Some time ago you wrote about the Oppo BDP-103D Darbee
Edition Blu-ray player. It sells for $599. On the Oppo
website I also found the Oppo BDP-105D Darbee Edition
Blu-ray player. It sells for $1,299.
highly recommended the BDP-103D at $599. Is the BDP-105D
so much better that it warrants spending $700 more?
Would I be able to tell the difference?
Donald Carl, Plantation, Fla.
It depends on your system and how you will use the
player. For many people it is indeed worth the
audio performance and capabilities of the player are
different. The players have similar video quality and
there is no difference in the audio quality if you only
use the HDMI connections in your system. If you do not
have an external audio system at all, or are only using
the HDMI connections between the player and receiver
then the BDP-103D is the player for you. Though not
inexpensive at $599 I do think the BDP-103D is worth
every penny given its extremely high quality, many
features and the noticeable difference made by the
Darbee Visual Presence processing. To learn more about
Darbee processing go to www.darbeevision.com. If you
want to add Darbee video processing to your system
without adding a new disc player you can buy a small
video processor called the Darblet DVP 5000 for $199.
BDP-105D takes the standout video performance and Darbee
processing of the BDP-103D and adds audio performance
that is absolutely state of the art. The chassis is
bigger, heavier and the player is even more finely
finished with its beautifully styled faceplate, and
balanced outputs are added for use in high-end audio
systems. It will improve the sound quality of everything
you play, from Blu-ray discs and DVDs to CDs and digital
enjoy the improved audio performance of the BDP-105D you
must use the analog audio connections for audio and run
a separate HDMI cable to the TV for video. Not all
receivers have analog audio inputs, but fortunately
anyone contemplating a $1,299 disc player is going to
have a receiver or audio processor high enough in the
manufacturer’s model line that it will have them. I
can say from my own experience that the difference is
quite noticeable in my own system as the sound was more
richly detailed and airy, and just plain sounded better.
I was comparing it to the audio circuitry in my Anthem
AVM50v audio/video processor, which was $5,000 when it
was new, so this is no small accomplishment.
the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas I
always tour the high-end audio suites, which are hosted
at The Venetian away from the main show floor at the Las
Vegas Convention Center. The BDP-105D is ubiquitous in
these suites and if the displaying manufacturer does not
offer disc players themselves, you usually find an Oppo
BDP-105D there playing discs or digital audio files. I
think it is a fine testament to the quality of the
player that it is trusted by the makers of the most
exotic amplifiers and speakers to make their gear sound
its best in front of a very picky audience.