BRYStON BDA-1

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alexone

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #80 on: 3 Nov 2008, 10:47 am »
hi, all!

as a proud owner of the BDA-1 here are my impressions.

setup:
BCD-1, BDA-1, 26, 1.5 and 4B.

connections:
opto-1: Pioneer plasma
opto-2: DVD
spdif-1: minidisc
spdif-2: BCD-1
spdif 3+4: not in use
aes/ebu: BCD-1
usb: laptop

i decided to give the 26 top priority for stereo preamplification instead of the SP2.
the music stored on the laptop are MP3 files so far. the minidisc is connected to the tapeloop so that comparisons between the internal DAC and the BDA-1 can be done easily. so all digital outs are feeding the BDA and all analog outs feeding the 26. BDA and 26 are connected via XLR and RCA. i used to listen to the laptop's analog out,too. but the sound was too crappy and that's why i want the USB only.

BDA-1 vs. laptop, md and dvd:
the BDA betters the sound of these units. if there would be ranking i would say that the laptop has the 'worst' digital sound. but given the fact that mostly MP3 music is played may explain the results. then comes md and dvd. using the analog outs the dvd comes close in terms of resolution. the sound is not too bad. same for the md. but using the digital outs via the BDA you will notice instantly where the Bryston is coming from! it just puts the missing air where it belongs to. the whole soundstage is improved. seems to me that the other 3 units are almost swallowing musical informations that is so much important for the sweetness of audio.

BDA-1 vs. BCD-1:
that is something i was very interested in. and it happened what i wanted to happen. they sound the same. yeah! both units have the same impact and the same timing. great. no matter if XLR or RCA- i can not tell which is which.

BDA-1 up-sampling:
this is a nice feature for sure. but just to be honest i can not tell the difference. so in a blind test it would end like a comparison between BDA vs. BCD...which is which?

1.5:
this phonostage is just great. even with the let's say low budget cartridge that i am using at the moment the differences are noticeable in a second. it just completes my setup.

conclusion:
i don't want to invent new words for the musical improvement that happens to my ears. words like closer, deeper and clearer might be the right ones. this setup really gives me the feeling that it is now a 'grown up'. may it be a cd or another piece of equipment with digital outs or just the good old vinyl- all of them will find their input into the Bryston-setup knowing that it will output the music with unique performance. and last but not least the look of the 'all-Bryston-design' flashes me again and again...

what to do:
for everyone out there who couldn't make up his mind about a BCD-1 or a BDA-1...don't worry! it more depends on what you need. if cd playback is wanted then go for the BCD. if you need a more versatile unit then the BDA might be yours. in fact the BDA is a BCD without the drive. whatever your decision may be- go and get yourself one of these 'daredevils' and make your system playing louder than a bomb.


al :thumb:

p.s.: technically speaking the BDA-1 and the BCD-1 are not the 'same'...the BDA-1 has dual Crystal 4398 chips!
« Last Edit: 16 Nov 2008, 07:11 pm by alexone »

john1970

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #81 on: 3 Nov 2008, 11:30 am »
Al,

Nice review.  Tomorrow my BDA-1 arrives and I can't wait to hook it up to Marantz CD player and Denon DVD player.  A lot of people have mentioned that it is difficult (or almost impossible) to tell when the upsampling is engaged.  I wonder why this is?

Cheers,

John

James Tanner

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #82 on: 3 Nov 2008, 11:59 am »
Al,

Nice review.  Tomorrow my BDA-1 arrives and I can't wait to hook it up to Marantz CD player and Denon DVD player.  A lot of people have mentioned that it is difficult (or almost impossible) to tell when the upsampling is engaged.  I wonder why this is?

Cheers,

John


Hi John,

I have had about a 60/40 split in favor of upsampling being detectable so far.  It ranges from the extreme of 'everything sounds better when it's upsampled' to 'I can not tell the difference'.  It will be interesting to get your feedback as well.

james


alexone

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #83 on: 3 Nov 2008, 12:07 pm »
Al,

Nice review.  Tomorrow my BDA-1 arrives and I can't wait to hook it up to Marantz CD player and Denon DVD player.  A lot of people have mentioned that it is difficult (or almost impossible) to tell when the upsampling is engaged.  I wonder why this is?

Cheers,

John

hi, John!

good choice to order a BDA! yes, i really would like to know why some do notice a SIGNIFICANT difference when up-sampling is engaged and others (like me) don't.

al.

jman66

BRYSTON BDA-1 and USB
« Reply #84 on: 4 Nov 2008, 01:21 pm »
Anyone feeding their BDA-1 via USB from a Windows-based PC?
If so, how would you rate the sound quality versus SPDIF?
Also, what playback software & driver method are you using?
Thanks!

-jim

mcullinan

Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #85 on: 4 Nov 2008, 01:58 pm »
Al,

Nice review.  Tomorrow my BDA-1 arrives and I can't wait to hook it up to Marantz CD player and Denon DVD player.  A lot of people have mentioned that it is difficult (or almost impossible) to tell when the upsampling is engaged.  I wonder why this is?

Cheers,

John

hi, John!

good choice to order a BDA! yes, i really would like to know why some do notice a SIGNIFICANT difference when up-sampling is engaged and others (like me) don't.

al.
Actually, I think the upsampling is subtle. The sound stage is a bit bigger. I think it is much more significant when you are playing lower quality MP3s, it really makes them sound damn good.
Mike

alexone

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Re: BRYSTON BDA-1 and USB
« Reply #86 on: 5 Nov 2008, 08:30 am »
Anyone feeding their BDA-1 via USB from a Windows-based PC?
If so, how would you rate the sound quality versus SPDIF?
Also, what playback software & driver method are you using?
Thanks!

-jim

hi, Jim!

my laptop is Windows-based. since i don't have a spdif out on the laptop i am not able to do comparisons...but if i play a cd through the laptop using the usb out and playing the same cd through the BCD using the spdif out there is not much difference. i use winamp for playback. it always depends on what sound-quality the BDA is receiving. so if you play a 'regular' cd on your computer and using the usb the BDA will put it on a nice level.
don't forget this is just my opinion. as worldwide selling for the BDA will continue there will be different point of views of usb vs. spdif and so on.
hope this helps :wink:

al.

john1970

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #87 on: 5 Nov 2008, 11:30 am »
Just hooked up my BDA-1 into my stereo system yesterday and am amazed at the level of detail and clarity.  I notice a very subtle improvement when the upsampling is engaged.  Thank you Bryston for making such a great product.  It will be in my systems for years (decades) to come.

Cheers,

John

AnthonyH

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #88 on: 7 Nov 2008, 11:04 am »
Hi all.

I'm trying to decide between the BCD and the BDA as a source upgrade. The question I have is, would it be better to use the all in one Bryston BCD or to connect my current CDP (Cyrus CD8X) to the BDA? Are the two DAC's the same (BDA/BCD)?

I've heard of things like jitter etc...  which would (I assume) not be a problem with the BCD but could be a problem with the BDA/transport option.

john1970

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #89 on: 7 Nov 2008, 11:22 am »
Anthony,

When I decided to upgrade my source I decided to go with the BDA-1 for the following reasons:

1) More flexibility than a standalone CD player.  I have my DVD player's digital output going into by BDA-1 so when I watch opera on DVD I can also have solid 2 channel sound.  I can also add a USB input when (if) I so desire. 

2) No moving parts to break.  Every CD player I have own seems to go out after about 5 to 6 years and it is always the transport.  Without any moving parts I expect the BDA-1 to last a very long time.

3) The BDA-1 does offer upsampling; although opinions do differ on how significant a difference it makes to the sound.  Personally, I think it makes a very subtle (yet noticeable) improvement so I leave it on when listening.

4) Price: The BDA-1 costs less than the BCD-1.

Good luck and let us know what you choose. 


Cheers,

John

AnthonyH

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #90 on: 7 Nov 2008, 12:42 pm »
Hi John

I agree that the BDA-1 is a good option because it can be used to play data from many sources. Also your point about the DAC lasting longer is valid.

I'll definitely go to my local dealer to arrange a demo.

Do you think that there would be a difference in quality between the transport-DAC or BCD-1?

Thanks

denjo

Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #91 on: 7 Nov 2008, 12:57 pm »
I agree with John's suggestion to get the DAC option, BDA-1. This will give you greater flexibility and allow you to use wireless streaming as an alternative to the ubiquitous DVD/CDP. The several digital inputs will allow you to hook multiple digital sources and be assured of excellent audio quality.

Dennis

Spritz57

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #92 on: 12 Nov 2008, 05:53 pm »
Now for my first post here. . . if I decide on the BDA-1 over the BCD-1 for all the reasons stated, what transport is recommended for CD?  I wish Bryston made a separate transport but since this is not the case and since I do fear audible degradation issues, i.e. jitter, etc., what do folks use?  Thanks!  Does Bryston have a recommendation based on their research?

James Tanner

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #93 on: 12 Nov 2008, 05:57 pm »
Now for my first post here. . . if I decide on the BDA-1 over the BCD-1 for all the reasons stated, what transport is recommended for CD?  I wish Bryston made a separate transport but since this is not the case and since I do fear audible degradation issues, i.e. jitter, etc., what do folks use?  Thanks!  Does Bryston have a recommendation based on their research?

Hi Spritz57,

Welcome - does 57 signify your a Quad 57 owner?

james

Spritz57

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #94 on: 12 Nov 2008, 06:04 pm »
I'll put it this way. . . my young adults, formerly kids, look at my goatee and ask, "Dad, Got Milk?"

BaraBara

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #95 on: 12 Nov 2008, 06:12 pm »
New to this forum as I didn't have a Bryston till last week. Really happy with the BDA-1 fed by a Sonos ZP80 and a Pioneer Elite universal player. I will post a short review soon (once I sell my $5k moded CD player which is considered giant killer,... so you can guess the tone of the review).

A few questions:
1) Connecting the BDA-1 is creating a ground loop. My system is very simple and has never had a ground loop before. Floating the ground pin completely eliminates the problem. Is this safe?, any better solution to this problem?
2) Any cable suggestions - digital (RCA or Toslink) and ICs?
3) Anyone is using damping/vibration control devices with the BDA-1? I've noticed that the top of the unit vibrates (with music) more than other components

Rest of the system: BDA-1->AudioQuest King Cobra->Conrad Johnson CA200 (Control Amplifier)->Audience Au24->Penaudio Serenades

James Tanner

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #96 on: 12 Nov 2008, 06:15 pm »
New to this forum as I didn't have a Bryston till last week. Really happy with the BDA-1 fed by a Sonos ZP80 and a Pioneer Elite universal player. I will post a short review soon (once I sell my $5k moded CD player which is considered giant killer,... so you can guess the tone of the review).

A few questions:
1) Connecting the BDA-1 is creating a ground loop. My system is very simple and has never had a ground loop before. Floating the ground pin completely eliminates the problem. Is this safe?, any better solution to this problem?
2) Any cable suggestions - digital (RCA or Toslink) and ICs?
3) Anyone is using damping/vibration control devices with the BDA-1? I've noticed that the top of the unit vibrates (with music) more than other components

Rest of the system: BDA-1->AudioQuest King Cobra->Conrad Johnson CA200 (Control Amplifier)->Audience Au24->Penaudio Serenades

Welcome BaraBara,

Is the ground loop there when there is nothing plugged into the BDA-1?

james


alexone

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Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #97 on: 12 Nov 2008, 08:13 pm »
hi, Bara Bara!

do you mean that if you play music through the BDA the unit is vibrating? if so- where does it come from? there are no moving parts...

thanx,

al.

mcullinan

Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #98 on: 12 Nov 2008, 08:19 pm »
New to this forum as I didn't have a Bryston till last week. Really happy with the BDA-1 fed by a Sonos ZP80 and a Pioneer Elite universal player. I will post a short review soon (once I sell my $5k moded CD player which is considered giant killer,... so you can guess the tone of the review).

A few questions:
1) Connecting the BDA-1 is creating a ground loop. My system is very simple and has never had a ground loop before. Floating the ground pin completely eliminates the problem. Is this safe?, any better solution to this problem?
2) Any cable suggestions - digital (RCA or Toslink) and ICs?
3) Anyone is using damping/vibration control devices with the BDA-1? I've noticed that the top of the unit vibrates (with music) more than other components

Rest of the system: BDA-1->AudioQuest King Cobra->Conrad Johnson CA200 (Control Amplifier)->Audience Au24->Penaudio Serenades
Maybe there is a small gerbil running the show inside the BDA-1. Thats old school technology, but I hear its pretty sweet sounding. Its the gerbil fur that makes the BDA 1 sing!
Mike

b5pt9

Re: BRYStON BDA-1
« Reply #99 on: 12 Nov 2008, 09:47 pm »
New to this forum as I didn't have a Bryston till last week. Really happy with the BDA-1 fed by a Sonos ZP80 and a Pioneer Elite universal player. I will post a short review soon (once I sell my $5k moded CD player which is considered giant killer,... so you can guess the tone of the review).

A few questions:
1) Connecting the BDA-1 is creating a ground loop. My system is very simple and has never had a ground loop before. Floating the ground pin completely eliminates the problem. Is this safe?, any better solution to this problem?
2) Any cable suggestions - digital (RCA or Toslink) and ICs?
3) Anyone is using damping/vibration control devices with the BDA-1? I've noticed that the top of the unit vibrates (with music) more than other components

Rest of the system: BDA-1->AudioQuest King Cobra->Conrad Johnson CA200 (Control Amplifier)->Audience Au24->Penaudio Serenades
Maybe there is a small gerbil running the show inside the BDA-1. Thats old school technology, but I hear its pretty sweet sounding. Its the gerbil fur that makes the BDA 1 sing!
Mike

That's the special "RG" edition with the gerbils inside..  :lol: :lol:  Sorry couldn't resist.

Seriously though my SP1.7 top plate vibrates with the music too.  Some electromagnetic interaction I assume.