Bricasti Design M3h DAC & Amp
Bricast M3H DAC & Amp features two fully differential conversion channels, separate conversion for PCM and native DSD, and a balanced analog level control circuit, making the M3H suitable for all applications. Internally the M3H utilizes two independent linear power supplies for the analog and digital processing to ensure low noise and superior isolation. The M3H adds a headphone amplifier option with balanced inputs for expanded utility in your audio system.
Introducing the M3H
The M3 was designed from the beginning to have a headphone buffer and driver amps to be added as options, so the chassis and dimensions remain the same on the M3H except for the front panel. There, you will find 2 connection points for an XLR and 1/4" inputs. There is no change in the DAC components of the device, but there are additional driver cards inside the unit.
The M3 is a true balanced or differential DAC, and all its analog circuitry is fully balanced including the headphone driver amps. There are 4 amps in the M3H for headphone drive when using balanced out. It is unique in the market to have a full balanced path.
Since the M3 is analog, there is no change in the UI of the unit or controlling level. Bricasti will be adding the ability to select the different outputs: Headphone or main outputs on the device.
Exceptional Performance and Value
The M3H offers an incredible array of performance in a more affordable price class. Highlights include two fully differential conversion channels, separate conversion for PCM and native DSD, and a balanced analog level control circuit, making the M3H suitable for all applications.
The M3H utilizes two independent linear power supplies for the analog and digital processing to ensure low noise and superior isolation. A newly designed chassis made from robust CNC milled aluminum in sections ensures superior thermal characteristics, excellent vibrational damping, and shielding from RF.
Re-creating sound is an art and a science
The M3H’s digital design employs precision DDS clocking that lowers jitter to extremely low levels, ensuring a pure digital signal path without the use of sample rate converters, this combined with superior digital filter design, and Native DSD conversion yields a state of the art digital audio path. The M3H’s high-speed low distortion analog path features a bypass-able preamp class analog level control allowing the M3H to be used to drive power amps directly, with no bit loss for optimal analog performance.
The M3H features 2 fully differential conversion channels, each with its own D/A converter, and analog level control circuitry. With Bricasti’s twin DAC design, the dynamic range for each channel is optimized by using the stereo ADI 1955 D/A converters in a mono configuration for PCM conversion, clocking is implemented with a technique called DDS (direct digital synthesis) which takes clock induced jitter to immeasurable levels. DSD is converted with a proprietary one-bit analog converter.
The intention of the M3H is to provide a state-of-the-art design, utilizing the best designs and materials that can be found today. The converter and following analog stages are a very critical part of the digital and analog audio chain. The sound of the M3H is intended to be transparent and revealing, and fully dynamic. This in part is made possible by lowering the jitter to extremely low levels, providing a pure digital signal chain without sample rate converters, superior digital filter design, pure DSD conversion, coupled to a fast, transparent analog signal path with analog level control, discrete analog output section and plenty of good clean linear power for optimum analog performance.
Many hours of listening were done to tune the M3H to an exacting sound, with all types of music, and with extensive testing done in the studio and in the home. We hope you find the M3H to be pleasing and enjoyable to hear and use in the home or as a precision tool for high-level reference monitoring for the professional.
Analog Input Section
Includes additional balanced inputs for XLR and 1/4" connectors.
Digital Input Section
Depending on options, it provides 4 or 5 digital inputs selectable from the front panel. This section has its own linear power supply and is isolated from the analog section. Features and Analog Devices Sharc DSP that used to run:
- Front panel
- General DSP operations of M3H
- Control and synchronize the DDS clocking
- Provide a selection of Bricasti’s oversampled anti-aliasing filters
Analog Output Section
- Both channels are powered by a separate linear power supply.
- Single multi-layer PCB for the analog conversion and analog output stages.
- Manages DSD audio path; maintains a true pure DSD converter.
- The M3H is a fully differential analog design with fast high slew rate fast settling analog operational amps used in all audio paths, for both balanced and unbalanced, each separately buffered and isolated.
The rear panel has a stereo connection (TRS) for the trigger out of M3H, used to place an external device like the Bricasti M15 power amp into standby. Trigger functions can be set in the status menu for trigger-in, trigger-out, or trigger-remote for exclusive operation and control from the M20 preamp.
- USB connection
- Optional Network Interface
- DSD playback
- Digital Oversampling Filters for PCM Conversion
- Optional M3/M3H Remote
Handcrafted in the USA
All of Bricasti's products are crafted in the old world tradition, in a classic brick mill building in Massachusetts USA by a team of individuals dedicated to excellence.
- Digital Inputs
- XLR: AES/EBU 24 bit Single Wire
Optical: Toslink 44.1- 96k, USB 2
RJ45: Ethernet (Optional)
- AES, SPDIF: 44.1 kHz, to, 192khz, DSD 64fs as DoP
USB: 44.1 kHz, to, 384kHz, DSD 64fs 128Fs as DoP
Ethernet: 44.1 kHz, to, 384kHz, DSD 64fs,128Fs as DoP
- 8 psec @ 48k / 6psec @ 96k
- Anodized Aluminum Dimensions
- 14” x 11.25“ x 2.5” Weight
- 10 lbs Shipping Weight
- 15 lbs Mains Voltage
- 100, 120, 220, 240 VAC, 50 Hz – 60 Hz factory set Trigger in/out
- TRS connector for 5V external trigger on ring Power consumption
- 20 Watts Warranty parts and labor
- 2 years non-transferable
Balanced Analog Outputs
- XLR balanced (pin 2 hot) D/A Conversion
- PCM 24 bit delta sigma 8x oversampling, NDSD pure 1 bit conversion for DSD Impedance
- 40 ohm Output Level
- @ 0 db front panel +14.3 dbm 4 db RMS ( bypass mode) Frequency Response @44.1k
- 10 hz- 20 kHz +0dB, -.2 dB Dynamic Range
- >120dB A-Weighted THD+N @ 1k
- .0008% @ 0dbfs / .0004% @-30dbfs
Unbalanced Analog Outputs
- RCA D/A Conversion
- PCM 24 bit delta sigma 8x oversampling
NDSD pure 1 bit conversion for DSD
- 40 ohm Output level
- @ 0 db front panel = +4db 2V rms Frequency Response @ 44.1k
- 10 hz- 20 kHz -.2 dB Dynamic Range
- >120dB A-Weighted THD+N @ 1k
- .0008% @ 0dbfs / .0004% @-30dbfs