Everything about Bricasti M1 USB
First I want to say Hi as I'm a new member here,though I have reading many threads here for a long time.I'm a enthusiastic computer audiophile from China and now I live in New York.I am quite fascinated by seeking the full potential of the PC-HiFi systems,like PC hardware setup, software optimizations, or Hi-end USB cables, or even SATA cable, linear power supplies blabla.Okay,forget about these mess, I'm excited to join you guys.
Last month I purchased a Bricasti M1 USB DAC from Sanjay at Ciamarra(and equipped with the latest power supply upgrade!), who is a really nice and professional guy.I have got this nice unit for 2 weeks and I can't wait to share with you guys my fantastic experience with this DAC.It's detailed, fast, open, and most important part is,as musical as Hi-end analog sources.Simply the best digital audio converter I've ever heard.Just for reference, the digital sources which I kept at least for two weeks: Prism sound DA-2, Weiss DAC202, Weiss MAN301, Berkeley Alpha Series 1, Meitner MA-1. IMHO, they might win in one or two aspect, but Bricasti is an overall winner.
Anyway, there are some experience that I wish to share with all the M1 users, and non-M1 users are also welcome to join of course.
1. Which filter setting you prefer?
Okay,there are 15 filter options, which really bothers me when I first got the M1.But soon I found that the minimum filters are better than the linear ones.Like John Marks at stereophile said, "richer.lot
richer". At first, I prefer min2 filter. But after using the Purist Audio Design enhance disc to give this unit a quick burn-in ( this is an amazing disc btw) , I find min0 is the best( open, detailed and at the same time relaxed) , just as Brian recommended.
2. What cable and accessories do you use with Bricasti M1?
I'll start with the power cord.A good thing is, Bricasti M1 is not so sensitive as other Hi-end sources to power cords.But still, it's still helpful to replace the stock cable (18AWG) with a better one.Compared with my custom-made power cord( solid silver, cost like $200 ), the stock cable sounds a bit "murky".I also tried Entreq Challenger 3V ($3300), the density and sound-stage are even better, but I can't say the difference is huge.So I suppose a good cord, instead of a hi-end one, would be of good value to M1.
And the fuse, yes someone also mentioned the fuse.I use a Hifi-tuning fuse OEMed for Cardas, I don't know if it's available in USA.Compared with the stock one, it sounds more like a liquid sound.Have you ever heard any cable from Cardas Clear series? Yeah, that's more like the feeling.But it's still neutral, which is good.I haven't try other ones, but I will share my experience when I got the Synergistic SR-20.
Okay finally the tweaks.I once used Harmonix TU-210 feet and RF-900 cones( around $600).They are good with Weiss MAN301.But surprisingly, they are not natural enough, compared with the stocks feet installed on Bricasti M1.The stock feet sound faster, cleaner, and again more natural and open.I might be able to try Stillpoints ultra SS( around $700 for 3),which I like most, and see what happens.Btw, damping boards might be surprisingly good.I use a S40 sheet manufactured by a Japanese company named Sunshine( around $200) and it improves the imaging and removes impurities away.
3.What digital source do you feed the Bricasti M1?
Okay I know most of people here would use a computer, whatever using a sound card, a professional audio interface, or a USB-SPDIF convertor, or simply like me, use the USB input of Bricasti M1.
I don't know if it will be better to use a separate digital source, like Berkeley Alpha USB? Maybe, but it means another digital interconnect and another power cord( I gonna kill myself...) Opinions are very appreciated.And it's unfortunate that Bricasti removed the BNC input, which also work as an external clock input... Okay, good part is, saving me from an external clock, a sound card, a good BNC cable, a power cord......
Does anyone know any info about the clocking chip and USB module residing in M1? I know the USB module is based on XMOS, but I'm just trying to peep more technical details here so that I can decide whether to buy a new digital source.
4.Maybe the last question, what USB cable you like best?
I have tried many USB cables, ranging from Belkin Gold($10), Wireworld Platinum($600), Esoteric 8N-reference ( 55000 Japanese Yen), Entreq Challenger( $1000).I compared them under same condition back and forth.I have to say Entreq Challenger is the best in sound quality, especially a clear winner with its huge sound-stage and high density, but I would like to keep Esoteric 8N-reference.Not only for its greater performance/price ratio, but also for its analog and musical sound.Wireworld Platinum sounds dynamic and open, but also missed some little details.( Imaging you are playing the computer game, and the difference between "high" and "mid" with the texture option).
All the above is based on my practical experience with Bricasti M1 USB, again the best digital source I've ever used.
And thanks to Sanjay and Brian, who are always very patient and helpful.Looking forward to the DSD firmware upgrade
Thanks for reading,
Forget to mention my own system:
A HP ultrabook and an fully optimized i3 desktop using JPLAY 5 dual-PC setup( w/ SANWA lan cable and Entreq Challenger 3V PC)
Bricasti M1 USB (w/ custom made silver power cord, hifi-tuning Cardas fuse, and sunshine S-40 damping sheet)
Stealth metacarbon interconnect 1.5M XLR
Headamp GS-X headphone amp ( w/ sunshine S-40 damping sheet and triode wire labs seven plus PC)
Sennheiser HD800 (w/Cardas Clear headphone cable balanced)