Bricasti M5 outputs SPDIF only - No USB, No AES

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Intel Nuc Kit NUC8i3BEH with 128GB SSD. Running ROCK; OS Version 1 Build 227; Software Version 1.7 Build 667.


On ethernet is ROCK; Melco N1A Music Server; Bricasti M5. All direct connected to the modem/router. ROCK has only one foot of cable between it and the router. The server is connected via 10 Meters of CAT 5; the M5 is connected via 10 Meters of optical cable. Other routers, switches not used and powered down. Remote is Macbook operating via Wi-Fi.


Audio is via Bricasti M5 feeding a Denafrips Terminator DAC.

Description Of Issue

There is more than one issue, although they may be related. Also its important to note that I have had Roon for several months. I have been using in conjunction with a Sound Pro speaker and also with Chromecast audio playing thru my Denafrips DAC and main system. Roon and my network have performed without problem before the introduction of the Bricasti M5.

First issue is that M5 can only be seen on network, or by Roon if it is connected directly to the Router/Modem. I usually have all of my audio system on a Cisco 2960 switch. In order to get the M5 to be discovered, it had to be direct connected to the router/modem.

Second issue is only the M5’s SPDIF output (and not the AES or USB outlets) output signal. There is one strange exception to this. In troubleshooting I discovered that those outlets will output signal if the unit is cycled off and then on again. [I am aware the M5 requires rebooting to switch from AES/SPDIF to USB. This is not the issue.] However the M5 will only render the first music file. When Roon advances to another file signal is interrupted. At least some of the time I can go back to that first file and can play it again. Not sure if it is consistent, but at least often, when it will not output signal, the AES will output a multiple echo of a passage of the music. When it will not output signal, the USB will often produce clicking noises. I believe this shows that these outputs on the M5 are functioning and that they interface with the DAC OK. It is as if the M5 cannot follow commands coming from ROCK or, perhaps the M5’s outlet switching function I mentioned above is malfunctioning.

I have reloaded the Roon OS; reloaded CODECS (only the single exec file, nothing else–is this correct?); moved the M5 off CAT5e and onto optical; moved Melco server to different ethernet outlet; moved all devices off switch and direct onto modem/router; removed all DSP processing in Roon; rebooted everything numerous times. Nothing seems to work.

Third issue is that sometimes, when music is playing on the SPDIF output, a change to another music file will result in loud static overlaid onto a low volume music signal. At that point Roon cannot control the output. It requires shutting down Roon on the remote and then re-loading it, sometimes more than once.

@support Hello, my problem has been up for 13 hours now, and not one response. Please, I need some help, here. Thank you.

@support. Hello, my issue has been posted for 22 hours. But no response. Is Roon Support monitoring?

Not official support, friendly fellow user. Just a couple of points that might help support.

When you say “M5 can only be seen on network, or by Roon if it is connected directly”, putting Roon aside for a sec, do you mean that the M5 cannot be seen on the network by other software etc

Cisco 2960 switch is a managed switch. Have you reviewed the managed switch section in the Roon Best Practices Networking FAQ Might not be the direct issue, but, it couldn’t hurt to review.

If it were me, I’d include Bricasti in the conversation as it sounds, to me, like an issue with the M5.

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Hello @Robert_Atkinson, could you please reproduce the issue one more time and reply here with a timestamp when you do? Then use the directions found here and send us over a set of logs using a shared Dropbox link.

Also, have you reached out to Bricasti about this issue?

Hello @nuwriy. Yes I spoke with Brian, the CEO of Bricasti 2 or 3 days ago. He could not understand why the problem was happening. My feeling was that he was fairly convinced it was a Roon or network issue. He was going to speak to someone in Roon to see if Roon had any insight, but I have not heard back from Brian.
Sorry, but I do not know what you mean when you say to “send a timestamp”. Could you explain?
I am ready to try to send you a log whenever you are ready

Hi Rugby – Yes, that is correct, unless the M5 is connected directly to the router, it is not seen on the network by my MacBook or by Roon. I now have the entire audio side connected on the single modem/router and have disconnected and turned off my other router and the switch. Unfortunately it did not help. The issues are unchanged. Thanks to the steer to best practices.

I think he means, notice the time when the issue occurs and then send him the time the issue occurred along with the logs, so he can focus using the time of the occurrence as a reference point in reviewing your logs.

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OK great that sounds simple enough. Now gotta figure out how to do the logs!

Hi Robert,

I think nuwriy did that a couple of posts up thread. I’ve copied the relevant part, I think.


@support. @nuwriy OK I have just now (21:45 - 21:50 Central European Time) created the issue where the AES connection is producing an echo or repeating sound. And at 21:52 I did not touch Roon remote or cycle the M5. I only switched dac to SPDIF input and the track is playing normally.
I will send logs shortly.

@support. @nuwriy
Here is the dropbox link:

@nuwriy, @support
Its been 5 days. Has anyone reviewed the logs? What appears to be the problem with playback?

Hello @Robert_Atkinson,

Thanks for your patience while we look into this.

@nuwriy forwarded this ticket to me, I’ve taken a look at your logs and I’m not seeing any obvious signs of errors.

The fact that the SPDIF output is working strongly suggests that this issue is out of Roon’s direct control.

The Roon Ready protocol allows the hardware manufactures a high degree of flexibility to implement the audio routing as they see fit for their devices. Roon Ready simply delivers the audio “bits” to the network module, it’s the device manufactures job to take these audio “bits” and route them to the correct location.

That said, we’re committed to getting things working for you. We’re going to reach out to Bricasti to see what the next steps here should be. If needed, is the email connected to your Roon account your best contact email?


1 Like

@john. Hello John. Yes that email is good for contacting me. I appreciate your help. When I spoke to Brian the CEO of Bricasti he was, I think, just as sure that the behavior pointed to Roon or the network as the problem. So I think it would be helpful if you do speak to Bricasti. And I do hope you can identify the true cause. Please share any insights you gain with me. Thanks again. – Rob

Or others if you have any information! I am now using a different music player (Magna Mano Ultra) and it is generally running perfectly. No issue with connection or outputs. It outputs fine on SPDIF, USB as well as I2S.

BUT I still occasionally experience the last issue I mentioned re: static noise over music. I have seen similar problems reported here by others, but no resolution that might apply to me. The last time it happened was just an hour ago. I had not shut down Roon overnight, just stopped music play. I went to Roon on my Macbook which is my remote. I started music on the track it was on when I stopped it 8 -10 hours earlier. I subscribe to Qobuz but this track appeared to be pulling from my library (from downloaded CDs). Settings on Roon included re-sampling, volume leveling and parametric equalizer. The Terminator dac was set for NOS.

Any help is appreciated! And if there is a post with solution posted here that applies simply steer me to it. Thank you!! – Rob

HI Robert, did you ever manage to get this sorted? I have recently bought an M5 which i am using with a Denafrips Venus2 DAC and my main problem is with USB playback, SPDIF works without issue and i’ve not tried AES yet, but i will build a cable in the week and try that too. I get the issue where a track will not properly load, other than clicking and stuttering. I have tested the M5 using other DACs i have connecting them with the USB and they work without issue, therefore it would appear to be an issue between the Denafrips and M5. Fortunately SPDIF as i say is working and the M5 is easily the best streamer ive heard under £5K, making it a bargain in my eyes at half the price, but i would like to be able to use USB, so if there is a fix that would be great and would be very interested to hear how you got on.

thanks, Rob:)

My Streaming/ Roon set up is:

Router > Cat6 standard cable > Network Acoustics ENO Filter AG > Cisco switch/ Ifi ipower > Network Acoutics AG streaming cable > ENO Filter AG > Bricasti M5 > Network Acoustics SPDIF of USB AG Cables > Denafrips Venus 2 DAC

Intel Fanless i5 NUC/ Audiophonic LPSU > NA Streaming cable AG > Same Cisco Switch as above.

My network set up is:

Hi Rob – No never did get satisfaction with the Bricasti, so I returned it to the vendor and bought a Magna Mano Ultra. I then had it updated by the folks at Magna Audio and since then it has been problem free. Around the same time I changed preamps and it had a very bad hum problem. In working thru that issue, I found out that some early Denafrip Terminators did not have their chassis grounded and my Terminator was one of these early ones. After exchanging emails with Alvin in Singapore I grounded the chassis of the DAC and that largely took care of my preamp issue. I also wonder if that would have taken care of the Bricasti problems, but I guess I will never know.

That’s a shame. I had demo’d the m5 first, so I knew the usb problem existed, but I’m happy to use spdif which sounds better to my ears than the usb implementation anyway. I’ve not had any problems with coax yet and SQ-wise it’s one of the best streamers I’ve heard full-stop. I was about to buy a auralic g2 but I found the m5 has more detail and more excitement while still managing to be the smoothest and easiest to listen to streamer I’ve heard. I am however going to pursue it with bricasti.

Interesting to hear about your earthing issue, because i have found the rca outputs on the Venus2 are prone to humming which like you i cured by earthing it to my an empty socket on my amp. The xlr outs are unaffected by this.

I think its unlikely that this was causing the problem your were experiencing, I’m pretty sure the usb issue is a handshake problem where the denafrips doesn’t like what bricasti is doing with the power management on the usb implementation, that would explain that stuttering clicking when it’s trying to connect and also why it does work eventually. The problem you had with the spdif is harder to explain as is the aes. I’m going to build an aes cable this week to see that fairs. I have a hugo2 and keces s3 dacs and they work seemlessly via usb.

I’m sorry you weren’t able to get the m5 sorted, did you manage to play enough music to get the measure of it? My business partner had a Magna and raved about it. How do you find it?

Hi Rob —

Luckily I don’t feel I am missing anything without the Bricasti. I bought the Mano used then had it updated by Magna Audio. I probably have less than 1K Euro invested. So price/performance ratio is high.

I like that the two guys who run Magna are not only sales types, they are very proficient on the technical side as well. And they take a lot of time helping if you need help. And in fact it was one of the owners that did the hands-on update. I didn’t get the same feeling of support from Bricasti. Discussion quickly went to “it cant be the M5 it must be a network issue” or “its a problem with Roon” yet I didn’t feel that Brian had the technical depth or enough information to really understand the issue or its possible causes.

In terms of sound quality I think the Mano is the equal of the Bricasti. But I was not able to A/B them. The Magna being Pi based has the advantage of using different OSs and being able to improve SQ that way. Plus Pi is open source so hopefully will evolve to get better and better. And the user community is huge.

The M5 is certainly more beautiful to look at though and has impressive build quality.

All the best — Rob