Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!

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modwright

Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« on: 14 Jun 2013, 07:01 pm »
In all of my years in audio I have and 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

Hugh

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #1 on: 14 Jun 2013, 07:10 pm »
Very cool Dan.
It's not easy to impress Arnie and you did it. :)

SoCalWJS

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #2 on: 14 Jun 2013, 08:32 pm »
Congrats Dan!
Very nice of Mr. Nudell to take the time to write his thoughts on your 105 mods. I heard it in a few of the rooms at the Newport Beach show and it sounded nice. I was hoping that one of the rooms was going to be set up so you could swap back and forth between modded and unmodded versions (if it was, I missed it)

RMAF?

Sigh. Perhaps someday.

Jeffy

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #3 on: 16 Jun 2013, 01:50 pm »
Arnie welcome to the family. I agree with you the player is so musical and still has all the audiophile qualities. I think you would even like the 105 better as I had the 95 as well. The only thing I heard at CES that may compete with the Modright is the MSB stack, but that sells for over 80,000.00.

ajayrav

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #4 on: 18 Jun 2013, 12:57 am »
Congrats Dan!
Very nice of Mr. Nudell to take the time to write his thoughts on your 105 mods. I heard it in a few of the rooms at the Newport Beach show and it sounded nice. I was hoping that one of the rooms was going to be set up so you could swap back and forth between modded and unmodded versions (if it was, I missed it)

RMAF?

Sigh. Perhaps someday.

To me the difference between the modded and the unmodded BDP-105 is huge.  I'll admit it, I was less than wowed by the stock BDP-105.  Sure, it was a great blu ray player and good SACD spinner, but for regular 44.1 FLAC files, my Analog Research Technology modified squeezebox Duet feeding my Bolder modded Eastern Electric Minimax DAC trounced the Oppo... decisively!  FLAC files fed to the coaxial input were 2 dimensional, at best.  In contrast, when fed through the EE DAC, the soundstage widened and had significantly more depth.  I'd heard all the rave reviews for the Modwright mods, but had major issues paying 2X the cost of the player on a mod.  Yes, every one who got one, seemed to rave about it... and the Modwright Oppos were being used as demo sources by a number of companies at audio shows.  So I decided to take the plunge...
As of now, I've only listened to standard rez FLAC files via my Bolder modded Squeezebox Touch and ART modded squeezebox duet.  They are both spectacular and significantly better my modded EE DAC.  The sound is balanced, individual instruments are discernable, but yet a part of the whole without over-emphasis on any part of the spectrum.  The soundstage is more 3D, even more than the EE DAC, which is not at all shabby in this regard.  The background is inky black and the air between the instruments and notes is clearly evident.  And we haven't even touched upon hi-rez yet. 

At this point, I guess the word 'Wow' about sums it up.  Is the mod worth its not-insubstantial cost, in my opinion?  Personally, I think it is chump change for the performance it provides.  I'm certainly a convert!

More after I spin hi rez.  For those who are wondering, my amp is a Primaluna dialogue One with winged SED EL34's, speakers are ACI Sapphire XLs, speaker wires are Reality cables, power cables are Shunyata Venom and ICs and coaxial cables are WyWires.

I'm now salivating at the prospect of tube-rolling in the Modwright Oppo.....

Cheers,
Ajay

poseidonsvoice

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #5 on: 18 Jun 2013, 01:30 am »
Congrats Dan! Your Truth mod, makes us diy'ers mouth water!

Best,
Anand.

modwright

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #6 on: 19 Jun 2013, 06:02 pm »
Thank you all very much!  I really appreciate the feedback and business!

Sincerely,

Dan W.

talk2me

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #7 on: 19 Jun 2013, 06:42 pm »
I went from a $32K Burmester 089 and the ModWright 105 kills it! And, NOS tubes and great interconnects (Prana Wire) takes it to a whole new level.

Maritan

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #8 on: 19 Jun 2013, 10:52 pm »
Great write up, Dan. Congrats.

Now, I just need to get my butt in gear and actually disconnect my Oppo and ship it out to you...  :thumb:

Guy

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #9 on: 26 Jun 2013, 02:31 am »
Hi all,

A few words to share my feedback on my new modded Oppo 105. I got it last week only so it is obviously not broken in yet but I'm too very impressed with the sound quality. I had a 95 (stock) before and although it sounded good, it was very analytic and dry at times with less than stellar recordings. I have ribbon tweeters so of course forgiveness is limited ;-)  Now the midrange is so much better - more texture, more organic.  The top end is a bit harsh (cymbals for instance sound thin and compress) but I expect it to smooth out over time.  Bass is detailed but on the polite side for now.  Some people have reported how much life-like is the sound with the mod. I could not agree more.  Previously (with the 95), I had the impression of "being there" so my new 105 does not really improve on that aspect.  What has changed though is the impression that not only we are part of the musical event but instead of the hi-fi representation you get the real thing.  It's hard to describe so please bare with me  :green:.

I've ordered a pair of Sophia tubes and will report back when I'm done with breaking in the unit and when the tubes comparison is complete.  For those who are still hesitating to put that (significant) amount of money on this modded unit, trust me it is worth it!

barrows

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #10 on: 1 Jul 2013, 01:30 am »
Hi Dan, I suppose the Oppo uses an ESS 9018, and to get the best technical performance out of this DAC chip, it needs to see a very low input impedance I/V stage.  My guess would be that your output stage is acting primarily as an output buffer, and that you take the signal to your stage after an IC based I/V in the Oppo, is this correct?  Or are you taking the output directly from the ESS DAC into your tube stage, and if so are you running the DAC output as a (mostly) voltage source?

modwright

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #11 on: 1 Jul 2013, 03:15 pm »
We do use a very low-impedance passive I-V stage, following the DAC outs.  We completely abandon the stock analog stage.  After our passive I-V stage, the signal is direct-coupled to our gain/buffer tube stage, which has a single capacitor in the signal path.  We provide our own analog filtering between I-V stage and tube gain/buffer stage.

External supply provides tube-rectified and dual-mono tube voltage regulation.

Thank you,

Dan W.

modwright

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #12 on: 1 Jul 2013, 03:18 pm »
For those on the fence about purchasing a modified Oppo.....

We are now listing the DC Show - Capital Audiofest - show demo, Oppo BDP-105 with full ModWright Modifications, including Bybee rail (2CH) and Audio Magic pulse Gen Zx optional upgrades included.  If interested, PLEASE CALL FOR PRICE!

The unit will be sold on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  It will got to the first person to provide payment up front in full.  The unit will ship (shipping included in price), no sales tax, with full ModWright warranty, following the Captital Audiofest, after Jul 28.

Please call (360.247.6688) or email: info@modwright.com RIGHT AWAY if interested!

Thank you,

Dan W.

barrows

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #13 on: 1 Jul 2013, 04:06 pm »
Thanks for the details Dan.  So I suppose you are using a low value resistor, this is probably the best approach to couple the ESS to a tube output stage, I am glad you bypass the original IC OPAs.  I have heard your modded Sony units with the tube power supply, and they sound wonderful, I am sure the modded Oppo is spectacular.

Phil A

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #14 on: 1 Jul 2013, 04:54 pm »
Can't wait to hear it in person

SoCalWJS

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #15 on: 9 Jul 2013, 04:49 pm »
For those on the fence about purchasing a modified Oppo.....

We are now listing the DC Show - Capital Audiofest - show demo, Oppo BDP-105 with full ModWright Modifications, including Bybee rail (2CH) and Audio Magic pulse Gen Zx optional upgrades included.  If interested, PLEASE CALL FOR PRICE!

The unit will be sold on a FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE basis!  It will got to the first person to provide payment up front in full.  The unit will ship (shipping included in price), no sales tax, with full ModWright warranty, following the Captital Audiofest, after Jul 28.

Please call (360.247.6688) or email: info@modwright.com RIGHT AWAY if interested!

Thank you,

Dan W.
....Is this still available? (almost afraid to ask  :green:)

Phil A

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #16 on: 9 Jul 2013, 04:56 pm »
....Is this still available? (almost afraid to ask  :green:)

 :green: :green: :green:I know that feeling!

modwright

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #17 on: 9 Jul 2013, 07:50 pm »
It is still available, but there have been inquires!  Please call our office right away if interested!

360.247.6688

Thanks,

Dan W.

talk2me

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Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #18 on: 15 Jul 2013, 01:59 pm »
One thing I have noticed and a reviewer has mentioned is the ModWright 105 really responds to cable/tube upgrades that take it to a higher level (a lot). I am using Prana Wire Nataraja ic's from my 105 to pre and Purist Audio Aquila Digital pc.
« Last Edit: 10 Aug 2013, 05:28 pm by talk2me »

thorman

Re: Oppo 105 Mod Testiomonial - Arnie Nudell!
« Reply #19 on: 15 Jul 2013, 03:09 pm »
I took the plunge and went the Oppo105/Modwright route myself and very happy I did. I tried quite a few tube combos and ended up settling with a pair of Sophia Electric 6SN7 ( incredible tube ) and a NOS Mullard GZ34. It really depends on which side of the Neutrality fence your System sits. The Neutral Openness of the Sophia 6SN7 tubes compliments the Sweet Mullard Rectifier . This tube combo is a huge step up from the stock Russian tubes ( which are not bad ) . For power cords I went with VH Audio Airsine.