DAC for Bricasti Design M5 Network Player


Would appreciate the forums assistance in choosing a stand alone DAC for the Bricasti Design M5 Network Player. In addition to the M5 I have a Roon Nucleus. I would like to connect the M5 via AES cable to the DAC into Pass Labs XP30 via xlr balanced cables, into Pass Labs Aelph Zero Monoblocks, to Klipsch LaScala speakers. Streaming only Tidal and Quobuz. No CD's or stored media. Budget is $3000.00 I prefer to buy used from fellow Audition member.
thinman2
You could sell the M5 and add those funds towards the purchase of a Bricasti M3 with network renderer inside. Nucleus through network / directly into M3 via ethernet. Great DAC. 
I thought about that; but $6,500 is over budget.  Plus, I can explore other DACs with a separates.  Do you have any stand alone DACs you like?
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I agree with @jriggy above. Please call a Bricasti retailer and ask about purchasing his M3 demo. Please ask about trading in your Bricasti M5 and add those funds towards the purchase of a Bricasti M3 with network renderer inside. You should be able to do this within your budget. The Bricasti M3 DAC is excellent. Please confirm you get it with the MDx upgrade board installed. 

If your Bricasti retailer is unable to made the deal, call another Bricasti retailer. Please keep us posted.
Ill give it a shot and report back. Thanks guys!
You could also try the 30 day trial of the RME ADI 2 FS dac from Sweetwater with your M5.  It is ~1/5 the cost and is crazy good for the money.  I run it balanced into my Sim 740p preamp.   If you find it underwhelming simply return it.   I sold my M3 with MDx to try some cheaper options and for now have ended up with the RME as my 30 day return just expired.   Unlike you, my weak link may be my streamer (I use a raspberry pi based spdif streamer).  The M3 is a great dac and the folks at Bricasti told me the integrated Ethernet streamer was the best sounding interface, so based on that feedback and others from these forums, I’m betting I didn’t hear the M3 at its best.    But still, I am amazed at how good the RME sounds in my system after having two previous DACs with 4 to 5x the MSRP. 
Cheers
@ddafoe just curious why you didn't send back your M3 to Bricasti to have the Ethernet option installed? Seems if it had the MDx board it must have been a fairly new unit. It's like a 1000 option.
OP where are you located? Maybe there's a member that you can here the M3. Just a thought.
I owned the M5 and liked it so much I bought a used M3 DAC that had Ethernet streaming, and also purchased the MDX upgrade board too!.  Sold the M5 and got some money back in my pocket.
Yea, it had a Mar 2020 ship date.  I considered it, but I was told it is $1500 if you don’t have it, so the $1000 seems to be when buying new.  That is my fault for not realizing the difference when I purchased it without the streamer.   Since I found the M3 to be just a little better than my 5 yr old SimAudio DAC I didn’t want to risk the extra $1500 not knowing what the improvement would be like.  
I was thinking spending $1500 on a used M5 might also bump the performance of my previous DAC up as well, keeping the delta about the same.

Anyhow, both the Sim and Bricasti DACs have been sold and I’ll stick with the RME for now.   I’m not sure where to go from here but may just pocket the change and enjoy the RME until something else catches my eye.    I’m driving distance to a Bricasti dealer so if I get a chance to hear the M3 with the streamer vs my spdif RME setup and it blows me away, I could jump back in.   The RME fits in my hand so it will be easy to bring it along to a dealer for comparisons :)


No luck finding a used or demo Bricasti M3. Called Fidelity Premium, Extreme Fidelity, Audio Archon, Divinci Media, Sounds of Silence. And the wait for a new one is several weeks. So, still looking for DAC recommendations for my Bricasti M5 renderer. Any thoughts would be appreciated
Haven't heard this one but getting some good reviews. The Gold Note DS10
https://darko.audio/2020/03/gold-note-ds-10-review/
Something to check out. If you do get to hear one please let us know your thoughts.
I ordered an M3 from Mike Kay at Audio Archon. Mike took my M5 in on trade and gave me the best price he could. I was surprised no forum member mentioned a DAC that was preferred to the M3.That tells me that the M3 is the way to go. Had to hit the retirement account and went over budget but who wants to retire anyway. Many thanks to everyone who commented and helped prevent me from making an expensive mistake.
Planning to get the m5.  Is a chord tt2 a good companion?  Saw m5 specs saying sampling rate up to 192 for m5, but tt2 clearly can go a lot higher.  Is this limiting factor??
The Bricasti M5 manual says:

Audio Specs and sample rates supported:

AES Output: SPDIF Output: USB Output:
44.1kHz-192 kHz PCM and DSD 64 as DoP, Wi-Fi or Ethernet 44.1 kHz-192 kHz PCM and DSD 64 as DoP, Wi-Fi or

Ethernet 44.1 kHz-384 kHz PCM and DSD 64 and 128 as DoP, Ethernet only.  
Does this answer your question?