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McIntosh ma7000 vs. Bryston 4B-SST2/BP-6

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have been researching this decision for a very long time. I have decided between the McIntosh ma7000 or the Bryston BP-6 Preamp/Bryston 4B-SST2 Amp. Also, will be using a Rotel CD/DVD Player for my CD's..Wanted to hear from any owners of the ma7000 or Bryston combo. Also looking for recommendations on a Vinyl Player (maybe Rega P1) under $600, & a CD transport $600 or less range (Cambridge 650C)? I also considered just pairing the Parasound Halo A21 Amp to my existing Rotel Pre-amp. Open to all thoughts/comments. Please, no fighting. Thanks in advance everyone....
post #2 of 11
I haven't checked recently, but Bryston used to have a great warrantee. Polls like this are useless. Buy the one that makes you happy. Don't rely on others to tell what will make you happy.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dknightd View Post
I haven't checked recently, but Bryston used to have a great warrantee. Polls like this are useless. Buy the one that makes you happy. Don't rely on others to tell what will make you happy.
Point well taken...Yes, Bryston still has a Twenty Year Warranty. But the warranty doesn't mean anything if I don't like it. (subjective of course) Your right on the poll though, it was meant more to get a discussion going pro/con (subjective) between the two..I won't have a chance to "feel" the Bryston, but I did feel the Mc....I have been reading glowing reviews of both & price is about the same. As always, just looking for real world owners of either & there impressions (subjective).
post #4 of 11
The Mac is a great piece but I would also cosider the Pass Labs INT-150 or the Luxman 509U. The Luxman has an excellent built in phono pre amp included and is much better than any of the entry level phonos you'll need to hook up tosomething like a Bryston. As far as TTs the Rega RP-1, Project 1.3 and the Music Hall 2.2 are all excellent and are priced at around $450-$500. You can also toss in the Pro ject Debut III too. I don't know what your speakers are like sound wise but if they are on the warm side and you choose a Rega go w/an Ortofon 2m red $99 or even better 2M Blue $199 you'll get a livelier top end. The rega is similar to my Linn Sondek Lp 12 in that it's on the warm side and the Ortofon balaces out the top end very nicely. Did wonders for my Aerial Model 6's. If your speakers are on the Thiel side (revealing at the top end a Shure 97Xe would be a good choice $99 or a Grado Prestige Gold $220. Set up correctly you'll probably put your CD player on the back burner. My MAC MVP-851 gets a lot less playing time than my 25yr. old Linn. By the way with less exspensive Luxman or Pass 150 you could move up to a VPI Scout $1800 or VPI Classic I for $2700 you'd really have a great analogue front end. Good luck with your pick.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am now leaning towards the Luxman 505u...Looks like they put the "solid" in solid state...
post #6 of 11
Listened to the Luxman hooked up to the $10,000 Sonus Faber Cremonas just fantastic. Also the Luxman has that retro look similar to the McIntosh. A great audio brand that's been around for many years. Hopefully you'll get to demo it. Good luck and enjoy the hunt.
post #7 of 11
What was the outcome? Did you get the Luxman?
post #8 of 11
Ok guys i'm a sucker for a nice integrated amplifier after hearing a McIntosh MA-6900 my search started for one on the USED market i always buy used or demos but after a while came the MA-7000 my my what a beautiful piece but just one problem it does not sound the same as the MA-6900 one is a nice laid back sound the other is a more forward sound my preference is for a laid back sound so i save myself a big bundle because for much less money this little integrated was more to my and my friend's tastes.

PS: Whe had both amplifiers for a weekend in the same system the small Classé & the big McIntosh and for our tastes the Classé won the showdown and i was very very surprised.

Classé CAP-2100


McIntosh MA-7000

post #9 of 11
I'd pick the McIntosh over either if only b/c the Mac has tone controls, and a mono switch. I'll never again own a pre-amp (or integrated) without these. IMHO, The minimalist approach to gear which favors eschewing these very basic controls, is quite misguided. When zero'd, their presence in the signal path is inaudible, yet when listening to less-than-perfect recordings, they can turn unlistenable music into enjoyable music. Mfgs, I feel, allow the notion that they somehow damage the signal to persist b/c it gives them a convenient excuse for not doing the extra design/ manufacturing work, and expense, to incorporate them.

Plus, while many regard the meters as needless gimmickry, I love them. ...I find them hugely helpful in ensuring that I'm not over-driving my speakers. ..I like the reassurance that the amp is only putting out 10 watts or so when the music is so loud that I'm inclined to worry about whether or not the speakers are nearing their damage threshold.

As for which sounds best... Well, if you've read any of my posts you'll know that I'm very much a skeptic when it comes to claims about hearing differences b/w amps that are properly functioning. In my view, it's expectation bias that leads people to conclude that one amp sounds dramatically different that another. ...I've carefully compared countless amps and have never been able to hear a meaningful difference.

As for Bryston's warranty. ..While impressive on paper, I don't think it's such a great deal when you're paying twice what a component should cost given it's build quality and feature set. ..I owned a Bryston 3Bsst amp and BP-25 pre-amp for several years and while the fit/finish are impressive during that time the pre-amp had to go back to Bryston twice; first b/c of faulty mute switch, then b/c the volume tracking was off (when turning volume to zero, the left speaker went quiet while music still audible from right speaker - though improved, it was not completed fixed). During that same period I owned an NAD receiver which had zero problems, cost 1/4 as much, and sounded no different.
Edited by syd123 - 6/11/12 at 4:48am
post #10 of 11
I am using a Bryston 3B-SST2 amplifier with an Audio Research LS-26 preamp, and the sound is to die for; never heard anything better. The combo will run around $11,000. The current model number on the preamp is LS-27, which is essentially identical to the LS-26.

A really great integrated amplifier you might consider, if you don't want to spend that much, is the Krell S300i, which is excellent and only $2500. It is really amazing for its price.

I personally love the Bryston power amplifiers, but I don't think their preamps are to be recommended; better stuff available in that price range.

The Audio Research LS-17 is better than any Bryston preamp IMO, and is $3995 (dealers may discount it a bit). You could put that together with a 3B-SST2 or the A21 amplifier and have something very nice. Since you already have the A21 amplifier, getting the LS-17 and using that amplifier might put you where you want to be at a reasonable price.

The OPPO BDP-95 player is the best thing you can get for under $10,000 IMO. Its sound for SACD and CD is better-sounding than my Ayre C5xe/MP, which I paid $6000 for, and which WAS the best-sounding until the OPPO came along.

IMO the BDP-95 would be a bargain if it was selling for $3000, but they only charge $1000 for it. I have never heard anything better at ANY price. The improvement in sound quality, compared to any Rotel player, will make your jaw drop; no comparison.

My advice to anyone with $1000 to spend on a player; buy it quick before they raise the price!

I am using the Music Hall MMF-2.2 turntable along with the Musical Fidelity V-LPS phono preamp, and I can recommend it highly.
Edited by commsysman - 6/12/12 at 8:35am
post #11 of 11
Don't pay attention to salesman.
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