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post #1351 of 1676 Old 05-30-2014, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

We are fine for whatever this is worth. And, if I were you and I wanted that upgrade, for the price Bryston quoted along with the free shipping, I'd do it.
Thanks
The update was done and the amp is on its way back to me. I believe they are updating to Philips caps. A thing i don't like about their 20 year warranty is that you can't upgrade to better parts yourself for a lot cheaper then a high end audio company charges. I'm not buying their cover which i was quoted $160 with free shipping. I can live with the steel cover from my 4B SST.
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post #1352 of 1676 Old 05-30-2014, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks
The update was done and the amp is on its way back to me. I believe they are updating to Philips caps. A thing i don't like about their 20 year warranty is that you can't upgrade to better parts yourself for a lot cheaper then a high end audio company charges. I'm not buying their cover which i was quoted $160 with free shipping. I can live with the steel cover from my 4B SST.

I am happy for you!cool.gifsmile.gif Let us know if you detect any sonic improvement with the upgrade.
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post #1353 of 1676 Old 05-31-2014, 10:12 AM
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I am happy for you!cool.gifsmile.gif Let us know if you detect any sonic improvement with the upgrade.
I haven't had the amp in over a month so i don't know if i would recognize any real difference other then mentally thinking it must sound better. Better caps do make a difference i believe. It usually takes a lot more money then my Bryston 4B SST2 cost to get amps with high end capacitors. Compare the inside of a $5000 amp to one costing double and more and you will see better parts used. The price a manufacturer charges for a stereo component goes up exponentially with the cost of the electronic parts they use. I upgraded my 30 year old Smart Theater version Hafler DH-220 with upgraded wiring, caps, and metal film resistors and it made a drastic improvement.
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post #1354 of 1676 Old 05-31-2014, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't had the amp in over a month so i don't know if i would recognize any real difference other then mentally thinking it must sound better. Better caps do make a difference i believe. It usually takes a lot more money then my Bryston 4B SST2 cost to get amps with high end capacitors. Compare the inside of a $5000 amp to one costing double and more and you will see better parts used. The price a manufacturer charges for a stereo component goes up exponentially with the cost of the electronic parts they use. I upgraded my 30 year old Smart Theater version Hafler DH-220 with upgraded wiring, caps, and metal film resistors and it made a drastic improvement.

I am sure you will have a mental memory on how familiar compositions sounded prior to the upgrgrade. I'd be interested in the result even if some will say its the placebo effect so when you get it back, please report. cool.gif
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post #1355 of 1676 Old 06-03-2014, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I am now beginning to question whether or not the HDMI inputs on the SP3 are pass trhough. The reason is that when I connect any of my three blu-ray players, including the PSP, directly to my Sony XBR LED televison, the television reads the signal as 12 bits, but if I go through the SP3, it reads 10 bits. Anyone care to speculate on whats going on?
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post #1356 of 1676 Old 06-04-2014, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

I am sure you will have a mental memory on how familiar compositions sounded prior to the upgrgrade. I'd be interested in the result even if some will say its the placebo effect so when you get it back, please report. cool.gif
Well i got my amp back minus the power cable although they said they would send me one. My friend and I did a little listening. He has been into audio since the 70's with Dynaco and Hafler and i started out in the 80's with cheapskate level equipment.
My music path goes like this.
Flac files - Qnap NAS running logitech media server - Gigabit network - Logitech Squeezebox Touch Enhanced digital output through usb - usb input of Audio-gd Reference 10.32 DAC/Preamp - balanced input of power amp - Goertz MI-2 speaker wires - Maxed out Magnepan 1.7's with Mye stands (cardas binding posts direct wired to custom crossover using sonicaps and dynamicaps and alpha core inductors).
We listened to Diana Krall Temptation and Stan Getz The girl from ipanema along with some Stephan Grappelli Live at the blue note.
Amps: Bryston 4BSST2, Hothouse, Mcintosh MC-7100
I have been using the Hothouse since my Bryston went in for the upgrade. We listened to the songs on that and then switched to the Bryston. It was basically very similar sound with the Bryston having more power. They are both used widely a recording studio amps. We then switched to the Mcintosh and as expected it was a lot smoother and tube like then the Bryston. It was less analytic then the Bryston and it had a real sweet sound like that of my modded Hafler DH-220. We did not hear any lack of bass. The Magnepans may not have really low bass but mine would really surprise a lot of audiophiles. I don't know how anyone could not like the sound of the approximately 20 year old Mac. I liked it so much that I am very tempted to sell my Bryston and buy a older Mcintosh and upgrade it. I could easily live with the Mcintosh sound although my speakers would probably benefit from having more reserve power then the 100 watts per channel of the MC-7100.

From what i can tell of my $270 with shipping Bryston cap upgrade, two Nippon Chemicon caps were replaced with Sanyo SP series OS-CON caps. It appears like they could have been easily changed without pulling the boards and i don't see any modifications necessary to mount them. Someone please correct me if you know of any other caps that were changed with the Brytson squared upgrade but i don't see any other ones from the pictures i took. I would tell people who are considering buying a Bryston, consider the limited and relatively expensive upgrades (depending on how deep your pockets are) and having to send the amp back to be worked on versus having a working amp under warranty for 20 years with good resale value.
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post #1357 of 1676 Old 06-05-2014, 06:05 AM
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I really can't tell what you are saying, but $270 is not expensive for an upgrade. My apologies if I have misunderstand your comments.

David M.
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post #1358 of 1676 Old 06-05-2014, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pongagt View Post

Well i got my amp back minus the power cable although they said they would send me one. My friend and I did a little listening. He has been into audio since the 70's with Dynaco and Hafler and i started out in the 80's with cheapskate level equipment.
My music path goes like this.
Flac files - Qnap NAS running logitech media server - Gigabit network - Logitech Squeezebox Touch Enhanced digital output through usb - usb input of Audio-gd Reference 10.32 DAC/Preamp - balanced input of power amp - Goertz MI-2 speaker wires - Maxed out Magnepan 1.7's with Mye stands (cardas binding posts direct wired to custom crossover using sonicaps and dynamicaps and alpha core inductors).
We listened to Diana Krall Temptation and Stan Getz The girl from ipanema along with some Stephan Grappelli Live at the blue note.
Amps: Bryston 4BSST2, Hothouse, Mcintosh MC-7100
I have been using the Hothouse since my Bryston went in for the upgrade. We listened to the songs on that and then switched to the Bryston. It was basically very similar sound with the Bryston having more power. They are both used widely a recording studio amps. We then switched to the Mcintosh and as expected it was a lot smoother and tube like then the Bryston. It was less analytic then the Bryston and it had a real sweet sound like that of my modded Hafler DH-220. We did not hear any lack of bass. The Magnepans may not have really low bass but mine would really surprise a lot of audiophiles. I don't know how anyone could not like the sound of the approximately 20 year old Mac. I liked it so much that I am very tempted to sell my Bryston and buy a older Mcintosh and upgrade it. I could easily live with the Mcintosh sound although my speakers would probably benefit from having more reserve power then the 100 watts per channel of the MC-7100.

From what i can tell of my $270 with shipping Bryston cap upgrade, two Nippon Chemicon caps were replaced with Sanyo SP series OS-CON caps. It appears like they could have been easily changed without pulling the boards and i don't see any modifications necessary to mount them. Someone please correct me if you know of any other caps that were changed with the Brytson squared upgrade but i don't see any other ones from the pictures i took. I would tell people who are considering buying a Bryston, consider the limited and relatively expensive upgrades (depending on how deep your pockets are) and having to send the amp back to be worked on versus having a working amp under warranty for 20 years with good resale value.


You seem to state that the Mac is smoother sounding than your modified or updated Bryston. But, I could not tell if you noticed a difference between the unmodded vs. the modded Brystson. The last time I heard a Mac was around 1976, and as I remember it was a smooth almost tube like sound. The speakers used were Klipsh Horns. Perhaps the Bryston are not a good match for the Maggies you own, I don't know. But, I do know that some amps mate better with certain speakers. I am considering buying a Bryston 2BSST to replace my 2 channel Aleph J amp. I am satistifed with the performace of my Aleph J, but I have a Krell KAV-500 for center and rear channel duties and the only way I could get the Aleph J to keep up with the Krelll is to switch to Krell to -6db as well as reduce the volume of the center, and rear channels. And, while everything sounds balanced, I was thinking that the extra power may make the sound even better, I don't know. I wish I could borrow a Bryston, but where I live, that is impossible as the closest Bryston dealer to me is Raleigh, NC and he keeps no Bryston products in stock. At any rate, I have to agree with David (dminches) that $270.00 with shipping is not a great deal of money for the level of upgrade you received. Remember, the engineers have to get paid and there is a great deal of overhead associated with being an audio manufacturer. I'd be curious to know why you even wanted the upgrade. Did Bryston's newer amp have these "caps" and were they suppose to make its amps more tube like? What sonic improvements were you expecting?
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post #1359 of 1676 Old 06-05-2014, 10:29 PM
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You seem to state that the Mac is smoother sounding than your modified or updated Bryston. But, I could not tell if you noticed a difference between the unmodded vs. the modded Brystson. The last time I heard a Mac was around 1976, and as I remember it was a smooth almost tube like sound. The speakers used were Klipsh Horns. Perhaps the Bryston are not a good match for the Maggies you own, I don't know. But, I do know that some amps mate better with certain speakers. I am considering buying a Bryston 2BSST to replace my 2 channel Aleph J amp. I am satistifed with the performace of my Aleph J, but I have a Krell KAV-500 for center and rear channel duties and the only way I could get the Aleph J to keep up with the Krelll is to switch to Krell to -6db as well as reduce the volume of the center, and rear channels. And, while everything sounds balanced, I was thinking that the extra power may make the sound even better, I don't know. I wish I could borrow a Bryston, but where I live, that is impossible as the closest Bryston dealer to me is Raleigh, NC and he keeps no Bryston products in stock. At any rate, I have to agree with David (dminches) that $270.00 with shipping is not a great deal of money for the level of upgrade you received. Remember, the engineers have to get paid and there is a great deal of overhead associated with being an audio manufacturer. I'd be curious to know why you even wanted the upgrade. Did Bryston's newer amp have these "caps" and were they suppose to make its amps more tube like? What sonic improvements were you expecting?

My amp was gone for over a month and i got used to the hothouse i was using. I just don't have a memory that i could honestly state a difference after the capacitor upgrade although i still enjoy the Bryston amp. I just really liked the tube like sound of the Mac. I read that Magnepan demoed the 1.7s with a 4B SST2 at the CES so there must be something Magnepan likes about it. I believe i have got good performance per dollar in my speaker and preamp/dac and the squeezebox touch. I was really amazed with the Mac. See if you can demo the Bryston before you buy it. I can't complain too much about Bryston though. I had my 4B SST for 3.5 years and i was able to sell it for $155 more then i paid for it. If you are technically inclined to upgrade your equipment yourself you might want to get something that you can work on without voiding your warranty. I got a great deal on my new Magnepans 1.7s, although without a warranty, so i didn't mind maxing out their performance. I would have never touched them otherwise. I bought a Magnepan MMG and used a Mye stand to stand it on its side for my center speaker. My friend tried to talk me into a old class A Krell so we could upgrade it but they put out too much heat and used too much power for me. I find it hard to believe the Bryson 2B SST would sound as good as the Class A amp you have. If you have enough power for your front speakers i would just run the Krell at -6db and keep your Aleph. Then you can upgrade that in the future when you feel it is worth it and you don't have to worry about voiding a warranty. Those Class A "small amps" can put out some big sound with the right speakers. My friend has 25 watts per channel Levinson Class A monoblocks powering Quad speakers and it plays plenty loud enough.

I have a Onkyo TX-NR5008 avr that i run the preamp out into the single ended input of the Bryston. It adjust all the levels. You might want to try a good avr. I use the balanced/single ended input switch to switch between 2 channel and surround systems. I just use the 135 watts of the Onkyo for the center and my Paradigm surrounds. The amp has been powering the Magnepan center with no problem. I just use the audigy setup to automatically adjust the levels and timing. I'm not too picky about the amps for the center and rears.

I'm open to have anyone on the forum hear my Bryston on my Magnepan 1.7s. I live around Buffalo, NY. They can even bring over a amp for comparison. My neighbor with the Mac has all sorts of vintage high end amps that he got cheap on Ebay. My Hafler is a great example of what component upgrades can do. You would be shocked if you heard my Smart Theater version Hafler DH-220 after the upgrades. They include rewiring with silver plated wire, metal film resistors, Hexfred bridge rectifier, excellent but cost effective capacitors, and a few other improvements. If you look at super high end amps you will see many of the same components you can use to upgrade. Amp manufacturers just charge a fortune when they use parts like these but the parts alone are not really that expensive. It really is shocking how they multiply the price of a amp when using highly rated parts. Also, a lot of the cost of the amp is just the mega dollar case. Someone i know who was part owner and a sales person at the audiophile store i hung out at in Buffalo, NY in the 80's admitted audio is all smoke and mirrors. Here is a great website to read and look at the inside pictures of how audio components are built. http://www.hifishock.org/ Check out the vintage equipment and send them any pictures of stock equipment if you can.

I guess i am not a typical Bryston owner as far as my income goes but i get more enjoyment from listening to music at home then anything else so i spend as much as i can afford to get the most enjoyable sound. If my Bryston was not under warranty i would have upgraded the caps myself for a couple dollars. If i heard the Mac sound, i probably would have just replaced my 4B SST with a Mac. I just think that if someone owns a manufacturers $5000 amp that i don't think there should be any smoke and mirrors over replacing a couple capacitors that according to the tech take a hour to replace. If the two caps that i saw were truly the only two caps replaced they would have taken minutes for me to replace. I could not honestly say there is a improvement in the sound without a direct AB comparison. Of course there are many audiophiles that will drop $270 on their equipment like it is pennies. The money i spend probably shocks my friends. I'm sure most people reading this knows that money does not always give you better sound, just different sound. I got the upgrade because i read people's positive reviews about the capacitor upgrade and what Bryston said. The Bryston squared model amps like the 4B SST2 came with the new capacitors after a certain serial number quite a few years ago. The tech said he hadn't upgraded one in a long time. I realize when you are the typical audiophile you open yourself to Cadillac level fees but i just expected more work then one hour for $200 long after the upgrade has been implemented in production. I don't know what exotic sports cars dealers charge but i have been told the Mac hourly labor rate is no where near this. I guess i am living a checkers life while playing chess with the big guys. If you want a tube sounding solid state amp i would make sure you listen to Macs. This is what Bryston said about the upgrade and what i expected.
"Hi Robert,

INPUT CAPACITOR CHANGE and FEEDBACK CAPACITOR CHANGE:
We have implemented the use of some very specialized capacitors in a number of key areas in the circuitry. There is a consistent improvement at high frequencies near and above 20K, and up to over 60KHz. These specialized capacitors are installed at both the input stage and the feedback loop of the amplifier circuitry. These capacitor changes affect all new SST² amplifiers.

The upgrade is only available for ‘SST²’ amplifiers ‘NOT SST’ or previous models.

At Bryston we are continually trying to improve the performance of our products. Please be aware that these changes are 'evolutionary' not 'revolutionary' in nature. They will provide subtle to noticeable improvements depending on your specific system and setup.


james"

"Hi Alpha,

Gentle it is sir! Yes it is in the works. The problem is the size of the new capacitors are larger than the previous version so we have to do some modifications on the circuit boards to allow for the new caps.

james"
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post #1360 of 1676 Old 06-06-2014, 06:59 AM
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So did the $270 include shipping, one or both ways?

It has cost me nearly $100 just to ship--and insure- a large, heavy, expensive component, one way.

______________________

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post #1361 of 1676 Old 06-06-2014, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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My amp was gone for over a month and i got used to the hothouse i was using. I just don't have a memory that i could honestly state a difference after the capacitor upgrade although i still enjoy the Bryston amp. I just really liked the tube like sound of the Mac. I read that Magnepan demoed the 1.7s with a 4B SST2 at the CES so there must be something Magnepan likes about it. I believe i have got good performance per dollar in my speaker and preamp/dac and the squeezebox touch. I was really amazed with the Mac. See if you can demo the Bryston before you buy it. I can't complain too much about Bryston though. I had my 4B SST for 3.5 years and i was able to sell it for $155 more then i paid for it. If you are technically inclined to upgrade your equipment yourself you might want to get something that you can work on without voiding your warranty. I got a great deal on my new Magnepans 1.7s, although without a warranty, so i didn't mind maxing out their performance. I would have never touched them otherwise. I bought a Magnepan MMG and used a Mye stand to stand it on its side for my center speaker. My friend tried to talk me into a old class A Krell so we could upgrade it but they put out too much heat and used too much power for me. I find it hard to believe the Bryson 2B SST would sound as good as the Class A amp you have. If you have enough power for your front speakers i would just run the Krell at -6db and keep your Aleph. Then you can upgrade that in the future when you feel it is worth it and you don't have to worry about voiding a warranty. Those Class A "small amps" can put out some big sound with the right speakers. My friend has 25 watts per channel Levinson Class A monoblocks powering Quad speakers and it plays plenty loud enough.

I have a Onkyo TX-NR5008 avr that i run the preamp out into the single ended input of the Bryston. It adjust all the levels. You might want to try a good avr. I use the balanced/single ended input switch to switch between 2 channel and surround systems. I just use the 135 watts of the Onkyo for the center and my Paradigm surrounds. The amp has been powering the Magnepan center with no problem. I just use the audigy setup to automatically adjust the levels and timing. I'm not too picky about the amps for the center and rears.

I'm open to have anyone on the forum hear my Bryston on my Magnepan 1.7s. I live around Buffalo, NY. They can even bring over a amp for comparison. My neighbor with the Mac has all sorts of vintage high end amps that he got cheap on Ebay. My Hafler is a great example of what component upgrades can do. You would be shocked if you heard my Smart Theater version Hafler DH-220 after the upgrades. They include rewiring with silver plated wire, metal film resistors, Hexfred bridge rectifier, excellent but cost effective capacitors, and a few other improvements. If you look at super high end amps you will see many of the same components you can use to upgrade. Amp manufacturers just charge a fortune when they use parts like these but the parts alone are not really that expensive. It really is shocking how they multiply the price of a amp when using highly rated parts. Also, a lot of the cost of the amp is just the mega dollar case. Someone i know who was part owner and a sales person at the audiophile store i hung out at in Buffalo, NY in the 80's admitted audio is all smoke and mirrors. Here is a great website to read and look at the inside pictures of how audio components are built. http://www.hifishock.org/ Check out the vintage equipment and send them any pictures of stock equipment if you can.

I guess i am not a typical Bryston owner as far as my income goes but i get more enjoyment from listening to music at home then anything else so i spend as much as i can afford to get the most enjoyable sound. If my Bryston was not under warranty i would have upgraded the caps myself for a couple dollars. If i heard the Mac sound, i probably would have just replaced my 4B SST with a Mac. I just think that if someone owns a manufacturers $5000 amp that i don't think there should be any smoke and mirrors over replacing a couple capacitors that according to the tech take a hour to replace. If the two caps that i saw were truly the only two caps replaced they would have taken minutes for me to replace. I could not honestly say there is a improvement in the sound without a direct AB comparison. Of course there are many audiophiles that will drop $270 on their equipment like it is pennies. The money i spend probably shocks my friends. I'm sure most people reading this knows that money does not always give you better sound, just different sound. I got the upgrade because i read people's positive reviews about the capacitor upgrade and what Bryston said. The Bryston squared model amps like the 4B SST2 came with the new capacitors after a certain serial number quite a few years ago. The tech said he hadn't upgraded one in a long time. I realize when you are the typical audiophile you open yourself to Cadillac level fees but i just expected more work then one hour for $200 long after the upgrade has been implemented in production. I don't know what exotic sports cars dealers charge but i have been told the Mac hourly labor rate is no where near this. I guess i am living a checkers life while playing chess with the big guys. If you want a tube sounding solid state amp i would make sure you listen to Macs. This is what Bryston said about the upgrade and what i expected.
"Hi Robert,

INPUT CAPACITOR CHANGE and FEEDBACK CAPACITOR CHANGE:
We have implemented the use of some very specialized capacitors in a number of key areas in the circuitry. There is a consistent improvement at high frequencies near and above 20K, and up to over 60KHz. These specialized capacitors are installed at both the input stage and the feedback loop of the amplifier circuitry. These capacitor changes affect all new SST² amplifiers.

The upgrade is only available for ‘SST²’ amplifiers ‘NOT SST’ or previous models.

At Bryston we are continually trying to improve the performance of our products. Please be aware that these changes are 'evolutionary' not 'revolutionary' in nature. They will provide subtle to noticeable improvements depending on your specific system and setup.


james"

"Hi Alpha,

Gentle it is sir! Yes it is in the works. The problem is the size of the new capacitors are larger than the previous version so we have to do some modifications on the circuit boards to allow for the new caps.

james"

Pongagt, thanks for your comprehensive response. I also want to thank you for your comments regarding my Aleph J. You have saved me a great deal of money as your opinion of the Aleph J hit home with me. Since my speakers play 96db @ 1 meter with a 1 watt input, I believe, as you, that it is more than adequate for my speakers as well as most likely better than the 2BSST I was considering. So, I have abandoned the thought.

I don't think a receiver exist that can remotely compare to the sound of the SP3. It is still known as a world class processor so an AVR is not even a consideration for me. And, please don't sweat the money you paid because it is reasonable. Just think, opening the box for the amp, unscrewing the cover for it, taking off the existing capacitor in the input and output stage, checking the amp to make sure it operates to spec, putting the cover back on, boxing and reshipping it. Your price again was reasonable.

You have triggered my curiousity on the Mac. And, I can say, I use to sell Maggies in the '70s. They had the best mid range in the business, and had a sound uniquely theirs although I remember them being slightly deficient in low frequencies. But, the mids more that made up for this deficiency in my opinion. I also remember that they required expensive amps to play adequately like the Quads, and at the time, was wlll above my means. I was buying the Marantz G series speakers and moved up the the Infinity Q series.

Thanks again for saving me the money and trouble of replacing the Aleph J. :-)
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post #1362 of 1676 Old 06-06-2014, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post

Pongagt, thanks for your comprehensive response. I also want to thank you for your comments regarding my Aleph J. You have saved me a great deal of money as your opinion of the Aleph J hit home with me. Since my speakers play 96db @ 1 meter with a 1 watt input, I believe, as you, that it is more than adequate for my speakers as well as most likely better than the 2BSST I was considering. So, I have abandoned the thought.

I don't think a receiver exist that can remotely compare to the sound of the SP3. It is still known as a world class processor so an AVR is not even a consideration for me. And, please don't sweat the money you paid because it is reasonable. Just think, opening the box for the amp, unscrewing the cover for it, taking off the existing capacitor in the input and output stage, checking the amp to make sure it operates to spec, putting the cover back on, boxing and reshipping it. Your price again was reasonable.

You have triggered my curiousity on the Mac. And, I can say, I use to sell Maggies in the '70s. They had the best mid range in the business, and had a sound uniquely theirs although I remember them being slightly deficient in low frequencies. But, the mids more that made up for this deficiency in my opinion. I also remember that they required expensive amps to play adequately like the Quads, and at the time, was wlll above my means. I was buying the Marantz G series speakers and moved up the the Infinity Q series.

Thanks again for saving me the money and trouble of replacing the Aleph J. :-)

Thanks for the thumbs up. I never expected anything like that after being very critical of what is most likely a well liked manufacturer on this thread.

96db! That is unreal. You sure don't need anymore power so i think going from a Class A amp designed by Nelson Pass to a AB amp would not be wise. I am not that picky about the sound of my surround system as i don't use it very often and i liked the network abilities of my avr until i got my squeezebox touch and now i don't use the networking. I just switch to the balanced inputs at the flip of the switches on the amp and run through my Audio-gd when i want audiophile sound. The Mac i listened to had balanced and single ended inputs but no switch so i guess it is switched automatically. Did you mean you moved up to the Kef Q series? I listened to those at the store where i bought my Paradigms. They were only going to give me peanuts for my Paradigms on a trade for Magnepans. I told them i thought i could get what i paid for them before taxes and i ended up being right.

I don't know if any testing beyond plugging my amp in and trying it was ever done as there was no spec sheet included. I was told the time the "upgrade" took to complete as told to me by the tech. I honestly still think Bryston is using the term "upgrade" and all the fancy language as a marketing tool to justify the price and feed the fanboys. My guess is that they would not have replaced the caps for me as a service call for one hour of labor at their hourly labor rate plus the couple dollars for the caps. I believe caps of equal quality could have been installed at the original date of manufacture of the squared series amps and i wonder why the did not spend the extra dollar or so to do that especially on such important caps. Well i guess i don't see why Bryston should not get some of the upgrade market money and i don't think the price was out of line with that market knowing how much of a ripoff it is. The whole experience with Bryston still has left me less willing to defend the $3500 i have into my amp against much less expensive amps. My ego has taken a tremendous hit and i hope i saved yours from getting hurt as well. I have been scared to try my Hafler DH-220 on my Magnepans because i was afraid it would sound better then my Bryston. I don't know how it will handle the current requirements of the speakers but i may have to try it. In the mean time, selling my Bryston has been constantly on my mind. Try and listen to the Macs. I was shocked at how smooth it sounded at absolutely no cost in detail that my 59 year old ears could hear.

I had Paradigm Studio 60's for 4.5 years and i loved their sound, looks, and build quality. That is another brand like Bryston that really holds its value. They were great sounding for the money. In my older then midlife crisis, I decided to do what may be my last update on my system and i thought i would try Magnepans for the first time. I heard them in the 80's but the only ones i really liked were the Typani's which i did not have room for and i couldn't afford. I was like every other audiophile and i wanted to try something new so i found brand new 1.7's on Ebay and won them for $1450 shipped which i thought was a great deal. Since there was no warranty, i jumped on the opportunity to max out their performance at a very steep cost. They are now leagues ahead of the Paradigms with some very nice and tight bass. Anyone in the area is welcome to hear them.
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post #1363 of 1676 Old 06-07-2014, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thumbs up. I never expected anything like that after being very critical of what is most likely a well liked manufacturer on this thread.

96db! That is unreal. You sure don't need anymore power so i think going from a Class A amp designed by Nelson Pass to a AB amp would not be wise. I am not that picky about the sound of my surround system as i don't use it very often and i liked the network abilities of my avr until i got my squeezebox touch and now i don't use the networking. I just switch to the balanced inputs at the flip of the switches on the amp and run through my Audio-gd when i want audiophile sound. The Mac i listened to had balanced and single ended inputs but no switch so i guess it is switched automatically. Did you mean you moved up to the Kef Q series? I listened to those at the store where i bought my Paradigms. They were only going to give me peanuts for my Paradigms on a trade for Magnepans. I told them i thought i could get what i paid for them before taxes and i ended up being right.

I don't know if any testing beyond plugging my amp in and trying it was ever done as there was no spec sheet included. I was told the time the "upgrade" took to complete as told to me by the tech. I honestly still think Bryston is using the term "upgrade" and all the fancy language as a marketing tool to justify the price and feed the fanboys. My guess is that they would not have replaced the caps for me as a service call for one hour of labor at their hourly labor rate plus the couple dollars for the caps. I believe caps of equal quality could have been installed at the original date of manufacture of the squared series amps and i wonder why the did not spend the extra dollar or so to do that especially on such important caps. Well i guess i don't see why Bryston should not get some of the upgrade market money and i don't think the price was out of line with that market knowing how much of a ripoff it is. The whole experience with Bryston still has left me less willing to defend the $3500 i have into my amp against much less expensive amps. My ego has taken a tremendous hit and i hope i saved yours from getting hurt as well. I have been scared to try my Hafler DH-220 on my Magnepans because i was afraid it would sound better then my Bryston. I don't know how it will handle the current requirements of the speakers but i may have to try it. In the mean time, selling my Bryston has been constantly on my mind. Try and listen to the Macs. I was shocked at how smooth it sounded at absolutely no cost in detail that my 59 year old ears could hear.

I had Paradigm Studio 60's for 4.5 years and i loved their sound, looks, and build quality. That is another brand like Bryston that really holds its value. They were great sounding for the money. In my older then midlife crisis, I decided to do what may be my last update on my system and i thought i would try Magnepans for the first time. I heard them in the 80's but the only ones i really liked were the Typani's which i did not have room for and i couldn't afford. I was like every other audiophile and i wanted to try something new so i found brand new 1.7's on Ebay and won them for $1450 shipped which i thought was a great deal. Since there was no warranty, i jumped on the opportunity to max out their performance at a very steep cost. They are now leagues ahead of the Paradigms with some very nice and tight bass. Anyone in the area is welcome to hear them.

I had to give you thumbs up because not only did you give out a great recommendation, advice, and observation, you are the first person on the entire AVS forum to show knowledge of the origin of the Aleph J. cool.gif Also, I did not know the Bryston 2B-SST was Class AB so I would have been taking a step backwards.eek.gif

The speakers that are 96db are Infinity Composition Preludes P-FR, and I purchased them without hearing them solely from a review in Stereophlie and I believe the reviewer was using a low powered Cary tube amp. These speakers were designed by a KEF engineer and share KEF's sonic trait of being neutral. They are so sensitive and revealing that if you change amps, cables or processors, the speakers will reveal it. I cannot describe how they sound with my current setup except to say that since the SP3, I hear the recording studio not the speakers as they disappear. biggrin.gif

I remember the Magnaplanar speakers we sold in the 70s as being very inefficient with only the best amp being capable of driving them. Some even needed an amp that could handle a 2 oh, load. With them being in the spirit of electrostatic speaker, it stands to reason that a Mac or good tube amp would be their best mate. Perhaps the Bryston or Krell for that matter, are better suited for a cone oriented speakers. The thing I remember most about the Maggie's is that they had a sonic signature that were uniquely theirs and a midrange that I have never heard duplicated by any other speaker. I could tell that it was a speaker that once heard and owned, you could not live without them.wink.gif

You and I are the same age so I assume you are Class of '72, the class of the last genius'.smile.gif At any rate, my musical taste vary from smooth jazz, R&B to rock. However, lately, I have been benging out on the Allman Brothers, the Doors, and America on SACD. But, yesterday, I purchased for five bucks from Amazon "The Essentials-Tommy James and the Shondells, and I have played the composition "Crystal Blue Persuasion" non stop for the last 24 hours. smile.gifredface.gif What a great song.:Dproject
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post #1364 of 1676 Old 06-08-2014, 09:59 AM
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It all depends on what your primary listening is. If it is multichannel then I would get the SP3. If it is 2 channel I would look into getting a 2 channel pre amp. I have both a 2 channel tubed pre and the SP3. I prefer my Cary tubed pre for 2 channel over the SP3. Your impressions could differ.

What are you willing to spend for a 2 channel pre?

For now I am looking at Passlabs XP30 and probably will keep that as my cap for a dedicated 2 channels pre amp that can last a decade before the upgrade itch kicks in and/or something that does better than what the XP30 can do. In that range, I am also looking Audio Research Reference 10 and even the 5SE for able to meet the few requirement i have for the dedicated stereo pre, one, for more than 3 dedicated XLR input. Two,with HT bypass and Class A/Tube output stage and of course fully balanced is definitely on the list for such price range expectation.

I personally felt that going separate 2 channel stereo pre with a dedicated av pre would be the ultimate if place and budget allows but it's hard to justify the added inconveniences let alone the space and budget.
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Get the SP3. Coming from a Marantz AV-8801, you will think you have a dedicated 2 channel tube pre-amp. :-)

8801 is not a bad av pre but it does the 2 channels so averagely when you compared event to some dedicated dac with built in pre amp control, such as the OPPO 105D. It's just so much difference frown.gif
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post #1365 of 1676 Old 06-09-2014, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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For now I am looking at Passlabs XP30 and probably will keep that as my cap for a dedicated 2 channels pre amp that can last a decade before the upgrade itch kicks in and/or something that does better than what the XP30 can do. In that range, I am also looking Audio Research Reference 10 and even the 5SE for able to meet the few requirement i have for the dedicated stereo pre, one, for more than 3 dedicated XLR input. Two,with HT bypass and Class A/Tube output stage and of course fully balanced is definitely on the list for such price range expectation.

I personally felt that going separate 2 channel stereo pre with a dedicated av pre would be the ultimate if place and budget allows but it's hard to justify the added inconveniences let alone the space and budget.
8801 is not a bad av pre but it does the 2 channels so averagely when you compared event to some dedicated dac with built in pre amp control, such as the OPPO 105D. It's just so much difference frown.gif

The law of diminishing returns still apply and you would be remiss if you did not audition the SP3 to determine if its 2 channel analog section is adequate for you prior to spending 16.5k on a dedicated 2 channel pre-amp.
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I had to give you thumbs up because not only did you give out a great recommendation, advice, and observation, you are the first person on the entire AVS forum to show knowledge of the origin of the Aleph J. cool.gif Also, I did not know the Bryston 2B-SST was Class AB so I would have been taking a step backwards.eek.gif

The speakers that are 96db are Infinity Composition Preludes P-FR, and I purchased them without hearing them solely from a review in Stereophlie and I believe the reviewer was using a low powered Cary tube amp. These speakers were designed by a KEF engineer and share KEF's sonic trait of being neutral. They are so sensitive and revealing that if you change amps, cables or processors, the speakers will reveal it. I cannot describe how they sound with my current setup except to say that since the SP3, I hear the recording studio not the speakers as they disappear. biggrin.gif

I remember the Magnaplanar speakers we sold in the 70s as being very inefficient with only the best amp being capable of driving them. Some even needed an amp that could handle a 2 oh, load. With them being in the spirit of electrostatic speaker, it stands to reason that a Mac or good tube amp would be their best mate. Perhaps the Bryston or Krell for that matter, are better suited for a cone oriented speakers. The thing I remember most about the Maggie's is that they had a sonic signature that were uniquely theirs and a midrange that I have never heard duplicated by any other speaker. I could tell that it was a speaker that once heard and owned, you could not live without them.wink.gif

You and I are the same age so I assume you are Class of '72, the class of the last genius'.smile.gif At any rate, my musical taste vary from smooth jazz, R&B to rock. However, lately, I have been benging out on the Allman Brothers, the Doors, and America on SACD. But, yesterday, I purchased for five bucks from Amazon "The Essentials-Tommy James and the Shondells, and I have played the composition "Crystal Blue Persuasion" non stop for the last 24 hours. smile.gifredface.gif What a great song.:Dproject

Sorry for the late reply but i went to Pocono for the weekend to watch the Nascar race.

I really had never heard of the Infinity Q series. I read reviews on the Kefs when i was looking to upgrade my Paradigms. I checked out your speakers and i was shocked how little they cost relative to how they are built. They look like ultra expensive speakers. It is unbelievable that they were A rated by Stereophile and being pretty cheap for a Class A rated speaker. My magnepans are very revealing too. I had read that they sound good with a solid state amp. I was blown away how sweet they sounded with the tube sounding Mac. Almost all of the music i listen too does not do them justice. I listen to a lot of Van Morrison live audience recording and blues. I hardly ever listen to any audiophile type music. I am a fan of the Allman brothers and the all the ex band members who have gone their separate ways. I guess Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks are the latest to leave. My cd player won't play sacd's but i think my Oppo BDP-93 will although that is hooked to the AVR. Maybe i can hook the digital out to my DAC and use one output at a time. I don't know if a sacd will sound better then a flac file going through the usb on my Squeezebox Touch. I have listened to one song quite a few time in a row but you should apply for a guiness record if you could listen to one song for 24 hours. I would have a hard time staying up that long.

I am class of 74. I have never been able to afford to keep upgrading my stereo so i had decent equipment for long stretches at a time, like my Adcom 555 amp and preamp and my Legacy speakers that i had until about 4 years ago. I don't get out and listen to anything really so i rely a lot on reviews on the internet. Mostly i have done pretty good through my research with my biggest disappointment being the Bryston 4B SST2. I don't really have a opportunity listening to amps other then what my friend brings out. I don't really want to listen to amps on different speakers then mine. I'm seriously thinking about selling my amp really cheap so i can buy a Mac. I would love if someone around Buffalo would bring over a newer Mac so we could compare it to my Bryston.
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Mac amps have a sound that I love also. There just seems to be something about them that is different than other solid state amps. Every set of speakers I had ever heard on one I wanted to purchase. Then finally I had a chance. I was disappointed that they didnt sound anywhere close on my Citation amp.sold them and the amp.lol Never did get a mac. Maybe I should.
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post #1368 of 1676 Old 06-10-2014, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Mac amps have a sound that I love also. There just seems to be something about them that is different than other solid state amps. Every set of speakers I had ever heard on one I wanted to purchase. Then finally I had a chance. I was disappointed that they didnt sound anywhere close on my Citation amp.sold them and the amp.lol Never did get a mac. Maybe I should.

To get proper synergy in a system, you must have amps that compiment the speakers and processor or pre-amp. A Mac will sound good with some system, not so good in others. The same holds true for Bryston, Citation or other amp brand. It depends. The best way to ensure an amp compliments your system is to demo it, but 99% of the time, its impossible in todays audio retail climate.
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post #1369 of 1676 Old 06-10-2014, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
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My understanding is that Secets of Home Theater is about to release a new review of the SP3. It lets me know that the SP3 is still relevant. In my opinion, pound for pound, dollar for dollar, its till the best processor on the market bar none.
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post #1370 of 1676 Old 06-10-2014, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I really had never heard of the Infinity Q series. I read reviews on the Kefs when i was looking to upgrade my Paradigms. I checked out your speakers and i was shocked how little they cost relative to how they are built. They look like ultra expensive speakers. It is unbelievable that they were A rated by Stereophile and being pretty cheap for a Class A rated speaker

I believe to this day that the only reason Harmon Kardon purchased Infinity Systems was to down grade its speaker line and promote its expensive Revel Salon line of speakers. I have relied on Stereophile reviews for every expensive purchase decision and I only purchased products where the reviewer indicated it sounded better than products costing twice the price or that the product punches well out of its price range.
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post #1371 of 1676 Old 06-10-2014, 09:25 PM
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I believe to this day that the only reason Harmon Kardon purchased Infinity Systems was to down grade its speaker line and promote its expensive Revel Salon line of speakers.
Harman owned Infinity long before Revel was a twinkle in Sidney's eye.

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post #1372 of 1676 Old 06-11-2014, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Harman owned Infinity long before Revel was a twinkle in Sidney's eye.

That may be true, but it's a fact HK killed the Infinity high end line of speakers while promoting its Revel line. frown.gif
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That may be true, but it's a fact HK killed the Infinity high end line of speakers while promoting its Revel line. frown.gif
That's evident. And GM killed Pontiac while promoting the Cadillac line. And Buick. And Chevrolet... That's the nature of company business. Restructuring the product line.

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post #1374 of 1676 Old 06-11-2014, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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That's evident. And GM killed Pontiac while promoting the Cadillac line. And Buick. And Chevrolet... That's the nature of company business. Restructuring the product line.
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That's evident. And GM killed Pontiac while promoting the Cadillac line. And Buick. And Chevrolet... That's the nature of company business. Restructuring the product line.

There is a difference, however. Pontiac was always a part of GM before they decided to kill the brand due to poor sales. Infinity was its own brand of high quality speakers in just about every price level. Then they purchased the brand, developed the Revels and subsequently relegated Infinity to a low fi speakers. Heck, you can't even get replacement parts for their high end speakers from the past.frown.gif
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post #1375 of 1676 Old 06-11-2014, 07:00 AM
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Quote:Originally Posted by Roger Dressler 
Harman owned Infinity long before Revel was a twinkle in Sidney's eye.

 
Quote:Originally Posted by gbaby 
Then they purchased the brand, developed the Revels and subsequently relegated Infinity to a low fi speakers. 

HK did not develop the Revels nor did they conceive the brand.  They bought it just as they bought Infinity.

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post #1376 of 1676 Old 06-12-2014, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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So much for my conspiracy theory.

I do wonder why HK allowed the Infinity brand to be down graded to car audio and toy speaker products, however. Infinity had a great marketing slogan, "There is nothing beyond Infinity."
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Quote: Originally Posted by pongagt


I really had never heard of the Infinity Q series. I read reviews on the Kefs when i was looking to upgrade my Paradigms. I checked out your speakers and i was shocked how little they cost relative to how they are built. They look like ultra expensive speakers. It is unbelievable that they were A rated by Stereophile and being pretty cheap for a Class A rated speaker


I believe to this day that the only reason Harmon Kardon purchased Infinity Systems was to down grade its speaker line and promote its expensive Revel Salon line of speakers. I have relied on Stereophile reviews for every expensive purchase decision and I only purchased products where the reviewer indicated it sounded better than products costing twice the price or that the product punches well out of its price range.
I would think HK would have promoted the Infinity speakers because i did not even know HK made speakers. I have always associated them with electronics.
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post #1378 of 1676 Old 06-13-2014, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I would think HK would have promoted the Infinity speakers because i did not even know HK made speakers. I have always associated them with electronics.
I, too, would think HK would have promoted the Infinity line of speakers. But, I'm sure they did not want to promote 2 high end line of speakers so I guess Infinity lost. I can say with reasonable certainty though that as good as I think my Infinity Composition Preludes-PFR sound, they may be the weakest link in my system since the purchase of the SP3. These speakers are going on 19 years old, and I am sure that there has been substantial improvements in speaker technology over that time frame. Also, because of the age of my speakers, I feel there is more to be had sonically from the SP3.
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post #1379 of 1676 Old 06-13-2014, 09:51 PM
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I, too, would think HK would have promoted the Infinity line of speakers. But, I'm sure they did not want to promote 2 high end line of speakers so I guess Infinity lost. I can say with reasonable certainty though that as good as I think my Infinity Composition Preludes-PFR sound, they may be the weakest link in my system since the purchase of the SP3. These speakers are going on 19 years old, and I am sure that there has been substantial improvements in speaker technology over that time frame. Also, because of the age of my speakers, I feel there is more to be had sonically from the SP3.
You may want to check the capacitors in the crossover and upgrade them with something like Dayton Audio or better capacitors. I'll bet it would be well worth it if you want to keep the speakers. I was thinking about upgrading the caps in my Paradigms but they were still under warranty and i decided to try the Magnepans instead.
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post #1380 of 1676 Old 06-16-2014, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I, too, would think HK would have promoted the Infinity line of speakers. But, I'm sure they did not want to promote 2 high end line of speakers so I guess Infinity lost. I can say with reasonable certainty though that as good as I think my Infinity Composition Preludes-PFR sound, they may be the weakest link in my system since the purchase of the SP3. These speakers are going on 19 years old, and I am sure that there has been substantial improvements in speaker technology over that time frame. Also, because of the age of my speakers, I feel there is more to be had sonically from the SP3.
You may want to check the capacitors in the crossover and upgrade them with something like Dayton Audio or better capacitors. I'll bet it would be well worth it if you want to keep the speakers. I was thinking about upgrading the caps in my Paradigms but they were still under warranty and i decided to try the Magnepans instead.

Thanks, but no thanks. While I feel there is more to be had from my speakers, its not a burning desire for me to replace them, and I'd rather wait until I get some sort of windfall before I would even consider replacing my current speakers. Putting in new capacitors is something that I would have no interest in doing. Thanks for the concern, however.

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