This is a review of the Oppo BDP-105 BluRay Disc player (BDP), as a CD player. I have very little interest in AV products, however, the demise of my current Yamaha CD player demanded a solution. When I was offered a Blu Ray Disc Player, I was sceptical, however, my experience of the Arcam Music Solo has recently changed my AV predjudices.
I wonder, out loud, if it is sacrilege to review an eleven hundred pound BDP player as a simple CD player but I will anyway, without reference to the following:
- 3D Blu Ray
- Darbee , visual enhancement system (no idea what this means)
- Dolby Tru HD (same)
- dts HD (same)
- 4K (sort of)
- NTS & PAL playback
- Its streaming capabilities, including:
- BBC iplayer
- Vudu HD Movies
- Cinema Now
- Berliner Philharmonic
Notwithstanding this lineup, Oppo, in fairness, has a “Pure Audio” button that turns off the OLED display screen to reduce electronic interference in playback, not to mention the fact that they have put in here the Audiophile’s favourite ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC.
Design & Build
The use of the SABRE32 Reference ES9018 from ESS Technology is a clear signal that Oppo is looking for the best audiophile performance possible
The Oppo BDP-105 is a well built and substantial box that exudes quality, simplicity and design. It is clearly very well thought out with a substantial ‘English only’ manual explaining everything in a clear way. The back lit (optional) remote control is a welcome device that is well built and has a nice feel to it. The App that runs alongside the remote is excellent and is totally intuitive.
What is interesting for me as a CD reviewer is that Oppo has clearly thought about their audiophile credentials in this Blu-Ray player. The use of the SABRE32 Reference ES9018 from ESS Technology is a clear signal that Oppo is looking for the best audiophile performance possible. They have selected two Sabre DACs, one for the 7.1 channel output and another for dedicated two channel output. Another nod to audiophile credentials is the option to take a two channel output to amplification by balanced 3 pin XLR cables, widely consider to be of better quality than RCA output (also provided). Coupled with no cooling fans to interfere with signal processing and a proper beefy toroidal transformer to deliver smooth power to the processors, this is looking like a high-quality component based CD player in disguise. There is a proper 1/4 inch jacked headphone amplifier in here too, which bodes well based on the amazing HA-1s performance and the HA-2s quality presentations.
This CD player is also wireless or ethernet enabled. This means it can stream music either from your network, NAS drives and the like or Tidal & Spotify and others through an internet link.
CD test rigs have been RCA out into a Rega Elicit R integrated amplifier through B&W CM7s and coaxial output into a NAC N-272 streamer, a NAP 250 (no DR!) and KEF R700 speakers.
Headphone output has been to the Oppo PM-2s with the Atlas Zeno cable upgrade. I’m afraid I have not got to testing the USB B input as yet, I will do so as soon as I can.
dynamically, I think this is a very controlled and warm sound
I put in my only SACD (by Linn) to start with and the output was incredible. I had high levels of detail, which you may expect from SACD, but for them to be so accessible was a revelation. The sound is wonderful, clear and warm. The soundstage delivered by the mighty Elicit-R is powerful and enveloping. I would characterise the CD output as bright and crystal clear. Putting ‘ordinary’ CDs in there also delivers great detail and warmth. I am very impressed with this product as a CD player indeed. I had a close listen to Melanie De Biaso’s No Deal album. Her album comes to life in this CD player, her trademark flute is beautifully detailed, you can hear the air vibrating almost. It is breathy and breathtaking. Then, listening to Damian Rice, you can hear the lower frequencies beautifully controlled and presented by the CD player; dynamically, I think this is a very controlled and warm sound.
Streaming music requires a TV screen so you can control the player, although the App is totally intuitive and functional. So I was really listening to the Streaming Tidal through my TV speakers, but the potential is there to see, I just need a proper AV Amplifier and five thousand miles of cables to get the right effect. But Tidal sounds great, even through my TV and it is very easy to set-up and navigate.
Next up, connecting to my NAS drive was a simple enough affair through, this time, the App. Again through the TV, the sound is good but I wouldn’t really be able to comment further in the absence of the right equipment.
My past experience of the HA-1 & 2 headphone amplifiers has been very favourable indeed. I use the HA-2 almost every day whilst out walking the dog with my Nexus smartphone. This output, again, is warm and wide and very easy on the ear. The jack is at the front so there is no bother and the Oppo BDP-105 just clicks over to the headphones automatically.
I put one in and it’s great.
Oppo is on the right path with their higher end product development and I’m sure they are one of the ones to watch
This is an amazing product though I am clearly just looking at its audio capabilities. Of course, for a thousand pounds you can get an exceptional CD player if that is what you are after, as I was, but this also streams very effectively and has an outstanding headphone output which has been an added bonus for me. I sort of feel that I am looking to buy the little sister of this Oppo BDP-105, that is just a CD player with the App so I can stream. Or maybe I am after this and a big amplifying brute of an older brother that can blast AV and CDs at me in a 7.2 or 5.1 , or 2.1, fidelity. For the purposes of this review, the CD version of this would be just amazing at half the price but Oppo is on the right path with their higher end product development and I’m sure they are one of the ones to watch in the next few years (or do I mean months?).
Detailed, crisp sound
It was just a CD player
I had a proper AV set-up
I didn’t need miles of cables to get it!
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