You are here

Log in or register to post comments
bobedaone
bobedaone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 1 2007 - 12:27am
Oppo DV-980H review, as promised

I feel that a sufficient amount of time has passed since I welcomed an Oppo into my system, that I may now talk about it in a meaningful way. I know there are curious members out there, especially the folks stopping by in The Entry Level. Hence, here are my impressions.

I have admittedly little experience comparing a wide range of disc spinners, from entry to reference, and will leave that to the professionals (Here's looking at you, Kal!) I have, however, listened to players that would be on the audition list of a potential Oppo buyer. I auditioned both the Marantz CD5001 and NAD C525BEE before deciding on the NAD. I lived with the BEE for awhile, and it rode out various system configurations. Sparing you the details, I will say that I've been consistently charmed by it. For someone who was recovering from harsh mid-nineties mass-market digital, it was a wonder drug. Wherever it was, it never failed to present music in a very natural and smooth way. As I gained experience, though, I realized that I could have sharpness without harshness, and started to find the NAD lacking in the detail department.

I wanted a DVD player, anyway, and figured the $170 Oppo was worth a shot.

Before I knew it, my player arrived, and it was time for the Opening of the Box, a momentous audio nerd occasion, indeed.
The first things you will notice about the 980 are:

1. Damn, this thing is light!
2. How did they make it so thin?

It's so thin, in fact, that a regular IEC power cord was not an option. The cord is, however, removable, though I have no idea why.

You'll soon get over how cheap it feels because you remember that it was cheap. The proof is in the pudding - err - playing. I was not disappointed in that regard.

My initial impression was "Wow, this sounds really good." After some light listening, I connected it to my Audio Alchemy DAC, which had endeared itself to me. I switched back and forth between the Oppo and the AA, and was surprised (and impressed) to find that I could hardly detect a difference between them. That's high praise for the Oppo in my book. I had been using the NAD to feed the DAC, but sent the cable (and the NAD) home after hearing my new toy.
This is really cliche, but it has made me go through my CD collection to hear what I had been missing before.

For its price, it's stupidly good, and a component that I'd classify as a "no-brainer" sort of item for the hey-tell-me-what-to-get-with-$1000 crowd, as well as the hey-I-was-thinking-about-this-stuff-what-do-you-think folks.

It's not all roses, though. Here are some negatives:

It's so light that button presses result in movement of the entire player. I solved this problem by putting poster putty under the feet.

Purists won't like having a TV in the listening room. It's a DVD player, though, so get over it.

The disc tray is very unresponsive to button presses, and the player may start loading a disc even after you tell it to eject. It's pretty irritating, but then I remember how awesome the Oppo sounds and how much I paid for it.

It has a general feeling of cheapness. I deal with it, though (see above rationale).

The transport is unrefined and noisy.

All in all, I'm very pleased. The DV-980H smokes $300 CD players, and gives the rest of the sub-$1000 club a run for their money. Based on my experience with it, the Linn Unidisk 1.1 isn't going to lose any sleep, but, at $11K, it ought not.

Oppo has made a great product, and I should also mention that customer support is absolutely top-notch.

Highly recommended.

(That makes me sound like a reviewer hahaha )

dcstep
dcstep's picture
Offline
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 16 2007 - 4:59pm
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised

Nice review Erik, thanks.

I bought the Oppo after my PS Audio Lambda crapped out. At first I viewed it as a stop-gap measure, but now I may stick with it. It sounds really good, consistant with your review.

Still, I just dropped some bucks on a Pro-ject RPM 10/Blackbird combination and Vienna Acoustic Beethovan Baby Grands, so I may try to audition some under-$5000 universal players in the system now. It'll be November before the speakers and Blackbird are broken in and I get around to comparing players, but I'll post here when I do.

Dave

Kal Rubinson
Kal Rubinson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 25 min ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised

But the 980H does have a regular IEC connector that takes regular IEC AC cables. Now, how do you expect me to believe anything else you say?

Kal

bobedaone
bobedaone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 1 2007 - 12:27am
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised

The plug is indeed an IEC, but is of the C17 type, not the C13. It's physically similar, but lacks a ground.

Now, I suppose it all comes down to how we both define "regular".

As for believing what I say, I guess you'll just have to go on faith.

Kal Rubinson
Kal Rubinson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 25 min ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised


Quote:
The plug is indeed an IEC, but is of the C17 type, not the C13. It's physically similar, but lacks a ground.

Now, I suppose it all comes down to how we both define "regular".

Yes. It is compatible with other 'regular' IEC cables and that's what counts for me since I dread getting access to the rear of my APC S-15 and prefer to use the IEC cables that are already connected to it. It's heavy!


Quote:
As for believing what I say, I guess you'll just have to go on faith.

Works both ways.

Kal

Elk
Elk's picture
Offline
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 26 2006 - 6:32am
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised

Stop it you two!!!

I can't stand all this fighting and bickering!

(P.S., thanks for the review. It's fun to read thoughtful reviews of "non-reviewers" of equipment.)

bobedaone
bobedaone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 1 2007 - 12:27am
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised


Quote:
Works both ways.

A neuroscientist who likes Paradigm has to have something going for him.

Also, it seems my comment that the cable type was implemented due to the slim chassis design is erroneous. If a C17 fits, then a C13 would fit just as well. It's just a novel design for me, I guess. I run into a lot of those.

lionelag
lionelag's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 2 weeks ago
Joined: Apr 18 2007 - 9:40am
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised

I'm wondering what you thought of the Oppo as an SACD player. I have a CD player that I like, but am interested in adding an SACD player, and the Oppo is certainly priced right. I was a little concerned by JA's comments in his Oppo 970 measurements that the player didn't have much more resolution in SACD than it did in redbook. What have you noticed?

bobedaone
bobedaone's picture
Offline
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: Feb 1 2007 - 12:27am
Re: Oppo DV-980H review, as promised

I've been very pleased with the SACD performance, but it's also the first SACD player I've heard, so take that with a grain of salt. I can say that good Super Audio sounds clearly better than Redbook, measurements aside.

Noel39
Noel39's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: Sep 22 2012 - 11:27pm
OPPO DV-980H DVD Player

As an classical music addict, I would like to add an observation on the audio performance of the OPPO DV-980H DVD player. Some critics classified it as above the price level of the player, but not at top level. But as a classical melomane, you absolutely should chose in the setup programme for the audio-setup the equalizer type  "tecno" in order to get the maximum of dynamics, analysis and accuracy as well as great corpus of the music. Here you discover the great audio strength of the OPPO, which turns it into a musical instrument of highest level. The equalizer choice "classic" is totally contraproductive, darkening and smoothening the sound. All other settings as well do not render music in a comparable manner. With the "tecno"-sound on, you beat a whole lot of several kilopound players.

Kal Rubinson
Kal Rubinson's picture
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 25 min ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 9:34am
  Noel39 wrote: But as a

 

Noel39 wrote:

But as a classical melomane, you absolutely should chose in the setup programme for the audio-setup the equalizer type  "tecno" in order to get the maximum of dynamics, analysis and accuracy as well as great corpus of the music. Here you discover the great audio strength of the OPPO, which turns it into a musical instrument of highest level. 

It would be more accurate if that setting had been labelled "Technicolor" for its outlandlish exaggerations.   

geoffkait
geoffkait's picture
Offline
Last seen: 6 hours 24 min ago
Joined: Apr 29 2008 - 5:10am
Anyone have any simple mods

Anyone have any simple mods for the Oppo 790?  Nothing to crazy.  I just obtained an Oppo 790 for my headphone system.  

 

Geoff Kait

Machina Dynamica

jackfish
jackfish's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Flat for me...

...please.

  • X
    Enter your Stereophile.com username.
    Enter the password that accompanies your username.
    Loading