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Bryston amps

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by indy mike, Apr 6, 2002.

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  1. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest Thread Starter

    Whilst cruising Ebay lookin' at potential SS amps (I know, I gotta get tubes but practicality dictates sand based amps for a few years), I ran across Bryston 2B/3B amps going for not too unreasonable dollar vs. watts prices - anybody out there own/owned one of their amps? I know they have an unbelievable warranty and have been around awhile - how are the sonics using their juice??? Thanx in advance!
     
  2. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Mike,

    I can't stress to you enough not to go for Bryston! I checked them out about 3 years ago before buying my Classe' They don't have a good sound and they're definition was horrible. Very SS/clinical sounding, as opposed to the definition, and smoothness that other SS equipment can have.
     
  3. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest Thread Starter

    Whoa Dave - how do you really feel??? Thanks - any other pro or con votes, jump right in - any SS recommendations in the under 1K range???
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I see used Pass Labs Aleph 3's over at audiogon from for about $1000 time to time. I've never heard one but I hear some pretty good things about them. They're 30 watts of Class A SS amplification.

    How many watts do you need Indy Mike? If your looking at spending up to $1000 what made you decide you need SS instead of a push-pull tube?
     
  5. KLM

    KLM Forum Resident

    When it comes to solid state amps for around $1K, I would recommend the following:

    B&K
    McCormack
    Rotel
    Aragon
    Classe
    Naim
    Acurus
    Pass
    Plinius
    Belles
    Forte
    Musical Fidelity
    PS Audio

    I'm assuming you only need 2 channels and you will need to purchase some of these used to get the price you want. Keep in mind that you may want to look at tube amps as well depending on your needs as the sound is wonderful. There are a lot of great designs out there that can be had at reasonable prices (i.e. Rogue Audio or a used Audio Research Classic 60 or VT60, etc.)

    Dave, I'm a little surprised to hear your disdain for Bryston since I know many people who really like them. I have never heard them myself so I can't comment. Good luck.
     
  6. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    Location:
    The West
    I'm also surprised at Dave's response. I've never heard a Bryston anything, but they seem to have a very loyal following. Perhaps it's sort of a "cult" thing?

    How do folks feel about Creek or NAD?
    Dan C
     
  7. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest Thread Starter

    I'd love tubes but my listening room is also where the tv/entertainment center/family room are and my 16 month old son pretty much eliminates glowing fire bottles - I don't have space to run them where the heat could dissipate and I also have the spousal approval factor, too - gotta use SS tucked away in the center. Next house will be full basement equipped for me to set up a dedicated listening room where monster truck EV Georgian corner horns and tubes can run wild! :D
     
  8. mazort

    mazort New Member

    Location:
    San Antone
    One vote for Creek

    Dan - count one vote for the new Creek integrated. It sounds great, a true high end sound and he'll have no trouble selling it when he wants to upgrade. Also don't forget Rega products - everything Rega makes is musical...

    I'd also suggest an Audio Research 100.2 in a higher price bracket ($3,500 new - but you could propbably find one for around $2000 used) for a tube-like high definition sound. That's a real nice amp.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    If your worried about little fingers getting burned something you should be aware of is most Class A amps are only about 25% efficient (sometimes less). If they have 30 watts of output, they dissipate 90 watts of heat. I'm talking about SS not tube.

    A friend of mine has some 30 watt Musical Fidelity amps (can't remember which model). I haven't heard them or seen them but the first thing he said when he told me about them was "those buggers get hot!"

    Nelson Pass has a SS mosfet project on www.passdiy.com thats only 4% efficient. Listen to your favorite tunes and roast marshmellows at the same time.
     
  10. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    Originally posted by KLM
    Dave, I'm a little surprised to hear your disdain for Bryston since I know many people who really like them.


    Not half as surprised as I was! I was expecting something really close to what own now and what a shocker! It wasn't even in the same league.

    Your above list I would agree with, with one exception. The Musical Fidelity amps haven't impressed me so far.
     
  11. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest Thread Starter

    Hmmm, those Musical Fidelity A3cr's seem to get a lotta good press - I keep peeking at them in the Audio Advisor catalog wondering how they sound... Keep it up folks - I'm glad to see you voicing opinions with plenty of good natured dissension! As for heat, amps running in Class A are definitely substitute toaster ovens, but I can live with the lesser Class AB or other options in exchange for less heat - gotta keep the amp tucked away outta sight - my wife isn't a lover of electronics, so I gotta keep things tidy and hidden - I crave tubes, grew up in a Dynaco ST-70/Pas-2 house so I know from solid state! ;)
     
  12. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Location:
    Toronto
    I'll have to agree with Dave about Bryston. I owned one for about two days back in '83. Took it back. They have great specs but I think they are very clinical sounding. No 'musicality' to them - whatever that 'really' is! It made everything sound like a Mew remaster - lifeless!

    I settled on Harmon Kardon HK 870 / 100 watts a side. Runs one set of speakers, not two. The matching preamp HK 825, has a moving coil preamp function, too!

    Bought this in 1983 or so, still going strong.

    I don't know what the new HK stuff sounds like or anything more modern as I have no desire to upgrade or replace my SS system.

    It's too bad you can't somehow squeeze a tube - *something* - in there somewhere!
     
  13. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I would say that if a Class A solid state amp is getting quite hot, the heat sinks are inadequate.

    I have a Kostas Metaxas A1 amp back in Oz; this has an output of 100 watts pure Class A. This mother will melt aluminium voice coils, as it did one day to a Celestion SL6 woofer - a party situation and I was out. This amp has enormous chimney-style heat sinks and only gets slightly warm to the touch. The bloody room heats up though.

    I know that the MFs get hot. I remember auditioning one of their first amps, and it was as hot as a firecracker. Not a good design in my opinion, though it sounded superb.

    The MFs have a good reputation in the UK. They have a very good name in the US, and I wonder how much of this is because Sam Tellig (Stereophile) loves them. I have a high opinion of MF, but I think they are now over-priced. Once, the MF amps were great value, but now I feel that there are some useless cosmetic doodads bumping up the price.

    Regards,
    Metralla
     
  14. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialist™

    Location:
    Greater Vancouver
    With most manufacturers the "Hot" problem has been cleared up in the last 5 years or so. The reason being is that most now only make AB's. I remember years ago you could fry an egg on most SS class A amps.
     
  15. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I'm just a Class A DIY guy. Right now its single ended 2A3 triode. Someday I'd like to try out one of the Class A mosfet projects from www.passdiy.com. On that page it says one of the biggest hurdles is a DIY'er coming up with adequate heatsinks.
     
  16. indy mike

    indy mike Forum Pest Thread Starter

    Power needs question up above - my speaks are Dynaudio based monitors, just under a cu. ft., approx. 86db sensitivity - power handling is not a concern - the more the merrier! Room is squashed rectangle approx 12'x25', I'm about 6-7 feet away from the speakers and occasionally like to let the old freebird fly when the mood hits (basically, the rare occasion when I get home from work a little early...)
     
  17. aceman400

    aceman400 Black Triangle Fan

    Location:
    mn
    I own a Lexicon NT512 which is produced for Lexicon by Bryston. It is equivilant to the 9BST or 9b THX. I love it. Very neutral, quiet and it stays cool. It might be more amp than you are looking for. 120 x 5 channels. The only drawback is that the Lexicon only has a five year warranty whereas the Bryston put a twenty year warranty on thier product. I like Bryston because they burn in their product for 100 hours before it ships.
    Thanks,
     
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