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Bricasti Design

Bricasti Design M3 DAC or M3h DAC/Amp

The M3 offers an incredible array of performance, featuring two fully differential conversion channels, separate conversion for PCM and native DSD, a balanced analog level control circuit and optional headphone amplifier making the M3 suitable for all applications. In addition, the M3 incorporates the latest Bricasti Design high-performance MDx processor.

Hand built to order in Massachusetts USA, expected lead time is 3 weeks.

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Our Take

The M3H Direct Stream DAC offers a truly life-like natural sound making one of, it not my favorite, all in one at any price point!

Makiah Shenay

Powerful Architecture

The M3 utilizes two independent linear power supplies for the analog and digital processing to ensure low noise and superior isolation. A newly designed chassis made from robust CNC milled aluminum in sections insures superior thermal characteristics, excellent vibrational damping and shielding from RF.

The intention of the M3 is to provide a state-of-the-art design, utilizing the best designs and materials that can be found today. The converter and following analog stages are a very critical part of the digital and analog audio chain. The sound of the M3 is intended to be transparent and revealing, and fully dynamic. This in part is made possible by lowering the jitter to extremely low levels, providing a pure digital signal chain without sample rate converters, superior digital filter design, pure DSD conversion, coupled to a fast, transparent analog signal path with analog level control, discrete analog output section and plenty of good clean linear power for optimum analog performance. The M3 features 2 fully differential conversion channels, each with its own D/A converter, and analog level control circuitry. With Bricasti’s twin DAC design, the dynamic range for each channel is optimized by using the stereo ADI 1955 D/A converters in a mono configuration for PCM conversion, clocking is implemented with a technique called DDS (direct digital synthesis) which takes clock induced jitter to immeasurable levels. DSD is converted with a proprietary one-bit analog converter.

Many hours of listening were done to tune the M3 to an exacting sound, with all types of music, and with extensive testing done in the studio and in the home. We hope you find the M3 to be pleasing and enjoyable to hear and use in the home or as a precision tool for high-level reference monitoring for the professional.

Re-creating Sound, an art and a science

M3 has 2 digital audio conversion paths, 1 for PCM which utilizes a sigma-delta type as found in the M1, and one for DSD, a true one-bit modulator of their own design and unique to the industry. This DSD conversion is a true 1-bit analog converter followed by an analog post noise filter. The result is a pure DSD playback unlike any other converter in the market. Both converters create a true differential analog waveform from the digital data stream, and as in the M1, the M3 also employs a discrete current to voltage conversion stage to create the true balanced signal.

The M3’s digital design employs precision DDS clocking that lowers jitter to extremely low levels, ensuring a pure digital signal path without the use of sample rate converters, this combined with superior digital filter design, and Native DSD conversion yields a state-of-the-art digital audio path. The M3’s high-speed low distortion analog path features a bypass-able preamp class analog level control allowing the M3 to be used to drive power amps directly, with no bit loss for optimal analog performance.

As stated above, the M3 is a true balanced converter. The complete analog path, and its attenuator are also true differentials. As in the M1, the M3’s unbalanced outputs are separately buffered allowing for use of both outputs at the same time to drive different amplifiers or preamps. A common use is to use one for driving a subwoofer and the other for a main speaker amp drive. The M3 has a robust linear analog power supply with voltage rails of +15V and -15V, therefore the M3 can be used to drive the power amps directly with no issue of available current. The M3 utilizes the same analog attenuator as the M21, this was chosen in the M21 and M3 for its small footprint and low power consumption. This attenuator has a dual function in the M3, one for managing the NDSD conversion path and the other is the ability to use the M3 as a preamp source, to direct drive the power amps or headphones The M3H - Delivering a True Balanced Source the M3 has the option for a balanced headphone driver, called the M3H. As stated above, as a converter the M3 is truly balanced and this follows through to all the analog stages of the M3, and this makes the M3 one of the only true balanced headphone sources. As with the main outputs, the headphone drivers are also separately buffered so that all outputs can be used at the same time with no consequences. Given the high voltage rails in the analog supply, the M3 can drive most common headphones to acceptable listening levels with extremely low distortion. The M3 delivers a true balanced source for all applications and the M3H is unique in the headphone market as one of the only true balanced sources to drive balanced headphones correctly providing the best conversion for both PCM and DSD sources and support of all input sources including network streaming.


• Anodized Aluminum Finish

• Warranty: 2 years parts and labor non-transferable


• Balanced Analog Outputs - dual 3pin XLR balanced (pin 2 hot)

• Unbalanced RCA Output

• XLR: AES/EBU 24 bit Single Wire (44.1 kHz, to, 192khz)

• Coaxial SPDIF (44.1 kHz, to, 192khz)

• Optical: Toslink 44.1- 96k

• USB 2 (44.1 kHz, to, 384kHz, DSD 64fs 128Fs as DoP)

• RJ45: Ethernet (Optional)[44.1 kHz, to, 384kHz, DSD 64fs,128Fs as DoP]

The Specs

• D/A Conversion: PCM 24 bit delta sigma 8x oversampling, NDSD pure 1 bit conversion for DSD

• Jitter 8 psec @ 48k / 6psec @ 96k

• Frequency Response @44.1k: 10 hz- 20 kHz +0dB, -.2 dB

• Dynamic Range: >120dB A-Weighted

• THD+N @ 1k: .0008% @ 0dbfs / .0004% @-30dbfs

• Output Level (Balanced) @ 0db front panel +14.3 dbm 4 db RMS (bypass mode)

• Output Level (Unbalanced) @ 0db front panel = +4db 2V rms

• Mains Voltage: 100, 120, 220, 240 VAC, 50 Hz – 60 Hz factory set

• Power consumption: 20 Watts

• Dimensions: 14” x 11.25“ x 2.5”

• Weight: 10 lbs (15 lbs Shipped)


About Bricasti Design

Cofounded by ex-Harman Specialty Group employees Brian Zolner and Casey Dowdell, Bricasti Design is dedicated to the high end markets with all it's products crafted in the old world tradition. Hand assembled in a classic brick mill building in Massachusetts USA by a team of individuals dedicated to excellence.