'Outstanding' Bricasti M3 DAC Reviewed by Hi-Fi News

This month Christopher Breunig of Hi-Fi News turned his review attention to the recently launched M3 DAC from Massachusetts manufacturer Bricasti Design. Bricasti’s range of high-end HiFi components has remained steadfast in high audiophile regard for over a decade since the release of their Model 1 DA converter. More recently, the M3 has been an eagerly anticipated addition to their product line up as their first unit to boast Bricasti signature performance but at a more affordable price tag.

Bricasti's M3 DA Converter with optional network card and headphone amp upgrades

In his review, Breunig runs through main specifications that make the M3 tick including its two separate AD1995-powered conversion channels, independent linear power supplies for both analogue and digital cores, and fully balanced circuitry from start to finish - even including the volume control. Also noted were The Bricasti M3 DAC's rear panel featuring built-in USB and balanced outputsthe departures that Bricasti opted for in comparison to the original M1 design, namely the built-in USB connection as standard and the condensing of 15 digital filtering options down to two: Linear and Minimum Phase / Fast Roll-Off. The M3’s various optional upgrades were also covered including the Bricasti Remote Control, DNLA streaming card and the balanced headphone amplification circuit option – available by factory fitting in the UK and US.

On test, Breunig used a MacBook Pro running Auirvana software as his main source and switched between Beyer T1 headphones for testing of the optional headphone amp circuit, followed by a main listening system comprised of Quad ESL57 loudspeakers powered by DNM PA3 amps. Listening material ranges from Sibelius’ Symphony cycle performed by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, through to Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and even Saint-Saens’ Carnival Of The Animals for what Breunig calls his ’speed test.’

Exemplary Quality

Laying out his personal experience, Breunig praised the M3’s presentation of sound as well as its user friendliness and rugged build quality:

The M3 DAC from Bricasti with heaphone amp option board installedThe DSD DAC and headphone amp are welcome additions to the platform, and the engineering and finish are superb. It’s built to last, operation is straightforward and the sound quality is exemplary.

Breunig also highlighted the versatility and its applicability to a wide range of HiFi scenarios and for many different audiophiles:

Whether you stream your music from Roon, have a big CD library and are looking to trial a new transport, or just enjoy connecting a laptop and listening over headphones, the Bricasti M3 is worth saving for.

Christopher Breunig is a veteran Hi-Fi reviewer at Hi-Fi News as well as a regular contributor to HiFi Answers. Read his full Bricasti M3 review or check out more of his content via HiFi News here.

Bricasti Have Been Busy

Prior to the release of M3, our friends in Massachusetts have also been working diligently in widening their higher-end product offerings including new DAC and Power Amp releases.

Since the original Model 1, Bricasti have added two new products to their range of high-end converters: The M12, a dual mono source controller designed as the perfect front-end to any modern audio system; and the M21, a dual channel mono preamp and DAC combo with switchable delta sigma, ladder DAC or 1-bit DSD modes.

Bricasti M12 source controller and M21 dual mono preamp, both armed with DA conversion capabilities

Both models are fully discoverable as DNLA devices, remote controllable, and handmade in the United States.

Power Amps
Bricasti’s range of dedicated HiFi power amplifiers is now three-strong, with units designed to deliver varying levels of pristine, Bricasti wattage. M15, the smallest of the range, delivers 125W at 8 ohms in stereo, the M25 dual mono amp is rated at 150W (also at 8 ohms), while the M28 mono block can deliver a mighty 200W at 8 ohms.

Each of Bricasti’s amplifiers is meticulously designed to produce clean, dynamic sound to any modern HiFi loudspeakers without a hint of limiting or compression across the spectrum.

Bricast's range of HiFi power amplifiers (from left to right): M28, M15 and M25

Finding Bricasti In The UK

Bricasti M3 DACs have arrived on our shores and are currently on their way to our authorised UK retailers. To find your nearest location, or to arrange a demo of the M3, M12 source controller or M15 Stereo Power Amp contact our SCV Consumer Audio division or drop us an instant message.

M3 from Bricasti has been awarded HiFi News' Outstanding Product Badge


  • Posted on 20 May 2020 by Roy Brockington