Noticed the same with my Arcam 9 CDP/BP20/3BST/B&W N803 combination. I replaced the BP20 with a tube pre and was pleasntly surprised by the difference. The highs lost the "edgy-ness" and the imaging improved.
Personally, I tried the 4bST, and couldn't take it for more than 20 minutes. Way to bright to my ears. IMHO, Bryston is way too bright, and that is what is bothering you. A different pre amp may help.
Which tube pre did you go with and what others did you consider before you purchased it?
If you have any silver in your interconnects or speaker cable try something else... Cardas or anything else before changing the hardware. Also put you Preamp on some sorbothane footers or vibrapods. Do the same for you CD player.
Bryston can be percieved as bright to certain ears. I've been through a few tube preamps and the best one by far for my Bryston gear, or any other amp for that matter is, Copland CTA 301 MKII with NOS Telefunken CCA tubes, blew away my Bryston BP25. Can be had on the used market for $1200us, its exactly what you are looking for. Coplands new CTA 305 is supposed to be even better, and can be had for $2300 new, but I havnt heard it yet. The Audible Illusions 3a preamp is pretty good also, but the Copland more transparent and refined. Do a discussion search on Copland
I wouldn't say the Bryston is bright, maybe overly neurtal. ;-)
That does not mean that with certain speakers and rooms the treble won't be like shards of glass.
I warmed up my system with a pair of Harmonic technology truth link cables between cd and preamp.
You have lots of things to try before you give up and go for new equipment.
Point the speakers straight ahead (no toe in)
Change IC between cd and pre and pre to amp (warm cable)
Change tubes in the T200
Cloth wall hangings w/acoustic foam behind can tame the room.
For the short term, tape two sheets of tolit paper in front of the tweeters.
Don't give up.
Hey, that TP idea is great. We could start a whole new thread...single or two ply, quilted or flat. Seriously though, I'm going to try it. Thanks.
I'm running an older 4B(NRB) soon to be upgraded. I found the same thing with digital. Running a PD-65 Elite via a BP-20. Started playing with cables recently and they do help. One last not, DON'T use silver cable with the Bryston...At least not between power and pre. A good friend of mine who is a dealer for Bryston told me this. Good luck!
Several members have mentioned switching cables, so I picked up a pair of Harmonic Technology Truth interconnects on Nikturner's advice and will try those. I also think I need to switch out my current XLR Balanced pre/pro interconnects with Harmonic Tech Truth. Anyone have a lead on where to pick up a pair at a reasonable price other than waiting for a used pair to surface on Audiogon? I need a 1.5 meter pair.
FYI...checked out Outlaw Audio PCA cables. They're made using copper wire manufactured exactly as Harmonic Tech Truth cables and from the photos on the Outlaw Audio website, the connectors look to be functionally identical as well. They cost 1/5 as much as HT Truths. Anyone have experience with the Outlaw PCA's?
Cytocycle has got it right.You need some warm sounding cable.Silver is a definite no no!!Cardas could do the trick but its pretty expensive.
Full sympathies with Tvad.Had similar problems with a BP 25/4 BST for nearly a year.If cable tweaking doesn't solve the problem(every reason to believe it will)the best bet is a warm lusious tube preamp.I switched to an antique ARC mated to a 14 BST coupled with a cable upgrade(Cardas Gold Cross - cdp to pre & Cardas Cross - pre to power).The results are heavenly.
Keep expermenting with used cable.You can't go wrong and its cheaper than a new/used tube preamp.
Tvad, I mated the 4Bst with a Audio Electronic Supply (AES) AE-3 tubed preamp a while back and what a difference tubes have on this amp. You can buy a used AES for $300-400 and this is a great start into the world of tubes.
I also inserted a pair of Acoustic Zen Matrix II IC's between amp and preamp, and these cables brought out hidden qualities in my system.
The BP25 is most likely where you should start disecting your equipment. Many reviews state that the BP25 can show how poorly a source can be( cd...phono )because it is a very neutral preamp. You might be playing a cd that was poorly engineered or produced, and by turning up the volume, you are also amplifying that same source material. A tubed preamp can give you that creamy smoothness, with the Bryston 4Bsst offering its dynamics.
good luck, kek
Tvad, I haven't seen anyone comment on the outlaw audio cables but they do look ok and cheap. Might have to try them on the second system. It is more than copper type that makes a cable warm. Take a look at HT's site they use the same type of wire in the IC's and yet they measure different. (percision vs. truthlink) The truthlink is their 'warm' cable while the others are suppose to tend more towards neutral.
Search here under 'harmonic' and some dealers should be listed. I would wait until you try the rca's before changing the xlrs as well. I planed on changing both in my system, but one set of truthlinks gave me enough warmth.
Hope they fix things for you. Let us know the outcome.
Like most BP20/25 users, I believed my weakest link had to be else where. Tried swaping cables, speaker placement among other things. My BP20 was purchased used some time ago. It was the highly rated reviews that helped in its purchase.
The system sat quietly in its rack unused for a number of months. I'd turn it on once in a while and turn it off within a few minutes. It burnt my butt knowing I had spent my money on this system and cannot enjoy it. :o( Bryston amplifiers have always been noted for their bass. This 4B (NRB) doesn't cut it. Nothing but upper frequencies!
Spoke with a good friend of mine and was told to have the bypass mods performed. Yah, right! Some time had passed and my disappointment grew stronger. Finally enough was enough. Not being in the position to purchase another pre, I made a call.
When the unit returned it gave me the feeling of purchasing a new toy. Put the pre back into the rack and made the connections. Flipped the switched and let the system warm up for 1/2 hour or so while I did other things.
When I was ready I grabbed Eric Clapton & B.B. King's "Riding With The King". It was a good thing I was setting down because I would have fallen. Had I not know this was the same preamp it would have passed for a new piece. There is definitely bass. They cymbles are in back where they ought to be. Everything in general sounds like it ought to be. NO more ear fatigue. :o) I am now listening to cd's of lesser sound quality that would never have been played normally. It's nice to have music back into my life!
If you have either the BP20/25 you owe it to yourself and your hard earned dollar to have these mods performed. The return you'll obtain is more than words can tell. Happy listening!
What are you talking about, Jas709?
He's talking about the 4bsst, it's different.
It's awsome, it's not bright.
Although I don't have a tube cd player, I mght look at that as the culprit first.
Anyone have experience with either a VAC Standard or Supratek Syrah preamp mated with a Bryston amp?