An Audio System That You Should Consider Owning And One That I Can Help You Purchase As An Authorized Dealer And Experienced Audio OEM
I recently purchased a Brunoco 6L6PP Terra amplifier, which has allowed me to end up with the best system I’ve ever put together. Before then, I searched for decades for that superb audio system that never really appeared. I came close but always had issues.
Yes, this total system appears to be expensive, but in all honesty, it’s affordable for anyone. It might take time to save up for it, but all the recommended components are affordable for “normal” people who want the best sound quality possible. I’m an audio dealer and can obtain these products for you at a reasonable price or direct you to the factory direct items in this system.
I won’t tell you what my final pricing is (until you are a customer of mine). I don’t want to lose any of my dealerships and cannot discount products or sell them online, or I negate my dealership agreements. However, I assure you that you will not find these products new from any other source at my pricing. Send me an email and let me know what you might be interested in.
1. My First Component Recommendation That You Should Purchase Is A
Bricasti M3 DAC With Network Card & Remote Volume Control – Retail Price is $7,500
The M12 Bricasti DAC I’m using is my personal high-end choice. Yes, the M12 would be a great DAC to own, but you’ll end up with an even greater value lower and considerably lower cost DAC if you purchase the Bricasti M3 DAC instead. Either is superb, and I can provide either one (or more) depending on your buying ability.
Click On This Link To Check Out The Bricasti Website And View All Of Their Components
(I’m An Authorized Dealer And Can Obtain Any One Of Them For Your Use)
The base price of a new Bricasti M3 DAC is $6,000
Their optional network card addition is $1,000
Their optional remote control addition is $500
The total M3 cost, with the two options included that I suggest, is $7,500 retail
I will not advertise my customer’s price, but when putting together a system, I bundle everything and have a sales approach that will not negate my dealer agreement with Bricasti. So a consultation will be necessary for you to obtain my best pricing.
I have been in Brian’s (the owner of Briscasti) living room and listened to ALL his components through expensive Tidal floor-standing speakers. This includes the DACs I love and all his preamps and power amps. I pick up my components at the factory in Shirley, MA (about 45 minutes away), and I love the perfection and design of these products. They are built impeccably – like a watch, and all items, including plates and knobs, are built in-house.
The Bricasti DAC line is 2nd to none, whether M1, M3, M12, or M21 DAC. However . . . the Bricasti M3 DAC, with its network card and remote volume control options, is the best value in audio that I know of. It’s the “sweet spot” in the Bricasti line and the lowest-cost component they make. The network card makes this possible, and I would not use a Bricasti DAC without it. It’s a must, or this recommendation doesn’t hold.
I highly recommend purchasing the Bricasti M3 DAC with a network card and remote control. That results in a purchase that retails for $7,500 instead of $16,000 (what my M12 DAC costs). You will find the M3 slightly different in texture but equal in providing the best sound quality. It also doesn’t have an analog preamplifier. It’s a pure DAC, but what a DAC it is. I’ve owned over 50 DACs in the last eight years, and this is my favorite, the M3 DAC.
This is the DAC I’d own if asked to bring in my cost a bit. However, the M12 (with analog preamp availability) or the M21 is an excellent choice if you can afford $16,000. The M12 is a bit more laid back (due to including a world-class analog preamplifier inside the DAC) and is my desert island DAC if you give me a choice. But the M3 is much more affordable.
2. Roon As My Music Player & Tidal Streaming
If I weren’t using a Bricasti DAC, I wouldn’t have the beauty I’ve sought for a long time. The Bricasti DAC and its network card are essential to gaining sound quality on any excellent audiophile system. It’s off-the-charts good with this one, so I recommend purchasing this DAC before any other recommendations.
The music player you use doesn’t make a sonic difference when the Bridcasti network card is connected to your modem via RJ45 cabling, and now, by owning a Bricasti DAC, you can use the best user interface (Roon) and stream a source that you like (I use Tidal) and that’s all you need to do. Adding a network hard drive will allow you to rip your CDs to this system, but it isn’t necessary.
Here’s A Link To The Roon Website
Roon is $12.49/month when billed annually)
Here’s A Link To The Tidal Website
(Tidal costs $19.99/month. If you are a Veteran, it costs 40% lower)
Using USB previously, Audirvana was superior to Roon when connecting USB from my Mac Studio computer and used to be my preference. Unfortunately, I needed an Innous Phoenix USB unit between the computer and DAC ($3,500) for the best USB sound quality. But USB is not the way to connect your source and your DAC. RJ45 via network connection is. The Roon interface was better than Audirvana’s, but I used Audirvana back then because of the improved sound quality that Audirvana provided. Now I can use Roon.
With the Bricasti network card, my music file is unrolled inside the DAC and goes directly into i2S. Whether I use Roon, Audirvana, or Jriver no longer matters since they only provide the database interface and not the sound quality they used to do. They do not unroll your music file. The network card does this, and the player only accesses the database. Confusing, yes. But when you hear the improvement in sound quality, you’ll get rid of all your expensive components and head in this direction. This $1,000 network card is that good. Inside a Bricasti DAC, you have probably the best sound quality you can get. Maybe if you spent more (a whole lot more), you could get a different presentation, but you will not dislike the sound quality.
The network card replaces choosing a player based on sound quality, and expensive components are no longer needed to clean USB connections. I no longer use them. There isn’t any other reasonably priced option that does this better, and I can now use Roon on my Mac or, if seated away from my main gear, on my iPad or iPhone (or Android device, if that is my preference). Roon has a remote application that allows these external devices to control and play music. I do need to have the computer connected and on to do this.
I can use Roon and benefit from its beautiful interface and also use its parametric EQ (which is extremely important when fine-tuning this system). Internal EQ doesn’t come with Audirvana. This is key to tuning an audio system to each person’s hearing preference (we are all different in ability and preference) and each room’s acoustic properties (as much as possible). It also does not require using room acoustics software, just Roon and Tidal, Qobuz, or an optional NAS hard drive with ripped CDs on your network. Thats it.
I like Tidal for my music listening, and a network hard drive is there to rip CDs I find on Tidal. However, with the proprietary RJ45 network I’ve put together, the NAS ripped CD hard drive doesn’t sound better and isn’t needed. I couldn’t be happier and no longer need a turntable.
This system sounds as good as a $20,000 turntable front end and is much more convenient. I now have access to more music than I can listen to (over 100 million tracks). Tidal is better than Qobuz; however, each person can choose their source (streaming or CD-based NAS hard drive). If this system is built around a Bricasti DAC (with a Bricasti DAC and network card), you do not need a turntable and can go all digital. It’s that good! A turntable system now becomes optional and unnecessary.
This is a relatively low-cost way to connect your music system and how I put it together. I will only share the components and some of my secrets with those who purchase one or more of my recommended components.
3. The Brunoco Terra 6L6PP Amplifier
The Brunoco amplifier makes this system shine and has a sound quality like real music. I’ve used the Bricasti DACs with a 45 tube amp and a Charney Voxativ-based system, a Linkwtiz 6 channel LXSirius system, and an AGD Tempo di Gan amp, but I prefer the Brunoco Terra 6L6PP tube amp sound quality the best. You’ll have to hear it to understand, but it is a solid recommendation that surprises even me, and I’ve been doing this for decades.
Here’s A Link To The Brunoco Terra 6L6PP Amplifier Page
The Current Purchase Price Delivered Is $3,400
(This is a factory-direct purchase that you would need to make.)
I couldn’t build anything for that low a price, which is one of the real benefits of purchasing this amplifier.
The Brunoco is a push-pull amplifier, and I’m an audio snob and typically wouldn’t consider such a circuit design. However, it provides the power needed for my preferred speaker efficiency range of 90db to as high as 95db. And it does it in the best way. In that efficiency range, speakers sound their best, but ample power is needed. All of the amplifiers I like (300B, 2A3, and 45) are not powerful enough to play all genres of music when using those 90 to 95 dB speakers.
I also wouldn’t consider using a quad of 6L6 tubes, but this amplifier circuit has been voiced and has a circuit designed by RCA long ago for a quad of 6L6 tubes, and the sound quality is stunning. The same circuit design was used to create the Brunoco Terra 6L6PP amplifier, and a unique and qualified audiophile in South Korea voiced the components used. His selection surprises me but is “right on.”
I like things made in the US, but have explored the world. Oddly, my final amplifier that makes the grade I’m looking for is from South Korea, not the US. For whatever reason, I sense that the audiophile market in Korea must be even more developed than in the US. However, I don’t particularly appreciate purchasing components outside the US, and the two components I recommend (the power amp and the speakers) are from Korea. However, I can work with them for repairs or upgrades here because they are simple in design, so I am willing to make the purchase. I will not purchase a DAC other than one built in the US.
I can’t repair a DAC easily since it’s too complex, and there are a considerable number of surface-mounted components that I can’t work with. I don’t have the expensive equipment or experience necessary to do that. They are better provided and serviced by a manufacturer building many copies with a large-scale operation. I’m a slow, methodical OEM builder, and my gear takes me 2 to 3 months just in the design process for each component I touch. It makes sense for me to purchase another manufacturer’s DAC if I’m trying to help people other than myself.
When I finally added the Brunoco Terra 6L6PP tube amplifier, my sound quality went through the roof, and my system now has the best sound I’ve ever heard, no matter the price of the Audio system used or the components selected. I’m a former professional jazz piano player and have been searching for decades for an entire system that retails around $20,000 but sounds like real music. THIS IS IT! But it does require using a Bricasti DAC.
4. The Mon Acoustics Platimon Speakers
I owned this speaker before purchasing the Brunoco amplifier. I was considering Mon Acoustics before Jay Iyagi made his trip to Korea. After completing his journey, he posted a review, and it caused me to take the plunge and become a dealer for Mon Acoustics. I had previously canceled an order I originally placed for the Mon Acoustics Super Mon Mini speakers before the Platimon was announced. The Platimon is really what I was waiting for, and now I’m glad I waited. Yes, it costs more, but it is worth it ($6,500 versus $2,000).
The Platimon speakers also ship with the stands you see in the photos, so you don’t need to purchase a pair. They weigh as much or more than the Platimons and are extremely substantial. Plus, with the ball bearings included, they float on the stands, and vibration control is excellent.
(I’m An Authorized Dealer And Can Provide Any One Of Their Products)
The Retail Price is $6,500, And This Includes a Pair Of Beautiful Stands And Includes Shipping Cost To The US
These are a pair of the best-sounding speakers (the Platimon’s) that money could buy anywhere near their price range. The only negative is that they play down into the low 40Hz region based on placement and room acoustics. If you are an electronic music listener, you’d probably want to add one or two subwoofers or a pair of the new yet-to-come-out Mon Acoustics bass augmentation speakers that sit on top of. Either will allow you to go down to the 20Hz territory. I can help you with that design, but it isn’t required for my system since I’m mostly an acoustic listener. Maybe it is for yours.
Through my vast experience, bookshelf speakers on proper stands image better and can have a broader and deeper soundstage than floor model speakers. At a minimum, floor-standing speakers typically don’t sound as good in the lower frequencies as a separate bass system. As a result, I almost always choose bookshelf-style speakers over floor standers for that reason. I don’t need low bass down to 20Hz (acoustic music doesn’t benefit that much), but I have tried many times by adding a bass system to my bookshelf system.
5. DHLabs Cables
Your cost depends upon your length. Click on the above link to examine their cables.
Without a doubt,
I’d use a .5 meter pair of DHLabs Revelation Interconnects to connect your Bricasti DAC to your Brunoco power amplifier.
And I’d use whatever length you need (from the Brunoco to your Mon Acoustic Platimon Speakers) for a pair of DHLabs Diety Speaker Cables.
(However, make this purchase last. You could start with the DHLabs T14 cables without connectors to get started.)
6. Furutech Power Cables
I’m an authorized dealer and OEM for them and can obtain any of their products stocked and available in the US. I recommend their power cables (Alpha Nano-Ag-Au Power Cable FP-S022N). I terminate them with FI-12L(R) 90-degree power connectors. I also use their NTX-based e-TP609 NCF power distributor to plug into.
I DO NOT use a power conditioner or battery backup since it considerably degrades sound quality. And all power cables should be from the same manufacturer and be identical. These provide a black background and a neutral presentation. They are an excellent choice; you cannot do better, particularly if you DIY build them yourself.
(I can build these cables for you, or you could start using the $5 inexpensive cables that come with the DAC and power amp. Your choice.)
7. AudioRax Cabinet
I found that AudioRax makes the type of enclosure I would use. That is what you see me using (solid walnut finger-jointed and vented cabinets) in 6U height with 4″ legs underneath. I have them finger joint my walnut cabinet, place ventilation holes in the top and sides, and apply an Oldie’s hand-rubbed oil finish. This is a factory-direct item, and I can share their link as follows:
However, you can use any positioning furniture you like, so this is only a suggestion – for me to help you.
8. Peter Meier 4″ Legs
I place 4 of these Peter Meir Legs Under My Audiorax Cabinet
Like most audiophiles, I chased detail and purchased expensive components (way more expensive than any in the system I’m recommending). Still, in the end, I was not too fond of the sound quality, particularly compared to the money spent. Either it was too thin and didn’t have enough body, or it had 2nd order harmonics and body but peaks and valleys I couldn’t eliminate by changing tubes. I’ve used new production tubes that cost as much as $2,500 a pair (Takasuki 300B) and now own many rare NOS tubes and have almost given up on using tubes. However, I decided to purchase this Brunoco amplifier and try it again.
I’m an audio snob and previously wouldn’t consider a push-pull design or the 6L6 tube family. I’m glad I did, however, and I quickly sold my prior AGD solid-state amp and replaced it with the Brunoco Terra 6L6PP amp. The AGD was probably the best solid-state amplifier I’ve ever heard (even better than a 100-pound Pass amp). Still, I wasn’t emotionally involved enough to want to listen to and enjoy music (even through a Bricasti M12 DAC). The Brunoco changed that, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
The Brunoco Terra 6L6PP tube amplifier represents the “missing link” I needed to recommend this audio system. Fortunately, I finally found what I’ve been searching for for many decades. I’ve been an audio retailer and OEM builder and experienced a lot during that time. This amp changes its tone considerably by using different 12AU7 tubes that come with it. It has been specifically “tuned” using the JJ12AU7 tubes that accompany it, but after considerable tube rolling, I’ve found the compliment that makes this amp sound the best. The sound quality I now get with these alternate new production and reasonably priced tubes gives me goosebumps every time I listen, and that’s no joke.
Brunoco created an amplifier that I love, and I highly recommend that you use the tube complement that comes with this amp initially rather than spending money on costly NOS tubes that you might use. Using the JJ tubes doesn’t cost extra since they come with this amplifier. In other amps, it’s easy to suggest tube rolling. But . . . in this amplifier, stay with the supplied JJ tubes during maybe the first 20 to 30 hours. You can verify what I say by doing your tube rolling, but wait a bit before you begin. Let the amp break in a little, and use the JJ tubes.
I used many NOS and new production tubes to arrive at this conclusion. I also soldered in Dueland pure silver .01 bypass caps, and yes, it changed the tone, but now I gained a 7th-row presentation instead of 1st-row, and the treble was too much. I removed the Duelland caps and didn’t even give them the time to break in. But even so, they didn’t come even close to the beautiful RCA sound quality this circuit design provides, and I like the custom capacitors that the designer/builder used instead. I found the sound that I was looking for by changing the tubes, not the capacitors.
I’ve considered taking out the Brunoco’s eight coupling capacitors (one per tube) and replacing them with the Dueland CAST Copper caps, but heat is another thing I consider when building my amps. I don’t particularly appreciate placing the Dueland caps on top of large hot resistors and tube socket solder joints so I won’t do it. It’s not worth it except for short-term listening, and that’s not what I’m into.
I needed to find out myself before sharing what works best, and I’ve now completed my tube rolling journey. I’ve replaced the four eight-pin 6L6 power tubes and the four nine-pin 12AU7 tubes with new production alternative tubes, and I like the sound quality of my resulting combination the absolute best. I’ll share that tube combination with anyone who wants to know, but this requires that they be a customer of mine first. I’m done with giving away important information that has cost me a lot of money.
I like the NOS Brimar 12AU7 the best out of my extensive NOS inventory, but in all honesty, when you listen to high-end audio, you typically chase the detail, and with it comes the thinnest or most challenging sound quality. The Brimars didn’t sound as good as the new production 12AU7, which I liked better. This amplifier is a delight to listen to when you’re done with tube rolling. I know you will like my selection. Both (the 6L6 and 12AU7 tubes) are new production tubes and are reasonable in cost, unlike many of the amplifiers I have built or purchased in the past.
This tube combination provides the system “magic” and sound quality without changing the coupling caps. There is no need to do any tube rolling beyond this other than to confirm what I’m saying is correct if you don’t believe me.
The JJs are more hi-fi sounding, and the alternative tubes I recommend sound like real music. Using Roon’s parametric EQ allows you to tune this system for your ears and your room and is an integral part of fine-tuning this system. The Roon EQ works exceptionally well, and I cannot find any sound quality loss by including its EQ system. Doing too much tube rolling, however, and you’re wasting money. This is your amp, however, and I will not stop you from tube rolling if that pleases you.
With solid-state, you end up with a thin sound and little body compared to using tube amplifiers as an alternative. The last amplifier I built was a 45-tube amp (world-class), but it needed speakers that were over 100 db efficient to sound good. That means expensive drivers and huge cabinets, and I didn’t want to do that. Going further with weight and size wouldn’t accomplish my goals. It also wouldn’t look good or fit my space.
Those kinds of speakers are enormous, expensive, and weigh a ton. They are tough to place and move, and I’m through since I’ve tried that direction. My goal is that none of my audio components weigh over 60 pounds, and 40 pounds is even better. That sends me into the small bookshelf range, and typically, those don’t sound that great, but this system now has it all. I can add a bass augmentation system if I want to, but I no longer have to.
I recently had given up on tubes entirely and decided to purchase an AGD gallium nitride-based solid-state amplifier instead. I initially loved the small size, the lack of heat, and the lack of weight, but I liked the Brunoco tube amplifier much better despite its heat and increased weight. It is still relatively compact compared to other alternatives.
I’m not interested in push-pull amps, but this one is an exception, and you should consider it. Circuit design is always #1, from my experience, making this amplifier very special. It has the right circuit design and is simple (making it easy to repair). Along with the superb sound quality, you also get all the advantages of using tubes correctly. This is the place to put them – in the power amplifier section.
The decision to purchase my first Brunoco was difficult. The amp is made in South Korea, and I had no idea beforehand if it would work well with my system. However, Jay Iyagi’s reviews of the MonAcoustic speakers and the Brunoco 6L6PP amplifier did it for me, and he was “right on” with those reviews. They gave me confidence and I went through and made the purchases.
Here’s the link to Jay Iyagi’s review of the Mon Acoustic Platimon speakers:
Here’s the link to Jay Iyagi’s review of the Brunoco Tube Amplifier:
I still wouldn’t have been as delighted as I am now if I hadn’t taken the chance, even though the AGD amp was excellent. It just didn’t have the body and the 3D sound quality I now have. Something was off, and I was transported to a similar situation where the components weren’t “real” enough. Finding just the right mix of components has been my most elusive issue and the one that caused me to keep experimenting over the last few decades.
The Brunoco Terra 6L6PP amplifier provided the sound quality I’ve been searching for all my life, even though the AGD amplifier has its merits. I’m an AGD dealer and can sell that amplifier, but the Brunoco would be my favorite, Its price is considerably less, but it is a factory direct purchase. I’m not a dealer for that brand and cannot make anything to recommend that you purchase it. However, buy it because it’s the right thing to do and not because I make money selling it to you.
My search has been extensive, and I’ve tried most all-name brands and have built my gear for a very long time. My 45-tube amp, which uses all film capacitors and high-end expensive parts, was my best OEM creation. It took three full-time months of my time and parts costs exceeding $6000 plus the cost of expensive tubes to use in that amp. However, it only put out less than 2w/ch and wasn’t flexible enough, even though it sounded good using the Charney speakers I purchased.
I’m now done with all of that. I have gained substantial and unique knowledge through the experience of owning and listening to numerous name brands and building my components to better those options. I’m sharing this system I now recommend because it is the best I’ve ever heard. I’m providing my honest opinion, but it’s very accurate.
If you could only listen to what I’m sharing, you’d save a lot of the money I spent since you’d realize what I’m telling you is accurate. You can learn from my experience if you listen to what I share and realize I’m not telling you anything untrue. I know this isn’t easy, but it’s true. None of this requires that I build anything unique other than knowing and using my vast experience to match components well. Finding that elusive combination, however, requires buying and selling many components over a very long period. Most people aren’t willing to do what I’ve done. It results in a substantial monetary loss, which isn’t easy.
I’m incredibly anal about what I do and listen to absolutely everything. I’ve not been satisfied with any other system I’ve owned, built, or heard of during my long life. I’ve come close but never found “the system” I’d keep. This is the best and the only audio system I’m now recommending, which I will keep and use for a long time.
Initially, I’d use the Brounoco amp with the tubes it comes with and then purchase the tube combination I’m recommending once the amp has a few hours on it. With my tube change, I can listen to this amp without fatigue and love the sound quality that solid-state amps don’t have. The detail is there, but the beauty is breathtaking and better for me, and now my music sounds like real live music. I can’t put the Brunoco sound quality into words despite my decades of experience. It provides a unique sound quality and one that is addictive, and once you hear it, you will not lust for anything else.
The Bricasti DAC provides tremendous detail but, at the same time, has body and warmth. With this DAC and the Mon Acoustic Platimon speakers, I’ve finally found “that system” that is just right. It’s now my desert island system.
Go ahead and chase tubes and spend money. But . . . the key to the Brunoco sound quality is the tube complement I’m recommending. Its 20 w/ch is powerful enough to power almost every good speaker made, no matter what the efficiency. That is simply an incredible but true thing I’m sharing with you. Even KEF LS50Meta speakers that are only 85db efficient sound superb with this amp. But the MonAcoustic Platimon’s are my absolute favorite. They are 91 db efficient and have a 4-ohm load, and combined with this amplifier, they are the speakers to use.
Please take this information I’m sharing with a grain of salt since this is my opinion of what sounds best. You’ll find reviews online where these various options are explored using these various components. In my opinion, the reason to purchase a Brunoco amplifier is for the circuit design. That is #1, and there is no substitute for that.
The voicing and selecting parts, quality, and soldering are all done impeccably. I’d probably change the speaker binding posts for my “bling factor” requirement but not for sound quality differences. This change is unnecessary since this amplifier has a beauty “as it is.” Even though the circuit is simple, all the parts have been listened to for a long time and “tuned” to create the beautiful sound quality of this amplifier by the owner of Brunoco amplifiers.
It’s the synergy of this entire system that I’m recommending that you obtain. Every component is perfectly matched, so the resulting sound quality is the best you can obtain and better than when using alternative components. Change the component, and yes, it will still sound good, but you might prefer a different component.
No . . . this system isn’t inexpensive, but the beauty is there, and it is the best I’ve ever heard or built.
I’m a near-field listener, so I sit about 4 feet from each speaker toed into where I sit. Anything that is off, I’d hear. The sound quality is beautiful, and the EMT tweeters are my favorite. I’ve had them in various speaker builds and am glad the designer of the Platimon’s used them. The room becomes much more critical for medium to far-field listening, and room treatment will be seriously needed. Room treatment, however, can be minimal and cost less for near-filed listening if you are like me. That’s what I do.
Your total retail price for this recommended system would be around $20,000 without power cables. Those can be the last items you acquire after the Diety speaker cables. Meanwhile, you can use the $5 power cables that come with each component, so you do no need to spend money on that immediately.
(You could even start out using the T14 DHLabs speaker cables for less than $300, which would be a low-cost initial option.)
You will want to use my glass RJ45 cable recommendation rather than USB when using a DAC. The components in my package will cost you around $1000, but you can start with a super low-cost copper cable purchased from Amazon and get started. That’s it!
Adding a network hard drive or a turntable would be extra, and that is up to you. I recommend using a computer (Apple or Windows doesn’t matter, and it is your choice), Roon for the music player, and Tidal or Qobuz for your music source. This will cost you a small additional amount (monthly). I use Tidal and Roon and am completely satisfied.
My CDs aren’t required, but when I purchase them, I rip them to my network hard drive (NAS hard drive that also hangs on this network) and play that music on my Bricasti network card. Because I have the Bricasti M12 with analog volume control, I also connect my Apogee ADC/DAC to the Bricasti M12 and use that playback system to listen to what I create on the Apogee unit using my piano keyboard, guitar, or microphone. However, suppose I had the M3 DAC without preamp capability? In that case, I’d use a cable (Mogami would be already built) from my Apogee to connect directly to one of the inputs on my Brunoco amp and use its selector switch to play the same music. Either way, I win, and either option works well.
If I were a Turntable user (I started that way but no longer am interested, particularly with a Bricasti DAC), I’d connect it directly to my M12 DAC since it has analog preamp capability. I’d play its music on my system. I’d use the world-class DAC and analog preamp inside the M12. However, I also could connect the turntable to my Brunoco tube amplifier instead since it has four preamplifier inputs (RCA only) and use just an M3 DAC. So, the M12 isn’t needed unless you can afford it and have a 2nd source you would like to use. Then it’s an easy decision. Only do this for the slight increase in sound quality (a difference in texture, not quality). If you aren’t interested, don’t bother and save some money.
My Recommended System
If done correctly, streaming can beat a CD player’s or turntable’s sound quality. That has always been my goal, so I no longer use a turntable. My audio quality exceeds what I can gain from using a $20,000 turntable system. This solution will require a total proprietary mix of components that I’ll share with those who purchase a system from me. I’ve already given away a good part of that system on this website.
Here Is What I Use
I stream audio from Tidal Music directly into my RJ45 network card inside my DAC, unroll the files inside the DAC, and then go directly into i2S inside the DAC.
I use Roon on my Mac Studio but only to play the sound streamed from Tidal, Qobuz, or my NAS hard drive.
I get a sound quality with this system, similar to the statement streamer that Innuous sells for nearly $20,000. The Bricasti network card is only $1,000 and is the best value in audio I’ve found. I’ve sold my Innuous gear and now use the Bricasti network card instead. The source must be impeccable, so I recommend the Bricasti M3 DAC at minimum. The more expensive Bricasti DACs are unnecessary and are a luxury if you can afford them. The same network card is available on the M3 DAC and is used for all Bricasti DACs.
I’m not a turntable user, but if I were, this system would accept a turntable easily since my DAC also has analog preamp capability. I no longer need a separate and expensive audio preamplifier for that need. I have a pro audio interface connected to my M12 instead to record my voice, play a guitar or keyboard, and listen to all three on my audio system using Apple Logic and Ableton Live. I like the ability to create, listen, and do both; this is how I use the M12.
I have no idea what you would like to do, and I am only sharing my approach here. The M3 DAC is probably what I should use, even though I’m using the M12. It suits my needs better, and my Brunoco can still connect to the Apogee interface. But . . . I can do it, and so do I?
The Brunoco is an integrated amp with volume control, but I use the Bricasti remote to adjust the volume on my system. It is one of the few volume controls that doesn’t affect sound quality, and the one on the Brunoco is set at 1/2 volume, and I leave it there and adjust it with the Bricasti volume control. This is an excellent way to listen, and I wouldn’t live without a remote volume control even though I’m close to my amplifier’s volume pot and can reach it from my listening chair. I use the remote instead.
I love the combination that I now have, and I wouldn’t change a thing if I wanted the best sound quality with the greatest flexibility.
If I were a large-room listener, maybe I’d add the Mon Acoustics bass cabinet coming out soon. This cabinet has a pair of 8” drivers. It would extend the bass of my bookshelf speakers beyond the low 40 Hz area that I’m already getting in my listening room. Or maybe I’d go back to my concept of using a pair of 12” ripple subwoofers with a separate CR-1 electronic analog crossover unit. However, the Platimon plays low enough to work with almost all acoustic music. I’d only want to go lower if I was into electronic music and wanted to go down to maybe 20Hz. But, spending money on this is optional and a fun diversion if this hobby is one that you enjoy.
I’ve been building amplifiers (300B, 2A3, and 45 tubes) and many other solid-state creations (including power amps). I also build power supplies and speakers and have used solid platinum, gold, silver, and copper wire in various gauges. I am very anal in my approach to accumulating and coordinating audio components, and what I’m sharing here is extremely honest and based on my extensive experience. It’s not my intention to sell you on this system. This system should sell itself if you heard it, and it does.
It would be difficult to develop a better sound quality than I currently have, and I’m very pleased. It would cost much more than the system I recommend, but would it be worthwhile? That is your choice. However, my minimum recommended system will work for anyone, no matter how anal they are.
Let me know if you have any questions. That is the perfect place to begin a nice conversation and one I’m looking forward to.