Will I regret moving from Bryston to class D? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Currently I have a Bryston 4B ST amp paired with a set of NHT 2.9 speakers. In general I love the setup but the Bryston sure does draw a lot of power when on.

Recently a project I helped with got me thinking. A friend asked for amp advice for a lower end whole house setup. He ideally wanted a system that could be on and ready at all times but not waste a bunch of power. He figures one watt year cost him $1 thus leaving my Bryston on 24-7 would cost $200+/year (+ the extra AC needed to remove that heat from the house). Well those cheap Lepai TA2020 amps seemed to fit the bill nicely. They just draw so little power that he can leave them on all the time.

I started thinking that would be really nice so now I'm looking into the class D stuff. My objective is something that I can leave on much of the time and not feel bad about it. I would like something with at least 120W into 8 ohms. I'm also actually OK with going down in price. Selling the Bryston to fund this "upgrade" is part of the plan.

The amps that currently come to mind are the pro amps, Crown XLS 1000/1500, Peavey IPS (the blue lights would have to go) or the Behringer NUx000 family.

Questions:
1. Am I crazy for considering these options?
2. These amps are just as powerful as my Bryston. Will I be disappointed or pleased with the sound quality?
3. How loud are the cooling fans?
4. Does the DSP stuff matter to me since I'm running simple stereo?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:06 AM
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I used to have the NHT 2.9s, good speakers.

The only real answer to your question will come when you get to listen to a different/Class D amp. That is probably not what you want to hear, but it is the only real way to get a handle on the situation.

I understand your energy saving concerns. Have you considered a 12V trigger to turn off the Bryson while not in use?
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post #3 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

I used to have the NHT 2.9s, good speakers.

The only real answer to your question will come when you get to listen to a different/Class D amp. That is probably not what you want to hear, but it is the only real way to get a handle on the situation.

I understand your energy saving concerns. Have you considered a 12V trigger to turn off the Bryson while not in use?

I have but the problem is I don't have an easy way to trigger it. The other problem is it doesn't always work if I use a computer to feed itunes into the system. I use the remote ap on the iphone to control the system from time to time thus part of the reason why remote switching is more difficult. Even with the new amp I'm not going to leave the system on 24-7 but I would like to think 12-7 would be OK. I think I saw the Peavey draws ~40W at idle. If the system is on half the year that works out to be about $20 to not worry too much about turning the thing off all the time. Not too bad.
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post #4 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

I have but the problem is I don't have an easy way to trigger it. The other problem is it doesn't always work if I use a computer to feed itunes into the system. I use the remote ap on the iphone to control the system from time to time thus part of the reason why remote switching is more difficult. Even with the new amp I'm not going to leave the system on 24-7 but I would like to think 12-7 would be OK. I think I saw the Peavey draws ~40W at idle. If the system is on half the year that works out to be about $20 to not worry too much about turning the thing off all the time. Not too bad.

Consider an outlet/power strip with an on/off switch?
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post #5 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 08:03 AM
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I wouldn't regret buying the Bryston from you for a reasonable price

Aren't there other options, such as powerstrips or Panamax that would trigger power to the amp?

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post #6 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

Consider an outlet/power strip with an on/off switch?

That's the same boat as just punching the power button. The objective in this case is something that doesn't require any action on my part. It may not be a realistic option but I at least wanted to explore it.
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post #7 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

I wouldn't regret buying the Bryston from you for a reasonable price

Aren't there other options, such as powerstrips or Panamax that would trigger power to the amp?

I know some power strips have that function but what would trigger it? What I want is something that when itunes starts the amp is ready to go.

One option that I'm looking at is getting one of the really cheap Lepai's since they use very little power. I would then swap my speaker wires over to the cheap Lepai for background use. It would be left on all the time. When I want "serious" use I can switch over to the good amp. Not an ideal solution but it is cheap (~$25 for the Lepai).

Any thoughts on the sound quality of the pro amps vs the Bryston?

BTW, thanks for all the posts so far!
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post #8 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 11:21 AM
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I have taken to putting my receiver in standbye when I dont need it. With summer coming up, and the receiver being on as well as the amps, seems best to minimize waste heat ( the main Emo amp is switched via trigger.)

If the Bryston has a trigger, it can be triggered via a power strip with switched outlets, even if you had to add a 12 volt wall wart to trigger it.

Seems a shame to sell a Bryston with it's good warranty for an amp with lower warranty. I have no opinions on the sound quality question.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #9 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Michael,

My problem is what would trigger the Bryston? I get the idea of using a 12V transformer to deliver a signal but what triggers it? For the background, the computer is basically on all the time. It sends a signal to my preamp which is also on all the time (no power switch). So I don't really have a switched signal unless I think something can detect the lack of signal on the PC.
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post #10 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

Michael,

My problem is what would trigger the Bryston? I get the idea of using a 12V transformer to deliver a signal but what triggers it? For the background, the computer is basically on all the time. It sends a signal to my preamp which is also on all the time (no power switch). So I don't really have a switched signal unless I think something can detect the lack of signal on the PC.

I could not think of a way to turn on a preamp when a signal was available.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #11 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

My problem is what would trigger the Bryston?

http://www.x1up.com/.sc/ms/dd/ee/155
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post #12 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

http://www.x1up.com/.sc/ms/dd/ee/155

He's asking what device is going to power up to cause the switched outlet to power up.

He wants to leave his preamp on all the time I think.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #13 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

He's asking what device is going to power up to cause the switched outlet to power up.

He wants to leave his preamp on all the time I think.

He can plug them all into the strip and turn them on via switch, at his convenience. There is no "trigger" solution for him, but he can push a button
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post #14 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

He can plug them all into the strip and turn them on via switch, at his convenience. There is no "trigger" solution for him, but he can push a button

But if I have to flip on the strip I might as well just turn on the amp (the amp is easy to get at). What I want is to, while anywhere in my house, just hit play on Remote for itunes. Music starts playing without me having to go to the radio. If I want to listen to an album in the morning the system can be left on all day without using too much power.

So I see two ways of doing this. The first would be to figure out how to get things to power up or down via the remote. The other is get stuff that has low enough power draw that I wouldn't worry about it.

When I posted this thread I was really thinking about the second, hence why I was asking about comparing the Bryston to the class D amps. However, I hadn't put as much thought into switching the amp instead.

So does anyone have any opinion on or experience with something like the Crown used as a home amp? Most of the threads seem to compare it to receivers vs something like the Bryston.
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post #15 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

...
So does anyone have any opinion on or experience with something like the Crown used as a home amp? Most of the threads seem to compare it to receivers vs something like the Bryston.

Unless there is something wrong with either amp, there should not be any audible difference between level matched Crown and Bryston amps.

The sound quality should be identical.
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post #16 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

Unless there is something wrong with either amp, there should not be any audible difference between level matched Crown and Bryston amps.

The sound quality should be identical.

Doesn't sound like you've A/B'd many amps. I'm not trying to sound insulting.
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post #17 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

Doesn't sound like you've A/B'd many amps. I'm not trying to sound insulting.

And how many have you A/B'd, with proper level matching? I'm not trying to sound insulting either.

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post #18 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 06:37 PM
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And how many have you A/B'd, with proper level matching? I'm not trying to sound insulting either.

25? Maybe more.
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post #19 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 06:54 PM
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Excellent. Now, were they blind or sighted?

For every new thing I learn, I forget two things I used to know.
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post #20 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:02 PM
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Excellent. Now, were they blind or sighted?

How about telling me about which amps you auditioned and heard zero difference?
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post #21 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:05 PM
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How about telling me about which amps you auditioned and heard zero difference?

Why suddenly defensive?

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post #22 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Why suddenly defensive?

I'm not. You made the statement to the OP that the amps should sound the same. Just wondering if you cou provide some basis or background for your recommendation. I suggested he give them both a listen.
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post #23 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam S View Post

I'm not. You made the statement to the OP that the amps should sound the same. Just wondering if you cou provide some basis or background for your recommendation. I suggested he give them both a listen.

I did? When? Where? Now I'm really confused.

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post #24 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:28 PM
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I did? When? Where? Now I'm really confused.

Sorry, got you confused with an earlier poster.
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post #25 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:38 PM
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Level matched and operating within their limits, you will not be able to tell the difference by ear between the bryston and the crown drivecore.
Thousands of people have taken the Richard Clark amp challenge (even pitting tube amps against solid state) and no one has scored statistically any better than random guessing.

The crown drivecore series has a fan but it usually doesn't even come on in normal operation. The lack of 12v is not convenient, but I'd just leave it on 24/7.

The crown drivecore 1500/2000 amps are more powerful than the bryston, but it won't be noticed in everyday usage.
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post #26 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Davecraze View Post

Level matched and operating within their limits, you will not be able to tell the difference by ear between the bryston and the crown drivecore XLS.

Thousands of people have taken the Richard Clark amp challenge (even pitting tube amps against solid state) and no one has scored statistically any better than random guessing.

Nobody won the challenge. Clark was very clear that what it takes to win (perfection) requires far more accuracy than would be needed to demonstrate a statistically significant distinction. He does not retain the individual results so it is not possible to analyze whether there is a statistically significant tendency.

Which is not to say I discount the information, just that it is not necessary to overstate it in order to find and utilize that value. Seems to me that whether you look at the Clark test or double blind listening tests analyzed statistically the overwhelming evidence appears to be that amps operating within their linear range do not exhibit audible differences that are huge, overwhelming, jaw dropping or even particularly identifiable under double blind conditions. Broke my heart but I got over it.
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post #27 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure I want to weigh in on the amp debate but could we at least safely assume the difference between them will be very small. The Crown 1000 and 1500 seem to have different SN ratios but I'm wondering if that's because one really has a lower noise floor or if because the lower power model simply has less peak power thus less SN since the max signal would be smaller?

Anyway, I appreciate the input, I've been out of the audio loop for a while.
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post #28 of 52 Old 04-26-2012, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Nobody won the challenge. Clark was very clear that what it takes to win (perfection) requires far more accuracy than would be needed to demonstrate a statistically significant distinction. He does not retain the individual results so it is not possible to analyze whether there is a statistically significant tendency.

Which is not to say I discount the information, just that it is not necessary to overstate it in order to find and utilize that value. Seems to me that whether you look at the Clark test or double blind listening tests analyzed statistically the overwhelming evidence appears to be that amps operating within their linear range do not exhibit audible differences that are huge, overwhelming, jaw dropping or even particularly identifiable under double blind conditions. Broke my heart but I got over it.

I agree with what you are saying, but I will add that Richard has reported that no one has ever even scored as high as 65% (a level he has stated would prove the results were audible).

He used to keep data from the earlier days: "i haven't collected the data for several years-------sort of like i haven't noted the location of the north star since i studied it in school----- it was so consistent-------in large groups i have never observed a variation that varied more than 49/51 % -------smaller observations sometimes vary as much as 60/40-------the more samples the more it approaches 50/50------any study of the numbers has only shown random probability.............RC"
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post #29 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 06:35 AM
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Bryston gives you a full 20 year warranty on their amps. Can you get that from these other makes? Just something to consider.
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post #30 of 52 Old 04-27-2012, 07:38 AM
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Answers to questions:

Q1) YES! Those are public address system amplifiers; not suitable for home stereo; terrible sound quality.

Q2) Unless your ears were severely damaged in the artillery corps, you will find the decrease in audio quality completely unacceptable! On a scale of 1 to 10, you will be going from an 8 to a 2.

Q3) Too loud

Q4) ?

Your power calculations are all wrong; the Bryston amplifier should simply be turned off when you are not using it. Plug it into a power strip and shut it off with the switch on the power strip if that is more convenient. I have a 3B-SST and it is always off when not in use. The warm-up time on these amplifiers is only a minute or two for optimum operation.

The Audio Research DSi200 or DS225 amplifiers only draw one watt in standby operation and 39 watts at idle. Those are Class D amplifiers that will equal the sound quality of the Bryston, or surpass it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lurking2 View Post

Currently I have a Bryston 4B ST amp paired with a set of NHT 2.9 speakers. In general I love the setup but the Bryston sure does draw a lot of power when on.

The amps that currently come to mind are the pro amps, Crown XLS 1000/1500, Peavey IPS (the blue lights would have to go) or the Behringer NUx000 family.

Questions:
1. Am I crazy for considering these options?
2. These amps are just as powerful as my Bryston. Will I be disappointed or pleased with the sound quality?
3. How loud are the cooling fans?
4. Does the DSP stuff matter to me since I'm running simple stereo?

Thanks!

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