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In a relatively short time US company Bricasti Design has built itself a formidable reputation for the advanced engineering and sonic quality of its professional products which are used by a number of the world’s best recording studios. The company, started by Brian Zolner and Casey Dowdell both ex-Madrigal Laboratories (part-combined, their first names make up the name Bricasti), has now released the state-of-the-art M1 digital-to-analog converter which aims to stride both the high-end professional and consumer markets. In Australia the Bricasti Design professional products – highly regarded studio reverb units – will be distributed by Melbourne’s Studio Connections while the audiophile market will be looked after by ZenSati Australia.

Brian Zolner is in Australia to promote Bricasti Design and at a function at Sydney’s Vibe Hotel Milson’s Point he met and greeted consumers and potential customers while sharing his encyclopaedic knowledge of digital circuitry, and in particular, the many sophisticated technologies involved in the design of the M1. Zolner spoke to Edgar Kramer at length and while the full interview will not fit within the scope of this story, we will be seeking a review sample of the M1 in the not too distant future where the conversation may be featured in its entirety.

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“We’re an American company and we build everything in-house. With small-scale manufacturing you obviously have much more control over what you’re creating. You can manage costs, and keep control over logistical handling. Everything is readily available locally so why build it in, say, China? Most of the components in the M1 are produced by local manufacturers but it’s in the way we apply those components that makes our design special. For example, our analog stage circuit boards are very particular in the M1 and made from Arlon as used in the RF industry. And that’s in the States. Our philosophy is to keep it all home.

“The M1 is a version of the converter built into our reverb unit. That unit is way over-built but we wanted to go to the top. That fully developed product made it relatively easy to design the M1. You know, when we designed the reverb unit we looked at it wanting to solve problems. We tackled the M1 in the same way. So what’s the biggest problem here? Well, firstly jitter right. So if you can take as much away as possible you solve one of the digital problems. We also design our own reconstruction filters; not many companies are doing that. Very, very few. We also do a minimum phase filter, as opposed to linear phase filters, which is not common. And it’s also in the implementation of that, in the boards, the DSP chip, the power supply, and good circuit architecture. Now in terms of our filter choices people often ask me ‘what’s the best filter?’ well, it’s the one that sounds the best to you”.

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- Brian Zolner addresses the captivated audience -

We were rather keen to hear the M1 in the context of a fairly exotic system comprising of the new Technical Brain integrated amplifier, a full ZenSati cable loom and Evolution Acoustics MMMicroOne but alas it wasn’t to be. Gremlins at the venue, we were told, short-circuited the AC outlet and damaged the amplifier and speakers – not to be…

Of note, we were told Bricasti design will be releasing an amplification product which mirrors the company’s philosophies and bears the fruit of its technical prowess. If the outstanding engineering used in the M1 is anything to go by the upcoming amplifiers will be very promising indeed. Stay tuned.

For more info visit ZenSati Australia

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George Fracchia ZenSati Australia, Deb Sloss Studio Connections, Brian Zolner President Bricasti Design