Any help here? Any one using a similar combination?
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In my experience, buying an ARC preamp without hearing it in my system first would be too chancy. You can get good sound, but I find that's not always the case. Sometimes they sound too bright. If you don't have the means to listen before you buy, maybe look at a different brand. Aesthetix, BAT, Ayre (I know its only SS and you are asking for tubes.) and CJ (if you don't need all balanced components), would be safer choices. One thing I can say for certain is to get the best preamp you can. Its the most important one to get right (Assuming you didn't make any big mistakes with your other components. That doesen't appear to be the case with the components you list). If not, you'll alyways be trying to fix something (cables, tweaks etc...)
There have been a lot of folks who have used Bryston with ARC
with great synergy.
A few years back when I home auditioned a ref 5 with my 7B-sst's I liked it a lot.
Didn't find anything non musical about it except the I couldn't afford it at the time.
Would I have bought it if I had the coin,of course I would have.
Now I use 28s with a Vac pre and am very satisfied.
Might want to look on older posts that have arc and Bryston.
There are quite a few on audiocircle also that use tubes with the Bryston.
Hopefully you find your specific arc pre with Bryston.
Zd542: what makes you think that these other brands should be less chancier to match than ARC? from the previous threads in Adiogon it seems to be the safest combo after Bryston pre and power.
I found very few threads contains information about SP17, I need some comparison between different ARC Pres like LS15, LS16, LS25 compared to SP17.
"Zd542: what makes you think that these other brands should be less chancier to match than ARC? from the previous threads in Adiogon it seems to be the safest combo after Bryston pre and power."
I don't think ARC preamps are consistent in their overall sound. For example, some models sound bright while others don't. Keep in mind, though, that's just my opinion. No doubt, not everyone would agree.
"Am specifically interested in the ARC Preamplifiers as they're the only ones I can get buy but without auditioning."
I don't understand what you are saying there. If you are buying without listening first, you should be able to get just about anything. Why just ARC?
Disclaimer, I don't have any experience with the Bryston amps.
I do own an ARC LS-16 mkII that I do enjoy. I've always liked the classic build quality of Audio Research products. Unfortunately I haven't compared different ARC models head to head.
But personally, if I were considering the SP series preamps the "L" line level version would not be my preference. To me, the whole beauty of the SP series is the excellent value for the money you can get with a good phono section included. I just think the SP series with phono are an excellent value in the high end.
If I were not interested in vinyl, I would favor the higher end LS series, which usually has better components. But again, that's just me, and if you can get an SP17L for a low enough price then of course it would be an equally good value. But you might want to price the phono model first as a comparison. I can't help but think the phono model would be better for resale purposes in case you ever want to get rid of it.
I also really love my Cary SLP-98 F1 tube preamp and it might be an excellent if you want a more classic tube sound to mate with the Bryston. Ditto for the tube BAT models.
Good luck and Welcome!