Bricasti M1 USB

I just picked up the Bricasti DAC a couple of weeks ago. Hands down, it's top notch. I'd been using the Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 mkii since 1995 or so. And I still think the SF is a great DAC. But the Bricasti is, well, something special.

I've demoed the Weiss 202 Firewire, Aesthetix Pandora and MSB Analog DAC and the Platinum Signature. The MSB Platinum Sig (at $23K) was great... but it wasn't another $14K better than the Bricasti, at least for my wallet. The MSB Analog DAC was incredible but I liked the Bricasti better. It had a presence and presentation that just seemed right to me. Granted, when I compared the MSB and Bricasti, I was listening on a unfamiliar system, albeit very high-end... Constellation pre/power amp and Magico Q3s.

When I got the Bricasti in my system I was thrilled. I've got Cary 211AE monoblocks, Cary SLP-98 Pre, Vivid B1 speakers, Organic and Nordost cables.

I had the Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 mkii for 15+ years and I could happily live with the Bricasti for the next 15 years.
Have you compared Bricasti to dCS? I'm considering the Bricasti.
I've read that the Bricasti reacts well with aftermarket accesories (cables, fuses, power cord) can you confirm this? or its just placebo effect?
First thing you have to do with the M1 is replace the switching power supply with the new linear one. The upgrade was transformative. Any hint of glare that it had before was completely removed.

I subsequently replaced the fuses with Hi-Fi Supreme. This made a noticeable improvement as well. When I was done with the upgrades I actually changed my preferred filter settings from MP2 to MP0.
Good to know Lasercd, i never expected fuses to have a big impact on sound.
Neither did I!! :D

still loving your M1? I just got scheduled for a demo of the MSB Analog DAC, should have it soon. I am also trying a 30-day trial of the exaSound e20 DAC. I auditioned the M1 at the RMAF and was impressed; perhaps I should attempt to get an in-home demo of it?
Still madly in love with the M1. Been listening to DSD quite a bit lately.
Lasercd, how would you characterize the DSD you are listening too? How is it different from PCM?

BTW, did you audition other DAC's before settling on the M1?
DSD has a very distinct sound (to my ears at least). Notes are rounder. Perhaps you can characterize it as more analogue sounding than PCM. Its probably not the ultimate in detail compared to hi-res PCM but its something that is just really pleasant on the ears.

I didn't listen to a lot of different units before I bought the M1. I had been using the Accustic Arts DAC I Mk 4 for some time. It was a very good DAC but time had passed it by. I was able to get the M1 on a brief loan. I immediately understood that it was working on a different playing field. Given the geneology of the DAC and the company itself, it became a no-brainer for me.

Since I've owned the unit I've seen it through various software updates and hardware upgrades. I've heard DACs from EMM, DCS and MSB (albeit not in my system). Great DACs but I prefer the Bricasti.

I love the ability to dial the unit in by changing filters. It makes a huge difference.

I'm not saying its the ultimate DAC but given its reasonable price I think it blows away the competition. YMMV.
I'm also considering the Bricasti. I listened to it in the Harbeth room at RMAF and it sounded wonderful.

On my list of candidates are the Meitner MA-1, MSB Platinum Sig and the Bricasti.

I have the M1 USB with all the latest upgrades (purchased April 2013) and upgraded it for DSD. I agree with Lasercd regarding the analog like sound of DSD played through the M1. I use a Bryston BDP-2 for PCM, PC laptop with J. River v19 for DSD and a PS Audio PWT for CDs (rarely use it). I'm anxiously awaiting Bryston's implementation of DSD output capability for the BDP-2. Bryston has stated that DSD output upgrade for the BDP-2 should be out before the end of the year.

Back to the M1, it sounds great but I've only compared it to my PWD mkII. I have a lot of DSD files and they sound so musically engaging through the M1 and my Harbeth M40.1 speakers.
I have no doubts that the M1 is a fantastic DAC. I will listen to the M1, the exaSound e20, the Analog DAC, and the Berkley DAC 2, and then decide which works best in my room and rig.

I've downloaded several DSD files and they sound very good even with Adirvana converting them to PCM on-the-fly; really looking forward to hearing this music in Native DSD on a top notch DAC... Will report back on this later...
The Shelby Lynne DSD from AS sounds GOOD.
Smatsui, can you say more about the comparison of the Bricasti vs. the. PWD? What do you like better about the Bricasti?
After almost three weeks of listening I have decided to purchase the MSB Analog DAC. Overall, I felt that it was just more musical than the exaSound e20 (remember, the e20 was 1/4 the price of the MSB or Bricasti), and in my rig it also bested the M1.

Both the M1 and the ex20 sounded very good, but they were several notches below the Analog DAC IMO only! The Analog DAC was smoother overall, much more 3D all around, and just better balanced in sound; it provided the most goosebumps!
This thread is a little older but I have a brand new Bricasti M1 on the way to me and I will have it this Thursday. I traded my PS Audio DirectStream for it and was wondering if you M1 owners have any recommendations or feedback on break in or anything that could be helpful or anything info about the DAC. Thanks
I had a chance to listen to the Lampi Big7 and the Bricasti M1. i really liked the Big7 a lot but thought the M1 was better...
There are numerous ventilation openings throughout the Bricasti casework. This leads me to believe that the unit runs very hot. Can anyone confirm how much heat the unit produces at idle? For example, how long are you able to hold your hand on it?

I am asking because this affects not only placement but circuit longevity. Many DAC's have no ventilation openings because they are not required.
One of the cool things about the Bricasti M1 DAC is it has a status button that shows cool stuff like polarity, volume per channel, signal rate in then the signal rate out 352 / 384 or DSD/2 / Software version and great internal temp reading that shows the internal temperature that is luke warm at most. You could hold your hand on it for a month. It runs about 2-3 degrees warmer than your hand which in HI-FI would considered quite cool. Mine after long sessions gets up to 104 - 107. With the mono separate design with all aluminum block construction and all the great venting you couldn't ask for a better performer from a heat dispersion longevity standpoint. Plus it is probably the best sounding digital player in the world at any price. It is insanely good!
Kodak805, I don't think so, but if it's a concern why don't you call Bricasti and ask? Brian is a straight shooter and will tell you why it's made that way. I haven't noticed any significant heat. The entire design is conservative, and the build quality must be seen.
Don't get carried away, everyone that sells both Bricasti and Berkeley say the Berkeley is much better and more involving and musical. There are a lot of Dacs out there that are really good.
We can expect the Berkeley to be better at about twice the price of the M1. That price doesn't include a usb input or dsd capability. It's all about value for money.
Where cost is no object, we can start talking instead about the Boulder, the Swiss Beast, the Vivaldi stack, the Trinity, the Constellation Audio, the D'agostino, etc, etc....

Coming back down to earth, at 9k, the M1 is hard to beat. And to echo Fsmithjack, at 6k, the DS is hard to beat.
You can buy the DS < 4K used. Great value.

Wouldn't spend that kind of money on a Berkeley product. Rather grab a demo/used Trinity DAC if we going up there. Combo Berkeley / Bricast dealers at that price better be saying the Berkeley is better. How could they ever carry both lines and not say that and ever think they will sell a single Berkeley if they said Bricasti is better?? Not sure listening to salespeople is the way to get objective info but each their own. Rather talk to my fellow Agon comrades to get the skinny but that's me. Have heard the Berkeley is great but we'll see if 3 - 4 years later everyone is still gushing over it still like they were doing over the Bricasti and still are...