B100 SST vs Separates

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headshrinker2

B100 SST vs Separates
« on: 12 May 2011, 03:03 pm »
Greetings.  After enjoying the BDA-1 in my system, I am considering moving towards an all Bryston system.  After inquiring about my room, music preferences and power needs, James recommended that I consider a B100 SST integrated.  I'm primarily a jazz/vocal/classical/instrumental kind of guy. Some pop and funk, but not a rocker.  I don't tend to listen at loud volumes.

What Bryston separate pre-amp/amp configurations would be logical upgrades to the B100?  As you might guess, I wouldn't be interested in a "lateral" upgrade.  I would only consider separates if it offered a significant improvement in SQ. 

Thanks.

Stu Pitt

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #1 on: 12 May 2011, 06:19 pm »
The B100 is a BP16 preamp and 2B SST power amp in one box.  A whorthwhile upgrade really depends on your finances primarily.  After that, it depends on how much current your speakers need.  I'd say power amp wise, the 4BSST would be the minimum upgrade to make it worth while.  More likely, the 7BSST would be a serious (relatively speaking) improvement IMO.

I'd go with a power amp and use the B100 as a preamp first, then get a BP-26 when funds recover if I was in your shoes.  It's fun spending other people's money!

headshrinker2

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #2 on: 12 May 2011, 09:19 pm »
Thanks Stu.  Appreciate the reply.  Any recommendations for used older pre/amp combinations that would better the B100 SST? 

My current speakers, Totem Arros, are recommended by company to be driven by 20-80 W. 

Also, which guy are you in your profile pic?

Stu Pitt

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #3 on: 13 May 2011, 01:46 am »
The guys in my pic, from left to right are Kip Dynamite, Napoleon Dynamite, and Uncle Rico.  I guess I'm more Uncle Rico than anyone else.  But in all seriousness...

I think James is right on with the B100 suggestion.  The Arros are great speakers.  They're honestly one of my favorite speakers, regardless of price.  The Arros are an odd speaker in that they need very stable power, as they're a difficult load, but they're somewhat easily overdriven by too much power.  It's not easy finding an amp that'll be stable into difficult loads, yet not be monstrous in power.  The B100 is the perfect match IMO.  I've heard stronger amps overdrive the Arros, and it's not a good thing.  The woofer hits the basket and makes an odd sound.  Dealers say it's not going to damage the speaker due to design, but I'd still be careful.

I don't think the BP-16 and 2B SST are much better than the B100, if they're truly better at all.  Certainly not worth the extra cash IMO, but everyone's finances are different.

I think the B60 also does a great job with the Arros, but the B100 does it better.  The price justifies the difference IMO.

If you're hung up on seperates, I think a speaker change is in order.  Move up to Totems that can handle the extra power, or a different brand that can.  The Arros are an odd speaker.  I love them, but they've got their quirks, hence why I don't own them.

There are other brands that'll pair up well with them, I just prefer Bryston with them over anything else I've heard. That's not a brand loyalty thing, just a synergy thing to my ears. 

math-geek

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #4 on: 13 May 2011, 01:49 am »
The B100 should have all the power that you need for quite some time!  I have heard nothing but good about that wonderful integrated amp!

headshrinker2

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #5 on: 14 May 2011, 02:07 am »
OK you Bryston gurus, how about B100 SST vs BP25 + 4BST?   In the S/H market, both options could be found for similar moolah. 

lanchile

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #6 on: 14 May 2011, 02:20 am »
Go for the B100, you will get what you are looking for!. I have the "baby" B60-R and it is all what I need and more. as long as you get Bryston gear, you can not go wrong. Nobody can beat Bryston. :thumb:

headshrinker2

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #7 on: 14 May 2011, 02:50 am »
@lanchile:  thanks for the reply.  You obviously really like your Bryson gear! 

Before purchasing an integrated, I am trying to see if I can configure a superior configuration of S/H separates for a similar amount of money. 

alexone

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Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #8 on: 14 May 2011, 05:04 am »
headshrinker,

i'm not sure but IF it is possible to drive a second Bryston SST amp with the B100...maybe this configuration would be an upgrade for you?!? your speakers would need bi-amp terminals of course...

al.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2011, 09:57 pm by alexone »

lanchile

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #9 on: 14 May 2011, 05:44 am »
@lanchile:  thanks for the reply.  You obviously really like your Bryson gear! 

Before purchasing an integrated, I am trying to see if I can configure a superior configuration of S/H separates for a similar amount of money.

Well, I can say I know a little about this electronic business, I used to work many years repairing: amps, Tvs, vcrs, DVD players, stereos etc. I also have build many amps including some from Nelson Pass. Can you go different?...Sure, you can! Can you go better?...I doubt it!!!. Beside quality these amps are build to last many, many, many, many years. Before I got my Bryston I had many good commercial amps like: Portal Panache,Adcom,Luxman(R117),Marantz (2252B),Sanyo Plus series,Arcam, Blue circle,McIntosh,Acurus and some other good ones that I do not remember now, but Bryston is the "pinnacle" in audio gear to me.

Stu Pitt

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #10 on: 14 May 2011, 12:50 pm »
I think the 4BST would be too much power for the Arros, and I don't think it would sound as good as the B100 sonically, even if it wasn't overdriving the Arros.  The 4BST may sound better with speakers that the B100 would struggle with from a load demand aspect, but the Arros aren't going to do that.

The SST (which the B100 is) was a very good improvement over the ST IMO.  There isn't an SST 2 designation in the B100. 

Stu Pitt

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #11 on: 14 May 2011, 12:52 pm »
With the B100, if you want to add an amp, you could get a 2BSST 2 and use the B100's internal amp with the 2BSST and biamp.

Diamond Dog

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Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #12 on: 14 May 2011, 03:23 pm »
Before purchasing an integrated, I am trying to see if I can configure a superior configuration of S/H separates for a similar amount of money.

Hi : Amongst the older Bryston amps ( pre-SST ), people I know who really know their Bryston maintain that the lower- powered units ie: 3B ST  (120 W into 8 ohms ) offered the "sweetest " sound so if you want to go with separates, you may find that in keeping with your prefered music and your current speakers (assuming that the Arros are keepers for you ). Can't speak to the pro's / cons of the  Bryston preamps as I don't have enough experience with them - I use a tube preamp myself with my Brystons.
As to bi-amping, there's been a lot of discussion on AC on that topic and you may want to explore those threads to get a feel for whether or bi-amping is for you. I have run single stereo power amps, bi-amped horizontally (using the speakers' existing crossovers) as well as running mono-blocks ( my current set-up ) and FWIW I like what I'm doing now the best.

There are some interesting S/H Bryston possibilities available right now on some of the sites I just had a quick peek at like Canuck Audio Mart. Check it out !

D.D.

Sasha

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Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #13 on: 14 May 2011, 08:28 pm »
Having heard and owned a range of Bryston amplifiers, in ST, SST and SST2 series, from 3B to 7B, I can say that that there is no such thing as too much power, and that going up in power offers far better improvement than going from ST to SST to SST2 with the same power. This is especially true if the speakers’ impedance and phase result in difficult load, in such case it can be said without exaggeration that lower powered amps sound abysmal when compared to more powerful ones. I have heard a number of so called “tube friendly” speakers, which in fact present a difficult load, with Bryston and other amps of various power, and more power always won. One of the most memorable experiences were a pair of Wilson Sophia 2, driven by a number of amps of different power, more power was better in every instance, the best being when driven by monoblocks of 1.2kW. Reason for mentioning this is to show how untrue some of those claims are.
For Arrows it would be exaggeration of course to go with hundreds of watts, however if there are plans to upgrade speakers later on, then it may make sense to spring for better amplification now.
If Arrows were to stay I would not bother with separates.

niels

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #14 on: 14 May 2011, 10:01 pm »
Short answer, B100 is all you need.
Upgrade later with the D/A card and you have one of the most compact, versatile, underrated best sounding integrateds out there.
Had mine for 5 years.

vegasdave

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Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #15 on: 15 May 2011, 12:44 am »
Having heard and owned a range of Bryston amplifiers, in ST, SST and SST2 series, from 3B to 7B, I can say that that there is no such thing as too much power, and that going up in power offers far better improvement than going from ST to SST to SST2 with the same power. This is especially true if the speakers’ impedance and phase result in difficult load, in such case it can be said without exaggeration that lower powered amps sound abysmal when compared to more powerful ones. I have heard a number of so called “tube friendly” speakers, which in fact present a difficult load, with Bryston and other amps of various power, and more power always won. One of the most memorable experiences were a pair of Wilson Sophia 2, driven by a number of amps of different power, more power was better in every instance, the best being when driven by monoblocks of 1.2kW. Reason for mentioning this is to show how untrue some of those claims are.
For Arrows it would be exaggeration of course to go with hundreds of watts, however if there are plans to upgrade speakers later on, then it may make sense to spring for better amplification now.
If Arrows were to stay I would not bother with separates.


 :rock:

patrickm

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #16 on: 15 May 2011, 02:19 am »
My first Bryston purchase was a B100SST with internal DAC / MM phono in November 2009.  It was *exactly* what I wanted at the time, the sound was superb and it fit my price range perfectly.  In the middle of 2010, I picked up a 4BSST2 to drive my PMCs a little better.  Was there an improvement?  Yes... but it came at a cost.  Towards the end of the year, I picked up a BP26 + BDA and sold the B100 to a friend [who is enjoying it as much as I did].  For the price, the B100 is value for the money and a very wise choice. 

vegasdave

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Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #17 on: 15 May 2011, 05:52 am »
Which PMCs do you have?

patrickm

Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #18 on: 15 May 2011, 11:35 am »
Which PMCs do you have?

OB1i.  I find they are a nice match with the system and the size of the room.

servingko

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Re: B100 SST vs Separates
« Reply #19 on: 15 May 2011, 02:07 pm »
I am currently running a 4BSST2 with a B100 as preamp and surround amplification.  Having owned several B60's including the current SST model, I can tell you that there is a bigger difference going from the B60 to the B100 than there is moving up to the 4BSST2 from the B100's 2BSST section.

Having said that, where the 4BSST2 brings more than that B100 by itself, is in terms of dynamics and a greater depth and 3 dimensionality to the presentation.  The B100 is certainly no slouch but pairing it's preamp section (BP16) with the 4BSST2 sounded better to me.  I had a BP26 and a BP6 in my system for a time as well.  Overall I actually liked the BP6 the best when driving the 4BSST2 as it sounded a bit smoother and more enjoyable.  The BP26 provided greater detail, but the B6 was a bit easier to listen to, more musical would be my description.

The B100SST is a fantastic value, particularly on the used market, and I don't think you'd be disappointed.  Later you could add more power if it's required and/or use the amp section with another amp to bi-amp.