About four years ago, the Mytek 192-DSD-DAC impressed me with its sound in a way that caused me to abstain from purchasing expensive D/A converters for quite a while. This is not bad at all in times of rapid new developments. After a venture into high-end territory, these digital experts with roots in the pro audio realm are now introducing the Brooklyn.
At first glance, this new converter seems to be the perfect synthesis of the plain looking 192-DSD-DAC which was designed primarily for studio use, but became very popular with the hi-fi crowd due to its almost unbeatable price-performance ratio in terms of sound, despite its slight weaknesses in menu navigation, and the Manhattan. This model, with its very individual chassis design, its large and easily readable display, and consequently a higher price tag was clearly aimed at a hi-fi/high-end clientele. The Brooklyn ($1995) inherited its top cover emblazoned with the company logo and the structured front panel from the Manhattan. However, the four push buttons do not have the same carefully milled surface that discreetly and inconspicuously made them integrate into the Manhattan's front surface. Instead, the Brooklyn sports an LED-lit Mytek logo in the left corner of the chassis, whose colours can be customised via the now incredibly easy-to-operate user menu. While the colour customisation is a nice gimmick, the new menu navigation eliminates the only real weakness of the previous model.
In the Brooklyn's display, four user selectable parameters are shown, including their current value and a description such as "USB" or "Input". The parameter and its name appear on the left part of the display. When pressing the leftmost button on the front panel, the colour of the shown setting changes. The rotary knob can then be used to adjust it. Another push of the button ends the procedure. In this mode, turning the large black rotary encoder causes the next four menu items to be displayed, which can then be adjusted upon pressing the appropriate button on the front panel. The Brooklyn's menu offers access to 14 settings, including brightness and—as previously mentioned—the background colour of the Mytek logo. Thanks to the new, well thought-out menu navigation, you always know what you are doing. This is a major improvement over the Stereo 192-DSD-DAC!
But also in other areas, the Brooklyn has more to offer than its predecessor. In the menu, the analogue inputs can be configured for line, phono MM, and phono MC sources. In combination with its analogue volume control, this makes the Brooklyn a complete preamplifier. The only drawback is that you have to swap cables on the single pair of RCA inputs when switching between line and phono sources. There is simply no space left for a second or third pair on the back panel of the Mytek. With the Stereo 192-DSD-DAC you still had to choose between a mastering and a preamp version. The former offered a SDIF-3 input for DSD and a fairly coarse LED level meter, while the latter was equipped with a line-level analogue input. As previously mentioned, the Brooklyn offers an analogue input that is also suitable for phono sources as well as the SDIF-3 input. However, the lack of space on the rear panel makes it necessary to use the two S/PDIF RCA inputs for this. In the menu item "Coax Function" you can set either of the two RCA sockets to function as two S/PDIF or SDIF-3 for one of the two stereo channels. As always, the corresponding word clock input is present in the form of a BNC socket.