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  #1  
Old 02-17-2019, 10:54 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is online now
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Default Bryston BDP-2 vs Chromecast Audio performance gap

Hi there,

I acquired a Bryston BDA-3 last week which I quickly integrated in my audio setup. Obviously and as expected, the sound is so much more detailed accurate as I made a giant leap in term of source components. The next upgrade I am planning is to purchase a Bryston BDP-2, or 3 depending on budget. My question is how realistically speaking the difference will be in regard to sound quality compared to a humble Chromecast Audio? Please don't laugh, I am just curious about what to expect. I will give you the details of my current setup so that it gives you an idea as to where I started.

Yamaha CA-1000 integrated amplifier (this thing is a beauty), fully restored and professionnally modified to accept standard IEC plugs. I currently use a XLO Ultra X-10 power cable (possible upgrade Anaconda CX or Alpha HC).
Bryston BDA-3 with a Shunyata Black Mamba HC/CX
Totem Mani-2 Signature speakers with 16 ga speaker wires (another project on the grill... don't worry)
For streaming purposes, I am using a Chromecast Audio with the optical cable from Google in the Opto input of the DAC
Kimber Kable Hero interconnects between the amplifier and the DAC.
ALAC ripped files from my CD collection (may re-rip to FLAC for the BDP)
Streaming to CCA using Plex software.

Okay, I started slowly back in last September as I have been away from audio since I was busy with a major home renovation for the last 2 years. I have stripped the basement bare to the concrete walls and redone everything. Pictures to come. For this reason, I sold all my McIntosh gear to finance this project telling myseld I would come back later and trying something else.

So now that you have an idea, what do you think the BDP will bring? I plan to install a 2TB SSD and using roon. This is my first foray in digital audio since before I had a MCD-301 CDP (old school) as source.

As side modifications for my amplifier, next week I am going to change all 8 fuses for audio grade fuses to give it some more life. Since this is a vintage amplifier from 1974 (as old as me), there are no banana binding posts at the back, instead it has those clunky spring clips. My tech will take care of that as he will modify the back of the amplier to accomodate quality binding posts. This way, I will be able to use my Kimber Kable KS-3033 that I kept from my previous setup.

Eventually, the CA-1000 will end up in the living room upstairs as the upgrade bug strike again but for now I must admit that I am quite surprised as to how good it sounds.

Thanks for reading and your comments.

Serge
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2019, 11:46 PM
John Jordan John Jordan is offline
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Hi Serge-

Last fall I purchased a BDP3 to replace a 2010 MacBook Pro. The MacBk was dedicated only as a music server with un-needed "regular" functions shut off. It had with 8 gigs of RAM, an SSD and Amarra. Using Toslink or USB, the sound was very good with the nod going to USB most of the time. The original CD's still sounded better.

Moving to the BDP3, the sound is at least as good as the CD spinner. In fact, all CD's have been ripped and packed away. I still have the spinner set up but rarely use it. Being so pleased with the BDP3 and the customer service at Bryston, I purchased a BDA3 a month later. So yes, the BDP3 is better than laptop.

I would suggest you rip your CD's in the AIFF format. It will require more gigs than FLAC but with storage so cheap these days why not have the "RAW" file? An album is approximately 500 to 650 gigs ripped to 16/44. Downloaded "Hi-Rez" stuff will take more space but that's another issue with much debate and controversy.
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McIntosh C1100, MC275 VI lows, MC75's mids/highs, MR85, MCD205, Legacy Focus SE, VPI C-1 w/Denon 103R
Bryston BDP-3/BDA-3
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2019, 08:40 AM
hdvidguy hdvidguy is offline
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Definitely go with BDP 2 or 3, just make sure the 2 version has the same audio card as the 3. Confirmed with Bryston they both have the same sonic sound. I use the BOT CD player to rip and play CD’s and Tidal for streaming. It runs all day long at my home! I use to have dedicated class A rated CD transport and DAC, but moving to the SP3 and BDP 2 was such a big sonic jump it was hard to believe! Now music sound stage goes well beyond the speakers.

I’m sure your local Bryston dealer will let you audition the player for a few days.
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  #4  
Old 03-04-2019, 09:52 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jordan View Post
Hi Serge-

Last fall I purchased a BDP3 to replace a 2010 MacBook Pro. The MacBk was dedicated only as a music server with un-needed "regular" functions shut off. It had with 8 gigs of RAM, an SSD and Amarra. Using Toslink or USB, the sound was very good with the nod going to USB most of the time. The original CD's still sounded better.

Moving to the BDP3, the sound is at least as good as the CD spinner. In fact, all CD's have been ripped and packed away. I still have the spinner set up but rarely use it. Being so pleased with the BDP3 and the customer service at Bryston, I purchased a BDA3 a month later. So yes, the BDP3 is better than laptop.

I would suggest you rip your CD's in the AIFF format. It will require more gigs than FLAC but with storage so cheap these days why not have the "RAW" file? An album is approximately 500 to 650 gigs ripped to 16/44. Downloaded "Hi-Rez" stuff will take more space but that's another issue with much debate and controversy.
Hi John,

Thank you for your input. I followed your advices and did two things:

1- I started re-ripping my very modest selection of CD (about 120 albums) in AIFF format. I agree with you, storage is no longer a concern, neither is the download speeds these days. Long gone the time I was downloading .mp3 files on Naspster on dial-up 56K at a whooping 5 kb/s!

2- While the BDP-3 is out of my price range for now, I found a mint BDP-2 with the upgraded IAD in another province. I know that down the road, I can send it back to Bryston and have the BDP-3 upgrade so this will do perfectly for the time being. Aside my very modest Chromecast Audio, this will be my first real venture in computer based audio with a DAC on a hi-fi 2 channels setup. I plan to use Roon and add a 2 Tb SSD inside the BDP-2 for best access and sound quality. For sure the CCA is the limiting factor in the equation here. I will download the free trial of Roon to see if my rips were correctly tagged.

Serge
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:22 PM
John Jordan John Jordan is offline
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Hey Serge-

Sounds like you are on your way. The folks at Bryston are very helpful and extremely eager to answer all questions about their equipment. Their customer support was a major deciding factor in my Player and later DAC purchases. I suggest you give them a hail for further insight into your thoughts.

i also installed a two TB SSD into my player formatted FAT 32 via a Mac computer. Chris at Bryston Re-Formatted it remotely due to stuff Mac inherinetly added into the formatting. Just one example of their great support.

Despite having a 60 day ROON trial waiting, haven't tried it yet. Been using dppoweramp for ripping as first learned about from Dan, AKA Jdandy. Inexpensive enough and works real well.

This digital thing has a learning curve but it goes quick. With the Bryston you may well find little reason to spin CD's.
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McIntosh C1100, MC275 VI lows, MC75's mids/highs, MR85, MCD205, Legacy Focus SE, VPI C-1 w/Denon 103R
Bryston BDP-3/BDA-3
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  #6  
Old 03-04-2019, 11:49 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jordan View Post
Hey Serge-

Sounds like you are on your way. The folks at Bryston are very helpful and extremely eager to answer all questions about their equipment. Their customer support was a major deciding factor in my Player and later DAC purchases. I suggest you give them a hail for further insight into your thoughts.

i also installed a two TB SSD into my player formatted FAT 32 via a Mac computer. Chris at Bryston Re-Formatted it remotely due to stuff Mac inherinetly added into the formatting. Just one example of their great support.

Despite having a 60 day ROON trial waiting, haven't tried it yet. Been using dppoweramp for ripping as first learned about from Dan, AKA Jdandy. Inexpensive enough and works real well.

This digital thing has a learning curve but it goes quick. With the Bryston you may well find little reason to spin CD's.
I also use dbpoweramp for ripping software. I just upgraded last weekend to version 16 as the cost was about 20$. Starting from scratch, I preferred to have the latest version.

BTW, I installed the free 14 days trial of Roon tonight among other things and my god, this piece of software is a blessing for any music lover. I wanted to just do some testing before I receive my BDP-2 but after my very short experience with it, I think I will subscribe. One nice thing is that Roon supports the CCA so it is going to be useful in my upcoming system upstairs. As far as I see it, Roon takes care of the ugly computer stuff behind the scenes and lays everything beautifully before your eyes. You should give it a try in my opinion.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2019, 08:47 AM
John Jordan John Jordan is offline
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Serge-
ROON is a part of the "learning curve" that's been on the back-burners.
But.. getting closer to check it out. Thanks for your input!
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McIntosh C1100, MC275 VI lows, MC75's mids/highs, MR85, MCD205, Legacy Focus SE, VPI C-1 w/Denon 103R
Bryston BDP-3/BDA-3
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2019, 10:22 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is online now
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My BDP-2 is on the way, ETA is March 14. The seller installed the Bryston IAD soundboard and took the time to flash to latest firmware (2.38 I believe). So to the question of my thread, I will be able to bring answer for those interested.
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  #9  
Old 03-06-2019, 10:41 PM
John Jordan John Jordan is offline
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Interested for your impressions Serge.
You should be happy with your decision.
Remember to compare "apples to apples," i.e. aiff files ripped from CD's on each machine.
Compressed files from Google "Tunes" if you are indeed using this will show little difference at best IMHO.
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McIntosh C1100, MC275 VI lows, MC75's mids/highs, MR85, MCD205, Legacy Focus SE, VPI C-1 w/Denon 103R
Bryston BDP-3/BDA-3
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2019, 09:26 PM
Parabellum Parabellum is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jordan View Post
Interested for your impressions Serge.
You should be happy with your decision.
Remember to compare "apples to apples," i.e. aiff files ripped from CD's on each machine.
Compressed files from Google "Tunes" if you are indeed using this will show little difference at best IMHO.
Will do. 5 years ago I had started to rip my CD collection in ALAC format since at the time I was planning to use iTune and not long after JRiver. But to my surprise after I installed Roon this week, I noticed that those CD I had ripped are actually in mp3 320 kb format

Funny thing in this is, I will also be able to compare both the mp3 to AIFF of the same CD, on both the CCA and BDP-2. Fun times ahead. I have a friend coming this weekend for lunch and we will spend some time listening.

And today, I won an auction on that big auction site for a Kimber Kable Select KS2416 USB (Don't tell my wife! ). I learned in the manual that with the BDA-3, DSD is available only with the USB input. I felt it was pointless to invest in a good XLR or SPDIF cable because of this. All my cable, except the powers, are Kimber Select Copper. I plan to download some DSD (more difficult here in Canada) to benefit from my DAC and BDP.
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