A used Rogue Audio 66 or 99 preamp (Magnum versions) are a very good match with Vons and Bryston. I ran them for a while and thought they sounded great!
34 responses Add your response
Jolita or a BAT vk5, or even vk5i. I've the BAT and for the money I really enjoy it and use a solid state amp too. Warm & rich, just overall lots of fun. Spectacular with the proper tubes in it. A friend has a Jolita... he loves it... runs his with a Levinson amp... and I think he swapped out some tubes too in his pre. Maybe the Jolita might be best... less tubes than the BAT... less expensive too to buy up front, new or used. They ain't making the BAT vk5 series so used is the only way for it... but it's considered a collectors item by many so loss on the investment is not much of an issue. Have fun....
If you want a warmer sound, get that Bryston out of your system and put in something like a McCormack DNA-125/225. I tried a Bryston 4BSST, 7BST monos and 14BSST with my 4JRs and I hated all three - it's just too bright and uninvolving for the VSAs which seem to love REFINEMENT. I've owned the 2BSST as well and found it no different than the other Brystons I've tried on another system, though I did not try it with my 4JRs.
Please do not misunderstand my post and label me a Bryston hater - they make great amps that are great in certain applications. My ears and my 4JRs don't like them.
Get a different SS amp and tube pre - that'll most certainly solve your problems.
I am actually going to demo a BAT Vk300xSE soon. Im going to try it as a pre with the Bryston to see how it sounds with a tube pre. As well as listen to it as a whole. i agree with you on the uninvolving aspect of what im hearing. I would say my gear sounds good and neutral but it just dosent grab and pull me into the music. I couldnt determine if it was the bryston or if it was the PS Audio PCA-2 pre amp i am using. With the BAT in my system it should definately clear some things up. I will let you know what i find out. thanks
do you have any recommendations? i bought the bryston from my dealer, i like his ear and his recommendations have been very good. I think the problem is the PS Audio pre but i wont know till i put the BAT in and determine what really is the piece that needs to go.i should note that he didnt recommend the PS pre, he is jsut letting me use it. I am embarrased about the room i have my gear in but that will change in a few months. i know that sitting in the nearfield is definetly brightening things up but i have no other choice. any advice is appreciated.
Trying different Pre's is a perfect start. I assume since its nearfield that its a fairly small room. If so, room treatments are critical. IMO, cabling becomes even more important in the nearfield too. Furthermore, I agree with you, I dont think the PS Audio makes a synergistic match with Bryston and VS.
Finally, after trying the new Pre if it is still not involving. Try a few room treatments (towels, blankets, and pillows make for an interesting experiment)and maybe a cable change or two. I liked Harmonic Tech with Bryston (Truthlinks are inexpensive and very available used)Surely by this point you will have found some characteristic that you like and begin to build upon them. In the end it may be the Bryston. But I suggest small steps building up towards what you want. Dont toss the baby out with the bath water.
You could try Power conditioning, or removing it, as an experiments well. Oh yes and definitely tweaking the speaker positioning. Thats very important in small rooms.
i have tried a few things that you had mentioned. my speakers are now more toed in then in the pics. my audio room is doubling as a bedroom so there is no room to play with. i have everything set up as good as it can get. I have a decent selection of interconnects that i have been switching (MIT and Transparent) but im trying to make the "recipe" better with spices when its the ingredients that need changing i.e. amp or pre. As i said before will be moving farely soon so im not going to worry too much about treatments until im in the new place. then i will get my dealer to set up my speakers. and tweak everything with room treatments. i think that will be money well spent. I definetly know my ear and waht i want in terms of sound so its just finding what works. the power in this place is terrible so my upc200hb isnt going anywhere. thanks for the advice and i will let you know what i find out after i try the BAT.
12inchwoofer and Drew_w
I am demoing the BAT currently and it has shown me that the Bryston needs to go. Its just to neutral for me. After hearing the BAT i believe i will be going with a tube integrated amp. Maybe a Pathos or a Cary or somthing else. Any suggestions? I tried the BAT as a pre hooked up to the Bryston and it was worlds better than the PS. I attribute that to the tube linestage. The BAT is very good sounding but still not warm enough for me, plus it carries a hefty price tag(for me anyway). Thanks for the input everybody, Justin
Oh dear, another tube convert, LOL! Tubes are sweet no doubt.
I am not surprised the BAT bounced the PS or the Bryston. The BAT Pre's are top notch and as far as I know the Amp section in this piece is also top notch. But, then again it is a $5500.00 Integrated!!
Those are excellent Tube Integrated choices. You dont think any other tube Preamp could add enough warmness?
BTW in my opinion BAT isnt really all that warm. Also my opinion, if I were in your shoes, I would probably keep the Bryston and buy that used Supratek Pre that came up today! I like Bryston though. Cant you tell! =)
The little Onix SP3 is a smooth and warm all tube integrated, available cheap, used and new. Might be worth a try.
Cford- I will add that to the list of considerations
12inchwoofer-Im sure i could find a tube pre that would add the warmth i want but i can recoup some money with the sale of a pair of interconnects if i go with an int. Plus i dont have to find the all important synergy between components. i wouldnt call the BAT a warm piece of gear either just that its not bright and that it was warmer than the PS/Bryston combo. i was intially really impressed with the Bryston, the power from that little amp was amazing. My low end from the vons went from so-so to wow. Just the more i listend the more i realized how much i like a colored sound. i will keep you posted on my quest. thanks
Jlind, I understand completely and I would be willing to bet that you will no doubt find something that works just right for you. IMO, you have an excellent plan and are implementing it perfectly.
I used to have a 325is, a '93, had it for 10 years, I sold it a few years back. I loved that car. Great brakes, tracked on rails, great balance, huge fun drive!
Well i listened to some preamps yesterday, Musical Fidelity, Linn and a Rogue 99. I am certain that i need a tube pre. The solid state pres just lacked the sweetness i love. The more i think about integrated amps the more im torn, with seperates i leave myself room for upgrading. so i think that the Bryston might stay after all but we will see.
Well i decided on a stand alone pre amp after all. I went with the BAT Vk-3iX w/ remote and couldnt be happier. The addition of this piece has brought my music to another level. This piece has been the most and i dont use this term loosesely here the most enjoyable addition. Everytime i listen im getting that sh*t eating grin on my face. So thanks to all that posted for your recommendations, thoughts and opinions.
a buddy has a VR2 and he paired them with the 3bsst and the 3bst. They sounded "average"-- clean sound, good power but its a bit on the dry side & lacked that involvement "factor" . He was using a conrad pv10 tube pre. Inspite of that, sounded dry.
The mccormack dna 05 sounded better with the VR2. Its sweeter but i feel that these VR2 w/ the mccormack could be wanting more power which the dna 05 i felt was somewhat lacking.The sound was a bit lacking in body.
He is still on the search.......
Well i cant comment on either of those pres but when i was using the PS Audio PCA2 pre the sound was like you described. Dry and uninvolving were words i used often to describe what i was hearing. Im totally in love with my BAT right now, it just fits my preferences so well. my bass response is definelty lacking the punch of the solid state pre but its worth the tradeoff for the rest of the spectrum. Maybe a BAT will work for him?
I didn't get to read your later replies. Didn't realize you had chosen already.
My congratulations on the BAT. I recommend you get the BAT power amp to match your pre with. My partner has an all BAT system with his Von Schweikerts and they sound awesome.
No, I'm not bashing Bryston. My Bryston was the longest tenured power amp I ever owned. Dry and clinical? A little. But at one point that was how I liked my music. That's why later I got an ARC pre to warm it up a bit. The synergy worked very well.
Regards and happy listening.
I havent had the chance to listen to a BAT amp yet but will hopefully soon. Im sure that once i hear one i will be drooling. Im really impressed with BATs sonics. As of now though i am beyond satisified with what i hear, plus adding a BAT amp would require a couple more thousand dollars out of my pocket which could be better spent in other areas of my system i.e. analog. Now your partner, is he using a tube amp or a SS one? and is this person on the 'gon? i havent heard a SET system but ive read its magical. thanks for the post