Bricasti M1 Versions, Upgrades and Impressions (2011 - 2018)
May 17, 2018 at 8:09 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

Drewligarchy

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I just picked up a demo M1 yesterday at a good price to use with both my Stax 009 (Mojnir KGSSHV Carbon) and LCD 4 (Violectric V281).

In my reading I've noticed that there are many versions of the M1 as Bricasti has made it essentially very upgrade-able. Further, there are not a lot of impressions on how the various upgrades improve / change the sound. There are also like 100 filters which I've also read change based on the version you have.

My initial impressions are very positive. I've previously used a Yggy and Auralic Vega with the above system and I am noticing significant improvements in soundstage, imaging and timbre. The improvements are especially noticeable with my Stax, given how resolving it is. The one minor issue I have is that it seems that the LCD 4 has lost a hair of mid-bass impact vs the previous two DACs. That said, it seems more linear with greater sub-bass extension, and better bass texture and speed. I need a bit more time with it to fully get my head around the sound

My version is the non-se. It has an older firmware (1.17), and hardware around the early/middle of the it's lifecycle (USB input up to 192, DSD 64, linear power supply for digital as well as analog (I believe from looking through the vents), remote, volume control, 6 minimum phase filters and 9 linear filters).

Even with a new toy at a great price, I've already got the itch to upgrade it's components (especially as it's digital) I contacted Bricasti and was pleasantly surprised by both their excellent customer service (near immediate response) - and the fact that I can upgrade it to the latest and greatest SE with DSD 128 and DXD, more filters, and an ethernet streaming card.

As the old Bricasti Thread has not been active for a year in a half, I'm hoping to hear from Bricasti owners that have the current Bricasti and their impressions - and especially those that have had the Bricasti for a number of years and gone through the upgrades and can comment on the sonic changes they perceived.

Specifically some things come to mind:
- With my particular firmware, I've settled on the Minimum Phase 2 filter. Minimum Phase 0 seems a hair two bright. Anyone have experience as to the different effects of the filters for both my unit and the newer units? If filters have been moved around (changed number as I've read), how do my filters compare to the filters in the newest firmware?
- What are the sonic benefits of upgrading to the SE version?
- What are the sonic benefits of upgrading the USB to DSD 128 (outside of being able to play DSD 128 natively)? Bricasti mentioned this involves a hardware change so curious if it effects the USB input overall.
- What are the sonic benefits of the ethernet card? Bricasti told me that this was the biggest improvement they've made to the DAC. I currently am using an Auralic Aries Extreme via AES. I use the Aries wireless, and would be a chore to run Cat5 to the Bricasti - but I can make it work if it's a signficant improvement over the Aries.

Would love to hear some conversation as well around this DAC in general and how it compares to the most modern DACs out there from all price ranges. It's an older piece of gear - sure - but Bricasti has created an excellent upgrade path similar to what Schiit's done with their multi-bit DACs.
 
May 19, 2018 at 10:56 AM Post #2 of 2

Drewligarchy

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I think I determined the cause of the slight shoutiness / slightly reduced midbass on my LCD-4.

It was strange to me because the sound was so smooth through my KGSSHV Carbon and Stax 009, which are significantly brighter than the LCD-4, v281 combo.

I had a pair of Nordost Purple Flare RCA interconnects between the DAC and the v281. I had acquired them quite along time ago - but typically use balanced interconnects - so I just happened to put them in when I originally got the DAC (running the XLRs to my KGSSGV Carbon). I didn't realize they were Silver Plated Copper - which a quick internet search revealed.

I pulled them out and just put in some standard Mogami RCA interconnects and problem was immediately solved. The Mogamis in my opining are completely neutral and always help in evaluating the true tonal characteristics with a piece of gear. Further, Bricasti is a pro audio company as much a company geared toward audiophiles - so why not use a typical pro-sound cable?

I'll probably stick with the Mogamis as they have the synergy I am looking for. That said, I'm interested in what other interconnects others are using with their M1?

Any recommendations for particularly good synergy?

There has got to be a few Bricasti owners here that have some opinions!
 

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