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Bricasti M1 SE & other DACs under 10k worth auditioning

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hello,

 

i am in the market for a new DAC. Currently running VEGA feeding vitus amp driving raidho monitors. Looking to improve my source.

 

Can anyone comment on the Bricasti M1 SE?

 

Any other DACs i should be auditioning (under $10k)?

 

Thanks,

Udi

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It seems there is a lot of hype around the new Ayre QX-5/twenty as well

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Two I would highly recommend

 

1. T&A DAC DSD upsampled to DSD 512

2. The MSB Analog DAC with Quad USB or renderer ( I think you have a choice of one over the other)

 

I have the MSB Diamond V with quad usb and absolutely love it.

 

The T&A I have for my headphone system and I love it.

 

However the MSB sound IMO is just amazing. I had an Analog on loan before buying the Diamond and was very impressed with it.

 

Incidentally I had a Vega and sold it pretty quick. Just wasn't my cup of tea.

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That Bricasti M1 is a very impressive DAC. However, $10k is a very healthy budget. For this kind of money, you could consider the King of the DAC's - a secondhand DCS. Do a search for DCS on hifishark.com

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That Bricasti M1 is a very impressive DAC. However, $10k is a very healthy budget. For this kind of money, you could consider the King of the DAC's - a secondhand DCS. Do a search for DCS on hifishark.com

I've considered DCS, but I was concerned I was buying old technology. How are they in terms of updates? Do they release updates to same dac or just create new models?

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Two I would highly recommend

 

1. T&A DAC DSD upsampled to DSD 512

2. The MSB Analog DAC with Quad USB or renderer ( I think you have a choice of one over the other)

 

I have the MSB Diamond V with quad usb and absolutely love it.

 

The T&A I have for my headphone system and I love it.

 

However the MSB sound IMO is just amazing. I had an Analog on loan before buying the Diamond and was very impressed with it.

 

Incidentally I had a Vega and sold it pretty quick. Just wasn't my cup of tea.

 

Well, it appears that the msb diamond is out of my range ?

 

I'll need to take a look and analog.

 

Thoughts on bricasti?

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Playback Designs Merlot Appears to have little reviews (other than audio stream). Have you heard it?

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Well, it appears that the msb diamond is out of my range [emoji3]

 

I'll need to take a look and analog.

 

Thoughts on bricasti?

 

Nothing first hand. Just a good friend of mine who had the Bricasti and one listen to the MSB Diamond and was hooked.

 

If I had to "grade it" the Analog gets you much closer to the Diamond than one would think is possible given the price differences. Probably 85-90% of the way there?? It is an amazing DAC.

 

Only issue is that while it has XLR outs it really is single ended if that matters.

 

At the price range you are looking at it really deserves a listen.

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At the price range you are looking at it really deserves a listen.

 

I appreciate the input... I'll definitely give it a listen. I just did a quick search for reviews and apparently 6moons thought it was outclassed by the total DAC d1-six DAC. That also appears to be Michael's (from audiostream) new reference.

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I appreciate the input... I'll definitely give it a listen. I just did a quick search for reviews and apparently 6moons thought it was outclassed by the total DAC d1-six DAC. That also appears to be Michael's (from audiostream) new reference.

 

Not sure about 6 moons. I know 6 moons only reviews products that advertise with them so I kind of gave up on them. Not sure if MSB advertises with them or not. Just my take

 

The other guy at Audiostream has an Analog as his DAC of choice.

 

I haven't heard the total DAC so I have no opinion. I know people really like it.

 

Also any review of the Analog needs to be using either the Quad USB or the renderer or it's not worth the review. Those who have the renderer think it's better than the Quad USB. I think you can get either for the same price.

 

Best advice is to try to get an Analog in home demo.

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I've considered DCS, but I was concerned I was buying old technology. How are they in terms of updates? Do they release updates to same dac or just create new models?

 

I don't own a DCS, but I believe that they release firmware updates. I don't think their DAC's are FPGA based (unlike MSB or Playback), so they are unable to change the configuration of the whole DAC. If you want a FPGA based firmware upgradable DAC, consider Playback Designs or MSB. I bought my Playback 6 years ago, and I am still getting updates for it. That is product support!

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Playback Designs Merlot Appears to have little reviews (other than audio stream). Have you heard it?

 

If you were asking me, yes I've heard it. Other DAC compared in the system was the current dCS stack. Considering the huge price difference, the Merlot sounds pretty good!

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hello,

 

i am in the market for a new DAC. Currently running VEGA feeding vitus amp driving raidho monitors. Looking to improve my source.

 

Can anyone comment on the Bricasti M1 SE?

 

Any other DACs i should be auditioning (under $10k)?

 

Thanks,

Udi

 

I went to 2015 Axpona to investigate and purchase a DAC and music server. At the time I listened to all of them that were there and at the end it came down to the Bricasti M1 and Lampizator Golden Gate. To me sonically they were very close although the Lampizator was like 8K more expensive however the final decision came down to the company and personalities. I just saw Bricasti as a more solid choice and being US made was an added bonus.

 

I was also impressed with how they keep updating their unit not just with software but as in the case of the SE update several internal components. The SE version is quite a step up from what I originally heard and I'm positive that more will be coming. I'm very pleased sonically. Since I saved some money on the DAC 1 could now afford at the time the new N10 Aurender. Also as you can see I kind of personalized it with all black and polished buttons and feet. Concerning the feet they have very cleverly incorporated Stillpoints within each foot. This should not be over looked for those that use some type of isolation I don't know of any other DAC that comes that way. Depending on what you get that could easily add 1K to the cost of most any other DAC.

 

IMG_1698.JPG


2 Channel: Bricasti M21 / M28 SE /Aurender W20SE Treatments: Acoustical panels(F, S, Bass Trap & R walls) Misc.: SR Orange Fuses

Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART (Dark Cherry) w/30# weights/2-ML 212's Subs tuned w/PBK and Special Phase technique

Grounding: QKore 6 / Networking: QSource to power modem/Router / Sotm switch and Pwr Supply / AQ Diamond Misc.: Furutech GTX-DNCF 

Nordost: QV2's, QK1's, 2-QX4, QPoint's,TC Kones, Sort Fut & LIft / Full O2 Loom / QSource & Points Misc.: iPad 3 /Lovan Rack 

Media Rm: ML: 13A's, Descent i's, Vanquish, Focus/Parasound: 3-A23 &1-31/Entreq SM/ 77" LG 4k OLED/Anthem AVM60/Pioneer Elite DVD

Nordost: Odin/V2 - power/T2 - SC, Interconnects for Front 3 Channels/H2 - Surrounds, BC Kones, H2 Network, V2 HDMI

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I went to 2015 Axpona to investigate and purchase a DAC and music server. At the time I listened to all of them that were there and at the end it came down to the Bricasti M1 and Lampizator Golden Gate. To me sonically they were very close although the Lampizator was like 8K more expensive however the final decision came down to the company and personalities. I just saw Bricasti as a more solid choice and being US made was an added bonus.

 

I was also impressed with how they keep updating their unit not just with software but as in the case of the SE update several internal components. The SE version is quite a step up from what I originally heard and I'm positive that more will be coming. I'm very pleased sonically. Since I saved some money on the DAC 1 could now afford at the time the new N10 Aurender. Also as you can see I kind of personalized it with all black and polished buttons and feet. Concerning the feet they have very cleverly incorporated Stillpoints within each foot. This should not be over looked for those that use some type of isolation I don't know of any other DAC that comes that way. Depending on what you get that could easily add 1K to the cost of most any other DAC.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]30189[/ATTACH]

 

My only caution with your advice and NOT a criticism, since we are all in the same boat, is the best audition (if possible) is in your system. These days, many DACS, since they are not huge speakers, for a small fee (usually reimbursable) can be tried in the home. At shows, there are so many variables it is hard to discern what is really going on. Shows are great to see all the new gadgets, etc but to judge the sound or the actual component of interest is kind of a crap shoot. Fantastic stuff can sound awful. There is a speaker manufacturer I know of who truly makes a world class speaker but just can't get it sounding right at any show as it is a pretty complex setup, usually shares a room with other manufacturers that may or may not work with his speaker and invariably reviewers give "his room" a mediocre review YET when they review it under the right circumstances go bananas over it as do potential customers who hear them in his showroom.

 

The point being without belaboring the point, you are talking about spending some decent bucks on a "component" that is easy to ship, so demo those you narrow it down to.

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I went to 2015 Axpona to investigate and purchase a DAC and music server. At the time I listened to all of them that were there and at the end it came down to the Bricasti M1 and Lampizator Golden Gate. To me sonically they were very close although the Lampizator was like 8K more expensive however the final decision came down to the company and personalities. I just saw Bricasti as a more solid choice and being US made was an added bonus.

 

I was also impressed with how they keep updating their unit not just with software but as in the case of the SE update several internal components. The SE version is quite a step up from what I originally heard and I'm positive that more will be coming. I'm very pleased sonically. Since I saved some money on the DAC 1 could now afford at the time the new N10 Aurender. Also as you can see I kind of personalized it with all black and polished buttons and feet. Concerning the feet they have very cleverly incorporated Stillpoints within each foot. This should not be over looked for those that use some type of isolation I don't know of any other DAC that comes that way. Depending on what you get that could easily add 1K to the cost of most any other DAC.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]30189[/ATTACH]

 

I've been having a hard time locating a dealer that would allow me to audition it at home. That would be ideal!

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I've considered DCS, but I was concerned I was buying old technology. How are they in terms of updates? Do they release updates to same dac or just create new models?

 

I would not be concerned about the latest FOTM options of a DAC. Some older DACs can still sound great. Only drawback is they often do not support hires.

 

For DACs under 10 K I would consider the Schiit Yggy and the Meitner ma-1 or a Lampizator PCM only DAC.

 

Or even sell your amp and buy a Aavik U300, a great amp with a very good DAC.


[br]

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Or even sell your amp and buy a Aavik U300, a great amp with a very good DAC.

 

funny you say that. i almost purchased that amp because it pairs so well with my speakers. but at the end of the day, it was too expensive. i am still not sure i like the combo idea.

 

 

Do you have any experience with EMM Labs DA2 DAC? I might be able to get a good deal on it...

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funny you say that. i almost purchased that amp because it pairs so well with my speakers. but at the end of the day, it was too expensive. i am still not sure i like the combo idea.

 

 

Do you have any experience with EMM Labs DA2 DAC? I might be able to get a good deal on it...

 

I do not have anywhere near the budget you have. However my dealer does sell Meitner, EMM labs, Aavid, Ansuz, Rhaido etc If I remember correctly he also became a Vitus dealer.

 

I have heard the Meitner and EMM labs DACs at his shop on a few occasions. The EMM labs transport and DAC vs the full dCS Vivaldi stack. I personaly preferred the EMM labs. However at this stage it is a matter of taste. The Vivaldi sounded more digital. With the EMM labs there was just music. I stopped trying to analyse what I was hearing and just listened. It was harder for me to lose myself in the music with the Vivaldi.

 

While Meitner or EMM labs might not be FOTM I do think they are excellent DACs. They let you hear lost of details without losing musicality. That is why I like them.

 

The Raidho XT3 is among the very best of speakers I have ever heard.


[br]

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My only caution with your advice and NOT a criticism, since we are all in the same boat, is the best audition (if possible) is in your system. These days, many DACS, since they are not huge speakers, for a small fee (usually reimbursable) can be tried in the home. At shows, there are so many variables it is hard to discern what is really going on. Shows are great to see all the new gadgets, etc but to judge the sound or the actual component of interest is kind of a crap shoot. Fantastic stuff can sound awful. There is a speaker manufacturer I know of who truly makes a world class speaker but just can't get it sounding right at any show as it is a pretty complex setup, usually shares a room with other manufacturers that may or may not work with his speaker and invariably reviewers give "his room" a mediocre review YET when they review it under the right circumstances go bananas over it as do potential customers who hear them in his showroom.

 

The point being without belaboring the point, you are talking about spending some decent bucks on a "component" that is easy to ship, so demo those you narrow it down to.

 

That's all true. You need to listen to a dac like this in your own system. At this level, its just too easy to make a mistake. Its not worth the risk. I didn't leave my personal thoughts on the dac's I listed just for that reason. It really doesn't matter what I think unless the dac is for me.

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I've been having a hard time locating a dealer that would allow me to audition it at home. That would be ideal!

 

Try The Analog Shop in upstate NY. I can't say for sure, but if you're serious, they may be willing to send you a demo dac.

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I've considered DCS, but I was concerned I was buying old technology. How are they in terms of updates? Do they release updates to same dac or just create new models?

 

dCS did discontinue their Professional line of DACs for recording in PCM and DSD after EMM Labs/Ed Meitner passed them in that market. But they still make home audio DACs. So I think you are safe there.

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dCS did discontinue their Professional line of DACs for recording in PCM and DSD after EMM Labs/Ed Meitner passed them in that market. But they still make home audio DACs. So I think you are safe there.

 

Push your budget a little and try Chord Dave DAC. It is a very transparent DAC belong to FPGA design class.

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