Which Processor: Sunfire or Bryston?

Has anyone compared the Sunfire Theater Grand II with Bryston SP-1 5.1 (or 7.1)? I'm wondering which sounds better in 2 channel, and which sounds better for home theater. Is there a different processor at this price point that you have compared with either of these, and would recommend instead of either of these? Thanks for any input.
Absolutely!!..can I say again?...ABSOLUTELY! You should try the Classe SSP25(used) or SSP30 pre-pro!!! I garantee you...absolutely garantee you, that you will not find a better pre/pro in either DD/DTS, or dirrect 2 channel throughput(for analog in's) for music, than the Classe's!!!
Infact, for digital in 2 channel PCM 16/44 CD playback, it's also pretty darn unbeatable as well! However, if you have a really top end CD palyer, or analog source, the "dirret through-puts on this unit are fantasticly clean for a pre/pro!! Also, don't for get digital movie sources..can't be better than this really!
I've played with quite a lot of pre/pro's in my day(a lot really!), and also had some very high end/expensive 2 channel preamps and gear. And this has got to bet the absolute best value/performer in a pre/pro that's made....refering to Classe SSP's!!!
Anyway, if you can get your hands on one of these, I submit to you that you'll never find the need to change!
good luck

I have a Bryston SP-1 that I use for both audio and HT -- infact, I bought this unit specifically because I use the system about 90% of the time for audio, but wanted a high-quality surround processor as well.

I have not done a direct A-B comparison between the Bryston and the Classe SSP-30 or SSP-75, but I have heard the Sunfire on a number of occasions. Between the Bryston SP-1 (now the 1.7) and the Sunfire, I thought the Bryston offered better sound quality in audio-only use, while the surround function was a toss-up (both are very good here, so this is not a criticism).

The design philosophy behind the Bryston SP-1 (and its newer version, the 1.7) was to offer the highest quality audio capability while minimizing the "bells and whistles". The SP-1's circuits are taken almost directly from Bryston's best preamp, the BP-25, which has gotten many very positive reviews from a variety of audio mags. As a consequence of Bryston's design decisions, the SP-1 (and the 1.7) do NOT have video switching, since Bryston believes that video switching circuits degrade the audio signals. Hence, if you want video switching capability, you should not buy the Bryston.

When considering any unit that offers 6.1 or 7.1 channel processing, you should bear in mind that the 6th and 7th channels are matrix formats, and the movie and recording industries have no intent at this time to provide discrete software for these formats. My personal editorial here is that very few home theater environments need, or can accommodate, 6.1 or 7.1 channel formats, so unless you have a really big viewing/listening area, and have the money for more speakers and more amplification, don't put much emphasis on these expanded formats. (Bryston has had an interesting article on their Web site about this issue. They interviewed one of the best-known recording engineers in Hollywood, who stated that the movie and recording industries have no intent of moving beyond the current 5.1 format for the foreseeable future.)

One other factor which may, or may not, make a difference to you: warranty and service. Bryston has the best warranty in the business (20 years from date-of-manufacture, and this is unconditional and fully transferrable) -- and Bryston has arguably the best service in the high-end and professonal sound industry.

The new Bryston 1.7 has some features that were missing in the SP-1, such as 5.1 analog inputs for SACD and DVD-A, as well as Pro Logic II and 6.1 and 7.1 matrix decoding. For more info about the 1.7, I suggest you look at Bryston's Web site at: www.bryston.ca

I considered a lot of pre/pros about 18 months ago (Bryston, Classe, Sunfire, B&K, Rotel, Parasound, etc.), and I purchased the Bryston SP-1 because it did the best job of meeting my criteria for excellent audio reproduction, very good surround processing, and an outstanding warranty. You may have other criteria that are part of your buying decision, but the Bryston SP1.7 certainly deserves a long look.
Bookner, Sunfire is releasing the Theater Grand III at the end of this month. You might want to hold off on any purchases until you can find out the specifics.

To those that are TG II owners and want to know about the factory upgrades, Sunfire has not come to any conclusions as to how they are going to work this as of yet. I would imagine that they would offer such an option as they did this with the TG I's when they came out with the TG II's. I'll keep you folks posted when i find out what's going on and i'm sure that others will too : ) Sean
I second SD Campbell’s recommendation – the Bryston SP1 is a wonderful pre-pro. Wonderfully transparent and neutral, well made, and very intuitive in its operation – easier to operate than any receiver or preamp processor I’ve ever used. It really is an audiophile's processor, and I am delighted with mine.
I'll add a third vote for the SP1, for many of the same reasons Herr Campbell has cited. BTW, don't mean to be confrontational, but I have heard the Classe units and, while I thought them good, I did not hear the pedigree the first poster raves about. As always, our perceptions differ and you have to follow your ears. Note that I did not say Classe is bad; rather it didn't quite fire me the way the SP1 did. As with Mr. Campbell, audio quality assumed primacy in my selection. And it is there I thought the SP1 superior to Classe's offerings. Geddie wrote: "It really is an audiophile's processor, and I am delighted with mine." To which all I can add is ditto.
Thanks, one and all, for your considered responses. I'll do some listening. Any one actually compare these two directly?

You should also consider the B&K reference 30. This is the one I ended up getting. I listened to the B&K vs the Sunfire (for two-channel mostly) and picked the B&K. I haven't directly tested the Bryston or the Classe side-by-side with these, but I did listen to them and neither of them blew me away.

I use the B&K for D to A as well, though, so this was my priority. If you are just using it as passthrough, the Bryston or Classe might be better bets.

If you can, make sure to listen to them _in_your_setup_. The amp you match with it will especially make a difference.

What about Krell Showcase in comparison with Sunfire and Bryston.

I understand that some aquaintences of mine did a multiple hour comparison between the Krell and the Sunfire III. The Sunfire won. Speakers used for the comparision were Wilson Maxx.