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  1. #1

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    Default Bryston BDA-1 DAC

    I'm still huntin' around for DAC's, and I think I want one with a remote to switch inputs; this feature makes it sooo easy to evaluate sources.

    The Wyred for Sound DAC-2 and Bryston BDA-1 are at the top of my list.

    Anyone ever compare the two?

    I know the W4S has a superior USB input, but a good USB to SPDIF converter makes that point moot.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  2. #2

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    Default

    I think you should get them both. That way, you will have had a shootout between ALL of the DACs that I've ever considered getting so I'll be a more informed buyer :)

    Honestly, though, I've only heard good things about the Bryston but never had a chance to hear one in my rig or any others. Thanks for all the write-ups you've done so far... very informative and helpful to anyone looking at getting one of the current-gen DACs.

    2-channel
    Squeezebox Duet | Benchmark DAC1 | Audio Research SP16 | Belles 350A Reference Amplifier | Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signature System

    Home Theater
    Pioneer Elite SC-05 | Polk Rti70 | Polk CSi40 | Polk Fxi50 | SVS PB12-Plus/2 :D

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaldus View Post
    I think you should get them both. That way, you will have had a shootout between ALL of the DACs that I've ever considered getting so I'll be a more informed buyer :)

    Honestly, though, I've only heard good things about the Bryston but never had a chance to hear one in my rig or any others. Thanks for all the write-ups you've done so far... very informative and helpful to anyone looking at getting one of the current-gen DACs.
    A huge +1

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaldus View Post
    I think you should get them both. That way, you will have had a shootout between ALL of the DACs that I've ever considered getting so I'll be a more informed buyer :)

    Honestly, though, I've only heard good things about the Bryston but never had a chance to hear one in my rig or any others. Thanks for all the write-ups you've done so far... very informative and helpful to anyone looking at getting one of the current-gen DACs.
    Thanks, man!

    Unfortunately, I can't afford to get either one until I sell off a couple of the others, plus I can't find a BDA for sale right now.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  5. #5

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    I upgraded my Benchmark DAC1 Pre to the Bryston BDA DAC, and love it. For lack of a better term, it is more musical (sounds better, less defined) than the Benchmark. However, the remote control is a few hundred dollars extra, so I did not get it.

    While I never tried it, ever review of the Bryston I have read said that the USB input sucked, while the others are great. I use an RCA SPDIF with a MIT Magnum to my Wadia iTransport, and could be happier with the result.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I upgraded my Benchmark DAC1 Pre to the Bryston BDA DAC, and love it. For lack of a better term, it is more musical (sounds better, less defined) than the Benchmark
    Hey BlueFox, can you expand on any sonic differences between the Benchmark and the Bryston BDA? I'm leaning towards the BDA over the W4S since I like the idea of using a separate USB to SPDIF converter that can be upgraded independently in the future without having to replace the whole DAC. I know that I could use a converter with the W4S also, but I feel like the Bryston would have a better analog section. Maybe not.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Hey BlueFox, can you expand on any sonic differences between the Benchmark and the Bryston BDA? I'm leaning towards the BDA over the W4S since I like the idea of using a separate USB to SPDIF converter that can be upgraded independently in the future without having to replace the whole DAC. I know that I could use a converter with the W4S also, but I feel like the Bryston would have a better analog section. Maybe not.
    It has been a couple of years since I upgraded so I can't give you accurate details. The Benchmark just seemed sharper, more precise, or brighter. The Bryston has plenty of detail, but it is not as harsh. However, these differences are very small. Until I got the Bryston, I was very happy with the Benchmark, but the Bryston just sounded a bit better.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    ...these differences are very small. Until I got the Bryston, I was very happy with the Benchmark, but the Bryston just sounded a bit better.
    Yea, I've found all the DAC's I've compared recently to be pretty similar.

    I was kinda hoping the Bryston would be the magic DAC to break the mold, but that's probably wishful thinking.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Yea, I've found all the DAC's I've compared recently to be pretty similar.

    I was kinda hoping the Bryston would be the magic DAC to break the mold, but that's probably wishful thinking.
    No. It's like everything else. Just swapping out similar gear is not going to create a night/day difference. The better the other gear, the better results you get. Over the last two years I have replaced all my cables (analog ICs, digital IC, speaker, and power cords), and installed brass footers under every thing for vibration elimination. My system sounds much, much better now than when I just changed out a $1500 DAC for a $2000 DAC.

    I suspect to get another step up in sound quality I am going to have to start looking at gear that is 2-3 times the price of my current setup. For example, $16K Wilson Sophia speakers versus my $5K PSB Synchrony One speakers. That is probably going to be my next major upgrade.

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