Yes, the gold M1 is in fact different — better — than the “regular” M1. It also takes the normally $9k M1 to a full $15k for this golden Special Edition. Is it weird that I was delighted to see that the remote also gets golden buttons, too? Sweet! I can only imagine, but I expect we’ll be seeing a matching Special Edition M28 at some point, too. I mean, come on! How could they not — they have to! Ha!
Shown here with the Piano Diacera loudspeakers from Tidal Audio in Germany, the Bricasti DAC was matched up again with the M28 amplifiers ($30k/pair) that I found so satisfying this past summer. The system also included Bricasti-made signal cables, Oyaide power cords, and a massive Tchaik 6 power conditioner from Silver Circle Audio (reviewed here); it was pretty much a repeat of the system I heard at CAF.
I’ll offer that, while I am a big fan of the Tidal speakers’ sound, the little 2.5-way Piano’s (which cost $37,690, but has been recently discontinued) just doesn’t hold a candle to the stunning Agorias ($100k/pair) shown at CAF. Is that fair? Hells no. But those Agorias … pardon me, I’m sorry — I didn’t mean to drool on you. Whew. I may need a shower. Anyway, yes, the Piano’s “fit” this room much better, to be sure. But that’s one of the risks of doing back-to-back audio shows. You know exactly what’s possible. [Insert longing sigh, here.] Oh, Lady Luck? Yoo hoo!
Another way of saying this — the Bricasti gear is very clearly able to bat way above what it’s not-inconsiderable price range would suggest.