(of course this is all in my own tastes and humble opinion) Greetings All, The question of which power amp has been frequently debated on this forum and having made a costly purchase error myself I thought I would share my recent experiences. Fortunately it all has a happy ending. Last year I decided to invest in home cinema for indoors entertainment for myself and my (now exiled ) fiancee. After auditioning some different gear I settled on a full Tag system. I am as much an audiophile and a movie buff and over the weeks I started to get more and more disatisfied with the stereo performance of the system. Movies were fine but music just wasn't cutting it. I suspected, through reading this forum, that my trusty 100x5R might be to blame. The sound was very cold and seemed to be lacking in weight and body. Treble, midrange and stereo imaging were excellent but I prefer my music a little more heavier and it just wasn't happening. I decided to audition couple of price similar alternatives with a few of my favourite cd's. So I first organised a test between the 100x5R and the Acram P7. The differences between the two were there - if only very slight. The 100x5R sounded near identical to my own, assuring me that my room acoustics were not causing probs for me. The P7 was not quite as bright and seemed to have a little bit more scale but it was an extremely subtle difference. If I had blind tested a dozen or do tracks across the two amps I cannot confidently say I would have named each amp correctly all twelve times. I convinced myself that the P7 was a better bet than the Tag but not so much that it would be worth making the swap between the two. I then set upon Cornflake at Tottenham Ct rd in London. (side note: if you are looking to buy some higher market equipment pay them a visit - what a treasure cave of Lexicon, Mark Levinson, Byrston, Barco, etc.Superb). I'd arranged a demo of a couple of Brystons. They did not have a DVD32R but were able to match the other components for the test. First up was a used 9B ST. Now straight away the difference was obvious. There was bass. The low end was a lot more obvious and it was also clean and tight. Straight away I was relaxing and enjoying the music rather than analysing the sound and wondering if what I was hearing was to my tastes. I can definitely say the music had a lot more life and was warmer than my cold sounding Tag, and by a margain. Next was the 9B SST. Is there any difference betweent this and its older brother ? To my ears there is definitely an audible difference between the two. Again, only subtle, but it was there. The SST seemed to do everything just that slight bit better, but enough to persuade me that I would have to get this instead of the cheaper ST if I bought. The bass was a little tighter, midrange very slightly less grainy, and the instruments making up the music scores easier to seperate. I liked what I heard, again. Lastly, was a 4B SST. Now I might have read somewhere on this forum that the 4B sound and the 9B sound would not be disimilar (i'm not into the technical side of it all). This was not my experience on Thursday evening. In my relatively short time with mid-high end audi equipment this is the best sounding amplifier I have heard to date (I haven't heard things like Krell, Mark Levinson, Theta etc). It was absolutely magnificent. The difference between this and the 9BSST was greater than that between the 9BSST and 9BST. I was so impressed I sat there overstaying my welcome listening to everything from Oasis, to David Gray, to Fleetwood Mac, to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The two lasting memories I have are the amazing instrument and vocal seperation which made even the 9B's seemed mashed and blended, and also the bass control - there was not even the slightest roll on or off at all. It was like a switch - straight in and then an instant stop, superb. Finally, just for the completion, a 100x5R was placed into the mix and well, the poor boy just couldn't cut it in this company at all. I had it on for 30seconds satisfied that I hadn't imagened all this and turned off. The failings which concerned me were even more apparant in this company and it confirmed to me that my system needed surgery. So to conclude, I placed, for my tastes, my trusty 100x5R at the bottom of the list. Next up was the Arcam which while superior to the Tag, did not warrant traded to. I think though that if buying new, the 7 channel Arcam represents superb value for money and worthy of anyone's short list. The fabulous Bryston boys in their 9B guise impressed me no end and a huge, huge step up from the Tag and Arcam offerings, the SST being a genuine audible improvement to its older brother, albeit small. Cornflake were selling a little used ST at nearly a £1500 discount on the SST, and contradicting a thought I had while auditioning and a statement I made earlier it was too big a discount to ignore. I would have bought the cheaper ST because no way was the SST improvement a £1500 step above its brother. However I didn't buy either of these, and only God knows why I have signed *yet another av cheque* (this home cinema lark is expensive) and bought the two channel 4B. I had to have it and it was one of those experiences where you know if you don't do something it will grind away at you for the next few months until you eventually give in and buy it anyway !! So i've traded in a five channel for a two channel and now have three redundant speakers ! Although thats not quite true because I am using this as an excuse to finally go 7.1 and going to get the used 9B ST to drive the centre and 4 side/back surrounds. Cheers Dominic at Cornflake for all your help. That's it, I am never going to buy another piece of AV equipment ever again (he says). I started out with a final drafted short list that was centred around a Denon 3802, Toshiba 32" tv, Tosh900E, rel quake and B&W 602 series speakers. 'Not going to cost too much' I said to my then fiancee. 'Its an investment' was the sales talk to her. Well eight months later I have ended up with the DVD32R, AV32Rbp192, Bryston 4BSST, Bryston 9BST (still to buy!), Sony HS10, ProAc studio fronts/centre, KEF TDM34DS surrounds, Velodyne HGS15 sub. I have sold my motorcycle, blown half a house deposit, and lost my fiancee through all of this but I tell you what . . . . I've got a beast of a home entertainment system now. . . . . and I'm keeping it . . . . Cheers All, TT9.