Depends on your gear largely. They are both close in thier own league. I think the Krell has more character myself, and I'd go that route depending. But they are close in a lot of areas. The Krell seems to have more top end extension, with a bit more neutrality to the sound.
Actually, a lot of people think the Brystons are better than they really are, simply because they were put in "Class A" in Stereophile! Someone got paid there!...
They'll both have punchy bass, and the Krell should sound better in the highs, as foreverhifi2000 says. The difference in rated power may not be really audible. The Bryston's are probably better for difficult speakers whose impedance dips below 3 ohms at points in the frequency range, especially if they are switched to "current mode" in the back. Good luck.
Please make sure you audition both amplifiers before you make your decision. These two amps sound very different.
I currently have a Krell KAV-1500 and a Krell 250a/3 for my home theater system. Two months ago, I bought a second-hand Bryston 4B-ST to try out, because I was intrigued by all the supposed rave reviews that Bryston has recieved from high-end audio magazines.
Honestly, I could not believe my ears when I heard the Bryston 4B-ST for the first time. The sound was absolutely horrible - very veiled, not transparent at all, and no top end. Even my wife thought that the amp was only slightly better than the high-end Yamaha RX-V2095 home theater receiver I used to have a few years ago. Needless to say, the 4B-ST didn't stay in my house for more than a week.
I have also tried two other amps, Meridian 557 and JBL Synthesis S650. Both amps are quite good, and way better than the Bryston 4B-ST.
So, within my own experience of having owned 4 brands of amp, I honestly don't know why Bryston has received all the hoopla that it has received.....
Maybe other people's ears would prefer the Bryston sound, but I know that my and wife's ears certainly would not.....
Foreverhifi, I usually agree with most of you comments and opinions but I strongly disagree here. I recently purchased a new Bryston 14BSST. I searched extensively and looked at many amps available under $10,000. I did not want to go that high but figured if I am willing to spend $5,000 I need to consider $8,000. I did not find the Krell units to be any better sounding than the Bryston at all. As a matter of fact I dismissed the possibility of buying a Krell in my price range almost imediately. I found the Bryston to be a more pleasing sound and had a deeper and more balance soundstage a lower listening levels in my system. Of course our ears are all different and this is only my opinion. However, your comment about people thinking Bryston is better than they are is a subjective opinion on your part and does not fairly represent those of us that decide the Bryston units sound better to us or in our system. I, however, have friends with Krell amps and they have decided they sound better in their system and are happy with that decision.
Further, ratings and reviews in magazines are baseline opinions at best. Having been involved with the publishing industry for years I can say with authority that EDITORIAL is almost always ADVERTISING driven. I am sure we have all read a rave review about a piece of equipment and once we hear it ourseves, scratch our head and wonder what the writer was thinking. A friend in Editorial review of Heavy duty trucks once told me, when you read a review, read between the lines and take any minor critisism offered and maginify it. This is true with all reviews in every publication. Consider this, one bad or even accurate negative review could cost a magazine many thousands if not millions of dollars in ad, trade show and banner advertising revenue. Your comment that
"someone got paid there" is speculative and posibly slanderous.
In any case, as I started out saying you are usually right on track and I look forward to your next opinion.
htong, as for your original question, I happen to love the Bryston 14 BSST which as been compared to the 7 BSST line in reviews. I am in the process of marrying it up with a tube preamp and have been very satisfied with the results I have found while going through the demo process. If you can get both units in your home to demo them in your own system, that would be the best way to decide. Both companies represent state of the art equipment offering their own sonic signature to music.
Foreverhifi2000 yahoo, I would suggest that your insinuations should be taken back. You are free to like whatever brand you want, but a line should be drawn at accusing a well respected company of wrongdoing without any evidence at all. Your sideswipe of Bryston does not increase your credibility, in my eyes at least. I am very satisfied with my 7B STs and would recommend them to anyone who wants great sounding amps with bullet-proof construction and a company willing to stand behind their products for the long haul. My comments should not be interpreted as being negative toward Krell. Take all you read, especially by well meaning but often ill-informed but no less opinionated audiophiles, with a large grain of salt. Let your ears decide by using the amp in your system and room, listening to music you enjoy. All the rest is secondary.
Brystons and Krells have the same level of performance but Brystons are much cheaper and to me make more sence. I admit that Brystons can't be rated "Class A", but Krells despite being always rated "Class A" in Stereophile wouldn't go into that category as well even close... None is perfect on that issue.
This is very interesting. I too have been tempted to pick up a Bryston as a way of trying out BIG power at a low price. If the criticisms are warranted, it would call into question the judgement of the reviewers who use Bryston amps as their reference (REG in TAS, for one). Guess I'll have to find out for myself, but that's always the case, isn't it?
Somehow I stopped to pay attention to the power ratings above 100W/ch at all, seing signal of music so variable that even mega-powered amps tend to clip on unexpected freequencies under a bunch of different reasons.
Brystons in its whole line is the clear example. They don't clip painful or distructive, but sometimes you realy need to realize these second-octave piano notes that sound realy distructed especially on uncompressed recordings. I know that Brystons have to be matched carefully to the speakers. Vandys despite their lack of efficiency might be probably the best match to Brystons.
Seing rating of 500W/ch in Bryston 7B-st, I believe that less than third in terms of performance will be valuable.
I can say about Krells absolutely the same or maybe better designed, but still they sound too far from reality.
There are plenty of good "drivers" other than Bryston and Krell that can drive with the same output: Plinius, Pass, GamuT.
Dave1117, was the last sentence in the second paragraph of your above posting what you intended to say originally? It seems non sequitur. Sorry for this question.
The new Bryston SST series is a completly different beast then the old ST series of amps. Highs are more natural, sweet, and less fatiguing, and soundtage depth is deepened, with more layering. Much better then the old ST series, and The Krell stuff you mentioned which I find fatiguing and solid state sounding.........my ears anyway
My best advice is to go out and listen to every amp you can find and then choose. This way you can purchase with confidence and not wonder if some other amp might have worked better. I listened to Krell, ARC, Plinius, Classe, McIntosh, Integra Research RDA7 (no it's not a repackaged BAT VK-6200) and BAT. I picked the BAT VK-6200 cause it plain does everything superbly - including running very cool. Take the time and listen for yourself.
Jameswei, got carried away with my thoughts, I think you can get the jest of the comment...
Adressing Dave1117 and Pbb's coments regarding what I said...First off(Dave1117), I think this gengtleman was discussing the Bryston 7b mono's, and not the 14b which you own. I was refering to ONLY THE 7B'S when I said "the Brystons"!
I've heard the 7b's in NUMBEROUS set ups, with varrying types of speakers. And I, yes, personally don't think they bellong within "A MILES DRIVE" of Class A rating! I just don't think they're that special of an amp...in my oppinion, yes.
Infact, I place them in the same sonic catagory of your bassic Parasound and many Adcom amplifiers, of which I've sold many over the years! I'm sure many oppions will varry.
But since this is "my oppinion", I reserve that right. But, let me re-state the situation by saying "I DON'T FIND, SPECIFICALLY, THE BRYSTON 7b AMPS to sound as good as they are rated" (which are the same as LEXICON's mono's,just differnt label) I appologize if I offended anyone's "personal perfernce" by my bold statement previosly.
But, for the record, I do agree a lot with what you said("Pbb") regarding the "advertising side of things", and the beaurocracy involved there. Still however, personally knowing what you said(Pbb) is true, I have issue with "respectable" audio mags intentionally "AND BLATANTLY" sqewing reviews that will mislead well meaning audiophiles into thinking something that's not really foundationally honest and true!..all in the name of "advertising dollars". Hummmm....
OOoops. Let me retract those coments towards "Pbb"..they were supposed to be to Dave1117, who refered to the "advertising" issues
I Own The Krell KAV250a . I own a few different amps .Adcom . B&K and Anthem .
The Adcom 555 / 555II blows the Krell away . If you're into detail and imaging the Adcom is by far better than the Krell even though it's roughly a third of the price .Just because something is expensive doesn't mean it's better .
The Krell may have a slight edge in bass detail , but very slight . Don't listen to the negative hype about Adcom .Adcom makes a tight ballsy affordable amp .
When I first hooked up the Krell I could not believe the detail lost when compared to the Adcom . Don't get me wrong , The Krell is a nice smooth sounding amp , but if you're looking for detail/imaging check out any Adcom 200wpc amp ..you will hear a stark difference .
Bryston...but get the latest 7BSST2
I prefer the Krell sonically over the 7B. I currently own 2 KAV 250a/3 and a pair of MDA 500's.
However there are some (even if not sonic) neat advantages to Bryston. The cost of ownership of the Bryston can be lower. A 20 year warranty is fantastic when the unthinkable happens, as it often does (and Krell service is NOT cheap). I like the extra power of the 7B (500w) but appreciate the 250a's sound, design philosophy and ability to double down into 4Ω more.
LOL!, All of you have to move up the amp food chain to realize Krell is far superior than all mentioned here!, I have a brand new revised krell 700cx, the only one in the country!, If all of you could listen to this, your opinions may change?, I have installed modern day caps that were not available in 2005!, To my ears, one of the most realistic reproduction of sound available at any cost!
Does anybody read the dates before they post? The original poster asked this question 11 years ago... And a 7B is not NEARLY the amp that a new 7B-SST2 is so to expect that the answer to this question is the same now as it was in 2002 is not accurate. Not that I put much stock in it, but the 7B-SST2 is now rated a Class B on the Stereophile Recommended Components if that's important to you...
Its great to have post like this continue for the used market.
There are budget minded audiophiles still making similar decisions on this same gear today.