Bryston BDA-1


Just curious if any of you have noticed a lack of richness with the BDA-1 compared to CDP. It possibly could be that my unit is 5 days old and I don't have the 75 ohm coax cable, which is in the post that may restore some of the qualities I'm missing. Any suggestions will be welcomed.

I think this is the warmest, most well rounded DAC I have owned, and I have had a bunch of them (7) in the last year.

I don't believe that there is any breakin period for a DAC, what would need to break in?

It may just not be a match with your other gear, or it could be the cable. I had an MHDT Havana that we excellent, and very warm as an alternative.
Apparently Bryston burn their gear in before shipping out; or so my local salesman told me. I had one for trial and came to the same conclusion as you and sent it back disappointed. Could be an issue of synergy with with my gear but nonetheless was underwhelmed to say the least. For the same price I bought a Droplet 5.0 with a factory fitted digital input that provides a better experience than the Bryston
I cannot comment on the Bryson as I have not heard. Obviously, transport, cables, PC, line conditioners and music format and interface (coax, usb, toslink) should/could make a difference. When you say you don't have the 75 ohm cable, do you mean you're using a standard RCA IC? Are using USB? That (USB) would be the poorest interface (and does not support hi rez). I would at least try a digital cable before returning it.
That's correct, using a standard RCA intil my digital 75 ohm Kimber DV-75 coax cable come in the mail. I believe that is the source of the reduced bloom I'm noticing with the BDA-1.


Belles 150A Ref
Belles 21A Tube modified with Auricaps/diodes/power supply
Rega Apollo
Bryston BDA-1
Vandersteen 2 Ce Sig II
Dynamic Design Bi-wire
Dynamic Design MK2 IC x 2
Powerchord "e"
Looking at your gear there is no way this should sound bright at all. Your gear tends towards a very nice, clear sound with just a touch of warmth. Very nice set up. As a point of reference my system tends toward brightness, so I always look for warmth from my sources, and after trying many different DAC's(Benchmark DAC-1 USB, MHDT Labs Havana, Bel Canto DACIII, PS Audio dac3, Berkeley Alpha DAC, Tube Audio Design PreDac) to go from my AppleTV to my preamp I choose the Bryston, and I am finally no longer in the market.

But, you are right, you can't use an RCA interconnect for a Coax interface. It's an analog not digital cable and you are not hearing the actual output from the DAC. If you want to find out what your DAC really sounds like, go buy a cheap Toslink cable and run it from your source, you will be shocked at the difference. When your new, good, better digital cable comes, you will be even happier.

Good luck.

Good luck.

Thanks for the good information! I guessed the loss of richness on acoustics guitar music was due to the cable but had no idea an analog cable was that inferior to the digital cable. I really can't wait for this cable to come in now to do some serious listening. Also, the system is not bright at all, it just doesn't have the bloom due to your explanation of the coax cable :o)


Took your advice and bought a $20.00 toslink until my coax come in and you were absolutely right! More bass and a more realistic soundstage and detail. So, It's going to get better with a digital coax?

Yo Wig, so how is your DAC now with a good digital cable? I love mine!!

The digital cable did make a huge improvement but I was expecting more from he BDA-1. I would say an increase of 10% in performance and if I had to do it all over again I would have bought another Belles 150A Ref amplifier which would have given better results than the BDA-1.

Too bad, sorry you are not that impressed. For me, it's the best digital piece of gear I have owned. I don't use my disc player often anymore, mostly digital files over AppleTV, and to be honest mostly vinyl so not much digital.

But, the Bryston has been the most "analog" sounding by far.
I own both and I prefer BCD-1 over the BDA-1, even using the BCD as a transport only. It's close.
I too have both and I prefer the BCD-1.
As jabas states they are close for sure.
I have mine using the analog outs of the BCD-1 into my pre,
using the BCD-1's dacs.I also so use the AES(digital out)of
the BCD-1 into the dac.