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I am a little confused by the positioning of the new M12 Source Controller from Bricasti. I do not own a Bricasti, but was about to pull the trigger on one to replace my current DAC when I learned of the new M12 – which left me a little confused and believing that Bricasti’s best DAC is now not actually their DAC, but rather their new “source controller.” The new M12 would seem to be far superior for D-to-A conversion for DSD files and also features some new tech in the form of a network adapter to use the device as a streamer (something I presume will ultimately trickle down to the M1 – hopefully with support for the same range of file resolutions offered in their USB interface). I saw a video with Bricasti’s president (Brian) saying they created the M12 to meet a need in the market, specifically, the person who enjoys both analog and digital and wants a minimum number of discrete components. Hence, with the M12, no separate pre-amp needed. Certainly understandable, I imagine there is a real need for this in the marketplace. HOWEVER, in my view this leaves behind the person who chooses to operate a multi-component system as the M12 would not appear to be a reasonable choice to use strictly as a DAC. In my case, I have a sophisticated high-end tube preamp which I want to continue to use as my source and volume control. It appears there is no “line level/unity” out on the M12 which would be suitable for connecting to an input source on my pre-amp. This doesn’t really make sense to me from a product positioning perspective. A company offering a stand-alone DAC should reserve their best DAC technology for that unit and offer similar or lesser capabilities in their all-in-one integrated products. After all, is not the buyer for separates likely to be the most demanding of functionality? Buyers for integrated units are willing to trade a little bit of capability for convenience. I am interested in thoughts or opinions. Am I missing something? Are there others thinking about using the M12 with a pre-amp? Or pre-amp users who don’t care about the missing higher quality DSD and Ethernet connectivity?
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