- usb at the front and back are very useful
- 2 pairs of analog balanced in would be nice
- aes/ebu in (without ''deleting'' the coax connector if in use)
- optical and coax front in
- headphone in
- phono mm/mc option
- bigger display
- outboard power supply yes- if it will be the mps 2 and if it will better the sound
- tape loop
I too like the USB front/back idea and as a SP-2 PRO
owner would definitely opt for at least one AES/EBU input, better two - I am thinking about my modified Denon DVD3930 DVD-Player and the Logitech/Slim Devices Transporter that I just ordered, both having AES/EBU outputs...
If an external power supply improves the sound quality, I would say go for it. I would recommend that Bryston did some listening tests and decided for the best sounding alternative - just as with the BCD-1 that ended up having an internal
Having a separate HDMI-switcher that strips the digital audio signal and passes it - maybe in a proprietary format that is jitter-free - to the head unit for decoding sounds like a "That's how Bryston could do it"-solution.
Keeping video signals out of the head unit - due to the effect on the noise floor - I was wondering whether the digital signal that is at high frequencies as well does something similar to the noise floor! Would a separate digital section improve sound quality? Or should the digital section reside in the HDMI switch enclosure?
Another thing that came to my mind regarding a SP-3 is the question about a true 7.1 analog pass through. Currently the multi channel pass through on the SP-1.7 and SP-2 runs through the digital section. Only the 2 channel bypass uses the analog ALPS potentiometer. Would an 8 channel ALPS poti be an option? Should the SP-3 have an "old fashioned" potentiometer or a discrete resistor based electronic volume control, just like a B-100 or BP-16?
On the things to improve on the SP-2, I'd appreciate a faster lock on the digital input signal. Currently, the unit kills the first 1/2 sec of a song since most sources cut the S/PDIF stream briefly when changing tracks. Maybe an input buffer would be a possible solution, i.e. the SP-3 would play everything with a brief delay, but it would have time to adjust to the input signal and could play back right from the beginning of a track. Maybe the buffering would also improve sound quality!? Being at delaying signals, a lip sync delay feature would be nice as well.
Regarding HDMI switching: a question that arises is whether the switching of HDMI sources should be independent from the sound selection on the SP-3. Further, would the two outputs of the switcher carry the same signal and resolution or would the switcher offer matrix switching and/or some kind of resolution conversion?
The phono option sounds interesting as well.
Although the display is one of the very few things on Bryston digital products that is criticized by reviewers - I am not so sure whether the display is that important, compared to the sound quality. (may be I am biased in this point since my Bryston display is on my Crestron touch panel remote control...
With the iPod idea I am not so sure whether Bryston is the company that should offer this. The iPods are new every year. Things on the protocol and connectors might change and Bryston - although trying hard - hasn't always been successful in quickly developing new software to accommodate changes. E.g., the SP-2 has been out for a while now, but Bryston hasn't managed to develop a software specific to the PRO version until now...
Regarding remote control, I would opt for a bi-directional RS-232 and/or an ethernet port to grant access for Crestron control systems and the like. Having an ethernet port one could also implement a web interface for setup control - and eliminate the need for an on-screen display.
That's my two cents for today.