Friends, just my first impression.

Before I parted with my Bricasti M1 4 years ago, It was a long serving member of my main stereo. At that time working together with a Pass Lab X30 & X25 and a pair of Bryston B28SST2 it was a well balanced combination.

Life changes and the last 4 years I needed something smaller which could be moved more easily. So I decided to use a Devialet Expert 1000 pro as a good compromise on flexibility and performance. To make a long story short, I never really felt comfortable with this setup.

To start fresh in 2024, I bought a used Bricasti Design M12 MDx (2022) and a LAB12 Melto 2 for the phono part. The Bricasti is paired with some Hypex Nillai 500 mono amps and a Palthauf ESD to drive my Stax X9000.

The M12 serves is basically a DAC married with a basic preamp.  Like all Bricasti home stereo equipment it is quoting the design language of a classical Mark Levinson series. Having enjoyed an ML380s for more than 10 years, this builds immediate trust.  The build quality is outstanding, and you I wonder how much CNC machine time a single chassis takes to manufacture.

My initial listening session planned for 30 minutes took 3 hours. As always, I started with Arne Domnérus “jazz at the pawnshop” in the 30th anniversary remastered version. It is the Track 1 “Limehouse Blues” which is high on my test playlist but this time I stayed longer.  The dialogue of the clarinet and the vibraphone was breathtaking. I rarely heard this so intimate and full of details.

Now Norah Jones came with “come away with me” to compare the PCM vs the DSD DAC department of the M12. So it was DSD64 vs 192/24. And to be honest, while I was convinced on the multibit section of the Bricasti, the DSD section did the final convincing. Norah being transparent on stage, hearing every single breath. This is quite a step forward from my former M1 and not comparable to the now retired Devialet.

Now it is time for classical music and some vinyl. For me Vikingur Ólafsson has delivered one of the best interpretations of the Johan Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I could not stop before Variation 15. Proven the Bricasti does it´s preamp job fed via the XLR input without an issues. Maybe I was missing a bit Wayne Colburn´s exceptionally designed buffer in the Pass Labs X30 which sound a tiny bit more musical.

Barb Jungr singing Bob Dylan via a Ortofon Cadenza black proofed that the American /Greek /Danish /Japanese combination is harmonizing well. No surprises here and it sounds like it should.

The evening continued with more classical music from huge organs to large choirs. No flaws detected and everything felt balanced and right.


The M12 is a no nonsense masterpiece of engineering while keeping the virtues of a musical instrument. It is neutral as hell without sacrificing the ability to lose yourself in the music.

And finally, my wish list to Brian for an MK II Version:

  • A remote with dedicated buttons for volume control an input control.
  • Allow either to switch off the RCA and XLR output individually or to switch the trigger via the remote to allow more comfortable operations with an external headphone amplifier.
  • Allow to disable unused inputs.
  • Give us a second XLR input.

I keep you updated

I will take a couple of detailed pictures from the internals and will post some more listening experiences regarding the huge variety of offered filters. This will take some time. You will find the final report in my blog end of February.

In addition I orderd an upgrade to the new graphical display with Bricasti in the US. It seems that they really care for their customer and are very responsive to their needs. With this will come an update to MDx Version 1.14.

Test Setup:

Preamp DAC:            Bricasti Design M12 MDx V.1.10

Phono Preamp:        LAB 12 Melto 2 – Telefunken (Ulm)  ECC88

Turntable:                 Oracle Delphi V Anniversary, SME 345, Koetsu Black Gold Line

                                    Denon DP 7000, SME 5009, Cadenza Black, SME M2.9 BENZ ACE S

Speaker:                    Magico V2

Headphone:             STAX SR X9000

Headphone Amp:    Paltauf ESD