I run into a forum style review from Australia / New Zealand about the BRIK Audio components by a person called “surgeprotector” .. . I thought it was interesting enough to re-post here.
“So far, I have had a little play (about 2 hours) with the Brik DAC and the integrated amp with the Wharfedale. The results are pretty positive for such a budget system. It seems it is more towards warm and smooth than analytical”. (More listening to follow over the next few days).
“Ok, I’ve had some more play with the DAC this afternoon again”.
“The note is smooth, fairly natural and easy to listen to, without any offensive nature to it at all. The bass extension is quite good, and I cannot hear any harshness or brightness. It is definitely not as detailed as very expensive DACs, but I have heard $400-500 DAC that sounds very similar (or even worse). It is certainly not a very ‘digital sounding’ DAC”.
“I mainly fed it to the O2 amp and listened with a K701, and some with it feeding the Marantz PM7003 to Monitor Audio RX6 floor standing speakers”.
“I compared it to the X-fi in movies and music. The Brik gives it more space and clarity, where the X-fi sound a bit more chunky and less instrumental separation”.
“I listened to a wide range of music, and the Brik did a decent job with most. I think some electronica sounded better on X-fi, as the chunkiness gave it more body and the reduced soundstage is not an issue with most electronic music. The warmth and space certainly came to its forte when listening to live instrumental music though, especially when listening to more vocal heavy music and multi instrumental music, such as 14 piece soul/jazz/funk from some old James Brown and some good old school metal”.
“While I muck around, Foobar2000 identifies the Brik unit as utilising a C-media DAC chip… I am not sure what this means, but I know several budget end but well regarded DACs and soundcards do use C-media chip. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there”.
“I changed the USB and Coaxial … I really couldn’t tell the difference in the two. Coaxial may be slightly better, but I could be imagining things, as I know most DACs sound just slightly better using the coax”.
“I then use the Musical fidelity V-link II into Coax. Wow. The change is quite dramatic. Bass tighter and deeper, more detail, better imaging”.
“One thing I am not sure what it’s about, is the “output voltage” switch. It switches the output between 1V and 2V. Of course, 2V is louder … it seems to have better dynamics, but does it really? Or am I just imagining things again because it’s louder? I am not sure what the exact function of this switch is …”
Over all on the DAC
“I think I have heard worse DAC for the price. I think I have heard worse DAC that is twice the price.
For $200 or less, what you get is a nice compact body with aluminum face design, 3 inputs (where you could have 3 sources connected and choose with the selector on the front), plug and play DAC that has a very pleasant sound”.
“What you won’t get, is a detail hogging top of the line DAC. You are stupid if you thought that is what you are getting”.
“More on the Bluetooth and Integrated later”.
“I have just been comparing the DAC with my friend’s Maverick Tubemagic. They are not too dissimilar in sound character. For obvious reasons, Maverick has more of a warm glow to the sound (tube!)”.
“I do think the Brik DAC is a worthy $200 installment”.
“Will be playing more with the Bluetooth stage and the amp this weekend”.