A Testament to the Oppo 105 mod by Arnie Nudell!
In all of my years in audio I have and never written about any of the myriad of products that I have used. As one can imagine, I have used more products than almost any individual will see or use in his or her lifetime. As is well known, over the years I have very much favored Audio Research products and used many of them over the years. For the first time, I am compelled to write about a product that is so extraordinary it has completely allowed me in a wonderful way, to enjoy music as never before. I’ve always prided myself, and lucky enough, to have experienced some of the greatest and most expensive audio products ever made. Some of my own products luckily have fell into that category.
The product that I am writing about, and obviously extraordinarily crazy about is the Oppo 95/105 with the complete Modwrights vacuum tube modifications. The Oppo without the modifications is a wonderful device on its own and given class A designations in the midst of many other far more expensive players. Many people I know use the Oppo as it comes from the factory in their systems and are delighted with the results. Before sending the Oppo 95 to Modwright, I spent several weeks breaking in the device and listening carefully. I found the device to be very musical with great articulation, excellent imaging and very satisfying. Having had several Modwright player modifications in the past, I knew what a great difference they would make.
After receiving the modified Oppo with all of the important Modwright magic including the double 6sn7 vacuum tube modifications of the analog section, and also, the complete three vacuum tube power supply, I had one more thing to do which was taking Dan Wrights suggestion of using the Sophia 6sn7s and a new old stock Mullard rectifier. I then took my first listen to this device and this is where all my words will not be sufficient to really properly describe the sound that issued forth.
All of us have heard the descriptive words like resolution, articulation, huge sound field, and slam. None of these appellations can adequately describe the sound of this device. One of the ways that I would choose to describe this device over all the other DACs, players, and transports that I have heard, would be that the Modwright Oppo is the only one that really lets the emotion of the music and the players of the music really be heard in a way that is closer to the live experience than I have ever heard before. Sure, the Modwright has all of the above descriptors in spades. It has the most enveloping sound field that I’ve ever heard and all of the articulation and resolution that one could ask for without making the music edgy. I’ve heard many DACs and players that have great articulation and resolution but they seem to get it with a little more edginess in their presentation than real music ever has.
In my opinion, the best recordings of classical music has been made over the years by Reference Recordings. Now with this device,at 24/176.4 I can play their sensational H R X recordings and hear them exhibit music closer to the real thing than I have ever heard before. Also, hearing my best SACD recordings also takes the emotional quality of music to a new level.
My final remarks are very simple. If you want to hear music in all its glory I would implore you to rush out and get this Modwright Oppo,you will never be sorry.
(Famed Genesis Loudspeaker Designer among other accomplishments – Dan Wright)