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Is a Bryston 4b or 3b too powerful...
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
Is a Bryston 4b or 3b too powerful...

to be powering Reveals and Avantones? surprisingly there is a guy selling one of each locally for a best offers. Also what do you think a good going price would be for each?
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Lee Cardan's Avatar
 

buy them both, sell one if you have to, you won't regret it

3B will be perfect for what you want, 4B will be just as good, just don't drive it too hard and you'll be fine.

I have a 3B-ST for a pair of Yamaha NS-40M (two white woofers per speaker) and the 3B i feel is just enough, maybe I would have preferred a 4B in this case. But for reveals, 3B would be just the ticket

I paid around US$900 for the 3B-ST which I think was a great price (considering it's an ST). Other than that, just have a look at the current going rate on eBay
Old 12th November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
no such thing as a "too powerful " amp

Clipping an amplifier is much worse than hitting the limits of a loudspeaker. You just turn down some.

You might have asked "Does a Bryston 3b or 4b have too much distortion?" Naaa, they sound good.
Buy 'em both and bi-amplify your 2-way monitors.

Cheers.
Old 12th November 2009
  #4
Well I found a 3b in Quebec on ebay for 550 with shipping. Would 4-450 for local pickup be reasonable? What's your opinion on these. He has 1 4b and 2 3b's. But I'm thinking the 3b would be plenty of power and cheaper, especially considering my monitors are fairly low wattage. There is also a 2b on ebay as well.
Old 13th November 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
CaptCrunch's Avatar
 

There are many different generations of the Bryston line. The originals, the b-st models, the b-sst, and now the b-sst squared versions. There are improvements in each generation. All of the Brystons are excellent amps, but the appropriate used value will depend on which generation you are being offered. The whole Bryston line has a standard 20 year transferable warranty so how much (if any) remains will affect value as well.
Old 13th November 2009
  #6
Alrighty well I've narrowed down my choices! So I want your opinions and/or help;

Bryston 2b - $3-400 - 50W per ch @ 8 ohm
Bryston 3b - $4-600 - 130W per ch @ 8 ohm?
Hafler Pro 2400 - $2-350 - 120W per ch @ 8 ohm
Hafler P3000 - $3-400- 150W per ch @ 8 ohm

Of THOSE 4, can I get your opinions? From what I can tell they all have pretty solid reviews, some say the P3000 is a bit harsh but they all state it's very clean and neutral. Reviews say the 2400 is pretty decent and the Brystons always get props, but all the ones i find look beat to hell, coupled with the age is it a risk that they might be in really rough shape? I do like that the Haflers are newer. hmmm.

Here are some ebay links:
Bryston 2B amplifier on eBay.ca (item 160377447499 end time 18-Nov-09 14:11:02 EST)

FAMOUS BRYSTON 3B on eBay.ca (item 140358433864 end time 15-Nov-09 14:29:26 EST)

Hafler Pro 2400 Power Amplifier - Near MINT on eBay.ca (item 280421450427 end time 19-Nov-09 15:05:33 EST)

Hafler P3000 Transnova Power Amplifier on eBay.ca (item 230398975802 end time 12-Dec-09 16:26:43 EST)
Old 13th November 2009
  #7
Gear Addict
 
ZFire's Avatar
 

I'm driving Reveals with a Bryston 4B.. sounds great and is no problem, as its easy to just trim the gain via the front set screws.
Old 13th November 2009
  #8
Sky
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Sky's Avatar
The Bryston 2B I'm familiar with is a 1U rackmount unit (different from the one in your link). The amp is absolutely transparent, dynamic, and a good match for either nearfields or headphones at moderate listening levels.

As others have suggested, there's really no such thing as having too much power. With fried speakers, the culprit is most often distortion due to overdriving an amplifier. If you can find a 4B or 3B at a good price I think you'll be quite happy with it, and the 2B is no slouch either.

Sky
Old 13th November 2009
  #9
Alright well I'll an eye out. I'll follow the Brystons to see where they go.
Old 13th November 2009
  #10
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by You_Father_Sky View Post
Alrighty well I've narrowed down my choices! So I want your opinions and/or help;

Bryston 2b - $3-400 - 50W per ch @ 8 ohm
Bryston 3b - $4-600 - 130W per ch @ 8 ohm?
Hafler Pro 2400 - $2-350 - 120W per ch @ 8 ohm
Hafler P3000 - $3-400- 150W per ch @ 8 ohm

Of THOSE 4, can I get your opinions? From what I can tell they all have pretty solid reviews, some say the P3000 is a bit harsh but they all state it's very clean and neutral. Reviews say the 2400 is pretty decent and the Brystons always get props, but all the ones i find look beat to hell, coupled with the age is it a risk that they might be in really rough shape? I do like that the Haflers are newer. hmmm.

Here are some ebay links:
Bryston 2B amplifier on eBay.ca (item 160377447499 end time 18-Nov-09 14:11:02 EST)

FAMOUS BRYSTON 3B on eBay.ca (item 140358433864 end time 15-Nov-09 14:29:26 EST)

Hafler Pro 2400 Power Amplifier - Near MINT on eBay.ca (item 280421450427 end time 19-Nov-09 15:05:33 EST)

Hafler P3000 Transnova Power Amplifier on eBay.ca (item 230398975802 end time 12-Dec-09 16:26:43 EST)
Haflers are great - we've P3000s on all our edit rooms. But Brystons are better. which is why they power my room!!
Old 13th November 2009
  #11
Gear Head
 
Boogie Monsta's Avatar
I got a Bryston 3B-ST for sale in the classified section, you can PM me if you're interested.
(The ST version is way better than the regular 3B. And the SST version is even better.)

...Not sure whether I'm allowed to say this here though ? Sorry in advance if that's the case.
Old 13th November 2009
  #12
Well remember I'm currently powering my monitors with an NAD 3020i. So spending $900 on an amp would not be a great use of my money, as much I would like to.
Old 13th November 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by You_Father_Sky View Post
Well remember I'm currently powering my monitors with an NAD 3020i. So spending $900 on an amp would not be a great use of my money, as much I would like to.
Higher-power, better amplifiers might improve the sound, depending on if you use the 3020 at near rated output. NAD 3020 is a domestic hi-fi unit, iirc.

Spending $900 on an amplifier of at least medium sound quality and high build quality is a long-term investment, not a casual throw-away component like a DJ mixer. Spend $2K, if you are able, on a high-quality amplifier without a fan that requires 2 strong people to move. Used KRELL KSA-100mk-xx or clone can be a good value. Avoid "auto-bias" or "bias anticipator ", which is a power-saving gimmick that allows specification-monkeying. Just pay the power bill for class-a and turn it off when not in use.

Matching loudspeaker efficiency with available power and required SPL is important. Don't rely on loudspeaker stickers to tell you how big the amplifier ought to be.

For example, I have a set of Klipsch Chorus II loudspeakers that are very efficient, and can endure inputs of 400W peak and 200W continuously, but this would generate over 121dB at 1M. This means that a 20W class-A amplifier will drive them to any reasonable level I would want, and I will hear the amplifier clip as it hits its' limits. OTOH, a big/heavy more expensive class-AB amp with rated 450W continuous/3KW peaks will have tremendous headroom and will be able to overdrive the speaker (until I'm deaf or things catch on fire).

Low-efficiency loudspeakers give you fewer options. There are models that are rated 82dB @ 1W/1M that ask for 1000W of amplifier power. Lower-power amps like your 3020 will never output sufficient power to make realistic SPL from the loudspeaker, and if you try, you will be clipping or hitting the soft-clip circuit constantly (sounding like sh*t).

The point of low-efficiency loudspeakers is an attempt to output high-level sub-LF in a medium-sized cabinet. A fools errand, imho.

Cheers.
Old 13th November 2009
  #14
And do you recommend using two discrete power amps for each set of monitors? Or is purchasing a high quality amp and using a passive switch after the amp to select between monitors doable?

I could justify dropping 5-700 on ONE amp, but not two at this point. I just moved across the country, which in Canada is a LONG way.
Old 14th November 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by You_Father_Sky View Post
And do you recommend using two discrete power amps for each set of monitors?
Sure, but that's not the cheap way. That would be one amplifier channel per DRIVER, not per channel. You would also need to buy a crossover. The result is lower distortion (IMD).

Quote:
Originally Posted by You_Father_Sky View Post
Or is purchasing a high quality amp and using a passive switch after the amp to select between monitors doable?
This is the cheap way. Turn the amp off before switching speakers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by You_Father_Sky View Post
I could justify dropping 5-700 on ONE amp, but not two at this point. I just moved across the country, which in Canada is a LONG way.
Nova Scotia to Victoria (edit: which is a City on Vancouver) Island is a long way. Save your pennies and get something to keep for a long time.

Edit: I be a victim of publick scrools without geography lessons. Apologies to Canadians. Map check next time.

Cheers.
Old 14th November 2009
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by rufus13 View Post

Nova Scotia to Victoria Island is a long way. Save your pennies and get something to keep for a long time.

Cheers.
That is far indeed! I did however, still have to spend $2000 for moving, that for me isn't pocket change.
Old 14th November 2009
  #17
Victoria is on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is on "the mainland". There is no Victoria Island in Canada.

There almost never is such a thing as too much power. I believe that more than 95% of the replay systems out there are so in need of more power that the most cost effective improvement would be a cheap pro-style amplifier of 250+ watts per side, if you can find one without excessive fan noise. I know this is tantamount to blasphemy around here, but this is not an idle claim.
Old 14th November 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
James Lehmann's Avatar
 

"Is my amp too powerful?" is right up there with other famous Gearslut questions such as: "Can I have too many pre-amps?" and "Is one compressor enough?".

The answer of course to all of these quandaries is no, never!

There's a wonderful thread somewhere with a dude stating that NS10's only start sounding good when driven by a >1000W amp!
Old 14th November 2009
  #19
Why would I want my NS10's to sound good?

And yes, wow. Vancouver Island. I'm a god damn Canadian.
Old 14th November 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
driving loudspeakers with really-powerful amplifiers

I have some small "loudspeakers" from the early 1970's (Realistic Solo-103) with a single 4" driver made by Foster/Fostex marked "peak power 10W, continuous power 3W" that sound better being driven by an Adcom GFA-5800 than a GFA-535.

Both amplifiers could melt the coil almost instantly, and there is no crossover to absorb any power.
I have actually lost a driver in these loudspeaker when I left the amp on and bumped the input cable off of the amplifier. Poof.
The difference between the amplifiers and continuous power handling of the driver is over 100:1 or over 15:1. Plenty of power.

The only thing I can imagine is that the GFA-5800 is operating in class-A up to about 10W per channel, and in class-AB above that.
The big amp is a MOSFET model, and the smaller one uses bipolar transistors.
By no means does the GFA-535 "suck", and it's much easier to move around.

Fancy wires or zipcord 16ga seem to make no difference at 6 feet.

Maybe I'm hallucinating this slight superiority in mid-range clarity when using the 100+:1 amplifier that heats the room so well?
Old 14th November 2009
  #21
I understood none of that. I apologize.
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