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New Bryston BDA-2 DAC Impressions Thread - Page 3

post #31 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

Wanted to add that with the LCD-3s, I can keep the sound down a bit more and still hear the same amount of internal recording details now...very impressive. The USB implementation (using it exclusively tonight) is really a fantastic step up from both the BDA-1 and W4S DAC-2.

 

Tomorrow, I'll be going back to my SR-009s. 

 

Are there any internal pics of this amp?  How is the USB getting it's power?  Does it use XMOS, USB32, Tenor or what?

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post #32 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

Are there any internal pics of this amp?  How is the USB getting it's power?  Does it use XMOS, USB32, Tenor or what?

 

XMOS

 

 

post #33 of 130

Where is the USB power coming from?

post #34 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

Where is the USB power coming from?

 

Send one my way and I'll test for you :rolleyes:

 

According to Bryston though, it could be interpreted that it draws power from the secondary winding of the internal transformer.

post #35 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by khaine1711 View Post
 

 

XMOS

 

 

 

Same XMOS as the PWD2, but in a side by side, the USB seems a bit cleaner on the BDA-2. Not sure how much the "proprietary firmware" that Bryston uses affects this, or just marketing stuff? Could also be the top flight AKM 4399 dual DAC chips too? After having lived with the ESS Sabre chipset in my W4S DAC-2, it seems that the latest DAC chipsets have over taken it. 

 

As well, it does have dual independent power supplies. I'm really glad to have found a DAC that has given me an appreciable bump in performance over the DAC-2. I was thinking NAD M51, some like you and Chase weren't too impressed; while Monkey sold his PWD2 and prefers the NAD. So kinda hard to get a grasp of the NAD DAC. The PWD2 is frankly just too big and all the tinkering with the Firmware to get it to "sound right" plus my first hand experiences with my buddy's PWD2 kinda left me with no real upgrade path unless I was looking at the $5k realm. 

 

Thankfully zare (a local Head-Fier) dropped by in June with his and after that experience the BDA-2 has been in the back of my mind all summer. But with the major home renovations we went through, I put my rig away for about 9 weeks. Since getting it back up and running, I wanted to finalize my Stax amp solution (have a KGSSHV and LL right now, but I'm thinking that the LL won't make the final cut) and a new DAC upgrade. Like you, I'm very happy to stay all solid state and my life seems "easier" without tubes to complicate things. Seems that things have now been sorted out now. Next up, some new music. :smile:

post #36 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

 

Same XMOS as the PWD2, but in a side by side, the USB seems a bit cleaner on the BDA-2. Not sure how much the "proprietary firmware" that Bryston uses affects this, or just marketing stuff? Could also be the top flight AKM 4399 dual DAC chips too? After having lived with the ESS Sabre chipset in my W4S DAC-2, it seems that the latest DAC chipsets have over taken it. 

 

As well, it does have dual independent power supplies. I'm really glad to have found a DAC that has given me an appreciable bump in performance over the DAC-2. I was thinking NAD M51, some like you and Chase weren't too impressed; while Monkey sold his PWD2 and prefers the NAD. So kinda hard to get a grasp of the NAD DAC. The PWD2 is frankly just too big and all the tinkering with the Firmware to get it to "sound right" plus my first hand experiences with my buddy's PWD2 kinda left me with no real upgrade path unless I was looking at the $5k realm. 

 

 

 

Marketing mostly. To make a huge difference you'll probably need a custom-programmed FPGA and driver. XMOS is just a controller, two XMOS devices can sound entirely different depending on implementation and part choice. From the internal pictures, the digital side looks pretty decent; clocks seem to be a bit better than PWD usb module (still not crystek though). 

 

Same thing goes for Dac chip really, a bit unfair for the W4S since it's 1k less than the Bryston. I think a lot of the pro audio companies like Bryston and Lynx are more familiar with many generation of chips from AKM/CS/PCM and generally would make a better dac with those chips rather than exploring new grounds with the Sabre.

 

The NAD M51 is really nice for the price (especially ex-demo/discounted price/aussie price) - nothing special or world beater about it though.

post #37 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

Just picked it up tonight:

 

 

Took my LL out of my setup and put in the KGSSHV (find it more of a transparent amp). Tonight I'm using my SR-009s and from I remember this past June next to the W4S DAC-2, the clarity/detail retrieval is definitely a cut above (especially via USB). The imaging is wider and deeper...more holographic. Not "dry" sounding as the DAC-2 could be which also had an upper mids shout that is not present on the BDA-2. The bass depth/impact/control has also improved quite noticeably. Overall I am very impressed with what I'm hearing.

 

More to come this weekend.

 

dac-2 is dry and bright? damn and i was srsly considering it for my gsx mk2 + hd800 rig...

post #38 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

Just picked it up tonight:

 

 

Took my LL out of my setup and put in the KGSSHV (find it more of a transparent amp). Tonight I'm using my SR-009s and from I remember this past June next to the W4S DAC-2, the clarity/detail retrieval is definitely a cut above (especially via USB). The imaging is wider and deeper...more holographic. Not "dry" sounding as the DAC-2 could be which also had an upper mids shout that is not present on the BDA-2. The bass depth/impact/control has also improved quite noticeably. Overall I am very impressed with what I'm hearing.

 

More to come this weekend.

 

dac-2 is dry and bright? damn and i was srsly considering it for my gsx mk2 + hd800 rig...

 

That issue is not in the DAC-2 DSDse.....

post #39 of 130

does anybody know how the bd2 is different from the bd1?

 

@longbowbbs: how about the dsd non-SE? tbh i dont need/want DSD at all...

post #40 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

 

dac-2 is dry and bright? damn and i was srsly considering it for my gsx mk2 + hd800 rig...

Dry yes, bright, no...but there is an upper mids "shout" that's plagued the ESS Sabre chip based DACs. Still, for the price of $1500 or under, I'd completely recommend the DAC-2. Remember, the BDA-2 is almost $1k more.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post
 

 

That issue is not in the DAC-2 DSDse.....

 

I'd really love to hear one soon. :smile:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jd007 View Post
 

does anybody know how the bd2 is different from the bd1?

 

@longbowbbs: how about the dsd non-SE? tbh i dont need/want DSD at all...

Here you go from TheAbsoluteSound article I posted yesterday:

 

"The most notable new feature added to the BDA-2 is an asynchronous USB input capable of handling all standard sample rates up to 192kHz, replacing the “convenience feature” adaptive USB input of the BDA-1. Bryston’s USB implementation aims to be state-of-the-art, featuring proprietary firmware running on the XMOS USB Audio micro-controller platform. The addition of this feature alone fully justifies the minor price differential over the BDA-1, which remains in the Bryston product line, albeit now at a reduced price. Whereas the BDA-1 utilized a pair of time-tested 24-bit Crystal CS4398 DACs, one per channel in a dual-differential configuration, the BDA-2 has been upgraded with the latest top-of-the-line 32-bit AKM 4399 DACs. Of course both products feature Bryston’s venerable discrete Class A analog output circuitry, rather than off-the-shelf IC op-amps. The BDA-2 retains the input flexibility of its progenitor, with two TosLink optical, two RCA, and two 75-ohm BNC SPDIF inputs, and a balanced AES/EBU input. Both single-ended RCA and balanced XLR analog outputs are offered, as well as a convenient RCA SPDIF pass-through digital output."

 

As I mentioned initially, while I enjoyed the BDA-1 a good amount (had one on loan from a work friend for a weekend), I wasn't motivated enough to upgrade over my DAC-2. The USB implementation on my DAC-2 was better and while the BDA-1 was better, it wasn't enough to justify the funds. That said, the BDA-2's USB is top notch (and bests both the DAC-2 and PWD2). As well, the sound of the BDA-2 is more transparent than the BDA-1 (as I found the top end of the BDA-1 a bit on the bright side of neutral). The BDA-2 is darn good. 

 

Finally, the %THD noise on the BDA-2 is lower all around as well:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/dacs/dacs-reviews/bryston-bda-2-dac/all-pages.html


Edited by MacedonianHero - 9/8/13 at 4:39pm
post #41 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

Dry yes, bright, no...but there is an upper mids "shout" that's plagued the ESS Sabre chip based DACs. Still, for the price of $1500 or under, I'd completely recommend the DAC-2. Remember, the BDA-2 is almost $1k more.

 

 

No way Jose.:biggrin:  Should be depending on the output stage.  I have the Buffalo III here, I think with the same saber chip.  No mid shout at all. Very smooth and detailed..

post #42 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post
 

 

No way Jose.:biggrin:  Should be depending on the output stage.  I have the Buffalo III here, I think with the same saber chip.  No mid shout at all. Very smooth and detailed..

 

Sorry, I didn't mean ALL Sabre chipped DACs...just most (and certainly the one's I've heard)...like the DAC-2, Peachtree DACs and most recently the Benchmark DAC-2. The analog stage can alter that.

 

So are you keeping the Buffalo III or is it going with your other two DACs Darryl (or do you prefer Jose :p)? 


Edited by MacedonianHero - 9/8/13 at 5:13pm
post #43 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post
 

 

Sorry, I didn't mean ALL Sabre chipped DACs...just most (and certainly the one's I've heard)...like the DAC-2, Peachtree DACs and most recently the Benchmark DAC-2. The analog stage can alter that.

 

So are you keeping the Buffalo III or is it going with your other two DACs Darryl (or Jose :p)? 

 

Ha ha ha ..  I'll sell it.  If not, I'm going to re configure it and put a exaU2I board in it.

post #44 of 130
Don't particularly like the thin flex ribbon cables they use in the BDA2 but you can't argue with the sound I guess.

Would be interested to know about the USB Supply too.
post #45 of 130
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aive View Post

Don't particularly like the thin flex ribbon cables they use in the BDA2 but you can't argue with the sound I guess.

Would be interested to know about the USB Supply too.

 

More than serves it purpose and the DAC sounds great. First time in my home rig I've felt I haven't had to sacrifice SQ for the convenience of USB.  :)

 

FWIW, I work for a Flexible Circuit manufacturer (MIL/AERO/Medical) and I'm not a fan of ribbon cables in these applications....takes business away from us. :p But seriously, depends on the application and what you're looking to do. I've actually recommended to our customers ribbon cables when the application seems right (like this one).

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