Bryston 3B-ST or 4B-ST

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Berry, Jul 30, 2002.

  1. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    I am looking at either the 3B-ST or the 4B-ST. I will be using my Denon 3802's pre-outs. The speakers that will be connected are Paradigm Studio 60v2. I usually do not have the volume cranked up. Any thoughts or comments as to which one to purchase?

    nb. used 4B-ST ~$1900 Cdn., used 3B-ST ~$1300 Cdn.

    Thank you
     
  2. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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  3. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    David,
    Given your described listening habits and the fact that the 60's aren't huge power hogs, I would think the 3BST would be sufficient. Many claim that the 3BST sounds slightly better than the 4BST.
    BTW: you can get the 3BST a bit cheaper than that if you wait for the right deal to come along. Watch:
    http://www.audioeden.com/
    and
    http://www.canuckaudiomart.com/
    eBay sales tend to be higher.
    Also, you can get the prospective seller to tell you what power rating the particular unit has on the rating sheet. That way, you can make sure you get one of the 150Wpc ones.
    Regards,
    Martin.
     
  4. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    If you can afford it go with the 4B. You can never have enough power. The more power you have the more assured you can be that your amp is operating in its linear regime so your speakers are getting pure clean power. You have to remember that to achieve 20db dynamic range (85db to 105db) for uncompressed dynamics in movies you need 100 times more power than normal dialogue levels. So if you need 2-3 watts for normal levels you absolutely need 200-300 Watts for those action scenes.

    Its better to have more power than not have enough when you need it, IMHO.
     
  5. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the links. I am leaning towards the 3B-ST mainly because of the speakers I have right now, my listening habits, and the difference in price.
     
  6. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I have found Paradigms to lean towards bright and Brystons to be fairly transparent/Neutral to slightly bright. The Bryston would bring out the brightness in the 60s even more. Why aren't you considering hooking the 60s to a more warmer amp (like the Rotel, Parasound or B&K) so you can have a neutral sounding system. I am sure you should be able to find a Rotel or a Parasound (of similar power) for what you are going to pay for the 3B. Just something to think about[​IMG]
    If you like the sound of Bryston+Paradigm combo then go for it. I am sure it would make one hell of a kick-ass system. Best of luck.
     
  7. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    I've got a 3B-ST and a 5B-ST in my system, and they are PLENTY LOUD - and I'm not even set up in a tiny room. Like others have said, Bryston rates them very conservatively (I think the true specs on mine are around 145W). The 3B is simply an awesome amp, and you should still be able to get one with at least 15 years left on the warranty!

    Happy listening!
     
  8. Phil A

    Phil A Producer
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    The test sheets with the 3B-ST usually spec out at about 157W vs. the 120W rating and the 4B usuually tests at 311W or so vs. its 250W rating. I have owned a 4B-ST in the past and the power pac 120s which were mono versions of the 3B. A couple of my friends had 3B-STs for a while and I heard each of them for hours and hours both in the store and in the home as I used the amps for quite a while to test cables I made. Obviously, the best choice would be to use the amps with your speakers and see which one you like best. While I think the 3B sounds better in most cases, there are situations where the combination of equipment (e.g. preamp, speakers) sounds better with the 4B. While it is hard to generalize (and I have never heard your speakers), the 4B tends to have more punch and tends to sound better with combos of things that have a bit laid back vs. forward of a sound. The 4B also seem to control woofers in bigger power hungry speakers a drop better as well. On some things the 4B produces a harder less forgiving colder and more analytical sound. I would suspect from other peoples post on the sound of what you are using that you would like the 3B better as a best guess. Heck, if you decide you don't like it with the warranty that Bryston gives you can either sell for relatively close to what it costs on a good deal (keep in mind it is discontinued now) or use it on the rears and get another Bryston amp.
     
  9. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Again thanks for the responses. I am definitely looking also at Rotel and Parasound, but there seems to be more used Brystons around my neck of the woods (Southern Ontario). In addition, both the Parasound and Rotel do not have transferable warranties whereas the Bryston does. To have a warranty on a used piece of equipment is relatively important to me.

    David
     
  10. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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  11. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Hmm... I have Studio 60s V.1 and have been considering Bryston amps as well. Also in consideration are Anthem and Bel Canto amps.

    I am currently considering [email protected], Parasound and Rotel a little less but a lot of guys here seem to be liking these amps.
     
  12. PhillipC

    PhillipC Stunt Coordinator

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    I currently have an B&K amp, a Parasound amp, a NAD amp and also a brand new Bryston 4B-SST. There is just no comparison between the Bryston and the rest of the amps.
     
  13. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I dont know about you, but I always foudn the brystons a little too overbearing. Powerful as all hell, but can sometimes lead to listening fatigue. JMO though
     
  14. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

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    David,
    I can't tell you how your Studio 60's would sound with the 3B-ST, but I can tell you that my 4B-ST makes my Studio 60's sound absolutely fantastic.
    As for the bit about this being a "bright" combination, that's a crock. It isn't.
    You would likely be happy with either amp. Yogi is correct about the dynamic range - a sound 4 times louder than another takes 100 times more power. You do get more dynamic range with the 4B, and all else being equal it will sound better.
     
  15. Kevin Biller

    Kevin Biller Agent

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    Hey Martin,
    Thanks for the Canadian Audio Links[​IMG] . I had no idea that there was web sites dealing directly in Canadian $. I have always looked Audiogon, this forum or E-bay before.
    Brian, have you consider purchasing a integrated amp instead of outboard power amp. A number of makes (ie.Krell and Classe for example) have bypass modes which will allow you integrate them with you receiver. Plus you run your CD direct to them, thus bypassing the added processing of your receiver for 2 channnel listening. Just food for thought.
     
  16. David Berry

    David Berry Stunt Coordinator

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    Kevin, I assume your post is directed at myself. Apparently, running my SCD-C555ES SACD player through the EXT-IN of the Denon 3802 bypasses pretty much all internal processing (analog in - analog out), thus I don't believe that there would be that much more to gain in an integrated amp at this point.
    Krell?[​IMG] Yikes! I would have to sell my first born for that. Well, maybe on second thought...[​IMG]
    David
     
  17. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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  18. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    I have found B&K amps better than Bryston for music. When it comes to HT Bryston have more slam and dynamics. Its just my opinion.
     
  19. Howard_S

    Howard_S Supporting Actor

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    Not having heard any of them I would have thought the B&K would be better for HT and Bryston for music since Bryston is such a renowed amp among audiophile circles and B&K reference series amps have a higher power output than the Bryston.
     
  20. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Yogi's opinion would be in the minority. Without knowing the associated equipment, you have to take most opinions with a grain of salt. However, most of the reviews I've read puts the Brystons a step or two above most of the brands mentioned in this thread. You'd have to pay significantly more to get (subjectively) better sound. The Brystons are definitely very revealing. If the associated equipment has a tendency towards brightness, it will become apparent with the Brystons. However, I don't think you would be unhappy with either Bryston or B&K. Audition both with your equipment and make up your own mind.
     

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