Amps: Bryston vs Electrocompaniet

I am considering purchasing an Electrocompaniet AW-120 amp. Does anyone have an opinion of (or experience with) this amp especially in comparison to the performance of a 4B-ST or 7B-ST? I will be connecting the amp to a Bat vk-5si pre and Dynaudio Contour speakers using JPS Labs wires and interconnects. Any and all opinions appreciated.
I own the 4B-ST and have heard Electrocompaniet gear but can't remember if it was the AW-120. The Bryston is a great product especially at its pricepoint. The Electro.. is also nice and has a warmer sound IMHO. There is a large dollar difference between the two amps and I would think the Electro... is in a class higher than the Bryston. $2300 vs $3995 is a big jump and therefore there should be a sonic difference but not necessarily and increase in sound "quality". I am not sure this is a fair comparison. As for the 7B monoblocks, its the same thing, same neutral sound as the 4B but loads more power! Will really depend on your speaker's requirements. If the Electro... is a serious choice give YBA,Classe and the SIM Audio W5 amp a listen too... Good Luck
Rgd, First of all thanks for sharing your opinion. I think that you really hit upon the issue that I'm struggling with. The concepts of sonic difference, sound quality, or musicality and the differences that should be percievable at these price points. It's difficult to make accurate A-B comparisons when there's no local dealer who carries the brands that I'm interested in (I've also considered Sim Audio but can't find a local dealer.) and I can't get the equipment in my home. I'm definitely going to listen before I buy but I thought I'd use this forum to get some opinions about these products which I agree cover a wide price point. I'm hoping that the opinions posted here will assist me in my search for my "perfect amp" because my better half won't let me do this too many times. Thanks again for your comments.
I use the 7B ST 's with a BAT VK5iSE. Wonderful combination. Have heard the EC in Europe, and though it was too "laid back" for my taste. However..different preamp and speakers, different room. I will only say EC seems to spend far more on "cosmetics" than Bryston, and they ahve to deal with higher import taxes into the US. I wouldnot let th eprice difference be the driver for your choice, since it is likely drivne by factors extraneous to the performance itslef. As with anything else, you just have to listen and follow you ears. The Bryston is definetly very good, and great vlaue for the money..but whether its "better" or not will be highly system and room dependent. Good luck, but I think you won't go wrong with either choice.
i've only heard bryston in dealer/show situations, but what i heard sounded nice. i *do* have electrocompaniet stuff at home, tho, & like it a lot. lotsa folks say its solid state for those who like tubes - seems pretty close to me. the only reason i replaced my older ec-1a preamp was cuz i am a lazy slob & wanted to have a remote-controlled preamp. i'm still using my two electro amps, tho - an aw75dmb driving the tweets of my monitors & an aw100 driving the mid-woofs. (a pair of bridged adcom gfa 555's are used to drive my subs). if ewe like the electro sound, i would suggest buying used an older model - according to heinz preiss, the n. american electrocompaniet technician, they *all* have pretty much the same sonics. if i could ever find another aw75dmb, or an aw100dmb, i'd sell my aw100, but only cuz it's not bridgeable, and i want to try my monitors biwired/bridged, instead of my current bi-amped set-up. and, w/bryston *or* electro, new *or* older models, if ya buy used, ewe won't take such a financial hit if it turns out ya wanna try something else. oh, heinz has a www: good luck, doug
Hi Rob, It's nice to hear you refer to your wife as your better half. I've never heard the Electrocompaniet but I did recently borrow a friends Bryston (thanks BJ)to break in a pair of Eidolons. My amps are the VK60-mono's and (pre-amp VK50se) I didn't want to waste 300 hours of tube life playing the system straight for for all that time. While the Bryston may be good at its price point I'm affraid it didn't sound to good in my system especially compared to the VK60s. Less than 2 years ago I did compare a variety of amps in my system both solid-state and tube and found the Bat VK500(batpack) to be overall my favorite of the solid-state amps auditioned. On the used market they sell for around $2500 to $3000. I'm sure it would be a great match with your VK5ise and would be able to drive your speakers. Good luck, Tom
Hello Rob You might want to try talking to either Jeff Or Mark at Jeff Sound Values. His site is under the browse part of audiogon. He is a Electro dealer and pobably can give you some insight on this matter. They are good people and have helped me out many times when I needed a second opinion. Best of luck.
Since you are using a Dynaudio Contour series speaker and I'm also using one. My advise would be to use the Plinius SA100MK3 power amp. Somehow the Plinius and the Dynaudio have a very synergistic match. Along in that lines, I have great sucess using the Analysis Plus Oval 9's with the above amp and speakers. I think the AW120 might not be enough to drive the Dyna Contour if youhave a big listening room. I'm using the 8150i which is 150 watts @ 8 ohms and it just right for that speaker. THose speakers really love megawatts to get the most out of them. If you have any more queries pls send me an email I have not heard of the Bryston so I cant comment. I was able to hear the AW120, AW180 and ECi-3. Great amps but I think the DYna's could just use some more power. Although the SA100 is just 100 watts, but its very high current and high power. Its more powerful than my 8150i integrated amp.
I own a bryston before, it sounded too sharp and edge. Full spectrum music such as metallic or full jazz band was ok. The tone quality of the solo or single vocal did not come through as a clean nature I sold it to someone who was running eletrostatic speakers. One thing I can say good thing about the bryston is the durability of the amp.
consider classe or lower end plinius, krell or levinson to drive ur speakers... u will be happier..than the electro or the bryston.. dynaudio loves to be dominated by the very high steady current amp.
the electrocompaniet will have *no* problems driving the dynaudios - 120wpc into 8 ohms, 200wpc into 4 ohms, 350wpc into 2 ohms. stable down to 0.5 ohms, max current output is over 100 amps. don't have experience w/plinius, tho everyone sez they're great, but the dynaudio speakers are *so* detailed, i think the electrocompaniet amps would do very well w/them...
Wow! First of all, I want to thank everyone for taking the time to respond to my questions. I have read and thought a lot about each one and will continue to consider the various opinions. You didn't make my task any easier but one thought dominates and that is that the best decision will come if I can get some amps to my home for a preview. That may be difficult but I'm more determined than ever to try to do so. In case I ultimately fail to do that your comments on Electrocompaniet, Bryston, Sim Audio, and Plinius have definitely helped. The search continues but your responses have made it more interesting, challenging, and a lot more fun. Thanks again to all.
You should try Sim W5 or Eletrocomapniet and take the 7BST off your list. A audiophile buddy of mine used to own a pair of 7BST until the day he and I did the a/b between the W5 and 7BST right in my listening room. The W5 smoked the 7B in every way imaginable ie. speed, slam, weight etc. Obviously he sold the Bryston the next day and in process of ordering a W5 for himself. Good luck!
I would recommend you trying the Plinus SA100 MKIIIor the Electrocompaniet - they sound like the "real thing". Another possibility for you current loving speakers would be the Bear Labs Symphony No. 1. Good luck!! Jim
Both companies make excellent equipment, although Electrocompaniet gear probably gets the nod for better cosmetics. That said, Bryston gear is a fabulous buy for high-end gear. Bryston also builds Lexicon equipment, by the way, and their 20-year warranty and customer service reputation can't be beat. The Bryston 4B-ST is an extremely clean amp with excellent bass control and transparent mid-range. I am currently using the 4B-ST with my Vandy 3A Signatures and am delighted with the combo. If you decide to buy a Bryston, I suggest you contact Danny Oovlin who operates an Internet-based high-end audio company from Santa Clara, CA. I bought my 4B-ST from him and got an excellent price. He can be contacted by E-mail at: