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Bricasti M1 SE & other DACs under 10k worth auditioning

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I have the Bricasti SE. Beware of other folks comparisons to the bricasti as it will depend what version and upgrades. SE is the latest with all the updates.

I put it in my dealers rig and compared it to a Rossini - fairly similar in sound with a bit more space created by the DCS. Sure the DCS sounded better, but it was close in sound (not in budget) and we both liked the sound of the bricasti. I'm sticking with mine ....

I also auditioned a Berkeley Alpha reference dac, but that was more dry and not a match to my system.

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I agree with the aurender recommendation. I have the 100h. It sounds a lot better than my tweaked Mac mini ... the mac had collected dust since.

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If you can find a deal on them check out the EMM Labs DA2 DAC and the Nagra Classic. Different take from each but both excellent.

 

For a under your budget check out the new Playback Designs Merlot. He builds great sounding DAC's.

 

But if you could swing it the BEST would be a combo. The T+A DAC 8 DSD and the Sound Galleries SGM 2015 up-sampling all rates to DSD512 using HQPlayer.

Just saying.


Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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For a under your budget check out the new Playback Designs Merlot. He builds great sounding DAC's.

Yes, the Playback Designs Merlot is an excellent Stereo DSD 256 DAC.

Easily one of the best DACs on the market - at its price - and above. :)

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Yes, the Playback Designs Merlot is an excellent Stereo DSD 256 DAC.

Easily one of the best DACs on the market - at its price - and above. :)

 

But I heard the PCM didnt sound good (though DSD was excellent). See AcousticGuru's shootout post over at WBF.

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If you can find a deal on them check out the EMM Labs DA2 DAC and the Nagra Classic. Different take from each but both excellent.

 

For a under your budget check out the new Playback Designs Merlot. He builds great sounding DAC's.

 

But if you could swing it the BEST would be a combo. The T+A DAC 8 DSD and the Sound Galleries SGM 2015 up-sampling all rates to DSD512 using HQPlayer.

Just saying.

 

The OP set a budget of $10K. SGM server is $20K by itself.

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But I heard the PCM didnt sound good (though DSD was excellent). See AcousticGuru's shootout post over at WBF.

The folks I've heard from who have a Merlot tell me the PCM playback on it is excellent.

As always, YMMV (your mileage may vary).

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The OP set a budget of $10K. SGM server is $20K by itself.

 

Ah, no, the SGM is $16,000. But I also said IF he could SWING it.


Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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Ah, no, the SGM is $16,000. But I also said IF he could SWING it.

To be fair, the US price is before taxes, the euro price is after taxes so wisnon's number is indeed more accurate.

I agree however that SGM + T+A is pretty close to audio nirvana and still very good value overall, considering what's all included in the SGM package.


Consultant to Taiko Audio

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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 are one of the few companies that care for existing customers. They release updates for models many years old

 

Sent from my HUAWEI MT7-TL10 using Computer Audiophile mobile app


Peach Audio Iso Transformer, Linn Akurate DSM, McIntosh MA2275 

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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

If you don't need DSD, you may be able to snag this for a ROUND $10K: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f20-buy-and-sell-audio-and-computer-components/berkeley-reference-digital-analogue-converter-near-new-30203/

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You should give the Mytek Manhattan a look. They are about to ship the Manhattan II with a number of upgrades including a better USB implementation, MQA capability, and a better analog attenuator. I have a Manhattan I in my system and have been very happy with it.....neutral and detailed. It has both digital and analog volume control and serves as an excellent pre-amp. Additionally the cosmetics are spectacular IMO.

 

I can also heartily recommend the Bricasti M1. I've had one briefly on loan in my system and it is a fine piece. Very smooth. Although it lacks analog volume control, the way the digital attenuator is implemented it is a great pre. Even with the newer M12 having an analog pre, I believe the designer Brian Zolner still prefers the digital attenuation of the M1 in most cases. Furthermore, he is a super nice guy and you will get top notch customer service.

 

I haven't had the chance to try a Lampizator, but they seem to be universally praised. I'd love to give the Atlantic a try. It depends on what value you place on aesthetics, but I think the Lampizators are extremely plain given their price point.

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I'm surprised the Ayre QX-5 is not getting much mention in this thread. That would certainly make my short list in this price range.


Roon ROCK (Roon 1.7; NUC7i3) > Ayre QB-9 Twenty > Ayre AX-5 Twenty > Thiel CS2.4SE (crossovers rebuilt with Clarity CSA and Multicap RTX caps, Mills MRA-12 resistors; ERSE and Jantzen coils; Cardas binding posts and hookup wire); Cardas and OEM power cables, interconnects, and speaker cables

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I own an Aqua LaScala, and feel it is worthy of consideration.

 

If I were to make a change, I would be looking primarily at a Bricasti M1. I would also consider an MSB Analog DAC, if I if didn't care about balanced operation.

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I own an Aqua LaScala, and feel it is worthy of consideration.

 

If I were to make a change, I would be looking primarily at a Bricasti M1. I would also consider an MSB Analog DAC, if I if didn't care about balanced operation.

Kimo - You may want to consider the new Optologic upgrade to the Aqua LaScala DAC, it's supposed to be a significant improvement.

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A quick update. I am currently auditioning the Bricasti m1 SE at home. I have about 20hrs so far and... I was expecting (and was told) that i would hear the difference between the Vega and Bricasti right away. So far, to my ears, they sound very similar. Perhaps I need to put more hours on it before i arrive at any conclusions. However, I've been thinking is it possible that the synergy of Aries and Vega allowed the Vega to keep pace with Bricasti thus far (to my ears)? And if so, an equally interesting question would be... is it possible that the Bricasti is simply emphasizing the Aries' shortcoming and therefore the overall composition is marginally better?

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A quick update. I am currently auditioning the Bricasti m1 SE at home. I have about 20hrs so far and... I was expecting (and was told) that i would hear the difference between the Vega and Bricasti right away. So far, to my ears, they sound very similar. Perhaps I need to put more hours on it before i arrive at any conclusions. However, I've been thinking is it possible that the synergy of Aries and Vega allowed the Vega to keep pace with Bricasti thus far (to my ears)? And if so, an equally interesting question would be... is it possible that the Bricasti is simply emphasizing the Aries' shortcoming and therefore the overall composition is marginally better?

Don't undersell you ability to believe what you are hearing.......I'd say it is possible (probable) there just isn't a big difference in the sonics of the Auralic vs. Bricasti. Both fine products that are universally praised. When I auditioned the M1, it was after using a Parasound Zdac......that is $500 retail vs $10,000 retail. The Bricasti sounded wonderful and was very refined, but the differences against the Parasound were small and subtle. I'd say if you still like the Auralic.....keep it.......save your coins and be happy. Not many people want to admit that they don't hear the "right away" differences which some self proclaimed audio savants go on about, but IMO a rational person has to realize it gets down to splitting hairs.

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A quick update. I am currently auditioning the Bricasti m1 SE at home. I have about 20hrs so far and... I was expecting (and was told) that i would hear the difference between the Vega and Bricasti right away. So far, to my ears, they sound very similar. Perhaps I need to put more hours on it before i arrive at any conclusions. However, I've been thinking is it possible that the synergy of Aries and Vega allowed the Vega to keep pace with Bricasti thus far (to my ears)? And if so, an equally interesting question would be... is it possible that the Bricasti is simply emphasizing the Aries' shortcoming and therefore the overall composition is marginally better?

 

Are you saying the Bricasti is "new"? Or just that it is "new" in your system?

 

IMHO and IME it will take way more then just 20 hours for the Bricasti to come into its own if it is brand new or has just a few hours on it.

 

Some will take around 50 hours but many others can take 100, 200 and even 300 hours to reach their best.

I am not saying that you must give it the full amount of hours. But I would give it at least 100 hours.

 

If it is a demo from a dealer and has MANY hours on it it most likely would need around 30-50+/- hours just to settle in your system. So then you might have been just short of what you would need.

 

Of course once you get to that many hours it does not mean you will like it any better. As many say YMMV and we all have different tastes.


Ambassador for Sound Galleries Monaco and Taiko Audio The Netherlands 

Sound Test USA

[email protected]

 

Sound Galleries SGM 2015 Music Server>ROON-all rates up-sampled to DSD512 by HQ Player>Sablon Reserva 2017 USB>T+A DAC 8 DSD>Merrill Audio Veritas Ncore NC1200 Mono Amps>B&W 802D>High Fidelity Cables Interconnect, Speaker & Power Cords for Amps & SGM & T+A>Power Conditioning High Fidelity MC-6 Hemisphere>T+A & Hemisphere supported by Stillpoints Ultra Mini - B&W 802D & Veritas supported by Stillpoints Ultra SS>All sitting on IKEA Aptitlig bamboo butcher blocks - Taiko Audio Setchi active grounding on SGM & T+A

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Another comment I would make beyond a longer break-in period is what connection are you using. I preferred the XLR over the USB. If your setup can handle that I would also give that a try.


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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Kimo - You may want to consider the new Optologic upgrade to the Aqua LaScala DAC, it's supposed to be a significant improvement.

 

I am on the list, but it may take a bit of time. Of course, I really won't be able to compare the old and new sound, but I will post my impressions of the upgraded DAC here once I receive it back.

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Another comment I would make beyond a longer break-in period is what connection are you using. I preferred the XLR over the USB. If your setup can handle that I would also give that a try.

 

Thanks. Ive considered XLR, however, my DSD collection wouldn't get any playtime.

 

Ive added another 20hrs to the DAC. Starting to show signs of pulling away on all accounts.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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Are you saying the Bricasti is "new"? Or just that it is "new" in your system?

 

IMHO and IME it will take way more then just 20 hours for the Bricasti to come into its own if it is brand new or has just a few hours on it.

 

Some will take around 50 hours but many others can take 100, 200 and even 300 hours to reach their best.

I am not saying that you must give it the full amount of hours. But I would give it at least 100 hours.

 

If it is a demo from a dealer and has MANY hours on it it most likely would need around 30-50+/- hours just to settle in your system. So then you might have been just short of what you would need.

 

Of course once you get to that many hours it does not mean you will like it any better. As many say YMMV and we all have different tastes.

 

Brand new! I suspect you are correct. Its starting to open up

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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Don't undersell you ability to believe what you are hearing.......I'd say it is possible (probable) there just isn't a big difference in the sonics of the Auralic vs. Bricasti. Both fine products that are universally praised. When I auditioned the M1, it was after using a Parasound Zdac......that is $500 retail vs $10,000 retail. The Bricasti sounded wonderful and was very refined, but the differences against the Parasound were small and subtle. I'd say if you still like the Auralic.....keep it.......save your coins and be happy. Not many people want to admit that they don't hear the "right away" differences which some self proclaimed audio savants go on about, but IMO a rational person has to realize it gets down to splitting hairs.

 

Perhaps you are right. I will say, the more I've been letting it run, the more it's becoming apparent how different they are.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Computer Audiophile

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