Very interesting thread
"M2Tech stack for example, has a very distinctive sound. I would describe it as ethereal - great resolution, smoothness and vast soundstaging, but at the same time it is a bit light on its feet, lacking some substance and midrange texture.
ORT5 on the other hand sounds warmer, fuller with more texture, but at the same time, lacks the top end resolution and extension that Evo (and to lesser extent the Scarlatti transport) is capable of.
You can say that BADA is best of both worlds, and then some. Alpha USB has all the texture of the ORT5 and Scarlatti transport, but combines that with the outstanding resolution, smoothness and soundstaging of the Evo stack. In fact, it even goes one step further that the Evo in that department - with BADA not only you can hear all the detail, but you can actually feel a sound wave developing and moving the air, which makes the instrument outlines more 3D. Quite frankly, I was stunned when I first heard this.
The BADA Alpha USB made the sound smoother, with ZERO artificial edge, grain or digital glare.
There was also much better layering of instruments, and air around the outlines. The instruments sounded not only better separated in space, but also much more 3-dimensional.
The resolution also improved quite a bit. You could hear the sounds that you were not aware are on the recording, the HF decays had much longer trails and hung in space much longer.
The most fascinating thing was that sound had better resolution, but at the same time, was so much smoother and fluid. Usually, it is another way round. Very often we try a new component or a cable and at first are fascinated by improved resolution, only to find out a few days later (after we had X-rayed all our recordings), that the increased resolution brings listener fatigue and makes the listening far less enjoyable.
Not this time. BADA pulls this incredible trick of sounding both more resolute, more transparent, and much smoother at the same time.
To me Berkeley Audio Designs Alpha USB defines the current state of the art in USB/SPDIF converters design."