A short answer : NO. I don't think anyone has ever accused Bryston of being warm and tube like. Their virtues lie in another direction, driving inefficient speakers loudly. They are though to be somewhat bright sounding by many. If you have horns and want a warm and tube like sound GET TUBES. Horns are their ideal partner. In SS get something like Pass Labs class A amps. But if your horns are highly efficient , and I don't know any that are not, get a low powered amp , either tube or transistor.
You should at least go to the SST version. Which is where Bryston starts to sound like an 'audiophile product'.
Buy a tube amp. They are simple to maintain. Changing tubes is like pulling a carrot out of the ground. To add a tube simply line up the notches and push down and sway very gently and the tubes slide into place.
Try this and you will not look back.
Yeah, and the guy who was just unhappy his tubes suck, and to buy a set of new power tubes is gonna be $800..
Sure, go tubes and don't look back. Until you blow your first powertube.
Just bringing up the #1 reason NOT to actually buy a tube amp.
As far as Bryston goes there not one of the warm tube like sounding S.S. amps . I have given up my tube gear the last few years , I listen to alot of music so tube changes were frequent and got expensive , and the heat issue was always a problem , but I think what put me over the edge was when a friends tube power amp caught fire and nearly burnt his house down .
Good tube amps are not necessarily dangerous and are easy to maintain. Arguments that ss amps are less trouble, or cooler (unless they are Class A), or that they avoid the option of changing tubes to improve sound quality, sort of miss the point: tubes sound more like real music to many people, and usually avoid much of the harshness inherent in all but the newest and best ss designs.
Unless you describe your system, particularly the speakers and your musical preferences, no one can give you cogent advice on amp choice. Older Bryston amps might be a slight improvement over what you have, but could be a mostly sideways move.
I think what put me over the edge was when a friends tube power amp caught fire and nearly burnt his house down
Just out of curiosity, what amp was that?
I think the new sst-2 (squared) version would be better. What horns are you using or thinking of buying?
It would help to know what horn. What you need to know about any amp driving horns is how does it sound in the first 1/2 to 1 watt. I don't think there are many Bryston amps that will sound good in this range, but if it were me I would think about 25 watts or so with SS amps.
I'm not going to comment on the anti-tube bullshit on this thread. ;-)
Low watt class-A amp with large power supply. Forte 4a or a small Threshold would work nice. If it were me I would go with tubes.
Do you have a local Bryston dealer? I would recommend that you go listen with your own ears.
I am greatly enjoying my recently acquired S/H Bryston 4BSST. I wasn't ready to pull out the extra money needed to reach to the current crop of SST 2 Bryston amps. A bit of research reveals that all of the Bryston amps historically have received excellent reviews. The most recent crop of amps are being described as the most analogue sounding.
My system is more than capable of sounding full-bodied, warm and emotionally involving... depends greatly on the recording. Listening to Ella F (high rez) right now... warm and buttery smooth. My system is not tube-like. But, nothing cold or clinical about it!
Good luck with your decision.
Hey...thanks everyone for your thoughts and recommendations,especially Headshrinker2...wish I did have a Bryston AND Mccormack dealer in town to audition. The dealer I bought my Klipsch Forte 1's from in 1988 sells Macintosh and Rotel now. As far as tubes go, and I'm not an admitted tube basher, I don't think I'll ever go that route....tubes are just too expensive to replace, run hot and not very attractive looking. I'm gonna stick with SS gear, and rely on AGon's fine folk's opinions and personal experiences.....JMel
Adcom GFA 5500 Amp
NAD C 165 Preamp
NAD C 565 CD/DAC
Denon DCD 560 Changer
Carver TX 11A Tuner
Klipsch Forte 1's
Morrow MA2 Interconnects
Morrow SP2 Speaker Wire
I just came across this thread after a weekend where I finally 'found my sound'. I have Volti Audio Vittoras which are 104 db spl. The last amp you would think I would try, or would sound great, would be a Bryston 14b sst. I had purchased the Bryston late last year to try with Vienna Acoustic Strauss speakers. I wasn't happy with anything with the Viennas.
I have tried 300b amps, Marantz PM 11S2 and Musical Design 100 hybrid amp with Vittoras. As an afterthought I tried the Bryston prior to selling it. Wow, that pretty much sums up my reaction. The music finally 'sings'. I will save any other adjectives as we all know they fail to describe a great sound when it is found.
Yes, try everything, break all the silly rules we have been sold as gospel. And yes, the Bryston SSTs or SST2s are progressively improved over the ST. Have Fun.