Bryston VS Cambridge Audio

I know, it sounds like an odd topic. Hear me out. I current use a Bryston 3BST of unknown history and a similarly unknown Musical Design SP-2 preamp (upgraded to -2B status). Both units are in terrific shape, and I have no reason to believe they are operating at less than optimal performance. I have a Marantz SA8004 CD player, and listen through either Von Schweikert VR-1 monitors with a Martin Logan Abyss subwoofer or Eminent Technology LFT-8B hybrid planar loudspeakers. Everything sounds great.

However, I am a bit of a bargain hunter, and I'm also dealing with a situation in which my listening room is also our media room, so my 2-channel rig has to pull double duty as an HT system. Rest assured, I make no sonic compromise for the latter. Still, I have become intrigued by the Cambridge Audio 840 (or V2) integrated amp, which would allow a high degree of component integration and system flexibility. I am a big fan of the brand, too. I could have both speaker sets hooked up along with the subwoofer, and maybe even move to the (non SACD) Cambridge Audio 840C CD player with its balanced outputs.

So, am I a fool for considering this? Do any of you have any thoughts about the power amp section of the 840A versus the Bryston, or even the preamp section versus the Musical Design unit? Thanks for all thoughts (and mild mockery, if deserved).
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Part of the joy of having a system is it's flexibility, does it fit your life style. I would think that in sound and build you may be taking a slight step back. But you may listen more as the new system would be better suited to your room.
Go for it, changing up your system if desired can be fun.
I have owned the Bryston B60 and the sound was excellent. My good friend has the Cambridge 840 and it is good, but not in the same league. My guess is that you would miss your amp....
Ha! Two different points of view. Appreciate it. You both have voiced my dilemma -- I suspect the 840A might be a (slight) step down in sound quality, but at the same time it could clean things up and make my system more suited to our lifestyle. And so it goes . . .
I was into seperates for awhile, mixing and matching amps and pre-amps. The B-60 gave me more of what I wanted as far as what I consider "balanced sound". Same goes for the Scott 222c amp I used to own. Just like you I stressed about "cleaning things up", but ended up with an integrated anyway. I think if you find a good musical integrated amp, you won't miss that "top-end air" that seperates usually seem to provide.
I agree with Mik971. The Cambridge stuff is quite good for the money (haven't heard the just released line though), but not in Bryston's league IMO. I own a B60 and have heard the B60 A/B'ed against a few Cambridge integrateds. No contest to my ears. The Cambridge stuff was always very good, but not Bryston good.

Have you considered a Bryston integrated? Not sure how difficult your Von Schweikwerts are to drive, but a B60 may struggle a bit with your planars. The B100 should do well, but that may be out of your range.

If you want a change and a B60 or B100 won't fit, how about a Bryston preamp? The BP6 and BP 25 come up here often enough. The BP26 is a very flexible preamp too. I don't know your preamp, so I can't say what direction a preamp move would be.
The planars are very easy loads, but very inefficient. I have a little pair of Parasound ZAMP V3 power amps I run in a bridged monoblock mode, and they'll shut down on the planars. The Bryston doesn't blink.

I don't know what the hell I'm thinking as I consider this switch. I know the answer. I think I have upgrade-itis (except it wouldn't be an upgrade).
If you want to stay around the same price of the CA 840, maybe take a look at the Naim 5 or Prima Luna (tubes)? They would be my first 2 choices around the $1,500 new price range...
I don't have direct experience with Bryston power amps, but I have compared the analog outputs of a Bryston BDA-1 (connected digitally to a CA 840C) with the analog outputs of the CA 840C on the same CD. Both the digital outputs and the analog outputs are active in the CA 840, so you can listen to an A/D connected to the 840 at the same time you monitor analog out. Both were running into my Parasound JC2 line amp/JC1 monoblocks.

The differences were extremely small, a surprise to me considering that the Bryston is Class A discrete vs the CA 840C using IC opamps. The advantage went to Bryston, with slightly better bass articulation and a smidge better high end space and definition.

So I would not be so fast in discounting the CA product, unless you can A/B them directly.

I also have a CA 840E preamp which I used before the JC2. Very, very good sounding product. Gave the JC2 a good run for the money. I was told by sales folks at Audio Advisor the JC2 would blow the CA out of the water, but it's not true. There are differences, and they are subtle, but at a 2x difference in price, the CA is a great value.
I pulled the trigger. Identical power specs, more flexibility. I'm looking forward to cleaning house. Reviews to follow! Thanks for all the advice . . .
Ok Here goes!! I have had the 2b-lp power amp with a .5preamp. Both are great Bryston pieces! The 2b-lp is one sweet smooth amp! As is the .5preamp except the .5 is vailed!! Its very warm sounding but the pair makes a nice team! I'v also had the the B60 which is one smooth amp as well!! Its inners are the same of the 2b-lp for the amp section!  I now have a Bryston B135-SST2. which is one sweet amp!! I have had Cambridge Audio in the past, like the  640A , the 840A the 550A and the and 651A and the 500 series is some of there best amps as well. The 40 series amps are grainy!! Just listen to them. Its a NO for me!! The 50 series is better but can be bright? The 651A is a dual mono amp with dual rectifiers as well with black velvet volume pot and poly caps is a step up. But it is still no way in the same league as Bryston gear! You get what you pay for! I have the 651A and its sounds nice/ok? Its not nearly as punchy as the Bryston. and the not nearly as smooth and as well balanced as the Bryston either! Cambridge makes good stuff, they do! But when you get up un to the top shelf range of CA the prices start to get crazy!! I would not spend that kind of money for any of those amps!! Arcam either!! Bryston gear is made to last!! They take great pride in their gear!! All their  gear!! They do not skimp on parts what so ever and do not compromise! If they did the 20 year warty wouldn't exists!! Plus when a CA amp goes down who do you turn to? CA?? NO!! Unless you bought a dealer and they offer some kind warty? But when a Bryston amp fails, if it does? Bryston honors all their gear with or without warty!! That what makes a great Company!! Also do upgrades if needed. A Krell amp fails it is going to be one costly repair bill! I chose my B135 over the the Kav 300i. Which has way more power. Bryston has many more amps thats sound better and more powerful then mine and the they get pretty price as well! Very pricey! But if you buy one like I did its for the long hall period!  CA is nice gear! Bryston is fantastic gear!! Enjoy!!