New Mods: Oppo BDP-103 and BDP-105!
OK guys, first of all, updates on the units as I have both stock 103 and 105 in house right now, thank you to customers who opted to let me use their units develop the mod!
The stock 105 IS superior sounding, to my ears, to the stock 103. Not even needing an A/B. The 103 is GOOD, but has the sound that I find typical with units powered by a SMPS (Switched mode power supply) and with cap coupled outputs….Perhaps you can already see where I am going on the 103 front!
The 105 on CD only so far, is REALLY good stock! I am surprised at how good it is, to be honest. Oppo REALLY stepped up their game with this unit, improving the power supply design and overall chassis design. They also added SPDIF and USB digital inputs. I have not listened to USB inputs yet, but will do so today and report back with my findings there!
It is true that they split out the 8 DACs, in a different way than the 95, where they stacked four DACs per channel. At least one pair is used for the Headphone outs, and the rest are split between balanced outputs and single-ended outputs. Not really sure why, but based on Q&A from Oppo, it was to give greater separation between SE and balanced outs. Now in my mind, a person will EITHER be using it via RCA or XLR and will either be listening to headphones, or speakers. Not really sure why they felt the need to separate all outputs like this. With our tube mods, I will experiment to see how best to utilize the 8 DACs on the chip, with the end result being, that XLR, RCA and headphone outputs ALL benefit (i.e. are fed exclusively) from our balanced tube circuit.
The other question is, what does the SMPS supply, in the 105? It appears that their linear, regulated supply, already powers the DACs and analog stages. Not sure if it powers the digital input circuitry. I would expect that video is relegated to the SMPS and as such, it is POSSIBLE that we will offer an upgrade to this supply, including a new, linear, regulated supply instead.
I am also going to consider a discrete SS analog stage for the 105, at a lower price than the tube stage, as it will of course, not require the outboard tube supply or umbilical.
I am going to be finishing the first PCB for the 103 today and I could nearly put the 95 mod directly into the 105 as it is. The 95 tube mod will be the basis for the 105 mod, with plans to upgrade the external tube supply as well as the tube analog stage. I also have to determine how the eight DACs on the chip will be used.
I expect to have reports back on both mods in the next two weeks!
The 95 mod benefited from a years worth of R&D into the Sony XA-5400ES mod. The 105 benefits from the R&D developed from the 95 mod. We are not re-inventing the wheel in this case! Rather, we are streamlining and improving the performance of the ‘wheel’ for the 105 and adapting to the design changes in the new unit. Because of this, it will NOT take long to have the mod finalized!
Once the mod design is complete, we will be able to turn units around in a 2-week time frame.
If you are interested, please contact us NOW and Kristin will add your name to a list that she has already started compiling. We will contact those from the list, from the top, once the mods are complete and schedule start dates from there.
The 103 and 105 are BOTH very exciting units!
If the results of my work meet my expectations:
The 103 will be a FANTASTIC machine for ~$1K, that will perform very well for audio, both 2CH and MCH and will be improved in both its performance as a video player and a transport for feeding digital audio to a pre/processor.
The 105 will be a WORLD CLASS player AND DAC, with our tube analog stage, for < $3500 and will perform at the $10K+ range ABSOLUTELY! We may also offer an upgrade option to the SMPS that will further improve video playback! I will investigate a SS mod for the 105 that is likely 1/2 the price of the tube mods.
Thank you for your interest in our work!
ModWright Instruments Inc.