Maggies (if you have the room) are the first speaker to come to mind.
best to list the room size and which end you will place the speakers
best to list the room size and which end you will place the speakers
Seriously I would not be concerned with just your speakers, but the 4BSST amp. Bryston is a cold, clinical, and grainy sound.
The reason for this is not because Bryston 'tells it like it is', but because Bryston engineers come from a pro audio backround and designed their amps with measurement theory rather than listening.
The new SST2 range of amps have supposedly resolved this problem and are much better, some say.
I haven't found cold, clinical, grainy or any combination of the above with Bryston. I've owned a B60 for a few years (SST no less), and have heard others countless times.
Bryston is very transparent. Transparent to the degree where many mistake the end sound with Bryston rather than looking upstream and downstream.
I've found systems with Bryston in them to be bright, dark, edgy, smooth, forward, laid-back, and everything else. What does that tell me? It's showing what it's fed.
Sounds like a BS answer to the original question, but I can't think of much of anything that'll not work well. It all depends on the sound you desire. The 4B will drive pretty much any speaker well from an electrical standpoint. It's a robust and stable amp. I'm sure there's some absurdly hard to drive speakers out there that'll make the 4B sweat a bit though.
Go on Audio Circle and ask James Tanner which speakers used Bryston in shows. That may give you a start. Thiel and Magnepan come to mind.
Really anything they are good amps.
I demoed the Revel Salon 2 on a full bryston front end today that included the 4BSST2 and it sounded very nice. The system was very balance top to bottom with great bass extension and detail. The high got a little bright at times but were still very good. The voices were some of the clearest I have ever heard on any system. The system really was the total package. If I had to say anything negative about it (really hard to do) I would have wanted a little more bass impact. Other than that it sounded great.
Lengthy auditions at 3 different dealers and 3 very different speaker types, KEF, Sonus Faber, and Krix. This was ST and early SST days. Out of date opinion, because since then there has been SST2.
To me the sound was consistant as I described, across all systems and my test disc compilation, whether audiophile recordings or regular music.
I do not want to detract from the speaker selection emphasis on this thread, but perhaps you may want to audition the new SST2 range as well as check new speakers.
I saw in another thread that you have used Totems for a while. Have you heard the Mani-2? One of the absolute best speakers I've heard, regardless of price. They need a ton of power to get them moving, but your 4B should easily provide that so long as you keep in below ear damaging levels and your room isn't an auditorium.
I really like ATCs as well, as someone else mentioned. My one and only criticism of them is they need to play at s bit higher SPL to open up and show their magic IMO. If you've got a larger room this may not be an issue. If it's average or smaller, it could be a make or break thing. I would have bought a pair had I not heard this during a few demos.
Yes, I'm a big fan of Totem speakers. Great company. I'm particularly fond of the Totem Arro floorstander. I like this speaker even better than some of the more expensive Totem floorstanders. I auditioned a pair of Model 1's monitors several years ago, and still remember their wonderful sound.
I have never heard the Mani 2's, through I have read terrific reviews.
Unfortunately, the Totem dealer in town has since closed shop. I find it very difficult to shop for audio gear when you can't easily audition.. let alone demo at home.
Sure, I can try. Basically, the lower the impedance of the speaker, the greater current demand it will make on the amplifier.
When you look at the power specifications for Bryston amps they will list the number of watts into an 8 ohm load and into a (more difficult) 4 ohm load. For example see: http://bryston.com/4bsst_m.html. You won't find a power specification into a load lower than 4 ohms (actually, I believe Bryston can internally change the configuration of the amp to handle lower loads, but with a lower power rating). Not that Bryston amps can't handle loads (for short duration) lower than 4 ohms, it's just that they are not really designed for it.
On the other hand some manufacturers, like Krell and Parasound, design their amps to handle loads down to 2 ohms. For example: http://www.parasound.com/halo/jc1.php.
This matters if the impedance of the speaker is lower than the power specification of the amp for any appreciable part of the audio band that your music would likely emphasize as well. FOr example: http://www.stereophile.com/content/thiel-audio-scs4t-loudspeaker-measurements. See that the impedance dips below 4 ohms in two separate regions. JA makes this comment:
As is typical for a Thiel design, the impedance is relatively low, ranging between 3 and 5.8 ohms for almost the entire audioband. The electrical phase angle is low, however; the SCS4T won't give a good 4 ohmrated amplifier any difficulty.
So this particular speaker would not be a good choice for an amp designed for 8 ohm loads. You typically see this sort of limitation in multichannel amps where there just isn't enough cabinet space for the necessary power supply.
I'm not sure how speaker manufacturers determine their nominal impedance specification, but it would not be unheard of for some to be a little optimistic. Reviewing the measurements in Stereophile is a good way to do a reality check.
Hope this helps.
I have the 4BSST and pair it with Focal/JMLabs Mico be's. I detect no cold, hard grainy issues at all. I have also run this amp with the Focal 927be which is a floorstander (limited production and precursor to the 1027/1028be current models). I have a small room and both setups worked very well. Some of these "be" Focals have become pretty good deals especially considering their original prices and the performance you get. FWIW my collection contains many of the same styles you list as program material.
Nice amp I love mine; you have many choices in compatible speakers and now you have another to consider.
In no particular order I would recommend B&W speakers from the 800 series and also the Dynaudio Contour and Confidence lines (though some find the Bryston-Dynaudio a bit on the cold side).
Dali Helicon and Euphonia lines might also be a good match. I have audition at home the BP25 pre and the 4BSST amp for a week. I used them to drive a pair of Dali Helicon speakers complemented with a REL Stentor 3. The combination was quite good.
Finally, the BP25-4BSST combo sounded terrific when driving the MBL 121 speakers.
Here in the UK, Bryston amplifiers (and everything else that Bryston make) are imported and distributed by PMC Loudspeakers. At shows, you won't hear one without the other. Accordingly, PMC speakers are designed primarily using Bryston amplification so compatibility is assured. I understand that Bryston import and distribute PMC loudspeakers throughout N. America, so they obviously hold them in high regard.
I'm not a fan of the muddy PMC sound. For the money, it's not for me. I agree with Playpen, the B-100 SST is excellent. I contrast I found the larger Brystons were very bright and screamy to my ears. They are the only amps I've heard (that I can think of at the moment) that sound like the high mids and treble are lifted several dB like an EQ was in the mix. Not my cuppa.
What model are you referring to? The "lifted on top" criticism was common for older lines, I understand, pre-SST2. I've actually never heard any of the earlier ones. The current 28B-SST2 is remarkably balanced across the audio band, perhaps even a touch on the warm side. In many respects--delicacy and nuance, soundstage realism, harmonic richness, it sounds more like the tube amps (SET, PP) in my other two systems than a SS mega-amp. And right now I'm using a passive preamp, which would tend to make them leaner than they'd otherwise be, but they're still rich and full. I'll be adding a tube preamp within the next week.
I recently owned MAC MC501, which are anything but lifted on top--the opposite, really. These Brystons provide every bit of the creamy midrange of those Macs with far better bass control and depth and timbre, plus exceptional HF extension and finesse and dimensionality, areas in which the Macs were lacking, IMO. These Brystons really are special amps. If you haven't heard them you might want to make the effort. I think they'd revise your opinion about Bryston. Of course, it all comes at a price.
i have cary tube pre and solid state amp with bryston speakers!!! i have not got to there amps yet but there speakers are like WOW!! and cheap,,,i highly recommend them to everyone!! they are not pretty boy speakers for sure,but can they sing with punch and as clear as a bell!! i may just try there amps ,,there speakers are awesome , i was going to go with merlins, or pmc's but will get model t's brystons for my big room with my onkyo M-510 and cary dac, pre, combo!!
Your setup sounds amazing - any pics?
+1 on Bryston
++1 on PMC
I am a fan of the PMC design - well built dome mids are sublime. Internally Damped driver cones (pulp/paper, doped fabric) are incredibly revealing and have a timbre that is killer. Of course you need a lot more power and beefy magnet motors to drive heavier cones (much harder to drive than light weight rigid cones) - which is where Bryston comes in!
BTW - this thread is a bit long in the tooth in age