modified 205 and sonica dac (same modification since i/v and buffer stage are almost identical circuitry), and I like sound of 205 better (sonica dac rolls down middle high frequency a little too much to my taste, but if you are a tube lover it is your cup of tea).
205 has better depth, silky top high frequency. sonica dac is more focused when play voice songs and little heavy lower middle makes warmer tube like sound.
you spoke w/o knowing what you are talking about. let me ask you the following:
1. are you comparing within same price range?
2. have you even try to modify oppo dac to see which level it will reach?
3. do you have reference tube amplifier to make comparison of dac output?
Just received my new OPPO UDP-205 on Friday. This Swiss Army Knife of Universal Players exceeds my expectations. So far, I've been using it to enjoy multi-channel SACDs converting DSD direct to analog. It sounds great. The experience with Dire Straits 20th Anniversary edition Brothers In Arms hybrid SACD, my first adventure with the player, was just awesome. Bottom line, I believe this player is it for multi-channel SACD pleasure from analog output.
Have been looking at the 205 myself has anyone been using it with the hd800?
My favourite album of all time.
Might I inquire how the SACD fares compared to an original 1985 cd pressing?
I have not heard the LP. In fact, so far, I have only played a few multi-channel SACDs which contain songs that I also have on LP in stereo, all of those are songs performed by Diana Krall. My impression from that experience was that my turntable and cartridge must be extracting all there is in he groove, because it did not sound different for better or worse than from the SACD versions of similar material played on the OPPO. I'm sure there is a difference; but, it was not exposed. Now, I should be getting a 25 foot usb cable tomorrow which will allow me to enjoy the hi-res AIFF files I have in my iTunes Library, using the OPPOs usb DAC. I'm excited about that. It should reveal the benefit of hi-res over AAC and ALAC if any. In other words, it will help me to determine if the extra cost of hi-res downloaded music is worth the expense.
I received my usb cable and connected it between my laptop and OPPO. Then, following instructions, I downloaded the driver, set the OPPOs input to usb DAC, and from laptop's control panel, I set computer's output to 24/192. I also set iTunes playback preferences to 24/192. Looking for a 24/192 music file residing in my iTunes Library, I found Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus. Playing the file, I perceived it sounded better than when I listened to it earlier via Airplay at 16/44, or hard wired with Creative Sound Blaster usb to S/PDIF conversion at 24/96; but, it may be that it was just the volume level I had my preamp set to that was giving me an impression of better sound.
So, here's the bottom line. Having purchased the OPPO specifically to enjoy multi-channel SACDs, I am very pleased, since I prefer the multi-channel perspective more than the stereo one. On the other hand, I do not think spending $20 to $30 for a download in 24/192 that I can get for about $10 at 256k from iTunes, is worth the extra money, since it appears I cannot distinguish between the sound of hi-rez from 256k. Perhaps some with better ears might hear what they would describe as better with 24/192 but I certainly can't. Also, paying for a relatively expensive download which I do not own, can not re-sale, and could loose through computer crash does not have the appeal of an SACD, which I do own and can re-sell if I choose. One more thing, using the OPPO's usb DAC, I played my "party" iTunes playlist, mostly 256k AAC to 16/44 ALAC files, to a pair of JBL L100t3 speakers. Here's a summary of that experience: I heard overtones, undertones, detail, sparkle, and nuances I had not heard before from my Amp's 19 year old 24/96 DAC. This makes me believe that while I may not be able to perceive 24/192 files sounding better than 256k of same material, I can discern there is something to the OPPO's ESS DACs as all my files, no matter the data rate, sounded better as described from the OPPO than from my pre/pros DAC.
I have had my 205 for a few days now and would highly recommend experimenting with dac filters to fine tune in your personal preferences, especially so for headphone use. Personally I thought the default dac filter was the worst sounding of them all (excluding brick wall) I have a strong preference for the Corrected Mini Phase Fast filter when driving my 300 ohm Sennheiser HD800.
The Oppo 205 has surprise me, I really wasn't expecting it to be so capable in the headfi department
The 205 seems to be underestimated as far as headfi is concerned. It seems strange to me because technically there is every reason to believe that it will provide excellent results for headphones, far better in fact that a lot of the semi DIY stuff that many people on here are praising. I think the 205 is fantastic with headphones.
Probably this is due to its marketing as a universal 4K disk player and the generally accepted consensus that separate headphone amps and dac configurations deliver better performance. To be honest if I had demoed the 205 in a store or at a meet on the default dac setting it certainly wouldn't have impressed same goes for listening impressions via speakers and headphones straight out of the box I was quiet underwhelmed at the audio performance at first and wondered if I had made the wrong choice and should have gone for the Oppo 203 instead.
I purchased the oppo for a home cinema set up, lots of the 4K players just did not have the flexibility, features and build quality I was interested in particularly those on the analogue out side. The fact it had a headphone out that was marketed to be high quality was more a curiosity to try out. My main misconception for headphone use was due to previous experiences with sabre chip based dacs the most noteworthy and best of the bunch tried being the well reviewed Eastern Electric sabre dac a lot of folk rate this dac very highly. After trying it myself A/Bing it against several other dacs at home I was of the general opinion that both sabre and NOS dacs were not for me for me at that time.
The headphone set up I have been using for the last few years has been a Leema Acoustics Elements precision dac (£1400) > Bottlehead Mainline (modified £1500) > Senn HD800. During this time several amps and headphones have come and gone and moving this combination on has never been a consideration. Its still early days with the 205 and while I don't feel the Oppo 205 outperforms this set up (for me) but after a bit of running in and experimenting with the dac filters I don't feel its far off and it makes for very enjoyable listening experience. For anyone looking for a high performance, high build quality, one box solution for headphone use, I think the oppo 205 is a highly capable product that deserves serious consideration.