Oppo 205 Mod Feedback!
Great review/feedback from another happy Oppo 205 Mod Customer!
As soon as the first track started I was immediately drawn into the music. The difference after the modification was not subtle. As the unit warmed up each track pulled me closer to the recording venue. I just stopped thinking about the component I had just placed into the system, listened to the entire album and didn’t move until there was silence in the room again. To be completely honest, I sat in silence for a moment and wasn’t sure what to think about what I had just experienced – “did this universal disc player just dethrone my reference CD player right out of the box?!” Rather than contemplating further, I tested connectivity to my audio server, Roon core and Tidal. It all worked, so I called it a night and decided to come back later.
Now that I have lived with the modified Oppo UDP-205 for the better part of a week, I am still amazed at the overall system improvements. Obviously, after hearing the ModWright Oppo Sonica DAC in your demo at RMAF I fully expected a resolved, detailed & more musical presentation from my streaming audio playback. However, I was just not prepared for the modified unit to be so much better at silver disc playback. Rather than just letting my fingers do the walking through my ripped, hi-res and subscription audio files, time and time again I find myself getting up and finding another disc to play.
Listening to Red Book CDs, uniquely processed “audiophile CDs” and SACDs are all improved experiences. After hearing the effects of the Oppo Mod over several listening sessions, I continue to experience a much lower noise floor, better feel/pace, more accurate bass, a weightier foundation that projects vocals & instruments into the room much more like that of a live performance – most notably drums, cymbals, and percussion play. This kind of audio system soundstage width/depth/inner detail combination is so much closer to the audible explanation for Hi-Fi coherence. Said differently – with every track I play I’m hearing spacial cues that make me feel closer to the recording venue.
* Kirk Whalum & Dave Koz et al in their version of Babyface’s “Someone to Love” takes on a small venue concert feel – especially the last 30 seconds of the duet – the air, reed buzz and the valve motion noise felt like I was seated at the second table from center stage.
* The entire K2 HD Mastering CD of Fourplay’s Journey fills the room so much better than I can recall and briefly describe in this note. Just one highlight: Bob James’ nimble keyboard touch with Harvey Mason’s percussions on “From Day One” is another “in the room listening experience” – especially hearing the rattle of the snare drum after Mason’s recurring sharp staccato and rimshots, the ring & decay of the cymbals and room echo from the kick bass drum.
* Listening to the ”freedom of movement” between Reggae & Jazz that Monty Alexander created with The Gumption Band is so soothing on his Stir It Up Telarc SACD. Glen Brown’s bass strings & Rolando Wilson’s cymbals on Monty Alexander’s cover of “No Woman No Cry” and Steve Turre’s trombone work on ”I Shot the Sheriff” both deserve a round of applause.
Everything I listen to has become much more revealing and involving. I am finding the recordings that were crafted with a high degree of care to preserve original sonics are now truly amazing “life-like” experiences, good recordings are significantly better and “okay” recordings are enjoyably okay.
Oh, by the way… DLNA streaming direct – aided by the Oppo app, Roon core and subscription accessed audio files are so much more enjoyable after the modification.
* Each time I stream Mike Casey’s “West End” from his Stay Surprising:Live from the Side Door (44.1/16 FLAC) I feel like the doorman has let me into the jazz club and seated me near center stage. The synergy realized with the modified UDP-205 in my system effortlessly draws me into the recording venue even when playing a CD quality live recording like this one.
Since one of the key reasons for buying the stock UDP-205 was UHD/universal playback, I suppose I’ll have to make time to play some of my reference DVD/BluRay/UHD movies and concerts soon. Perhaps the modification’s transport tweaks that Kristin mentioned when I placed my order will channel improved video/audio from those discs as well.
I apologize for being so verbose, but I was compelled to fully share the excitement of my experiences with the value to performance improvements of your UDP-205 modification. As noted in my feedback on the PH 9.0, I count myself fortunate for being introduced to ModWright’s “Elegance. Simplicity. Truth.” – M. Holland