RMAF 2018: Bricasti, TIDAL; the present truth


From the exacting truth found in all Bricasti Design electronics, and delicate balance of dynamics offered from all TIDAL Audio loudspeakers, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a better exhibit of digital’s sonic prowess. It could have something to do with “true direct DSD”, but that’s something you’ll just have to find out for yourself. If given the chance, do give this duo an audition.


The Story

Classical music in DSD. Is there any other way to do it? Not likely. Digital for most people tends to show its true colors when faced with the challenges presented by great classical recordings. Things from time to time can get a little jumbled, or grainy. Nothing is perfect, but maybe digital doesn’t have to be far from it.

Bricasti Design has a foot firmly planted in both professional monitoring and consumer audio systems. This is obviously a demanding position to hold for Bricasti, but the rewards for us audiophiles are plenty. Lessons learned on the pro side of the fence, definitely yield greener pastures on our side of high-end home audio when it comes to Bricasti’s newest electronics.

Bricasti Design was showing off their new M21 D/A Platinum Edition digital-to-analog converter. The M21 Platinum Series houses three independent and user-selectable digital to analog signal paths: delta sigma and ladder dac for PCM conversion; and for DSD playback, true direct DSD. All digital input types are supported, with either direct output or hard-wire bypass of the analog attenuator. The M21 Digital to analog converter is the continued evolution of both the M1 Special Edition and the M12 Dual Mono Source Controller.

TIDAL Audio was exemplifying what true high-end has to offer with their Piano Diacera G2 loudspeakers. The Piano G2 may be the entry level point into TIDAL loudspeakers, but much like the sixth-place contestant at a Miss Universe pageant, everything was still supremely spectacular.


The Sound

Classical track, after classical track, I was unreservedly hooked. The more complex the better. The Bricasti/TIDAL combination is a center section ticket to orchestrated realism, unlike most systems encountered at audio shows. Most wouldn’t dare to exhibit with such heavy material, but within the grasp of this system, nothing seemed out of reach. In many ways, there’s nothing to say when staring in the face of greatness. One is left speechless, and ordered to enjoy the time.


The System

Bricasti Design, LTD

– M21 D/A Platinum Edition – $19,000 USD

– M1 D/A Special Edition – $10,000 USD

– M12 Dual Mono Source Controller – $16,000 USD

– M28 Mono Block Amplifier – $30,000 pr USD

– M15 Stereo Amplifier – $18,000 USD

– M5 Network Player – $2,400 USD


– Piano Diacera Speakers – $39,900 USD

ASC Acoustic Sciences

– IsoThermal TubeTrap – $586 ea USD


– Ultra Isolators

Cables by Gotham Cable

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