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Sound quality of Bryston bdp vs various CAPS servers


mbain
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Can anyone offer their thoughts re. The sound quality of the Bryston bdp units as compared to the various CAPS servers with and without the micro rendu?

 

My opinion FWIW: I owned a BDP2 for about 18 months. It sounds good; it's a convenient package with great ongoing support. But I sold mine when I realised that, to me at least, it didn't really sound any better than my off the shelf fanless PC with LPS. Of course, depending on where you live, which BDP you go for, and whether you buy new or s/h the Bryston doesn't necessarily have to cost any more than an off the shelf PC and LPSU. But here in the UK at least when new, the BDP2 is an expensive item at £3k plus that I just couldn't justify keeping over a fanless PC and LPSU combo that sounded just as good to me and came in at a third of the price.

 

Worth bearing in mind that when it boils down to it, the BDP 2 is a fanless PC, with built in LPSU and USB to SPDif converter, booting Linux and mpd from an SD card. Not that difficult to replicate yourself if you feel it's the right recipe and can be bothered to tinker. Big plus with a "CAPS" is that you are free to choose your replay software, rather than limited to MPD. That's important to me.

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My opinion FWIW: I owned a BDP2 for about 18 months. It sounds good; it's a convenient package with great ongoing support. But I sold mine when I realised that, to me at least, it didn't really sound any better than my off the shelf fanless PC with LPS. Of course, depending on where you live, which BDP you go for, and whether you buy new or s/h the Bryston doesn't necessarily have to cost any more than an off the shelf PC and LPSU. But here in the UK at least when new, the BDP2 is an expensive item at £3k plus that I just couldn't justify keeping over a fanless PC and LPSU combo that sounded just as good to me and came in at a third of the price.

 

Worth bearing in mind that when it boils down to it, the BDP 2 is a fanless PC, with built in LPSU and USB to SPDif converter, booting Linux and mpd from an SD card. Not that difficult to replicate yourself if you feel it's the right recipe and can be bothered to tinker. Big plus with a "CAPS" is that you are free to choose your replay software, rather than limited to MPD. That's important to me.

 

Thank you for the courtesy of your reply. So I guess it would be safe to conclude that since moving on from your bdp that you are now listening to a server/renderer combination that offers superior sound. Would you say that the sq improvement is largely due to the software you now employ for playback or from the hardware you are now using?

mbain

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Thank you for the courtesy of your reply. So I guess it would be safe to conclude that since moving on from your bdp that you are now listening to a server/renderer combination that offers superior sound. Would you say that the sq improvement is largely due to the software you now employ for playback or from the hardware you are now using?

 

What I gathered from his response is that it wasn't necessarily 3KBP better. :-) But I'm sure he'll respond in his own words. :-) I would just add that MPD is MPD and there's really nothing to improve on in that regard. It's a very neutral, versatile player. The big difference, to my ears, is providing a minimal Linux base for operation, free of Pulse Audio, desktop and other clutter. I use Snakeoil-OS on a $200 XYC mini-PC and it sounds excellent. I'd certainly like to compare it to a microRendu or other optimized gadget, but for myself I can't see paying a huge premium for hardware and software that basically do the same thing. But I haven't heard the Bryston so I am making assumptions. :-)

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Thank you for the courtesy of your reply. So I guess it would be safe to conclude that since moving on from your bdp that you are now listening to a server/renderer combination that offers superior sound. Would you say that the sq improvement is largely due to the software you now employ for playback or from the hardware you are now using?

 

I moved on from the BDP because I was getting, IMO, not necessarily better but certainly as good sound from a very modest fanless PC with a LPS and running Linux and JRiver. Now I tend to use Wtfplay or sometimes HQP or BHE and yes it's quite possible that I would judge SQ to be superior if I could A/B today and if so, that would be down to the software. I suspect the Bryston would be excellent if it ran Wtfplay.

 

IMO the Bryston is most relevant if 1. you don't have the time or inclination to build your own setup, 2. want the benefit of excellent support, ongoing development and a long guarantee, 3. Don't mind spending a bit more and 4. intend to connect to your DAC (especially if an expensive legacy model) via AES or SPDif

 

But if you 1. don't mind setting things up yourself, 2. want the best VFM, 3. want to choose your replay software and especially if you want your player to upsample or transcode and 4. intend to playback via USB, then the PC route makes more sense to me now.

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I moved on from the BDP because I was getting, IMO, not necessarily better but certainly as good sound from a very modest fanless PC with a LPS and running Linux and JRiver. Now I tend to use Wtfplay or sometimes HQP or BHE and yes it's quite possible that I would judge SQ to be superior if I could A/B today and if so, that would be down to the software. I suspect the Bryston would be excellent if it ran Wtfplay.

 

IMO the Bryston is most relevant if 1. you don't have the time or inclination to build your own setup, 2. want the benefit of excellent support, ongoing development and a long guarantee, 3. Don't mind spending a bit more and 4. intend to connect to your DAC (especially if an expensive legacy model) via AES or SPDif

 

But if you 1. don't mind setting things up yourself, 2. want the best VFM, 3. want to choose your replay software and especially if you want your player to upsample or transcode and 4. intend to playback via USB, then the PC route makes more sense to me now.

 

Did your BDP-2 have the original Juli board or the Bryston board, it makes a big difference.

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