Integrated vs using DAC or old NAD 1700

I'm considering a Bryston B100 integrated, which is essentially a 2bsst amp + a BP16 preamp. But I don't really know how much impact the preamp will have. What if I went with the 2bsst + my old NAD 1700 Monitor Series preamp? How about the 2bsst + a DAC with volume control like the Bel Canto DAC 2.5?

If its not going to make an appreciable difference, I'd rather put the $ saved by using the old NAD preamp (or even the smaller $ saved using the DAC) on music.

What do you guys think?
The weak point of the older NAD integrateds was easily the preamp section, in my experience. Not sure about the current ones, as I've not owned one. The last one I owned was a 320BEE. That, the 304, and a PE series integrated had the same weakness.

I haven't listened to DACs with preamps built in to give much insight. However, preamps make a very audible difference in my experience. Bryston's B100 is a great integrated amp. I'd easily take that over a 2B/NAD integrated preamp/seperate DAC.

I don't know your budget or financial situation to suggest something, nor do I really know what sound you're after. I don't like DACs built into other stuff, as I feel it's not the best long term investment nor the most flexible. I'm a big fan of integrateds, but when there's a DAC section in it, that'll become obsolete far sooner than the rest of the box. I get that 80's receiver with 8 track vibe. Amplification remains current far longer than sources do. I'm not saying digital music will become obsolete anytime soon, but the bit rates, sample rates, jitter reduction, etc. will most likely evolve far sooner than good ole amplification will.

No experience with the Bel Canto DAC/integrateds, so no comment. If I were to get an integrated with an internal DAC, it would definitely be the Bryston B100 or Naim SuperNait. Both have a good amount of digital and analog inputs and sound great.

Just my opinions.
Thanks much for your thoughtful response. To clarify, though, the NAD 1700 is a preamp/tuner - it is not an integrated. There is no amplifier section. And the 1700 is approximately 20 years old.

Finally, the 2bsst is about 1500 less than the b100sst integrated
Owned a 1700 for 20+ years, from new.
Really flexible 3x turnover tone controls, good phono section and rumble filter.

What's not to like? BTW, I think I bought mine in '87 or so.......

That being said....I don't know how well the NAD house sound blends with the colder Bryston.

What kind of speakers are you using? If you contemplate a sub, the 2nd set of preouts on the NAD may come in handy, even though they are 10v for long runs.

Many competent / good integrateds out there without spending at the Bryston level. NAD? Cambridge? Rotel? You could even go the Emotiva route, but that's not the way I'd go.

If 'ya gottta have the Bryston, go all the way.
Not sure why I thought your NAD was an integrated amp. My obvious mistake.

There are a ton of ways you could go. I'm very confident that a Bryston pre or integrated would sound a good deal better than the 1700. But preferences are a different thing.

The best approach to your situation IMO would be to tell us a bit about your room and current system. What you like, and what and why you feel you need to change things. Add your budget into the mix, and I'm sure you'll get a lot of feedback.

If you're serious about Bryston and would rather go seperates than integrated, the BP25 comes up fairly often here. It's main difference from the current BP26 is the power supply. They sound very similar, as I've heard James Tanner of Bryston state this several times on Audio Circle.

If you don't need a lot of power, have a smaller room, and or easy to drive speakers, the Bryston B60 is a great integrated that can be found here for very reasonable prices. I bought one here about 3 or 4 years ago and love it. I can honestly say I'll never get rid of it. Connect it to a great DAC like the Rega DAC, which I also own, and it's a very hard system to fault, especially for the money. But that really depends on your speakers and power needs. With easy to drive speakers, the B60 and B100 aren't that far apart sonically. If you've got difficult speakers in s big room, the extra 40 watts the B100 delivers could make all the difference in the world.

Just throwing some ideas out there. There are a ton of great integrateds out there. Bryston, Naim, Arcam, Creek, Unison, Manley, and on and on. I'm a big fan of integrateds, as you've got a definite pre/power synergy all in a convenient package that's most often pretty affordable. The only down side I see to most integrateds is they're usually not huge wattage amps. If you're driving very difficult speakers, you may need seperates.

Not trying to push Bryston or any others on you. Just giving you some Bryston info as you inquired about them in your post.
Do you have a Bryston dealer in your area? I have owned both NAD and Bryston gear. At least to my ears, they have a different sound signature. I would strongly suggest you go listen for yourself and make sure you like..

While quality separates can definitely step things up a notch or two, they are also considerably more expensive- generally speaking. There are some excellent integrated amps out there. If you are patient, you should absolutely find great deals in the used market.

Let us know what you decide!
I owned both NAD and Bryston. I agree with Headshrinker2. They are very different sounding amps. My thought is the NAD pre would really hold back the quality of the Bryston amp. NAD is excellent mid-fi equip but I felt the Bryston was in a different league. I think you would be happy with either a B60sst or B100sst. They are extremely well built and excellent sounding....