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Finally got my SP1.7!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by NicolasB, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Finally received my Bryston SP1.7 last Thursday.

    :clap::D :smashin: :cool:

    Didn't have time to set it up until over the weekend. Spent lots of time tidying, making up speaker cables, and assembling my "flexyrack" (which I decided to have a go at after all). The system is currently operating as stereo+sub only - should have temporary rear speakers working in a couple of days.

    Anyway: it sounds bloody lovely, and I don't care what anybody says. :smoke:

    And Nautilus 803s plus a servo 15 sub are rather fine too. Can't wait to see what it sounds like with 5.1 speakers and a BFD hooked up! (Must check and see if my 4B-ST power amp is perceptibly better than the 9B-ST as well).

    Oh, and the result of hooking the optical output of a Sky+ box into an SP1.7 is rather fabulous. Amazing how much better it sounds than using the Sky+ DACs.
     
  2. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Great ! :clap: :smashin:
     
  3. Mogli

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    Congratulations Nicolas i know its been a long wait for yourself :clap:

    Its good to see you let everyone know as then they wont be sending out the search parties when they havent heard from you for about a month! :devil:

    Have fun.

    Hus
     
  4. bamber

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    :clap:
     
  5. buns

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    :mad: Ive got best part of a month to go!!!

    Ad
     
  6. OnTheFly

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    Nice one, NicholasB

    Keep up the good work.:smashin:
     
  7. sticker

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    Nice one Nic, enjoy :clap:

    Does this mean your demoing days are over :devil:
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    Lucky you didn't buy a Dual SHARC AV32 or AV192R eh Nic?

    Also imagine all that time listening to the Tag's; if you were just teetering on the edge of buying one- on hearing the news you would have changed your mind!
     
  9. GreenEagle

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    nice one nick B we look forward to your full review. Btw are you going to be using any high rez format with? If so let's know how it goes.
     
  10. codling

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    great news nick:clap:

    carlos:smashin:
     
  11. garmtz

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    Go Nick, go Nick!!! :smashin: :clap: :hiya:

    I have recently reviewed the SP1.7 and was amazed by the quality. Some pre/pro! Combine that with the Bryston amps and your current Nautilus speakers and you will have a very real high-end system! :lesson:
     
  12. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    No. It's an addiction. :eek::eek::eek:

    Actually I haven't 100% made my mind up about surround speakers yet, hence a couple of speaker demos the past two Saturdays; they'll probably be Nautilus 805s, but I'd like to track down some high-end bi/di/tripoles before I make my mind up completely.

    Maybe I'll attend a few more demos under an alias. :devil:



    You're not kidding. Although in some ways I wish I'd waited a bit longer - chances are that there will be some stunningly good deals on Tag equipment in the next few months.



    Don't know that I'll have many opinions to offer that are in any way different from those formed by demoing, but we'll see. :)

    Don't know. I've been toying with the idea of getting my venerable Arcam DV27 upgraded to DV27A spec - one thing I think almost anyone would have to admit about the SP1.7 is that it is a superlative 5.1-channel analogue pre-amp, so it should be rather a good match for an analogue-output DVD-Audio player. (I'm sure it won't sound as good as the equivalent Meridian setup, but it should still be rather fine).



    Bryston definitely went for the "simple but effective" strategy. The digital side of things is a lot less sophisticated than the likes of the Dual-SHARC Tag or MC12, but the analogue circuitry, and the integration between analogue and digital, are absolutely spot-on. (And of course something like the MC12 is twice the price. One of the things that impressed me about the SP1.7 is that, while it's obviously significantly less good as the MC12B, it is actually good enough to make the comparison meaningful.)

    (Incidentally, if you haven't had the chance to listen to it using the XLR outputs and a genuinely balanced power amp, do so).

    I wish I could afford some new SST series amplification, but yeah, I'm happy to agree with that statement. :D
     
  13. garmtz

    garmtz
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    Definitely! Actually, it was the best analogue pass-through I ever heard... It even bettered the pass-through of the MC-12 and Theta Casablanca II. Some people will argue that it cannot make such a big difference, but I know my analogue front-end and I know when it shines and when it "don't"! :)

    It is not even significantly less good... If it has all the features you need, then the SP1.7 is on par sound-wise. I am hooked to a 7-channel setup and Logic-7, which for me is ultimately the reason to go for a Lex (or, for others, a Meridian), but on pure sound quality grounds, I would be just as happy with the Casablanca II or SP1.7.
     
  14. bamber

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    NicolasB what crossover frequency are you using for the 803's. I'm still trying to pick a sub that will fit in with my setup.

    Gaz
     
  15. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I'm experimenting with cross-over frequencies. My initial instinct is to set them to "Large" for 5.1 and to cross them over at 60Hz for stereo, but I may change my mind about that.

    Given the kind of price bracket you operate in, I would have thought one of the new Velodyne Digital Drive 18" models would do you, or maybe one of the top-of-the-line ("SS") models from SVS. (Or a pair of either! :D).

    I'm fairly happy with my humble little Servo 15 so far, although there are still plenty of positioning and room acoustics issues to consider, and I haven't hooked up my Behringer Feedback Destroyer yet.



    I have carefully not allowed myself to listen to much in the way of true high-end stuff in case I end up wanting it too much :blush: - Mark Levinson, Meridian 800-series, Theta, Linn Kisto, or even Krell Showcase or Proceed, actually. I did (unwisely) listen to a Lexicon MC12B because I was toying with the idea of buying an MC8 from Mr Daninthemix. There's only one shop in London where you can demo an SP1.7, and they did have an MC12B, but not an MC8, so I figured the comparison might be interesting.

    As I've said before I felt that the MC12B's analogue bypass was decidely mediocre - I'm not sure it would even be on a par with the Arcam AV8 in that respect. But otherwise I thought the SP1.7 was comfortably outperformed all round. The MC12B's DACs were noticeably more musical, everything was just a little clearer, and the steering in the surround channels was particularly impressive.

    Come to think of it, though, not only was that an MC12B rather than a plain MC12, but the amplifer was a Bryston 9B-ST, and it was connected up with the MC12B into the amp's balanced inputs, while the SP1.7 was using unbalanced phono outputs into unbalanced amp inputs. This allowed very fast switching from one to the other, but using the Bryston processor's balanced outputs and (especially) the amp's balanced inputs might well have narrowed the gap a bit.

    Yeah. Nice. :)

    But I'd really love to have the MC12's bass management capabilities. Bass management in stereo, and a separate sub for the LFE channel so we avoid all that cutting-off-everything-in-the-LFE-channel-above-the-crossover-frequency nonsense.... :mad:
     
  16. garmtz

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    Did you listen to the REAL analogue pass-through or a digitized version of it? Enabling real analogue pass-through involves some pretty advanced menu-browsing... :)

    Steering of a Lexicon is bettered by no other processor I ever listened to, including the Meridian 861, Theta Casablanca II and Proceed AVP2 (not sure about ML No.40, it surely MUST be better). The sound of the Lex could be softer and more fluid compared with the utter neutrality of the Bryston.


    Yes, it's great... I use 3 subs at the moment... :cool:
     
  17. martintyler

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    A lot seems to be made of 'analogue bypass' in processors these days.. isnt this only an issue if you are not using a sub? or can they do the crossover in analogue?

    I suppose it is still good for 5.1 analogue from a dvd-a/sacd player.

    Good to see you've finally got something setup Nicolas :) hurry up and get some rear speakers!
     
  18. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    As you say, some DVD-A players do their own bass management and therefore a 5.1-channel bypass is useful (and does use the sub).

    You're correct that a bypadsing stereo signal does not use the sub, so it's only of interest if you don't have a sub/sat system. It depends what you're listening to. My 803s are rated at +/- 2dB at 42Hz, +/- 3dB at 35Hz and +/-6 dB at 28Hz. I only enjoy classical music, and the -2dB point roughly coincides with the bottom note of a double bass; so unless the music features the extreme bass end of a large orchestral harp, a contra-bassoon, or a pipe organ, then it's going to sound okay without a sub.

    If, on the other hand, I wanted to listen to something played on a pipe organ with a 32-foot stop, then you're talking major amounts of energy in the 16 to 31Hz octave, and the 803s would probably make the amplifier clip and blow out the tweeters(!) so that's when you use the processor's DACs and bring in the subwoofer.

    (That, or switch off the amplifier and listen to it with headphones. I've just bought a lovely recording of Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathrustra" - the opening of which is the theme music to the film "2001". It's a binaural recording, and played with a good headphone amp and Sennheiser 600 'phones it sounds amazing. The 600s are rated at 12Hz to 39kHz. :) )

    I'll be using my old front speakers in the short term. Bought some Atacama SE10 stands for them. I think they'll be tolerable for long enough that I can bide my time and wait for a good deal on a pair of 805s.



    I thought I was listening to the real one. I think I remember checking the display on the processor to see if it mentioned "bypass"; but it was a while ago, now, so I could be wrong.
     
  19. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    What about timpani/bass drums??
     
  20. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Kettle drums actually don't go that low. Bass drums go lower, but even they don't go much below 50Hz, I don't think.
     
  21. lovegroova

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    Surely the harmonics of these things do? I know that with my drum kit, the kick drum (I know it's different to a standard bass drum) certainly produces frequencies well below 50Hz (My windows rattle in sympathy at around 10Hz!!!

    And I would venture that despite the fact that a low note on a double bass is 42Hz, a double bas produces frequencies lower than that - again something to do with harmonics I believe. I'm sure someone out there has a greater understanding than I of these things.
     
  22. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Harmonics have to be higher frequencies than the fundamental. So if a double bass is producing a note at (say) 40Hz then it will have harmonics at 80, 120, 160, 200 and so on.
     
  23. lovegroova

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    See, I knew I was talking rubbish, the word I was loking for was overtones. See the attached link which shows a doble bass fitted with diffrent bridge adjusters and the effect those produce. I think it just about backs up my point!

    http://iwk.mdw.ac.at/Forschung/english/dbb/dbb.htm#fftspectrums
     
  24. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Overtones and harmonics are the same thing.

    To save me reading the whole of that article, can you point to a place in it where it talks about a double bass producing frequencies below 41.5 Hz?
     
  25. buns

    buns
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    Nic, if im not big mistaken, the sp1.7 has the ability to use the sub when using the bypass...... in my mind this doesnt make sense but i could swear i read it somewhere.

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  26. buns

    buns
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    Ok, in the manulal it says in the contents:

    5d. enabling the subwoofer output in the bypass mode page 21

    but it should be between explanation of xtrabass and setting the speaker cross over freq....... and i cant find it on the online copy!

    so im not really sure anymore

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  27. codling

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    buns,

    for some reason its not in the manual,

    you have to transmit the disctrete(spelling?)code
    by pressing 'code' on the remote then '060'
    (in the manual,PAGE 15, it gives you which button represents which number e.g. THX(button)= number 1 etc.)

    here's a link to the codes

    http://www.bryston.ca/pdfs/sp17_ir_codes.pdf


    carlos
     
  28. lovegroova

    lovegroova
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    Well, as I understand it, and I accept I may be incirrect, the first graph (Massive Bridge) shows the frequencies produced by playing a D1 note at 293 Hz. The frequencies produced seem to range between 0Hz and 5000Hz.

    Presumably, the overtones are why different instruments sound different. e.g. a Cello playing a D1 at 293Hz sounds different to a Double Bass playing the same note. If that was the only frequency produced, they would sound the same.

    I guess the vibration of the string causes the air to vibrate in a certain way, and the wooden body of the instruments causes the sound. The air inside the different volumed boxes reats differently with its enclosure and surroundings.
     
  29. buns

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    Thanks Codling..... it does seem a bit odd..... maybe that is an old manual or something. The point is that you can send to the sub even when in bypass....... but do we know what is sent to the sub?

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  30. codling

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    buns
    i believe its a full range signal,i use my sub's internal crossover when in bypass mode.set to 80hz.

    carlos
     

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