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  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Advice between a few amps. Bryston/Levinson/ARC

    Any input is welcomed. I am driving Revel F52 speakers, looking for a smooth warm sounding amp. Here is what I am trying to decide between, unfortunately the only audition will be after purchase. I was going to go with Marantz multichannel, but decided I only need 2 channel for now. Pre/pro will either be a Marantz AV8003 or an older $1200 job for now.

    Audio Research
    D300 160/300 $1100

    Mark Levinson 27: 2 x 100/200 $1450 (what is the difference between the 27 and 27.5??)

    Bryston (like the fact these have external control power on/off, otherwise they will just stay powered on all the time)
    5B-ST: 3 x watts 120/200 $1200
    4B ST: 2 x watts 250/250 $900

    Newer series:
    3B SST 2 x watts 150/250 $1500

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Toronto CAN
    I would go with the Bryston. Imagine sitting down to a weekend listening session, your wife is away and you have the entire place to yourself. Knowing that have a quality amp, and that now matter how hard you push it if ANYTHING goes wrong it is covered under warranty for 20 years, the music will sound just that much nicer!

    Used? Oh well, just make sure you have the original receipt and you're covered.

    BTW, the Bryston sound is very 'accurate' sounding, not so much 'warm' as say my tube amp is. My opinion, ya see!?!?!?
    Source: Musical Fidelity A5CD
    Pre: Stevens & Billington TVC
    Power: Heathkit W4; Tung-Sol 6SN7GTB splitter, '55 Sylvania 6SN7GTA driver, Russian 6P3SE outputs
    Speakers: Reference 3A Veena
    Interconnect: Tara Labs RSC Air 1
    Speaker Cable: Tara Labs RSC Prime 1000
    Power Cables: Furutech 314 with Oyaide 079 connectors
    Rack: Rack of Silence
    Room: well treated with panel absorbers

  3. #3
    Forum Regular simmel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Innsbruck Austria
    Have you tried the Denson amps especially the new Beat 100. They also make a very good pre/power combo check out their web site.
    Onkyo P304 M504 pre/power combo.
    Systemdek 2X2 turntable RB 300 Arm Origin live modified
    Denon CD player (to be upgraded as soon as I have more cash)
    Sonus Faber Minuetto Speakers Bi-wired on Sonus Faber stands (Brilliant)
    Kimber 4 TC speaker cable
    Cord Cobra 3 Interconnects.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    The Levinson or Bryston are both good amps with an edge in sound to the Levinson (in my opinion) but you plan to go 5 channel in the future so snag the Brystons. I personally wouldn't recommend buying any ARC unless you can audition them or you are familiar with their sound. I've only heard their solid state with other ARC gear but it has a more unique sound than the other two.

    Off topic some but I read a review of the Bryston monoblocks and the reviewer mentioned that they were uncharacteristically warm for Bryston's.

  5. #5
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    St. Charles Mo
    I've heard Revels with Marantz Reference mono blocks and Reference CD player and the sound was very smooth.

    Just another thought.

    I've been playing around with the Rotel combo Rb1080 amp/200 per channel and RC 1090 control amp. I did have it paired with the Rotel RCC 1055 CD palyer and the thing was just to much in your face. So I changed it out with a Marantz CD/SACD player and bingo!!! Such a nice warm sound. I feel in love all over again. The amp cost $1000 new, but you may find a used one on audiogon for about half that price. And paired with the Marantz pre/pro and the right source, I betcha you would have that warm sound your are speaking of.


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