Modified Oppo BR players audio test

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by petetherock, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. petetherock

    petetherock
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    Having owned or tried all the Blu Ray models from Oppo, we have thought hard about whether mods will be able to enhance the analogue playback quality of this fine player...


    Did this over the weekend with a few mates and here are our findings..
     
  2. petetherock

    petetherock
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    Modified Blu Ray Player Audio Listening Session


    Introduction

    The emergence of the Oppo Blu Ray player as a tour de force in the Hi Def world of video is due to it's combination of strengths in many fields and little weaknesses, for a rather decent price. If you opt for the top of the line BDP 105, you will get a very solid video player, plus a high end DAC which allows the Oppo to very well in both the video as well as the audio areas.

    This has afforded Oppo a lot of converts from those who used to have separate BR players and CD players to have an all in one player.

    However those with deeper pockets that want to wring the best out of their players or have a more audio-centric system with good stereo performance may want to eke more, and expect their disc spinner to to higher levels. Here is where the modified players come in.

    The basic 105 gives a rather good account of itself, and if you have a HT centred system which is around 10k, you won't want too much more. However if you have a audio system around 10k on the side, then you may crave the extra bits out of the Oppo and there are many options available.

    There are many players in the aftermarket world of mods, both local and overseas. The usual caveats about buying overseas and shipping apply, and of these, the Modwright company has been around longer than many, and this company has it's fans. Audiocom is another which is coming onto the market.

    You can get James from Sound Affairs to tweak your player too.

    So we decided to put together a few of these and have a little listening session.

    Methods

    The equipment list:

    Musical Fidelity A 5.5 Stereo amplifier
    (250 w per channel, high current design)

    B&W 804D floorstander speaker

    QED XT 300 speaker cables

    Wireworld Oasis RCA cables

    The venue was my little HT living room :

    http://peteswrite.bl...up-12-2012.html

    Players on test:

    Sound Affairs Mod BDP 105 (2 clocks, full array of regulators, capacitors upgrades and circuit changes)

    Audiocom Mod BDP 105
    http://www.audiocomi...-signature.html

    Oppo 83 SE with additional mods by a DIY enthusiast. (Mod done on DAC audio board.(purely for Audio only - All e-caps replaced with Oscon. 5v regulator replaced with Dexa. Output Opamps replaced with Dexa Class D discrete type.

    The base BDP 105 with no mods, not even a region free mod.
    A previous review of the base model is located here:
    http://peteswrite.bl...erformance.html

    We had four friends over, plus a member of the industry over too and I was the only person to know which player was on trial.

    The rest were blinded to the players and the sequence of playback was randomised and the players were hidden from view during playback.

    We used two tracks:

    Oshio Kotaro's “fly to the dream”


    This track has good pace, rhythym and a bass line that is easy to follow and yet having a wood instrument means you will appreciate secondary and tertiary harmonics too.

    We also used a violin track called “life is but a dream”.
    This track tested the treble, to see how bright the system will sound and also the soundstage and ability to cope with a rather shrill and enthusiastic violinist.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  3. petetherock

    petetherock
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  4. petetherock

    petetherock
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  5. petetherock

    petetherock
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    To answer the inevitable question.. yes mods make a difference.

    However, the issue is also that of diminishing returns. If one has a $100 BR player, and buys an Oppo BDP 103 or 105, you will be rewarded with a significant improvement, but it won't be ten-fold. Also it is dependent on the partnering gear.
    If one has a system built on a budget, with limited resolving power, then the money spent on mods is better spent elsewhere.
    On the other hand, if one has already invested in a decent hifi audio system, and intend to take advantage of the better DACs built into the Oppo BDP 105, then the 105 is a very decent platform to tweak to enhance the listening experience.
    Translated into real world systems, if one has a $500 AV amp, and a modest HT based speaker system, it may not be the best bet to go for these mods.
    If one has integrated a decent stereo system, say a Marantz Pearl Lite or KI amp with HT bypass, or even a separate audio system, then you will be able to use the same BR player for both audio and video enjoyment.
    The challenge is that the mods aren't that cheap, and as a result, one has to weight the benefits of spending 1-2k on mods, instead of say a good CD player, or on better speakers.
    IMO, the person who buys into mods is comfortable with his or her system, and wants to get the best out of each of his products, be it the BR player, speaker or amp.
    Hence, Your Mileage May Vary...
     
  6. petetherock

    petetherock
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    Details on the modified 83 SE:

    83 SE innards:

    [​IMG]

    (Mod done on DAC audio board.(purely for Audio only - All e-caps replaced with Oscon. 5v regulator replaced with Dexa. Output Opamps replaced with Dexa Class D discrete type.
     
  7. petetherock

    petetherock
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    Details from the Sound Affairs company:


     
  8. petetherock

    petetherock
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    [​IMG]

    :)


    Next round, we might try to include a modwright, and a decent CD player too, which may include something along the lines of a Pearl KI etc..
     

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