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  #11  
Old 03-03-2020, 10:54 AM
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I have been on the hunt for a good all-in-one unit to serve as the hub of my main headphone and 2-channel rig. I'm looking for a device that will function as a streaming DAC, headphone amp, and pre-amp. Right now I'm using the Matrix Audio Element X which is a great unit. I do have one or two small quibbles with it that have me looking at other options.

I have had my sights on the dCS Bartok as an all-in-one unit, but the price is pretty steep. I've had the chance to demo it with my headphones as well as through speakers and really liked what I heard. I also really liked the simplicity of controlling everything from an app. The Mosaic app seems to work pretty seamlessly with the Bartok and I haven't seen any reports of issues.

I'm curious if the M3h with network card could give similar functionality to the Bartok at a more reasonable price point. I haven't seen much online regarding the M3 and even less about the headphone version M3h. It doesn't look like Bricasti has any sort of app for their network streamers (correct me if I'm wrong here) and I'm not sure how easy it would be to control the unit from a phone/iPad.

Does anyone here have any experience with the M3, M3h, or the streaming functions?
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Headphone rig: Shunyata Denali 6000s V2, Matrix Audio Element X, Focal Utopia
2-Channel setup: Shunyata Denali 6000s V2, Matrix Audio Element X, Esoteric A-02, Wilson Sabrinas
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2020, 11:53 AM
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Dan - I was in the same boat before I purchased my dCS Rossini...I wanted a very straightforward, no fuss DAC streamer that also would improve my disc playback since I still have so many redbook CDs. I explored the Bricasti products but like you, I really couldn't seem to find any concrete information about the network card, how it works and what apps you needed to run it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you have to use a third party application like JRiver to run the streaming off the Bricasti. The dCS Mosaic app was the icing on the cake for me....it works perfectly as well as functioning as the remote control for the DAC and I don't have to bother with another computer or software like ROON. Now Roon is very cool and it is better and more full featured than the Mosaic app, but you don't HAVE to buy it if you don't want, an important consideration for me since my room is a computer free zone!

I'll be able to report back this weekend about the Bricasti.......I'm headed to Monroe, LA to hang with Steve (SL1800) and Tim (Timobi) and I'm taking a dCS Bartok from Hifi Buys with me to compare to the Bricasti since Tim is in the market for a DAC. We're going to have plenty of time to compare the two and report back on the sound. They're both really good DACs and I wouldn't expect to hear a massive difference between the two, but the dCS functionality, support and easy software upgrades and it's own simple app would seem to put the dCS in the hard to beat category. I'll let you know.

- Buck
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2020, 12:35 PM
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Buck, that would be amazingly helpful. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to demo the M3h where I am and wouldn't want to make such a large purchase completely blind. Having demo'd the Bartok at Hifi Buys I know that I already like its sound and functionality. Any feedback you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
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Headphone rig: Shunyata Denali 6000s V2, Matrix Audio Element X, Focal Utopia
2-Channel setup: Shunyata Denali 6000s V2, Matrix Audio Element X, Esoteric A-02, Wilson Sabrinas
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2020, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVass13 View Post
Buck, that would be amazingly helpful. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to demo the M3h where I am and wouldn't want to make such a large purchase completely blind. Having demo'd the Bartok at Hifi Buys I know that I already like its sound and functionality. Any feedback you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
Dan let me chime in here.

I will also be in Monroe this weekend visiting Tim to jam. I'm also excited to meet Buck and Steve for the first time!

I have not heard the M3 directly but I do know someone I trust very much and he just LOVES his M3 - he also uses it with headphones. He is kind of a headphone savant and is very picky what he plugs his headphones into. I believe its true you need Roon or an Aurender but even adding all that up you will be thousands of $$'s less then Bartok. Yes its a bit more complicated but particularly an Aurender makes it pretty easy with many great solutions to pick from. As far as service you will be hard pressed to find a better company then Bricasti- very hands on, great equipment and located in the US. Have you called the factory to discuss your concerns? If not I would suggest you give it a try - you will be happy you did!

Also just to be clear no M3 will be part of the "Tim" visit this weekend. What Bricasti has generously sent is their M1SE and M21 DAC when first asked early on. The Bartok dealer refused when asked originally but has now reconsidered after Buck has generously volunteered his time to drive it to Tim's. I"m told the M3 has a similar sound to the big brothers which are very musical indeed. I've owned a M1SE & M12 loved them both and in the process of upgrading to the M21. Should have it in a couple of weeks.
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Components: Bricasti M21 DAC & M28SE Amps / Aurender W20SE Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART Cherry / 2-ML 212's Subs Grounding: Nordost QKore 6 / 8' Earth Ground Rod Nordost: O2 Full Loom, QV2 & QK1, 2-QX4, TC Kones, Sort Fut & LIft, QPoints & QSource w/Premium cables Network: AQ Diamond, Sotm switch & Linear Power supply, QSource to pwr modem and Router

Last edited by GW1800; 03-04-2020 at 06:14 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2020, 02:32 AM
fourxmotion fourxmotion is offline
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I primarily use Roon with my M3 and it's built in ethernet card but have also used Audrivana. Jriver is also supported.
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2020, 02:48 AM
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Mike,

I gave Damon about a week ago and was a bit sad to hear that he really wasn't too familiar with the headphone version of the M3. I had a few questions about that DAC side of the unit that he was able to answer, but I was left with a number of unanswered questions regarding the headphone amp side. He suggested I call Drew at Moon Audio to discuss. I haven't had a chance to call yet, but suspect Drew might be a good resource as I'm sure he's heard both the M3h and the dCS Bartok with several different TotL headphones.

I'm curious what your thoughts might be between the Bricasti and dCS DACs from the shootout. I think the M21 would be a good competitor to the dCS.
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Headphone rig: Shunyata Denali 6000s V2, Matrix Audio Element X, Focal Utopia
2-Channel setup: Shunyata Denali 6000s V2, Matrix Audio Element X, Esoteric A-02, Wilson Sabrinas
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2020, 07:15 PM
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Roon for streaming for me. I would be using Audirvana+ for P.C. otherwise, a though I very much prefer the ethernet connection. There are a host of DNLA servers and control programs that will work on the Bricasti ethernet connected streamers.

I run my phono pre, and a small Bluetooth device through the analog inputs, and the optical input from the TV when doing BluRay/ATV/cable.
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Mancave Analog - Technics SL-1200G / K&K Audio Maxxed Phono Amp (Zu DL-103 / Benz Glider-SL / Denon DL-301 II)
Mancave - Bricasti M12 + DIY FirstWatt M2x Monoblocks + ZuAudio Druid V
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2020, 03:47 PM
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Just got my Bricasti M3 with Ethernet! Sounding great right out of the box. It will replace two boxes, a Bricasti M5 And a dCS Debussy DAC.

I need to downsize the number of pieces of equipment I have and simplify my system. Looking forward to more listening.
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  #19  
Old 05-24-2020, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Projectman View Post
Just got my Bricasti M3 with Ethernet! Sounding great right out of the box. It will replace two boxes, a Bricasti M5 And a dCS Debussy DAC.

I need to downsize the number of pieces of equipment I have and simplify my system. Looking forward to more listening.
Sounds good literally. You will really like your choice
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Components: Bricasti M21 DAC & M28SE Amps / Aurender W20SE Speakers: Martin Logan CLX ART Cherry / 2-ML 212's Subs Grounding: Nordost QKore 6 / 8' Earth Ground Rod Nordost: O2 Full Loom, QV2 & QK1, 2-QX4, TC Kones, Sort Fut & LIft, QPoints & QSource w/Premium cables Network: AQ Diamond, Sotm switch & Linear Power supply, QSource to pwr modem and Router
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  #20  
Old 05-26-2020, 08:58 PM
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Congratulations! Great gear. I definitely enjoyed the “lower box #” thing. It was superb to clean out the rats nest of USB related stuff, and combined the streamer/DAC/pre-amp into one box. I happen to love the Bricasti DSD converter board.
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Mancave Analog - Technics SL-1200G / K&K Audio Maxxed Phono Amp (Zu DL-103 / Benz Glider-SL / Denon DL-301 II)
Mancave - Bricasti M12 + DIY FirstWatt M2x Monoblocks + ZuAudio Druid V
Headphone - Blue Hawaii Special Edition + Voce
Office - PC/Holo Audio Kitsune Tuned Level 3+Violectric HPA V281+Focal Utopia
Beach Laptop/DragonFly Red+MrSpeakers Ether
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