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Bricasti Model 3 DAC


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@jglacken, Brian expressed to me how much improvement eliminating all USB from the chain and using Ethernet direct into the network/streaming card would bring. The network card sends I2S with a short path to the DAC so USB communication is never used. Terry gave the M3 a great review using the AES SPDIF connection, which may not be as good as the Ethernet into Network/streaming card. I haven't made the comparison you are asking about so I can't be sure, but Bricasti has worked long and hard to improve their entire line of DACs by upgrading the timing accuracy and felt so strongly they made it a retrofittable upgrade so I bet the MDx is the best choice. Why not give Bricasti a call and discuss your situation with them?

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52 minutes ago, KLH007 said:

Brian expressed to me how much improvement eliminating all USB from the chain and using Ethernet direct into the network/streaming card would bring. The network card sends I2S with a short path to the DAC so USB communication is never used. 

 

Do you know what Brian uses as server with the Ethernet input Bricasti and would you say that the ethernet input is better than USB even with the MDx board?

Thanks

 

Matt

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

 

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15 minutes ago, matthias said:

Do you know what Brian uses as server with the Ethernet input Bricasti and would you say that the ethernet input is better than USB even with the MDx board?

Thanks

 

Matt

The comparison between the the USB and ethernet inputs would depend on the sources of each as well.  For example, The VP of Sonore prefers the USB input of his M21 to the Ethernet input when his USB source is the Sonore Signature Rendu SEoptical.  He actually got a further improvement by removing the Ethernet input board entirely.

Of course, if one just plugs in an ordinary laptop or something to the uSB input, one is then very likely to prefer the Bricasti's Ethernet input.

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                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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40 minutes ago, barrows said:

For example, The VP of Sonore prefers the USB input of his M21 to the Ethernet input when his USB source is the Sonore Signature Rendu SEoptical.  

 

I suppose he has the MDx board?

 

Matt

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

 

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5 minutes ago, matthias said:

 

I suppose he has the MDx board?

 

Matt

Yes

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On 6/16/2020 at 3:31 PM, sfseay said:

"The MDx processor is our latest enhancement to the product line, this upgrade will provide for DSD256 with USB, and overall improvement over the previous revisions of the processors used in our products for digital timing.  The MDx processor is used in all new production so upgrading to it will bring the product up to current production spec.  In particular with the MDx there is a noted improvement when using the network interface over the previous type processors, this change is for better sync to the incoming master clock. 

This quote from Bricasti was what I referred to in talking about the network interface, the MDx brought a big improvement to the Ethernet connection as well as all other inputs. I was led to believe Brian uses a computer as a source connected to his DACs via Ethernet and is located remotely. In my system, computer/Windows/Foobar 2000, the Ethernet is better than USB.

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14 hours ago, matthias said:

 

Please share your impressions.

I am very curious how the Bricasti with MDx compares to your Rockna Wavelight. 🙂

 

Matt

 

I'm liking the M1SE a bit more than the Wavelight in my system.

 

Ethernet connection sounds best to me and is also simplest. USB opens up a can of worms w/ decrapifiers and whatnot, I just avoid USB all together whenever possible. 

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46 minutes ago, mrkoven said:

I'm liking the M1SE a bit more than the Wavelight in my system.

 

.......and probably even more so after the MDx upgrade.

 

However the Rockna is about half the price of the M1SE and the SE certainly also better than the M3.

 

So looking forward to a comparison after the upgrade? 🙂

 

Thanks

 

Matt

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

 

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23 hours ago, matthias said:

 

.......and probably even more so after the MDx upgrade.

 

However the Rockna is about half the price of the M1SE and the SE certainly also better than the M3.

 

So looking forward to a comparison after the upgrade? 🙂

 

Thanks

 

Matt

 

True, to be fair the Wavelight is still awaiting it's first major firmware update as well. It's a really great DAC for the price. Better than Terminator to me.

 

Are you using Bricasti or what is your current system?

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2 minutes ago, mrkoven said:

Are you using Bricasti or what is your current system?

 

Looking for a new DAC. On the shortlist are M3, Wavelight and Yggdrasil.

Curious about the not yet ready Hybrid-Mode from Rockna.

It is nearly impossible to get comparisons, so your Input is appreciated.

Thanks

 

Matt

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

 

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21 hours ago, matthias said:

On the shortlist are M3, Wavelight and Yggdrasil.

 

Sorry for being OT regarding M3.

The M21 seems to be the best sounding Bricasti DAC. Three different sources confirmed that the R2R Ladder DAC in the M21 sounds best for PCM. 

So is there a certain quality with R2R DACs that other DAC principles do not offer?

 

Matt

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

 

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1 hour ago, matthias said:

 

Sorry for being OT regarding M3.

The M21 seems to be the best sounding Bricasti DAC. Three different sources confirmed that the R2R Ladder DAC in the M21 sounds best for PCM. 

So is there a certain quality with R2R DACs that other DAC principles do not offer?

 

Matt

I will not address whether, to not R2R DACs have an advantage over SDM!  That is a debatable over the course of entire thread, and the history of DACs.

 

We used the M21 at RMAF last fall with the Bricasti M25 power amp, and Vivid Audio Kaya 25 speakers.  We felt the R2R DAC in the M21 sounded best for PCM material.  And we used the discrete DSD section for playing back DSD, which to my preferences sounded best.  The M21 uses the same R2R chips as the Yggdrasil, but otherwise the DACs are very different: Bricasti runs its own oversampling filters in the SHARC processor chip for PCM playback.  DSD playback goes straight to the discrete DSD conversion stage.

 

I got the M3, because I only play back DSD, and I could really not tell much (if at all) difference between the M21 and M3 on DSD playback.

 

For PCM, if want R2R, then you need to get the M21.  The M21 also has full dual mono power supplies for the analog stages, whereas the M3 shares a single transformer for the analog stages, but has separate regulation stages for each channel.  The M21 also has a hybrid output stage, with IC opamps for I/V conversion, and a discrete stage to drive the output: the M3 uses the same I/V stage, but with IC opamps to drive the output.  Bricasti seems to be very good at the analog parts of the DAC, and both output stages appear to drive amplifiers directly very well.  Both DACs also feature the same analog volume controls, which are also implemented in a dual mono fashion.  And of course the M3 is a bit more compact, but still features the same high quality build to the chassis and internal parts, and the MDx input board and digital power supply section are the same in both DACs.

 

For my money, the M3 gives 80% of the performance of the M21 (and 100% for DSD) at less than one third of the price-I am very impressed that Bricasti was able to offer this kind of value int he M3.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, barrows said:

For my money, the M3 gives 80% of the performance of the M21 (and 100% for DSD) at less than one third of the price-I am very impressed that Bricasti was able to offer this kind of value int he M3.

 

Agree,

in a perfect world the best match of DACs in the M3 for me would be R2R and discrete DSD. 🙂

Certainly the R2R DAC is much more expensive than the standard D/S DAC.

 

Matt

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

 

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Yes, R2R DAC chips are very expensive to produce, this is why they are not even made for audio anymore.  The R2R dAC chips which exist are all made for industrial/measurement purposes.  The expense of production of R2R DAC chips is one of the reasons that SDM chips were developed in the first place.

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Hi Barrows - am curious about your comment, "I got the M3, because I only play back DSD."

 

By that do you mean that you convert all PCM music to DSD in the computer and then send only DSD to your DAC, or that you listen to only native DSD music?

 

If the former, do you prefer this PCM-DSD approach over sending native PCM to even a well-equipped R2R DAC such as the Bricasti?

 

Thanks!

 

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@all300b,  I convert al music files to DSD via software conversion (Roon or HQPlayer) and then send it over optical Ethernet to my Renderer, and then to my DACs.  I have been doing this for a few years now at least, with an ESS 9038 based DIY DAC, a DIY DSC-2 style DAC, and now wiht the Bricasti M3 also.

 

I cannot really afford to bother with R2R approaches, if I could afford a really nice MSB DAC, maybe I would play PCM, but discrete DSD DACs, when well implemented, have a sound quality I just do not often hear with other approaches, especially when it comes to natural sound, and timbre, and musical textures.

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Thanks.  I think you nailed it with your comment about the expense of good R2R.  I suppose it would be nice to have a dac with great pcm and dsd sections to tailor to particular recordings but the always dsd approach seems much simpler.

 

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12 hours ago, all300b said:

Thanks.  I think you nailed it with your comment about the expense of good R2R.  I suppose it would be nice to have a dac with great pcm and dsd sections to tailor to particular recordings but the always dsd approach seems much simpler.

 

There is an upcoming Stereotimes review about the Rockna Wavelight (R2R) which will be compared to the Bricasti M3.

Both are in the same price range.

 

Matt

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

 

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I just read this review of the M3 from June 2020 and I am wondering why they measured high jitter:

 

https://www.scvdistribution.co.uk/files/BR_M3_HiFiNews_June_2020.pdf

 

The jitter measurements seem to be much worse in comparison to the review of the M1 nine years ago.

 

I assume the M3 was reviewed with the MDx board.

 

Matt

 

 

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

 

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1 hour ago, matthias said:

I just read this review of the M3 from June 2020 and I am wondering why they measured high jitter:

 

https://www.scvdistribution.co.uk/files/BR_M3_HiFiNews_June_2020.pdf

 

The jitter measurements seem to be much worse in comparison to the review of the M1 nine years ago.

 

I assume the M3 was reviewed with the MDx board.

 

Matt

 

 

I thought that was a curious result as well.  PM does not appear to mention which input this was with either...  AFAIK the M3 uses the same clocking scheme used in all Bricasti DACs (see Stereophile's jitter measurements of the M1 for another reference), so this result seems a bit anomalous.  Hopefully there will be a Sterophile review of the M3 for another data point in reference to jitter levels.  Also the result from PM does not correlate at all with the specification published by Bricasti at their website:

 

1494833290_ScreenShot2020-06-28at8_36_37AM.png.f9378af3e478ab2f84e70f954b2e2d63.png

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.                                                       

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13 minutes ago, barrows said:

I thought that was a curious result as well.  PM does not appear to mention which input this was with either...  AFAIK the M3 uses the same clocking scheme used in all Bricasti DACs (see Stereophile's jitter measurements of the M1 for another reference), so this result seems a bit anomalous.  Hopefully there will be a Sterophile review of the M3 for another data point in reference to jitter levels.  Also the result from PM does not correlate at all with the specification published by Bricasti at their website:

 

1494833290_ScreenShot2020-06-28at8_36_37AM.png.f9378af3e478ab2f84e70f954b2e2d63.png

 

Agree, 

just wondering why Bricasti publish without comment a link to this review on their FB page.

From the pictures of the review it is clear that the MDx board is used.

 

Matt

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

 

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25 minutes ago, matthias said:

OT regarding M3 but interesting:

 

Bricasti launched a DAC in their professional line:

 

https://www.bricasti.com/en/pro/mc1.php

 

It seems to be similar to the M1 but from the specs limited to DSD128 so maybe no MDx board inside?

 

Matt

Costs $6000 and doesn't seem to have the separate 1bit path for DSD. For audiophiles, their consumer units would seem more suitable. Unless you don't have any interest in DSD.

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: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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