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Meridian 557 vs Bryston 3B SST vs ...?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Daneel, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Daneel

    Daneel
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    I'm about ready to try another stereo power amp. The Meridian 557 looks very interesting and is priced about right (I'm looking 2nd hand hopefully no more than £800) but I'm struggling to find much information on it. Anyone have experience of the amp they care to share, in particular compared to others in its price range?

    I was looking at the Bryston 4B ST, hoping for a price drop after the launch of the SST, but I have yet to see one under £1k (which would be my absolute max) so now I'm considering the 3B ST or SST. There is a very favourable write up in Hi-fi News, saying that until pushed it's very close to the 14B SST. Again comparisons to other amps would be very useful. The warranty on the Bryston has a lot of appeal.

    I'm giving consideration to Buns' Korato KTA100 should he decide to split, although age (3 years old I think) and possible difficulty reselling should it not fit with my system are causing concern.

    Is there anything else I should be considering?

    P.S. My Parasound is still not working as I am still waiting for a replacement fuse, even if this does solve the problem it was always my intension to get something a bit special for the front two channels to improve stereo music reproduction.
     
  2. idhutt

    idhutt
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  3. CogPaul

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    I recently p/xed my 557 (last week!) when I changed to a Krell. The 557 is an excellent amp for both music and movies - I would try and use the balanced inputs if your processor supports them as the sound seems to open up and becomes more detailed. They are big, heavy (27kg) and extremely well built. Cooling fins on either side and glass top plate - they do get very dusty! Detachable powercord means you can upgrade to a better power cable - recomended! Meridian service is excellent - when I purchased mine there were no shorting plugs - e-mailed meridian and they sent me some replacemements FOC. I used one to drive a pair of Celestion A3's,a speaker that loves a high current amplifier with tremendous results. They are excellent with difficult loads.At the right price they are a tremendous bargain - I paid around £850 for an unmarked single owner second hand one and I could find nothing else to touch them under £2-3k new. When people sell them they tend to have to move to much more expensive amps to see any difference - this says a lot about what they can deliver!

    I would have a look at the audio review site for some good consumer reviews of the amp.

    Paul
     
  4. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Thanks for the replies guys. CogPaul, what do you feel you have gained by moving to Krell (which model BTW?) over the Meridian?
     
  5. buns

    buns
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    Just to point out, in North America, my korato is considered a rival to the krell....

    ad
     
  6. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Buns, do you have any links? I've seached the more common US based forms and tried google both to no avail.
     
  7. CogPaul

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    I moved to Krell KAV 250a/3 for front three channels (replaced 557/505)- difficult to quantify changes at present as I also changed processor/sources at same time. Bass does seem tighter/more tuneful and a little faster - and electric meter certainly spins faster! Meridian was probably a little warmer in sound.The Krell/Celestion combination was recommended as a good pairing and the prices of the older KAV series have now come down to more sensible levels - and I had always fancied owning a Krell - even a "baby" one!

    I shall miss the 557 though - was sorely tempted to keep it for a second stereo only system as I had spare pre-amp and speakers- however needed the cash to upgrade. If you can audition one prior to purchase I am sure you will get the 557 - I found it to be more musical than the Bryston and it worked well with the processors I used - although the best sound I ever got from it was when I hooked it up to a Cyrus pre-amp that was 1/5th the price of my HT processor!

    Paul
     
  8. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Thank CogPaul. If I were in the US, I could grab a 2nd hand stereo 250a for the same as I'm looking at for the 557. The UK sucks!
     
  9. Alex47

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    Interesting, I am considering to partner my Bryston 4B ST with new Korato pre-amp. The only thing that deters me so far is lack of balanced outputs on Korato. Bryston is a great amp - if bought used it is a safest bet possible due to it's unbelievable 20 years full transferable guarantee and bullet-proof construction. But it may sound tense, bright (Brighston effect) and non-musical in a wrong set up. If you buy Bryston, make sure you have some cash left for Cardas cables (this wire is expensive, but it is match made in heaven) and use balanced input if you can. Initially I was disappointed with my Brystons - it is very powerful and very transparent hence needs careful matching. In a well matched system Bryston is as musical as anything else and beats Meridian hands down IMHO. I would not substitute it for a Krell now in my system, to be honest.
     
  10. AV Geeza

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    Alex47,
    What kit do you have partnered with your Bryston amp?
    Which cables are you using?
     
  11. marck

    marck
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    I would buy a second hand Krell 300i - they go for around £1k - and it is a stunning integrated amp - and you can run it balanced!
     

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