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Brinkmann8/2020

Brinkmann Audio Nyquist Mk II Streaming DAC review

The long running battle of analog versus digital is not showing any signs of stopping any time soon. Proponents of either side have been going at it for many years, but personally I don’t see why we cannot enjoy both without sacrificing the sound quality and the enjoyment of our beloved music regardless of the format. Those who are against digital often say that it sounds cold and sterile compared to vinyl, but is it actually true in every single case? The answer is, of course, no. Brinkmann Audio Nyquist Mk II Streaming DAC is a prime example of how to properly handle digital formats without sacrificing sound quality and presenting music with a natural uncoloured sound that would appeal even to the most zealous analog proponent.

Built by hand in Germany by Helmut Brinkmann and his team of engineers, the Nyquist, now in its second incarnation, follows Brinkmann’s long-standing philosophy that everything has an effect on sound and that these influences are real, even if all of them cannot be explained scientifically.Which is why all Brinkmann components are built using specifically chosen materials, carefully inspected by Helmut Brinkmann himself to make sure everything functions exactly as intended to provide the most enjoyable audio experience. The Nyquist Mk II is no exception.

Fairly compact in design, the Nyquist Mk II has a distinct look similar to other Brinkmann components, such as Marconi Line Preamplifier, with transparent glass top, heat sinks on both sides, two large knobs, 3 buttons and a small display in the middle.

In order to eliminate unwanted vibrations and completely isolate the unit, it comes with 12 kg granite base, which has the exact same width and depth as the DAC and fits perfectly underneath it. Brinkmann recommends not to have anything else between the DAC and the granite base as both of them are tuned as a single unit. The granite base can of course be placed on other isolation devices.

Click here to download the 2 page news release.


Brinkmann7/2020

Lambda the Next Level

Lyra have been designing and hand crafting moving coil cartridges for over 30 years. Constant evolution of the designs has ensured Lyra are the cartridges of choice for the connoisseur and lovers of analogue playback. Lyra is pleased to announce it’s latest works of art: Etna λ Lambda and Atlas λ Lambda.

A seldom-mentioned yet key factor in defining the performance and sound of a phono cartridge is the suspension and damper system. A cantilever’s materials, dimensions and constructions all affect the sound in unique ways, and unless the dampers and suspension are engineered to be a suitable match to the cantilever chosen, the sound and performance will not be optimal.

For Lyra’s post-2008 New Angle models (Delos, Kleos, Etna, Atlas) Lyra developed tapered dampers to pre-load the cantilever downwards when it is in the rest position, so that the application of vertical tracking force (VTF) will bring the coil angle into alignment with the magnets when the cartridge is in the playing position.

Click here to download the 2 page news release.


Brinkmann7/2020

Taurus Ultimate Direct Drive Turntable

More than a decade ago, Brinkmann inaugurated the Direct Drive Renaissance with the introduction of Oasis.

 

The first thoroughly modern direct drive turntable, Oasis partnered Helmut Brinkmann’s bespoke, proprietary motor with a massive platter, "Soft" speed control and the myriad engineering flourishes which define Brinkmann Audio’s design ethos. Oasis combined the extreme pitch accuracy and durability of the best direct drive systems with levels of musicality and liquidity which had previously been the exclusive domain of belt drive. Brinkmann's legendary Bardo soon followed and has been their best-selling turntable ever since.

Over the past few years, Brinkmann developed the versatile Spyder, effected evolutionary improvements to their epochal Balance and introduced Nyquist, widely considered the world’s finest Digital-to-Analog Converter. The lessons learned creating these state-of-the-art components suggested ways in which Brinkmann could advance their direct drive concept to a higher level of performance.

Brinkmann proudly introduces Taurus: the finest direct drive turntable they know how to build.

Click here to download the 7 page news release.


Brinkmann7/2020

Kiseki PurpleHeart NS Moving-Coil Phono Cartridge

Many years ago, when my original Kiseki PurpleHeart Saphhire moving-coil cartridge finally expired after several years of faithful service, a lot of the magic in my audio system disappeared. 

I purchased it several decades ago, based on the strong recommenda-tion of my local dealer at the time, dB Audio, and a quite favor-able mini-review in a moving-coil cartridge survey in TAS (Issue 34, Summer 1984). HP found it to be “a great cartridge” and remarked on its ability to produce a “very, very wide and deep soundstage,” as well as its excellence at reproducing low-level in-formation in complex passages. He also praised its neutrality and transparency. 

I hadn’t planned on such a splurge, but I trusted the dealer, and after hearing it I had to have it. My Kiseki was set up expertly by John Hunter (who eventually moved on to Sumiko and later to REL). To say I was in heaven with its performance would be an understatement. Here was a moving-coil cartridge of moderate-ly low output (0.4mV) that had a captivating harmonic richness without any sacrifice in overall transient speed and clarity, along with an ability to dig deep into the groves to extract fine details.

Click here to download the 3 page article from The Absolute Sound magazine July/August.


Brinkmann3/2020

Voltaire Integrated Sound System

Munich - Although the cancellation of Munich High End 2020 came as a great disappointment to us, we’ve actually found a Silver Lining: Helmut’s efforts to make the NEW “Voltaire” ISS (Integrated Sound System) a masterpiece continue and we would not have had a finished unit to demonstrate at Munich. Our founder is now cloistered in his lab making painstaking design and component decisions, so we’re hoping to demo Voltaire at late-2020 shows. Voltaire will be worth the wait…promise!

Click here to download the review from The Absolute Sound.


Brinkmann1/2020

Raves For A Full Brinkmann System

In the January, 2020 issue of The Absolute Sound, Jacob Heilbrunn tests a Brinkmann Edison Mk II Phono Preamplifier, Nyquist Mk II DAC and Marconi Mk II Line Preamplifier …and loves them! Even though our Brinkmann components cost a small fraction of the components to which Jacob compares them, he found the Brinkmann system a match for the world’s most expensive gear, concluding, “It represents formidable German engineering allied to a profound sense of musicality that will be difficult for most listeners to resist.” Thanks, Jacob: we couldn’t agree more!

Click here to download the 3 page review.

 


Brinkmann1/2020

Brinkmann Nyquist Mk II DAC, Marconi Mk II Linestage, Edison Mk II Phonostage

In New York, over a decade ago, I first came across the Brinkmann Balanced turntable. It was hooked up to a tube power supply—an act of dedication that inspired confidence in the company’s mission to extract the very best possible sound from vinyl records. It remains the only turntable I’ve seen that was powered by tubes.

Helmut Brinkmann’s eponymous company is probably best known for its turntable line, but it has produced a variety of front-end equipment for several decades. Now this German company is mounting a fresh effort to make a mark in that sphere with a passel of new products, including its Nyquist DAC Mk II, Edison Mk II phonostage and Marconi Mk II linestage—all of which, incidentally, contain new old stock Telefunken PCF-803 tubes that were originally used in color television sets back in the 1960s. Brinkmann rates them as having a life expectancy of around twenty years. Brinkmann’s gregarious American representative, Anthony Chiarella, dropped off all three of the Brinkmann units at my house and listened to them for an afternoon before leaving them with me for review.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Brinkmann gear, but I did know that the company’s emphasis on tubes is very much a good thing. I’ve heard a lot of solid-state equipment in recent years, but have never been fully convinced that it can quite attain the ethereal regions that tubes seem to reach and deliver. There is a certain nuance and alacrity, transparency and silkiness, that tubes offer. Don’t get me wrong: Solid-state keeps getting better almost every day in every way. But as with vinyl, the case for using tubes isn’t going away. If anything, it’s getting stronger.

Click here to download the review from The Absolute Sound.


Brinkmann2/2019

Oasis Turntable

Limited to just 100 pieces Brinkmann's "10th Anniversary Final Edition" Oasis Turntable includes a 10.5 Tonearm and features an improved direct drive bearing.

Introduced in 2007, Oasis was Brinkmann’s first Direct Drive Turntable, as well as the first Brinkmann to use the proprietary “Sinus” motor technology. In Brinkmann's never-ending search to improve sound quality, they evaluated different types of drive mechanism as well other alternatives.

In the end, Brinkmann decided to develop there own proprietary drive mechanism, which drives the platter directly. The drive mechanism consists of a ring-shaped permanent magnet contained in the platter's bearing and four air-cored inductors on the Oasis's chassis plate. These inductors are adjusted and driven with utmost precision to different phase angles. Thus, the ensuing magnetic field rotates the platter.

Click here to download the 3 page news item.