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  »  New  A contemporary great CD transport for under $100...  Everything but the kitchen synch...  Didital Things  Forum     5  26150  09-15-2011
09-12-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 16998
Reply to: 16998
Oppo DVD player as a transport.
fiogf49gjkf0d

I need to say that I did not do any experiments with any commercial audio equipment for a looooong time. Partially I have no needs as I do not buy anything and partially I have no interest. It is not that I have anything against commercial audio equipment and as some idiots insist that audio people have to do DIY. Very much not. It just happens that I do not need anything and it dulls my interest to learn what is out there. In way it is not good. I have a pile of interconnect cables that I was given to try, I do need more interconnects but for weeks I did not make attempt to test them… I confess I am a bad pussy.

With my recent parley to big screen video a local friend of my let me to use his OPPO BDP-83 DVD/BlueRay player. I never heard about the company. The friend knows these things as he practices video for years. He has reportedly upgraded or modified it; anyhow I am pretty sure that the Oppo does whatever it need to do. Before the Oppo I was running my video from consumer $50 Sony DVD player, it was bad. Oppo did not made improvement with my crappie video but pretty much set totally different level of image. Running sound to my Altec 21S from this Oppo I noted that it did also very good sound compare to my $50 Sony, using the internal Oppo upgraded DACs. I have to say that I can say only comparatively as I do not have the sound from my Altec 21S at the point where I would be able to talk in absolute terms.

So, the very question I asked myself if the Oppo is so good for video then would it be possible that it would do a good CD transport? I have the Barbarossa plans in my head: to get rid of my CEC plays the doe not read all the I would like it to read and to switch to the contemporary Oppo machines that can play from network, and from row WAV file and do the idiotic SACD, and DVD,  and BlueRay and God know what else… So, I bring the Oppo to my main system, connect it with the very same indispensable 2M Synopses digital SPIDIF cable into Bidat and played it again my hated CEC TL-0.

Well, you understand that if the Oppo demonstrate any advantage over TL-0 as a transport then I would not file this report but rather run to some internet Junk yard and first get rid of my TL-0 and then informed the world that the king was displaced. Well, unfortunately it did not happen: the TL-0 not only was untouchable by Oppo but their contest sound like I would be playing tennis again Roger Federer.

Funny but tennis association is very much come to my mind when I want like to describe the difference between TL-0 and Oppo, in fact the very same  I felt when I compared TL-0 again any other transport I tried 10 years back. Oppo sound like two players are practicing to control the ball. It is well controlled and it is well balanced. It is smooth and what I would call reasonable and fair. No one strike the ball too strong or too complex as the objective is not to win but rather to maintain the ball on the court and perfect the hitting techniques.  The sound of TL-0 is very difficult animal. It is Wimbledon final, the score it tight and the players hit the ball as they are they last hit in their lives. The sped the spin and the intensity of the hitting are at the very margins of the player capacity and this is what TL-0 does with sound. TL-0 injects into each note that incredible thump and explosive blow, that makes the notes so much shattering about themselves and do much distinctive that once hear it the Oppo presentation sounds bland and boring. 

Sure, the comparing between Oppo and TL-0 is not kosher. Oppo is universal transport, plays everything and cost a few hundred dollars. TL-0 even 20 years ago cost 15K, so they are in very different price range. Still, I am not publishing a review and I do not advocate “products”.  What I advocate is sonic results, regardless the class of equipment and the price points. I do not see any reasons why some kind contemporary machine, even very much low level consumer machine, with universal playing capacity would not demonstrate sound quality that will defeat TL-0 in 16 bit and to demonstrate more interesting result. The TL-0 has some room to be attacked and today better transport might exploit some TL-0 vulnerability. Unfortunately Oppo not even close to be a serious contender. What I know certainly is that any CD transport that want to be a contestant need to do have that “Wimbledon final strike effect”.  You can simmer your chicken and you can fry it with a blow touch. For sure the cooktop with a burner of 36.000 BTU will be able to simmer anything if you reduce the gas. The problem is that a burner of 8.000 BTU no matter how much you try will not be able to create a right crust on the fat-tailed sheep steak…

In the end the gesheft to get rid of TL-0 unfortunately is postponed to the times when better contenders arrive.

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-13-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Serge


Russia
Posts 51
Joined on 09-21-2009

Post #: 2
Post ID: 16999
Reply to: 16998
High Speed Transports Are No Good
fiogf49gjkf0d
Well, I always noticed that 'universal' transports which spin the CD at 4x, 8x, 16x, 32x (faster each year) sound much muddier and grainier then the dedicated CD ones. Unfortunately nowadays there are hardly one or two commercially available OEM CD-transports, everything else is DVD/high speed.
I will even add that I hear absolutely no advantage of having a PC as a transport. I prefer CD. I can only speculate that the OS (or BIOS) interfers with the data much on a worse scale then the optical drive.



http://hifiblog.livejournal.com/
09-13-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 236
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 3
Post ID: 17000
Reply to: 16998
Oppo BDP-95
fiogf49gjkf0d
Oddly it might be the DAC section for which an Oppo player, though a later one, might be worth trying. If this...

http://www.esstech.com/PDF/es9008%20dac%20comparison_SPDIF_96000_compA_compb.pdf

...is to be believed then the sound of the thing ought to be far more immune to the quality of the transport section than is usual. Of course, how it compares with your Bidat or Lavry Gold is hard to say.
09-13-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 4
Post ID: 17001
Reply to: 17000
The Oppologies transports…
fiogf49gjkf0d

 Serge wrote:
Well, I always noticed that 'universal' transports which spin the CD at 4x, 8x, 16x, 32x (faster each year) sound much muddier and grainier then the dedicated CD ones. Unfortunately nowadays there are hardly one or two commercially available OEM CD-transports, everything else is DVD/high speed.
I will even add that I hear absolutely no advantage of having a PC as a transport. I prefer CD. I can only speculate that the OS (or BIOS) interfers with the data much on a worse scale then the optical drive.

I was under impression, perhaps mistaken, that the contemporary transports 1) adjust the rotation spin to be optimum to the type of media they play 2) buffer data and do not play “direct from the disk” anyhow.  The main point that I would like to make is that Oppo does not lose to TL0 in HF, LF. MF or in anything else that we associate with audiophile sound, although TL0 outputs very different amount information at top end. The main difference is in the energy, aggression and the veracity of Sound the transports do. Do not ask me where this quality comes from, I have no idea about the answer.

 decoud wrote:
Oddly it might be the DAC section for which an Oppo player, though a later one, might be worth trying. If this...

http://www.esstech.com/PDF/es9008%20dac%20comparison_SPDIF_96000_compA_compb.pdf

...is to be believed then the sound of the thing ought to be far more immune to the quality of the transport section than is usual. Of course, how it compares with your Bidat or Lavry Gold is hard to say.

I do not know anything about Oppo DACs, I did not try them. I know that regardless what they are the underperformance of the Oppo transport shall be factored into the sound of the Oppos’s DACs. Since the Oppo transport is so behind I am not sure I will be ever try to play Oppo with own DAC in my main system. BTW, running Oppo with own DACs in my video playback I do appreciate the sound. Yes, I know that there are two never models out there after the unit I tried.  I wonder if the newest models use different transport and different software to support the transport….

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-13-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 236
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 5
Post ID: 17002
Reply to: 17001
Jitter sensitivity
fiogf49gjkf0d
The new Oppo uses the ESS Sabre32 DAC chip, which seems to maintain fidelity in the face of much higher jitter compared with others...or at least so the comparison above shows....so it might be able to achieve decent performance with a relatively poor transport section.

Indeed, implementations of the Sabre32 may well be worth listening to in their own right if the manufacturer is correct in his claim that he has succeeded in decoupling signal and noise levels. See here http://www.esstech.com/PDF/sabrewp.pdf
09-13-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 6
Post ID: 17003
Reply to: 17002
This all are fantasies.
fiogf49gjkf0d

 decoud wrote:
The new Oppo uses the ESS Sabre32 DAC chip, which seems to maintain fidelity in the face of much higher jitter compared with others...or at least so the comparison above shows....so it might be able to achieve decent performance with a relatively poor transport section.

Indeed, implementations of the Sabre32 may well be worth listening to in their own right if the manufacturer is correct in his claim that he has succeeded in decoupling signal and noise levels. See here http://www.esstech.com/PDF/sabrewp.pdf

Decoud, jitter does not exist. Jitter was invented by Jews in order to justify those 12 years they spend in schools to get their PHDs.

To be serious I would say that I have no idea what they are taking about. Each single PDF file with a new DAC chip (that shows up each 2-3 month) starts with proclamations that it is the best in the world and brings up as the evidence some insultingly good parameters. I do not even question those parameters but I have no idea how they relates to Sound. I do not know any single parameters that would make TL0 to sound bubbley and Oppo transport 83 blended. There are number of transport with immeasurable amount of jitter and it still does not manifest itself into better sound.

I am sure that there are people out there who are truly knowledgeable with digital technologies and the reasoning behind. I am not one of them. I am just a user who takes a piece of digital machine “as is” and try to evaluate how the devise is able to do what I need to be done.

BTW, a local site reader just contacted me informing that he has Oppo 95 (two models up) and that he would like to do the same test with his unit. We might do it but I think that Oppo 95 and Oppo 83 use the same transports…

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
09-13-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
decoud
United Kingdom
Posts 236
Joined on 03-01-2008

Post #: 7
Post ID: 17004
Reply to: 17003
Evidence
fiogf49gjkf0d
Oh sure, it is no guarantee of anything, but a priori would seem a larger step than many of the preceding. Though of course it is worrying to read about changes made in response to "listening tests" without any indication of who the listeners were and whether or not they knew anything about music. Strange how that seems so much more reasonable than saying an instrument was used to measure a signal without any indication of its performance parameters. It could nonetheless be interesting to test the DAC part if you are trying the 95 model anyway.
09-13-2011 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 8
Post ID: 17005
Reply to: 17004
Totally different duties?
fiogf49gjkf0d
Actually in whole this story there is an interesting element. The video quality that Oppo delivers is very good. I have a good semi-pro 12 old DVD player of about $800 and Oppo clearly much better. I perhaps do not have to sophisticated video and I am not too demanding in video quality nowadays (hey, it is known for 20 years that digital can’t do movable images) but from what I have it is not context – Oppo is very good video player.  Still, it looks like it’s advantage in video are not projected to 16Bit CD reading. Perhaps Serge was correct and reading CD and reading the DVDs/BlueRays are totally different duties….


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-17-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 288
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 9
Post ID: 18918
Reply to: 17005
Oppo video vs audio
fiogf49gjkf0d
Romy says "Oppo is very good video player.  Still, it looks like it’s advantage in video are not projected to 16Bit CD reading. Perhaps Serge was correct and reading CD and reading the DVDs/BlueRays are totally different duties'

I have an Oppo 95  for videos. The video quality is excellent. The audio section was upgraded and now sounds equivalent to my old Sony ES CD/SACD player. Ok but nothing remarkable. (I only have about 60 CDs w/ half of them historical opera performances so spending big bucks for a CD player doesn't make much sense) An earlier Oppo sounded significantly worse than the old Sony. I should think that video data is easier to process than audio data. The audio system produces a much closer approximation to the original auditory event than the current 2D video does to the original 3D visual event.
01-18-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,325
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 10
Post ID: 18920
Reply to: 18918
Video data is easier to process?
fiogf49gjkf0d
 steverino wrote:
I should think that video data is easier to process than audio data.

That is an interesting observation. I do not think that video data is easier to process but I rather think that we do not force as much demands to video data as we do to sound. OK, I will not use “we” but I would say “I”. So, I am not so picky in video result as I am in audio results.

I run 120’ 1.4x screen from 14 feet using JVC DLA-RS1x projector that I was having on loan for long time and that I have bought last month. Even I am OK with the image but I need to admit that there is a LOT that I do not like with the image. However, do plan to do any actions to change anything? Not relay, nevertheless if I had the same deficiencies with sound then I would move my ass and change the things. I very much do not say that sound in my video room is perfect but it is sufficient not to be bothered, at least it does not bother me.

About the Oppo vs. another players for sound? I do not know. I had Oppo 93. It was not mine but a local friend of my let me use his for a while. His unit has modified analog converters by somebody very famous in this field and he told me that this is much better then stock Oppo. The owner of that Oppo invest a lot of efforts in the video world, so I very much presume that he knows what he say and does. So, that Oppo 93 was fine to play CDs in my Opera room but was not even competitor to CEC TL0 in my listening room.

I have 2-3 DVD players that I use before Oppo and when a friend of my gave to me that Oppo it was day and night difference in term of image quality. So they do something right in there. Soule with Oppo was also slightly better then my older consumer DVD player but it was not such great difference. But again: was it little difference in sound or I just do not acknowledge the difference in context of comparatively shitty sonic installation in Opera room and in context of regrettably bad film sound?

I do not have Oppo anymore, I went cheap and bought s consumer grade $250 Sony player that plays anything and that played over 30 different streaming services. Honestly I am happy like clam with that mass-market player and I do not feel that it worse than Oppo use to be. It might be worse but I do not feel it.  There is something that this Sony player does beyond my imagination. For instance the crappy YouTube concerts video that sound and look horrible at our computers this little Sony player made to look surprisingly wonderful on the screen. I actually consider to buy one mode in bedroom...

The Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
01-18-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
steverino
Posts 288
Joined on 05-23-2009

Post #: 11
Post ID: 18921
Reply to: 18920
Video data 2d vs 3d
fiogf49gjkf0d
My observation about video data was in the context of 2D images. DVD or film has a succession of individually static frames or pixel rasters; it does not  attempt to provide continuous 3D images. Those are vastly more difficult to produce and involve all kinds of obvious artifacts with present technology. But your example is also correct that the resolution of the decoding system whether video or audio affects the enjoyment of recordings produced at a different resolution level. If I were forced to discard all my LPs and only listen to CDs I would buy two different kinds of CD players: one to play 5% of the CDs and one to play 95% of the CDs. The latter CD player would be a much lower resolution device I can assure you. To a much more limited degree I sort of do the same thing in hifi. I use different cartridges to play classical music than I do pop records.
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