Is adding PS Audio DSD DAC to my OPPO 105 a significant upgrade?

Hello to all. First post here. I apologize if some of my questions sound a little uniformed but trying to get my head around what a possible DAC upgrade added to my OPPO 105 might do for me.
I have a pretty decent moderately high end system. (OPPO 105>VAC preamp> Odyssey Kismet monoblock amps>ACI Jaguar/LFM sub speakers). I also have a Pioneer Elite SC 71 I use for HT processing but my questions here relate to 2 channel audio.

I use the OPPO 105 at the center of my dual use HT and 2 channel system.
I mostly listen to 2 channel audio. I listen to a lot of CDs, and some SACDs via the transport.
Well recorded discs sound very very good.
I recently have been trying a few Hi REZ (192khz and DSD) downloaded files from commercial sites and putting them on a USB stick plugged into my OPPO 105 and playing them from the on screen menu. They sound great.

I also have a huge library of albums in various compressed formats (mp3/flac/AAC, etc) on my desktop computer hard drive. I am figuring out how to use the network capability of the OPPO 105. It is pretty confusing.
Sounds really pretty good when I get an album to play. Seems to not recognize FLAC format right now but I am sure I am doing something wrong. LOL

Anyway- the OPPO 105 with the SABRE DAC was considered a pretty good source in its day. I am getting back into audio and wondering a few things.

  1. Is the PS Audio DSD Dac a significant upgrade overall in Sound quality?
  2. I would just use an OPPO digital output into the PS Audio DSD DAC and then use the analog outs on the PS Audio DAC out to my preamp correct?
  3. Any CD or SACD or USB stick material I play on the OPPO then goes to the PS Audio DAC correct?
  4. How would one play the files on my computer hard drive. If I use the OPPO network option would it then also then go to the PS Audio DAC for processing and output?
  5. I see there is a network card option for the PS Audio which is no doubt more straightforward to use for playing material from my computer hard drive.
  6. Are there other options that I might look at that would be major upgrade and play all formats also and upscale in the $1000-3000 range?

A used PS Audio DSD Dac looks to be in the $3000 range which would be my top end. A lot of money, but if it is a major upgrade I would consider it.
I like the idea of the firmware upgrades the proprietary written code and the ability to process and upscale all formats. Seems like it would avoid becoming outdated.
And it looks like using the network audio option is a way that a lot of folks are going. Removes the mechanical transport factor and that might be a good thing.

Anyway- is this a good upgrade or does it hit the wall of diminishing returns? My system is pretty good right now and enjoyable, but always looking for better within reason.

Thanks for any input.

I’ve been using an Oppo 105D in conjunction with a PSA DS DAC for a number of years now and will try to share my experience regarding the same.

  1. The DS DAC adds a degree of refinement to the sound. How significant that is to you would be a personal choice. I’ve not regretted bringing the DAC into the mix.
  2. Yes, that would work but there’s no reason you couldn’t still maintain the analogue output from the 105 so you could still run the Oppo independently from the DAC and that’d also allow you to do a quick A/B comparison on the fly between the two. Keep in mind, however, that the output from the Oppo is around 2.1V while it’s only 1.4V from the DAC.
  3. Yes, if you choose the DAC as the output device from your preamp.
  4. Is your computer wireless? If so then you could use the Oppo to “grab” the files from your PC and then output them to the DAC via a coax connection. Another choice would be if the computer was connected via USB to the Oppo.
  5. There’s the Bridge (which is what I use) and the newer Bridge II. I stream files on an external hard drive attached to my PC wirelessly to my network and from there either to the Oppo>DAC or straight to the DAC via the Bridge.
  6. I would imagine there are but that’s a field I’ve never had to investigate/research.

Hope this was of some help and good luck whatever you may choose to do.

Regards,
Joe

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I’m running a Sony UBP-X1000ES (X800 would work jus as well). Listening to DSD files/SACD’s though the PS Audio DirectStream fed from the Sony Universal player via HDMI to I2S adapters blows away the Sony DSD DAC’s inside the X1000. PCM playback also is a huge improvement over the Sony’s lackluster built PCM DAC’s.

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Joe- Thanks for the reply.

  1. How significant an upgrade for you comparing each unit on a scale of 1-10? Like if the OPPO is a 7.5 is the PS Audio a 9 for example? (I realize this is all subjective).
  2. Yes, my computer and the OPPO are on a wireless network and I am learning how to access files. I am not good at this yet. LOL.
  3. The bridge sounds like a nice option.

Thanks again for your time,

Tony

I have done that journey a couple of years ago, from the 105 to the DSDJr. The effect was huge. I also thought that the 105 dac was a very good one, but once the DSD was in the rig, there was no going back. A used DSD, either Sr or Jr is a very good option to get a LOT of musical value for the money.

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Hi Tony,

You’re welcome.

I would give it, all things considered an 8.5 to a 9. You should be able to “push” the files. In a Windows 10 environment you right mouse click the folder and select “Cast to Device” and the Oppo 105 will appear. If you have a Bridge that’ll appear, too. I use JRiver Media Center to send the files. It has some nice features.

Good luck,
Joe

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I will look at that closer.
I have JRiver in a Win 10 environment.

Thanks.

This is what you want if you have a PS DirectStream Dac or any PS Audio Dac with I2S input. The oppomod.com I2S card. It mounts in between the mother board and the

Oppo built in Dac. You need to cut a small hole on the 103 for a HDMI port. This will allow you to extract the DSD layer from SACD’s and send it directly to the DirectStream Dac! http://www.oppomod.com/images/i2s-card-large.jpg

To answer the question. Yes! Huge upgrade!

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My DS Dac was a big upgrade over my Oppo 203 so…yeah.

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With a budget of $1,000 to $3,000 I would look for a DSD Jr. It exhibits at least 90% of the DSD’s goodness and is the better yuck/buck in light of the typical audiophile quickly diminishing returns.

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FWIW, the DS Sr, is the best DAC (stand alone or built in) I have ever had in my system, by far – and not just “incrementally”. My past and current DACs include(d) Yamaha CD players, PS Audio PWD, Anthem AVRs (20 and 50v), Denon SACD players and Jolida tube DAC).

Since the DS Sr. is still being sold and updated with new firmware from time to time, I think saving your pennies and acquiring a “previously loved” DS Sr. would be worth every penny – especially if you are fortunate enough to get one “in the $3,000 range”. (Best I can tell, $3,500 or so is the going rate for one in excellent condition.)

There is arguably a consensus that you would have to pay A LOT more to beat its performance.

So, to answer your question, yes, as compared to the OPPO DAC, a DS Sr. is a good upgrade in my opinion.

In fact, I would argue that the DS Sr. is an incredible bargain on the used market and is as much a game changer in its niche as the OPPO disc spinners were.

Regards.

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I second that and concur with Scotte’s views.

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I’ve had my DSD Sr since 2016. With all the upgrades, now Windom, it just gets better and better! Started out with Oppo 95 and ended up with DMP!! With each upgrade it’s another WOW!! reaction. I have not reach the limits on how good this DAC can sound, and I have upgraded many many things!! Every upgrade, wither it’s the electronics, cables, or even power supplies, I can hear it with this DAC!! The sound I hear now with this DAC is absolutely amazing!!!

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Thanks to all for the input.
There are a few used units on Audiogon right now I am looking at.

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