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Reader Ed King. "My Audiomeca Mephisto made it to Italy. The customer is extremely pleased and I received my funds. Lots of trust was involved by both parties.
Following through with what you felt my best alternative might be, I ordered an Oppo 105 and had it shipped to ModWright. I went with the maxed-out mods. Extras were Bybee rails and an Audio Magic pulse generator ZX (don't have an opinion on either but both recommended!)
After receiving the units, my first impression was of a quality far surpassing my expectations for a player in this price range. I honestly expected a cheap plastic unit with some hi-tech mods. Nothing of that sort. It's weighty, incorporates well-executed facia controls with illumination and a rear panel with more options than I would know how to use though I've already surprised myself. My monitor is now connected to HDMI to eliminate one group of cables and I connected my Blackberry playbook to HDMI on the front panel to—I guess the term is streaming—listen to an NPR radio station my tuner won't pick up in our new island location.
stock Oppo 105 from our prior HighFidelity.pl review
"Then there's Dan Wright's power supply. Quite the beast. I had to sit it on another GPA shelf as it can't quite share the same space with the 105. And speaking of the visual mods, Dan's insertion of two 6SN7 driver tubes in the Oppo is quite distinctive and to my taste even a little sexy.
Out of the box the 105 was a bit harsh. Kristen from Modwright suggested that the capacitors can take a few hundred hours to break in. I left the 105 in repeat mode for a good couple of days. Since then I have watched a few Blu-ray movies, fed a number of CDs, a few hybrid SACDs and streamed some audio. Nowhere near a couple of hundred hours yet but the Oppo is exceeding my expectations!
"It has definitely already surpassed the Mephisto with a deeper soundstage and sharper imaging and I've nothing but good memories of the Mephisto which was purchased after a 6moons review in I think 2004. The video output of the Oppo is awesome and alleviates the need for a separate player to do movies. This frees up another component rack. This unit has possibly brought me closer to a more contemporary tech age.
My hat goes off to Oppo and Modwright for what I consider a bargain for a universal player of this caliber! And thank you for suggesting it. I'm so impressed with this modded Oppo when what I really wanted was an EMM Labs or Esoteric. But I'm much happier having spent $4.000 rather than $20.000+!"
Meanwhile this is what contributor Wojciech Pacuła thought of the stock Oppo 105 as a hifi player.
The external power supply can be ordered with a hole to fit the giant EML 5U4G rectifier whose height is twice that of the Sovtek 5AR4 rectifier (shown for reference) whilst girth goes triple. Because ModWright's supply doesn't power the entire player, the main unit must still be plugged into the wall with its own power cord. The 9-series PSU is identified as version 9.9 on the back.
The fat blue ModWright umbilical between PS 9.9 and 105 terminates in male and female 4-pin XLRs to make very secure and unmistakable connections.
To give the machine some time to settle in, I installed it in our upstairs video system in lieu of the usual NuForce-modded Oppo 93SE. Dan's mod also replaces the stock stereo RCAs with beefy Cardas versions. They'll have even the snazziest of interconnects right at home.
As you can see installed in the rack, that Emission Labs rectifier really is a monster. Would it prove to be audibly better than the puny stock Russian 5AR4? Or would it be a pumped-up poseur? This was just one of many things to test.