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Best DAC for the money.

Highly transparent. Stunning realism, amazing musicality. It simply sounds damn authentic -- all the notes are there with tonal purity, instruments and vocalists seem like theyre 2m in front of me, spread like a delicious auditory marmalade, in a sublime act of sonic integration across time and space. No part of the frequency spectrum is over-played here. On top of that, there are lots of user-friendly features and multiple input modes here, including AES/EBU and BNC, and balanced outputs on top of RCAs. This DAC is the David Copperfield of audio -- a mesmerizing act that suspends disbelief and defies objective analysis. Forget the tech specs -- they dont come close to explaining the auditory experience of the BDA-1. Nothing will. It may be like the Great Pyramid of Giza. OK, maybe not. But this is definitely the first, and last, DAC I shall ever own. It leaves nothing to my imagination, and therefore nothing wanting either. Probably not a flawless DAC, but I have no reason to listen for flaws here, since I am simply engrossed by the rhythms and emotions of the music. Probably beats DACs priced 5 times more. Alas, I shall never know or care to know....I feel sorry for audiophiles who have yet to discover the BDA-1. For its price, the BDA-1 is one of audios stellar values. Beam me up, Scotty.

- Vinnie M, ON
 
The core of my system

BDA-1 is pure auditory gold. With my BCD-1 and BDP-1, I get the best digital playback I have ever experienced. Smooth silky highs, deep textured bass, and musicality that keeps me riveted. Price-wise, its a bargain compared to ARC and other DAC brands. A+++

- Pete N, AB
 
Almost perfect

Love mine but am hugely inconvenienced by the outdated USB input which is limited to 48k. Even at this resolution Stereophile mag wasnt pleased with USB performance. Ive heard rumors of an upgrade/update coming.

- Chris P, IL
 
really good, and worth the price

I own and just did an A/B/C/D comparison between my Musical Fidelity VDAC, PS Audio DL-III, and my Bryston BDA-1 vs the built in DAC in a couple sources. The VDAC sounded great and was an obvious improvement in quality over the onboard DACs...until I tried the DLIII...which sounded better yet until I tried the BDA-1 which really brought a new level of magic. The BDA-1 isnt perfect, its a little reticent at the upper frequencies my wife said it was a bit reserved or polite. That remained true when I redid the A/B/C/D test via several systems; an SET with several nice speakers, a SS can amp and Sennheiser 580s, etc. Roughly, the sound matched the pricepoint as it should, but seldom does in this biz. The DLIII sounded much less harsh than the VDAC; definitely better but it does cost 2-3x more. The improvement in switching from the DLIII to the BDA-1 was much more subtle with a tremendous delicacy, space around the notes, further refinement in timbre but incredibly clear and actually worth the $$. The BDA is more revealing and easier on the ears than any of the others I have tried. Im keeping all three; VDAC for the Audio Engine pc speakers, DL-III for living room, BDA for my listening rig. They are each good at their price point. But dont underspend on the DAC to get expensive but only marginally nicer amp or speakers. I think its one of the most critical pieces to get right.

- Chris B, CA
 
Exceptional DAC!!!

I just upgraded from the Bel Canto eOne DAC3 to the Bryston BDA1. After about 100 hours of play for the Bryston, I compared it with the 3 year old Bel Canto. I find the Bryston to be clearly superior in bass and the overall sound quality. The Bel Canto is very good but a bit analytical. The Bryston is more musical. The Bryston is also more convenient for integrating into a system. It has far more inputs plus its remote gives you the capability to issue discrete commands to change input which means you can automate your remote control options. I am exceptionally pleased with the BDA1 and give it an absolutely superb rating and highest recommendation. THANKS AudioAdvisor!

- Tom G, NV
 
One of the most polite DACs Ive heard

I have owned lots of DACs but was on a quest for modern one that got me close to LP/analog sound... while preserving the dynamic and dark noise floor of digital. My favorites have been from ARC but this DAC takes a the lead, and at 40% of the cost. I just played it side by side with the Benchmark and the Ayre; and this one has the sweet analog mojo; very musical, very smooth, very easy to live with.

- Mark L, CO
 
Excellent Product

- Extensive A/B Testing has been done comparing the Bryston to the DAC in my preamp, CD player and my bluray. The only device that was even close to providing comparable performance is the DAC’s in the B&K. Initially the difference was subtle but still noticeable. After using the DAC for a few weeks the difference is now more pronounced. The best I can describe it is that the music just comes to life. Soundstage is lively, dimensional and silky smooth. When I switch back to the preamp … it is flat, grainy and narrow. In short it is an amazing DAC … it has a bit of a long break-in period but each night I turn it on … it sounds better and better. To get Audiophile access to your digitally stored music I highly recommend.

- B R, INT
 
Great for Various Source Components

I ripped a song from a great CD in WAV format and loaded it onto a Memory Stick plugged into a laptop and connected to the BDA-1 via USB. At the same time, I played the original CD connected to the BDA-1 via the AES/EBU input. The difference between the two was so small, that no one could tell the two apart.

- Edvard V, INT