The Official Bryston SP3 Thread. - Page 64 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1891 of 1917 Old 06-10-2015, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dla26 View Post
Thanks. But the firmware can be updated, correct? So I'm thinking the current firmware version shouldn't be very relevant.

By the way, I checked out Bryston page a bit more, and the date on the back is written in YYWW, so 1215 means the 15th week of 2012, or roughly April/May 2012.

The seller said that the warranty wasn't transferable, so I need to ask him more about that, since, according to the Bryston website, it should be. TBH, I'm not as worried about needing to use the warranty itself as I am about being able to order update boards in the future because of the SP3's modular design. For example, I believe I need to get an HDMI 2.0 board to enable 4K video pass-through. (Please correct me if I'm wrong on that!) I don't have a 4K projector or player yet, so I don't necessarily need that at this point, but I just want to make sure it's upgradable in the future.
The firmware can be upgraded, and you are several years behind. If the seller states the warranty was not transferable then perhaps it means he did not purchase the unit from an authorized dealer. Ask him or her where it was purchased.

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post #1892 of 1917 Old 06-13-2015, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Just got notice that Audio Advisors are selling refurbished SP3 with full manufacturer warranty for 5.5k. Now thats the way to buy an item this expensive.
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post #1893 of 1917 Old 06-13-2015, 02:31 PM
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I know. If I didn't already have the Foundation I would be all over that. Anybody reading this if you are thinking about buying one of these. Run fast to get in line. This is a great bargain for an awesome piece.
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post #1894 of 1917 Old 06-13-2015, 06:20 PM
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I think they are gone.

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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post
Just got notice that Audio Advisors are selling refurbished SP3 with full manufacturer warranty for 5.5k. Now thats the way to buy an item this expensive.

I believe they had 3 of them and they were gone fast. None left from what I can see on the website.
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post #1895 of 1917 Old 06-15-2015, 10:31 AM
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An update on my firmware issues:

We checked some settings in the "miscellaneous" menu, Stan suggested to adjust/change some specific settings, then to reset eeprom etc. But nothing has changed, 2015.04b firmware (as others before) resulted in a persistent switch-on failure, the unit did not respond to switch-on command after a few hours in stand-by mode, although I do not use any remote/network operation.
So I returned to 2014.07b now, and the unit works fine again.
It's really strange, and I do not know if there are any improvements of later FW versions I may miss, but even Stan could not find a root cause, and also could not reproduce the issue with a unit at the factory. It remains a problem of my specific unit, and as long as it works properly with the older FW, I would not send the unit to warranty repair.
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post #1896 of 1917 Old 06-15-2015, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wernerleitmann View Post
An update on my firmware issues:

We checked some settings in the "miscellaneous" menu, Stan suggested to adjust/change some specific settings, then to reset eeprom etc. But nothing has changed, 2015.04b firmware (as others before) resulted in a persistent switch-on failure, the unit did not respond to switch-on command after a few hours in stand-by mode, although I do not use any remote/network operation.
So I returned to 2014.07b now, and the unit works fine again.
It's really strange, and I do not know if there are any improvements of later FW versions I may miss, but even Stan could not find a root cause, and also could not reproduce the issue with a unit at the factory. It remains a problem of my specific unit, and as long as it works properly with the older FW, I would not send the unit to warranty repair.
At some point in time, you may want to consider asking them to send you a loaner to be billed on your credit card while you send yours in for a check on why it cannot receive the new upgrade. I would want to know reason your upgrade produced the results you are receiving.
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post #1897 of 1917 Old 06-16-2015, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wernerleitmann View Post
An update on my firmware issues:
So I returned to 2014.07b now, and the unit works fine again.
It's really strange, and I do not know if there are any improvements of later FW versions I may miss, but even Stan could not find a root cause, and also could not reproduce the issue with a unit at the factory. It remains a problem of my specific unit, and as long as it works properly with the older FW, I would not send the unit to warranty repair.
Thanks for keeping us updated, in any case that is working.

I can understand that you stay with 2014.07b.
(I would do the same. For another issue my SP3 had - finally - to be sent from Europe to Canada and it took quite a while to get it back.)
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post #1898 of 1917 Old 06-18-2015, 07:37 AM
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Well, I missed my opportunity to purchase one of the refurbished SP3's at audio advisor. I've been saving for a while, but to buy one now may be out of my reach.

I'm wondering though: for strictly home theater use how much sonic improvement will I gain over my existing Marantz 8801?

I'm mainly HT, but I'm also into music as well. That is what attracts me to the SP3.

Will the SP3 provide noticeable improvement for HT as well as music? I am considering maybe just going with a Bryston preamp with A pass through for HT.

Any thoughts?

David Lynch Current Equipment: Marantz AV8801, Proceed HPA3, Parasound HCA-1206, Aerial Acoustics LR5's (LCR), Aerial Acoustics LR3's (sides), RBH in-walls (rears), Seaton Submersive, Marantz VP15s1, 106" Carada BW screen, Oppo BDP-103.
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post #1899 of 1917 Old 06-19-2015, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post
Well, I missed my opportunity to purchase one of the refurbished SP3's at audio advisor. I've been saving for a while, but to buy one now may be out of my reach.

I'm wondering though: for strictly home theater use how much sonic improvement will I gain over my existing Marantz 8801?

I'm mainly HT, but I'm also into music as well. That is what attracts me to the SP3.

Will the SP3 provide noticeable improvement for HT as well as music? I am considering maybe just going with a Bryston preamp with A pass through for HT.

Any thoughts?
Can't speak for the Marantz, but when I moved from my Onkyo PR-SC885P pre/pro to the SP-3, I simply could not believe, how big a difference a pre/pro could make. I didn't recognize my speakers anymore, so much more open, more transparent and cleaner was the sound. The comparison, of course, is not fair. The PR-SC885P was in the $1,500 range, while the SP-3 adds a zero in a significant area ($10,500).

Anyway, I attributed the incredible sonic improvement to the fact that those two products have been developed very differently:

The Onkyo was more or less the top-of-the-line receiver, where Onkyo took out the power amp and replaced it with a more elaborate pre-out section. The power supply was adjusted to meet the requirements of a pre/pro. The advantage of this approach is that the pre/pro inherits lots of features, bells and whistles from the receivers. The problem, however, is that the inheritance also includes all the limitations that the basic receiver design has (common components across the receivers starting at $200, i.e.) and that some of the features might even degrade the sonic quality.

The Bryston SP-3 does not have such an inheritance. In consequence, there are no bells and whistles and the SP-3 lacks some features which might be considered standard even in a $200 receiver. But Bryston could develop a new product with sound quality as the guiding principle in mind - without any limiting inheritance.

I might be oversimplifying things a bit, but it is like comparing a piece of high quality industrial furniture with a piece of hand crafted solid wood furniture. It's a different game and you immediatelly recognize to which group an item belongs...

Just my two cents!


Markus
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post #1900 of 1917 Old 06-19-2015, 08:05 AM
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Thank you for the thoughtful response. I appreciate your comments.

I'm not surprised of the differences you hear with the SP3. Are the differences you here mainly in music listening? Do you hear the same level of difference when using it for home theater processing?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mv038856 View Post
Can't speak for the Marantz, but when I moved from my Onkyo PR-SC885P pre/pro to the SP-3, I simply could not believe, how big a difference a pre/pro could make. I didn't recognize my speakers anymore, so much more open, more transparent and cleaner was the sound. The comparison, of course, is not fair. The PR-SC885P was in the $1,500 range, while the SP-3 adds a zero in a significant area ($10,500).

Anyway, I attributed the incredible sonic improvement to the fact that those two products have been developed very differently:

The Onkyo was more or less the top-of-the-line receiver, where Onkyo took out the power amp and replaced it with a more elaborate pre-out section. The power supply was adjusted to meet the requirements of a pre/pro. The advantage of this approach is that the pre/pro inherits lots of features, bells and whistles from the receivers. The problem, however, is that the inheritance also includes all the limitations that the basic receiver design has (common components across the receivers starting at $200, i.e.) and that some of the features might even degrade the sonic quality.

The Bryston SP-3 does not have such an inheritance. In consequence, there are no bells and whistles and the SP-3 lacks some features which might be considered standard even in a $200 receiver. But Bryston could develop a new product with sound quality as the guiding principle in mind - without any limiting inheritance.

I might be oversimplifying things a bit, but it is like comparing a piece of high quality industrial furniture with a piece of hand crafted solid wood furniture. It's a different game and you immediatelly recognize to which group an item belongs...

Just my two cents!


Markus

David Lynch Current Equipment: Marantz AV8801, Proceed HPA3, Parasound HCA-1206, Aerial Acoustics LR5's (LCR), Aerial Acoustics LR3's (sides), RBH in-walls (rears), Seaton Submersive, Marantz VP15s1, 106" Carada BW screen, Oppo BDP-103.
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post #1901 of 1917 Old 06-19-2015, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been procrastinating on giving my opinion of the Bryston amp, the 2.5bsst2, but I guess I need to do it now or I never will do it. In any case, I've had this amp a couple of months and I have had an opportunity to determine its sonic traits. I honestly feel that the 2.5bsst2 has no sonic traits. In fact, I'd describe it as very revealing and neutral. I'd also say, its the best sonic investment since I purchased the SP3, even better than that of the BDP-2. Heretofore, I had been using a First Watt Aleph J for 2 channel duties and a Krell KAV-500 for center and surround duties. However, the Aleph J, while rated at 25wpc on an 8 ohms load, is only about 15wpc with a 4 ohms load so I had to set my center and rear speakers to -6db in order for the Krell to not sound louder than the Aleph J, and so that all the speakers would be at equal level. However, with the Bryston 2.5bsst2, I could set all levels at -0- and since all speakers share identical drivers, I was unprepared for my new experience. The executive summary is that this is the first time I have really heard the potential of my mains speakers and the sound is glorious. Everything is better including the bass, mid bass, mids and high frequencies. I cannot explain it, but my bass is now so tight, its like I actually installed some bass traps or other acoustic product. I also experience separation that is obvious in every sitting position, but at the same time, the sound is cohesive. Moreover, I can turn the volume up much loader without a hint of strain or distortion. Whoever said Bryston amps are harsh must be referring to the older amps. However, I can say that my 2.5bsst2 is not harsh, but neutral and transparent allowing the recording to exist in you living room. If I were in need of another amp, I'd buy another Bryston because they are great amps. Furthermore, with its 20 years warranty, I know I will not have to worry about service. So, if any of you ever need another amp, the Bryston amps should be on your short list as they are very reasonably priced. Finally, the biggest lesson I've learned from this purchase is that low powered Class A amps are no substitute for more powerful and neutral sounding A/B amps. I think speakers respond more to power than class.

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Originally Posted by gbaby View Post
I have been procrastinating on giving my opinion of the Bryston amp, the 2.5bsst2, but I guess I need to do it now or I never will do it. In any case, I've had this amp a couple of months and I have had an opportunity to determine its sonic traits. I honestly feel that the 2.5bsst2 has no sonic traits. In fact, I'd describe it as very revealing and neutral. I'd also say, its the best sonic investment since I purchased the SP3, even better than that of the BDP-2. Heretofore, I had been using a First Watt Aleph J for 2 channel duties and a Krell KAV-500 for center and surround duties. However, the Aleph J, while rated at 25wpc on an 8 ohms load, is only about 15wpc with a 4 ohms load so I had to set my center and rear speakers to -6db in order for the Krell to not sound louder than the Aleph J, and so that all the speakers would be at equal level. However, with the Bryston 2.5bsst2, I could set all levels at -0- and since all speakers share identical drivers, I was unprepared for my new experience. The executive summary is that this is the first time and have really heard the potential of my mains speakers and the sound is glorious. Everything is better including the bass, mid bass, mids and high frequencies. I cannot explain it, but my bass is now so tight, its like I actually installed some bass traps or other acoustic product. I also experience separation that is obvious in every sitting position, but at the same time, the sound is cohesive. Moreover, I can turn the volume up much loader without a hint of strain or distortion. Whoever said Bryston amps are harsh must be referring to the older amps. However, I can say that my 2.5bsst2 is not harsh, but neutral and transparent allowing the recording to exist in you living room. If I were in need of another amp, I'd buy another Bryston because they are great amps. Furthermore, with its 20 years warranty, I know I will not have to worry about service. So, if any of you ever need another amp, the Bryston amps should be on your short list as they are very reasonably priced. Finally, the biggest lesson I've learned from this purchase is that low powered Class A amps are no substitute for more powerful and neutral sounding A/B amps. I think speakers respond more to power than class.
Pretty much reflects my experience too. I was using a pair of modified Threshold T-50's for my Aerial 6's and the Bryston 25 gave me greater clarity and opened up the top end and tightened up the bottom. This the best amp I've had in my system.
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post #1903 of 1917 Old 06-20-2015, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlynch View Post
Well, I missed my opportunity to purchase one of the refurbished SP3's at audio advisor. I've been saving for a while, but to buy one now may be out of my reach.

I'm wondering though: for strictly home theater use how much sonic improvement will I gain over my existing Marantz 8801?

I'm mainly HT, but I'm also into music as well. That is what attracts me to the SP3.

Will the SP3 provide noticeable improvement for HT as well as music? I am considering maybe just going with a Bryston preamp with A pass through for HT.

Any thoughts?
I experienced a huge difference when moving from my AV8801 to the Classe SSP800. Smoother sounding, yet more detailed and resolved. More spaciousness in both HT and 2 channel audio. That said, for 2 channel audio the difference was stunning, SO much better. It clearly didn't hurt upgrading my amp to the CA5200 also, but I did that a couple months after getting the SSP800 and the much bigger difference was the SSP800 vs the 8801. Simply no comparison.
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post #1904 of 1917 Old 06-20-2015, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I experienced a huge difference when moving from my AV8801 to the Classe SSP800.... Simply no comparison.
And professional reviewers have stated the SP3 sounds better than the Classe SSP-800. So, go figure.
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post #1905 of 1917 Old 06-20-2015, 12:30 PM
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And professional reviewers have stated the SP3 sounds better than the Classe SSP-800. So, go figure.
This always cracks me up. "Professional Reviewers". Were they born with better ears? If you have to buy without listening, then by all means read away (I still like to read reviews).

Ultimately when you get to the SP3/SSP-800/Krell/Theta level/McIntosh... it's more about system matching than performance differences.

Give me some ultra laid back speakers.. I'll take the Krell or SP3

Give me some slightly hotter speakers (say focal, paradigm sig's, klipsch) and I'll take the Classe or McIntosh.

Having heard the SP3, SSP800, MX121 and 151, and the last generation Krell.... it really comes down to speaker matching with the pre-pro. I wouldn't dare to say one is any better than another sound quality wise.

I do feel that the 2 most neutral are the SSP800 and the SP3

From "warm to clinical" IMO having heard them all.... McIntosh Classe "dead neutral" SP3 Krell

For instance, if I had vienna acoustic speakers, I would look at the krell and possibly SP3

If I had Klipsch Palladiums (as I once did) I would probably go McIntosh, possibly Classe

That's just me though.
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post #1906 of 1917 Old 06-21-2015, 09:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by green giant View Post
This always cracks me up. "Professional Reviewers". Were they born with better ears? If you have to buy without listening, then by all means read away (I still like to read reviews).

Ultimately when you get to the SP3/SSP-800/Krell/Theta level/McIntosh... it's more about system matching than performance differences.

Give me some ultra laid back speakers.. I'll take the Krell or SP3

Give me some slightly hotter speakers (say focal, paradigm sig's, klipsch) and I'll take the Classe or McIntosh.

Having heard the SP3, SSP800, MX121 and 151, and the last generation Krell.... it really comes down to speaker matching with the pre-pro. I wouldn't dare to say one is any better than another sound quality wise.

I do feel that the 2 most neutral are the SSP800 and the SP3

From "warm to clinical" IMO having heard them all.... McIntosh Classe "dead neutral" SP3 Krell

For instance, if I had vienna acoustic speakers, I would look at the krell and possibly SP3

If I had Klipsch Palladiums (as I once did) I would probably go McIntosh, possibly Classe

That's just me though.
Actually, I should have qualified my "professional reviewers" statement and just say Kal Rubinson of Stereophile who published the review stating he thought the SP3 sounded even better that the Classe SSP-800 which he already owned. This is the reason I purchased the SP3, and I have never looked back. Kal has credibility in my book in that he is objective in his assessment on equipment.

Otherwise, I agree with most everything else in your post above. In fact, I auditioned the SP3 with a pair of Vienna Acoustic speakers and later Sonus Faber. I think the more neutral the amp and pre-amp, the better and more accurate the source sounds.
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post #1907 of 1917 Old 06-21-2015, 09:59 AM
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Yes, Kal's reviews tend to be nice and objective. That said with any review I do like to know what speakers are used (which most reviewers do indeed let you know). That way if I know the character of the speakers I can draw some additional conclusions.
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post #1908 of 1917 Old 06-30-2015, 05:45 AM
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Yes, Kal's reviews tend to be nice and objective. That said with any review I do like to know what speakers are used (which most reviewers do indeed let you know). That way if I know the character of the speakers I can draw some additional conclusions.
4 out of 5 dentists survey preferred....

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post #1909 of 1917 Old 06-30-2015, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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4 out of 5 dentists survey preferred....

David, its always good to hear from you as I was wondering where you were. Was it you that indicated you had two systems and one had a turntable? The reason I asked is that I am seriously considering purchasing a phono pre-amp.
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David, its always good to hear from you as I was wondering where you were. Was it you that indicated you had two systems and one had a turntable? The reason I asked is that I am seriously considering purchasing a phono pre-amp.
Actually, I have 3 turntables!

Let me know what phono pre you are considering and I'll let you know if I have listened to it.

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Actually, I have 3 turntables!

Let me know what phono pre you are considering and I'll let you know if I have listened to it.
Three| Excuse my language, but damn. I am considering the Bryston BP1.5 phono pre-amp. I own a cheap Technics turntable with a P mount cartridge by Stanton. It is the Stanton 881. I also own a Shure V15 Type III cartridge without a stylis. Of course, the cartridges are circa 1976 or thereabouts.
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Is there any update on 4K passthru and dsd? Is Bryston going to provide swappable board for these upgrades in near future??
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post #1913 of 1917 Old 06-30-2015, 08:33 PM
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Is there any update on 4K passthru and dsd? Is Bryston going to provide swappable board for these upgrades in near future??
I believe the newer SP3s are 4K but I doubt DSD will happen as the DACs are not capable to my knowledge. Also don't know if any plans to allow 4K upgrades are in the works but one would think that is possible for a price.
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post #1914 of 1917 Old 07-01-2015, 05:48 AM
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Three| Excuse my language, but damn. I am considering the Bryston BP1.5 phono pre-amp. I own a cheap Technics turntable with a P mount cartridge by Stanton. It is the Stanton 881. I also own a Shure V15 Type III cartridge without a stylis. Of course, the cartridges are circa 1976 or thereabouts.
You should not be spending $3-$5k on a phono pre with that turntable and cartridge. You would be better off allocating your money better.
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You should not be spending $3-$5k on a phono pre with that turntable and cartridge. You would be better off allocating your money better.
But that would just be the next step in upgraditis. 😉
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Originally Posted by dminches View Post
You should not be spending $3-$5k on a phono pre with that turntable and cartridge. You would be better off allocating your money better.
Thank you. Great advice.
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post #1917 of 1917 Old 07-01-2015, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there any update on 4K passthru and dsd? Is Bryston going to provide swappable board for these upgrades in near future??
The older SP3s can be upgraded to 4k, but DSD is a no go. Just remember its a PCM world. DSD is a niche codec to say the least.
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