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Specifically, I heard low level detail, layers, and musical cues on familiar recordings that I just did not realize were there. On track after track, I found myself marveling over the improved separation of instruments, soundstaging, and additional dimension. An album I have been spinning quite a bit lately is the U.K. band Mumford & Son’s debut Sigh No More. It is a great sounding disc, and the production showcases Mumford’s blend of rock, English folk, and bluegrass. On my Naim CD player and streamed through the Squeezebox Touch it sounded great, but played back through the BDP-1 it was quite remarkable to hear the improved presence and imaging.
A few more Redbook examples include the exotic sounds of Amina Aloui on her CD, Arco Iris. The Moroccan singer creates an exotic stew of hypnotic rhythms, and modal, North African melodies. The BDP-1 created holographic images on this beautiful sounding disc, and only made me want to explore Moroccan music further. I also went on a Seattle rock kick, spinning old favorites by the Screaming Trees, and solo work by their lead singer Mark Lanegan. I was rather surprised at how good these rips sounded, as the early 90’s gave birth to the grunge, which was not known for high fidelity. But these records rocked, with surprising definition and presence.
I then spent a significant time listening to high resolution downloads from sites such as iTrax, High Definition Tape Transfers, HDTracks, and a few others. 96 and 192 Khz material sounded pretty mind blowing. The added dimension and depth was easy to notice depending on the recording. The owner of a BDP-1 will be perfectly positioned for when studio quality masters will be offered to the public for download. That time can’t come soon enough, as far as I am concerned.
I really think Bryston has created a new product category for high end audio. A purpose built, perfectionist digital file player that forgoes additional so called “features”, and performs the task at hand with no distractions. Take note there is no streaming, large, fancy display, touch screen, or multi room capability. If that is what you are after, there are other, sonically compromised options for you to consider.
With a short learning curve, set up is basically pain free. Since the BDP-1 does connect to a home network, using an iPad, iPod, or web browser makes controlling the unit a snap. You can also transfer purchased or ripped music to the attached drives via your home network, which means you don’t have to lug your drives back and forth to your ripping computer when acquire new music. I transferred gigs of music with a few clicks of the mouse. Since the firmware is upgradable, new features and functions will be added periodically, making this a future proof purchase.
Ultimately, I keep coming back to one thing, and that is sound. The BDP-1 is amazing sounding, period. I will conclude by repeating what I said earlier, and that is BDP-1 removes layers of distortion you never even knew were there, and lets nothing but music flow through the speakers. After hearing the BDP-1 it will be nearly impossible to let it go.