ADVICE: OPPO 203 (Preamplifier) + Emotiva A-5175 (Living Room Home Theater)

P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
SC-LX704 amplifier board, it uses two ES9026PRO DAC's, also Class D, keeps cool.

View attachment 44739

Bi-amping from an A/V receiver that only uses 1x transformer is pure *ullshit, right?

Perhaps the A/V receiver is the most convenient, simplified choice in the end after all, offers room calibration to an extent as well, if I would like to try it.
So you are now open to the world of AVRs/AVPs?;)

Nice DAC for sure, same one used in Yamaha's preamp/processors and flagship AVR, the RX-A3080, but this Pioneer uses two, that tells me it is used for all channels, not just the main 7 channels as is the case with the RX-A3080. Note that the amps are of their own class D, they referred to as "Direct energy".

Other than that, I have no idea how good it is compared to the more popular D+M and Yamaha's, especially when there isn't any bench test results to look at. ASR did measure the VSX-LX504 but that's a lower model so I wouldn't draw any conclusions from the results at all, but you may find it interesting to read regardless.

Review and Measurements of Pioneer VSX-LX504 AVR | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

Note: I do expect the SC-LX704's amp section to be similar to the VSX-LX504 if not the same, most likely just a higher power version of the same design.

Also worth considering MCACC vs XT32 SubEQHT and YPAO since you are obviously keen on bass management/REQ.

You can see what some of us manage to achieve using Audyssey's Editor (US$20) App+Ratbuddyssey (free) in the thread below:

The Audyssey MultEQ Editor app users thread (with facts and tips) | Page 3 | Audioholics Home Theater Forums
The Audyssey MultEQ Editor app users thread (with facts and tips) | Page 6 | Audioholics Home Theater Forums
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
@PENG mate.

Is it true that the SR7015 from Marantz have better capacitors and a warmer, more dynamic sound than SR6015?

I'll quote this from AudioAdvice's website:

The reason you get the SR7015 is its much better amplifier section. Marantz paid special attention to the power supply, caps, and output devices in the SR7015 to give it an even warmer sound with far more dynamic impact. Even though both of these units have 9 powered channels and the output difference is only 15 watts per channel, the SR7015 is almost ten pounds heavier due to the much more massive power amps built-in. It just flat out sounds more powerful and dynamic than the SR6015.

Source: https://www.audioadvice.com/videos-reviews/2020-marantz-sr-home-theater-receiver-comparison/

Or is it just marketing hype/scam, to make one purchase the more expensive unit?
I have a VERY hard time to believe that an additional 15W/channel yields a 10 pound weight increase.
The SR7015 uses a bigger chassi, perhaps where most of the increased weight comes from?
Slightly bigger power transformer, I'd assume, also contributes a bit, most likely more than the amp board.
You would have to add A LOT of capacitors, massive ones, to add up for a 10 pound difference, lol.

Marantz themselves doesn't mention this anywhere.

Thanks!
 
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lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
LOL "to give it a warmer sound with far more dynamic impact". What a bunch of baloney....then again why would someone take a marketing blurb seriously from a site like audioadvice.com?
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
@lovinthehd

Yeah, my thoughts too, well I'm just worried, to be honest, the person who made that statement might have more experience with Marantz than I have, I haven't touched a Marantz, ever. I'm just trying to be humble, but the little experience that I have tells me that there's lots of marketing tricks in his terms/words. I mean, I'm not stupid.

In any case, how much of Marantz 'sound signature' do you think differs to the SR6015 compared to the SR7015?

None? Basically the only thing that differentiates is the watt/channel?

Cheers, bud!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
@lovinthehd

Yeah, my thoughts too, well I'm just worried, to be honest, the person who made that statement might have more experience with Marantz than I have, I haven't touched a Marantz, ever. I'm just trying to be humble, but the little experience that I have tells me that there's lots of marketing tricks in his terms/words. I mean, I'm not stupid.

In any case, how much of Marantz 'sound signature' do you think differs to the SR6015 compared to the SR7015?

None? Basically the only thing that differentiates is the watt/channel?

Cheers, bud!
Personally haven't had a Marantz since my 2270 way back when. I have a few Denons and find them better value propositions (plus some models have measured better than similar Marantz so there's that....but mostly Marantz seems to rely on such marketed attributes to distinguish itself from Denon for a bit higher price). I don't believe in sound signatures based on my use of a fairly wide variety of receivers/avrs/separates. All far more similar than different. I'd simply choose for the best feature set for my purposes with the amp section that makes most sense for your use.....no matter what brand.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Right, I've heard good things about the Denon too, might just grab that.
X3600 to skip the HDMI issues, I use 1080p SDR only, would only use the receiver for audio, not video.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Right, I've heard good things about the Denon too, might just grab that.
X3600 to skip the HDMI issues, I use 1080p SDR only, would only use the receiver for audio, not video.
I don't use any of my avrs for video processing, just pass-thru so I can take advantage of the superior switching/audio capabilities of an avr. I've never been tempted to use my 203 as a pre-pro (and remember some of the bass management issues some Oppos had when they first supplied such). I'm still a 1080p guy myself with plasmas, see no reason for 4k yet (aside from the 203, it just came that way).
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Yer, I'm taking it one step further, though, I have no need of switching, so I'm routing my video directly to the projector, the less in the way, you know. About the 203 as pre-pro, I was keen on the idea at first, but I've sort of figured that an AVR is the way to go, really, there's more possibilities to tweak the audio, and I don't really think that the Denon (in this example) would be a limiting factor for me in terms of power. I think the Denon is a superb choice compared to Marantz or Sony, let's say (I have the Sony STR-DN1080) the Sony doesn't have any correction worth mentioning, and some say it's quite harsh, a bit too forward, not exactly the best of choice to match a set of Klipsch's.

Kind of keen on Denon, now, lol, the X3600 seem a bit hard to find, though.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Availability these days is a whole 'nuther issue. I do like XT32 avrs vs XT as have both, but wish they both were newer so I could use the Audyssey Editor app. Get what you can it seems or keep what you have until things improve. I have a pre-DCAC Sony, it's just limited in bass management as well as REQ stuff. Works fine, tho.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Oh, maybe this is a dealbreaker, found it on a German review site, see below:

View attachment 44738

Source: https://audiovision.de/oppo-udp-203-test/
I talked with OPPO support in Germany and they confirmed that the A/V Sync setting indeed affects the analogue multi-channel outputs, so this basically has me right back into the ballgame of using the UDP-203 as a preamplifier, paired with an Emotiva A-5175.

I have been reading and reading, searching and searching, about room correction, Dirac and Audyssey, and I think there is a high risk that I won't like it, what I will like though, and what's a must, is a miniDSP for my two subwoofers, that I will not skip, it's very important. But I honestly believe that the room correction aspect coming from a receiver, there is a high chance of it creating a worse sound that without in my case, it's just a feeling, I don't know, it doesn't feel right.

See this short snippet:

I have these, four of them, one in each corner of the room:

See how they perform, I would say they work effeciently between 100-300Hz.

The miniDSP will work beneath 100Hz, so maybe I have the whole 20-300Hz spectrum covered.
I understand most limit their room correction to 300Hz or slightly above, so perhaps I could get away with the physical treatments I've done to the room, paired with the miniDSP?

All this 8K, HDMI 2.1, VRR; 120Hz, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Zone 2/3, FM/AM, I just don't need it, lol...

Something tells me I want pure power, 5x125W, Emotiva A-5175 seem to have 115db S/N ratio, the UDP-203 is also quite up there in the very same ballpark, there is basically no receiver capable of those levels, most fall short well below 100dB, been looking at ASR and Denon seem to be the best, but performs only great if used as a preamplifier with the pre-amp mode turned ON, I would need to use the internal amplification, so the point is rather moot.

Emotiva A-5175 also has better second hand value, sort of digging the idea.
I could get it for $999 here in Europe, they don't sell as cheap as in the US, and I'm fine with it.
A receiver would cost me more, like $1500-2000, and I feel like I will get less.

What do you guys think?

Also, I am wondering what the roll-off filters in the AKM4458VN DAC does in the UDP-203.
I understand this DAC is used in many AVR's too, especially in the AVR's I have been looking at, Denon, Marantz.




Does this affect the bass, midrange, treble?
What exactly is adjusted by these different filters?

Thank you, wholeheartedly!
 
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V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
I could take the extra money saved by going with the Emotiva, to upgrade the UDP-203 to sound even better.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Oppo mentioned in the manuals:

"The VOL +/- buttons on the player’s remote control are
provided as an alternative way of controlling the audio
volume. It is recommended that you use this control to make
the audio volume from the player the same as from other
sources, such as TV programs or a VCR."


As you know, that's a compromise way but if everything matches well (such as your power amp's gain, short interconnects etc.) it can work well.
Would also like to touch on this subject again.

What did you mean by compromise, exactly, and what does OPPO mean by 'same way as from other sources'?

In short, will there be issues with the volume control, is it not meant to be used on a setting less than 100?

And, seeing the DAC is 32 bit, how does the volume control differ from any digital AVR, why would it be worse?
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
How would you improve the 203 "sound"?
Firstly, I already have a linear power supply with fully discrete voltage regulation circuits that feeds all the rails in the unit, including the 3.3V and 5V rails that feeds the analogue audio card. Secondly I could upgrade the 27MHz main clock that sits beneath the main board, similarly to the linear power supply, this will greatly improve the transparency, separation etc. coming out the unit, actually, both audio and video, I don't think anyone would argue.

The AKM4458VN DAC uses the 27MHz main clock, so there is no separate clock for this chip.
Further on you could replace the three voltage regulators found on the actual analogue card, I have been looking at the regulators from FidelityAudio in the UK. I think replacing the capacitors don't have any major impact worth doing, but I have a backup plan of sorts if the sound out of my Klipsch setup comes out too harsh, I can replace the op-amps with a warmer sounding op-amp, for each channel, there are several SMD op-amps available quite cheaply that could be put in place instead, thinking of putting in DIP-sockets so that I may replace the op-amps easier if one wishes, instead of having to resolder and resolder.

Those are the plans, obviously one could isolate the overall noise of the player, remove the ground, isolate the linear power supply, isolate the incoming mains so it's not near the voltage regulators of the analogue card. There's also a USB clock on the main board, all my content will be coming from the USB socket (SSD) so I might look into that, obviously that clock will benefit greatly from upgrading the main clock, but I will look into the USB clock and see what can be done.

Everything above will not cost more than a $1500-2000 receiver, including the Emotiva amplifier.
Will the sound be better? Oh I think so!
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
Since this is for a cinema, I think some money might be allocated to better subs. Especially since I saw a mention of BEQ. Jus sayin...
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Since this is for a cinema, I think some money might be allocated to better subs. Especially since I saw a mention of BEQ. Jus sayin...
I already have two SPL-150's from Klipsch, I got them cheap, $1699 for the pair.
I'm scared of them, to be honest, I think they will deliver with a miniDSP, don't think that's the issue here.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Firstly, I already have a linear power supply with fully discrete voltage regulation circuits that feeds all the rails in the unit, including the 3.3V and 5V rails that feeds the analogue audio card. Secondly I could upgrade the 27MHz main clock that sits beneath the main board, similarly to the linear power supply, this will greatly improve the transparency, separation etc. coming out the unit, actually, both audio and video, I don't think anyone would argue.

The AKM4458VN DAC uses the 27MHz main clock, so there is no separate clock for this chip.
Further on you could replace the three voltage regulators found on the actual analogue card, I have been looking at the regulators from FidelityAudio in the UK. I think replacing the capacitors don't have any major impact worth doing, but I have a backup plan of sorts if the sound out of my Klipsch setup comes out too harsh, I can replace the op-amps with a warmer sounding op-amp, for each channel, there are several SMD op-amps available quite cheaply that could be put in place instead, thinking of putting in DIP-sockets so that I may replace the op-amps easier if one wishes, instead of having to resolder and resolder.

Those are the plans, obviously one could isolate the overall noise of the player, remove the ground, isolate the linear power supply, isolate the incoming mains so it's not near the voltage regulators of the analogue card. There's also a USB clock on the main board, all my content will be coming from the USB socket (SSD) so I might look into that, obviously that clock will benefit greatly from upgrading the main clock, but I will look into the USB clock and see what can be done.

Everything above will not cost more than a $1500-2000 receiver, including the Emotiva amplifier.
Will the sound be better? Oh I think so!
@lovinthehd you don't think it'll improve the sound?
 
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Warlord
I already have two SPL-150's from Klipsch, I got them cheap, $1699 for the pair.
I'm scared of them, to be honest, I think they will deliver with a miniDSP, don't think that's the issue here.
Well I have to admit I was thinking the 120’s. Guess I misread that. Sorry.
Still, scary? No. Definitely more capable than the 120’s. And for 1700pr? Pretty good score. Enjoy.
Cheers!
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
@lovinthehd you don't think it'll improve the sound?
I can't imagine that it would have audible benefits, no. The technical advantages are over my head perhaps. Especially for all that time/expense? I'm not a tech....did you work for Oppo or ?
 

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