Bryston BDA2 DAC
Over the last couple of years I have upgraded all my cables and power to build a solid foundation for my gear. Each cable upgrade allowed the gear to reach its potential. Now that the foundation is solid it is time to start upgrading the gear. My first upgrade is going from Bryston's BDA1 DAC to the BDA2. This was just released a few months ago, and is getting good reviews all over. While I had no complaints about the BDA1, I thought I would try the BDA2, and send it back if it was not much better.
Well, as soon as I turned it on I realized it is a keeper. The music just seemed to come from nowhere since it is so quiet. There is no digital edge on the music now. You do not even realize it is there until it is gone. That part is amazing. Notes are so clean you can isolate them in the soundstage, and violin string decay into blackness. All CD files, old rock and new jazz, sound so much better. There is much better channel separation with the soundstage much more defined from left to right.
I suspect one reason why this sounds so good is because I am using the Bryston BDP1 digital file player as a source. The interconnect is a Shunyata Ztron Python AES digital, and both the DAC and the source have Shunyata Ztron Cobra power cords.
I know some of you think CD players are great, but this pair easily kicks CD player butt. There is no contest.
The drawback to this is now I have to put my BDA1 into the HT for when I use it for two channel. That means I have to buy another power cord and a pair of analog ICs. Oh well, I guess that is why I work.
I cannot recommend this combination high enough. If you are on the fence about digital, or want an upgrade, I say get this DAC and file player. I have been a Shunyata fanboy for awhile now because their cables work. Now I am a Bryston fanboy. I just might upgrade to their 7B SST mono amps now.
A better review than mine that I will say is spot on.
Good to heat your experience. I really am thinking to jump in this area of DACs. I guess I just have to save up to buy a good one.
The price on that bda2 is fantastic, congrats on scoring a great dac. I was looking into the bryston digital file player but cant understand why the bda2 dac is only $2395 and the file player is 3k
You must be looking at the BDP2, which has more memory, and you can install an internal SSD. Get the BDP1 at $2200. On another forum a Bryston VP posted a review where the reviewer did an A/B comparison between the two using the same playlist, and he said he could hear no difference.
Originally Posted by polkfarmboy
No disrespect, but my Theta transport/Denon SACD transport and DAC sounds pretty damn good. Not sure if your combo would kick my combo's butt. Just sayin'.....
Originally Posted by BlueFox
I just read the TAS review of this dac yesterday. Congrats.
LOL. None taken. I'm sure your CD player sounds great, and over the years a lot of good payers have been made. In my review I should have phrased that statement better. Darn beer.
Originally Posted by headrott
I should have said IMO this player DAC combination is an order of magnitude better than a CD player for these reasons
It is very unlikely that a mechanical/optical file reader is better than the BDP1. At best it will be equal, and that will require a lot of engineering, which translates into a higher price.
The CD player's DAC might be better, but the odds are its technology is getting old.
The CD player DAC cannot be upgraded as better technology becomes available
The CDP cannot play high-res files.
The CDP cannot create playlists of multiple CDs, multiple songs, etc. Believe me, once you get used to this then it is hard to not have it. It is like color TV vs black and white.
The drawback here is that it cannot play SACDs, but that is minor compared to all the pluses, in addition to sounding so good.
Friday night I had a first with this DAC. The sound is now so clean and distortion free I drove my right amp into clipping. That had never happened before. Naturally, the battery is dead in my SPL meter, so while I know it was loud, I don't know how loud. I have to admit the amp (Cambridge-Audio 840W in bridged mono mode) handled the clipping quite gracefully, and no damage appears to have been done to either the speaker or amp.
Time for you to get new amps. You sound like the kind of guy who would love high power, class d amps.