Not a Review but an Impression: Wavelength Brick N2 DAC

I couldn’t be any happier with this DAC. It’s the Wavelength Brick N2. I’ve been burning it in, and I’m really amazed by the difference I got from this in elevating my setup to sound more musical. I literally got this DAC because I wanted my system to be more musical sounding and I got exactly that and more. It uses the notorious TDA1543 chip that’s a favourite among hobbyist, Audio Note and Border Patrol. It sounds like it’s hugging you with spider silk bedsheets while the edge of the sound is soft and nimble like memory foam. That’s me trying to physicalise the sound that I’m getting and I’m only using an SGD$550.00 Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3 tube amplifier (it does say a lot about this amplifier as well)! It has extended highs which my Triangle Comete 40th is able to play out, and the bass is impressively holographic and rounded that it’s so beautiful. For instruments such as guitar plucking, percussion, heavy drums and similar, they sound so realistic yet pleasing to the ear. This DAC isn’t known to be accurate in the sense that it should be used in recording studios purposes, it does colour the sound, but don’t we all love convincing and beautiful lies? There’s a reason why fictional love stories, colour graded movies and Pixar animated movies are favourites among us, even the latest Avatar! What they have in common is that they are convincingly realistic, but more importantly beautiful and pleasing to consume. This is how a home DAC should be and it is a direction that other DAC manufacturers should follow. And I’d say it elevated my setup by a large margin. I’m aware that’s a strange thing to say for a DAC as they don’t usually do much difference, and I agree with that, but this is an exception. The sound that I got from this being part of my system reminds me so much of those McIntosh and Focal/Naim high end systems I listened to in Adelphi. Isn’t it strange how one component could make this much difference?


We all hear and like very different things sometimes this gets lost with all the objectivist/subjective claptrap. If it works for you then go with it.

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Just would like to drop by to mention that by now my Wavelength Brick N2 should have completely be broken-in and I have to say I am slack-jawed by its performance. It’s clean and clear, and thick and very analogue. It’s something I never thought was possible for a DAC. It’s slightly coloured only in the sense that the bass is bit higher, but honestly all systems benefit from a slight bass increase. Studio sound is pretty plain sounding after all. I’m using a Pro-Ject X1 with Denon DL-301SA MC cartridge with iFi micro Black Label iPhono 3 and this Wavelength Brick N2 is a good margin better sounding than my records, both objectively and subjectively speaking.

There’s also someone online who compared this Brick N2 to a similarly priced HoloAudio DAC and has mentioned that it doesn’t come close to its performance. He’s thus upgraded to a higher version of a Wavelength DAC. This DAC is truly a marvel.

It’s a great DAC, but it lacks bass, and that is likely due to the wall wart power supply it comes with. I’d be interested in it’s sound when hooked to a linear supply-my guess is marginal improvement at best. Gordon needs to rethink this DAC, because it’s so incredibly good in the mid to upper octaves but just lacks the lower Octave reach. With the proper power supply this could be a giant killer, wall wart these days just doesn’t cut it in higher end systems.

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Hi @Jeff_Ciulla, I experienced the same thing when I paired my Wavelength Brick N2 to the Hegel H120. The bass was slightly less punchy than the DAC built-in to the Hegel. I thought that the built-in DAC does well in being punchy, so had the impression that the Brick N2 wasn’t poor in this regard.

Despite that, when moving from the iFi Zen DAC Signature V2 to the Wavelength Brick N2 on my Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3 Deluxe Edition, the bass increased by quite a margin, it was a whole lot more textured and rounded. It was exceptionally satisfying and punchy. I wonder if this has got to do with the impedance matching of the Brick N2’s RCA outputs to my Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3? I’m unsure if it uses a passive pre-amp. Gordon mentioned that because of its output impedance, you can run 10 metres long RCA lines and won’t be affected by sound quality deterioration, so there’s no need for balanced connection with this DAC.

I wonder, might it be that this DAC suits low-powered tube amps with passive pre-amps? However, it might just be the DAC and Amp matching that led to this above average bass that I was getting. Lots of Gordon’s customers were pairing this DAC to their SETs and more than the usual of them were using older Avantgarde speakers.

Certainly, on the Hegel H120, I find the Wavelength Brick N2’s bass to not be punchy enough. Its treble and mids are however more refined, soothing, smooth and luscious.

For others out there who are considering this Brick N2 DAC, take note that for my case, it doesn’t work with the Sonore ultraRendu.

Other notes: The iFi ZEN DAC Signature V2 when used with the Sonore ultraRendu on my Hegel H120, its bass was punchy and satisfactory. Its more crude and digital sound (compared to the Brick N2) led me to order a Denafrips Ares 12th-1.