Brooklyn DAC+ Anyone?


Hey Folks,

I did some searches and did not see anyone claiming to have the DAC+.  Saw one positive review from a site of which I am unfamiliar.  I prefer reviews where there is listening and testing so perhaps we will have to hope for Stereophile or HiFi News to get one but that will probably take some time.

I have a DAC+ on backorder with MusicDirect so hopefully any bugs will be exterminated before I get mine.  I am also hoping for more details on the circuit changes.

Hope you folks are well and good,
Robert
8ae791b4 930b 43c7 b000 cd8c6c8ed862robob
I have the Brooklyn, and it is my favorite < $5k DAC so far.

The only glitches I have found is that, rarely, switching to 96/24 from 44/16 it doesn't do that right, but this may be due to my streaming software. You will hear it start to distort, and get very sibilant.

Lastly, play with the digital filters. I have disabled MQA so I could choose other digital filters I like better. You should listen too.

E
Hey,

Thanks, but I was asking specifically about the Brooklyn DAC+ which is the updated one released in October.

I will definitely try the filter choices.

Take it EZ,
Robert
Has anyone directly compared the Mytek Brooklyn and Benchmark DAC3?  I'd be very interested in how they compare sonically as DACs, as well as their use as preamps.
Hello,

Based on the lack of responses to my query,  nobody here apparently has the new version.  Reviews of both lead me to believe the DAC3 is a bit better than the original Brooklyn.  Of course many of us actually want MQA and the Benchmarks do not do MQA. 

My expectation is that the new Brooklyn DAC+ will equal or better the DAC3 in non MQA quality.  They did quite a bit of work on the new model.

Y'all have some fun,
Robert
@robob

I think it is safe to say you will be happy with either DAC. The Benchmark DAC 3 is glitch free on switching formats and syncs within 6 msec which is practically instantaneous.

Advantages of DAC3 will be for intersample overs which exist on the majority of pop rock redbook CD or files. Benchmark designed extra circuitry to handle this problem and remains the ONLY DAC to address this problem in nearly all pop rock digital music. I think this explains why it sounds so smooth like vinyl yet with more detail.

The problem is widespread and even affects audiphile quality CD like Steely Dan Gaslighting Abbie with hundreds of overs. All other DACs will clip (square wave at digital saturation)and distort hundreds of times on every track you play.


https://benchmarkmedia.com/blogs/application_notes/intersample-overs-in-cd-recordings

Shadorne,

Thanks for the reply but I was not the one asking about the DAC3.  As I said I want MQA (I currently use an Explorer2 for that) and the DAC3 does not have it.
I did read Benchmark's reply in Stereophile about the intersample overs.  I had not heard of it and find it interesting.  I am pretty much avoiding Redbook pop/rock these days as the LPs are usually not as compressed.

Again,  I am interested if anyone has compared the new Brooklyn DAC+ to the older model or it's competition.  I have one on order and want to know what to expect.

Hope you have a good eve,
Robert
PS: Since this is not Twitter, I am not @robob.  And I am not that on Twitter either:-)
@robob 

I think you will be delighted with the DAC+ it has the ESS 9028 chip and offers all the filter options that come with the chip. Benchmark also bypassed the filters on this chip in order to achieve a more transparent sound but this gives the user less flexibilty (no filter choices)
Robert,

I understand your confusion about the "@" syntax but this is a convention that Audiogon uses too.  Typing @ when you're replying to another responder (instead of the OP) in the thread pops up a list of everyone in the current thread.  Selecting one of them (or simply typing out their handle) allows Audiogon to alert them that someone posted a response directed at them.

Please follow up when you get the DAC+.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Dick
@djohnson54,

"I understand your confusion about the "@" syntax but this is a convention that Audiogon uses too. Typing @ when you're replying to another responder (instead of the OP) in the thread pops up a list of everyone in the current thread. Selecting one of them (or simply typing out their handle) allows Audiogon to alert them that someone posted a response directed at them."

Thanks for that,  I never knew it.  I get really annoyed at folks doing the @ thing all over the Inet.

I will report on the DAC+.  I am working at a possible workaround for sending full resolution DSD out of my Oppo 105 so I can compare it to the DAC+.   Unlike current convention I will also swap cables between the Parsec I ordered for it and the Cardas Neutral Reference that are on my JC3+.  Both of those are XLR and I will also try some Hero RCA's.  My Hero's are the older ones with the WBTs.

@shadorne

Apologies for the @ comment and thanks for your comments.  I am really looking forward to the DAC+.  I imagine I will stay with the apodizing filter but I will audition the others.  Lack of filter selection may hurt the DAC3 sales.

Hope you folks have some fun,
Robert

Supposedly on the white truck for delivery today.  I will let it reach room temp and then run it for a couple of hours before really listening.

Parsec XLR cables give more weight than the low cost Analysis Plus RCAs they replaced.  Also apparently stronger deep bass.  Highs are still there.  This from my Oppo 105 to Classe CP-500, etc.

Hope you folks are well and good,
Robert
Robert,

I'm very interested in your findings as I'm extremely interested in the DAC+ for MQA.  Please keep us posted!

Thanks,
Jim
@robob
Christmas comes early!!!

Dick
"Christmas comes early!!!"

Indeed. 

Preliminary listen shows more extended and cleaner/more detailed high end and cleaner bass along with more detail top to bottom.  Not sure I knew I could still hear that much on top.  But don't be thinking it's bright, it is not.  Not nasty or analytical sounding.

Interestingly it may be a small amount less full in the mids than the OPPO 105 but it's early.  This on 16/44.1 fed via toslink from the OPPO, including OPPO's TIDAL app.  Output from DAC+ via Parsec XLRs to Classe CP-500, etc.

Take it EZ,
Robert
More impressions?
Hey Folks,

One of you pm'ed me asking for more thoughts on the DAC+. 

I have now listened to MQA files and streams and SACD's converted to PCM by the OPPO 105 as well as more 16/44.1 material.   As I somewhat alluded to, the real eye opener is how good it is with 16/44.1 sources.  I am an analog guy primarily and have not been a fan of CD except in the beginning when I was impressed by it's clarity compared to most analog of the time.  As I listened more I realized 16/44.1 was not enough bits to capture all the overtones and sustain we are accustomed to hearing with most analog sources. 

Listening to a 16/44.1 stream from TIDAL as I type this, the electric Jazz guitar sounds nice and full and textural.  Texture and high frequency detail are the two most noticeable improvements over other DACs I have had.  The last time I heard 16/44.1 this good was in a MUCH higher priced system with a MUCH higher priced DAC.  And I am not sure that presentation was as good in the mids as the DAC+.  When a stick or mallet hits a drum you hear not only the hit but the reverberation around the hit.  Clarity is there as well, such as delineation of voices in harmony.  Also more sense of the space or air is retrieved compared to what I am used to with low resolution sources. 

Of course higher resolution audio is better, more analog like, more air, pretty much more everything that is good.  MQA is wonderful on most encoded recordings.  As I believe JA (John Atkinson in Stereophile) said, MQA does not provide a benefit in every case but it does in most that I have heard.  As I said elswhere in these forums,  MQA brings one closer to the music.  The old, "like lifting a veil" adage is applicable.

I hope to have time tomorrow for cable swapping and more direct comparison to the DAC in the OPPO.  All my DAC+ listening so far has been over the Parsec XLRs.

My expectations were high but have been surpassed.  It would be interesting to see what they could do by removing the phono section and spending the money on the analog out and an outboard power supply. 

Hope you folks are well and good,
Robert
Why are you running such a good DAC through a preamp and a dated one at that?
Hi OP,

Yes, the original Brooklyn has the same "weird symptom" of playing back Redbook far better than one would expect any DAC to.

However, a couple of other new DAC's also have this peculiarity. :) Something has happened recently, perhaps with the clocks, or digital filters, but we may be past the need for high rez music.

Bet,

E
@erik_squires
Hi resolution audio is still better.

@shadorne
The CP-500 sounds really good and I cannot afford to replace it with something that might be better.  Remember, newer is not necessarily better.  Also the interface and I/O compliment are very nice as well.  Who offers a tape loop?  And yes,  I have tried others.

@pkaram. I have not directly compared it to my Explorer2 for MQA but because the DAC+ has a better analog stage, it should be better.
I have not tried the phono stage yet.

Y'all take care,
Robert
Robert,
Thanks for the detailed impressions.  Keep 'em coming if you don't mind posting. Like @kb54 above, I've been interested in the DAC-3 and the Brooklyn.  Now that the DAC+ has come out it just makes the decision harder and the speed at which this sector is advancing leads to paralysis.  I wish that I could listen to both but that's not an option for me.  Also, I don't use MQA now but I'd like the flexibility if I were to switch to Tidal down the road.
Dick
This ESS 9028 chip does sound like vinyl. Gustard and Benchmark are other good examples of recent new DACs with this chip.

With such great low noise performance and great analog circuits to complement the leading performance of the new chip, I would definitely NOT run any of these through another preamp.
Robert, I think you should try your Brooklyn directly into your power amp, avoiding the CP-500! The Mytek has a nice volume control so why don’t you just give it a try? I’ll bet on the Mytek DAC for transparency, resolution and speed... We’ll see about the mid-bass..
Folks,

I have many sources so using the DAC+ as a preamp will not work for me.

The CP-500 has numerous inputs, both RCA and XLR and several outputs as well. And I think I mentioned it sounds really good and has a tape loop. The control functions are above average as well.

On another subject, the MC input on the DAC+ is OK to good but I probably need to play it longer to see if it needs to break in. It’s unfairly being compared to a JC3+. So far it sounds a bit closed in and rolled off on top.

Y’all take care,
Robert
Robert - Thanks for your comments on the Brooklyn DAC+.  Out of my price range right now, but, you never know...

I think your ability to clearly hear and describe the differences between the Oppo and the Brooklyn imply that your preamp is indeed revealing and clean enough for the task. I, too, have a complex system with recording devices, an equalizer (oh no!!!) and numerous sources. My McIntosh preamp is indispensable in my system. Sometimes, practical considerations have to take precedence over an incremental increase in sound quality.
Robert,

How is your DAC+ doing?  Any updates for us?  Thx.

Allan



Hey Folks,

The DAC+ is doing well and is wonderful.

I am spinning vinyl through it as I write this.  It sounds surprisingly good.  I am not sure what caused the constricted sound the first time I tried the MC phono input (analog input set to MC Phone) but I am not hearing it now.  This the second time trying it and I warmed it up with the first two sides of a recent re-release of The Koln Concert.  The piano was full bodied and Keith's moans were clearly audible.

Currently listening to my original Decca pressing of Who's Next.  It sounds very good.  It is an above average recording/mastering/pressing for an early 70's rock record.  Unfortunatley it was not as well take care of by yours truly as some of my other LPs, but it is playable.  I need to run it through the RCM.  As far as negatives, doubled voices aren't as good as my JC3+ but then I would not expect that.  Also, with my ear close to a speaker I am hearing some noise and a whine when the music is not playing.  That could be my less than ideal cable routing. Not much else to complain about, especially for a phone section that is included in a DAC.

On the minus side,  I did have an issue a week or so ago when I tried the headphone output.  I was playing a non MQA source with MQA enabled and there was some kind of nastiness to the highs.  I heard it a little through the speakers as well.  I am not too worried about it as I believe it was some weird interaction between the non MQA source and the MQA filter.  I will test further.

I hope your folks are well and good,
Robert
Hey Bondmanp,

I too now have an equalizer.  I bought the Loki from Schiit and put it in the tape monitor loop so it can be completely out of the path.  I use it when background listening at low volume.  Inexpensive and works well although I would like it to be parametric.  Perhaps they will do a higher priced one with more controls.

I will try it sometime, but I am not sure taking the CP-500 out of the path would be any better.  Since my amp is also a Classe Delta series(CA-2200) of the same vintage as the preamp they work well together.

Take it EZ,
Robert

@robob -  I never looked at the Loki before.  What a marvelous little device!  If I did not have tone controls on my pre, I would look into this.  I use a vintage Kenwood graphic/parametric EQ that is fully electronic, no noisy sliders or pots.


IIRC, though, doesn't the CP-500 have a fully adjustable paramentric EQ in the digital domain?  Wouldn't that be enough?

I have been enjoying the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+ for about a month now, and it ultimately came to replace my much-loved Bel Canto DAC 3.7. 

For some time now, I have been streaming MQA files from Tidal via a Bluesound Node 2 which can perform the first MQA "unfolding." I found this to provide a marked improvement in sound quality over both undecoded MQA FLAC files as well as regular 16/44.1 FLAC files. This in turn made me curious about what a full MQA DAC could do, first into the DAC 3.7's analog input, and then as a standalone DAC/Pre.

I auditioned a well broken-in demo unit of the DAC+ (which I ultimately purchased). With the DAC+ doing the full MQA decode, the sound quality was clearly improved over the Bel Canto on its own. Perhaps due to Mytek's pro audio roots, the DAC+'s fixed output voltage was too hot for the 3.7's analog input, so I had to use the Mytek's analog attenuator to cut its output voltage by -6dB (also achievable via placing jumpers inside the DAC+).

Playing Tidal files via the Node 2, the Mytek's strengths as a DAC were easily heard. It is extremely open, coherent, detailed, pure, punchy, and highly transparent, projecting a huge and well-ordered sound stage. These characteristics were also on display when streaming AIFF files from an SSD via a Bryston BDP-2 into the Mytek's AES/EBU input, though with greater weight and authority over the much more modest but still satisfying and easy to use Node 2.

It should be noted that the Bel Canto 3.7 runs its analog inputs through an ADC as volume control is only performed in the digital domain. As good as the sound quality of this setup was, I was thinking it a bit silly to go from D to A, back to D and again to A, so I ran the DAC+ directly into my amplifiers. The sonic characteristics I described above were maintained with an added dose of transparency and fine detail due to the more direct connection, although the 3.7 is no slouch to be sure.

Many people have touted the benefits of using an LPS to bypass the stock switching power supply in the DAC+. After a few weeks of happy listening, I added an Uptone Audio JS-2 linear power supply into the mix to power the DAC+. The JS-2 brought a still lower noise floor, better dynamics and imaging, deeper bass and a richer overall tonality. Despite its cost, I believe the performance of the combo justifies the added expense.

I should also note that the provided Apple remote provides easy access to all day-to-day functions including standby/on, volume, source and display wake+mode. A recent firmware update allows the DAC+ to "remember" the volume level set for each input, fixing my only quibble with its functionality.

All in all, the Mytek DAC+ packs a great deal of performance into a tiny package. I find myself listening longer and more often.
I want to give something like this a try , but I’m just not huge on Sabre DACs . They sound too digital to me . My only reference to them though is through oppo 105 and 205
The Brooklyn DAC+ is on my very short list of streaming DACs. I've been reading the owner's manual online (https://mytekdigital.com/download_library/manuals/Brooklyn_DAC+_Manual.pdf) and although my router is located in the same room as my audio system, the Brooklyn doesn't have the capability to connect to the router wirelessly. 

After reading page 8 of their manual, I'm still not sure I understand how I would be able to connect this DAC to the internet.

Forgive me for being digitally challenged.


@route-66 By itself, the Brooklyn doesn't stream from the internet so that's why you're confused about the connection.  It converts the digital stream from other devices to analog (and acts as a preamp if desired).  Probably the simplest setup (from a connection standpoint) is to connect your computer to the Brooklyn via USB, set the computer to send audio output to the USB device, and use any of a number of programs to stream music from the internet through the Brooklyn's DAC.  However, there are numerous other devices that can be used to stream as well.
@djohnson54 , Thank you!

It's gonna take me some time to get up to speed with digital. I guess what I should be looking for is something called a streamer or a streaming DAC if I don't want to be using my laptop to stream music through my integrated amp.

I was so much easier with analog. :-D
@route-66 I understand.  There CAN be lots of parts to a digital setup but I suppose that's true of analog as well (table, tonearm, cartridge, phono preamp, cables).  I'm using a Logitech Touch but those are only available used anymore.  Many people start with a Bluesound Node which has a built-in DAC but can also output to an external DAC like the Brooklyn.  Another (more expensive) option are the Aurender models.
@djohnson54 Thanks again. Another streamer I'm looking at is the is the Auralic Altair. It seems to be what I'm looking for but I'm not going to rush into anything until I understand the digital process a little better. I'll get there...eventually. 
@route-66 Yes, I had forgotten about that one.  There are quite a few options at different price points and with different features.  Digital audio is also a fast-moving animal so new options are appearing all the time.  If you don't already know about it, https://www.computeraudiophile.com/ is a good place to learn about digital audio.
@djohnson54 Thank you for the link!

I'll start poking around over there too.