Bryston 4BSST alternatives?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Crustyloafer, Apr 28, 2007.

  1. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    My system consists of a Spectral DMC-10 stereo preamplifier and an Arcam AVR350 running into a Musical Fidelity A5 power amp which has two switchable inputs. The A5 drives a pair of PMC OB1 speakers, which are matched to a PMC CB6 centre channel and a pair of PMC Wafer 2s driven by the AVR350. Also used is a REL Stentor 3 subwoofer connected via low level to the AVR350 and via high level to the A5 power amp. This configuration allows me to switch between using the A5 power amp and OB1s for AV or pure stereo purposes.

    I have now just sold my A5 power and need to replace it. Ignoring the switching aspect of things, what suggestions do you have for a suitable replacment to drive my OB1s? My obvious choice is the Bryston 4BSST as that is what PMC themselves recommend and I am a PMC/Bryston dealer and can therefore get them at staff prices. Before I take the plunge, does anybody else have any suggestions or alternatives to look at. I may have to automatically dismiss some options due to my inability to get them at trade/staff costs. Another large part of the appeal of the Bryston amp is the 20 year warranty that comes with it, I'm not aware of many other manufaturers that can rival this.

    Alternatively does anyone else own this 4BSST and OB1 combination? If so what do you think of it? Is there anythng you don't like about it soundwise or functionality wise.
     
  2. Peter Baker

    Peter Baker
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    Sounds like the Bryston is a bit of a no-brainer to me. I've heard it a few times and it sounds great, as I'm sure you know. Very punchy, and real grip. If I had one reservation, it was that it wasn't the most delicate sounding amp in the world. But at staff prices, and bearing in mind the close synergy with PMC, then I wouldn't hesitate
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi Crusty.....I think that if you've listened to the system,and like the combination you'd enjoy it for many years.

    The Bryston build quality and guarantee you obviously know all about,and the other amps that I'd recommend I'm sure you also know....Krell,Classe Conrad-Johnson etc etc.

    I honestly would be surprised if you were in any way disappointed with the original choice of amps,as any differences at that price level usually come down to differences in tonal balance and the PMC range go very well with Bryston.
     
  4. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy
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    The brystons are great sounding, even though I haven't heard the exact combination your suggesting, they should still go together nicely.

    Only thing I'm not keen on is the look of the actual unit but then that's all down to personal opinion, but with a 20year guarantee and staff prices I'd say your onto a winner! :thumbsup:
     
  5. BLACK_MAGIC

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    Well I always recommend Chord amps. They are without doubt my personal favourite. These amps match really well imo with the higher range kef and B&W speakers. I've not heard them with PMC speakers but I have no doubt they will sound awsome and they would have no problem driving them at all.
     
  6. OnTheFly

    OnTheFly
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    I have just upgraded this week from a Bryston 3B SST to a Bryston 4B SST C series. The 3B is a fabulous amp but already I can feel and hear the extra power of the 4B.
    I also understand Chord make great power amps and then there is Parasound who offer great power for a reasonable cost. Not forgetting the Arcam P1's.:suicide:
     
  7. mannyjarnail

    mannyjarnail
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    The Bryston 4BSST and pmc OB1 combination is excellent as it was the only thing that really caught my attention at the Bristol hifi show last year. I have a freind who i sold a Bryston 4BSST to and to drive his pair of OB1s. He said it sounded awesome, although later on he changed to a chord 1200C but that was down to individual taste. He told me that the bryston has better bass control but the Chord had a bigger sounstage and slightly more transparrent in the upper registers. Krell are also excellent but UK rip off price comes into mind.

    Hope this helps
     
  8. slingshot

    slingshot
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    I'm guessing the obvious choice is going to be the Bryston's, but I use these to drive my OB1's and they work very well http://www.iplacoustics.co.uk/sa_400_alner_hamblin_semi.htm

    The bass is fantastic my only slight complaint would be a bit of harshness at the top end, but I've also thought that with the Bryston's I've heard (sorry can't remember which ones)

    Slingshot
     
  9. mannyjarnail

    mannyjarnail
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    Another alternative to the 4BSST series is a pair of Bryston 7BST monoblocs but very rarely do these come on the market. They are better than the 4BSSTs for sure as i own both.
     
  10. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I do not have any particular inclination to buy second hand when I can buy new for very attractive staff prices. The 7BSt or even the 7BSST would be nice but outwith my budget contraints at the moment.
     
  11. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Has anybody got any nice pics of their Bryston amps I can drool over while I wait for my demo model to arrive?
     
  12. miceri

    miceri
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  13. OnTheFly

    OnTheFly
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    Will these do you?
     

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  14. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Anyone got any more pics of their Bryston stuff in situ?
     
  15. grenham

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    I had the Pro 4BST along with PMC AB1's until late last year. But I personally grew tired of the PMC's upper mid harshness and they were very fussy regarding positioning for a solid bass response ! I believe the upper mid's were addressed in the AB2's.

    However, if you move up their speaker ladder they do get better, albeit at the expense of your wallet.

    The Bryston however, is a firm favourite amongst recording studios the world over and I'd certainly recommend it.
     

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  16. snellyg

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    Crusty - have just purchased a 9BSST and Bryston SP1.7 processor with OB1's and Wafers as a 5.1 set up for my cinema room. Set up as a two channel output into the ob1 the sound is simply breathtaking. No shots as yet as it wont all arrive until later in the year. Visited PMC last week and the two company's work so closely I dont think you'll get a better match for the OB1's.
     
  17. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Thanks everybody for the words of encouragment. My 4BSST is now on order but will not arrive for about another 4 weeks so I guess I will have to be patient.
     
  18. OnTheFly

    OnTheFly
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    Interesting you should say you have a four week wait. My new 4B was delivered last Friday but developed a slight problem. They took it away Wednesday and promised me a new one yesterday or Thursday which leads me to believe there is stock out there. However it/PMC (Yes PMC) never arrived so in my anger I told them to keep it. This as the buyer of my 3B left the building.:suicide:
     
  19. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    I think PMC get the Bryston stuff in batches. You were probably unlucky and when they went to pick the unit that was supposed to be your replacement they had all run out from the stock of the last batch that had arrived.
     
  20. OnTheFly

    OnTheFly
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    You are probably right but after waiting in for three days (one day for UPS to collect) it would have been nice for receive a quick phone call to say there was a problem. I probably would have grumbled a little but I certainly would have been more patient. Oh well. I'll calm down, wait a week or so and find another dealer.:suicide:
     
  21. radio

    radio
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    Crusty i am in the same boat as you trying to get my 2 channel a bit up in quality... i was looking at the bryston 4bsst as well i found lot of opinions from people who own them who describe its sound qualities a bit clinical and leaning towards harshness.

    Alternatives that were recommended to me were simaudio another canadian company.

    Other recommendations were bat mark n levenson etc etc...
     
  22. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    That is in a very loose way what I am looking for. My MF A5 sounded pretty nice but lacked tightness and control at the botttom end and sounded a tad rolled off at the top end. I think clinical is probably what my system needs. I have tried all sorts of supposedly bright/harsh sounding components and cables but in my room and layout I cannot get my system to sound remotely bright. I need something to make my system sound less laid back and I'm hoping the Bryston will do that.
     
  23. radio

    radio
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    Hiya crusty i hate to say this but i think the pmcs maybe the cause for your laidback and excessive warmth. It is the only reason when i auditioned the pmcs with my existing speakers i picked the other brand... mostly because pmcs i found to be aggressively warm.

    Having said that pmc and bryston marriage i hear produces great results so i guess you have to wait and see if it fixes your problem... looking forward to your input on your setup. :D
     
  24. Reel To Reel

    Reel To Reel
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    I auditioned Rotel 1092 & the Bryston Amps. The Rotel was mightily impressive
     
  25. radio

    radio
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    In which way did you prefer the Rotel... can you explain the sonic qualities?

    In my expierience i find the rotels to be bright.
     
  26. Reel To Reel

    Reel To Reel
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    Primarily the bass - so much more kick. I played the the Echo Game in the House of the Flying Daggers to establish the difference between the two amps. The demo was short, but for me convincing as far as bass is concerned.
     
  27. p203557

    p203557
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    Crusty,

    Any thoughts on your new poweramp? I've got OB1's with p1 monoblocks but am getting more and more interested in some Bryston amplification.
     
  28. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Very impressive so far, very clean and tight sounding and without any hint of harshness at all. Unbelieveably sweet sounding and yet has a vice like control over everything. Other amplification I have listened to and used has either been sweet and smooth sounding but lacking in control in the bass regions (my now gone MF A5 power amp) or ferociously powerful but unrelentingly harsh and fatiguiing to listen to. The Bryston amp seems to to everything well but in a very matter of fact and understated way.

    It looks and feels like it was built to last and the standard Bryston 20 year warranty cartainly backs that up. I have no doubt I will have this amp for quite some time.

    I am a dealer for Arcam FMJ products and have listened to the P1s extensively and I can tell you now that something like the 4BSST would be a pretty major upgrade for your OB1s.

    If you are ever up this way (Edinburgh) you are welcome to pop in for a listen to the Bryston/PMC combination.
     
  29. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    Here is a picture of my new 4BSST in its rightful home.

    [​IMG]
     
  30. p203557

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    Just out of curiosity do you use the bryston to power your fronts when using your avr350? I currently have my p1's doing FL and FR with my avr350 taking the other channels when watching movies. Having everything compatible would be important for me.
     

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