I'm not sure about the 801n but the older 801's needed a pair of Bryston 4's to make them sing. I am listening to that set-up now. 500 watts to keep the bottom from getting flabby. They sure sound good together, lot's of horsepower though.
The 801n sounds perfect in a home theatre set-up, it should be very nice when your done. Good luck and happy listening.
In my opinion, the SST sounds better than the ST. However, the 7BSTs are better suited to the 801s as they crave a lot of juice. So really, the ideal is to go with the 7BSST in the Bryston line, imo.
A sound made in hell... Bryston and 801s. Not sure I have ever heard a combination with Bryston sounding worthy (2 channel). The 7BSST is said to be good.
Trouble with B&W is you need a great deal of power. Classe big monos sound good. Why not try some class D power if only using for HT?
So you have the 801 Matrix, Zenblaster? Which series?
Yeah, I bet. That's a nice alternative to a pair of 7Bs.
@ Chadeffect. Why a sound made in Hell? I mean Bryston is not the best but it isn't the worst, imo.
I've been to at least a dozen studios that powered 801's with Bryston's, but to each his own. What each of us hear and like is different but I've never heard them described as "sounds like hell".
I have the second iteration of the 801 with the sealed bass unit. They were about $1500- new in the mid 80's. With a 85dB/watt efficency, they required a lot of power. They are also VERY revealing, therefore they require a skilled hand to get them dialed in. Stands, set off walls just so but the effort is worth it.
What are you using now and what qualities are you looking to improve upon? Not sure choosing an amp based on price on the used market and warranty are the best criteria to go on, but we all have different priorities I guess.
Soix I am currently running a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver as an amp into an Integra 80.3 processor. I'm starting to have issues with the Sunfire where the sound will just drop. I think I will repair the Sunfire but I always heard that B&W speakers sound better with a good quality high powered amp. I spend as much time watching movies as I do listening to music so I wanted to add an amp to run the 801's to improve their sound. Someone earlier mentioned Classe monoblocks but they are out of my price range. I'm good with $2000-$3000 as a budget.
I'm a agree with Chadeffect. Don't care for B&W or Bryston. The two together...all I can say is...you should audition it first.
Cool, Zenblaster, sounds like a good system. I'm using Bryston right now too. 1 4BSST to drive the JBL S4700s (94db sensitivity, rear ported, 15" woofer, horn midrange, and slot tweeter.)
Dave 72, zenblaster,
Many studios use or have used the Bryston & B&W combo. In fact I have worked in quite a few. I found in the studio using this combo the sound gets hard and slightly metallic and uncomfortable.
Unfortunately I cannot remember exactly which models of Bryston, but most likely the usual suspects. And usually on the 801D or 802D.
I remember not liking PMC monitors because most of the ones I heard at the time were powered by Bryston. Ironic as I do like a good transmission line. But when I heard them powered with other amps they sounded good. Not so hard sounding.
I have heard Classe sound very good on 801/802 (biamped m400) Even a CJ 350w SS sounded good in a smaller room, but probably a bit masked in a warm way.
For HT I bet some Hypex Ncore based amps or ICE power etc would be just the ticket. Clean, dynamic, small, fast and relatively cheap. What more could you ask for?
The bottom line is try before you buy. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
I sold my Nautilus 800S in 2009. The person who bought it had a Bryston 7B. It was a great match in control and focus. There is one thing Nautilus and Bryston as well are not good at and this is Depth and 3d. Main reason why I sold the 800S. Wenn you want a deep and wide stage you have to spend more money on amps and Speakers. It is as it is!
So what I'm hearing is a mix of views. I guess I would be more comfortable if I heard more positives than negatives. What about Mcintosh MC352 as an alternitive?
The main problem of your speaker is the N tweeter. I owned the 802N as well. It can become harsh sometimes. You need a warm en controlled amp. New tweeters are superior to the N tweeter. More authority, less harsh much more open en more resolution. The thing I do not like about B&W is the fact they make poor filters. I owned and sold them for many years, now I would not want them even for free.
I'm in the same boat as most people here. I owned the 802N's and tried pairing them up with mcintosh and pass labs. Congested and boring speakers. As Bo1972 says, the image is very flat behind the speakers with no depth.
Agree the tweeters can potentially sound harsh, and not sure Bryston would help there. That's probably why you see B&W speakers frequently paired with Classe amps, and I think you might have a good idea looking at McIntosh as well. Best of luck.
@ Chadeffect" Yeah, that's been the complaint about Bryston for years now. I'm not saying you're wrong, however. I will say that Bryston is more on the analytical side of things, but I don't mind that too much. Depending on the recording, I actually get rolled off highs instead of bright and what have you. It's definitely garbage in, garbage out equipment. And I will say at high volumes, it can get too bright. But, again, it will depend on the recording, imo.
Pass labs makes still one of the best amps in the world. Wenn I hear other brands I easily can say the flaws. In 10 seconds I can write them on paper. Pass labs does everything right. It is 3d holographic sound. You need speakers which can play 3d. B&W can't. In the world of Highend depth is a pre. This means: B&W is out of the game. Game over. And yesssssss it is as it is. Wenn you compare Pass Labs to bryston. Is the same as comparing the best italian coffee beans with cheap coffee. It is all about the real sound. And yes this is a big difference. For me this is the time people havge to learn about realism in sound. What is possible these days and how music should be played on systems.
Cool, I've been looking at Pass Labs for some time now. It is very good sound and the price isn't bad compared to other high end companies. I'm particularly looking at the Class A models. Which models of Pass Labs amp and preamp do you recommend?
How much money you want to spend....
My buddy and I both own 801N. We took turn trying all kind of amps over the course of our ownership. Here is a list of amps that we both tried
0. Yamaha dsp a1 receiver. Not funny.
1. Bryston 7b st
2. Pass lab monos
3. Classe m1000 monos
4. McIntosh 501 monos
5. California audio labs MCA 25000
6. Krell 750mcx monos
7. Krell 650mc monos
We stop trying after Krell, respectively. 801n demand lot of power but they are hard to beat if fed properly. I personally have not found the need for upgrade after the last several CES and audio shows. Hope this helps.
Cool, thanks for the report.
Sacman this is the information I was looking for. I know you ended up with the Krells but how did the others do in comparison? What differences did you hear between the amps?
I love B&W midrange and tweeter but for my music taste demand speakers with decent low end bass. We got the B&W 801N for its sub and no amp could drive them properly. We tried the Pass Labs Monos and it sounded really awesome but the speakers clips the amps in some occasions. All others sound really underpowered. I like the transparency, details and bass from the Krell and the CAL MCA2500 the most.
They're very hard to drive I take it. What does the impedance dip down to on those?