What don’t you like about your amps and what aspects of the sound are you looking to improve?
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I haven't logged in for a long while but I think the first response is a correct one. First thing is to see if its really the amps you want to change. If you decide its the amps that seem to be lacking it is unlikely on the basis of power or quality. Different solid state amps do sound differently. I have a friend who went from very high end 2000 watt monoblocks to a different set. Neither were Swiss but every bit the caliber IMO. He loved the difference - but note its the difference. Not that they are so much 'better'. He found the new amps much more detailed and 'crisp'. I inherited the old ones and they are quite wonderful, but a bit more laid back. Sometimes we just want a change. Your best bet, if you decide this route, is the audition in your system.
There is nothing specifically I don't like. II think they are pretty good and extremely well built. I have had them for 5+ years, since they were introduced. I have been told by some of my local equipment dealers that these amps are perhaps due for an update and hence the request for suggestions. More detail, faster would be nice. More likely i just need a change.
More detail, faster would be nice.I wouldn’t be looking at changing amps if that’s what you’re looking for. If you really need a change I’d focus on speakers as you’ll get the biggest change, and IMHO speakers from Joseph Audio, Vandersteen, ProAc, Usher, Nola, Magico, YG, Wilson, Avalon, Audio Physic, Boenicke, Vimberg would all give you more significant improvements than swapping amps. IME B&Ws are detailed but clinical sounding and not nearly as musically involving as any of those listed above. I respect B&W speakers but can’t love them, but that’s me and clearly many others would disagree. Anyway, best of luck in finding whatever it is you’re looking for.
Bryston is one of the only manufacturers known specifically for designing for minimum 20 year life span. I'd ask them if at some point cap replacement would be a good idea. But I'd bet that you wouldn't need to do it for a long time.
Unless you got the chance to try one of the contenders in your rig and heard a big improvement, I'd suggest hanging tight. If you weren't thrilled with the sound, that's another story. Cheers,
Looking over your list, all nice quality built stuff. Guessing it seems more like an itch to change than your Bryston amps wearing out, eh?. If it's all truly "less than 5yrs old", gotta quick question for ya. How long do you leave it all powered on for...days, weeks, never turn it off? Noticing your Ref 6SE line state preamp has a number of tubes in it, right? If you have not checked this already, can you pull all the tubes and go have them tested somewhere locally. Make sure they are okay first, or replace as needed. If tubes check out okay, maybe find local tech to go in and check all specs, caps, in your amps next, after. Ref below:
Tip from a recent article, quote:
"To get the most from the REF 6 tube complement, one menu option allows the user to see the number of hours on the current tubes. According to AR, new 6550WE tubes should serve their owner for about 2,000 hours, and the 6H30 tubes offer roughly twice that life span. When the tubes eventually wear out, ARC offers carefully matched replacement tubes. As there are not a lot of variations on the 6H30 tube, just giving the factory a call is the easiest way to roll.", unquote.
Someone on here recently (maybe @erik_squires?) said try and listen to 3 amps...Ayre, Luxman and Pass. They are different presentations. I wouldn't say to choose one of those but you will probably like one more than the other two. That gives you an indication of what sound you like and people can give you better and more accurate advice.