Bryston B1353 integrated amplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog sources: Dr. Feickert Analogue Blackbird turntable with Schick 10.5" tonearm, Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum, My Sonic Lab Ultra Eminent Ex, Zu Audio Denon Zu/DL-103 moving coil cartridges; Lundahl LL1931Ag SUT, Koetsu SUT, Sutherland Engineering Little Loco Mk2, Kitsuné KTE LCR-1 MK4, EAR Phono Classic phono preamplifier.
Digital sources: Roon Nucleus+ music server; HoloAudio May (Level 3) D/A processor; Mola Mola Tambaqui, dCS Bartók DAC/streamers.
Preamplifier: Rogue Audio RP-7.
Integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs INT-25, Rogue Audio Sphinx V3.
Power amplifier: Parasound Halo A 21+.
Loudspeakers: Falcon Acoustics "Gold Badge" LS3/5a, Harbeth M30.2, GoldenEar BRX.
Headphones: HiFiMan HE1000, Audeze LCD2.
Cables: Digital: Kimber Kable D60 Data Flex Studio (coax). Interconnect: Cardas Clear Cygnus, AudioQuest Mackenzie, Black Cat Coppertone, Triode Wire Labs Spirit II. Speaker: Triode Wire Labs American Series. AC: AudioQuest Tornado, manufacturer's own.
Accessories: AudioQuest Niagara 1000 power conditioner; Harmonic Resolution Systems M3X-1719-AMG GR LF isolation platform; Kuzma Platis 65 turntable isolation platform, Sound Anchor Reference speaker stands.—Herb Reichert

Bryston Limited
677 Neal Dr.
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 6X7
(705) 742-5325

Long-time listener's picture

I'm interested in a certain question, so this is addressed either to Herb Reichert or to anyone who can answer it. Given that the Pass Labs amp that Herb likes for its vividness has generally higher distortion than this amp, especially in the highs, I would like to know what aspect or aspects of its performance would account for that extra vividness? Genuinely curious about this. I've found that good measurements in DACs tend to correlate with what I consider good sound, but it seems much harder to make that correlation in amps.

thethanimal's picture

Probably because the Pass is a push-pull Class A amp using FETs and no feedback, vs. the Bryston’s Class AB operation. If I follow Herb’s writing correctly, he seems to always prefer Class A and FETs because they result in the most transparent and vivid images, perhaps at the expense of some wallop and control on inefficient speakers. But I’m no electrical engineer.

Jonti's picture

I posted a reply here a couple of days ago, then edited it to correct a typo, upon which my post was "sent to the admins for approval" and promptly disappeared. Please could you approve my corrected spelling and reinstate the post? Or does my *speling* not make the grade for such a lofty publication? ;)

Ortofan's picture

... on more than one occasion.

Archimago's picture

Yup, same here over the years.

Make sure to do it in one shot - no editing. Otherwise it ends up in the Black Hole.

Long-time listener's picture

I see. I was looking only at distortion levels, and I wondered, does the high frequency distortion in the Pass (which seems quite high) maybe add a little extra crackle and crunch to the sound of the cellophane, making it more vivid? (Heh heh) But I see there's more to it than that.

thethanimal's picture

In the case of either amp, I thought at those levels of THD the amp’s distortion would be buried beneath the speaker’s own distortion and the acoustics of the room.

Jonti's picture

I was also listening to Disintegration Loops the other week ("dlp 1.1" in particular) after a friend recommended it to me. Said amigo also explained that Basinski had recorded the 1.1 loop from an easy listening radio station in the early 1980s, hence the basal sweetness and dim brass remnants floating in the background.

You suggest that colouration could obscure the subtle shifts in this music, potentially rendering it boring/annoying, but I believe that an infinitely greater factor here is the listener's state of mind! The key is being at peace with oneself and one's environment and the flow of time. Then and only then can we sit back and appreciate the sheer beauty of what is unspooling before us.

On a similar tip, I'd urge you to journey with Susumu Yokota's sublime "Sakura" album and any of Mike Cooper's densely atmospheric collages on the Room40 label, but specifically "New Kiribati" and "Rayon Hula" and "Tropical Gothic".

Herb Reichert's picture

You sound like a deep listener.

And your recommendations look really interesting. I will start with Sakura now.

peace and streaming,


Jonti's picture

Thank you for the kind words. Enjoy the music.

unitygain's picture

Would have liked to learn how this compares to other hybrid integrated amplifiers from well-known manufacturers; a partial list of these current production units might include the following; ModWright Kwh225i, Copland CSA100, Primaluna Evo300 hybrid, AVM Ovation A 8.3, Pathos Kratos, Absolare Integrated, Unison Research Unico Due, and BAT VK-3500.

For what it’s worth (and a totally superfluous diaristic aside at that) regarding the above-mentioned “Sakura” album, it soundtracked the ineffable strangeness (retro-adolescent cringe) of falling in love for the first time - a memorable distinction for any musical experience.