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Old 02-10-2019, 08:55 PM
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FreddieFerric FreddieFerric is offline
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: NOLA
Posts: 640

Originally Posted by rnrmf1971 View Post
Given the inherent value and performance of the 205 in stock form, I'd make that decision carefully.
The Modwright site indicates he is working on adapting his tube mod for the currently available Pioneer LX500. Perhaps consider the option to try it with this model so you can compare it to your stock 205. If you like it better than the 205, you can probably sell the 205 for more than you paid for it. Or go all in and do the 205 at that point and sell the Pioneer.
I like my stock 205 very much and have no intention of modding it. (at this time)

Originally Posted by W9TR View Post
The technical performance of current DAC’s and universal players is pretty stellar already. I guess I don’t understand the need to add what is essentially a tube noise and distortion generator to their outputs.

This could be done as easily and much lower cost with an outboard tube stage that provides the same objective degradation and subjective improvement.

I’m not slamming anyone here as sound preference is a very personal choice. I happen to own a bunch of tube gear, along with a UDP-205. It is a stellar performer.

I agree, the 205 is a remarkable value and is packed with state of the art tech.

Originally Posted by JJinID View Post
This thread certainly has taken an interesting turn. I can't help but see the similarities in the "Musings" reported by Archimago, and the Scathing Review of the Schiit Yggdrasil DAC by Amir that was reported here on AA:

I am also an owner of the Schiit Yggy Analog 2 DAC, and I'm a big fan of it as well.

I have several issues and questions regarding the validity of Archimago's findings. First of all, he admits that the unit he tested (or the system he tested it in) had an audible hum and a very high noise level. I don't know if that was the unit itself, the cables, power, or any other number of factors, but something is way off. Of course, that was then reflected in his horrible measurements. I've owned four ModWright Oppo units - the 83, 95, 105, and now 205, and they have all been DEAD quiet. I also don't buy the resolution measurements either, and that the MW Oppo is only resolving 12 bits. You can easily hear the difference between DSD SACDs and the redbook CD layer in terms of resolution in the MW Oppo units.

The Absolute Sound article referenced in the beginning of this thread details the fact that the stock Oppo measures better than the tube modified player, however if there would have been that large of a delta between measurements like Archimago found, I seriously doubt that the MW Oppo would have come out with a positive review, much less the subjective winner in the TAS review. Nor would it have been awarded with a TAS Editor's Choice award and a recommended component for multiple years in a row.

I do not discount the opinions and findings of those on this thread that prefer the sound of the stock Oppo in their system. I do believe those opinions to be in the minority, however, otherwise you would not hear so many glowing reviews of the modified units, including one by the late Arnie Nudell. I have performed direct comparisons of stock vs modified units, on multiple occasions in my system with myself and others involved in listening, and not a single person has preferred the sound of the stock unit. The stock Oppo is always much more flat, two dimensional, and less natural and realistic sounding.

With the ModWright Oppo 205, it has a completely different and much improved upon modification vs the earlier units, using different tubes (6922 vs 6SN7), and it sounds very different - more open and resolving with less of a "tube-like" sound. The MW 105 does sound a bit more dark and slightly rolled off in the high frequencies in comparison, which I believe to be it's only real weakness. I originally bought one of the last production Oppo 205s to keep around as an eventual UHD disc player and did not intend to have it modified. However once I compared it to the MW 105 I immediately sent it in for the tube mods, as I found the modified 105 to sound considerably better.
Thank you for posting this. It was that very Schiit product that I had in mind. Measurements are one thing (important no doubt), but we hear with our ears, not with a slide rule.

Originally Posted by JJinID View Post
For reference, here is the text of the review of the ModWright Oppo 105 by Arnie Nudell:

In all of my years in audio I have 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.
Arnie Nudell
The late Mr. Nudell is a legend in the audio business, both Infinity and Genesis need no introduction. I'm more inclined to accept his review on this subject over that of an unknown internet warrior with unknown motivations.
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