Bricasti Model 1 Series II DAC

This DAC seems pretty interesting from both an analogue as well as digital conversion point of view:

I currently own a highly modded DirectStream MKI DAC, but this DAC I really want.... MSRP is around $12K....

Any opinions on this DAC?


I purchased the M1 when it first came out and have had all the upgrades offered including the most recent, the Series II.  I just got it back from Bricasti yesterday and well, what can I say.  For over a decade I've been committed to the M1 and it is a superb sounding DAC in all incarnations. The latest Series II upgrade is awesome and what I noticed immediately was greater depth to the soundstage and delineation of instruments with well fleshed out body and space around performers.  I've been through a lot of digital since I heard the first Sony player in 1983 on its way to an audio show debut. The M1 keeps me happy and Bricasti keeps the technology updated and current for a fair price and with wonderful service.  So, I'll likely finished a second decade with the M1 S II and take any updates offered along the way.   Oh, by the way, my vinyl rig sounds great, but so does the M1 at half the price.  Give it a listen, I think you'll find it competes way, way above its price point. I'll leave it at that rather then get into comparisons to DACs many times the price of the M1. Good luck with your upgrade.

I upgraded my M1 se to and series 2 and have about 100 hours on it so far.  First impressions compared to M1 se - sound stage is deeper, increase in detail maybe just darker between instruments and bass is not as pronounced.  All in all very happy with the upgrade.  It will be interesting what changes next few hundred hours.  

By the way; Bricasti is a great company to work with.  Build quality is excellent and network (streamer / renderer) card is excellent.   

I moved from an PS Audio and the Bricasti added “life” to the music.  

I received My Bricasti M1 Series II a few weeks ago. I'm building a dedicated room so cannot wait to listen to it. 

They had to use a larger chassis in the Series II as they needed more real estate to fit their new design in. 

I was told they will be releasing a new transport in late spring/early summer to mate with it. 


Thanks for all the information on the SQ experiences with the Bricasti.... I am still saving to have enough cash (life is expensive these days....).

we are a bricasti dealer the m1 se is an excellent dac superb buid quality and upgradable platform

Dave and Troy

Audiointellect nj

Well this was a quiet release. Thanks to this thread, I am now aware the M1 has been updated past the somewhat recent MDx board upgrade option. 
I look forward to reading more details about the Series II sonic qualities. 

Considering the taller chassis, I didn’t think that you’d be able to upgrade from the M1SE to the new Series 2.   Glad to hear that Bricasti is able to offer this to existing M1 owners.  

Testrun - please keep us updated, as you get more hours on yours.  I’m very curious to hear about the sonic differences of the upgrade.  Hopefully the lower frequencies are improving for you!



Yup, new chassis to include the larger power supplies and electronics.  Pretty amazing that they continue such a robust upgrade path. Shows a great deal of allegiance to their customer base.

The lower frequencies are probably more defined and cleaner.  I hate to say this but if I had to make a kind of crude statement the lower frequencies are there just maybe cleaner maybe less muddy if that makes sense.   Just to be clear I really loved my M1se but the M1 series 2 is better everywhere for sure without being a problem anywhere.  

Great feedback.  Thank you.  

Are you folks (who upgraded from M1SE) finding that the sound continues to improve as you rack up more hours on it?

barrel chief,

Rumor on the street is 500 hours before you do any critical listen. There is a review on 10audio. 

I sure don't have 500 hrs on it, but that would be super if there's a continued improvement.  I do agree that the low end would seem well defined, deeper and present.  Listening to Adrian Sherwood productions are better than ever with superior bass and rhythmic drive.

Again, thank you all for chiming in.  

If you notice any more notable improvements/changes as you get more hours on the new circuits, please report back.  

If/when I pull the trigger on the upgrade, I will do the same!

I received the Bricast M1se v2 from Bricasti on Friday after v2 upgrade

 I also had the Mcx board and the ethernet board installed, so a little harder to tell what the V2 upgrade brings to the table. Used transport to take ethernet out of equation 

After about 48 hours it is a much better Dac than before  upgrades. Texture of notes and Soundstage are better than the already awesome V1.



The MDX upgrade was a large step forward. My non SE M1 now is the Series 2. The series 2 upgrade is tighter, leading edge improved , image is more focused as well bigger. Bricasti delivers again and I could not be happier that I took the plunge!

 There are no downsides to the series 2 over the M1 original. Such a natural  and analog sound. Congrats to the Bricasti team. Great customer service and upgrade path re-enforces my commitment to Bricasti. 

I am a Bricasti dealer and when customers contact me about upgrading from the original DSD, Bricasti is regularly where they land.  I have not heard the new V2 yet but I do have a customer who has upgraded and has said it is better than the M1 SE in every way.  He started with the M3 and traded up.  Originally, he traded in the DSD.  

What is the turnaround time at Bricasti for the M1SE upgrade to the M1S2 not including shipping time?  The reason I ask is that I just shipped my M1SE to Bricasti and they should receive it on Wednesday and I’m trying to estimate when I’ll get it back.  Thanks!

Upgrades are between end user and Bricasti.  My customer did not share how long the upgrade took so I don’t know.  Maybe another user here has upgraded.  

What's the cost of upgrading an M1SE to the M1S2? Would it be worth buying a used M1 then having it upgraded?

I had my M1se with network / renderer card upgraded to an S2.  I think the actual upgrade, excluding shipping, took a couple of days.  Cost was $2500 plus shipping. 

I seem to be missing something. The M1 Series II is housed in a larger chassis from the previous version. 

If endusers are getting upgrades to the Series II upgrade level what's missing?

From Bricasti 

"The M1S2 is focused on simplicity of design and includes a host of new performance milestones including our latest MDx processor, new higher current twin linear power supplies with larger performance capacitors, all fit into a handcrafted chassis milled from solid aluminum that stands taller in size fitted with the same M1SE feet as standard."

It seems the capacitors is the reason to add vertical real estate. How is this implemented with older chassis?

I have not unpacked my M1Series II yet as I'm building a room but need to open the hood and see the caps to make sense of this. 

I just received my M1 S2 DAC that was upgraded from a M1SE.  It’s really like getting a brand new DAC.  It has the new multicolor display and remote control (I didn’t have a remote with my M1SE).  It sounds great out of the box but I think it should get even better with burn-in.  I’m very happy with Bricasti’s service and making this upgrade possible!

I had no idea that I could update my M1 to a series 2.  

When I went with the MDX board I thought that was an excellent step. Can hardly imagine what the series 2 brings!

Yes, Bricasti is pretty amazing with their upgrade path for the M1.  I'm confused though about the previous comment of a multicolor display.  Mine, and others all have the standard red display and the remote has alway been available as an option.  Here's the pricing of the upgrades from a few months ago.

Effective 1/2023

M1 upgrades

MDx Processor upgrade: $1250

The MDx processor is our latest enhancement to the product line, this upgrade will provide for native DSD256 with USB, and greatly improved Master Clock Sync, yielding an overall improvement over the previous hardware revisions of the processor noted above. Commencing 1/2020 the MDx processor was implemented in all new production for all products.

M1 factory upgrades

M1 Series II upgrade from M1SE with MDX: $2500

SE upgrade: $1000 MDx is not included.

Network Upgrade: $1500 with new rear panel , MDx is not included but recommended

Legacy Upgrades for older M1s

Remote upgrade Kit: $450 Adds the remote to older pre front panel IR capable M1s, includes external IR receiver and remote.

M1 Remote: $250 Replacement M1 remote, does not include IR receiver.

Considering there are cost savings if multiple upgrades are performed at the same time, package discounts available for M1 upgrades please contact us for more information and quotation. In some cases the rear panel may have to be replaced to support the upgrade.

All prices are exclusive of return shipping which with ground service is about $40-60, we will quote it at the time we are shipping.



The new display on the M1S2 just became available.  I haven't seen it advertised anywhere but it was on the M1S2 at Axpona.  I just got my M1S2 last week and I got the new display but I knew about it and it did cost me more.  The colors are blue, red and off-white (it almost matches the color of the knob).  I don't know if I would send a M1S2 with the red display back for the new display but since my M1SE was already going there for the upgrade, I decided to spend the extra bucks and get the nicer display.   The new display looks great.

Nifty.  I must have just missed the change when I had my M1 upgraded to the series II a few months back.  How much was the up charge for the color display?    

Can someone post pictures of the new display?  I will likely upgrade my M1SE/MDx/Network player to the M1series ii but wondering about the color display.

I will echo all of the previous comments about the S2 upgrade.  I could not be happier with this upgrade.  The improvements are not subtle.   Worth every hard earned penny!

Fast turnaround, stellar service!

Kudos to Bricasti for supporting their customers in this way!!!

Photos of the new display are now on Bricasti’s website.   The optional display upgrade makes for a cleaner installation, because the remote is received via the front panel, making the separate receiver obsolete.

That’s my $0.02.

I am one happy customer!



am quite interested in the M1 SE2 dac. thinking of selling one of my dacs to fund it. currently using Rockna Wavedream Signature XLR, Meitner MA3, and Rockna Wavelight. have any of u with the Bricasti tried the dacs I have, and have any opinion as to whether the M1 would be a sort of side grade rather than upgrade?

I quite like the wavedream and wavelight, so might change up the meitner for the bricasti.. any thoughts? if I do, the front end for the Bricasti would be an Innuos Pulsar outputting via USB.

@docroasty have you ever heard ANY of the Bricasti DACs? They all do have a house sound of being very clean and refreshing sounding and they throw a big soundstage. More leaning to the neutral sound.


(Dealer Disclaimer) 

@sksos ​​​​​​

​​​​​​Thanks for that info! admittedly, I have not had the chance to try any of the Bricasti offerings. there is a dealer local to me, but they only have the M3 in store, and they do not allow for home demos. they did invite me down for a listen, but I have not taken up the offer as I do find it hard to evaluate a dac when it is in a whole other system. hence, for this instance I have to rely on stuff I read/user reviews and advice/comparisons on forums etc.

tbh Im not unhappy with any of my dacs. perhaps just to scratch an itch, as I’ve always been curious about Bricasti (as well as the Weiss dac502).

@sksos is spot on with the Bricasti sound signature. 
Will the dealer allow you to bring your dac in? That would allow you to set a baseline. 

@docroasty we have the latest M3 and would be glad to ship it out, just pay for shipping. This way you can understand  the Bricasti sound. You might even love the M3. Let me know if this will work?


 (Dealer disclaimer)

@sksos many thanks for the offer. I would have loved to take u up on it but I'm halfway around the world in Singapore. I used to have the Benchmark Dac3b; is Bricasti somewhat similar to that? 

@docroasty have not had the Benchmark in my own listening studio but have heard it several times. It's a fine DAC maybe a bit on the clinical side and not having the transparency of the Bricasti.. Again without having it in a known system it's hard for me to judge all parameters

Had an M3 for a few years, very good DAC. Have not heard the M1. Moved to an Ayre QX5, to my ears, a significant jump up from the M3. I try to buy American as much as possible. Bricasti and Ayre are two of the best, quality, build, sonics, support, etc.

@docroasty I went from Benchmark DAC 3 HGC to Bricasti M3. To my ears, in my system/ setup, the M3 is a superior DAC. It is more refined, has more natural tone and overall a better build quality. Its preamp section leaves the HGC in the dust as well. System consisted of Pass XP12 preamplifier and Pass XA30.8 amplifier at the time, driving the Wilson Audio Sabrina.

Benchmark is a good DAC at its price point but it isn’t a competition for the M3. 

@docroasty I owned the Bricasti M3 a year or so ago. And I demoed the Meitner MA3 recently. The Meitner is a very fine DAC. It is very smooth and was to much of a good thing in my system, with my Harbeth 40.2. I needed something with a little more drive and touch less warmth.. Regardless of that, I could still hear the magic in this wonderful Meitner DAC. Very refined and natural. The MA3 is in another league over the M3 and surely more on par with the M1. The M1SE should have a little more in room presence over the MA3. But the MA3 should be the more delicate and organic one. So, smooth, delicate and organic with a great does of musicality, compared to the recording studio quality standards ya get with Bricasti, maybe a touch more accuracy over the personal definition sector of ‘musicality’. 

@joc3021 @audphile1 ​​​​​​

many thanks for the replies! really appreciate the comments/comparisons. had not considered ayre before but will look into it. I like Benchmark as a company but somehow just could not enjoy my dac3b, hpa4 and ahb2.. ended up selling all of them.


@jriggy i really enjoy my MA3. I think it is a great dac. the rockna wavelight is not as technically achieved but somehow find myself enjoying the music more with the rockna house sound. if I do change up my dacs, the MA3 may be the one to go. based on your comments, am now a bit more hesitant to try the Bricasti (mainly as it'd be a blind buy of significant cost).. may look in the opposite direction to totaldac (d1 unity) which seems to be in a similar price range. 

Can anyone comment on comparing the current version

of the PS Audio DirectStream mk2 with the Bricasti or Meitner Dax’s?

I recently replaced my DirectStream MKI - heavily modded - with a Weiss DAC 501 MKII. I cannot respond to the SQ of the DS MKII, but I believe the Weiss DAC is much more neutral and noise-free. Also the build quality is much better.

Also the Weiss DAC 501MKII has an excellent Ethernet input and the DirectStream MKII does not.

I did not listen to the Bricasti Model 1 Series II DAC - but it is also much costlier than the PS Audio or Weiss.

Please be aware the Weiss DAC requires plenty of burn-in time and a very musical power cable.

I am a Bricasti dealer and am familiar.  The M3 is a completely different chassis, PS, etc…. I do not believe that there would be a standard upgrade directly with Bricasti as it is a totally different model and footprint.  They did not offer an M3 to M1 upgrade for example.  

You could trade the DAC to a Bricasti dealer that takes trades but it will much more expensive than the typical $2500 upgrade.  

Just upgraded my M12 to the new TFT style display. Was a very straightforward process and Bricasti was extremely helpfull.

I documented it here:

Bricasti M12 – Hauptsache es klingt ! (

Had my Bricasti M12 updated to add the IS2 port in addition to the standard Ethernet port. Can see it here: (Dealer disclaimer)