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A short film about the Mytek Brooklyn Bridge & AMP

  • Designed in Brooklyn, made in Poland, Mytek has removed the WCK IN/OUT and AES/EBU connectors from the rear of the Brooklyn DAC+ (review here) to make way for a 24bit/192kHz/DSD64-capable streaming board and a third Brooklyn: the Brooklyn Bridge (US$2995/€2995, previewed here).

    The Brooklyn Bridge connects to a home network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi using the associated mControl smartphone app (iOS/Android), which in turn gives us direct access to cloud services – Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer and Spotify Connect – as well as local UPnP/DLNA and Roon servers. The app is stable and its interface plain but it’s no Roon or Spotify.

    The Brooklyn Bridge’s ESS Sabre 9028 DAC, pre-amplification (line-level and phono) and headphone output (single-ended or balanced) remain unchanged from the Brooklyn DAC+. It’s a hi-fi hub that does pretty much everything — a modern marvel considering its half-width and low profile.

    I hooked a 2016 11″ Macbook Air into the Bridge’s USB socket and an HDMI splitter into the TOSLINK to leave the coaxial input unoccupied. Both the Pro-Ject RPM5 Carbon’s Ortofon Quintet Red and the Rega Planar 2’s Zu-modded DL-103r called for the phono input to be set to ‘MC’; and even in single-ended operation, the Brooklyn Bridge’s headphone output pulled one of the finest performances from the Sennheiser HD800-S that I’ve heard to date.

    The Apple remote (supplied) is my preferred means of basic Bridge control: input selection and volume attenuation. However, pressing play on any streaming source returns us automatically to the ‘NET’ input and all streaming apps attenuate the Bridge’s volume. For finer tuning – digital filters, MQA on/off, MC or MM phono, digital or analogue volume – we must get hands-on with the right-hand rotary and the four selector switches (which are much harder to see on the black unit).

    One minor niggle: a USB storage device connected to its rear would allow the Bridge to operate as streamer and server, but I couldn’t get the Brooklyn Bridge to recognise my Western Digital 2TB HDD. A Mytek representative tells me is a known issue with larger (<1TB) drives and they are working on a firmware update to be applied via the Mytek Control Panel app (Windows/MacOS) and/or over the air via mControl. The ultimate aim is to streamline the firmware process so that all updates arrive over the air.

    This review video, however, isn’t a Brooklyn Bridge review but a Mytek system review.

    I added Mytek’s matching dual-mono Brooklyn AMP (US$2495/€2495) to the Brooklyn Bridge via balanced XLR wire and placed the latter atop the former for a complete set of loudspeaker and headphone electronics that lands tidily on an IKEA Kallax shelf — another crucial piece of contextual info for our video:

    The Brooklyn AMP is a Class D implementation in which a ‘heavily modified’ Pascal module pushes 250wpc into 8 Ohms, 300 wpc into 4 Ohms and – take note – runs as warm as many Class A/B amplifiers (but not hot). Two separate Kallax shelves would give each unit’s top plate ventilation pattern, attractively hole-punched in the form of the Mytek logo, greater breathing room but I find that necessary.

    The rear panel DIP switches are optionally used to add an extra 6dB of gain (uncalled for by both standmount and floorstanding versions of ELAC’s Uni-Fi series) or to bridge a pair of the Brooklyn AMPs into mono.

    The U5 Slim standmount is the better fit of the two ELACs for my 6m x 5m room. The Mytek system’s speckless approach to detail retrieval and squeegee clean take on transparency serve as a tidy antidote to the ELAC’s upper-mid shyness to bring them closer still to KEFs similarly passive LS50. That’s interesting, no?

    Most interesting of all is how the Mytek electronics kick the traditional hi-fi rack to the curb to visually disappear, leaving my lounge room looking less like a hi-fi store and more like a music room. I call that a huge win.

    Further information: Mytek

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John is the editor of Darko.Audio, from whose ad revenues he derives an income. He is an occasional contributor to 6moons but has previously written pieces for TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

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