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Article: Review | Bryston BDA-3.14 DAC / Streamer / Digital Preamp


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4 minutes ago, firedog said:

Seems like if you are a Roon user it's a great component.

 

For the most part yes. Although, there's a strange sample rate and no DSD limitation when using Roon, but I'm guessing it's a very minor issue for most people. The Pi can handle much more than just up through 24/192. 

 

 

 

4 minutes ago, firedog said:

Since it's running a Pi, there are multiple modern, mature, open source, superior OSes available. Or very good commercial ones like Volumio that can be relatively cheaply added. These could be setup by Bryston so the 3.14 could be a Roon Bridge, Squeezebox streamer, HQP NAA, UPnP render, MPLA renderer, Audirvana player, Airplay endpoint, etc., etc. The end user could then simply pick which interface he wants to use and connect seamlessly. This solution would be vastly superiior to the user experience you described.

 

Good points.

 

It would be really cool if users could flash a microSD card and run whatever they want on the built-in Pi. The sound quality is really great. Such flexibility would make this an unreal component. Bryston wouldn't have to give up the simplicity of its own solution for those who want it and wouldn't have to support all the other options. 

 

I'm looking forward to the new updated UI that Bryston is working on and I really hope the company will allow me to review it. I love Bryston as a company and the people who work there. First class all the way. 

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52 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

 

For the most part yes. Although, there's a strange sample rate and no DSD limitation when using Roon, but I'm guessing it's a very minor issue for most people. The Pi can handle much more than just up through 24/192. 

 

 

 

 

Good points.

 

It would be really cool if users could flash a microSD card and run whatever they want on the built-in Pi. The sound quality is really great. Such flexibility would make this an unreal component. Bryston wouldn't have to give up the simplicity of its own solution for those who want it and wouldn't have to support all the other options. 

 

I'm looking forward to the new updated UI that Bryston is working on and I really hope the company will allow me to review it. I love Bryston as a company and the people who work there. First class all the way. 

If you look at pictures of the Bryston with the top off you can see an upside down Raspberry Pi 3 with a micro SD card in its slot. It should be possible to try another SD card with MoOde or other Pi OS in there.
 

I would have thought you would need to do that if there was a major update to the Manic Moose software which needed to change the underlying Pi OS as opposed to tweaking the user application layer. As far as I know most (if any at all) Rasperry Pis don’t have a dual partition scheme where they flip between the two partitions when there is a firmware update. That allows the whole OS to be changed on the currently unused partition without needing to reflash the whole SD card.

 

System (i): (Stack Audio Link/MoOde > 2Qute+MCRU psu; Gyrodec/SME V/Ortofon 2M Black/EAT E-Glo Petit/Magnum Dynalab FT101A) > Glow Amp One > Klipsch RP-600M

System (ii): iUSB3.0 Nano/Allo USB Signature/MoOde > Bel Canto uLink+AQVOX psu > Chord Hugo > (Tandy LX5; JBL LSR305 ; Audeze LCD-3)

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I had a BDP-1 for many years and it was a solid performer within the context of the very limited interface.  As you mention, customer support is excellent and when the BDP-1 bricked support would tunnel in and fix it.

 

It is interesting that the same points you raise about MM were the ones that really annoyed me.  I came to hate the interface and it seems reasonable that many others dislike it too.  Therefore, it is really surprising that Manic Moose was used for this new product.  MM had been severely limited by the memory, etc. of the BDP-1.  To their credit, Bryston released MM updates that could fit on the BDP-1.  I truly appreciated that as an owner.  

 

Would be good to read another review once the UI is updated.  

Mola Mola Tambaqui > Mola Mola Kaluga > B&W 803 D3       Cables:  Kubala-Sosna

 

"As neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least use to man...they must be ranked among the most mysterious with which he is endowed."  Charles Darwin - The Descent of Man

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I was one of the first to buy the BDP-1.   The first platform was Loony Loon... the predecessor of Manic Moose.   To be honest I wasn't thrilled with the interface(s) either.   I was transitioning from a Mac mini and Hag USB converter which wasn't the best.   I got over the interface pretty fast when I heard the sound quality.   The Loony Loon and Manic Moose interface were quite similar.   Over the years I migrated to Manic Moose only because of the Tidal streaming functionality they added to it.   So what is the trade off?   I have an "ancient" media server that is still supported.   And here's the big one.... my wife uses it because the interface isn't continually changing.    However, I am waiting for Nutty Narwhal platform to come to life.  I know this means the BDP-1 won't be supported anymore...sigh.    Time to review options!    Please note I am a Bryston fan!

Mac Mini 2007: 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo, 3 Gig RAM, 500 Gig 5400 RPM HD[br]OSX 10.6.6, TimeMachine Off, Airport Off, Dedicated to Music[br]HAGUSB USB-->S/PDIF[br]Players: Audirvana, ITunes[br]Music Library: RedBook 16/44 WAV[br]Bryston BP26DA Preamp/DAC[br]Bryston 3BSST Amp[br]B&W 804s Loudspeakers[br]

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I had a BDA-3 early on. I really wanted the HDMI ports to work better. Mixing 4K in caused issues for me, back then. That’s probably fixed by now, I think there was an upgrade. Bryston offers great service, and does upgrade their stuff from time to time.
 

The sound is great! It was not a streamer back then.

 

However, I could not reliably read the small labels next to the bright LEDs. I know most of you have no issues with that, but I did.

 

Had a good year, and moved up to the Bricasti M12. Big, readable display, and big labels on the buttons. Replaced pre-amp, DAC, and microRendu (etc.).

 

I moved HDMI switching to the TV, and send all sound from that from TV to M12 with an optical cable.
 

 

[Home Digital] Bricasti M12 > DIY M2x Monoblocks > Daedalus Audio Muse Studio Speakers

[Home Analog] Technics SL-1200G > Boulder 508 (Zu DL-103/Hana ML/Denon DL-301 II)

[Office] Laptop > Kitsune R2R lvl3 > Violectric V281 > Focal Utopia Headphones (balanced)

[beach/Travel] Laptop > DragonFly Red > Ether Headphones

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  • 4 weeks later...
4 minutes ago, EvilTed said:

@The Computer Audiophile

 

No DCS gear listed and pictures of the BADA Reference Series 3 in your home.

What gives?

 

 

I don't have permanent loans and dCS needed to get the Rossini back. I look forward to bringing in another piece of dCS gear as soon as I can because it's truly a special company. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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5 minutes ago, EvilTed said:

@The Computer Audiophile

I see, so you don't actually pay for any gear.

That must be nice :)

Don't jump to conclusions EvilTed. I've spent tens of thousands of dollars on the gear in my listening room. The last purchase I made was the Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers, a little over one year ago. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

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  • 4 months later...

"I must also note that the BDA-3.14 is very quiet." -- All of Bryston's gear is this way. Dead silence from everyone of their components. It seems that this is rarely mentioned, but they have outstandingly "dead quiet" components.

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  • 5 months later...

So most of your lament with the system is while using their UI. Why? Just use Spotify Connect, or Tidal Connect, or if it's a Roon device -- what's the problem exactly? It seems this is a wonderful sounding DAC and places Bryston in the high end category it's usually placed in. 

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12 minutes ago, juleepriest said:

So most of your lament with the system is while using their UI. Why? Just use Spotify Connect, or Tidal Connect, or if it's a Roon device -- what's the problem exactly? It seems this is a wonderful sounding DAC and places Bryston in the high end category it's usually placed in. 

It’s a feature of the unit that sets it apart. If I want just a Roon, Tidal, or Spotify endpoint, then the conversation changes. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

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