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Bryston BDP-1


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HMM, $2100 for this puppy... Not far off a lynx card+ Amarra + basic computer, but in a really nice case. Then again, it is just running linux with MPD...

 

You can't run Amarra on a basic computer - closest equivilent would be MacMini ($600) + Amarra ($1000) + M2Tech HiFace ($130). I still don't think $2100 is a bad price though will become £2500 in the UK probably!

 

Eloise

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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as Bryston is using freeware (MPD, music player daemon) a shareware music player. All of the functions of a music player (gapless, memory, etc) are relying on this freeware, along with the GUI interface work (iphone). I'm not saying that Bryston may not have a great product here (the proof, mostly likely a result of the synergy among Linux, player and power supply choices, is in the listening) but I was surprised to find that a $2100 no-holes barred music player has outsourced their front end functions to shareware.

 

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Wow, this sounds like an amazing piece and will match my almost-all Bryston system (DAC, Amp, phone pre-amp, preamp, associated power supply, and some cables). My main worry is the following: will it have or allow for multiple USB inputs? My music is stored in FOUR 2TB hard drives, each defined by a style (jazz, classical, rock.pop, varia) = approximately 6TB of music. The idea of having to plug and unplug each HD in order to listen to my music doesn't sound appealing...

 

Walcascar[br]My system: Mac Mini > Exasound e22 (digital) > VPI Classic 3 (analog) > McIntosh C50 preamp & McIntosh MC302 amp > B&W Nautilus 802D (Cables: All Cardas)

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  • 1 year later...

The Absolute Sound review and Stereophile's review will come up as will several others. As I posted here on another thread it beat my Mac Mini pretty handily, but am hoping a Paul Hynes ps will bring my Mini to its level. If not I will own one, likely.

 

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It sounds sweet as maple syrup, but the remote control is - eh - primitive. I love the sound, but I don't love the way it operates. At the price point, they could have added a few hundred dollars more and done a really good remote control smartphone app for it.

 

-Paul

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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Its let down by software implementation.

 

The itunes crowd (that.s me included) will ask...just how do I use this thing easliy? They either want to stream their itunes library, or plug it in via an iphone/ipod.

 

Now if you could network this player easily as an smb share, and put your itunes library on it somehow...then maybe we have something here. Trouble is there is no wiki or forum (that I can find) available to tell if this is feasible or possible. And no dedicated company supported iphone or OSX app as you say....

 

Pity, as this 'play digital files at source' concept works really well for me with movies on my Dune's...

 

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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As they share the same design genetics.

 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: Ropieee (RPi3b+ with touchscreen) + Schiit Modi3E to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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companies generally do not have the resources to develop sophisticated software, this is why they generally rely on piggybacking on existing software products. Software development is a complex, expensive, resource consuming activity, and many specialty audio companies do not have the ability to do this in house, or the budget to outsource it.

As audio gear, and companies, evolve, this paradigm will change (and is changing), but it is expensive for these companies to hire full time software development engineers. Contrary to the sometimes popular belief, specialty audio companies are not usually flush with cash for starting up whole new development sectors in their business.

As Ted mentioned, mPad and mPod are likely good candidates for remote control...

 

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

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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control. Bryston has their own "company supported" apps (Max and Mini) which are only ok IMO, but....the Voyage MPD community has literally dozens of remote apps, with mpod (ipod) and mPad (ipad) being great, with cover art detection/retrieval and other metadata capabilities way better than the Apple Remote app. And basically free as well (mpad is $2.99). NAS is eventually needed, and the user base is pushing it hard.

 

And Bryston has its own forum that James Tanner moderates and posts to almost daily, with the BDP-1 having its own dedicated sub-forum.

 

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=57.0

 

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I have to say, being one of those " expensive software guys" Barrows was referring to, that mPod & company are useable, but just barely. And even then, slow, clumsy, and very probe to getting out of synch. They are perhaps, fun for a certain type of mindset, but far far below the normal quality standard for Bryston.

 

In short, compare them to remote.app, which is highly polished. Or the Squeezebox remote app, and there simply is no comparison.

 

Software develoPment is expensive and time consuming, just like designing a hunk of audio gear. Leaving it off is like forgetting to put in a power supply. The final product is compromised.

 

This is 2011, not 1977.

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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than remote app (gathers cover art for wav, for example, even if its out of its itunes safe haven). And it is light-years faster than remote app (which I love, don't get me wrong). iPeng is nice for Squeeze community, too, but mpod and mpad, for two, are clearly faster response in my setups (don't have BDP-1 borrow anymore but Alix is still here, and when BDP-1 was here the speed of browsing,etc was noteworthy). Something is wrong with your setup if mpod is slow. Not sure why you are giving such amazing low marks to an open-source approach that brings on many different remote apps. Anything less than that is 1997 IMO.

 

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Then I think you are a very lucky person. I am sitting here at this instant with a Mac application (MpcOSX-0.12) on the Mac, mPod on my phone, and mPad on an iPad. None of them agree with each other, showing different and incomplete album lists.

 

That is connecting to a MPD instance on Vortexbox right now. There are only 1800 albums on the instance. Not even the full library yet.

 

The Vortexbox load is running bare metal on a machine with 4 cores and 8 gigs, but I have tried it on a 12 core dual processor machine with 32gigs and SAN storage. (i.e. read that as >fast

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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with wav files, even if you don't add them manually i the itunes database?, and even automatically outside of the iTunes store availability? The you are a lucky man! Mine need to be added very very manually (unless I use something like coverartserver python app). Anyway, my point about cover art and metadata is that mpad (for example) adds cover art to anything I use, even wav files, and adds lyric links, band info links if needed, etc. Way beyond what Apple remote app can handle.

 

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"Software develoPment is expensive and time consuming, just like designing a hunk of audio gear. Leaving it off is like forgetting to put in a power supply. The final product is compromised.

 

This is 2011, not 1977."

 

This does not change the fact that most specialty audio companies do not have the talent in house to develop such software, and cannot afford to outsource it either. The BDP-1 is already around $2K, right? Would consumers be willing to pay $3K (or more) instead for it to come with a bespoke software package? I am just pointing out the reality of the situation. As mentioned, this will change with time.

I am curious about your difiiculties with Mpad, I used this a little at RMAF controlling one of the Sonore servers, and it seemed to work as well Squeezeserver on a MacBook?

 

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

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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Going back to the original concept....having listened to the bryston, playing digital files at source on hi grade equipment like the bryston is a beautiful thing! Basically what we have here is what Apple inc itself refuses to build and market. A hi end truely hifi ipod. Now marry the two together...BDP-1 electronics with say an SSD of suitable capacity, and an apple type touch and scroll interface....and something you could just plug in and sync with itunes (like an ipod) and you have in my opinion the holy grail of computer audiophile equipment

 

New simplified setup: STEREO- Primary listening Area: Cullen Circuits Mod ZP90> Benchmark DAC1>RotelRKB250 Power amp>KEF Q Series. Secondary listening areas: 1/ QNAP 119P II(running MinimServer)>UPnP>Linn Majik DSI>Linn Majik 140's. 2/ (Source awaiting)>Invicta DAC>RotelRKB2100 Power amp>Rega's. Tertiary multiroom areas: Same QNAP>SMB>Sonos>Various. MULTICHANNEL- MacMini>A+(Standalone mode)>Exasound e28 >5.1 analog out>Yamaha Avantage Receiver>Pre-outs>Linn Chakra power amps>Linn Katan front and sides. Linn Trikan Centre. Velodyne SPL1000 Ultra

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Title: Paul, are you claiming that iTunes artwork is delivered to you...

 

Yep, even with WAV files, as long as you got the album art and stashed in the iTunes database when you ripped the files. (And nope, that isn't easy.)

 

On the other hand, it is also rather trivial to convert WAV files to AIFF files, which can embed the artwork and other metadata.

 

I;m not saying mPod can't do a lot of things that Apple's remote. app cannot do, but, I am saying what Apple's app does it does in a very polished and easy to understand way, which essentially gets out of the consumer's attention and plays the music.

 

mPod etc. seem to require a lot of care and feeding. I'll allow as how I might the only person in the world those applications fight with, but fight they do. And I HATE having to do computer things every time I want to listen to music. :)

 

-Paul

 

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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The BDP-1 is already around $2K, right? Would consumers be willing to pay $3K (or more) instead for it to come with a bespoke software package?

 

Oh yes, I believe they would. The jump from $2200 to $3000 is not all that much, not when the difference is between one product with rough edges and quirks to how it operates and the other product with diamond smooth operations.

 

Mostly with me, mPod will first force me to reconnect to the server, then it spends 90 to 300 seconds synching up, and then it presents me with a confusing interface to play the music, one with four rows of controls! Four rows is three rows too many with a touch interface. :)

 

Then, if my wife brings it up on her phone or iPad, the two instances never agree with each other. One may have 1987 albums and the other 2003. And worse, it changes, even when no changes have been made in the database.

 

That's enough to drive me crazy. The Squeebox.app, as well as Apple's remote.app are not as capable, but they work consistently and have much better designed interfaces.

 

I am perhaps, about as critical of user interfaces as it is possible to be. They easily make or break how well something will be received and sell. From the reviews I have read, and the people I have met you are using the Bryston, and from limited time playing with it myself, I definitely get the impression that it is targeted towards the naive computer user.

 

Think for a minute, if it were an Apple product. The hardware might be exactly the same (though I bet it would be a bit snazzier :) but the remote control app would be far far far more polished and usable. Even if it can from Microsoft, that would be true.

 

-Paul

 

Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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"as long as iTunes has the album art stashed, etc."

 

well, yeah!! Reminds me of the joke, how do you make a million dollars. First, get a million dollars.

 

Looks like you and mpod/mpad don't get long. Too bad. It's perfect when I use a Linux server (BPD-1, Alix, etc).

 

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With respect... If Naim and Linn can manage it there is no reason why Bryson couldn't manage to write a control app if they chose...

 

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Oh yes, I believe they would. The jump from $2200 to $3000 is not all that much, not when the difference is between one product with rough edges and quirks to how it operates and the other product with diamond smooth operations.

 

It largely depends how the whole thing is bundled. If you ask $1000 for the remote control application in app store, "nobody" would buy it. If you embed the price in price of a hardware, then there's not that much problem.

 

People complain about ~$100 for a small sales volume software. Significantly higher figures certainly would be prohibitive.

 

For some reason (that I personally fail to understand) there seems to be big difference how much hardware can cost vs how much software can cost. R&D cost is assumed to somehow vanish.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On a somewhat cheaper level, I have similar issues with the use of mPad with the Auraliti box ( which was the original basis for the BDP , as I recall...) It has some good features but some omissions compared to good ole iTunes, and it does take some time and sometimes several attempts to reload the local cache when I reconnect the hard drive. Importantly for both Bryston and Auraliti, the users perception of their product is affected by the nature of the control software. Many iPad apps are offered free, how hard is it to get a custom app designed? Eloise ( as always ) makes a good point but my distant recollection is that Naim has a great custom interface app, but Linn uses various proprietary ones. Audio companies take responsibility for the design of the enclosure these days, surely the user interface is even more important and especially for computer audio.......

 

Roon NUC I3 w 2500 albums, microRendu to Liberty DAC, Pass DIY Amp class amp, Klipsch RP600 or to Schiit Freya + Gumby MB, Sanders ESL amps and speakers, Mjolnir KGST and Stax L700

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