Bryston BP26 with Pass Labs


Interested in auditioning a Bryston BP26 with my Pass Labs x250.8. Anybody listen to this combo?
chad2635
Its a very odd combination. Both brands have a completely different view as to how a piece of audio gear should sound. Usually, if you ask someone that likes Pass, what they think of Bryston, they would most likely say they don't. Same thing for Bryston.
FWIW, I used a BP26 and Pass X1 with a Pass X150. I didn't notice a difference with either preamp. I kept the BP26 due to its simpler UI. I later went with Bryston 7B SST monoblocks.
"02-16-15: Bob_reynolds
FWIW, I used a BP26 and Pass X1 with a Pass X150. I didn't notice a difference with either preamp. I kept the BP26 due to its simpler UI. I later went with Bryston 7B SST monoblocks."

Did you actually listen to them?
Hey Zd, Bob said he had both in his system and didn't notice a difference. Um, pretty much says he listened to both. Have you had a Bryston preamp in your system to directly compare with a Pass pre? And then there's always the personal taste variable of course.
My brother in law has a BP25 and a Pass Aelph. If he uses single ended cables between them there is a hum. Balanced cables eliminate the hum. Other than that no problems and sounds great.
"02-16-15: Soix
Hey Zd, Bob said he had both in his system and didn't notice a difference. Um, pretty much says he listened to both."

I was just being sarcastic. We've had disagreements in the past, and I just don't believe him. To make a long story short, he says that he doesn't have to listen to gear. He can tell you how it sounds just by looking at the specs. Now, all of the sudden, he did a listening evaluation between Bryston and Pass preamps? I believe, that if he really did compare the 2 preamps in his system (and I have my doubts that he actually did), he wouldn't say that he heard a difference even if he really did hear one. Even in a moderately revealing system, you would have to be almost deaf, not to hear some type of difference between the 2.

"Have you had a Bryston preamp in your system to directly compare with a Pass pre? And then there's always the personal taste variable of course."

Nope. Like I said above, its a match that really doesn't make sense. Unless I needed some type of a bandaid fix for something, I can't see myself considering them both. They're the polar opposite of each other, and I don't really believe in bandaid fixes.
I don't see how Bryston and Pass preamps are polar opposites. They're both solid state designs that seem to strive for neutrality. I certainly hear my BP6 to be very neutral, and Bob wasn't able to hear any meaningful differences with them both in his system. Now the amps may be a different story, especially when it comes to the Pass pure Class A models.

By the way, IMHO Bryston preamps are under appreciated and unfortunately get over shadowed by the amps.
"02-17-15: Soix
I don't see how Bryston and Pass preamps are polar opposites. They're both solid state designs that seem to strive for neutrality."

I think I see your point. Its just a box with some knobs on it. I'm willing to bet that if you looked at a spec sheet, you could tell how these preamps sound without even listening to them.
It does sem like zd is confusing amps and preamps in this situation. If you hear a big difference between these 2 then at least one of them has a problem. Is the bryston known to be a noisy preamp? I've never heard that.
"02-17-15: Abrew19
It does sem like zd is confusing amps and preamps in this situation."

When you guys get some more experience, you'll find that barring a big mismatch between the amp and speaker, the preamp will contribute much more to a systems sound than the amp. By far. There's no easier way to wreck a system, than by using the wrong preamp.

"If you hear a big difference between these 2 then at least one of them has a problem. Is the bryston known to be a noisy preamp? I've never heard that."

You couldn't be more wrong if you tried. Its just the opposite. You're far more likely to have a problem if you don't hear a big difference between the 2. This is some pretty basic stuff. Its the kind of nonsense you hear from people that work at Best Buy. This is exactly what happens when you get your listening experience from reading magazines.
When you guys get some more experience, you'll find that barring a big mismatch between the amp and speaker, the preamp will contribute much more to a systems sound than the amp. By far.
That was not my experience. My explanation is that the Pass amp masked any sonic differences between the Bryston and Pass preamps. When I used the Bryston 7B SST monoblocks, the sonic differences between the two preamps became obvious. The Pass preamp had a more traditional tube like sound than the tube preamp we had on hand. The BP26 was the more neutral of the three.
"That was not my experience. My explanation is that the Pass amp masked any sonic differences between the Bryston and Pass preamps. When I used the Bryston 7B SST monoblocks, the sonic differences between the two preamps became obvious. The Pass preamp had a more traditional tube like sound than the tube preamp we had on hand. The BP26 was the more neutral of the three.
Bob_reynolds (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

Fair enough. Its just that in other posts, some of your comments and ideas are way out of the norm for the discussions on this web site.
Well, I guess it's time for rest of us to pack it in and go home. ZD has spoken. He has the only opinion of merit. Just ask him. He's convinced that his experience somehow controls the audio reality for all of us. It's hard to take him seriously when he so easily flies off attacking everyone.
"02-17-15: Bob_reynolds
Well, I guess it's time for rest of us to pack it in and go home. ZD has spoken. He has the only opinion of merit. Just ask him. He's convinced that his experience somehow controls the audio reality for all of us. It's hard to take him seriously when he so easily flies off attacking everyone."

Just to clarify, I don't attack everyone. Sometimes I attack you, but definitely not everyone. These are your words, are they not?

"British mini monitors derived from the BBC LS3/5A have a mid bass hump to make up for the small size. The Zu Druid comes to mind as a design that puts dynamics over textbook frequency response.

If you have never listened to any particular component, you can't have an opinion on how it sounds.

I don't agree with that. Measurements provide a fairly good indication of how something will sound. That's the beauty of science -- it's not necessary to have first hand experience to make reasonable judgments. You likely disagree and that could be a difference in our background and education."

That's clearly not just your opinion, but something that you're trying to push off as fact. To be honest, that's just plain embarrassing. If that's not an example of ignorance fueled by arrogance, I don't know what is. Any opinion that I give is based on actual experience. You can't say the same. And that's not my opinion, that's a fact.
ZD, my point is that well-designed Preamps should sound neutral and not color the sound. Neither the Pass XP series nor the Bryston are known to have this characteristic (as opposed to, say, an older Conrad-Johnson or similar tube pre). No, I'm not saying all SS Preamps sound alike, but good ones shouldn't impart much of their own unique sound. I have direct experience with Pass products myself and I'd be quite surprises if the Bryston preamps had issues.

Why must so many audiophiles magnify the relatively minute differences between high quality, great sounding components?

This article says it in a more eloquent way than I can: http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/tested-pass-xp20-preamplifier-and-xa1605-monoblock-power-amplifier/
I've heard the Bryston BP26 many times. It decent unit that doesn't do much harm. It's a little overpriced, though. Imo, the Pass Labs preamps (XP series) which I've also heard, are a bit richer sounding than the Bryston, which sounds more on the leaner side. I've never heard Bryston and Pass Labs together, and it would be interesting to hear that combo. IfI were Chad, I would also audition the Pass Labs XP10 as well.
"Why must so many audiophiles magnify the relatively minute differences between high quality, great sounding components?"

Because the differences are not always minute. Especially when it comes to preamps. They have a very big effect on sound quality. If you have a different personal experience, that's fine. But not everyone has the same experience.

"ZD, my point is that well-designed Preamps should sound neutral and not color the sound. Neither the Pass XP series nor the Bryston are known to have this characteristic (as opposed to, say, an older Conrad-Johnson or similar tube pre)."

How do you make that judgement? If you were to test both of the preamps we are talking about here, how would you know what one is less colored?
Zd
"Any opinion that I give is based on actual experience. You can't say the same. And that's not my opinion, that's a fact."

Yet you assert Bryston and Pass preamps are polar opposites without ever having had a Bryston pre in your system. What is your actual experience to back up that assertion?
"Yet you assert Bryston and Pass preamps are polar opposites without ever having had a Bryston pre in your system. What is your actual experience to back up that assertion?"

I listened to them both.

"without ever having had a Bryston pre in your system."

How would you know that?

I see what you are trying to do here. Don't waste your time. You're not going to win.
I see that the Quote Police are out in full force.
Chad2635,

I've not had either preamp, but I did have the Bryston and Threshold active cross-overs in my system (with Threshold amplification). For me it was the classic "detail vs. bright, extended vs. harsh" situation. Where some might have heard extended, detailed sound from the Bryston, I heard bright and harsh and ended up with listening fatigue. Switching to the Threshold unit smoothed out the treble and made for a more laid back and relaxed presentation. Perhaps euphonic, but I kept the Threshold for ten years.
Fair enough.
So why you couldn't you just accept that from my first post?
Its just that in other posts, some of your comments and ideas are way out of the norm for the discussions on this web site.
What does that have to do with anything and why does it bother you so much? Would a little tolerance of others be too much to ask?
That's clearly not just your opinion, but something that you're trying to push off as fact.
You know that if the output impedance of a preamp is substantially larger than the input impedance of its connected amp, the frequency response will show the bass being rolled off. You don't have to hear that setup to know that. That's all I was saying. I believe there are certain measurements that are good predictors of sound.

Any opinion that I give is based on actual experience. You can't say the same.
Ok, but I don't know why that has any particular merit. Experience is great; everyone should have some. But, there simply is too much information and not enough time to repeat experiments that have been validated. You study them, acquire the knowledge and move on.

I've been in this hobby for 18 years. Much of the first 8-10 years of learning was spent in the traditional way of hands-on experiments. I found it to be time consuming and costly. I've also been reading the audio literature, some of it from this forum, and I find that to be a useful adjunct to experience.
" Its just that in other posts, some of your comments and ideas are way out of the norm for the discussions on this web site.

What does that have to do with anything and why does it bother you so much? Would a little tolerance of others be too much to ask?
Bob_reynolds (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)"

It has nothing to do with tolerance. A lot of new people come to this website looking for advice. You're welcome to have any opinion you like, but when you give advice to someone when you haven't even listened to the component yourself, its only right that you just be honest and include that info in the post. Otherwise, the OP will most likely assume that you've listened to the component and are talking from experience. Any time that I, or most others here, make comments on components that we haven't heard, we just put a disclaimer in. I don't see what the big deal is. Why not just be truthful about it?

" Any opinion that I give is based on actual experience. You can't say the same.

Ok, but I don't know why that has any particular merit."

I don't even know where to begin. Are you suggesting that, all other things being equal, that when you make a recommendation, actual listening experience is irrelevant? And you can give the exact same advice either way? I'm sorry, but I just don't see how that's possible.

I really don't think its of any use at this point to continue arguing back and forth. So, I started a new post asking for some other opinions. Maybe someone else can explain the need to listen to components better than I can.
I know I am late here, but if you are still thinking about it.  the Pass pre-amps are mosfets and the bryston uses bipolar transistors.