Bushmaster Mk. II (TC-7533)
I've got my BM Mk. II up and running tonight after having a quick listen to the original BM as a reminder of its sound. I took the time to readjust my Paul Hynes power supply down from 16V to 15V on Stan's advice. Otherwise, it looks the part and I prefer its aspect ratio (wider than it is deep) compared with the old model. It also looks excellent in silver finish and is well built.
Very first impressions from stone cold are an immediate step up in dynamics, the only area of weakness I felt in the original BM. Leading edges are more noticeable and it has an overall greater sense of clout on dynamic material. Trying out all the inputs and that quality of sound remains, even with broadcast material from Sky Arts. All the other BM merits are still in place: great detail in a wide and deep soundstage and deep bass extension. if it sounds this good now, it should improve further over the course of the next week.
You should know that I have Stan's special I2S clocking firmware in my BM (which is now used in the Mk. II), so I didn't really expect much of an improvement to be honest. It's clear that Stan has worked his magic elsewhere (we know about his work in the power supply area) and may well have further improved the firmware. One other noticeable improvement is how quickly it syncs to a new input. There was always a slight hesitation with the old model; this one is virtually instant.
So far so very good. This DAC range continues to be excellent value for money and sounds a lot more expensive than it is.
Turntable: Technics SL-1210, Dynavector DV507-II arm, Shelter 5000 cartridge, Paul Hynes SR7EHD-27 external, TDR-21 secondary & S1709v4LN/Z1705LN tertiary regs, MN bearing, baseplate & ETP platter, Isonoe feet, Ebony armboard, Stillpoints LPI weight, Thomas Schick Graphite headshell; Phono Preamp: Aurorasound VIDA; SACD Player: Ayre C-5xe MP; Preamp: Pass Labs XP-20; Power Amp: Chord SPM-1200E; Speakers: Usher Dancer Be-20; Power Regenerator: PS Audio Power Plant P10; Room Treatment: ASC TubeTraps, SubTrap, PicturePanels; Cables: Yannis 423.5 Phono-Litz, 223.5 Connect-Litz & 223.5 Connect-Litz XLR interconnects, Tellurium Q Ultra Black speaker cables, MCRU Ultimate HC, Ultimate and No.9 power cables; System Rack: Solid Tech Radius Duo 3; RCM: Clearaudio Smart Matrix.
Streaming: Logitech Touch, EDO & TT3 apps, Beresford BM2 DAC, 12V & 5V batteries, Paul Hynes PR3, Belden 1694A cable.