|Bryston BCD-3 CD Player Review|
|Home Theater Audio Sources CD Players|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Tuesday, 10 January 2017|
Page 1 of 3
Canadian heavy hitters Bryston surprised everyone a few years ago with their introduction of a speaker line, which now, after wide acceptance and a slew of positive reviews, are considered class leaders in many circles. In fact, the Mini T three-way monitor is my current reference. Possibly more surprising is Bryston’s introduction of the BCD-3 CD Player, with retails for $3495, in an era where the conventional wisdom tells us optical disc playback is fading away in favor of hard discs, servers, and streaming. Not so fast.
Even keeping in mind legacy CD collections, new releases, and a preference for physical media playback by some, what was Bryston’s motivation for introducing a CD player in 2016? From what I gather, it is to have the final word on the product category, to produce a state of the art player that puts sonics first, trends be damned. According to Bryston, "We are aware that the music industry has written off the CD format; however, we have a significant number of customers who have substantial CD collections they'd like to enjoy," explained Bryston VP James Tanner. "We had the ability to leverage our BDA-3 DAC platform--one of the most popular digital products from Bryston--combined with a very good quality transport and deliver an audiophile CD player with astonishing levels of clarity and detail."
James Tanner sent me a note to emphasize the BCD-3’s rather unique architecture. He stated the player “doesn't use the S/PDIF transfer of data and clock. The player is a synchronous system where jitter is essentially non-existent. The clock responsible for retrieving the data as it comes from the CD itself is also responsible for the D/A conversion process so there's no discrepancy between the master clock and any of its derivatives.“
So there you have it. No stone unturned. According to Bryston, “The BCD-3 has been engineered to play back Redbook CD using a premium transport/laser pickup assembly mated to two AKM 4490 384-kHz/32-bit DACs. Bryston designed the player to utilize a single master clock that syncs the transport to the DAC, eliminating one of the primary sources of an unwanted artifact called jitter. The DAC in the BCD-3 is based upon the BDA-3 platform and includes a fully discrete Bryston Class A analog output stage and independent analog and digital power supplies.”