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Briscati M12 | PS Audio Direct Stream | Mola Mola Makua


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Digital gurus,

 has anyone had the opportunity to hear these 3 DAC/preamps. I am considering one of these units to server as my volume control if I decide not to go with a analog preamp (Luxman c900u).

the back end of the system so far will be Kef Blade 2 + Luxman m900u + some preamp ??? + some DAC.

All 3 of the DACs are ROON compatible. The M12 has a ROON update forth coming..

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While the Bricasti and Mola Mola are both designed to directly drive suitably matched power amps, the PS Audio DS is also able to do so but Paul McGowan himself has found that it clearly sounds its best when used with an active preamp. So if you're trying to save on the additional cost of the Luxman C-900u preamp I'd only consider one of the other two options and definitely try them in your system before making either commitment.

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45 minutes ago, audio.bill said:

While the Bricasti and Mola Mola are both designed to directly drive suitably matched power amps, the PS Audio DS is also able to do so but Paul McGowan himself has found that it clearly sounds its best when used with an active preamp. So if you're trying to save on the additional cost of the Luxman C-900u preamp I'd only consider one of the other two options and definitely try them in your system before making either commitment.

There was a video from ps audio raving about how good the preamp section was in the dsd. When I went to audition everytime it was clear that an active preamp sounded much better, even relatively inexpensive ones. 

Now that ps audio have an active preamp they seem to have changed their tune. 

Peach Audio Iso Transformer, Linn Akurate DSM, McIntosh MA2275 

Paradigm 30th Anniversary Tributes, SVS SB13 Ultra x2, Dynaudio BM5A MKII

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If you like the Resonessence, my advice would be to AB these DACs against the new Mirus Pro Signature before making your decision.  I have settled on the latter as my long termer.  I don't know about ongoing future-proofing, but Resonessence do offer a current upgrade programme from Mirus>Pro>Signature for example.

 

If you have a 5 figure budget, I also think it would be very unwise to buy a new DAC without having heard Chord DAVE first.

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I'd go with the Mola Mola Makua. It should be the... Enterprise starship.. :D

Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ Dragon High Current < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < Innuos Phoenix USB w AQ Dragon Source < Aurender N100H & AQ Dragon Source < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Gryphon PowerZone w AQ NRG-Wild < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Orange Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

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On 12/28/2017 at 11:21 AM, johndoe21ro said:

I'd go with the Mola Mola Makua. It should be the... Enterprise starship.. :D

 

I concur.  Either the Bricasti or Mola Mola will be a step ahead of PS Audio.  

 

Mola Mola is highly advanced stuff, and I understand the Makua with DAC is as good as anything out there at any price.  Built like a tank too.

 

I've strongly considered the Makua, though my hangup is the lack of volume level display.  This is not something I want to do without.

 

Bricsasti also makes super gear and offers superior customer service.  Depending on your preferences, the M1 could be a bit dull sounding.

 

BTW johndoe21ro, how do you like those Everest speaker cables I see in your signature?  I'd sure like to try some. 

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12 hours ago, tdimler said:

 

I concur.  Either the Bricasti or Mola Mola will be a step ahead of PS Audio.  

 

Mola Mola is highly advanced stuff, and I understand the Makua with DAC is as good as anything out there at any price.  Built like a tank too.

 

I've strongly considered the Makua, though my hangup is the lack of volume level display.  This is not something I want to do without.

 

Bricsasti also makes super gear and offers superior customer service.  Depending on your preferences, the M1 could be a bit dull sounding.

 

BTW johndoe21ro, how do you like those Everest speaker cables I see in your signature?  I'd sure like to try some. 

 

Well they are in my system to stay. I'll surely die with them.. Music has a lot of body, tonal richness, spacial cues, texture and the extension on bass and highs is just phenomenal. They are incredibly immersive and transparent. It's by far the most important audio gear I own!

Triangle Magellan Concerto 2 < AQ Everest < Vitus Audio SS-010 Mk2 < AQ Dragon High Current < AQ WEL XLR < Chord Qutest DAC w UpTone JS-2 & AQ Dragon Source < AQ Diamond USB < Innuos Phoenix USB w AQ Dragon Source < Aurender N100H & AQ Dragon Source < NetGear GS105GE Switch w UpTone LPS1.2 < Supra CAT8 Ethernet < Gryphon PowerZone w AQ NRG-Wild < Stillpoints UltraSS, Ansuz Darkz D-TC & D2, Omicron Harmonic Stabilizer, Gold Evolution SE & Classic < Furutech FT-SWS (R) < Synergistic Research Orange Quantum Fuse < Solid Tech Hybrid < GigaWatt G-16A 2P Circuit Breaker

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 01/01/2018 at 11:51 PM, tdimler said:

 

I concur.  Either the Bricasti or Mola Mola will be a step ahead of PS Audio.  

 

Mola Mola is highly advanced stuff, and I understand the Makua with DAC is as good as anything out there at any price.  Built like a tank too.

 

I've strongly considered the Makua, though my hangup is the lack of volume level display.  This is not something I want to do without.

 

Bricsasti also makes super gear and offers superior customer service.  Depending on your preferences, the M1 could be a bit dull sounding.

 

BTW johndoe21ro, how do you like those Everest speaker cables I see in your signature?  I'd sure like to try some. 

 

Mola Mola app using a phone or pad displays volume level.

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The Mola Mola DAC (either in the Makua, or the new stand alone Tambaqui) is at least the equal of, if not better than, any other DAC I have ever heard.  This includes the dCS Vivaldi stack, Chord DAVE, etc, and on another level form the PS Audio.  I have not heard Bricasti in the M12 guise.

If I was facing this choice I would go Mola Mola without question, at this price though, any reasonable dealer is going to have to allow for an in home demo.  I would never advise spending that kind of money without an i home trial.  I would not be afraid of going DAC direct, just try it at home.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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39 minutes ago, barrows said:

The Mola Mola DAC (either in the Makua, or the new stand alone Tambaqui) is at least the equal of, if not better than, any other DAC I have ever heard.  This includes the dCS Vivaldi stack, Chord DAVE, etc, and on another level form the PS Audio.  I have not heard Bricasti in the M12 guise.

If I was facing this choice I would go Mola Mola without question, at this price though, any reasonable dealer is going to have to allow for an in home demo.  I would never advise spending that kind of money without an i home trial.  I would not be afraid of going DAC direct, just try it at home.

 

I think that is what I will be doing.  I am now inclined to get the Luxman preamp and the new Tambaqui DAC. 

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Have not heard these ultra high end DACs, but a thought:

 

Try a Brooklyn DAC+ in your rig, designed to power amps, has a line level input and phono preamp.  With a LPS, I'm using a Keces $350 one, direct into a McCormack DNA-500 and it offers beautiful, emotion filled-sound with a level of clarity, detail and dynamics that are steps ahead of the original Mytek.  The DAC+ features upgraded clocks, DAC chip, analog preamp...and other stuff that result in increase in detail and reduction in grain/edge that original revealed on lesser recordings and it has not lost the dynamics and swing of its predecessor.  HQ Player at DSD128 (limited in my case because of Mac server) converts your collection to hi def and DAC+ loves it.

 

With pace of change in DAC technology, spending 5 figures for product that will potentially be state-of-the-art for 2 or 3 years is an expensive proposition.  You might be surprised with what you hear.

Tone with Soul

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On 2017-12-27 at 1:11 AM, Norton said:

If you like the Resonessence, my advice would be to AB these DACs against the new Mirus Pro Signature before making your decision.  I have settled on the latter as my long termer.

 

Are you moving forward with the upgrade?

Roon Rock->Auralic Aria G2->Schiit Yggdrasil A2->McIntosh C47->McIntosh MC301 Monos->Wilson Audio Sabrinas

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9 hours ago, Em2016 said:

 

By going direct, you mean direct to power amp/s? Skipping a pre?

 

Yes.  Only a demo in your own system will tell you the truth.  If you do not need a separate pre, you should always attempt to go DAC direct first, as this will be the highest resolution option.  It does not work "best" for every DAC/amp combination, but it will work "best" for a lot of them.

A preamp is just an additional source of noise and distortion, which are cumulative.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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"A preamp is just an additional source of noise and distortion, which are cumulative."

 

Do you feel the same way about preamps that have built in DAC's such as the Makua, Briscati M12, etc.. In you opinion would the Tambaqui or M1 DAC (in theory) be better than using the analog Makua or Briscati M12 variants of such models?

 

The preamps do have some features that I may need such as loudness and tone controls. Though that can be excluded in this question which relates to the additional noise and distortion.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, Dr Tone said:

 

Are you moving forward with the upgrade?

I am getting my finances in order and will be shopping around this year. I plan to take it slow. First thing I want to do is go to the LA Audio show in June to see everything under one roof. Then start auditioning to buy something. I also need to wait until the Mola Mola Tamaqui is released (around May 2018?). I also want to hear the latest Resonessence units.

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Did not know that anyone making preamps for ultra high end audio featured tone controls or loudness switches?  

 

Folks looking to fine tune systems for room issues I know have DSP based "room correction" systems, way too much hassle for me.

 

Seems like getting an ultimate resolution DAC to then introduce layers of electronics/EQ circuits would be a step backwards.

 

All DACs have line stage outs, the ones with strong output stages and quality attenuation make preamps useless except for switching between sources, like to vinyl - gotta love the die hard spinners of black discs!  Sold my 2 box 8 tube preamp 10+ years ago.  The Wadia 861i I used then sounded best straight into the amps...laugh when I recall an audio salesman pitching the value of a $20K volume control in form of an Ayre preamp...pretty piece of gear, expensive jewelry quality unit for a volume attenuator and source switch, which I had no need for.

 

 

Tone with Soul

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51 minutes ago, yyz said:

"A preamp is just an additional source of noise and distortion, which are cumulative."

 

Do you feel the same way about preamps that have built in DAC's such as the Makua, Briscati M12, etc.. In you opinion would the Tambaqui or M1 DAC (in theory) be better than using the analog Makua or Briscati M12 variants of such models?

 

The preamps do have some features that I may need such as loudness and tone controls. Though that can be excluded in this question which relates to the additional noise and distortion.

 

 

Makua uses a high quality analog volume control which should give it an edge over Tambaqui, costs about £2k more but has line and phono inputs if you need. Phono stage is an optional extra.

 

As with all digital, power cables are critical.

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If I had this kind of budget, and I did not need a preamp for use with additional sources, I would get the Mola Mola Tambaqui and go direct to amp(s).  The idea that one "needs" a preamp is in error in most cases.  There is one theory, which makes some sense, that a preamp may act as a filter to remove RFI from the signal coming from the DAC, before it gets to the amp(s): in some cases this could be true, but most should have adequate RFI filtering at their outputs, (and many amps will have similar filtering on their inputs), so in most cases this should not be a problem.

One needs to test DAC direct in their system, to know if it will work best, or not.  I would never add a preamp, to change color or tonality, as this is just adding a coloration which is not in the music itself: if one finds the "need" to do that, there is a problem elsewhere in their system they should fix.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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7 minutes ago, toetapaudio said:

Makua uses a high quality analog volume control which should give it an edge over Tambaqui, costs about £2k more but has line and phono inputs if you need. Phono stage is an optional extra.

 

As with all digital, power cables are critical.

No, there is no advantage to an analog volume control over a properly designed digital one, this is a MYTH!  Do not believe it.  In fact, most digital volume controls will be more transparent than an analog one.

If one needs a preamp for analog sources, vinyl, etc, that is one thing, but to add a preamp because it has an analog volume control is just adding more distortion and noise to the signal chain.

SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Orange Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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12 hours ago, barrows said:

The Mola Mola DAC (either in the Makua, or the new stand alone Tambaqui) is at least the equal of, if not better than, any other DAC I have ever heard.  This includes the dCS Vivaldi stack, Chord DAVE, etc, and on another level form the PS Audio.  I have not heard Bricasti in the M12 guise.

 

Hi barrows,

 

what do you think is the outcome of a comparison Mola Mola DAC vs. Linn Klimax Katalyst.?

Thanks

 

Matt

"I want to know why the musicians are on stage, not where". (John Farlowe)

 

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