Oppo UDP-203 & UDP-205 Ultra HD Blu-ray Players Review

RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
469 6 1
#41
Thanks Rich, but I think the HDMI input and (one) output always supported 4k, right? I was referring to their compatibility with different HDR formats, specifically Dolby Vision. I don't own either of the Oppo UDP Players, but between that Oppo FAQ and my experience with Marantz, I was just trying to show that the Oppo UDP Players' HDMI inputs and outputs should now be Dolby Vision / HDMI 2.0b compliant because the firmware has supposedly already been released by Oppo. If you or anyone else can absolutely confirm that that is the case, I and likely others would appreciate it.
Oppo UHD-20x Players (absolutely) support the following:

HDMI Video Out: 4K UHD and DV supported

HDMI Audio Out: All DVD, HD, and UHD audio formats supported
(there is only blank video on this output because HDMI requires video to transmit audio)

HDMI In: accepts resolutions up to and including 4K. Accepts HDR 10 (Currently DV is not supported)

- Rich
 
J

Jsandman

Audiophyte
Ratings
1
#42
Oppo UHD-20x Players (absolutely) support the following:

HDMI Video Out: 4K UHD and DV supported

HDMI Audio Out: All DVD, HD, and UHD audio formats supported
(there is only blank video on this output because HDMI requires video to transmit audio)

HDMI In: accepts resolutions up to and including 4K. Accepts HDR 10 (Currently DV is not supported)

- Rich
Wow, thank you for that information! It's odd that the HDMI Video Out was updated but the HDMI In was not.
 
RichB

RichB

Audioholic Field Marshall
Ratings
469 6 1
#43
Wow, thank you for that information! It's odd that the HDMI Video Out was updated but the HDMI In was not.
HDMI out is very different from the input. My understanding is that there is no true pass-though in the HDMI licensing so the receiver must be capable of accepting the signal include copy protection and then send it out again copy protected. This explains why older products with HDMI inputs more often than not cannot be upgraded.

- Rich
 
D

David Harper

Audiophyte
Ratings
5
#44
Hi, gene. really refreshing to read someone in the audiophile press admit the truth about the (mostly) inaudible differences in sound quality that many audiophiles claim to hear. I have gotten into many arguments on various forums about the so-called "huge improvements" in sq that many claim to hear. I even argued with Robert Harley in the pages of "The Absolute Sound" about the vast improvement he claimed to hear from an astronomically priced digital interconnect. I said nonsense. He responded to me in the magazine. You can find it if you go to TAS and search for "David Harper". I bought the UDP 203 six months ago and I love it even though I don't own a 4K display. Mine is a panasonic 50 in. plasma, which I love. The bluray picture on it is awesome. Wonder Woman is my new favorite movie. But she might get bumped into second place by Hunger Games Catching fire. I am sure I would not hear any improvement in audio from the 205 that was not a result of the placebo effect. I have a Denon AVR X 1100 W and Polk Rtia5 speakers in two channel stereo. No surround. Tried it. Don't need it. Oh, and a BW 400 watt powered sub. With the AVR in "virtual" mode the sound is spectacular.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
388 4 28
#45
Mr Harper, while I tend agree with your position I suspect there are those with far greater resolving systems that yours and mine that will continue to hear, think and believe otherwise.
 
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S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#46
Hi, gene. really refreshing to read someone in the audiophile press admit the truth about the (mostly) inaudible differences in sound quality that many audiophiles claim to hear. I have gotten into many arguments on various forums about the so-called "huge improvements" in sq that many claim to hear. I even argued with Robert Harley in the pages of "The Absolute Sound" about the vast improvement he claimed to hear from an astronomically priced digital interconnect. I said nonsense. He responded to me in the magazine. You can find it if you go to TAS and search for "David Harper". I bought the UDP 203 six months ago and I love it even though I don't own a 4K display. Mine is a panasonic 50 in. plasma, which I love. The bluray picture on it is awesome. Wonder Woman is my new favorite movie. But she might get bumped into second place by Hunger Games Catching fire. I am sure I would not hear any improvement in audio from the 205 that was not a result of the placebo effect. I have a Denon AVR X 1100 W and Polk Rtia5 speakers in two channel stereo. No surround. Tried it. Don't need it. Oh, and a BW 400 watt powered sub. With the AVR in "virtual" mode the sound is spectacular.
You might not hear the 205 as sounding better; but, unless you actually compared, you can not be sure. I am glad I bought the 205; but, not having any opportunity to compare it with a 203, I can not say I am sure the 205 sounds better. I do know that the 205 has a feature which is important to me that the 203 does not have, a usb DAC.
 
D

David Harper

Audiophyte
Ratings
5
#47
Mr Harper, while I tend agree with your position I suspect their are those with far greater resolving systems that yours and mine that will continue to hear, think and believe otherwise.
yes, I agree. Mine is not the most highly resolving system. But given the crummy sq of most digital recordings, that might be more of a blessing than a curse. I'm saving up for a pair of electrostatic speakers.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#48
yes, I agree. Mine is not the most highly resolving system. But given the crummy sq of most digital recordings, that might be more of a blessing than a curse. I'm saving up for a pair of electrostatic speakers.
Sorry about your luck with digital recordings. Perhaps, you might enjoy analog recordings on reel to reel or vinyl. Interestingly enough, today I listened to some DOO WOP and 60's English Invasion music I had purchased from iTunes. These are all AAC files of analog music. I was listening via iTunes Media Player output to OPPO UDP-205 usb DAC connected to my HT. What was so stark overall is that most of what I was listening to sounded as if it was not recorded by masters of the craft. Examples of this:
Bits and Pieces 1:59 The Dave Clark Five The Dave Clark Five: The Hits (Bonus Track Version) Rock 0 48
Duke of Earl 2:26 Gene Chandler Original Solid Gold Hits, Volume 2 R&B/Soul 2 62
Go Now! 3:12 The Moody Blues Anthology: the Moody Blues Rock 0 43
The Book of Love 2:21 The Monotones Who Wrote the Book of Love? (Digital Version) R&B/Soul 0 37
('Til) I Kissed You 2:24 The Everly Brothers The Very Best Of The Everly Brothers Country 0 36
Why Do Fools Fall In Love 2:21 Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers Doo Wop Classics, Vol. 4 Pop 0 35
Glad All Over 2:42 The Dave Clark Five The Dave Clark Five: The Hits (Bonus Track Version) Rock 0 74
Any Way You Want It 2:29 The Dave Clark Five The Dave Clark Five: The Hits (Bonus Track Version) Rock 0 17
Bo Diddley (1955 Mono) 2:48 Bo Diddley The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection: His Best Blues 0 25
All Day and All of the Night 2:21 The Kinks Pirate Radio (Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Version] Soundtrack 0 23
Denise 1:57 Randy & The Rainbows Doo Wop Love R&B/Soul 0 28

I only became acutely aware of this today, since prior listening pleasure to this playlist was via Airplay to my HT's DAC, which it appears does not expose the music recording flaws as does the OPPO's DAC. I still enjoyed the afternoon with this music, perhaps because I also heard overtones, undertones, detail, and nuances, which are absent in Airplay's presentation of these songs.
 
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2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
559
#49
Hi, gene. really refreshing to read someone in the audiophile press admit the truth about the (mostly) inaudible differences in sound quality that many audiophiles claim to hear. I have gotten into many arguments on various forums about the so-called "huge improvements" in sq that many claim to hear. I even argued with Robert Harley in the pages of "The Absolute Sound" about the vast improvement he claimed to hear from an astronomically priced digital interconnect. I said nonsense. He responded to me in the magazine. You can find it if you go to TAS and search for "David Harper". I bought the UDP 203 six months ago and I love it even though I don't own a 4K display. Mine is a panasonic 50 in. plasma, which I love. The bluray picture on it is awesome. Wonder Woman is my new favorite movie. But she might get bumped into second place by Hunger Games Catching fire. I am sure I would not hear any improvement in audio from the 205 that was not a result of the placebo effect. I have a Denon AVR X 1100 W and Polk Rtia5 speakers in two channel stereo. No surround. Tried it. Don't need it. Oh, and a BW 400 watt powered sub. With the AVR in "virtual" mode the sound is spectacular.
It's refreshing to see a consumer stand up in a public forum to the snake oil that is interconnects. Kudos.

I'm a 205 owner, and went thru the same debate in my mind and via demo...at the end of the day, I'm still an old school audio head that took some advice as a young 20 something. I'll share this quick story but there a point here.

I'm like 25 at the time, had my 1st career gig...had saved up my money to finally buy my dream speakers...the Klipschorns. They were about $3500 back then. Went into the dealer that had them...I walked out of there with a pair Linn bookshelf speakers, an NAD stereo pre amp and NAD CD player and a HK 2ch power amp...and a $1,000 extra in my bank account. Incredibly, this system with these little speakers sounded better than the big Klipschs...and the old man probably kept me from getting evicted for violating noise ordinances.;)

The point to this story was, obviously he had gained my trust. His advice, if you are really into audio...
buy the best speakers and the best source (he preferred that order) you can afford and you will always be as close to the recording producers intent as you can be.

That's what I did in my AV redo.

Obviously you're aware of the different DACs in the machines...a good dac will sound a lot better than a ipad/phone/laptop, etc DAC, but a great DAC is not going to sound leaps and bounds better than a good DAC. It's the subtle detail that's the difference and if you have the speakers to reveal it you can hear it.

As Sterling alluded to if have a large digital library of at least redbook CD quality...the 205 is a great streamer via the USB that terminates at one of the two highly acclaimed analog Sabre DACs. Also it's a different build quality...is it worth more than double the price? Probably not for 85% of people, but I think it's a great product at a premium price.

The electrostats or a speaker upgrade make way more sense than a 205 if audio matters a great deal.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
388 4 28
#50
You might not hear the 205 as sounding better; but, unless you actually compared, you can not be sure. I am glad I bought the 205; but, not having any opportunity to compare it with a 203, I can not say I am sure the 205 sounds better. I do know that the 205 has a feature which is important to me that the 203 does not have, a usb DAC.
same here, thus my 205 purchase.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
388 4 28
#51
yes, I agree. Mine is not the most highly resolving system. But given the crummy sq of most digital recordings, that might be more of a blessing than a curse. I'm saving up for a pair of electrostatic speakers.
interesting, while my CD/SACD collection is not huge (less than 1500) I can easily say that the majority are of very good SQ. Even back in the early days (eighties) there were well produced CD's .......DMP, GRP, Sheffield Labs to name a few.
 
D

David Harper

Audiophyte
Ratings
5
#52
I also have a separate analog system; project carbon black TT, Marantz reference int. amp. The best sq I have heard in my room is from this system. Ironic, isn't it, that while digital is (theoretically) far superior to analog, it's the very limitations of analog recording which preclude it being deliberately destroyed by compression in the mastering that result in a superior playback experience. I have Eric Clapton "Unplugged" on vinyl LP, and it BLOWS AWAY every digital recording I have. It sounds like the musicians are in my room. I also have SACD,DVD A, and pure audio bluray. And none of these sound as good as the vinyl. Or even as good as my best sounding redbook CD's. The quality is in the recording and mastering. High-res playback technology doesn't mean anything if it's a poop recording.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#53
I also have a separate analog system; project carbon black TT, Marantz reference int. amp. The best sq I have heard in my room is from this system. Ironic, isn't it, that while digital is (theoretically) far superior to analog, it's the very limitations of analog recording which preclude it being deliberately destroyed by compression in the mastering that result in a superior playback experience. I have Eric Clapton "Unplugged" on vinyl LP, and it BLOWS AWAY every digital recording I have. It sounds like the musicians are in my room. I also have SACD,DVD A, and pure audio bluray. And none of these sound as good as the vinyl. Or even as good as my best sounding redbook CD's. The quality is in the recording and mastering. High-res playback technology doesn't mean anything if it's a poop recording.
David, buying music is like buying a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. I've got some vinyl recordings which just amaze me, that they can sound so authentic. That is until I hear an occasional snap, crackle, and pop which undermines my pleasure. It's why I've digitized all of my vinyl, applying a pop filter to remove all annoyances. With the digitized LP I can have all the traits I appreciate from vinyl and digital.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic Chief
Ratings
388 4 28
#54
I also have a separate analog system; project carbon black TT, Marantz reference int. amp. The best sq I have heard in my room is from this system. Ironic, isn't it, that while digital is (theoretically) far superior to analog, it's the very limitations of analog recording which preclude it being deliberately destroyed by compression in the mastering that result in a superior playback experience. I have Eric Clapton "Unplugged" on vinyl LP, and it BLOWS AWAY every digital recording I have. It sounds like the musicians are in my room. I also have SACD,DVD A, and pure audio bluray. And none of these sound as good as the vinyl. Or even as good as my best sounding redbook CD's. The quality is in the recording and mastering. High-res playback technology doesn't mean anything if it's a poop recording.
I'm 64 years young, my analog collection, while modest like my digital (1500 Lp's + or -) is my pride and joy. I started spinning 'black pizza' back in the early sixties on my parents Stromberg Carlson console stereo.

My current analog setup, VPI Aries 3, Benz Micro Gul Wing, super platter, perf ring, SDS, all feeding a Fosgate Signature phono-pre.

Bottom line is this, both analog and digital, when done right (mastered properly) are SUPERB !
 
2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
559
#55
The quality is in the recording and mastering.
Yep...it always boils down to the recording.

Hi Res...is more data, not necessarily better data. Like you said...it starts with the master analog tapes...you can make a better copy, but you can't improve on the original tape. Some companies like MoFi really seem to have a grasp on SACD remastering as well as vinyl.
 
F

frans callebaut

Enthusiast
#56
hello,
has any one experience with the oppo udp-205 signature which is for sale on audiocomav.co.uk at the price of 3800 british pound sterling ? is it worth the price ?
best regards,
frans callebaut
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Ratings
278 5 1
#57
hello,
has any one experience with the oppo udp-205 signature which is for sale on audiocomav.co.uk at the price of 3800 british pound sterling ? is it worth the price ?
best regards,
frans callebaut
I have not heard about a UDP-205 "Signature". I have a 205 which I purchased back in February at $1319.00 plus tax and shipping off Amazon. It gets the job done. What does the "Signature" do that the standard model does not? Never mind, I googled it up. It's an after-market modified piece, for the most part, stated to offer lower noise than the standard model. Interestingly enough, there are no specs which prove lower noise, just advertising copy which alludes to the stock unit being short on performance due to restraints of producing the unit for a profit. I don't believe that. Here's why, I also have a Sony DVP-S9000ES DVD/CD/Stereo SACD Player. It is built with a solid copper chassis, massive power supply, and every other trick known to maximize performance and reduce noise. It sounds no better than the OPPO in playback of Stereo SACDs. Look at the standard 205's specs and ask yourself, even if any of the specs were indeed better would that deliver a more life-like listening experience?
 
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2

2channel lover

Audioholic General
Ratings
559
#59
Talk about diminishing returns....
Yep.

As it stands, there are plenty of differences between the 203 and 205, but in terms of SQ improvements, they're relatively minor...I wouldn't expect the SQ improvements of the "signature" to be much better than the 205.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
4,924 18 47
#60
Yep.

As it stands, there are plenty of differences between the 203 and 205, but in terms of SQ improvements, they're relatively minor...I wouldn't expect the SQ improvements of the "signature" to be much better than the 205.
I wonder about the claim that Oppo warranty is unaffected...Oppo agrees it either does no harm or do they agree that there is any (measurable) improvement?
 

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