Munich High End 2016: Robert Harley on Analog and Digital Sources - Most Significant Digital Products

Brinkmannn Nyquist MQA-Compatible DAC

Turning to digital sources, the press conference announcing the MQA-compatible Nyquist DAC from Brinkmann was preceded, by a matter of minutes, by the announcement by Warner Music that the label would be supporting the MQA format. The timing added a dramatic twist to the Brinkmann event. Warner is the first major label to announce support for MQA.

Although Brinkmann is known today primarily for its turntables, the company introduced its first DAC in 1986 and has been making digital sources since. In addition to decoding MQA, the Nyquist DAC is compatible with PCM up to 384kHz/32-bit and DSD128. 

The modular design includes user-replaceable cards and provides for firmware updates to accommodate future formats. The output stage is a hybrid design that combines tubes and transistors fed from very high voltage supply rails. The two-box unit offers balanced and unbalanced outputs, a headphone amplifier, and Roon-ready network playback. The Nyquist will be available in Q4 2016.

The system in which the Nyquist was demonstrated sounded fabulous—Vandersteen Model 5A Carbons driven by Vandertsteen’s own liquid-cooled power amplifiers.