Bryston or Aragon


My son is a music lover like I am.  He plays bass and dabbles in audio recording.  Well he’s all grown up now and has his own family and home and he has decided to leave his Yamaha receiver behind and stick his toe into the world of hi fi.  He needs a power amp.  He has done his research, browsed audiogon and talked with me and has decided on either a Bryston 4BST or an Aragon 8008BB.  Both are within his budget on the used market.  Initially the amp will be paired up with an Adcom GFP 555 (I think), a Technics turntable, some kind of CD player and my old Polk SDA 1A speakers.  If you have had experience with either of these amps please share your thoughts. I know there are other options that might fit the bill but he is firm on these two.  Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Ag insider logo xs@2xpipebro
Bryston all the way! Forget Aragon! Long out of business! I use a Bryston 3B and a .5 preamp with a pair of Speakerlab 7's. This combination is particularly good for Rock music. And the cost was low, too!
Definitely the Bryston.
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wow, you guys are really bashing Aragon.  But forget that the 4BST is already 20 years old!   Sure, it can be fixed, but it's just as old as the Aragon 8008BB.  I'm sure the Aragon can be fixed as well.  Not sure if Aragon is actually out of business.  They had a revival about 5-6 years ago:

http://www.aragonav.com/products/

As far as the amps are concerned, they are radically different.  The older Bryston are very fast and high resolution, but can sound a bit dry and sterile.  The Aragon is completely different.  It's very warm sounding and very full sounding, but the high frequencies can be rolled off somewhat.  It really depends on what kind of sound you want.
To set the record straight Aragon is still in business under new ownership.  It was founded by Mondial in1982.  In 2001 it was sold to Klipsch who had it until 2005.  In 2009 a company called Indy Audio Labs resurrected the the brand and continues today per the link above.
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I love my Bryston 4B3, but it’s 3 generations newer than the 4BST your son is considering. I also loved my old Bryston 14BSST (one generation). Unfortunately, I haven’t heard the ST, but it sure had a good rep. And Bryston service is legendary.

On the other hand, I have a friend whose system includes an Aragon 8008 (older version) combined with much costlier components, and it sounds great.

So I don’t think there is a clear answer to your question, and I bet your son will enjoy either one. I do see your son is a bass player, and Bryston amps are typically cited for their excellent bass control. For that reason, for their typically great sound, and for serviceability into the future, I would lean towards Bryston.
I can't vote against Aargon,  never heard it,  but I Absolutely love the sound of my Bryston 4Bsst2. 
I used the Aragon with Polk 2.3 SDA's a long time back and they worked well together. For the current price I think excellent. No experience with the Bryson. I'd check that the new company will service Aragon and be sure you can return if not fully operational
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Aragon 8008BB was their Top Tier (Mondial) Dual Mono amp (sharing only the power cord) with Balanced Inputs and a MASSIVE POWER SUPPLY compared to the 8008ST, and mainly or wholly designed by thee Dan DAgostino for Mondial. It's a killer amp and was highly reviewed--warm,yes--tight full bass--NO treble roll off... Highly recommend if reasonably priced !
Aragon 8008BB was their Top Tier (Mondial) Dual Mono amp (sharing only the power cord) with Balanced Inputs and a MASSIVE POWER SUPPLY compared to the 8008ST, and mainly or wholly designed by thee Dan DAgostino for Mondial. It's a killer amp and was highly reviewed--warm,yes--tight full bass--NO treble roll off... Highly recommend if reasonably priced !
" The older Bryston are very fast and high resolution, but can sound a bit dry and sterile."

This^. "Clinical" was a common term. Depending on the speakers (don't know about the Polks in question, I don't care for the Polk house sound) the difference can be a real deal breaker. For me, the Bryston paints a perfect reproduction of music-the Aragon plays the music.
I have the next model in Aragon the palladium monoblocks.i had the 8008bb before that.for over 20 years no problems built like a tank.my aurum preamp was recaped recently and my repair guy said he could upgrade my amps.the output rectifiers were replaced with the same ones that mark levinson uses. He is a authorized dealer. The upgrade left me speechless. So long story short they can be repaired or upgraded. 
Owned three Bryston amps before I began to DIY. Recommend them highly - good, bullet-proof design, good implementation, unbelievably good customer relations and service.

Bryston is one of the best companies out there.
Usually there is no clear answer to the question. The best the OP can hope for is perhaps several anecdotes of poor reliability which could steer them the other direction by default. In this case both amplifiers are great examples of top notch design and sturdy build.

You really have two choices. 1) Buy the amplifier that your gut tells you is the best choice. Both are great and you really can't go wrong. It may boil down to buying into the story of one amp or the other. Or maybe you like the looks or one more than the other. Make a decision and don't look back. 2) Buy both amps and test them in your system. After a few weeks or months of comparing them pick the one you like best and sell the other one. If you got them at a fair price you shouldn't be out more than $100 in transaction costs.

Thanks go to pipebro for narrowing it down to two choices and providing a good context of associated equipment. The posts that kill me are the open ended questions of "which amp should I buy?"
aragon because magic wins over accuracy
When I was auditioning amps many, many years ago, I borrowed 2 Aragon amps.  A 4004 and 8008.  Both sounded great and what bass!  I love the sound of the Bryston cubed series, but the much older Bryston were known to be bright and wasn't for me.\
First off thanks for the helpful feedback.  I’ve decided to go with Bryston for two reasons, their customer service and the fact that being a bass player my son would be happy with a strong bass performer.  Also, for future reference the current Aragon does service legacy products made by Mondial and Klipsch.
It's apples and oranges. With those components, he will enjoy either one as long as the amp doesn't have issues in the near future. Most people just getting into audio have a low threshold for fixing gear.

If you have the money, for fun and a learning opportunity for both of you, buy both. Try them out and sell off the one you don't love.

A while back, I did something like that with two amps. One had lower power and no power protection circuit, but sounded sweeter than the more powerful amp. I went with the more powerful amp thinking that's what I needed. It may have been better to keep the sweeter sounding amp. It was a little more lively in presentation.

Don't get your son to bogged down in comparison's like this. At the very least, buy the amp that is in better condition, and he'll be happy.
Focusing on specs is like only looking at a person's resume. You could easily miss hiring the wrong person. That's my wisdom of the week ...
I've never been a big fan of Bryston amps and I have tried a few. They lack ultimate transparency coupled with a slightly truncated sound-stage. Just my observations when making comparisons to other amps. I do like the Aragon amps, (getting most right) even though they sound a bit sterile (can be off-set) with a warmer sounding tube preamp.
After reading your post to go for the Bryston I have to say that it is a better choice then the Aragon 8008 which I did not like when compared with the earlier models the 2004 MK II and the 4004 MKII.