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Bricasti M1SE Stereo DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 112 29.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 138 36.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 113 29.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 17 4.5%

  • Total voters
    380

DSJR

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I guess ill buy a $10 DAC, put it in a fancy case and charge $5000.
You'd have a hard job finding the electronics as they're tucked neatly away behind the lightning or USB C plug mechanicals :D

Ideally though, you'd need to supply the electronics and design a proper line output to take the single ended at least to 2V. The (inaudible) jitter would no doubt need tidying up. I suppose this is where The SU1 comes in as a tidy well sorted design for UK £80 or so on Amazon.

But yeah, you could maybe take an SU1, dress it up and put in a fancy supply, find a way to create balanced outs and maybe a display of sorts and charge several grand for it :(
 
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You'd have a hard job finding the electronics as they're tucked neatly away behind the lightning or USB C plug mechanicals :D

Ideally though, you'd need to supply the electronics and design a proper line output to take the single ended at least to 2V. The (inaudible) jitter would no doubt need tidying up. I suppose this is where The SU1 comes in as a tidy well sorted design for UK £80 or so on Amazon.

But yeah, you could maybe take an SU1, dress it up and put in a fancy supply, find a way to create balanced outs and maybe a display of sorts and charge several grand for it :(
I mean yeah... That's the idea. If they don't give a shit how it measures, and they BELIEVE it's going to sound good, and they want to pay, why not take the money? So long as I use magical audiophile adjectives, and don't post numbers that are technically not true, then what's the problem? Shoot. We could "Customize per customer" and claim that makes them non refundable. Probably illegal in some places. Is all of this unethical? Sure feels like it.
 
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I'm pretty sure this in an extrusion that's been finish machined. The top and bottom are removable panels, and the big giveaway is that the internal corners have no radius!
It's not even milled from billet aluminum for $10k? Sheesh. What a ripoff.

For $4k more I can get a LS billet aluminum block and enjoy that sweet sound of the V8 that actually does something more than a Honda with a 100x price tag. https://borowskirace.com/products/billet-aluminum-ls-block-by-energy-mfg?variant=39312852517038

Obviously that isn't audio, but the perspective is hilarious to me.
 

Axo1989

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... you pay for design, but you also get audibly OKish performance.

But apart from specific reconstruction filters, there is no audible difference between "very good" and "excellent" DACs on the ASR chart, we say. No offence to those who hear—but have yet to demonstrate—plankton and other delights. OK-ish starts further down the scale.
 

AdamG

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Let’s try to dial back the foul language use. Getting a little too Smokey in this Bar. Make your point without all the swearing and cussing. ;)
 

DLS79

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It's not even milled from billet aluminum for $10k? Sheesh. What a ripoff.

Billet, Aerospace Grade, & Aircraft Grade is all just marketing baloney, trying to convince consumers that the product is special in some way.

No consumer electronics enclosure, need to be machined out of solid bar stock. It's overly expensive in almost every regard. If you ignore prototypes, and custom stuff, almost all aluminum enclosures are, bent sheet metal, extrusions, or diecast.

For example, even though Topping hints at my D50s & A50s being "made of an aluminum brick" I think that pure marketing. It's far more likely its diecast and then finish machined.
 

Axo1989

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Billet, Aerospace Grade, & Aircraft Grade is all just marketing baloney, trying to convince consumers that the product is special in some way.

No consumer electronics enclosure, need to be machined out of solid bar stock. It's overly expensive in almost every regard. If you ignore prototypes, and custom stuff, almost all aluminum enclosures are, bent sheet metal, extrusions, or diecast.

For example, even though Topping hints at my D50s & A50s being "made of an aluminum brick" I think that pure marketing. It's far more likely its diecast and then finish machined.

Well, we can likely blame Apple (or Jony and Steve specifically) for this as a popular industrial design phenomena. They spent billions on the tooling and installed their CNC machines en masse at Foxconn etc, apparently.

But the aesthetics/haptics are quite pleasing, I think. MacBooks and Mac Minis are more-or-less flat, which suits the method and results in less waste. And the millings are then recycled, of course. The initial stock may be made from recycled also. Generally speaking, I dislike folded metal sufficiently to rule out boxes made that way where possible. Depends how nicely it's done of course, and what sort of object. Castings and extrusions can be done well, combined with judicious use of not-too-thin sheet materials.
 
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Billet, Aerospace Grade, & Aircraft Grade is all just marketing baloney, trying to convince consumers that the product is special in some way.

No consumer electronics enclosure, need to be machined out of solid bar stock. It's overly expensive in almost every regard. If you ignore prototypes, and custom stuff, almost all aluminum enclosures are, bent sheet metal, extrusions, or diecast.

For example, even though Topping hints at my D50s & A50s being "made of an aluminum brick" I think that pure marketing. It's far more likely its diecast and then finish machined.
I was being sarcastic but I am curious. The internet says Billet Steel has duribility advantages. Like my hopped up engine in my Camaro, I need my DAC to handle a beating and put away wet.
 

BeamZappa

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I'd love to see the JW Cambridge Audio: Dacmagic series and ISOmagic tested for reference. Here in UK the John Westlake DAC's were legendary 'giant killers' in the 90's, would be fun to see how they measure up today.
If it wasn't for my Dacmagic 1 + Dac 3 having original nearly 30 year old electronics, that are likely now way out of spec, I'd dig um out and send um over.

Thanks for these tests, using this stuff to decide my next purchase!
 

DLS79

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I was being sarcastic but I am curious. The internet says Billet Steel has duribility advantages.

This is a fairly in-depth topic, and terms very depending on what part of the industry you are talking about. The water is also muddied to some extent because mental manufacturing has a long history, and some terms can have different meanings depending on what time period and process you are talking about.

Billet, bloom, slab, casting etc are just general terms used to describe the size and shape of the metal after its solidified into a solid. This is just the first step in the production process. what you do after the initial casting process depends on what the customer intends to do with the metal. It could be hot rolled, cold rolled, extruded (aluminum), forged, pressed etc. After that can come heat, and various chemical finishing processes.

Generally speaking the most important things that determine a metals physical properties are its grade, if and how its been heat treated, and how it was formed into its final shape (in that order).

Here is a random image I grabbed to show what i mean.

STEEL+PRODUCTION_+Forming+the+steel+into+products.jpg
 

pma

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The original design is from 2010, Stereophile JA tested it in 2012


Parameters and results were very good in 2012, but of course cannot compete in 2024.
 

Jimster480

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I don't judge the people that buy this - as Amir said, you pay for design, but you also get audibly OKish performance. So if you like it and it fits your decor and you're itching to feel 10k, hey, your decision and none of my business. :)

PS: Mind you, I personally wouldn't. Zero reason to "upgrade" if one already has a decent system. But ultimately, what I decide to blow money on is my decision, and sometimes a poor one. I bought Yahoo stock near the peak back in the day, so there... :)
Sure I mean some people don't judge but others do! I would actually be embarrassed to tell someone I bought something like this especially considering most people I know.

So in conclusion you'll get more performance out of a mobile phone that costs 1/20 of this DAC... nah think I will pass on this one. :oops:
100% True but I wonder how true that was with the HTC M8 12 years ago. I wonder if @amirm would want to review just to see what the headphone jack would be capable of all the way back then... but at the same time I don't think it has a "DAC Mode". I do have an HTC M8, M9 and an HTC 10 here :)
 

firedog

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I think you are seeing too much in all this. If you think that people's responses here are sarcastic, tell "non-audiophiles" that you or someone you know spent $10K on a dac and watch and hear how they would respond. You may need to explain first what a DAC is, but yeah.

My take is that what most people are saying here is exactly what they would advice their friends if they were asked by them to buy this unit or not. Most of us would say no, a RME dac (not exactly cheap either, but a reasonable price still for what it offers) should be more than enough. Not that there is something wrong with this product, some of us just don't see the value on buying this thing even if we could afford for it without a sweat. Most of us have limited budgets for audio and have to take seriously into account how to distribute it, that affects the kind of responses and reactions you get here.
I own a Kii Three/BXT system (BXT is new). I never tell non-audiophile friends what my system costs. They think anything over a $1000 for listening to music is insane.
And I never comment on their expensive watches and cars.
 

Jimster480

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The original design is from 2010, Stereophile JA tested it in 2012


Parameters and results were very good in 2012, but of course cannot compete in 2024.
Problem is that it on sale like this still in 2024...
 

Mart68

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Problem is that it on sale like this still in 2024...
why does that matter? It clears the bar for transparency in every metric.

Yes the price is silly for a DAC but that's irrelevant. I know people who earn more than 10K in a week. If they like the looks and buy it just for that it's not like they are taking a hit in sound quality.
 

Purité Audio

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I'd love to see the JW Cambridge Audio: Dacmagic series and ISOmagic tested for reference. Here in UK the John Westlake DAC's were legendary 'giant killers' in the 90's, would be fun to see how they measure up today.
If it wasn't for my Dacmagic 1 + Dac 3 having original nearly 30 year old electronics, that are likely now way out of spec, I'd dig um out and send um over.

Thanks for these tests, using this stuff to decide my next purchase!
I think you have to be careful to separate ‘myth’ and fact, I remember comparing one of his DaCapo dacs to a Meridian and the DaCapo was very audibly poorer.
The DaCapo was I believe highly thought of at the time.
Amir has measured the Dacmagic.

Keith
 

pma

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I measure same results on DacMagicPlus in audio band as @amirm . Moreover, DM+ has ugly HF spectrum above 1MHz, where SOTA Topping DACs behave perfectly clean. Again, same situation. DM+ was very good when it was introduced, now it cannot compete neither in distortion, nor in noise. But I like the multiple opto and coax inputs, 2 input channels switchable. I wish my DX5 would have it as well.
 

Peternz

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At best pointless. At worst, broken because of ridiculously poor value for money.
 
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