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Bricasti M1SE Stereo DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 113 29.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 139 36.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 113 29.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 17 4.5%

  • Total voters
    382

sarieri

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I never said they were. I voted fine for this one. It does what the manufacturer claims. But it's still overpriced in my opinion then again Benchmark is overpriced as well in comparison. You said it wasn't fair to compare with todays technology. I simply offered one device from the same period at 1/5 the price.
I agree with you it’s overpriced. But at the time when it was released, technology isn’t like today and people’s belief also developed throughout the years. It’s also just their business model to charge the maximum markup.
 

fredoamigo

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It's clear that today, this DAC appears a little 'overrated' with its triple linear power supply, dual mono, and performances ranging from acceptable to good. In any case, the difference with a SOTA dac today 10 times cheaper will be inaudible. But hey, forgive me, but there is nothing scandalous... I find the last Mytek seen here recently much more scandalous, or again, remember the Totaldac seen here a few years ago?" by the way, I would be curious to know the cost of such an aluminum chassis..ok I would never buy such a thing, but I recognize that it is pleasant to watch .
 

DLS79

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I would have liked to see the output level be 4 volts. Manual says there is an internal jumper that causes the output to be variable and then you can set it to a higher value. But why is the default this odd number?

For $10k it should be a switch or button on the outside of the enclosure!
 

DanielT

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Thank you Amir for your review and measurements of this rather expensive DAC.:)

I agree with you it’s overpriced. But at the time when it was released, technology isn’t like today and people’s belief also developed throughout the years. It’s also just their business model to charge the maximum markup.
But it's still for sale:

 

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dfuller

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Bricasti is all ex-Lexicon people. Based here in MA.

Their real claim to fame, so to speak, is their outstanding M7 digital reverb. It has straight up the best hall and plate algorithms I've heard on any unit anywhere.
 
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Sounds no better than my $100 DAC. 100x price increase for what exactly? What am I getting here besides `meh` performance? A volume knob? Pretty buttons?
 

phoenixdogfan

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I am trying to recollect of the high-end/expensive dacs that Amir has measured is it only the Tambaqui which has returned decent measurements? ( measurements commensurate with its price).
Keith
DACS are like onto the toasters of the audio world. For $15 I can buy a perfectly good toaster at Walmart that does the job and looks OK in my kitchen, or I can go to the Cuisinart store and pay $1500 for a chromium plated 4 slice job with 50 settings. Both will make perfectly acceptable toast. In point of fact, no on would ever possibly be able to distinguish the toast made in the $1500 machine from the toast made in the $15 machine.

DAC pricing and performance works exactly the same way.
 

Koeitje

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Voted “fine.” I would have liked to have voted “not terrible” due to its high price and poor value proposition, but as I usually do, I am rating on measured performance only.
Yes, plus I also don't know if this a current model. If this model is lets say 5 years old its pretty good,.
 

GPx86

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$15 toasters from Wal Mart. $100 DACs from OCONUS. Scrutinizing decade old technology implementation.

Anyone ever tried to spin up a low volume electronics engineering and production facility in the USA before?
 
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pkane

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DACS are like onto the toasters of the audio world. For $15 I can buy a perfectly good toaster at Walmart that does the job and looks OK in my kitchen, or I can go to the Cuisinart store and pay $1500 for a chromium plated 4 slice job with 50 settings. Both will make perfectly acceptable toast.

DAC pricing and performance works exactly the same way.

I've yet to find a DAC that does a toast well, regardless of price.
 

Mikig

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Yes, plus I also don't know if this a current model. If this model is lets say 5 years old its pretty good,.
He started his career way back in 2011! in my opinion the one tested is the older model, the new one has a different display! they probably share most of the layout.
 

Hart

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I keep repeating this story over and over and over again every time I hear the myth that most of the budget has to go into the source/amplification...
A fosi V3 with Salon 2s will sound infinitely better than a McIntosh with two JBL a190s, and there is no way it will be any other way
It's one of the crazy things you observe as an audiophile. I have VU meters on my amp with reasonably efficient speakers you rarely use more than 10 watts at a reasonable listening level. Most of the gains earned by spending tens of thousands on the front end can barely be heard, if at all. Yet over and over again I see systems with 3k speakers and 20k of gear. Owners thinking that a $10,000 amp at 0.001 distortion is somehow going to improve their 3k speakers better than getting 13k speakers. I don't get it. You get to the Boulder level, or buy time correcting units, 5k interconnects, then you are in "the emperor is not wearing any clothes" territory. Another thing that is really critical is the shape of the room, sound absorbing properties of the room etc. It is as important as anything else. I have heard low-mid fi speakers in an acoustically near perfect room at a local Berkeley audio store that sounded really good. Take them home and they don't sound great anymore. I had an Eichler inspired copy in the Oakland hills, the living room was 1,000 sq ft and all glass to 13' peak. Too large and too bright. I kept going up in speakers and it never sounded very good. I was wasting my money. The room matters, but no one really discusses the science of the room.
 
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Rhamnetin

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He started his career way back in 2011! in my opinion the one tested is the older model, the new one has a different display! they probably share most of the layout.

This is not the M1 Series II, but they will all perform pretty much identically since they all use the same actual DAC configuration and output voltage.
 

French Meloman

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I voted "not terrible" for two reasons: balanced output level < 4 V and too small number of inputs.

Nevertheless, the product is overall in line with its specifications and the customer is therefore not deceived about the intrinsic quality of the product. The performance is good enough for its owner to consider replacing it.

I also like the overall look of it, but the value for money is inherently very bad. This is the real problem with high-end HIFI, the price of which is its own justification.
 

Mikig

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the company offers the possibility of updating the M1 both at software and machine level. So USB port, power supply etc.etc.

If a Bricasti customer purchased it 10 years ago, he could find the machine updated and with measurements that are still "competent" today.

This is an important aspect.

If I think that with my modern SINAD record DAC, the company didn't even answer me to a very trivial question about its use... And the day it has a problem, I'll throw 500-odd euros in the bin....

It's true that 10,000 euros is a lot, but I think that from 2011 to today, I have changed at least 5 DACs, and I haven't spent that amount, but I have certainly spent an amount that is close to a used M1... .
 

DLS79

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DAC pricing and performance works exactly the same way.
That's a ridiculous over simplification. inputs outputs and features play a huge part in determining final price both from a manufacturing an an engineering point of view!
 

Tachyon88

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You just know for that price its going to crush the blacks, the blackest of blacks, trust your ears !
 

French Meloman

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the company offers the possibility of updating the M1 both at software and machine level. So USB port, power supply etc.etc.

If a Bricasti customer purchased it 10 years ago, he could find the machine updated and with measurements that are still "competent" today.

This is an important aspect.

If I think that with my modern SINAD record DAC, the company didn't even answer me to a very trivial question about its use... And the day it has a problem, I'll throw 500-odd euros in the bin....

It's true that 10,000 euros is a lot, but I think that from 2011 to today, I have changed at least 5 DACs, and I haven't spent that amount, but I have certainly spent an amount that is close to a used M1... .
Indeed, the problem posed by recent Chinese DACs is that of their reliability and after-sales service. I bought one from a French importer who is supposed to take care of this responsibility in case something goes wrong. I have no doubt that BRICASTI is capable of such a service, but the world of high-end HIFI is diverse and some are far from flawless in this area.
 

KSTR

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Sounds no better than my $100 DAC. 100x price increase for what exactly? What am I getting here besides `meh` performance? A volume knob? Pretty buttons?
10k indeed is a bit tough, but please consider:
- designed (and hand-built) in USA by very experienced pro-audio engineers (former Lexicon staff)
- designed for long service life and sustainability, with modules that can be replaced and options that can be added. It tells something that this product is still sold and receives updates after a decade.
- excellent implementation, especially the filters, It may well sound better than your $100 "throw-away" DAC.
- professional documentation.

That's why I voted "fine".
 
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