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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

d3l

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How can you say that, because of measurements we know that this particular unit is competent but not outstanding.
Personally if I were going to spend that amount on a ‘pride of ownership’ design I would want a nice case and exemplary measurements.
Keith

If you have a chance take a listen to the unit. The sound is sinply superb. Probably do to the combination of the chip implementation and the filters.
 

Purité Audio

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It’s a pride of ownership product, like soooo many others.
It works it’s not snake oil it is just no better than any other properly designed unit.
As an individual you have to decide whether you are prepared to spend x times the amount on a smart case.
Keith
 

EXIF68

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There are also lots of photos online for the inside of this device, if anyone is curious. Here's a random one I selected. The very earliest models (non-SE I believe) used an SMPS for the digital board, instead of only LPS.

m1_inside.jpeg
They are using mirrored DAC-pcb‘s for left and right channel. That could be the reason for different harmonic spectrum in each channel.
 

srkbear

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Maybe it’s just me but in this day and age, where everything is transparent at this point, cost tops my list of criteria when assigning a rating to a DAC. Given that our Chinese friends are cranking out the best you can buy for a few hundred bucks, I can’t even justify this box of screws for the ritzy indulgent set—if they’re paying this much it better reflect every single one of those dollars in its performance. In what other luxury market would such mediocrity be tolerated? Seriously? I can’t think of any blue chip brand from any other commodity where it isn’t an a priori assumption that you’re getting the absolute besf there is in terms of quality, and then the aesthetics and arbitrary markups go up from there.

Honestly I think the kinds of people who buy these sorts of things probably couldn’t care less about reviews like this—this is the sort of item that is curated for the ultra-rich by exclusive sellers and all they care about is the fact that it looks extremely expensive and weighs a lot. This is basically a masterpiece of aesthetic design weighed down by lead bricks accompanied by the technological sophistication under the hood of a Sharper Image item from the eighties.

FFS, DACs are done. Perfected. I hate to say a dime a dozen but that’s pretty much where we are. I view this component of my setup as being the least fussy option to invest in, and certainly the cheapest, other than the cables required to plug it in. Maybe some would say I’m going too far to call this thing snake oil, but based on the spirit of the term, I think there are parallels—at minimum this shill of a DAC is a shell game. You’re paying a fortune under the assumption of acquiring the top of the line, and by design there’s no way to tell that you aren’t without a measuring rig. I shudder at the thought of what the charlatans at this company talk about—what person of integrity would sign off on this? Boo! Crooks!
 

srkbear

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It’s a pride of ownership product, like soooo many others.
It works it’s not snake oil it is just no better than any other properly designed unit.
As an individual you have to decide whether you are prepared to spend x times the amount on a smart case.
Keith
It may be a pride of ownership product, but I know of no other market or commodity where the most exclusive and luxurious option available was able to achieve such eminence without representing the pinnacle of quality at every imaginable criteria. You buy Armani couture, it’s going to reek of quality at every angle, last a lifetime, and leave lesser designs looking clumsy in comparison. I find it odd that anyone who is a connoisseur of audio reproduction would feel pride in owning such mediocrity. We travel amongst some very strange circles in this hobby.
 

rocksteady

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Would you consider this bad performance ?
https://www.stereophile.com/content/bryston-bda-1-da-converter-measurements

I got one used 10 years ago for almost half of the original price.
When I got it, it blew away every other disc player or DAC I ever had (many !).

Still in use today and can sound better than the analog outputs of the Eversolo DMP-A6 that is attached via Coax spdif (depending on the source material quality).
As much as I would like to get rid of it, it just keeps going.
Also better about 95% of the time Vs a Gustard A26 via USB (which I took out of the system recently and may sell soon).

Comparisons are always at matched levels (within .1dB at speaker terminals) and both sighted and blind with similar results.
It is however very sensitive to the source component via Coax (no USB 2.0 input) so jitter attenuation is not good.
I had the best results with the Pi2designs Mercury streamer V2 before it bricked and almost as good with a Oppo UDP-205 (all via coax spdif).

But I do agree that $10k is way too much for the Briscasti even if this was brand new design with a more modern DAC !!!
I would say yes, poor performance.

"Overall, and assuming the problem with 176.4kHz data was sample-specific, the Bryston BDA-1 measured very well. Still, I was puzzled by the noise modulation in the low treble, and the less-good performance with oversampling was not what I expected.—John Atkinson"
 

AVphile

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My wish would be that Amir could test Bricasti's latest version of the M1, namely its M1 Series II. DAC performance is steadily improving, so testing a prior-generation product is, to me, a bit unfair to the manufacturer. Moreover, a side-by-side comparison would give the reader a good sense of whether a model's "refresh" was driven by technological improvements or a company's marketing decision to restimulate buyer demand by using a new lipstick.
 
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