Should I do this?: Change my Bryston 9B-ST to Sunfire Cinema Grand Signiture Amp

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Seung Kim, Aug 8, 2001.

  1. Seung Kim

    Seung Kim Agent

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    What is your opinion? I thought about changing my Bryston 9B-ST 5 channel amp to Sunfire Cinema Grand Signiture 5 channel amp.
    This idea popped up since my fronts are Martin Logan Aerius i's and Cinema Center Channel. We all know that electrostatic speakers need powerful amps to drive them since their impedence may drop down to 1 Ohm.
    They both are about the same price. I wonder if my Martin Logans will sound better with Sunfire than my Bryston.
    Please Help!
     
  2. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    The Bryston 9B-ST is an excellent amplifier. Is there something noticably lacking or objectionable about the way the Bryston is driving your Martin-Logans, or are you just suffering from "upgrade-itus"? :>)
    Seriously, are you not experiencing your music and sound tracks at a high enough volume to be satisfying (does the amp seem to "run out of gas" on loud passages), is the sound harsh or obviously distorted at louder volumes, or does the amp's circuit protection (LEDs turn red indicating "overdriven") kick in?
    If you are enjoying sufficient volume, and the sound is pleasing, and the amp is not working too hard to achieve this (the LEDs stay green the whole time the amp is on and program material is playing), then your present amp should continue to work well for you for a long time to come.
    OTOH, if the volume seems to weaken just when the excitment starts, the sound breaks up on loud passages and the LEDs flicker like fireflies, then it is definately time to consider a replacement. At 400 plus watts per channel, the Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature Class D (switching) amplifier (with Class A performance, doubling wattage from 8ohms to 4ohms) should have plenty of "horsepower". And it should operate safely at whatever impedence the MLs offer.
    Of course, the true test will be when it is hooked up to your system. So if you feel a new amp is warranted, try to arrange a loaner, or at least full return/exchange privileges on whatever you buy, so you only have to go through the replacement cycle once -- for now. :>)
    Good luck -
    Burke
     
  3. chris c

    chris c Stunt Coordinator

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    The only thing upgraded in the change from Bryston to Sunfire is power. Everything else is a downgrade.
     
  4. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely not!! A friend had the Cinema Grand and it was not sufficient to drive his Martin Logans. Bryston makes outstanding amps with the best warranty in the business. If you choose to upgrade you should consider staying in the Bryston family. Good luck.
     
  5. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Screenwriter

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    I also agree - absolutely NOT. I had been using Aerius i's as my mains for the past 2.5 years with the 9B and only recently upgraded my mains to the ML Ascents and purchased the Bryston 4B-ST for my mains. I am now using my Aerius'is for my rears - still, running them off the 9B.
    Not once did I have a problem with the 9B running out of steam while using it with my mains. The only reason I went with the 4B over a 3B for my mains (when I needed the extra amp for 7.1) was how little extra it cost to do the 4B rather than the 3B.
    These are the "few" items in our systems we CAN literally grow old (OK, older) with.
    Herb.
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    System - Lexicon MC-1, Bryston 9B ST & 4B ST, Pioneer Elite DVD DV-05, Martin Logan (Ascents, Aerius i's, Scripts & Cinema), M&K 75 sub, Richard Grays 1200S, Sharp XV-Z1 projector & Da-Lite Cosmo screen.
     
  6. Henry W

    Henry W Stunt Coordinator

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    Keep the Bryston. It is the best amp money can buy.
    Best regards-Henry
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  7. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Wow, don't know Sunfire is a class D amp. I thought class D's are only good for SW use due to their inherited high THD. Another vote for Bryston. I have my pair of 7B's driving the B&W's with ease and now doing the same to a pair of Maggies. Some other amps to consider for electrostatics would be SimAudio, PASS or even Plinius but still among them Bryston gives you the best bang for the bucks.
    PF
     
  8. Miles_W

    Miles_W Second Unit

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    Okay... I'm not endorsing a switch here but I will speak up and defend the sunfire amp.
    I am running Ml's all around and until I can afford my dream amp ( Cal audio labs MCA 2500) my amp will remain a Sunfire Cinema Grand.
    I am running Martin Logan CLS IIZ's as L/R Aerius as surrounds and a Logos centre.
    Have I ever Clipped... no run out of juice... I have had no problems at all with my Cinema Grand. It may not have the build quality or warranty of the Bryston but it is a viable option vs many mega buck amps...
    Standing invitation to HTF members to listen if you don't believe me... either that or ask some of the guys who where over for the GTA HTF meet in February of this year...
    (Not endorsing the switch but defending the Sunfire!!!!!)
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    Miles
    ************************
    DarkSide Member since(93)
     
  9. Seung Kim

    Seung Kim Agent

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    I thank you all for your inputs. Well, my Green LEDs does not turn red during loud passages at 0dB reference volume level from my Lexicon DC-1, so power is adequate.
    I guess I should stick with my ever-so reliable Bryston Amp.
    I didn't know there are so many Bryston endorsers here! [​IMG]
     
  10. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    I'll give you my little Bryston story. I bought a used 4B about 12 years ago that had come out of a nightclub. It didn't see too much use since I got it, but it went back into service a few months ago, and one day started blowing fuses. I called Bryston asking where they were serviced locally. They asked for the serial number, and told me the amp was manufactured in 1981 - please bring it in for warranty repair. Was there anything that isn't covered under warranty? No.
    Aside from the shipping charges, no cost to me to repair the amp. 20 years later. Keep the Bryston, I'll be buying more when I can afford it.
    The only added advice they gave me was to leave the amp on at all times (now that it will be out of warranty). The hardest wear on these amps is turning them on and off.
    ------------------
    Zardoz Online | Burt Lancaster is The Swimmer | dOc
     
  11. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I had Bryston amps (4B-ST and power pacs) at one time in my theater and they are great amps. My room is huge (2 stories, 16x19 and opens into other rooms) and my speakers are not the most efficient in the world or the most impedence friendly and I now have 2 Proceed amps (HPA3 and BPA2) and am happy with the result. If you need the power due to the speakers and room characteristics then you should consider something more powerful. If not, then I would keep the Bryston, it is great sounding and hard to beat.
     
  12. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    If I already had a Bryston, I sure wouldn't feel the need to upgrade since they are excellent amplifiers. I would look to other things to upgrade in my system.
     
  13. Tony Lai

    Tony Lai Stunt Coordinator

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    It's very very hard to justify any upgrade from a 9B-THX. It's Stereophile Class A IIRC.
    That's the problem with a decent multichannel, the work in HT, they work in music and they're hard to better without spending heaps on 2 or 3 channel amps.
    T.
     
  14. Douglas_H

    Douglas_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Seung,
    Don't listen to these guys!!
    I think you should buy the Sunfire IMMEDIATELY!!!
    BTW, since you have that boat anchor Bryston taking
    up space I 'spose I could be persuaded to take it off
    your hands. Just to help out you know [​IMG]
     
  15. ChrisA

    ChrisA Second Unit

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  16. Mike Gariepy

    Mike Gariepy Stunt Coordinator

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    Another vote for keeping the Bryston. I have the 9B-ST and love it. It doesn't hurt that it's Canadian either. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    [​IMG] "Hi I'm Reddy Killowatt reporting a dangerous overloaded octopus connection in sector five!"
    My HT Equipment | My DVD List
     
  17. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Moderator

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    Gee, I’ve heard that God has Brystons. Why would you ever consider anything else? [​IMG]
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    My Equipment List
     
  18. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Douglas_H,
    Just out of curiosity, Seattle isn't anywhere near Snohomish, is it? [​IMG]
    DJ
     
  19. Ben Cannon

    Ben Cannon Extra

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    I've actually met Bob Carver (cool dude, major audio nut and gearhead [​IMG]
    And from his descriptions, the sunfire (and Lightstar) series is essentially a class D *power supply* that always opperates with 6v headroom over what the amplifier's desired output is.
    The actual amplification stage is a 'fairly' conventional class A design (I belive, he might be using different analouge stages now, but they are all based on top-notch classical audiophile topologies.)
    It's that class D power supply that insures that the amp actually dissipates only 6v more than it's current loading. Ingenious (and yes, it's fast enough. to go from 0 to saturation in nanoseconds, fast enough for 100khz *square* waves with little rounding.)
    The end result is a wonderfully musical amplifier with ungodly power. It will melt the wires in your house.
    All this said, I'd keep the (or upgrade to a better) Bryston, they're a true 'rest of your life' amp [​IMG]
    Best!
    Ben.
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    [​IMG]
    Ben Cannon
    Dream With Your Eyes Wide Open, Inc.
    "Every man dies, not every man really lives" --Mel Gibson, "Braveheart"
     
  20. DaleB

    DaleB Stunt Coordinator

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    Wish I had to make a decision like that...
    I would personally stay with the Bryston. They are so fine with a great legacy of quality and performance.
    The Cinema Grand is also a fine amp, but it is something to achieve after you have dealt with lesser amps.
    But you are already 'there', why change?
     

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