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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Audiophile Player Preview!
OPPO Readies New Flagship BDP-105
With Onboard Headphone Amp, Digital Inputs


New OPPO BDP-105 Universal Player


by John Gatski

 OPPO Digital will soon introduce an upgraded line of universal audio/video players that offer even more flexibility for audiophiles and videophiles, including digital audio/video inputs and a high-quality headphone amp for the new flagship player.
  According to OPPO, the new BDP-103 and BDP-105 are scheduled for release before the end of the year. The new models will have similar A/V performance to the outgoing BDP-93 and BDP-95 players, but offer key features upgrades. Retail prices for the new players are likely to be increased slightly over the  $499 and $999 of the BDP-93 and BDP-95. However, at post time, OPPO had not revealed an exact price for either player.
  Since 2005, OPPO has been selling via direct and some dealers, high-end performing universal SACD, DVD-A and Blu-ray players that performed at the level of multi-thousand dollar players, but cost much less. The BDP-83, 83SE, and the current BDP-93 and BDP-95, are some of their more notable players.
  Both the new BDP-103 and 105 get the new new Qdeo video processor that supports 4Kx2K up-scaling to take advantage of the new higher resolution HD screens, and both players will have video inputs (HDMI and MHL) so that external sources can take advantage of the players‘ excellent scaling and video processing. 3-D capability also is maintained on both new players.

  Besides the video input upgrade previously mentioned, the new flagship BDP-105 keeps all the premium audiophile capabilities of the BDP-95, including ESS Saber32 DAC and balanced XLR outputs. However, the new player adds an onboard headphone amp and digital inputs so users can connect other sources directly into the player’s DAC.

  Audio-wise, the new BDP-103 will use the same Cirrus-Logic DAC, analog audio components and power supply as the bang for the buck universal player leader, the outgoing BDP-93. Unlike new many Blu-ray players, the BDP-103 (as well as the BDP-105) maintains its multichannel analog output and ability to transmit 24-bit audio PCM from both the HDMI and SDPDIF jacks, as well as convert DSD-to-PCM without down sampling (HDMI only).
  Besides the video input upgrade previously mentioned, the new flagship BDP-105 keeps all the premium audiophile capabilities of the BDP-95, including ESS Saber32 Reference DAC chip and balanced XLR outputs. However, the new player adds an onboard headphone amp and digital inputs so users can connect other sources directly into the player’s DAC.
  According to OPPO, the headphone amp directly connects to the DAC and boasts outstanding measured specs that can compete with separate standalone headphone DACS. With renewed interest in headphone listening driven by high-resolution sourced music, OPPO’s decision to add headphone to its flagship is a smart one.


An OPPO First — A Headphone Amp

  OPPO engineers also noted that the BDP-105 still uses the highly regarded ESS Saber32 reference DAC chip, but the analog section gets a component upgrade and an improved power supply over the ‘95.
  Just as important as the headphone amp feature, the addition of digital inputs enables audio enthusiasts to utilize the new OPPO’s excellent DAC and audio output section. The asynchronous USB and the two SPDIF inputs (up to 192 kHz) enable computer audio listeners, as well as those with other sources (digital cable box, LCD, CD players, recording gear, etc. to use the OPPO as a DAC.
  With regard to the new digital input section, I had suggested to several times during the last two years that a digital audio input would be a great feature for an OPPO player, especially since the onboard DAC was so good in the BDP-95. With a little push from us here in the audio press and customer comments, I am glad to see that the feature has been added to the upcoming ‘105.
  I should also mention that the BDP 103 and 105 will also maintain their multi-format compatibility with different kinds of media formats and Wi-Fi streaming of Pandora, Netflix and others. As with the ‘93 and ‘95, the new players can play music from USB thumb drives, Blur-ray and DVD-Data discs, and even USB bus powered hard drives. OPPO estimates that both units will be shipping by the end of the year. Can’t wait to get my hands on the BDP-105. Everything Audio will alert readers when the new players are shipping, and expect a full review by early 2013.



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