4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?

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mcmusicman

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4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« on: 2 Jun 2020, 10:35 am »
I am looking for anyone with direct experience with either of these two SS amplifiers.  Speakers are currently 1.7 and will move up to the 3.7i some time later this fall.  I do use a Tube Preamp behind a digital front end.  From a price point perspective, they are apples to apples as I am considering demo/light hours use and can purchase both around 4.5-4.8k.   I do not have the opportunity to audition in my home so I am grateful to those who would share experience.  Previous Amplifier is an Odyssey Stratos Extreme and I plan on sending it back for service and upgrades now that it is beginning its 13th year of service.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #1 on: 2 Jun 2020, 02:36 pm »
You can't go wrong with either one but I would opt for the JC 5 due to the fact that it has more power, and massive current at 90 peak amps if you are planning on the 3.7i's.  I am sure both would sound great though.  Give each a listen and then decide.  I would throw in a Pass X250.5 or a 250.8 into the mix as well is you like a little more rounded less dampened bass.

The JC5 is stable to 1.5ohms. 
« Last Edit: 2 Jun 2020, 04:46 pm by I.Greyhound Fan »

mreeter

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Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #2 on: 3 Jun 2020, 12:55 am »
I just received a JC5, previously owned an A21. The JC5 has power reserve and current that is incredible. Low level listening has taken on a whole new dimension. I would characterize the sound signature as very "Neutral". The JC5 is a destination amp for me, I'm sure it will make your Magnepans shine.
« Last Edit: 3 Jun 2020, 12:47 pm by mreeter »

mcmusicman

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Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #3 on: 3 Jun 2020, 01:33 am »
I think my main concern is if the JC5, which is known to be warmer than the Bryston, will be *Too* lush or Mac sounding behind a tube preamp? If I want to handle warmth and color on the front end, which of the two will be the most transparent and detailed while providing a very expansive and holographic stage and image? I use Tung Sols in my pre-amp and they provide more than adequate smoothness to my digital sources. I know these are subjective questions, but have yet to find a dealer in NC who has a JC5 set up to audition. Thanks for your replies.

mreeter

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Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #4 on: 3 Jun 2020, 01:41 am »
I have a ModWright LS-100 in front of the JC5, along with a ModWright PH 9.0 Phono Preamp and a Lampi Amber 3 feeding the LS-100. Not too tubey at all, clear, linear, powerful and right.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #5 on: 3 Jun 2020, 01:56 am »
I think my main concern is if the JC5, which is known to be warmer than the Bryston, will be *Too* lush or Mac sounding behind a tube preamp? If I want to handle warmth and color on the front end, which of the two will be the most transparent and detailed while providing a very expansive and holographic stage and image? I use Tung Sols in my pre-amp and they provide more than adequate smoothness to my digital sources. I know these are subjective questions, but have yet to find a dealer in NC who has a JC5 set up to audition. Thanks for your replies.

I would not characterize the Parasound sound as being warm (although I have not heard the new J5, I did own an A21 and heard the new version) but I have heard people say that some Bryston gear leans on the sunny side of neutral slightly.  I own a pair of 1.6's and have heard the 3.7's and 3.7i's and they benefit from warmer sounding gear, especially that fabulous ribbon tweeter. 

Also, if the JC5 sounds great at low level listening, that is the type of amp that you want with Magnepans.  And the 3.7i's will appreciate the extra power and current.

However, I am sure both will sound great/

Mike-48

Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #6 on: 3 Jun 2020, 04:38 pm »
I own a 4B3 and am quite happy with it. This iteration of Bryston sound has very quiet backgrounds and smooth upper octaves. In my system, it's driving a pair of Janszen Valentina P8 hybrid electrostatics. I can't comment on the Parasound, as I've not used it, but the reputation and reviews, of course, are great.

In the same price range is the Anthem STR amplifier, also made in Canada. It was on sale for 20% off, but apparently that ended in May. It also has got great reviews, and assuming it's as good as my STR preamp, it's definitely worth considering, especially if you can find one that's still on sale.

I think you'll have a great system, whichever of these amps you pick!

Elizabeth

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Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #7 on: 3 Jun 2020, 04:50 pm »
I previously owned Magnepan 3.6 I bought ten years ago along with a Bryston 4B-SST² amp. Two years ago I upgraded the speakers to Magnepan 20.7
I upgraded other stuff that year to the tune of an additional $25,000
I didn't feel ANY need to upgrade the 4B-SST² amp.
Maybe in a few years I might go for a 14B3 or 28 B3 pair..
but I am very satisfied with the Byston amp.

rollo

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Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #8 on: 3 Jun 2020, 07:25 pm »
I think my main concern is if the JC5, which is known to be warmer than the Bryston, will be *Too* lush or Mac sounding behind a tube preamp? If I want to handle warmth and color on the front end, which of the two will be the most transparent and detailed while providing a very expansive and holographic stage and image? I use Tung Sols in my pre-amp and they provide more than adequate smoothness to my digital sources. I know these are subjective questions, but have yet to find a dealer in NC who has a JC5 set up to audition. Thanks for your replies.

   I would not say warm for JC5 or cool for Bryston. However they are different in dynamics, leading edge, sound stage and decay of harmonics. You need to hear both in your system. Find a dealer with a 30 day trial. Not a dealer of either.

charles

mcmusicman

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Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #9 on: 5 Jun 2020, 11:39 pm »
Thank you all for your comments and help.  The Covid19 issue has made auditioning a difficult process. Your experience is greatly appreciated.  A helpful dealer in NC offered his demo unit 4B3 that is only a few months old and the price is simply too good to pass up.  I will give this unit a long trial in my own system for a month or two.  It arrived with only 50 or so hours use beyond the factory 100 so will take some time to completely settle in.  Best Regards and Thank you again.
« Last Edit: 6 Jun 2020, 03:12 pm by mcmusicman »

mreeter

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Re: 4B3 or JC5 to Drive Magnepan Load?
« Reply #10 on: 6 Jun 2020, 11:38 am »
Thank you all for your comments and help.  The Covid19 issue has made auditioning a difficult process. Your experience is greatly appreciated.  A helpful dealer in NC offered his demo unit B43 that is only a few months old and the price is simply too good to pass up.  I will give this unit a long trial in my own system for a month or two.  It arrived with only 50 or so hours use beyond the factory 100 so will take some time to completely settle in.  Best Regards and Thank you again.

Congrats on the arrival of the new Bryston! You had narrowed down your choices to a couple of excellent Amplifiers, that either one would be a fantastic addition to your Stereo.

N'joy :thumb: