Bryston BDP-1 Digital Player - First Impressions

Introduction

I have spent the last two weeks getting acquainted with my Bryston BDP-1 digital player. The BPD-1 has been sent back the factory to have the display and power LED color changed from green to blue. The cost for the display color change was $100 plus shipping both ways.

010BPD-1GreenDisplay-s_zpsd6fd2d3f.jpg
Figure 1. The only thing I didn't like about the BDP-1 was the color of the display. It didn't match the blue LEDs on the rest of my gear.

I listen mostly to instrumental jazz. Listening evaluations are done with well recorded material and consists of describing the quality, size, and three dimensional placement of all sound images in the sound stage. Spatial maps are used to record positions of sound images and their relative size.

009BPD-1OnCabinetTop-s_zpsbb18849a.jpg
Figure 2. The BDP-1 is connected to the DAC input of my Cary Audio CD 306 Pro Version SACD player.

I used a variety of 75 ohm analog XLR cables, 110 ohm AES/EBU XLR digital cables, and 75 ohm SPDIF 75 ohm coaxial BNC to RCA cables. I did not hear, or measure, a difference between any of the 75 ohm and 110 ohm XLR cables. I did not hear, or measure, a difference between either of the BNC to RCA digital coax cables. There was a small audible and small measurable difference in overall clarity and sound stage depth in the center between the AES/EBU and coaxial inputs of the Cary CD 306 Pro Version. The Cary's coax input sounded better.

There were significant differences in ambient information, image weight, bass detail, bass weight and small improvements in overall clarity and detail as I went from the BPD-1 plugged into the wall with the stock power cord (18 AWG, 6 feet), to the stock power cord plugged into the P-10 ac regenerator, to the Signal Cable MagicPower cord (10 AWG, $74, 6 feet) plugged into the P-10, to the PS Audio Statement SC cord (8 AWG, $659, 2 meters) plugged into the P-10, to the PS Audio Premier SC cord (7 AWG, $1793, 2 meters) plugged into the P-10, to the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 cord (7 AWG, $1200, 2 meters) plugged into the P-10.

There was more tactile sensation with increasing power cord quality and more vibration felt through the floor and armrests as I went from the wall to regenerated ac power and from the stock power cord to increasingly better power cords. Replacing the stock power line fuse with a HiFi Tuning Supreme audio grade fuse resulted in an additional, but smaller, improvement in bass performance.

Measurements

A Tektronix TDS 2012 oscilloscope was used to take measurements of the test signal at the CD 306 PV's right XLR output. The output signal was measured and observed in both time (sine wave) and frequency (Fast Fourier Transform) domains. The test signal was a 30 second, 30 Hertz sine wave from the Autosound 2000 Low Frequency Test CD #101. The test signal file was ripped from CD to a FLAC file using dBpoweramp ripping software and stored on a 1 TB Western Digital My Passport USB 3 drive.

I did not have an AES/EBU 110 ohm digital interconnect until four days after the BPD-1 arrived. In the meantime, I used several 75 ohm XLR interconnects that I had on hand:

1. Signal Cable Analog Two XLR, 4 feet ($71 per pair).
2. Signal Cable Silver Revolution XLR, 3 feet ($139 per pair).
3. Monster Cable Z200i XLR, 2 meters ($280 per pair)
4. PS Audio Transcendent Resolution Reference XLR, 1 meter ($500)

AES/EBU 110 ohm XLR digital interconnects used were:

1. Hosa, 5 feet ($8)
2. Signal Cable, 4 feet ($45)
2. AudioQuest Carbon, 2 meters ($208)

BNC to RCA 75 ohm digital coaxial interconnects used were:

1. Hosa, 6 feet ($9)
2. Signal Cable, 4 feet ($45)

013BDP-1FourXLRAnalogCables-s_zps75f78064.jpg
Figure 3. 75 ohm XLR analog interconnects initially used with the BPD-1. Going clockwise from top left: PS Audio Transcendent Resolution Reference, Monster Cable Z200i, Signal Cable Silver Revolution, Cable Analog Two.

001AQ-Sig-HosaAES-EBUCables-s_zps1b1e845d.jpg
Figure 4. AES/EBU 110 ohm digital cables top to bottom: Hosa, Signal Cable, AudioQuest Carbon.

The $208 AudioQuest Carbon digital XLR cable was the prettiest of the three evaluated, but there was no audible or measured difference between it and the $45 Signal cable and the $8 Hosa cable.

003Hosa-SigBNC-RCACables-s_zps9acc87fb.jpg
Figure 5. Digital coax BNC to RCA 75 ohm cables. Hosa coax at top, Signal Cable below.

The Signal digital coax cable was of much better construction than the $9 Hosa cable, but there was no audible or measured difference.

"So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
"Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
"Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
"Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
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Comments

  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,602
    edited October 2014
    BDP-1 Output Noise Spectrum Measurements With Different Power Cords

    012BDP-1FourPowerCords-s_zps774634b4.jpg
    Figure 6. Four of five power cords used with the BPD-1. Clockwise from top left: PS Audio Premier SC, PS Audio Statement SC, stock power cord, Signal Cable MagicPower cord.

    Noise spectrum (Fast Fourier Transform) measurements of the 30 Hz test signal at the CD 306 PV's right XLR output for the stock power cord, PS Audio Premier SC power cord and the PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 power cord follow. Referring to figure 7, each horizontal division represents 50 Hz of frequency starting at 0 Hz at the Y axis on the left and each horizontal dot represents increments of 10 Hz. Each vertical division represents 50 dB of amplitude starting at a reference level of -27 dB at the X axis (0.044 volts at the bottom and each vertical dot represents increments of 10 dB.

    The net amplitude of the 30 Hz fundamental frequency spike in figure 7 is obtained by subtracting the reference amplitude from the absolute amplitude:

    61.5 dB - 27 dB = 34.5 dB.

    The net amplitude is converted to RMS volts by the formula

    Vrms=(10^(absolute dB-reference dB/20))/100 .

    Division by 100 is due to the oscilloscope's display being scaled up by 100. In this case,

    Vrms=(10^(61.5-27/20))/100=0.53 volts

    Similarly, the second harmonic at 60 Hz is calculated as

    Vrms=(10^(34-27/20))/100=0.022 volts

    01-009XFFTStkCord-Regen-sr_zpsd0400d60.jpg
    Figure 7. FFT plot of 30 Hz test signal with stock power cord.

    02-016XFFTPremSC-Regen-sr_zpsead0f9b1.jpg
    Figure 8. FFT plot of 30 Hz test signal with PS Audio Premier SC power cord.

    03-025XFFTAC12-Regen-sr_zps00545413.jpg
    Figure 9. FFT plot of 30 Hz test signal with PS Audio AC-12 power cord.

    With the stock power cord, the second harmonic's absolute amplitude was 34 dB (0.022 volts or 4.1% of the fundamental). With the PS Audio Premier SC power cord the second harmonic's absolute amplitude fell to 25.5 dB (0.0084 volts or 1.58% of the fundamental). With the PS Audio AC-12 power cord the second harmonic's absolute amplitude fell to 17 dB (0.003 volts or 0.57% of the fundamental).

    006BDP-1Accessories-s_zpsee774303.jpg
    Figure 10. BPD-1 accessories, top to bottom: PS Audio AC-12 power cord, HiFi Tuning fuses, Oyen USB 3.0 dual head cable, Signal Cable digital coax BNC to RCA cable.

    008BPD-1HFTFuses-s_zps48259bc7.jpg
    Figure 11. There are two fuses in the BDP-1's power supply: the main power line fuse, F1, and the standby power fuse, F2.

    I didn't think replacing the standby power fuse would have any effect, and it didn't, but you never know.

    011BPD-1Laptop-Phone-Remote-s_zps3be327e5.jpg
    Figure 12. I have a lot of options for controlling the BPD-1. It can be controlled through web interfaces on any of the computers on my home's LAN, through my android smartphone, or through my Harmony 1 universal remote.

    I had never heard a difference in any digital cable, therefore the results here were not surprising. I was very surprised at the audible and measured differences that enhancements in power quality made.

    I sent my results with power quality enhancements to Bryston for comment. I will post their replies here. I still have further measurements to take at the listening position with the OmniMic system.

    The hierarchy of sound quality in my two channel system is now as follows:

    1. Vinyl records.
    2. SACDs
    3. High resolution FLAC files (24 bit, 192kHz, 174kHz, 96 kHz)
    4. CDs (16 bit/44.1kHz) ripped to FLAC






    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,602
    edited October 2014
    Two Channel Audio System Description

    It must be understood that these results were obtained with an audio system of much higher than average resolution. Individual results may vary, but the tests described in this report are easily repeated.

    004AudioSystemAngle_zpsf3c32327.jpg
    Figure 13. Two channel system listening room.

    006AudioSystemFront_zpsfc6c6343.jpg
    Figure 14. Two channel system: view from listening position.

    005AudioSystemCabinet_zpsdf74a3d4.jpg
    Figure 15. Two channel system equipment cabinet.

    Equipment list:

    Teres Audio Model 255 turntable
    Graham Phantom II tonearm
    Ortofon MC Windfeld phono cartridge
    Sonic Purity Concepts and Design "The Clamp" record clamp
    Cary Audio CD 306 Professional Version SACD/CD/HDCD player
    PS Audio PowerBase isolation platforms for turntable and SACD player
    Black Diamond Racing isolation Pits and Mk IV Cones
    Pass Labs XP-30 line level preamplifier
    Pass Labs XP-25 phono preamplifier
    Pass Labs X600.5 monoblock power amplifiers
    AudioQuest Sky XLR interconnects
    AudioQuest Everest speaker cables
    AudioQuest LeoPard tonearm cable
    PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 power cords
    PS Audio PerfectWave P-10 AC Regenerator
    Polk Audio SDA SRS 1.2TL loudspeakers (heavily modified)
    Salamander Synergy Triple 30 audio credenza

    Three 20 amp dedicated ac circuits, one each for the monoblock amplifiers and one for the AC regenerator/source components/preamplifiers serve the two channel system.

    Power amps are plugged into the wall. Preamps and source components are plugged into the PS Audio P-10 ac regenerator.

    Questions and Answers From Bryston Engineering

    This report, and the following questions, were submitted to James Tanner, Bryston VP of Sales and Marketing, to be forwarded to Bryston's engineering department. Bryston's answers are in bold below.

    1. Have Bryston's engineers done any studies on the effects of power quality enhancements (power line filters, ac regenerators, isolation transformers, etc.), power cords, and audio grade fuses on the BPD-1's sonic performance?

    Yes we have looked at the power supply quite extensively on the BDP1 in terms of performance within the BDP but not on terms of external power cords etc.

    2. If power quality studies were done, how did their results compare to mine?

    See above

    3. Have Bryston engineers heard differences between the coax and XLR outputs of the BPD-1 with various DACs?

    I prefer the AES output but because you cannot maintain a true 110 ohm connection with XLR connectors some prefer to use the BNC connection as the 75 ohms can be maintained.

    4. The specifications of the BPD-2 mention an improved power supply that can deliver 5 amps. Is the increased power for the additional USB ports, or does some of it go to the digital signal processing circuitry?

    The BDP2 does have a more robust power supply and does involve all aspects of the performance not just the USB connections.

    5. Is there a difference in sound quality between the BPD-1 and BPD-2 or is the difference only in features?

    Thats a tough one because the same sound card is used but given your sophistication in listening and your quality system I think you would hear some positive differences in the BDP2.

    ______________________________________________
    Footnote: The BDP-1, which was introduced in 2010, was recently discontinued. Bryston originally planned to keep both the BDP-1 ($2195 MSRP) and the BDP-2 ($2995 MSRP) in their product catalog. However, when the BDP-2 began outselling the BDP-1 by a factor of 20-to-1, the decision was made to drop the BDP-1.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    Another good job on the review. I am starting to think you get more fun out of examining the gear than actually listening to it. :)

    I purchased two BDP-1s maybe 18 months or so ago, and quickly fell in love with them. According to the management software, I now have 29 days of non-stop music on my drive. I have 6 more CDs I recently auditioned that I need to rip, and that should push me into the 30 day zone. The only thing I use my SACD player for anymore is to audition CDs to see if they are worthy to be ripped. Plus I have downloaded some high-res files from HDTracks, and am eagerly waiting for the next set of remastered high-res Led Zeppelin to be released later this month. I haven't tried any DSD files yet.

    In regard to the power cord, I never listened to either of my BDP-1s with the stock cord. I ordered a Shunyata Zitron Cobra for each unit at the same time I ordered a BDP1. While they both sounded great right from the start, I didn't have any comparison data for the sound. Within the last year, Shunyata released their Alpha series of power cords, which filters out the electrical noise generated by a component. This noise is reflected back onto to the power line to contaminate the power of other components. Anyway, I bought an Alpha Digital, and after a week of use on my Bluray player, I put the Alpha Digital on the two channel BDP-1, and I was floored and left sitting with my mouth open and eyes wide at the improvement in sound quality. It was truly one of those moments where you are amazed what a power cord can do.

    Along the same line, I have now gone through three digital cables with my two channel BDP1. I started with the Shunyata Zitron Python AES between the BDP-1 and the Bryston BDA2 DAC. I noticed that on some files, mostly older classic rock, that there is a high frequency ringing and it would aggravate the same tinnitus frequency in my left ear. I assumed it was a digital artifact in the file, so I upgraded my DAC to the Auralic Vega since it has digital filters, 3 for PCM and 2 for DSD. Anyway, I was able to clean up the signal on some files, and sufficiently mitigate it on others to not aggravate the tinnitus. This year Shunyata released a Zitron Anaconda AES digital cable, and I upgraded. Well, that cable really reduced the artifact. It was reduced enough so that I could turn off the filter. Now the music is really superb.

    Two weeks ago I again upgraded the digital cable to the new, improved, top of the line Zitron Anaconda AES digital, and this cable is absolutely amazing. I cannot detect any artifacts at this point, and the sound quality on the better mastered files is fantastic. Shunyata's founder said they made a technological breakthrough on the new cable, and rather than release an even higher priced cable, they decided to replace the current Anaconda, and sent out free upgrades to all Anaconda customers. It is also a much thinner and more manageable cable.

    Anyway, I love my BDP-1. It is one of the best things I have had in my system. Aside from the sonic bliss, having the ability to create various playlists of songs has really increased my enjoyment of the stereo.

    While I can live with this system the rest of my life, these are possible future upgrades, especially if I get some extra money.

    A BDP-2 at $3k.

    The soon to be released Shunyata Sigma digital at $2.5k. Beta testers are saying it is a big step up over the Alpha Digital.

    The Berkeley Audio Alpha Reference DAC at $16k. However, it only does PCM. Getting this is a long shot. Now that they have raised the bar, I expect other DAC manufacturers to reverse engineer it, and in a year or two, come out with similar performance around $5k or so.

    Now for the bad.

    Both units, on separate, dedicated 20 amp lines, will now randomly stop with an 'Error 05' on the display. If you press the power button the unit shuts down, and will not power up. If you unplug the power cord, wait a bit, and plug it back in then the unit will work.

    Bryston says 'Error 05' is over voltage detected on the line, but it measures 120 VAC. I suspect the component they used for this task is defective, and starts to fail after a while. I returned one unit yesterday, and will be interested in what they do. There is a 5 year warranty so other than shipping costs, and inconvenience, there is little pain. Of course, if the other unit goes belly up while that unit is out for repair then I am SOL. I will have to use my SACD player again to play music, which means up and down, back and forth, just to listen to a song. Oh, the horror, the agony, the pain.

    Maybe I better order the BDP2 now so I can have a spare. Plus I can get it in silver since my gear has migrated from black to silver over the last few years. Thanks Pass, Auralic, and Shunyata for the mandatory color change.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    James Tanner posted your letter on the Audio Shark web-site, and I posted a link to your review here.

    http://audioshark.org/bryston-audio-40/bdp-1usb-digital-player-5682.html#.VELvoN6COK0


    I forgot to mention that there is a hidden way to disable the display. I set mine to turn off after one minute. I put a small piece of black electrical tape over my power LED.

    To access the hidden menus you need to use the 4 buttons in a diamond to the right of the display. You need to simultaneously press two, and the hidden menus appear. I forgot which two. :)

    I think it is the top and left button, or maybe it is the left and bottom button. Anyway, you can experiment.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,602
    BlueFox wrote: »
    James Tanner posted your letter on the Audio Shark web-site, and I posted a link to your review here.
    BlueFox wrote: »
    I forgot to mention that there is a hidden way to disable the display. I set mine to turn off after one minute. I put a small piece of black electrical tape over my power LED.

    To access the hidden menus you need to use the 4 buttons in a diamond to the right of the display. You need to simultaneously press two, and the hidden menus appear. I forgot which two. :)

    I think it is the top and left button, or maybe it is the left and bottom button. Anyway, you can experiment.

    Thank you for posting a link to this review and for the information on the hidden menus, which I was not aware of. How did you find out about this?
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Another good job on the review. I am starting to think you get more fun out of examining the gear than actually listening to it. :)

    No, I really don't, but my curiosity gets the better of me.
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Now for the bad.

    Both units, on separate, dedicated 20 amp lines, will now randomly stop with an 'Error 05' on the display. If you press the power button the unit shuts down, and will not power up. If you unplug the power cord, wait a bit, and plug it back in then the unit will work.

    Bryston says 'Error 05' is over voltage detected on the line, but it measures 120 VAC.

    Overvoltage is typically a transient condition. If it is happens a lot, that is usually an indication of a stressed power grid, but, as I recall, you are generating most of your power, so there might be something in your solar system that is out of spec. Something like a PS Audio Power Plant can protect against overvoltage.

    I have really gotten spoiled over the last two weeks. Yesterday the phone rang while I was in the kitchen and I tried to use my phone to pause the music playing in the living room...and then it stuck me: I was listening to music the old fashioned way-by spinning disc. I had to answer the phone and tell the calling party to wait while I went to turn my music off. It is also difficult coming to terms with the fact that I have temporarily lost the ability to make custom play lists drawing music files from several ripped CDs and downloaded HiRez files.

    This is going to be a very loooooong two weeks 'til my BDP-1 gets back. :'(
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    I read about the hidden menus on another site. It might have been James who mentioned it.

    So far, the over power error has only happened at night. Maybe it is PG&E's issue, but nothing else is being affected.

    I understand what you mean about missing the Bryston, and will do the same thing when I am using the SACD player.

    Another point to keep in mind is the latest firmware sets a default size of 300 for a playlist. While okay for most of my playlists, it is way to small for my classical playlist. For that playlist I tell mPod to play all songs in the classical directory, and then save it as a playlist that I use random shuffle with. Anyway, there are hundreds of CDs in that dir, which translates to thousands of songs, so I made the default size to be 5000 versus 300.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    I had to reread your review to understand why your BDP-1 is gone. That is kind of nice Bryston will change the LED color. It would be even nicer if there were an option when ordering to select LED color. Personally, I like the blue better.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    Pretty weak response from forum members on an excellent review. Perhaps it should have been posted in the Electronics section. In fact, this 'Digital' forum belongs in the same section as 'Electronics'.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,642
    As usual DK does reviews like no other, including professionals. Very nice pal, but maybe I missed it....how do you like the sound ? LOL That is the bottom line isn't it ?

    The reason for a lack of responses is probably because Fox has written extensively, and glowingly about the BDP-1.

    I'm just thinking out loud DK, but maybe you should give the Cary 100t dac a whirl with the BDP-1. I know the 306 is no slouch by a long shot, but who knows.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • tonyb wrote: »
    Very nice pal, but maybe I missed it....how do you like the sound?

    I sort of hinted at it here:
    The hierarchy of sound quality in my two channel system is now as follows:

    1. Vinyl records.
    2. SACDs
    3. High resolution FLAC files (24 bit, 192kHz, 174kHz, 96 kHz)
    4. CDs (16 bit/44.1kHz) ripped to FLAC

    I did not elaborate further on the sound quality because this was a "first impressions" report and I had not, and have not, finished my evaluation.

    I will say that playing ripped CD files has breathed new life into my CD collection and brought it much closer hirez, SACD, and analog quality. For now, I will just quote an except from my email to Bryston:

    "I received my BDP-1 on 09-30-2014 and it has proven to be one of the best audio investments I have ever made, not only with regard to sound quality, but also with regard to the significantly improved control of my two channel system.

    I listen mostly to instrumental jazz. Listening evaluations are done with well recorded material and consists of describing the quality, size, and three dimensional placement of all sound images in the sound stage. Spatial maps are used to record positions of sound images and their relative size. The BDP-1 is connected to the DAC section of the Cary CD 306 Pro Version SACD player

    Playing ripped CD music files through the BDP-1/CD 306 PV combination resulted in music with deeper base, greater sound stage depth, and increased clarity and detail compared to playing the same music file from the original CD through the CD 306 PV. Apparently, bypassing the CD 306 PV's transport removes a significant amount of mechanical and electrical noise."

    tonyb wrote: »
    I'm just thinking out loud DK, but maybe you should give the Cary 100t dac a whirl with the BDP-1. I know the 306 is no slouch by a long shot, but who knows.

    I have been thinking about acquiring a DAC.

    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,602
    edited November 2014
    Back Home

    My BDP-1 made it safely back from Canada. The total cost for having the display and LED color changed from green to blue was $154.67...and was well worth it.

    Then:

    BPD-1GreenDisplayCRP-s_zps997a19cf.jpg

    Now:

    BDP-1-BlueLightsCr-s_zpsc095fc0f.jpg
    Figure 16. My BDP-1 has the blues.

    001TwoChannelSystemBlueDisplaysCrc-s_zpsf8745fdd.jpg
    Figure 17. The BDP-1's blue display is a better match for the rest of the blue displays and LED in my two channel system.

    CabTopAngleViewCrp1-s_zps4bf88fff.jpg
    Figure 18. Such Good Sound!

    More Tweaking: Isolation

    I tried a couple of isolation products. The PS Audio PowerBase didn't produce any audible results, whether the BDP-1 was sitting on the PowerBase and not plugged into it or whether the BDP-1 was sitting on the PowerBase and plugged into the PS Audio P-10 ac regenerator.

    Placing three Black Diamond Racing Mark 4 cones under the BDP-1 was detrimental. There was a small overall veiling of the sound and a softening of bass detail.

    BDP-1-PowerBase-s_zpse057ebfd.jpg
    Figure 19. I didn't hear any difference or improvement with the PS Audio PowerBase.

    I had good results putting a PowerBase under my SACD player and turntable. I thought I would realize similar results with the BDP-1, but didn't. This PowerBase was returned. The PowerBase works better with heavier components and the BDP-1 weighs only 12 pounds.

    Hard Disk Drive vs. Solid State Drive

    I compared a Samsung 840 EVO SATA III 500 GB solid state drive to a Western Digital My Passport 1 TB disk drive. There was no difference in test signal measurements, no perceived difference in sound quality, and no difference in file access timing and performance.

    I only had 52 GBs of music on each drive. I might have seen an access performance difference if the drives had to navigate through more files and folders.
    Post edited by DarqueKnight on
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    I have been thinking about acquiring a DAC

    Welcome to the 21st century. :)

    I have used three DACs with mine, and loved them all. The Bryston BDA-1, BDA-2, and, currently, the Auralic Vega. Hopefully, Bryston installed the latest firmware on your BDP-1. If so it can now play DSD files. In January, Bryston will introduce the BDA-3 DAC, which is a BDA-2 that can decode DSD. This should match nicely with the BDP-1.

    I ordered the Shunyata Sigma Digital power cord, so after it arrives I will send you the Alpha Digital. For kicks, I will include a Shunyata Python AES digital, and a Bryston AES digital, for you to play with.



    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,215
    DK, if you're looking at DAC's, you should attempt to get your ears on the Chord Hugo. It's more of a headphone amp/DAC, but the DAC output is absurdly good. Its by far the most analog sound I've heard from a DAC.
  • BlueFox wrote: »
    I have been thinking about acquiring a DAC

    Welcome to the 21st century. :)

    I imagine that it will be sometime around the 24th century when they come up with a DAC that gives my 20th century turntable/cartridge combo a decent run for the money. :)

    Thanks to all for the DAC suggestions.

    BlueFox, what about the Auralic Vega caused you to ditch the BDA-2?

    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    edited November 2014
    Why do you still have the plastic on the ps power base?
  • Why do you still have the plastic on the ps power base?

    PS Audio asks that you keep the protective film over the case top while evaluating components during the 30 day trial period.

    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    BlueFox, what about the Auralic Vega caused you to ditch the BDA-2?

    That is a good question. I think I addressed that in some past review, but am too lazy to search for it.

    The reason why is I have a bit of tinnitus in my left ear, and I found that I was hearing a digital artifact on some classic rock CD files. This artifact seemed to be at the same frequency as the tinnitus, so it aggravated it. This was with the BDP-1, BDA-2, Shunyata Python AES combination. Anyway, since it was bothering me, I wanted to get rid of it. I knew that some DACS were starting to add digital filters for these artifacts, and as luck would have it, both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound reviewed the Auralic Vega the same month. Both were gaga over it, and it had 5 digital filters, three for PCM, and two for DSD. Plus, it "only" cost $3,500, so I bought it.

    Sure enough, the filters either eliminated the artifact, or reduced it to make it tolerable. I was happy.

    Later, Shunyata came out with a new TOL digital, the Anaconda AES, so I upgraded. Well, I will be darned (is that okay to say on Polk) and that really reduced the remaining artifact. Yikes! Was the Python causing the artifact, or just doing a great job of passing it between the file player and DAC?

    Anyway, not to long ago, Shunyata developed a better digital cable technology, and rather than making an even higher priced TOL cable, they replaced the shipping Anaconda with the new cable, and gave all current Anaconda owners a free upgrade. So, I got two, and these cables are great.

    I use my BDA-2 with my BDP-1 in my HT/surround/stereo system. In fact, I am using it now.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,642
    The Auralic dac has been getting rave reviews everywhere. There's one barely used on my local craigslist for I think 2800.

    If Sacd is your second rated SQ source, then a good dac that does dsd is a must for you.

    Fox, somehow I thought you upgraded the BDP-1 to the 2. Could be wrong though, memory bank is shot after 30.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    Dk, if possible you should try get your ears on an MSB DAC. They are expensive but very good and it looks like you would have the means to aquire one judging by that rig you have.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    edited November 2014
    tonyb wrote: »
    Fox, somehow I thought you upgraded the BDP-1 to the 2. Could be wrong though, memory bank is shot after 30.

    No, the BDP-1 still fits my needs. The BDP-2 has more memory for better buffering, and additional USB ports for increased storage. However, I still have 150GB left on my 500GB drive since I use either FLAC or ALAC. When the drive is full, I still have three more USB ports to use. In regard to sound, some say there is no difference between the 1 and 2, others say the 2 is a bit better, but you really need to strain to detect the difference.

    At least in regard to work, I never rely on my memory. I make fewer mistakes that way. Google is your friend.

    Post edited by BlueFox on
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • tonyb wrote: »
    I'm just thinking out loud DK, but maybe you should give the Cary 100t dac a whirl with the BDP-1. I know the 306 is no slouch by a long shot, but who knows.

    Based on what I have read about the DAC 100t and its solid state counterpart, the DAC 100, the DAC 100 would be a better match for my system and tastes...that is, if it were actually better than my CD 306 Pro Version. :)

    I asked Cary about the sound quality of the CD 306's DAC section compared to the DAC 100. The DAC 100 has the same DAC stage as the 100t, but the 100t has a tube-based output stage. I was informed that:

    "Straight up, the 306 utilizes a much more sophisticated digital section vs. the DAC-100. However, the DAC-100 at $2,500 is nothing short of an outstanding sounding DAC and has a terrific USB section which is a bit more flexible being it supports both PC and MAC. When compared, I feel you would favor the 306 due to the reference level design, yet the DAC-100 holds its owns as being extraordinarily musical."

    Based on the response from Cary and the comments of others who have used/are using the CD 306 as a DAC, it appears that I would need to look at DACs in the $5,000 to $10,000+ range before I hear a substantial improvement in sound quality.



    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,642
    Interesting.....substantiates the price then for the 306 pro version....a bit more anyway.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • Ern DogErn Dog Posts: 2,239
    DK, I'll be interested in reading more about your evaluation of the BDP 1 when you are done with the evaluation. I was seriously contemplating getting one last year and went with the Salk streamer instead.

    I really like the blue lights color coordination, looks great.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 31,642
    LOL....when he's done with his evaluation ? That's not enough for you Ern ? lol

    Just bustin' balls bro...
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • Ern DogErn Dog Posts: 2,239
    tonyb wrote: »
    LOL....when he's done with his evaluation ? That's not enough for you Ern ? lol

    Just bustin' balls bro...

    Hehehehe. That gave me a good chuckle.

    Like you, I wanted to hear more about how it sounded.
  • DarqueKnightDarqueKnight Posts: 6,602
    edited November 2014
    Ern Dog wrote: »
    Like you, I wanted to hear more about how it sounded.


    All those juicy details will be posted in a separate thread shortly after November 21st. I will have had a full month of listening by then. I am taking a longer than usual evaluation time because the BDP-1 represents a "game changer" rather than a typical gear upgrade.

    Also, my evaluation time was interrupted for 22 days due to sending the BDP-1 to the factory to have the display color changed.
    "So hot it burns Mice!"~DK
    "Polk SDA-SRSs are hopelessly out of date both sonically and technologically... I see no value whatsoever in older SDA speakers."~Audio Asylum Member
    "Knowledge, without understanding, is a path to failure."~DK
    "Those who irrationally rail against something or someone that is no threat to them, actually desire (or desire to be like) the thing or person they are railing against."~DK
  • Ern DogErn Dog Posts: 2,239
    edited November 2014
    Ern Dog wrote: »
    Like you, I wanted to hear more about how it sounded.


    All those juicy details will be posted in a separate thread shortly after November 21st. I will have had a full month of listening by then. I am taking a longer than usual evaluation time because the BDP-1 represents a "game changer" rather than a typical gear upgrade.

    Also, my evaluation time was interrupted for 22 days due to sending the BDP-1 to the factory to have the display color changed.

    Cool thanks.
  • audiocr381veaudiocr381ve Posts: 2,586
    edited November 2014
    DK, I hope I'm planting a seed here but you need to start your own company and sell audio products priced for people who have a similar income level as mine *wink*

    Seriously, with your background and ear, I'd love to hear something you build from the ground up. Start with a preamp, and send it to me to listen *wink*
    || Polk SDA-CRS+ with all the goodies
    || Totem Hawk
    || Pass Labs Aleph 30
    || Rogue Perseus Magnum Tube Preamp
    || Dodd Reference Level Preamp
    || Chord Hugo
    || Wyred 4 Sound Remedy
    || Tidal
    || Squeezebox Touch
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,180
    Dream on. :)

    Save your money, and get the Bryston. They are giving a great product for a modest price. I suspect that applies across their product line.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • RamZetRamZet Posts: 776
    I work with Bryston product, their stuff is awesome. This was a nice write up. Great job!
    B&W
    B&K
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