Plinius SA301 Or Bryston 4bsst2?


Hi, I am thinking of upgrading my amp, but would like to seek your advise which amp is more suitable for my Thiel 2.4 speaker? Thanks.
jonchew
I assume you meant the Plinius SB-301? If so, I owned that amp and it is very nice. Just a bit rolled off on the top and a bass beast. If you are looking to tame the Thiel's top end, it would be a good choice. Plus John Atkinson's Stereophile measurements of your speakers show an impedance dip to 2.7 ohms - the SB-301 is claimed to be stable to 2 ohms, so no issues there.
Either amp will drive the speaker so I would just listen to both amps and pick the one that sounds the best.
Jonchew-

as a THiel lover myself, you will want the power amp, that also, has high-current to drive them properly.

A tubed power amp, will be another matter. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of auditioning ARC, Ayre, Aesthetix, Bryston, Classe' and Pass Labs (currenrly the best SS at this time). Do not forget older solid-state power amps like Parasound and Threshold.

Lately, Conrad Johnson owners state that these components are a sonic match for Thiel as well.

As anyone can read, there are many, many power amps that will drive those speakers to Audio nirvana. Keep me posted & Happy Listening! JA
Which amp is more details and quieter as I am unable to compare side by side due to dealer don't carried these two amplifiers together. Thanks.
Yeah, that's a tough one. Is the
Plinius Class A?
Hi, is class AB.
Oh ok, thanks. I would go with the Plinius for sound, but maybe not as reliable operation-wise as the Bryston.
Bryston +Thiel? You would have to be a glutton for punishment......

Shakey
The Plinius is Class A AND Class AB. They suggest leaving the amp in Class AB mode when you leave them on. The Amp can be listened to in EITHER Class AB or Class A by using the toggle swith on the front.
They also suggest using Silnote inter connects and speaker wire. The amps are wired with silnote.
The Plinius SB-301 is not switchable between Class A and Class AB the same way the SA-103 is.

Also not sure what basis there is to say that Bryston amps are more reliable than Plinus. They may carry a longer warranty, but there are any number of Plinius owners here using older models with no complaints at all about them.
I said "maybe" Bryston is more reliable. Just a wild guess due to my experience with the brand. I suppose Bryston kicks out their fair share of duds just like any manufacturer. Matter of fact, there's a you tube video of a very disappointed now ex-Bryston customer. I admit, I'm not familiar at all with using or even auditioning a Plinius unit. I hope this clears things up!
Plinius SB301 is in a different league from bryston 4bsst2.
It will be better for you to compare Plinius SB301 with bryston 14bsst2. I would still vote plinius for its midrange/bass quality. In addition reliability of plinius is outstanding. I wish I could afford their plinius Ref SA amplifier.
Plinius SB301 is in a different league from bryston 4bsst2.
It will be better for you to compare Plinius SB301 with bryston 14bsst2.

That's what I figured. The 4BSST or SST2 is not the most transparent or dynamic amp out there.

I would still vote plinius for its midrange/bass quality. In addition reliability of plinius is outstanding. I wish I could afford their plinius Ref SA amplifier.

Ok, cool, sounds good regarding the reliability. Why, what is the price of the Ref SA?
Something that hasn't been mentioned but should be considered is that the Plinius SB-301 has unusually high gain, the specs being 32 db unbalanced and 38 db balanced. So with that amp you would find yourself using the volume control on your preamp at significantly lower settings than with most other amps, including the 4BSST2. Especially if you are planning to go with a balanced connection to the preamp.

That may be good, bad, or neither depending on the output level of your source(s), the gain of your preamp, and the sensitivity of the speaker (the latter being moderate, at 88 db/2.83 volts/1 meter per Stereophile's measurements, corresponding to 85 db/1 watt/1 meter given its 4 ohm nominal impedance). And possibly depending also on how well your volume control maintains resolution and channel balance in the lower part of its range.

Good luck. Regards,
-- Al
I've heard a Bryston 4B SST driving a Thiel 2.3 and i'm 99%+ sure it was a very poor match!
Dave_72 - Plinius SA-Reference Power Amplifier, MSRP is $20,900US
Yeah a plinius with a good passive pre amp might
be the ticket. I just bought a Plinius 100 mrk
III used and I will be running it in balanced
mode through an adcom 750 in passive mode. The
adcom when reviewed by Wes Philips compared it
to a 6500 Mark Levenson pre amp. When in passive
mode it let's the signal go through unmolested.
Denon 1 said : Plinius SB301 is in a different league from bryston 4bsst2. I fully agree with him. Long ago, I own a pair of Bryston 7b mono block, it sound harsh and not musical. I sold them and switch to MBL 9006, I own the later for 11 years and still using and enjoy it very much. In my another system, when I listen the Plinius SB301 in my house, I sold my Accuphase A45 and never look back. I use the SB301 almost 4 years till now and still love it very much. It is open in character,very transparent and powerful in bass,very musical. I learn the fact : we cannot simply conclude a Pure Class A amp is better than class AB amp.
Hi Bill, thanks, now how much is the SB301?
Looks like $10,350 msrp according to audiowaveshifi.com.
I see. Thanks again. I really would like to hear Plinius, but I keep skipping over them for some odd reason...
Thiel used to use Bryston at trade shows to showcase their speakers. Also, one of their top people moved to Bryston after Thiel got new management. In other words, Jim Thiel himself chose Bryston over all the other possible partners out there.

I'm still sort of new to the audio game, but I have thiel scs4t speakers (1.7s in the mail right now) and a bryston 4bsst2 and loved it instantly. It was a huge improvement over my last amp. Thiels love power, it is a cliche in these forums, but a cliche for a reason.

I also think if you are thinking about a 10k amp vs a 5k amp, it isn't much contest. You know which will sound better, but I wonder if you'd be getting the best sound for the money this way. Can I suggest a different approach to the budget you have? Buy a used Bryston sst2 and grab a couple of Thiel SS1 or 2s used, one for each speaker. They are designed to integrate with your 2.4s. I got an SS2 with crossover for $1400. When people go after Bryston for thinner bass, you have a counter measure because the Subs can be adjusted because they are individual amped themselves AND you'll have a full range system. You'll still spend less than if you got the sb301.

While shopping for a new amp, I heard 2.7s with Ayre, Bryston, and Macintosh amplification of about the same level, and while they were all great sounding amps, my preference was Bryston. I later auditioned 1.7s with Primare amps and again found the the Bryston preferable.

From what I understand, the refinements to Bryston amps after going to the sst2 series have warmed them up and resolved the treble issues that I see folks anticipating sounding bad on Thiels. I have experienced no such harshness, just solid images that sound like you are there.
Well, it's not a bad amp at all, I have had a 4BSST for 8 years now, you definitely can do worse. But alas, it's middle of the road stuff when speaking about top class equipment, which is very expensive, but they (Bryston) used to have prices that were commensurate with middle of the road stuff. Now that they've gone up in price, they're not the good deal they used to be. However, I must admit, in comparison to certain more expensive brands, Bryston holds its ground pretty well, and I for one, prefer it more to McIntosh most of the time. McIntosh can be a little too warm and slow sounding for my taste. I guess I prefer the faster and leaner sound of the Bryston more.
What do you think is better/best around the 4BSST 5K level Dave ?
The Ayre V-5, of course. It's not quite as powerful as the 4, but the SQ is in another league. That said, I wouldn't pair it with a Thiel without an audition. Its a more detailed amp and paired with all those metal drivers Thiel uses may be a bit too much. But its so good, you may want to upgrade your speakers.
I heard the V-5 on Maggies 1.7 last year at a dealer, not saying it was the amp, but it was horribly shrill.
Do they take a long warm up?
It wasn't the amp so much as it was a poor combo. The V-5 didn't sound good on my 1.7's either. It won't hide the flaws of other components.

The warm up is quick. When you turn the V-5 off, it goes into a standby mode that keeps the amp partiality warmed up.
Thanks, Zd, I was thinking that myself .
Not that this is much help, but I successfully paired my 2.4s with a Pass XA-30.5 (and INT-30A). Those amps play up the imaging/soundstaging strengths of the Thiels and are nicely warm and textured, so you don't get burned with any brightness. Also, I never clipped the amp or felt like it ran out of steam, despite the low power rating.
I would try Pass Labs too, Schubert. X150.5 which is a Class A/B amp. The list price is around $5k. Of course you're not gonna pay retail...
Thanks Dave, the few times I've heard Pass amps I remember being struck by their musicality.
My INT-30A just sold for $3450 (before my previous post). I think that's a killer deal (and am still a bit bitter about it). Some pretty reasonable prices on the X.5 and XA.5 these days because of the new .8 series.
You're welcome, Schubert. :D