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Stefan_DR3

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Only question left: Is the 3B going to be enough? The 3700 is rated at 105W per channel. The 3B looks like 125W. If the 3B is doing sole amplification for the MLs, is an extra 20W per channel really going to cut it?

Stefan, appreciate the reply. Hearing that the tubes are rare is one really good reason I didnt consider...
Beware of amp ratings. The old Bryston 3B may be rated at 120W but measures closer to 150W and later versions are 200+W into 8 ohms. The other thing is when the impedence load drops as it does with ESLs the receiver begins to cook and shut down (can't supply current) while the Bryston says "bring it on" and actually increases power output (300W into 4 ohms). A late model 3B is close in power output to an early model 4B, but the 4B will have a bigger power supply for current spikes.

I like tubes but power tubes are completely different than the tubes in your guitar pre-amp or my phono stage. They must sit in the open and make enough heat to warm up the room. I do not use them in the summer or closed cabinet. There are also hybrid designs out there with tubes only on the input stage and transistors doing the grunt work. New tubes from China or Eastern Europe or fakes are everywhere. It's the NOS (new old stock) tubes from America and Western Europe that are so coveted and have been getting rarer by the day for the last 15 years.

I just bought a Sonic Frontiers Power 1SE which uses a similar tube complement to the Rogue. 20% of the price was for tested and matched tubes. Haven't tried it on my MLs yet but it sounded very good in the store. No problem powering Theos.
 

jpwden

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Stefan, yea totally get the whole wattage thing. If I had my wish, I could look at graphs of wattage as a function of impedance, among other things.

FWIW, I just pulled the trigger on a Lexicon 312 (Bryston 5B-ST) and will come back to tubes later. If Im honest though, the biggest reason I didnt grab the Rogue I mentioned in the other thread really boiled down to very large difference in cost. The extra costs for tube amps seems like a bit of an issue, but heat is the least of my concerns--I have a totally separate room just for components where Ive built open shelves against the wall.

In either case, all this info has been ultra helpful and will be looking forward to continuing to read what all of you have to say!
 

Mirolab

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JPWDEN,
Congrats on the Lexicon amp, which you know is actually a Bryston.... just FYI, I've had my 4B-ST for 20 yrs now (and I bought it used) and so far it's my favorite amp overall. I like it even better than my 4B-SST.... About 5yrs ago, it developed a problem, so I sent it to Bryston for a "recondition" service. For around $600, they fixed the minor problem, and completely re-capped it. Basically, I now have a nearly brand new ST..... possibly sounding better than new, since the modern caps might be better than the originals. Chances are, this service costs a bit more now... but good to keep in mind.... If you really love that amp, Bryston can restore it back to new condition for you!
 

Robert D

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JPWDEN,
Congrats on the Lexicon amp, which you know is actually a Bryston.... just FYI, I've had my 4B-ST for 20 yrs now (and I bought it used) and so far it's my favorite amp overall. I like it even better than my 4B-SST.... About 5yrs ago, it developed a problem, so I sent it to Bryston for a "recondition" service. For around $600, they fixed the minor problem, and completely re-capped it. Basically, I now have a nearly brand new ST..... possibly sounding better than new, since the modern caps might be better than the originals. Chances are, this service costs a bit more now... but good to keep in mind.... If you really love that amp, Bryston can restore it back to new condition for you!
Does that have to be sent all the way to the UK, or do they have shops in other countries? Im in the US. That kind of service sounds like something I'd like to be able to use. Id rather spend money up front on a nice piece and then use that for as long as I want.

Did that price include shipping?
 

Russr

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Bryston is in Canada (Ontario). Not sure about shipping costs
 

Robert D

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Bryston is in Canada (Ontario). Not sure about shipping costs
Ok. I got myself confused. Shipping may not be as bad then I suppose. Thanks. Those have a 20 year warranty too right? So if something goes wrong during that time it is at least partially paid for? Do you know, does it cover just parts or does it cover parts and labor. Most places make you pay for shipping it to them.
 

Mirolab

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I bought my 4B-ST used around 2000. After a few years it developed a turn-on relay problem. It was likely about 12 years old at that point, and Bryston did fix it free of charge, but I did have to pay for the shipping one-way to them. They paid for the return. Then 10 years later, it developed noise in one channel due to a noisy bias pot i think..... I sent it in for full recondition service (new caps). I paid for shipping to them, and i'm sure return shipping was baked into the final repair bill. The recondition service did have a warrantee period... I don't remember the terms. It was well worth it because I love the amp. It's used EVERY day.
 

Stefan_DR3

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Bryston has a service center for American customers in Vermont:
I've never used that one but the factory service in Canada is second to none.
I believe they will also service Lexicon units (no warranty obviously).

Congrats Josh, the 312/5B is exactly the amp I initially recommended to you!
 

Northy

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My Denon X3700H is here to stay, but I am definitely considering getting some other amp to put into the chain. The main problem is that I cant simply bi-amp the speakers because I have the wires routed through the walls and as it was done, it will be impossible to run another set of wires to the speakers without tearing out a bunch of drywall. So the question is, what is available these days, that I can throw in either before or after my X3700H to boost power, and properly handles all the inputs that the Denon is currently dealing with (Roku, Blu-Ray, HEOS/Spotify, etc)?


This forum is doing great! But 10 years ago, "forums" like this were all the rage--I think I had 10 or 15 forums I visited on a daily basis. Most of that seems to be encapsulated in places like Facebook "groups" now. The "forum population" is no doubt lower than it was at some time in the past.
Does your receiver have preouts at least for the main front channels? If so, you only need to buy a nice two-channel power amp and simply let it power the front speakers. You do not want to bi-amp it by using the Denon as one of the amps. You will most likely have a gain issue not to mention the quality of external amp being better than that of the Denon.
 

jpwden

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Does your receiver have preouts at least for the main front channels? If so, you only need to buy a nice two-channel power amp and simply let it power the front speakers. You do not want to bi-amp it by using the Denon as one of the amps. You will most likely have a gain issue not to mention the quality of external amp being better than that of the Denon.
When I was referring to bi-amping, I was talking about using 4 channels of the Denon to power the 2 fronts. Denon has very specific direction about doing this. Ultimately though, that was never really an option because I cant really get an extra pair of wires to the speakers. I ended up with a Lexicon amp and it will power the fronts by itself...
 

Nuri58

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JPWDEN,
Congrats on the Lexicon amp, which you know is actually a Bryston.... just FYI, I've had my 4B-ST for 20 yrs now (and I bought it used) and so far it's my favorite amp overall. I like it even better than my 4B-SST.... About 5yrs ago, it developed a problem, so I sent it to Bryston for a "recondition" service. For around $600, they fixed the minor problem, and completely re-capped it. Basically, I now have a nearly brand new ST..... possibly sounding better than new, since the modern caps might be better than the originals. Chances are, this service costs a bit more now... but good to keep in mind.... If you really love that amp, Bryston can restore it back to new condition for you!
I thought Lexicon was Harman and the g class amps actually from Arcam (2011 they launched this in their AVR 600). At least for a while Lexicon was part of the Harman group.
 

jpwden

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I thought Lexicon was Harman and the g class amps actually from Arcam (2011 they launched this in their AVR 600). At least for a while Lexicon was part of the Harman group.
Their current website suggests that as well. However, the amp is definitely a Bryston 5B. In fact, funny enough, the amp says Lexicon on the front, but on the back it even says Bryston, clear as day lol.
With that said, this amp is a few years old and the curent lineup I see on their website has no similarity to the amp I bought,,,
 

Russr

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For a while in the 90's (maybe early 2000's, the Lexicon "NT" range of amps were re-badged Bryston ST Series amps. With a 5 yr warranty instead of a 20 yr warranty!

I have an NT 225 (4B ST) I'm thinking of sending in for re-capping...
I've had a NT 512 (B ST) and a couple of the NT 225's - no surprises, just solid, Bryston product!

Russ
 

BDH55

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I might suggest the Emotiva amps...built like battleships and sound really good. Great bang for the buck!
Can't argue with their price, and I know a lot of people swear by them. But as sometimes happens, for every happy customer there is an unhappy customer. I guess I drew the unhappy customer card with them (and more so, their customer service). While I will never buy anything from them again, I was able to save the day as I got nearly all of my money back by using it as a trade in against other equipment.
 

Robert D

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Can't argue with their price, and I know a lot of people swear by them. But as sometimes happens, for every happy customer there is an unhappy customer. I guess I drew the unhappy customer card with them (and more so, their customer service). While I will never buy anything from them again, I was able to save the day as I got nearly all of my money back by using it as a trade in against other equipment.
Can you elaborate some? I was thinking about getting a couple of their 5 channel amps in the future.
 

BDH55

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Can you elaborate some? I was thinking about getting a couple of their 5 channel amps in the future.
Sure, just keep in mind that this was a few years back so my hardware experience likely has nothing to do with their current hardware. My comment was more about my customer service experience with them.

I had one of their 'reference' five channel amps. It was a big, heavy beast of an amp. IIRC, it put out 600 wpc into 4 ohms with all channels driven. It required a 20 A circuit, weighed about 100# and cost me $2K. I loved that amp and it fit perfectly into my 5.1 home theater setup. If it hadn't had an issue, I might still be running it...

Unfortunately, the amp's protection circuits started kicking in and would shut down the amp. This might happen once a month, or three times an hour. Once it shut down the only way to reset it was to climb behind my equipment rack, switch off the main power, wait, then power the mains back up, and finally bring the amp back online.

Of course this problem started right after the warranty ran out, so I went ahead and contacted their customer service to see what my options were. The first issue was they felt this wasn't an amp problem, but instead was either my cables or my processor. I had already checked all my cabling and physical connections multiple times and everything appeared fine. The challenge was I didn't have a good way to check my processor. I figured my best option was to borrow my neighbor, pull the amp, box it and ship it back for service. Well, it turned out that was NOT an option. IOW, there was no option for the factory to evaluate it or repair it!!! :mad: I guess I didn't think a $2K amp was a disposable item. However, while I was not happy with them, when it came to five channel HT amps their pricing was attractive so I asked them what kind of deal they could give me on a new 5 ch amp?

While most companies try to keep their customers happy, they seemed offended that I would even ask for a discount. Okay, so now I was stuck as I had a problem that I couldn't say with 100% certainty was their amp, but I definitely had an overall system problem. Since I really suspected the amp, and had no way to swap out my processor, I bought their least expensive 5 ch amp figuring I could just use it to test, and return it within their 30 day trial window. I dropped it in my system and sure enough, problem solved. I never sent it back to them though because I wanted to be 100% sure. Instead, I ran it 2-3 months and figured I would just sell it later.

Since I had now proven that it was their amp, I once again tried to see if I could get a good discount on a new amp. While they finally agreed, first they wanted me to take my old amp out into my driveway, and take a sledge hammer to it. Why? So I could shoot a video and send it to them for proof the amp wasn't working. While I understood their request, I told them to just forget it as I didn't like how they handled the whole situation...

Soooo, now I needed a new amp and I used that opportunity to do a big upgrade and moved to a pair of Parasound JC 1 mono blocks and an A31 three channel amp, which was a great overall decision! I am not dogging Emotiva's gear as all electronics eventually fail. I was just really disappointed that I had no way to get my amp repaired, and the overall customer service experience just left a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully they have cleaned up both areas...

BTW, if you are seriously considering an Emotiva 5 ch amp, I have a very lightly used A-500 amp that has been boxed up and sitting in my 'to sell' pile for a couple years. While I haven't looked at it in years, there shouldn't be a mark on it, and it will have everything the factory originally sent with it. That said, I've also got a lightly used Emotiva ERC-2 CD player and I'd be happy to put a package deal together. I really need to get going and post a bunch of stuff to Audiogon. I've got several Aragon amps, preamps, a NAD processor and several pieces of ML gear (unfortunately, without boxes) I need to move out of here...
 

Robert D

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Sure, just keep in mind that this was a few years back so my hardware experience likely has nothing to do with their current hardware. My comment was more about my customer service experience with them.

I had one of their 'reference' five channel amps. It was a big, heavy beast of an amp. IIRC, it put out 600 wpc into 4 ohms with all channels driven. It required a 20 A circuit, weighed about 100# and cost me $2K. I loved that amp and it fit perfectly into my 5.1 home theater setup. If it hadn't had an issue, I might still be running it...

Unfortunately, the amp's protection circuits started kicking in and would shut down the amp. This might happen once a month, or three times an hour. Once it shut down the only way to reset it was to climb behind my equipment rack, switch off the main power, wait, then power the mains back up, and finally bring the amp back online.

Of course this problem started right after the warranty ran out, so I went ahead and contacted their customer service to see what my options were. The first issue was they felt this wasn't an amp problem, but instead was either my cables or my processor. I had already checked all my cabling and physical connections multiple times and everything appeared fine. The challenge was I didn't have a good way to check my processor. I figured my best option was to borrow my neighbor, pull the amp, box it and ship it back for service. Well, it turned out that was NOT an option. IOW, there was no option for the factory to evaluate it or repair it!!! :mad: I guess I didn't think a $2K amp was a disposable item. However, while I was not happy with them, when it came to five channel HT amps their pricing was attractive so I asked them what kind of deal they could give me on a new 5 ch amp?

While most companies try to keep their customers happy, they seemed offended that I would even ask for a discount. Okay, so now I was stuck as I had a problem that I couldn't say with 100% certainty was their amp, but I definitely had an overall system problem. Since I really suspected the amp, and had no way to swap out my processor, I bought their least expensive 5 ch amp figuring I could just use it to test, and return it within their 30 day trial window. I dropped it in my system and sure enough, problem solved. I never sent it back to them though because I wanted to be 100% sure. Instead, I ran it 2-3 months and figured I would just sell it later.

Since I had now proven that it was their amp, I once again tried to see if I could get a good discount on a new amp. While they finally agreed, first they wanted me to take my old amp out into my driveway, and take a sledge hammer to it. Why? So I could shoot a video and send it to them for proof the amp wasn't working. While I understood their request, I told them to just forget it as I didn't like how they handled the whole situation...

Soooo, now I needed a new amp and I used that opportunity to do a big upgrade and moved to a pair of Parasound JC 1 mono blocks and an A31 three channel amp, which was a great overall decision! I am not dogging Emotiva's gear as all electronics eventually fail. I was just really disappointed that I had no way to get my amp repaired, and the overall customer service experience just left a bad taste in my mouth. Hopefully they have cleaned up both areas...

BTW, if you are seriously considering an Emotiva 5 ch amp, I have a very lightly used A-500 amp that has been boxed up and sitting in my 'to sell' pile for a couple years. While I haven't looked at it in years, there shouldn't be a mark on it, and it will have everything the factory originally sent with it. That said, I've also got a lightly used Emotiva ERC-2 CD player and I'd be happy to put a package deal together. I really need to get going and post a bunch of stuff to Audiogon. I've got several Aragon amps, preamps, a NAD processor and several pieces of ML gear (unfortunately, without boxes) I need to move out of here...
You have some nice gear to sell. Im going to want to get new equipment when I build another home, and that going to be about 2 years from now. Its really hard finding land to build on! Right now I just use the top Marantz 11 channel receiver to power all of my atmos and surround in wall speakers and then the 2 channel Aragon for my two fronts. I plan on going separates for the first time.

I was also looking at Monoprice equipment. Apparently their class A/B stuff is made by another well respected company and is supposed to be good stuff. I wonder if their customer service is any better than Emotiva. Im like you and would expect them to offer repair service. I have a feeling Monoprice doesnt either. Monoprice is a bit lower in price and the amp has even better ratings. Just trying to plan ahead. These look nice. I figure 10 channels will do it since I use my Aragon for the front 2. So two 5 channel amps.

Monolith by Monoprice 5x200 Watts Per Channel Multi-Channel Home Theater Power Amplifier with XLR Inputs - Monoprice.com

What do you think about that brand? Will be putting together a dedicated home theater room and need to keep individual piece prices down some. Buying the projector is going to be the most costly probably. Just looked it up, the amps are made by ATI. The only ATI I know of was the company that used to make video cards back in the mid 90s. Im not familiar with the audio company.
 

BDH55

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You have some nice gear to sell. Im going to want to get new equipment when I build another home, and that going to be about 2 years from now. Its really hard finding land to build on! Right now I just use the top Marantz 11 channel receiver to power all of my atmos and surround in wall speakers and then the 2 channel Aragon for my two fronts. I plan on going separates for the first time.

I was also looking at Monoprice equipment. Apparently their class A/B stuff is made by another well respected company and is supposed to be good stuff. I wonder if their customer service is any better than Emotiva. Im like you and would expect them to offer repair service. I have a feeling Monoprice doesnt either. Monoprice is a bit lower in price and the amp has even better ratings. Just trying to plan ahead. These look nice. I figure 10 channels will do it since I use my Aragon for the front 2. So two 5 channel amps.

Monolith by Monoprice 5x200 Watts Per Channel Multi-Channel Home Theater Power Amplifier with XLR Inputs - Monoprice.com

What do you think about that brand? Will be putting together a dedicated home theater room and need to keep individual piece prices down some. Buying the projector is going to be the most costly probably. Just looked it up, the amps are made by ATI. The only ATI I know of was the company that used to make video cards back in the mid 90s. Im not familiar with the audio company.
Remember, my experience with Emotiva was just one experience, and could be out of the norm for them. Also, this was a few years back and things may have gotten better, as I doubt they could have gotten any worse.

I've got no experience with Monoprice and can't offer any opinion. As for ATI, I am familiar with them, but never actually owned any of their equipment. The guy behind them was the guy behind the big SAE amps years ago. Here's an article on him... 15 Minutes with SAE Founder, Amp Guru Morris Kessler
 

Robert D

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Remember, my experience with Emotiva was just one experience, and could be out of the norm for them. Also, this was a few years back and things may have gotten better, as I doubt they could have gotten any worse.

I've got no experience with Monoprice and can't offer any opinion. As for ATI, I am familiar with them, but never actually owned any of their equipment. The guy behind them was the guy behind the big SAE amps years ago. Here's an article on him... 15 Minutes with SAE Founder, Amp Guru Morris Kessler
Thanks. I see he worked with Aragon designing amps too. I have their 2 channel monoblock and love it.
 

spkrdctr

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BDH, It would seem to me that a repair on your amp would not have been a big deal. Any good repair shop should have been able to fix that shutdown problem and you could have had years of enjoyment with the product. I do however HATE rotten customer service. They knew that it had nothing to do with your processor and were trying to blow you off. You should have tried their corporate offices. When people start lying to get out of work it really pisses me off. Any amp shutdown problem is internal to the amp as long as you do not have a speaker short (or very low load like 2 ohms). You really did get bit by a crappy company. I would never buy anything from them. Customer service always shows the "attitude" of a company. If it is rotten, the company is rotten. That's why we like ML and other great companies so much. Sorry to hear about your problem. It just hit my hot button as it is a very low down, scumbag thing to do to a customer for no reason.
 

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