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Old 04-22-2013, 01:22 AM
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Default Comparison - ModWright Oppo BDP-95 vs. 105

I was able to spend a couple of hours this morning performing a direct comparison of my two ModWright modified Oppo players. My 95 had to be boxed up today to be ready to send off to a new owner, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity to do a quick comparison. I haven't had the 95 in my system for the past couple of weeks, so I knew it would be interesting to plug it back in and see what differences I hear. To level the playing field as much as possible, I inserted the stock Electro-Harmonix 6SN7 tubes into both units. Same WW SE cables for both units. The only advantage for the 105 is that it is plugged into the new PS 9.9 power supply, which is what it comes with, while the 95 is plugged into the 9.0 PS. There is one other difference between the two players - I added the option of the Audio Magic Pulse Gen ZX, which my 95 does not have. Both units do have the optional Bybee Music Rails added to the 2-channel DAC.

Music used in the comparison included Melody Gardot - "Worrisome Heart" and Mighty Sam McClain with Knut Reiersrud - "One Drop Is Plenty". The sound of both players is excellent, and I could have easily lived with the 95 permanently if not for the lack of digital input. In terms of tone, the 95 is a just a tad warmer and darker sounding. The 105 is brighter, more open and resolved sounding, while also being more quiet with a blacker background. Soundstage width is similar for both units, but the 105 definitely wins on soundstage depth. You are sitting a bit closer to the stage with the 105, and instruments are more distinct and occupy their own space more clearly. The increased resolution and micro-detail are especially noticeable with the texture of acoustic instruments, and the clarity and richness of the female voice is amazing. The 105 is also a bit more dynamic and extended sounding. Bass goes deeper with more impact with the 105, and the cymbals are just a bit crisper and real sounding. The 105 also wins on overall build quality of the stock unit, which I believe carries over to the performance as well. I also love the additional features including being able to run my modified SB Touch into the coaxial digital input as well - music streaming has never sounded better!

I knew from the first time I turned on the 105 that it was a different sounding player, and I loved what I was hearing. The differences I describe above are not subtle - they are very real and quickly noticeable. That being said, the 95 still sounds great. It is very cohesive and smooth sounding. I am wondering if I still need a bit more break in with the 105, as it is not quite as smooth as the 95 (yet).

That is where things stand for now. As I mentioned, today will be my last day with the 95. It is a fantastic sounding player, and I highly recommend it. The 105 does take the sound to another level though, and it is my belief that it competes with the best of digital that is available at any price (and yes I mean the 5 figure + players that are very popular here at AA - I have heard them). I am now finished for the foreseeable future in terms of digital source components - the ModWright Oppo 105 is now the best and strongest link in my system!
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Oppo UDP-205 with ModWright Signature Truth Tube Modifications
Clearaudio Performance SE TT with Hana ML MC cartridge
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:48 AM
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Jeff, great review & very very good use of the word foreseeable.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:41 PM
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Yes, great review! And, I too, noticed the "foreseeable" thrown in there. AA's have to hedge one's bets!

Questions. (I can look these up, I'm sure, but thank you in advance!) Is the modification route only with tubes? I'm not used to dealing with tubes and am frankly a little nervous dealing with that whole thing. Also, does one buy the unit directly from them, or do you send them your unit? I'm sure the answer to the latter is that they'll modify one your already have or you can buy directly.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:59 PM
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Jeff.......Thanks for taking the time to do this comparison and the write the review for us. It will be helpful to those who are contemplating the BDP-105 ModWright upgrade. Enjoyable read.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pider View Post
Yes, great review! And, I too, noticed the "foreseeable" thrown in there. AA's have to hedge one's bets!

Questions. (I can look these up, I'm sure, but thank you in advance!) Is the modification route only with tubes? I'm not used to dealing with tubes and am frankly a little nervous dealing with that whole thing. Also, does one buy the unit directly from them, or do you send them your unit? I'm sure the answer to the latter is that they'll modify one your already have or you can buy directly.
Tubes! Treat them like slow start light bulbs. You want more light/sound, put a brighter one in, same for the reverse, put a darker one in for less top end warmer mid range/bottm end. There are also better/different results too from rolling tubes as in percussion detail etc. Just change the bulb & sit back & listen.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzr View Post
Jeff, great review & very very good use of the word foreseeable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdandy View Post
Jeff.......Thanks for taking the time to do this comparison and the write the review for us. It will be helpful to those who are contemplating the BDP-105 ModWright upgrade. Enjoyable read.
Thanks Kev and Dan! I had fun writing this up, and really enjoyed the time I spent with my MW Oppo 95. I'm very happy though to have the 105 for the digital inputs - the additional bump in performance is more than I was expecting!
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McIntosh MC501s, XRT29s, XR27, WS350s
ModWright LS 300 Preamplifier
Denon AVR-A100 HT Receiver
JL Audio F113 subs with CR-1 Crossover
Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC
Sonore Ultrarendu with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2
Oppo UDP-205 with ModWright Signature Truth Tube Modifications
Clearaudio Performance SE TT with Hana ML MC cartridge
ModWright PH 9.0 Phono Stage
ASC & RealTraps Panels; APS PurePower 2000; Daedalus Audio DiDs
LAT International, Shunyata, Wireworld, WyWires Cables
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pider View Post
Yes, great review! And, I too, noticed the "foreseeable" thrown in there. AA's have to hedge one's bets!

Questions. (I can look these up, I'm sure, but thank you in advance!) Is the modification route only with tubes? I'm not used to dealing with tubes and am frankly a little nervous dealing with that whole thing. Also, does one buy the unit directly from them, or do you send them your unit? I'm sure the answer to the latter is that they'll modify one your already have or you can buy directly.
John - the MW Oppo 95 was the first unit I had owned with tubes. I am still very much a tube newbie. The modified 95/105 with the external power supply are very easy to deal with and you would have nothing to be nervous about. I ordered a set of Sophia Electric 6SN7 tubes to replace the stock Electro-Harmonix tubes as Dan recommended them to me, and they made for a nice upgrade in performance!

The modification route for the 105 is only with tubes at this point. Dan did do a solid state mod for the 95 and previous 83/83SE players, but decided at least in the short term that the performance/value wasn't as high to do it for the 105.

You can purchase a 105 new from Oppo and have it sent directly to ModWright to have the modifications performed if you don't own one already. I don't believe they maintain much if any existing stock.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions - hope that helps!
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McIntosh MC501s, XRT29s, XR27, WS350s
ModWright LS 300 Preamplifier
Denon AVR-A100 HT Receiver
JL Audio F113 subs with CR-1 Crossover
Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC
Sonore Ultrarendu with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2
Oppo UDP-205 with ModWright Signature Truth Tube Modifications
Clearaudio Performance SE TT with Hana ML MC cartridge
ModWright PH 9.0 Phono Stage
ASC & RealTraps Panels; APS PurePower 2000; Daedalus Audio DiDs
LAT International, Shunyata, Wireworld, WyWires Cables
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2013, 05:59 PM
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JJinID JJinID is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzr View Post
Tubes! Treat them like slow start light bulbs. You want more light/sound, put a brighter one in, same for the reverse, put a darker one in for less top end warmer mid range/bottm end. There are also better/different results too from rolling tubes as in percussion detail etc. Just change the bulb & sit back & listen.
__________________
McIntosh MC501s, XRT29s, XR27, WS350s
ModWright LS 300 Preamplifier
Denon AVR-A100 HT Receiver
JL Audio F113 subs with CR-1 Crossover
Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC
Sonore Ultrarendu with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2
Oppo UDP-205 with ModWright Signature Truth Tube Modifications
Clearaudio Performance SE TT with Hana ML MC cartridge
ModWright PH 9.0 Phono Stage
ASC & RealTraps Panels; APS PurePower 2000; Daedalus Audio DiDs
LAT International, Shunyata, Wireworld, WyWires Cables
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2013, 07:42 PM
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Jeff the Architect, thanks for this and look forward to more reviews and details after you have many more hours of burn in under the 105's belt too

PS Congrats nice nice machine thumbs up
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2013, 09:39 PM
Pider Pider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzr View Post
Tubes! Treat them like slow start light bulbs. You want more light/sound, put a brighter one in, same for the reverse, put a darker one in for less top end warmer mid range/bottm end. There are also better/different results too from rolling tubes as in percussion detail etc. Just change the bulb & sit back & listen.
What a great, succinct, informative lesson! Thank you!
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