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

V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
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 ?
Umm, no I don't work for Oppo, I'm just a lone enthusiast on the other end of the world wide web.
I've been talking with several knowledgable people about this though, that does circuit designs and electronics, and they'll all agree that it makes a discernable difference on the output, it's quite logical.

The clock is the heartbeat of any digital system, if the clock is not accurate, the beats coming out the DAC will not be accurate, the DAC will not be able to operate in an accurate environment, the linear power supply is just there to offer the stable linear voltage that the clock wants in order to remain accurate, they all belong in a chain of sorts, I have prior personal experience with op-amps, from Burson Audio in Australia, I changed them in my computer audio card, and the difference was quite huge, from integrated circuits to fully discrete circuits, this is where I can definitely change the 'sound' of the system.

Power supply and clock just improve accuracy, and reduce noise levels.
Well, they will also improve the 'sound' but not perhaps in the same manner you are thinking.
 
Last edited:
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
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!
@PENG :rolleyes:
 
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?
@PENG ;)
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Umm, no I don't work for Oppo, I'm just a lone enthusiast on the other end of the world wide web.
I've been talking with several knowledgable people about this though, that does circuit designs and electronics, and they'll all agree that it makes a discernable difference on the output, it's quite logical.

The clock is the heartbeat of any digital system, if the clock is not accurate, the beats coming out the DAC will not be accurate, the DAC will not be able to operate in an accurate environment, the linear power supply is just there to offer the stable linear voltage that the clock wants in order to remain accurate, they all belong in a chain of sorts, I have prior personal experience with op-amps, from Burson Audio in Australia, I changed them in my computer audio card, and the difference was quite huge, from integrated circuits to fully discrete circuits, this is where I can definitely change the 'sound' of the system.

Power supply and clock just improve accuracy, and reduce noise levels.
Well, they will also improve the 'sound' but not perhaps in the same manner you are thinking.
So those guys are the level of the engineers at Oppo and know how to improve their work? Interesting. To me it just sounds like some of the usual loony audiophile tweaking to me.....
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Umm, no I don't work for Oppo, I'm just a lone enthusiast on the other end of the world wide web.
I've been talking with several knowledgable people about this though, that does circuit designs and electronics, and they'll all agree that it makes a discernable difference on the output, it's quite logical.

The clock is the heartbeat of any digital system, if the clock is not accurate, the beats coming out the DAC will not be accurate, the DAC will not be able to operate in an accurate environment, the linear power supply is just there to offer the stable linear voltage that the clock wants in order to remain accurate, they all belong in a chain of sorts, I have prior personal experience with op-amps, from Burson Audio in Australia, I changed them in my computer audio card, and the difference was quite huge, from integrated circuits to fully discrete circuits, this is where I can definitely change the 'sound' of the system.

Power supply and clock just improve accuracy, and reduce noise levels.
Well, they will also improve the 'sound' but not perhaps in the same manner you are thinking.
Do you really think if you were blindfolded and didn't know which was which, with all else being equal, you could hear the differences you see on paper?

I don't.

I mean, I get it from a principles or engineering excellence perspective if that's your thing... I highly, highly doubt you can hear it dbt'd tho...
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Do you really think if you were blindfolded and didn't know which was which, with all else being equal, you could hear the differences you see on paper?

I don't.

I mean, I get it from a principles or engineering excellence perspective if that's your thing... I highly, highly doubt you can hear it dbt'd tho...
Problem is once you do the tweaks then you no longer have anything to compare it to but with your BS&T involved, could well "sound" better? :)
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
You guys don't seem to be believers in the existance of ripple and proper square waves.

I fully understand your point though, meaning every component need to match and compensate for each other in order to create device/unit that works in 'harmony' and where nothing is incorrectly dimensioned or dimensioned exaggeratedly, so to speak, i.e. one component does not make a complete device, they all together do.

Fully aware that sometimes when you make something accurate that wasn't accurate from the beginning, it could potentially reveal other bad aspects within the device/circuitry that wasn't audible prior to the upgrade due to the complete original design in mind.

However, about the op-amps, I've had personal experience changing such components earlier, and there was a definitive improvement, I will not lie, it was like having a completely new sound card in my computer, perhaps you're not coming from the end of things where you've done a lot or a few component changes in your equipment?

Here's an example how a linear power supply can affect the sound:

 
Last edited:
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic Field Marshall
I have an OPPO-205 which has served as a DAC and preamp; but, I found it to be inconvenient, very inconvenient. Now, it's connected to a relatively simple 5.1 analog preamplifier, which accommodates the OPPO for multi-channel music and movie pleasure, with bass managed from the OPPO. Since this system is awesome I have ZERO need for a Pre-Pro.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
I have an OPPO-205 which has served as a DAC and preamp; but, I found it to be inconvenient, very inconvenient. Now, it's connected to a relatively simple 5.1 analog preamplifier, which accommodates the OPPO for multi-channel music and movie pleasure, with bass managed from the OPPO. Since this system is awesome I have ZERO need for a Pre-Pro.
Hello, thank you for chiming in.
What do you find inconvenient about your 205 acting as a preamplifier/processor?
Where do you adjust your volume, in your 5.1 analog preamplifier?
Why do you have an analog preamplifier after the 205 in your chain, wouldn't the 205 be enough?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
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?
I don't think Oppo has ever said anything about "compromise..."., but I know I did say something like that.:D Oppo just recommended the volume control be used for matching purposes(with other input devices), that's all I know.

It is my educated guess that it would be a compromise, but in relative term only, not that you would hear a difference. So you have to try it for yourself. As I mentioned before, I tried both ways and settle for fixed output for the convenience and for the theoretical advantage of using fixed output that the player is designed to do its best.

There are no shortages of people on various forums speculating why one way is better than the other. For an official response, you should email Oppo and if you get a response, please share.
 
Last edited:
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Everything above will not cost more than a $1500-2000 receiver, including the Emotiva amplifier.
Will the sound be better? Oh I think so!
Well then I'll say just do it or you may regret. You probably have read a lot more from the subjective camp before coming to AH, where there seem to be more objective leaning audioholics. If you look at the specifications and measurements, there are no evidence such a system (your Emotiva based one) would "sound better". The potential evidence would likely include not only the relatively higher, or similar distortions and noise level (of all kinds), but also their FFT that shows the harmonic structures, among other things such as flat FR. If all are below the threshold of audibility then why would one sound warmer than the other.

By the way, about "warm sounding", you seem to believe in the so called "warm sounding OPA" thing. Sorry, been there, done that too, luckily just once. Any decent OPAs should be sonically transparent, like power amp manufacturers, there bound to be some that attempted to make their amps sonically different, but I doubt any would risk designing something to have distortions anywhere near 0.1%, would like to see some evidence if there are any. Even if such animals exist, you are going to have to have exceptionally ability to discern such low level of distortion differences under most listening conditions anyway. Any forum talks about the night and day or easy to tell (such as, the wives can.......) difference are just not credible.

In my opinion, for the believers, they would face at least two choices:

a) Go with the best available devices in terms of the best audio specs and measurements for transparency and find out if they like what they hear. They might just find one that sound warm to them, for some reasons.
b) Go with the reportedly "best warm sounding" devices, that would mean those designed with intentional distortions of various kinds.

The issue with b) would be, how would the potential users/buyers know what they are getting into will produce the kind of "sound signature" they preferred. Why won't people just setting on EQ/tone control? Well I can guess..

One reason why the warm sounding ones would sound warm could be... for one simple reason. Below are two of my power amps, in a sighted test, which one would you bet on, in the "warm sound" contest?;)



BVsMa.jpg


BVsMb.jpg
 
H

HipSonic

Audioholic Intern
To all you knowledgable enthusiats on audioholics.com.

What do you think of using the OPPO-203 as a multichannel preamplifier feeding an Emotiva A-5175 for home theater usage in a living room, instead of your average A/V receiver?

I only have one video source, the OPPO-203, I watch 1080p SDR blu-rays with my JVC X7900/X790R/RS540, no other source, so no need for HDMI switching, if the need were to arise, the 203 has an HDMI IN.

I watch movies only, might listen to some music at times, be it multichannel or stereo, I also love watching blu-ray concerts.

I have Klipsch RP-8000F, RP-504C, RP-502S, and two SPL-150's in a 5.2 setup, Atmos/DTS:X does not interest me, nor will it ever in my living room, and 1080p blu-rays are 99% TrueHD/DTS-HD MA anyway.

My room is rectangular, but with a big *ss fireplace on one side at the back, and a big archway leading out to the hallway close to FL and one of the subwoofers, LFE's are placed 1/4 and 3/4, front wall.

I have bass traps in all four corners of the room, diffusers covering the rear wall, window blinds folded to disperse the glass surface, floor mats where my wife allows, all speakers are placed 100% symmetrically, but my three seats are positioned far from optimal, basically no main listening position and all seats are movable and could be moved from one session to another.

I'm thinking, perhaps the trim/distance and crossover settings offered by the OPPO-203 are sufficient for a manual calibration, taking my somewhat quite troubling seating positions into account, I don't really see a point attempting to calibrate an environment that's constantly changing, my wife insisted on three movable armchairs instead of a sofa, for increased flexibility depending on what the room might be used for, I insisted on a projector and a 5.2 setup, so there you have it...

I know most will recommend an A/V receiver for the purpose, and everyone will say 'Denon', I feel I might be better off actually NOT calibrating by using a room correction software, because the environment is *its up no matter what, be it Audyssey, MCACC, Dirac, what have you.

Instead spending my money on decent amplification, lifting my setup to a different level is a better approach.

The analogue sound card in the OPPO-203 was given a great review by Gene himself, and in my case it's fed by a linear power supply, the card could also always be modified by better voltage regulators, capacitors, better mainboard clock etc, also benefitting the video.

I feel like the OPPO-203 will give me the best of two worlds, since the system also could be used when listening to music, the Emotiva would not care if it was music or movies, the OPPO being be the very heart of the system.

The 203 has 2Vrms on the RCA's, the Emotiva has an input sensitivity of 1.2Vrms, so that's fine, I will throw in a miniDSP 2x4 for LFE EQ/PEQ which I feel is a must, compared to EQ/PEQ on all channels.

I mean, IF I REALLY would need room calibration, I could always purchase a miniDSP 10x10HD and add it inbetween?

What I don't like about that though is that the DSP is done on the analogue side, adding a ADC-DAC conversion into the chain, would much rather correct it on the digital side, subwoofers being a completely different case.

The OPPO-203 controls the volume digitally, so compression will be applied to anything lower than 100% volume, but I hear the 203 has rather good algorithms and the SQ is still superb if you avoid lowering the volume below 50%, which I doubt I will ever do, muting aside.

With the OPPO as a preamplifier, I would have very nice power delivery inside the OPPO, and likewise in the Emotiva, both linear power supplies, short signal paths.

With an A/V receiver, god knows what's happening inside, and in my case, 95% of all settings/features would be turned off, leaving me basically with an 'amplifier' anyway.

What if I want to hear the characteristics of my Klipsch speakers, and my room, and not equalizing away everything to a flat response, I don't always agree on this room calibration thing, I'll be honest, perhaps in my case I'm better off without it, properly adjusting speaker positioning instead, and treating my room?

What do you guys think, I could use some real enthusiastic, knowledgable inputs on this, drop a comment below and I would be very grateful!

Cheers!
I love the idea. I do something similar with my 205. I just wish they would have given us, seven XLR outputs.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
You guys don't seem to be believers in the existance of ripple and proper square waves.
I don't think that's true...

I would say that most of us aren't believers that anyone could actually hear it at the low levels being discussed tho. Just seems like a tweaker rabbit hole with no real audible improvements.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
@PENG well you seem to have some sort of EQ device there, so I guess that's the answer you want.

I think it comes down to having to test myself then, hate the industry for what it is, I'll admit it.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
@PENG well you seem to have some sort of EQ device there, so I guess that's the answer you want.

I think it comes down to having to test myself then, hate the industry for what it is, I'll admit it.
I used jriver to EQ but I don't always use it. I am not looking for an answer, I thought you are, no?

Of course I looked at square wave performance, but threshold of audibility is a different story.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Basically what you're telling me is that all devices will sound the same?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
So a warm sound is about distortion?
If distortion level is below the threshold of audibility it would not impact sound quality. In my experience, it is not hard to go pass the point of diminishing returns.

For example, all else being equal, the 203 and 205 will sound the same, and if you want to hear a warm sound then focus on recording and mastering. I found that even some Amazon prime music, the non HD ones, could sound pleasingly warm played through my cheap but decent desktop system though I am not a fan of warm or cool unless it is natural.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Basically what you're telling me is that all devices will sound the same?
I am not aware of anyone making such a blanket statement on this forum but I have not read every post either.:D If you have, please kindly quote/link. Regardless, if there is, I would ignore it.
 
V

Venue

Junior Audioholic
Sorry, I'm unable to draw a conclusion based on your responses.
I feel like I'm at square one, do me a favor, if you were to pick a solution for me, which would it be?

A) OPPO + Emotiva
B) A/V Receiver

Thank you.
 

newsletter
  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
Top