Sub $1k Power Amp to pair with Bryston B-60

Looking for advice on a couple of questions.

The scene:
I have a B-60 amp that I love the sound of (perhaps a bit dry, but all round great). I have it running a pair of B&W685s that I would one day like to upgrade (not for a year or two). I am moving into a new house where I will have a dedicated room, and would like to run a bit more power into the speakers (60 WPC works, but the speakers only open up at about 50% on the volume/power knob, at which point the bass can start to get a bit muddy quickly).

My first question:
By adding a power amp to my system, will I get more detail at a lower volume/power levels?

The second question (if the answer is yes to the first):
What would be a good power amp in the $1K range for this set up? I am fine with used gear, and would probably be looking at the 150 WPC range (to allow for future speaker upgrades).

I listen to anything and everything. Classical, rock, jazz, soul, big band, reggae.

Any help would be great.

By adding a power amp to my system, will I get more detail at a lower volume/power levels?

You will get more detail at lower power level's if you get a better amp and speakers. The amount of power you need depends on your speakers.

Your B&W 685s are rated @ 25 to 100 rms so your B-60 amp should be all right

the speakers only open up at about 50% on the volume/power knob, at which point the bass can start to get a bit muddy quickly

60 watts only goes so far, but should be good for your speakers.

At this point I don't know if its your amp or speakers. Could be because your speakers require more power, most of the power goes to the bass, that's why you hear that distorting first but pushing your amp makes a lot of things sound bad.
So a more powerful amp could be what you need. My advice is to get a high Quality lower cost power amp first. This should help a lot, then down the road get better speakers.

Here on Agon I found

musical fidelity a3cr reduced!
Asking $595.00

I personally own a a3cr driving my 6 ohm Electrostatic speakers. The Amp is in total control of these hard to drive speakers. With the a3cr I hear a lot more low level detail than I heard with my other amp, that's why the a3cr received a class A rating from stereophile.

You can look at all the amps listed for sale, the a3cr to me is the best value. You have to spend quite a bit more to do better.

Also get a good power cord and a good interconnect to hook up your new power amp, money well spent.

I think you're making a mistake by buying an amp at this point. The amp you choose needs to work with the speakers it's driving, and since you're looking to upgrade your speakers you'll end up with an amp that works better with your current speakers but that very likely is not optimal for your next pair. I'd wait until you identify your next pair of speakers and then choose an amp that works best with them.

That said, I heard the B60 paired with a Pass Aleph 3 driving a pair of Thiel CS1.5s a long time ago and it sounded fantastic. Case in point, the Aleph 3 may not have enough juice to fully drive your B&Ws to suit your needs, but it may well be fine if your next speakers are more sensitive and/or have a more benign impedance curve.

Best of luck
What is the size of your new room? Sub $1k Power Amps: various Classe's, McCormack DNA .05 or 1.0, various older SS c-J's like MF2300. Or newer like MF2250. I have a couple of SS C-J power amps that I love, & had a McCormack DNA .05 for about a week that sounded really nice even after shipping damage.

Or you could just get a more powerful integrated, like a used Plinius or Classe'..... serious shopping can score you a nice used amp at a good price that you can unload later if your needs change.

I'd say, don't be afraid to upgrade the amp, & then pick new speakers later.....60wpc will only get you so far....
Many thanks for the responses so far!

04-11-10: Steveaudio
What is the size of your new room?

A: Couldn't tell you exactly, but I would say no bigger than 15x15, and very low ceilings.

Great advice Rockinroni. I'll make sure to demo the a3cr.
I have been running my B60 with a 2B-lp in a biamp configuration with great results. The combo synergizes very well and because they are both Brystons the gains are identical. I believe you can get a used 2B-lp for ~$500. Good luck!
Don't buy anything until you hear your system in the new room. Try to find a room with no two dimensions the same. If you need more power after that, sell your speakers and get some that are more sensitive.
The problem is the 685s, not the B60. You're hearing the speakers' limits. I've owned a B60 for about 4 years now and know it very well. I've heard it drive more difficult speakers than yours without issues.

My room size is similar to yours, and my volume knob is usually at about 11 - 12:00. With the internal phono stage (I use a HOMC), it's at about 1 or 2:00. No problems at all. The volume knob is designed to use pretty much the full range. Most others use about a quarter. Other Bryston systems I've been around use most of the volume knob too.

I'd evaluate what you have in the new room before buying anything. You could be in for a very slipperly slope if you don't. The 685s are good speakers, but they're pretty much entry level speakers. They're not on the same level as the B60 IMO. I'd look at those and/or your source first. The only way to really figure out what you need is to hear what you've got in the new room.

The B60's 60 underrated watts will go a lot further than you think. It's a true dual mono design with 2 seperate power transformers. Nothing about it or anything else Bryston is average.