The Bricasti Design M12 is a DAC and analog preamp that builds on the amazing reputation of the M1. It incorporates the same dual mono design and three-part, independent power supply, and PCM decoding engine of the M1, The M1 has been praised as: “One of the best DACs available on the market at
any price,” (Ed Momkus, Dagogo, 2015) and “Fast, detailed, effortlessly powerful, musically revealing. Fatigue-free
listening. The best digital playback I have heard,” John Marks, Stereophile, 2012.
So what does the M12 do to advance the state of the art? (If you’re into DSD, pay close attention). I can’t describe it any better than Scot Hull of Parttime Audiophile does for the Axpona 2016 report:
“The M12 is, in short,
a preamplifier. Like the old-school pre, the M12 is more than just a linestage.
I mean, yes, it is one — it’s a fully buffered “active” linestage, using a
rather slick fully-analog 256-step ladder-based attenuator, on the output
section. Neat feature — being able to set a “reference volume” and then reset
to it via a single button. You thinking a/b comparisons? I am!
Anyway, just to be clear: on the input section, there’s the DAC along
one path, and analog inputs along another. That is, if you have an analog
rig (either vinyl or tape), you’re able to use the M12 as your hub. That’s
important — and completely removes the requirement to have an extra external
device in your signal chain. Think: purity. Think: sweetness and light. Think:
awesomesauce, with a side helping of dry-aged red meat, bone-in, and served au
jus. Nom nom nom.
But that’s not all.
Where things get wacky —
there’s another path through the M12. If you happen to be a DSD file, you get
to bypass the DAC.
Yes. Bypass the DAC.
The M12 has a new,
fully-separate, pathway just for DSD (with support for 2x DSD over USB and 1x DSD over the new Network feature),
which is fully analog. There will be more on this in the
future as I’m getting one when they’re ready to ship this summer. In the demo,
Brian flipped the bit during a live DSD stream (yes — this thing is fully
networked, bitches — oh yeahhhh!), from “normal” processing via
the ΔΣ processor to the analog path, and bliiiiiip my
mind stopped working. Okay, that’s too strong, but a sense of space just leapedbackwards.
I want I want I want I want.”
Note that the M12 has all the traditional inputs (spdif, usb) and is also a network player — i.e., it has a LAN input that lets you stream from your favorite source.
This unit is 7 months old — I am the original owner. Completely clean cosmetically and functionally. All original packaging, remote, owners manual.