Originally Posted by Spinaker01
Hey Drummingdude, thanks for the inquiry. My sole music source is -and has been, from streaming of ripped CDs, some hi-rez download files and Tidal all through a Bryston BDP-1. I will try to describe what I have been hearing but bear in mind, any description must be taken in context of the addition of another set of interconnects which were previously not required; in this case a set of older unbalanced Transparent Ultra cables which was all I had with RCA connections. Also, using the analogue pass-through function on the AVM60 forces me to ditch both the Fathom subs and ARC. I was only using ARC at 250Hz cutoff so this would only effect the lower frequencies and the Fathoms were crossed over very low (50hz). Luckily, the Revel Studio 2s have very respectable bass on their own so I'm just losing that lowest 1/2 octave, but things are a teeeeeny bit flabbier without ARC. Onwards to the mids. Clarity and depth would be two words that jump out. The micro dynamics of plucked acoustic guitar strings, bowed violins or piano note attacks are much more in evidence with the Brooklyn. The DAC set in the AVM60 is very respectable (especially for a H/T processor) but the Brooklyn is indeed in another league allowing you to hear deeper into this mix. Instruments appear to be better separated with less compression or "squeezing" of the soundstage into a 2D image in the front to back dimension. It does this without seeming to disconnect any instruments from the whole though, so high marks here. Instruments just seem to be allocated more of their own "space" in the presentation. The treble, however, is where this thing really takes off from the Anthem. This in fact may be what I'm really hearing when trying to describe the midrange. The speed and clarity this thing has is quite amazing (makes me wonder what REAL gear like DCS or MBL convertors could do). I have also spent some wasted years as a drummer and I'm very critical of cymbal and snare reproduction. The Brooklyn is amazing in this regard, especially considering its relatively reasonable price. The shimmer and attack - even at low listening volumes, is really impressive. I see you have the Sopra 2s so you know what those Be tweeters can do. Well, I have to tell you, the Brooklyn really moves them into a new realm. I can't imagine you being disappointed. Now, to address any pending issues of hyperbole, it is in fairness required to state that these are all matters of degrees, not night and day leaps of sonic fireworks. I try to judge equipment by the "would I notice if someone replaced it in the middle of the night back to the Anthem"? In this case, the answer is absolutely, the differences are significant enough which is more than I could say about a lot of equipment I have tried over the years. I think to really move up from the Mytek would require a significant monetary leap to something like a PS Audio Directstream or EMM labs unit. Both of these are three to four times the Brooklyn's asking price. On the used market, this is a pretty much a no brainer upgrade. Highly recommended! 3 out of 4 glasses of Shiraz! BTW, I have not tried any DSD files or MQA streams from Tidal yet.
A couple thoughts about both of our setups, which are surprisingly similar. After looking up the Bryston BDP-1 (I had never heard of that unit), I see that it handles up to 24/192, same as my Bluesound Node 2 source. I am also currently using the AVM60 with a 250hz ARC cutoff, have similar enough BE tweetered 3 way towers, and a pair of SVS 16 ultra sealed subs. Really, quite similar setups all things considered.
So, my first impression when reading your post is to ask if you had done testing back and forth between the Mytek unit and the AVM60 converters in a similar pass-through state? So in other words, AVM60's front crossover would be set to "off", as well as ARC processing set to off. Otherwise, it would be difficult to tell how much, if any, better the Mytek is.
You touched on a real struggle I have with my setup. That is, to ARC or not to ARC. Firstly, assuming ARC corrects at 96khz (so 48khz in actuality), any high-res file played through it will be dithered down to that...how cleanly is anyone's guess, but you certainly are leaving something from a 24/192 file on the table. Having said that, my room is a family room, and as such is far from perfect. Room correction makes a lot of sense in this regard, but losing so much resolution, especially since my Sopra 2's spec -3db at 40khz really stings. Maybe some would call me foolish, but I believe I can hear a difference between a 96khz file and 192khz file, as I've A/B'd the same tracks at either resolution before (going straight analogue through). So, score one for the Brooklynn in the resolution category, but maybe only because ARC and it's dithering down is not being implemented?
I would be remiss to not mention that I really do need subs in my room. It is a large room (4000 cu ft) and I listen to a lot of modern music. The pair of 7's in my Sopras are impressive for their size, but they're ultimately a pair of 7's in a relatively compact cabinet. I wonder, what is the size of your room?
So here's my thought about correction and subs, which partly comes from my pro audio days. I think I may forego automated room correction altogether and instead opt for a very high quality mastering EQ (like a Manley Massive Passive, which is -2 at 60khz and full of yummy parts) to correct the room. splitting the signal somewhere to send to the pair of subs. The SVS SB16 ultras already have a 3 band parametric EQ onboard, so that's nice.
Setting up like this, I can be confident that if I implement a great DAC like a Brooklyn, I get the full Monty to my speakers (most Monty anyway), my room is still EQ'd, and my subs still hit. The AVM 60 basically just passes through for multi channel routing. Hmmm...my wife will not be pleased with this plan, especially when she finds out what a Manley Massive Passive runs these days.