I’m very surprised about the review findings, in regards to the M3’s dynamic capabilities and musical enjoyment.
As proud owner of an M3 Streamer/DAC/Pre-amp, I had deliberately chosen the Bricasti M3 for its capabilities in general at that price level and certainly its micro and macro-dynamics.
It is fantastic how the M3 expresses the dynamic interaction between the musicians. How it makes you understand the musical language the musicians speak amongst each other. Their miniature changes in peace, answered by the other musicians.
How the music scene can burst of energy. But, also how silent it becomes when the musicians slow down before their next energy burst. Your body and emotions start following that exact movement.
In my setup, it sounds the exact opposite to “restrained”. To me, it reveals a unique musical enjoyment.
My humble advice:
The M3 reveals so many fine details and dynamics, that the orientation of the power plug has a huge impact on the M3’s emotional expression. The magic only happens with the right orientation of the power plug.
New out of the box, my M3 had to play 24/24 during 4 weeks before the M3’s magic was fully there.
Use a high quality power cable, as it makes a huge difference with the M3. I use the Furutech DPS-4.1. It makes the M3 sound like each instrument has its own power cable.
For your information: I use the M3’s built-in pre-amp (not mentioned at all in the review), so it is directly connected to my KR Audio Kronzilla SX power amp. This saved me a significant investment in a pre-amp, making the M3 an incredible value for money streamer/DAC/pre-amp with extreme build quality for that price.
I don’t know what happened during the review, but the dynamic capabilities and musical enjoyment were key reasons for me to buy the M3 (against 6 other DAC’s from 4000€ to 9500€). Congratulations to Bricasti!
I'm with Tom D above. Was looking for a replacement to my QBD76HD for years and tried both Chord Dave and TT2 at home extensively but couldn't live with either. The Dave was dull and the TT2 detailed but harsh, hollow and un-musical - I actually preferred my QBD (using balanced outputs) to both! After trying other DACs a dealer suggested the Bricasti and I've never looked back - it's the most like my turntable yet and also sounds amazing with headphones.
Don't be put off or follow the crowd - give the M3 a try. You also get an upgrade path with Bricasti that protects the value of your investment. PS also make sure you get the ethernet version as it's a big improvement over the USB.
Not sure what the reviewer was listening too but this is the opposite of what I find with the M3. Its a great DAC with huge stage. Cabling is everything and maybe his synergy isn’t proper. Try to audition in your own system if possible.