The logo that glowed from the rack central to Bryston’s main display at CES said it all: the Canadian manufacturer are one of numerous signees to the Roon Ready programme. Their Linux-based BDP-2 streamer (US$3000) enjoys frequent firmware updates, sometimes as often as once a month, and next to arrive will be Roon Endpoint playability.
Elsewhere, Bitperfect playback is handled via MPD. Control outside of Roon comes via a web browser with the BDP-2 capable of also running as a UPnP renderer or Squeezebox emulator. Users not wanting to run a music server elsewhere can connect a 2.5″ SSD to the BDP-2 internal’s SATA slot.
Even more interesting than the BDP-2 or Robbie Robertson’s wonderful “Somewhere Down The Crazy River” was Bryston’s BDA-3 DAC (US$3495) whose connectivity starts out vanilla enough – a pair of a asynchronous USB inputs, Toslink, coaxial and AES/EBU – before a quad of HDMI inputs and an HDMI output (with 4K passthrough) bring the neapolitan twist.
With Apple dropping Toslink from the 4th Gen Apple TV, the only remaining digital audio output is HDMI. For the audiophile wanting to deploy (possibly) unlicensed signal splitters, choices of DACs are few: NAD M51 and OPPO BDP-105R. The BDA-3 promises a sound that’s a considerable cut above its more affordable rivals.
Bryston’s converter implements a pair of AKM4490 chips running in “over-voltage mode for greater dynamic range and SNR” and its balanced and single-ended outputs can be run concurrently without performance hit. According to their CES representative, it’s Bryston’s rock solid power supplies that are fundamental to each of their product’s high-end performance.
Stepping back, it’s interesting to note that these Canadians have steadily grown and updated their range of amplifiers in both directions to encompass digital front ends and, this year, loudspeakers.
Further information: Bryston Limited