Bryston Help

I'm looking to change up my system to find a better balance between warmth and detail. I'm currently using a Bryston 4B ST, Manley Shrimp, Bryston BCD-1, Kef 104.2 speakers, and Harmonic Tech Pro-Silway MK III+ interconnects and speaker cables. I'm getting tired of tube maintenance (I've used a lot of tube pre's over the past few years) and would like to switch to something solid-state but with some of the tube-like warm. I like the amount of detail the Bryston equipment provides (I've used the BP 26 as well) but find the sound to be a bit sterile. I'm looking to change my pre or my cd player and would like something with remote volume.

For pre's I've tried Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 Signature, SF Line 2 SE+ (my favorite so far), McCormack ALD, Bryston BP5-25-26, NAD, and Manley. For cd players I've used Classe CDP 10 & 5, Rega Apollo-Planet-Jupiter, and numerous NAD units.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. My combined budget is $3500.

Thanks for the help.


I had the 4B-ST yrs ago & my findings were similar to yours. Don't forget how much the room has to do w/the overall presentation and right behind that the AC. Let's put those things on hold right now though. I also had some Kef Ref 3's, so I don't think speaker positioning is critical w/Kef's, at least in relationship to a warmer sound.

I had much better results using a different amp than the Bryston. In fact I think the Bryston was the driest amp I've ever used. Anyway, I went from the Bryston to an Aleph 5 but I also had an Aleph P with both pieces. There was a world of difference w/a much warmer sound using the two Pass pieces. Other amps that may work for you are BAT & B&K. I've had more amps than any other pieces except for cables & have found the amp to have a huge influence. As long as I don't have metal dome tweeters, I can deal w/just about any speaker.

I'm also not a fan of silver cables, so for a quick test you might want to substitute some zip cord to see how that affects what you're hearing. The silver thing goes for power cords & outlets too.

Lastly, let me just say make sure you only change one thing at a time because if you do several things at once, you'll lose hearing where you should concentrate your efforts.

I would second getting away from the silways with your system.

When I had a Bryston 3B ST Harmonic Tech Truth links were a much better match than the silways even though I gave up a bit of detail. I would re-cable all copper and see where you are.

You have a 'detail' system, having some warmth is probably a good call. Maybe a BAT SS pre amp, seem to be good prices on older versions. Herron?

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The 4BST is too crisp and "s" emphasis and the 4BSST is much better. The preamp problem is more likely the amp, not the preamp. I would try the Quicksilver preamp as it mates well with Bryston. Jallen
I would try a Cary, Prima Luna or Rogue tube preamp and I think you would get what you are looking for with your existing amps. That was my experience when I switched to a tube preamp.

Also, if you don't like the sterile sound I would for sure steer clear of the Benchmark DAC, it's as dry and sterile as they come. If you decide to go with an outboard DAC and you want warm I enthusiatically endorse the MHDT Labs Havana, great DAC. I tried over 10 different DAC's and I eventually ended up with the new Bryston, it's stellar.
I've owned most of what Bryston offers in amps over a 25 year period.I would reinforce other aforementioned comments that the SST series is markedly superior to ST,simply more refined with a lower noise floor.I would reconsider the ss pre amp,in my opinion a Bryston requires a tube pre to maximize performance.
If you're looking for specific recommendations flip me a pm.
I switched from the Bryston BP-25 to a used BAT VK-42SE solid state preamp. The BAT is a fantastic match with both my Bryson 7B-SST and Bryston PowePak 300's. I prefereed it to the BP 25. The BAT is crstal clear and non-fatigueing.