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Audio-gd Ref 7.1 or Bryston BDA-1

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by preproman, Jun 24, 2012.
  1. preproman
    How does these two DACs compare to each other.  The insides of each are very different.  Does less = more, or does more = better?
    BDA-1.gif Reference7.1.jpg
  2. SoupRKnowva
    I know there was someone in the ref 7 thread, that had a Bryston, and ditched it after he got the Ref 7. I believe that Jon Darko also compared the two in his review of the ref 7, hes over at the digital audio blog, its an australian website
  3. SoupRKnowva
    yep no problem man, and obviously you could go through and find more of SP Wilds impressions in the pages before and after the ones i linked.
    Speaking of the Ref 7 though, i loved it when i got to hear it at the last Cincinatti meet. The best DAC ive had the opportunity to hear. It would be pretty awesome if you had one in time for the Dayton meet in august [​IMG] cuase im planning on getting on the list for the Anedio D2 here soon. that would be quite the match to have at the meet [​IMG]
  4. mcullinan
    I had the Bryston BDA-1 for over 2 years. Its a great DAC, but I think its outclassed by more modern Dacs. Id say its strength is its upper midrange naturalness and clarity. Balanced and relatively neutral. Not the last word in subtle detail, though its good. I felt the top end to be grainy sounding at times too. Otherwise a great sounding Dac overall.
    USB is dated in the Dac too. 
    I haven't heard the Ref 7 so no comparison there.
  5. Shahrose
    Darryl, you've probably already seen this, but Mike did a comparison here: http://www.headfonia.com/the-flagship-audio-gd-pcm1704-based-ref-7-1/
  6. mcullinan
    See our similar midrange comments... Ive got good ears.. uh huh woot woot.
  7. preproman
    Shahrose thanks,
    Do you concur with his review of how well the 7.1 performs?  
    What amp do you like it better with: B22 or the Dynahi.
    Trying to get a Dynamite build - the boards are hard to find nowadays.
  8. Shahrose
    The Ref7.1 is the best I've heard yes, but, I don't have any experience with more expensive DACs. My modded EE Minimax was outclassed but it wasn't far off to be honest. Then again, I put in $1600+ into that thing so I wasn't surprised. The Buffalo32s, which bettered the y2, got left behind by both the EE and Ref7.1.
    I don't always agree with Mike, but here, I think he was right for the most part. It's a layered, spacious-sounding DAC, with a full, extended, defined bass and a very neutral tone. I'd say transparency is a strength, but this also means that bad recordings sound bad. Some people want a romanticized sound that will make everything pleasing. If that's what you want, look elsewhere. Coming from the tube-EE DAC, the mids are a bit drier. I haven't heard the Bryston, but from reading Mike's comments, I bet it's more like the EE in its rendering of the mids (ie. more liquid and prominent than the Ref7.1).
    The B22 and Dynahi are very different. As a standalone amp, the Dynahi is my pick. However, with a neutral, revealing DAC like the Ref7.1, I find myself enjoying the B22 just as much if not more because of its forgiving nature.
    Good luck trying to source those boards. It will be worth the effort if you get a full build out of it.
  9. preproman
    Good information Shahrose - Thanks..

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