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Review and Measurements of Oppo UDP-205 UHD Player

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Oppo UDP-205 UHD player's audio subsystem, specifically its DAC performance. It is on loan from a kind member. The retail price of UDP-205 used to be $1,300. Alas, Oppo has discontinued the unit so it is no longer for sale as a new unit. I see crazy prices like $4,000 now for them!

NOTE: My company is a dealer for Oppo. "Dealer" is a stretch of the term here as the discount for dealers will buy you a cup of tea and not the usual margins that exists for audio. But you should take this account in reading my review here.

There are probably hundreds of reviews of the Oppo UDP-205 out there. My focus here is only as a USB DAC to see how it compares to dedicated DACs. For this evaluation, I am testing its USB input and balanced analog outs. As a way of comparison, and as you see below, I also compared it to Schiit Yggdrasil DAC ($2,400), RME ADI-2 Pro (DAC version of which is $1,000), and Topping DX7s ($499).

Oppo UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray Player Audio  Review and Measurements.jpg


The unit is quite heavy and massive in size. Easily three to four times larger and heavier than any other Blu-ray player.

The DAC portion sports the high-end ESS DAC chip, the ES9038PRO in dual configuration. The choice of DAC chip doesn't directly translate into good performance as it is abundantly easy to screw up its good performance. Let's get into measurements and see if that is the case here or not.

EDIT: for performance of unbalanced/RCA output, see: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ts-of-oppo-udp-205-uhd-player.3660/post-88142

EDIT #2: Headphone output results here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ts-of-oppo-udp-205-uhd-player.3660/post-88149

Measurements
As usual, let's get a full snapshot of its performance in our dashboard:
Oppo UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray Player Audio Dashboard Measurements.png


Wow. These are exceedingly good numbers. 115 dB SINAD (signal over distortion and noise)? That is amazing.

As a way of reference, here is RME ADI-2 Pro with the same output level:

RME ADI-2 Pro Dashboard Measurements.png


We see nearly 10 dB lower (SINAD) performance! The cause here is high third harmonic distortion. The suppression of harmonic distortion is quite significant in Oppo UDP-205.

On slightly negative side, we see sidebands around our main 1 kHz tone shows side-bands (spikes) around the 1 kHz tone in UDP-205. Fortunately these are heavily masked perceptually so not an audible concern.

Those distortion measurements directly translate to lower THD vs frequency for Oppo:
Oppo UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray Player Audio THD distortion Measurements.png


Just remarkable. Oppo UDP-205 easily beats all the others with ease.

IMD intermodulation distortion measurements mirror the same:
Oppo UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray Player Audio IMD distortion Measurements.png


Jitter/Noise test shows the previously mentioned low-frequency components:
Oppo UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray Player Audio Jitter and Noise Measurements.png



Absence of power supply components (all the way to the left) puts a smile on my face.

Alas, we see the same side-band spikes around our main tone. If we look back to our 1 kHz tone in our dashboard, we see the same tones at same amplitude. This means that they are NOT, let me repeat, NOT jitter. But rather, the reference voltage for the DAC is being modulated by that frequency. If this were jitter, its amplitude would be much reduced at 1 kHz versus 12 kHz. Translation: something is bleeding into the reference voltage of the DAC (which is used to create the output voltage). A bit of cleaning here would have rendered perfect output.

Finally let's look at our favorite graph, linearity:

Oppo UDP-205 UHD Blu-ray Player Audio  Linearity Measurements.png


As the notation says, the Oppo UDP-205 produces results that are at the threshold of what the measurement can show so it is perfect to 20 bits/120 bits. The RME ADI-2 Pro loses a bit here but its dedicated DAC version has this fixed. The Schiit Yggdrasil as mentioned in its review, remains non-competitive with tons of error here.

Conclusions
There is no getting around it: the Oppo UDP-205 nails the measurements and almost across the board beats its competitors. It delivered the best measured performance of any DAC I have tested to date! Of course it earns my strong recommendation.

With the exception of tiny bit of reference voltage modulation, the Oppo UDP-205 delivers performance that is quite a bit better than the next in line. This also demonstrates how good the ES9038Pro DAC chip is, when implemented correctly.

What a shame that Oppo is getting out of this business. I guess it is good and honorable to do so after produce such a superlative (audio) product.

As always, questions, comments, corrections, etc. are all welcome.

----
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Wombat

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#2
Does anyone have some earlier/lower priced models that can be offered for testing?
 

Veri

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#6
Wow it's real sad to leave such a stellar product what with OPPO going out of business. Has to be one of the best Sabre implementations to date!

I think the RME ADI-2 DAC or the Pro FS is slightly improved on all fronts over the older version though as seen in your older post

Adi-2 Pro

Adi-2 DAC
 
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bunkbail

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#7
The retail price of UDP-205 used to be $1,300. Alas, Oppo has discontinued the unit so it is no longer for sale as a new unit. I see crazy prices like $4,000 now for them!
There are new units on Aliexpress listed at ~$2,000. Also, its internal looks so sexy. Maybe you can do some minor internal shots or analysis or something;)?
 
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#9
According to Wikipedia, this unit is identical to the UDP-203, but comes with more features. The 203 is much cheaper though with a MSRP of $549.
I also think it's worth mentioning Oppo is chi-fi :cool:
EDIT: OPPO Digital is an independently operated overseas division sharing the brand name OPPO with OPPO Electronics, both owned by Chinese company BBK Electronics. Founded in 2004, it is based in Menlo Park, California.
 
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DonH56

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#12
According to Wikipedia, this unit is identical to the UDP-203, but comes with more features. The 203 is much cheaper though with a MSRP of $549.
I also think it's worth mentioning Oppo is chi-fi :cool:
DAC and analog output stages are different in the UDP-205. I have a UDP-203; didn't need the 205's features, and I am using the HDMI output so the higher-quality analog outputs were not useful to me. And I could use the extra $600 on something else... :)
 

SoundsGood

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#13
Great measurement/review. Pretty much what I hear - a great sounding DAC hidden in a Blu-Ray player.
Any way to test the headphone output section? I think this would be of interest to many as well.
 

amirm

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#14
Any way to test the headphone output section? I think this would be of interest to many as well.
Sure. I am out all day today at our audiophile user group testing other gear. But when I get back I will test that (and unbalanced).
 

Frank Dernie

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#15
According to Wikipedia, this unit is identical to the UDP-203, but comes with more features. The 203 is much cheaper though with a MSRP of $549.
I also think it's worth mentioning Oppo is chi-fi :cool:
Wikipedia often isn't a good reference IME, and isn't in this case either.
The video side of the 203 is the same as the 205, the audio side is to a much higher spec, but not needed if you use a separate surround sound processor, so a worthwhile economy if you don't need the DAC. The 93/95 and 103/105 are related to each other in the same way.
When I watch films I use an Oppo 105 feeding a simple multi channel preamp into active surrounds and a through connection to my main speakers so I was disappointed by Amir's findings, though I have only tried it for music a small number of times and usually simply listen to stereo.
 

DonH56

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#17

mi-fu

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#18
I believe OPPO digital is a division of OPPO electronics, which is the 2nd largest mobile phone manufacturer in China (after Huawei).

Interesting, its mother company, BBK, is also the owner of the 3rd largest mobile phone manufacturer in China, VIVO. Oppo and VIVO together, they manufacture around 150 million smartphones last year!!

Around 20 years ago, BBK was a manufacturer in Shenzhen famous for making "region-code free" DVD players.

Now it becomes a conglomerate.
 

Ron Texas

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#19
I wouldn't be surprised if Oppo sells some of it's designs to another manufacturer. Also, I suspect parts availability will not be as long as it would have been had they stayed in the business.
 

mitchco

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#20
@amirm nice set of measures. Archimago also measured the device in a trilogy, part1, part2 and part3 and was equally impressed. Great to see good correlation of measurements using different tools and techniques, performed independently - the audio industry could use more of this. This device is about as transparent as it gets... astonishing from a Blu-ray disc player!
 
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