I had a bryston 4bst for a brief period with my maggies 1.7 and 1.6 . I will just let you know what i heard .The sound to my ears was dead ,very dry /nuetral.Which is not my cup of tea.
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The new Bryston 'squared' lineup is great. Even the SST (just before the square upgrade is pretty good. Anything prior to SST is just ordinary.
I own Magnepan 3.6s and Bryston 4B-SST2 (also Bryston BP-26)
And can say I am pretty fussy about the quality of sound, and the Bryston is right up there. Some subtle variations in different (top quality) amps may make an audiophile choose one brand or another, but for the current Bryston lineup, no compromise in sound quality compared to any of the competition at the price points of the different models.
And IMO The comment by a dealer is pretty suspect if they do not carry the brand, or if they want to push some slow selling different model.
If you see the current show, the Magnepan rooms have two setups, Manepan with Bryston, and Magnepan with Audio Research, both great with Magnepans.
Bryston is the #1 recommended amp for Magnepan from the owners of Maggnepan speakers.
I listened to the new Magnepan 3.7 with the top of the line pre (26?) and the 28SST2 at the T.H.E. Show last weekend in Las Vegas and was floored at how good the new SST2 Bryston line sounds; most definitely the best they have done. Sound was tight, but musical, matched with the highly regarded sound stage of the Maggies. Seemed to be a great combo. The room was enjoyed by many!
The stores dissing Bryston? What do THEY want to sell you?
Magnepan goes to shows with Bryston. What does that tell you?
Given my listening habits, I'd be VERY happy at the 4B level or perhaps even the 3B level. Simply couldn't make the $$$ part of it work so I didn't buy 'em.
The OTHER amp I'd consider, and never heard with panels, is the PASS.
I have 1.6s
The 4b (I had an st on 3.6's) is good but not enough power for the 3.6's IMO. I kept blowing the fuses and the 4b ST. Changed to a Levinson 332 and was floored! I never knew the maggies really delivered untill I got the levinson. However Bryston's are great if you get enough power. Maggies require a real world amp such as Pass, Krell, Levinson or Bryston if you get enough amp.