Bryston BDA-3 DAC

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Dave Jordan, Apr 5, 2016.

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  1. Dave Jordan

    Dave Jordan
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    I am looking for reviews of the Bryston BDA-3 but have not found any. Are there any? Has anyone listened to this DAC? I am very interested in it based on technical specs. But I have heard that other DACs have sounded better than the BDA-2. This is not a cheap DAC, so I am doing my due diligence of finding out what others have to say about it before buying it...
     
  2. arb70sok

    arb70sok
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    The only independent (as in not from a reseller) review I could find was here -

    Bryston Unveils BDA-3 DAC

    from 8th October 2015.

    Looks like a seriously good bit of kit but does it really sound *that* much better than the considerably cheaper Chord Hugo, Chord 2Qute or Oppo 105? Maybe it does but I wouldn't pay that money until I heard them head to head and convinced myself. Also you don't say anything about the rest of your setup. No point paying this money for a DAC if you have basic amp and speakers. If you already have kit at this level then you shouldn't baulk at paying this price,
    otherwise, I would definately check out the cheaper competition first.
     
  3. Dave Jordan

    Dave Jordan
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    I have seen lots of articles announcing the product and specs, but have not seen any thorough analysis of it that address its quality of sound produced. That is what I am looking for. I have very capable B&W speakers. Currently I have a Marantz receiver, but I do plan to upgrade that in a year or two. This specs of the BDA-3 make it look like this will be a component that will not become obsolete any time soon. I have made arrangements to hear it this Friday.
     
  4. arb70sok

    arb70sok
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    Enjoy your demo and please do report back. I am sure there are lots of folk hear who would be interested to know how you get on.
     
  5. Dave Jordan

    Dave Jordan
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  6. arb70sok

    arb70sok
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    On the thread Dave Jordan linked to above, James Tanner, from Bryston, has posted a message from Peter Thomas of PMC speakers praising the BDA-3 to the skies. That is quite some endorsement if it is genuine.
     
  7. Dave Jordan

    Dave Jordan
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    Yeah, someone pointed out to me that James Tanner did the post. It would have had more validity if Peter Thomas had done the posting himself. Still looking for an independent review from an expert at evaluating this product space.
     
  8. Dave Jordan

    Dave Jordan
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    I listened to the BDA-3 and really appreciated the detailed "variations" you could hear in the voices and instruments, things one normally cannot hear or notice in other environments. I am not an expert on DACs and the comparisons between them, so part of the very fine detail I was hearing being rendered may have just been due to high-res versus low-res, but the sound seemed very neutral, transparent, without any coloration, I was very impressed. System was a BDP-2 to BDA-3 combination, then fed into a high-end headphone amp and headphones. Best music I heard was some tracks from Otmar Liebert, the imaging was amazing. I listened to some Maroon 5 which must have been a horrible recording, I had to pull the headphones off because the recording was so bad. This matches up with another person's statements that the DAC cannot make a bad recording sound good, but can make a good recording sound fantastic. (I do like Maroon 5, but what I heard was awful). I still wish a real DAC expert other than Bryston would review the BDA-3, but I may end up purchasing it before that happens...
     
  9. dazed&confused

    dazed&confused
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    Do you normally listen to your own set-up through headphones at home?
     
  10. Dave Jordan

    Dave Jordan
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    No, but that is all he could offer me today for listening.
     
  11. arb70sok

    arb70sok
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    Why don't you just do side by side "blind" comparison with other cheaper DAC's. Frankly I think what YOUR ear/mind hears is actually more important than what a "real DAC expert"'s opinion is!

    Sounds to me like you really want to buy this kit and would like a "real DAC expert" to justify the cost for you.
    If you really want to buy it, just buy it and enjoy!

    If you want to make a good prudent decision then do a blind test with something half the price and if you can tell the difference don't waste your money!
     
  12. dazed&confused

    dazed&confused
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    More likely to be due to listening through headphones is my guess. What you describe is a common experience from listening through headphones, after being used to listening through speakers. I think you would have got the same experience Using a less expensive DAC.

    Sounds a bit dodgy to me
     

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