Help- Bryston. vs Parasound - voicing ?

Discussion in 'Solid State' started by mfm22, Sep 17, 2015.

  1. mfm22

    mfm22 Active Member

    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    NY
    I'm comparing amps , down to 2 options
    Bryston 4b SST (used). or Parasound A21 (new). Let's say cost is equal

    Could use some advice from the AK crowd

    Bryston has a touch more power but either of these should drive magnepan .7s nicely

    I just read a very good thread discussing amp topology & " voicing"
    Voicing from what I gathered is what engineers can do to get a distinct sound raising the amplitude of certain frequencies .
    OK I did not understand all of it but enough to see why amps do sound different

    Well it did discuss that a well designed amp should just amplify and not color sound in any manor I agree .

    Bryston was mentioned as being neutral sounding , not "voiced".
    Not sure about the Parasound ? Or if it's true about the bryston

    Any input is very welcome. Please keep it on a layman's level for my comprehension. Thanks
     
  2. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Cost is not equal here. Bryston is built and priced like it is. Top end cost is no object. Bryston builds no other kind of gear. ParaSound is excellent budget High End. But not heirloom. Bryston is built much like McIntosh in their mindset, nearly forever amplifiers. Bryston drives the most demanding speakers and handles it well, conservative engineering and highest grade components which don't ever get pushed at their limits.
     
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  3. USA Soccer

    USA Soccer Well-Known Member

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    508
    Brystons warranty is great!
     
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  4. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    A real engineer would never "voice" an amplifier; he would design for low distortion, flat response, reliability, cost, etc. All very easy to do these days, and certainly not an art.

    Doubt you could go wrong with Bryston.
     
  5. mfm22

    mfm22 Active Member

    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    NY
    I wonder if that is why Bryston has been tagged as " clinical " or sterile
    by some .
    Maybe folks are used to' warm" sounding amps which are in fact
    exhibiting distortion
     
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  6. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    16,233
    Bass that is tight and doesn't rumble on and on? Yup, the lack of kiddie presence is sterile. Edgy vocals that are tagged with the term sibilant are dumbed down by slow amps because the audio critics say it is uncouth. Crystal clear highs that with the wrong speakers can sound like a garage drummer crashing cymbals. Objectively accurate amps are misunderstood.
     
  7. laatsch55

    laatsch55 Super Member

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    A good amp can not make up for a bad source...
     
  8. saea501

    saea501 Super Member

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    And what kind of distortion would that be if an amplifier sounds warm?
     
  9. Leestereo

    Leestereo Super Member

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    Even-order distortion is subjectively described as "warm" sounding.
     
  10. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    I would guess then that Audio Research doesn't let their real engineers do the final work on their gear as it is voiced.
     
  11. KB007

    KB007 New Member

    Messages:
    42
    A tiny bit of fallacy in your comparison - a new Bryston would be quite a bit more money, so the comparison is a little flawed. having said that, IMHO the Bryston would be a much better choice. Better build quality, way better warranty and good honest no colouration amps.
     
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  12. mfm22

    mfm22 Active Member

    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    NY
    bryston- new would be alot more .
    Used bryston was being considered
     
  13. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Was it them or CJ that put out a preamp that was so unstable it would oscillate? :D I'll stay far away from them, thanks.
     
  14. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
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    Bryston is accurate. What you feed it is what you get out of it. Transparent as can be. Adds no color, takes away nothing.
     
  15. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

    Messages:
    1,018
    I had an extended listening session with all Bryston gear running Paradigm Studio 60's a few years ago. My response was, meh. My buddy felt the same, and he sold high end gear in the 80's. I couldn't believe that I was unimpressed, and it was with a variety of music that I was familiar with. Maybe it was the speakers, no amp will sound as good with every single speaker out there.

    Anyway, since then I've had a few different brands of amps on my Paradigm Signature S6, a very serious speaker. And the Parasound Halo A21 was the best. The midrange was gorgeous, female vocals sound completely in-the-room. You simply can't go wrong with this amp, at least with the Sigs. The worst amp I had on them was an Emotiva XPA amp.

    Bryston amps are built like a tank and with top shelf parts, but so is the Halo line. The difference is, Bryston is made in Canada, paying top wages and benefits to excellent techs. Parasound is made in Taiwan and has a shorter warranty. Build quality may go to Bryston, but SQ, it's in the ear of the beholder.
     
  16. Raynald

    Raynald AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good points. The comment above about "completely in the room" vocals caught my attention. I had that experience with a tuner in my system. Amazing. Then I compared to another one which showed me the first one sounded in the room because it stripped the original room sound away. The first one sounded great but it was removing a lot of low level detail and smearing other stuff together to produce a fatter, warmer vocal sound. I run Bryston and the vocals sound like where they were originally recorded. I also sold high end gear, all the way up to ML, bought a Bryston pre amp back in the day over everything we had in the store. The power amps were not quite up to the same level, the later ST and beyond series fixed that.
     
  17. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Super Member

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    Lots of engineers have "voiced" amps over the years. And many brands are know to have a "house" or "brand" sound. Bryston is basically pro gear (which is typically an in-out no voicing amp) in a consumer-friendly package. I agree that a true and pure amp will only do one thing--amplify the signal that is fed to it, but that is not the case for a lot of brands.
     
  18. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    16,233
    I partially agree. Solid state designs such as Class A, cap coupled, flea amps, and others have a sound that people crave which is an opportunity designers have not missed. Some components such as VFET output transistors have a sound unto themselves which is why these expensive and somewhat fragile devices were specified. And then there are tubes.

    The part I agree with is that some designers want to achieve the best results in terms of distortion and response. However, this level of reproduction performance is not exclusive to Bryston or Parasound or to any market segment. It can be found at almost any price range. Pro amps can exhibit near perfect square wave traces and they are watt for watt dirt cheap.

    This is not an argument against Bryston. Bryston adds tremendous value with the 20 year no questions asked warranty. And the customer service is by many accounts first class. So top marks for peace of mind which to many is priceless.
     
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  19. bd1886

    bd1886 Super Member

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    Pleasant sonics and value will forever be justifiably subjective. Quality however is less so and that can only mean how well it's built to hold up to what we can throw at it and how it stays within the engineers specifications over the long haul in doing that. If pure to source is where you have your priorities set.....eat your "Wheaties".
     
  20. runnin'

    runnin' Super Member

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    I'm not sure if you are responding to me, since you commented on my "in the room" phrase, or the person whom you quoted.

    At any rate, it sounds like you are attaching a different meaning than what I am to the phrase, in the room. I can think of 5 different components that I used as amps/pres to my current speakers, and none of them did what you are describing. That's quite an odd thing, a component that "stripped the original room sound away". I have to admit I've never heard of this before.

    Anyway, I was simply saying that the resulting sound of my system was really, really good. Room sounds are there, and this is the important part, when they are present in the recording. That's something I love about my system as is, all the detail is there with nothing added or taken away.

    Again, I was really underwhelmed with the Bryston gear. Maybe it just doesn't mix well with Paradigm speakers.
     

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