Experiences with recapping of older Bryston pre-amps (e.g. BP-25)?

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Vhond

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 51
Since there are many devices which are dated (decades old), some companies do provide recap services.

a) people who have experience?
b) what exactly do they do? For instance, do they replace all capacitors or specific ones (only the ones in the signal path)? What about the components of the power supply?
c) what did it cost?

Russr

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 12
I'm quite keen to hear more on this, too.  I had inquired about servicing/repairing my amps (4B-ST, 4B-NRB)... the current line from Bryston is it's $800 for a specific repair.  No "general service", or "refurb/renew" programs.  Frankly a bit disappointing, as I did not anticipate having to replace Bryston amps due to failures... maybe the occasional service, but at $800 per incident.... What if the initial observed issue is caused by something else... "Oops, that'll be $1,600"... "oh, hang on, power switch/de-thump - make that $2,400"... in the absence of some stated policy, I can't afford to play that game.

The Refresh/Renew program should've been great... $1,000 to bring any legacy product (amps?) up to spped, replace all the regular suspects, etc.  It was advertised, but then killed.  I understand that Supply chain issues have been a bear, but a lot of that has bee addressed/worked around in most industries.  Not sure if/how the Axiom merger/acquisition-thingy affected it, but maybe they are more mercenary about things?

In case you hadn't gathered, I am not amongst the well-heeled who's response would be "just get a 4B-Cubed, it's a great amp".. I know it's a great amp, I'm just living in not-so-great times, and would dearly love to still listen to my music using my amazing Bryston gear... it's a venting mechanism!

/rant

Russ

gbaby

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 873
I'm quite keen to hear more on this, too.  I had inquired about servicing/repairing my amps (4B-ST, 4B-NRB)... the current line from Bryston is it's $800 for a specific repair.  No "general service", or "refurb/renew" programs.  Frankly a bit disappointing, as I did not anticipate having to replace Bryston amps due to failures... maybe the occasional service, but at $800 per incident.... What if the initial observed issue is caused by something else... "Oops, that'll be $1,600"... "oh, hang on, power switch/de-thump - make that $2,400"... in the absence of some stated policy, I can't afford to play that game.

The Refresh/Renew program should've been great... $1,000 to bring any legacy product (amps?) up to spped, replace all the regular suspects, etc.  It was advertised, but then killed.  I understand that Supply chain issues have been a bear, but a lot of that has bee addressed/worked around in most industries.  Not sure if/how the Axiom merger/acquisition-thingy affected it, but maybe they are more mercenary about things?

In case you hadn't gathered, I am not amongst the well-heeled who's response would be "just get a 4B-Cubed, it's a great amp".. I know it's a great amp, I'm just living in not-so-great times, and would dearly love to still listen to my music using my amazing Bryston gear... it's a venting mechanism!

/rant

Russ

I believe I read a while back that the refurbishing program was eliminated because Bryton was having problems getting parts.

I.Greyhound Fan

Deleted.

Vhond

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 51
The only one I could find: https://www.fidelityaudio.co.uk/bryston-bp25-pre-amplifier-upgrade-5350-p.asp

But hey have questionable modifications: they remove some capacitors but this can only be done when you know for sure they didn't remove the capacitors in the 'end-path' in the power amp.

R. Daneel

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1097
I'm quite keen to hear more on this, too.  I had inquired about servicing/repairing my amps (4B-ST, 4B-NRB)... the current line from Bryston is it's $800 for a specific repair.  No "general service", or "refurb/renew" programs.  Frankly a bit disappointing, as I did not anticipate having to replace Bryston amps due to failures... maybe the occasional service, but at $800 per incident.... What if the initial observed issue is caused by something else... "Oops, that'll be $1,600"... "oh, hang on, power switch/de-thump - make that $2,400"... in the absence of some stated policy, I can't afford to play that game.

The Refresh/Renew program should've been great... $1,000 to bring any legacy product (amps?) up to spped, replace all the regular suspects, etc.  It was advertised, but then killed.  I understand that Supply chain issues have been a bear, but a lot of that has bee addressed/worked around in most industries.  Not sure if/how the Axiom merger/acquisition-thingy affected it, but maybe they are more mercenary about things?

In case you hadn't gathered, I am not amongst the well-heeled who's response would be "just get a 4B-Cubed, it's a great amp".. I know it's a great amp, I'm just living in not-so-great times, and would dearly love to still listen to my music using my amazing Bryston gear... it's a venting mechanism!

/rant

Russ

Hey Russ!

I understand your concerns. Unfortunately, it seems to be a recurring theme among amplifier manufacturers to slowly but surely start replacing their conventional designs with class-D. I just read the article regarding Bryston's new class-D range, among which is a 125Wpc model. Given the fact the 2.5B has been discontinued, I can only assume that class-D will become the predominant tech in the lineup. Perhaps not immediately, but within several years, you might not be able to even buy anything else but class-D. It makes more sense, or so they say. Economically, it does make more sense - for the manufacturer.

Being heavily dependent on semiconductors, class-D inevitably means obsolescence. No one will repair it because the modules used will be replaced by something else. It's like trying to find someone to repair your expensive LCD TV from several years ago.

The point I am trying to make is that the market is shifting below our feet. The manufacturers who refuse to move with it will no longer be manufacturer or will continue to be a small manufacturer whose products need to cost a lot of money to be viable. Brystin is thinking the same way.

That being said, perhaps now is the time to have your 'old' amplifiers overhauled. There are still specialists who can do that for you and probably at much more reasonable prices than the one you mentioned. I think you will find that there are those who will do nothing else but a complete overhaul - because it is the only way they can guarantee proper function. Address one problem and within a short while, another problem might occur. Some techs don't want to go through that so they either do a complete rebuild or none at all.

Also, I can absolutely appreciate your comment regarding the pricing and the illuminating suggestion to buy the newest 'cubed' variant. I tend to look at it this way - if your ST and NRB amps were fantastic when you bought them, then they are fantastic today. A friend of mine has several ST and SST amplifiers and was kind to share the price he paid back in the day. Let me tell you, no amount of 'inflation calculating' will explain away the prices of current models. The new amps are better, sure, but shouldn't the general technological evolution over the years account for at least some of the improvements? I think it should.

Cheerio!

gbaby

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 873
Hey Russ!

I understand your concerns. Unfortunately, it seems to be a recurring theme among amplifier manufacturers to slowly but surely start replacing their conventional designs with class-D. I just read the article regarding Bryston's new class-D range, among which is a 125Wpc model. Given the fact the 2.5B has been discontinued, I can only assume that class-D will become the predominant tech in the lineup. Perhaps not immediately, but within several years, you might not be able to even buy anything else but class-D. It makes more sense, or so they say. Economically, it does make more sense - for the manufacturer.

Being heavily dependent on semiconductors, class-D inevitably means obsolescence. No one will repair it because the modules used will be replaced by something else. It's like trying to find someone to repair your expensive LCD TV from several years ago.

The point I am trying to make is that the market is shifting below our feet. The manufacturers who refuse to move with it will no longer be manufacturer or will continue to be a small manufacturer whose products need to cost a lot of money to be viable. Brystin is thinking the same way.

That being said, perhaps now is the time to have your 'old' amplifiers overhauled. There are still specialists who can do that for you and probably at much more reasonable prices than the one you mentioned. I think you will find that there are those who will do nothing else but a complete overhaul - because it is the only way they can guarantee proper function. Address one problem and within a short while, another problem might occur. Some techs don't want to go through that so they either do a complete rebuild or none at all.

Also, I can absolutely appreciate your comment regarding the pricing and the illuminating suggestion to buy the newest 'cubed' variant. I tend to look at it this way - if your ST and NRB amps were fantastic when you bought them, then they are fantastic today. A friend of mine has several ST and SST amplifiers and was kind to share the price he paid back in the day. Let me tell you, no amount of 'inflation calculating' will explain away the prices of current models. The new amps are better, sure, but shouldn't the general technological evolution over the years account for at least some of the improvements? I think it should.

Cheerio!

Sorry, but I think you are completely wrong about Bryston and the reason for its making Class D amps. Class D amps do not perform as well as Class A/B amps with music and James Tanner has already stated Bryston will always make Class A/B amps.

Jozsef

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 91
Sorry, but I think you are completely wrong about Bryston and the reason for its making Class D amps. Class D amps do not perform as well as Class A/B amps with music and James Tanner has already stated Bryston will always make Class A/B amps.
I've been finding used Bryston gear for friends for decades and dropping them off at the factory for testing and whatever repairs were needed. Before the 20 year warranty, they never charged for repairs, preferring to give customers a nice surprise when they picked up their devices. Once they had been in business for many years, it made sense to announce a very impressive warranty but put some limit on it. The charges for fixing 30 year old products that broke were initially very low. It may look like Bryston became greedy and I don't know Ian, but from my conversations with their service people, I know it's overall a different world from a decade ago. They really do try to be fair but, especially since 2021, parts prices have skyrocketed and the rate at which components are being discontinued has only accelerated. Then there's the cost of shipping. When fixing an old preamp goes from picking a few parts out of a bin to being a project, it has to cost more. They were dismantling and repairing old volume controls many years ago because the normal values of the pots used then have not been made made by anyone for ages, so they can't easily be replaced. They actually scour Ebay and AliExpress for NOS parts in hopes of keeping a few more of these old things going when they come in. Of course a lot of scammers sell rubbish in those places but these guys, last I heard, kept an eye out for any lots of now rare parts that they might be able to grab up. If you want to be fair and generous but your suppliers are greedy, it just is what it is.

R. Daneel

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1097
Sorry, but I think you are completely wrong about Bryston and the reason for its making Class D amps. Class D amps do not perform as well as Class A/B amps with music and James Tanner has already stated Bryston will always make Class A/B amps.

You'll just have to wait and see for yourself then!

gbaby

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 873
You'll just have to wait and see for yourself then!

Okay!
Hi Antun

No we will always offer our current Class AB amps - Class D has its place but not ready yet to take over from Class AB in our opinion - at least with our amplifiers - I can not speak for others.

james

R. Daneel

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  • Posts: 1097
Okay!

You missed the gist of the commentary. It is not a question whether or not class A/B will continue, it is the cost of it in the future. As the market moves from transistors, less and less there will be, forcing the prices up. Get it? Perhaps cost doesn't mean anything to you but the opening post was about that so that is what the thread is about.

Cheers - Antun

gbaby

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 873
You missed the gist of the commentary. It is not a question whether or not class A/B will continue, it is the cost of it in the future. As the market moves from transistors, less and less there will be, forcing the prices up. Get it? Perhaps cost doesn't mean anything to you but the opening post was about that so that is what the thread is about.

Cheers - Antun

And, I was just responding to your comment to Russ making all of these erroneous speculative comments about Bryston's plans. Get it!

R. Daneel

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 1097
And, I was just responding to your comment to Russ making all of these erroneous speculative comments about Bryston's plans. Get it!

How is Russ' comment misplaced when he outlayed the exact information he received from Bryston - what the repairs include and how much it costs?

The guy needs help with his amps and what do you do? You proceed with calling his comment 'erroneous'. Yet, if something useful did actually come from the critique on this thread and some assistance is eventually provided to him and those like him, I bet you'll be among the first to take advantage of it. I should warn you so that you don't waste your time - I have enough of a photographic memory to remember several of your last posts, all similar, and all with the same outome.

Two sentences is too much for you and you are selfish. So, if you'll kindly refrain from replying to my comments, I will refrain from replying to yours.

Cheers - Antun