Bryston vs MBL


Im ready to buy my first set of monoblocks to use with my AR 5SE and Dynaudio Confidence C4.  Ive been waiting for a pair of MBL Reference 9007 to show up on here but none yet.  While waiting, ive been reading up on Bryston monos.  I think a used pair of 7B3 might hold me over for a few years to come if fthe MBLs dont show up second hand.  The 7B3 have plenty power and is predecessors have great reviews.  Any thougts would be greatly appreciated.  If i get Bryston, im sure ill upgrade in next 3 yrs.. If MBL might upgrade in 5 or 10 yrs.
chenglo1
my personal pref is BRYSTON FOR SURE
 
 less money, ;ess gold color stuff, i am about sound, not flashy cosmetics. not because i can't afford them now, but, because i don't see the extra cash for the box cosmetics ,

Bryston is plain jane like many amazing amps. go with Bryston over mbl  

i would choose others over the bryston thought.

but for these two get a bryston, better build, waaaay better warranty, and easier,closer if you need service.

heard nightmares about some companies and their customer service, and doing repairs (if needed)

just my 2 cents

BRYSTON
i would choose others over the bryston thought.
Which amps?
Those are both great amplifiers but out of curiosity, why only these two brands? Pass X250.8 seems to be a favorite around here and should fit the bill.
Kalai,  I also consider Pass monos.  Bryston appealed more due to power for dollar, warranty and still have decent looks.  MBL more for curiosity and supposedly high end exotic level amps.  just really want to hear how they would sound in my system.  I am a little concerned on how the Brystons can be had second hand for almost half price?  the 7b3 are current models and asking 7k price now .  please save for me though while I do research ok???
Between the two options you listed, I would go with the MBL.

Another option to consider if you want mono's is the Parasound JC1's.  They're as good as all the reviews say they are.

Good luck with your decision.


Having had a lot of equipment fail and/or be orphaned over the decades, I would require a significant performance premium for anything other than a Bryston.

There is also the question of what might _have_ a significant performance premium over a Bryston amp...


OTOH, Nelson Pass is a genius, so...
" Bryston appealed more due to power for dollar, warranty and still have decent looks.  MBL more for curiosity and supposedly high end exotic level amps.  just really want to hear how they would sound in my system.  I am a little concerned on how the Brystons can be had second hand for almost half price?  the 7b3 are current models and asking 7k price now ."

I know you're not going to want to hear this, but I would say buy based on sound quality, not price. I would even go so far as to say, given the level of your pre and speakers, you're crazy if you do it any other way. Especially when your temporary amps cost 7k.

Cost is obviously a factor here since you're not getting the amps you really want. You owe it to yourself to take the time and get it right. Also, if you've never heard the MBL's in your system, I see no reason to expect better sound quality than from some of your other options. Its not at all uncommon for someone to prefer a less expensive component. For example, in my own system I was looking for a new amp(s). I was willing to spend 20k+ if I had to. In the end, I went with 2 Ayre V-5's that cost less than half of my max budget. Why? They were the best sounding of all the amps I demoed. 
Thanks everyone.  IIm going to do more resarch but its tough to find this level of equipment to bring in for demo in ones own home.  Therefore have to base purchase on reviews.  For now, i think the Brystons are best bang for the buck. Pass Xa 200.5 is stretching the budget but could do if i only knew it was signficantly better than the 7b3.  Back to need auditioning which is unrealistic.
" Pass Xa 200.5 is stretching the budget but could do if i only knew it was signficantly better than the 7b3."

That's the problem. There is no one is better than the other. If you listened to both amps, you would see that they sound very different. The designers take a completely different approach as to how they do things. Some people will like the Bryston, while other will pick the Pass.

" Bryston appealed more due to power for dollar, warranty and still have decent looks."

You need to be careful with power amp ratings. There's no standard that everyone has to go by. Each company does it their own way. If you took 5 power amps from 5 different companies, all rated for the same amount of power, and measured them all the same way, you would get different results for all 5 amps. 

Just to give an example, I used to have a Pass amp that was rated for 40 watts/ch. When I put it next to my Krell that had 250 watts/ch, there wasn't much difference. The bass was a little tighter, but you would never guess that you were comparing a 40 watt amp to a 250 watt amp. 

If you live in the US and don't have any local dealers, give The Cable Company a call. They should be able to send you some amps to demo. They carry Accuphase, BAT, ASR, Luxman, NuForce, Auralic, Bel Canto and probably a few others that I'm forgetting. Out of all those brands, I would want to try a solid state BAT. I can only guess, but I'm pretty sure you would prefer a BAT over the Bryston. Bryston is a good sounding amp, but its a high feedback design, and they don't come alive with music when compared to amps like BAT. 

You haven't mentioned tubes, so I'm assuming you're not interrested. But if you would consider tubes, you can get something like an ARC VT-200. Needless to say, it would be a good match for your preamp.
Another high power consideration for you is the Aesthetix Atlas. Underappreciated in my opinion, and resale units seem like a bargain. I own a stereo Atlas amp.
" Another high power consideration for you is the Aesthetix Atlas. Underappreciated in my opinion, and resale units seem like a bargain. I own a stereo Atlas amp."

Its funny you bring the Atlis up. I know its a good amp but I won't recommend anything I haven't heard myself. But it is tempting, especially since I have a Calypso. Have you compared the Atlas to Ayre? I have 2 V-5's in my system now and I haven't heard anything that makes me want to upgrage. Just curiouis. 
MB1, Your point about the Pass 40 vs Krell is well taken! I plugged in my Krell 250 in place of the Levinson and the extra 300 watts at 4ohms was negligent.  Sound was tinny and lifeless with the Krell with the additional wattage that it supposedly delivered.  Im sure Krell has better amps but for now, steering clear of them.  My old Sunfire Cinema Grand sounded better.  So yes, your point about power is well taken. Perhaps i just proved to myself that power doesn't mean a whole lot.  I posted a new thread about Pass XA200.5 vs Pass X350.8.  IS the power difference significant?  Sound quality or characteristics?  
With reference to tubes, i decided to go with SS for now.  If i were to venture into tubes for amps, i would be looking at AR 250 monos to team up with the 5SE.
@mb1audio

I have not compared the Atlas to any of the Ayre amplifiers. I bought it on a recommendation from Audioconnection as a match for my Calypso preamp.

My system is posted here if you want to see it.

Best Regards,

Jim Perry
" I bought it on a recommendation from Audioconnection as a match for my Calypso preamp."

Say no more. John R is on another plane of existence compared to other high end retailers. In my opinion, AC and The Cable Company are the 2 best audio stores in the US. 
Just wanted to update you all.  I bought a pair of Pass XA200.5 second hand off Agon.  Thanks for all your input.
Bryson  and mbl not in same league. Bryson 28 b model an exception. Also pass recommendation very good and above Bryson performance.