In audio it's not uncommon that an upgraded or v2.0 piece of equipment hides a commercial correction. Many newcomers to market initially price their wares too low. Once sales pick up, the notion that manufacturing, distribution, shipping, advertising, shows and—not to forget—services like returns and repairs cost money suddenly kicks in. With that bills start arriving and panic strikes when funds dry up. What to do? Easy. We quickly mint a new enhanced model to replace the low-margin older model and justify a price hike. This kind of action we all see far too often.
Is this then the underlying reason why Mytek introduced the Brooklyn DAC+ relatively soon after the standard model? We don't think so. There are real improvements—more on those in a moment—there's the requisite "+" in the name and yes, there is a price hike, too. All the typical boxes check off but we think the "+" is most about new insights and possibilities. The non-plus model we reviewed here was in our view "a competitively priced do-everything which mines both analog and digital music collections" with favorable sonic quality regardless of the input type. We recommend reading that review to get the proper perspective for this brief follow-on report on the DAC+. With the previous model on hand, we could do a 1:1 comparison between the two Brooklynites. Plus, we could use an external power supply by way of a pre-production sample from Matthijs de Vries's latest project, the Farad power supply range.
When we unpacked the DAC+, there was no surprise. The exterior was identical to the previous model except for the added "+" on the top cover's name tag. Our review sample was clad in black while the older loaner had arrived earlier in silver to demonstrate both finishes. Swapping DAC for DAC+ was easy and playing could commence right away. From the earlier review we remembered the necessary 100 hours of break-in so we put the DAC+ through the same exercise.
Its specifications read just like the older model's: DAC, phono stage, preamp, headphone amp for two or balanced drive, MQA and Roon. Under the perforated cover plate, things were different, however. Unlike the ESS Sabre 9018K2M chip of the older model, now we spotted an ESS Sabre 9028pro. This newer chip with its larger set of analog filters not only is substantially larger, its performance is a step up. Noteworthy are improved THD compensation thus lower overall noise, improved oversampling filters, an better phase locked loop and improved power supply distribution. While overhauling their Brooklyn DAC, Mytek also worked on the analog attenuation circuit to lower its noise, improved the transparency of the phonostage and reworked the analog input next to a now fully dual-mono analog path with an enhanced power supply.