Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

Discuss Bryston's SP3 surround processor

Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by eternalcamper » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:27 pm

So, I have been trying to decide on a new pre/pro

I am looking at the Classe SSP-800 or the SP3

From what I have read & heard from people, the Bryston is outstanding at sound quality but does not does the job when it comes to processing for my home theatre needs.

Please respond and tell me from people who are using this processor for home theatre mostly, what have you found.

I have a feeling that I may get into more listening to music as there seems to be a few sites where one can listen to music from a library up there in the "clouds"

Stephen
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Buseto » Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:01 pm

Before buying the SP3 I listened to a Classé SSP-800. too. For me is the home theatre audio as important as stereo audio, because I listen quite a lot to classic music / opera (and Jazz) on cd, SACD, dvd and Blu Ray. I found that the SP3 did very well as a surround receiver and as a stereo receiver. The 'natural sound' reproduction was for me the main reason to buy the SP3 and I'm glad I did. But the SSP-800 is indeed a very nice surround receiver (it was a close call for me); what I mostly liked of it is its manual: very well written - like an 'ancient' apple manual. But that wasn't enough to make me buy the Classé.

I added a sentence, because it wasn't clear enough that I went with the SP3.
Last edited by Buseto on Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Boldlygo » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:22 pm

My setup is dual purpose as well. Beautiful stereo sound and easily switched to HDMI multi-channel for either Multi-ch SACDs, Blurays or just watching TV.
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Gary Dayton » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:04 pm

When we developed the SP3, our thought was that there is no difference between home theatre sound and music sound - accuracy means accuracy. Naturally, a full feature set was required for home theater, and we worked very hard to implement it in a way that was not detrimental to theatre. Some people mistakenly believe the SP3 is a minimalist device because it doesn't have things like room equalization when in reality, a feature such as this only changes the nature of sound quality problems in a room rather than fixes them.

What features exist in the Classe processor that are important to you that the SP3 doesn't have?

I hope you pick ours :P

--Gary / Bryston
--Gary / Bryston
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by eternalcamper » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:02 pm

What features exist in the Classe processor that are important to you that the SP3 doesn't have?

I hope you pick ours :P

--Gary / Bryston[/quote]

So, Gary, thank you for responding to me.

I have been on a quest to find a new pre/pro for some time now, and the more I read about what's out there, the more I get a little more confused.

I had a Bryston setup a number of years ago with a SP1.7, Bryston amps, + PMC speakers.

I sold it all as my wife wanted to move into a condo.

That worked out well, for about 1 week, until we both said that condo living was not for us. So we sold the condo & moved back to a house, where I now have a dedicated room, about 14.5' x 22' x 8', and had to start over. Enough crying on my part.

So, I went and purchased everything new, and could only get a front projector, with B & W CT series speakers behind a perforated screen with 3 speakers in front + 2 subs and 2 in-wall speakers in the rear.

I went with a Pioneer Elite receiver SC-68 and an Oppo 103D (which I just upgraded from another Oppo).

So, I am now looking for separates, and am looking for a pre/pro.

With the news from CEDIA, I am wondering if Atmos will catch on & am pretty sure that 4K is going to be bigger in a few years. I guess that my pre.pro does have to be upgradable to be able to accommodate these features.

So, now down to the task at hand, and that is to get separates for myself.

Bryston vs Classé?

Just let me hear the Bryston in a home Theatre set-up!

Gary, what are your areas of work at Bryston?

Stephen
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by eternalcamper » Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:08 pm

what I mostly liked of it is its manual: very well written - like an 'ancient' apple manual.[/quote]

So, you really did not get a pre/pro for $10,000. because of the MANUAL, did you?
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Grit » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:44 am

I spent the better part of a year deciding on Bryston's SP3 (vs Classe, Anthem, Krell, or even something like a Rotel or Marantz AND adding a high quality 2-ch preamp with HT passthrough).

I really enjoy HT, but I also wanted to be able to sit down with a glass of wine, play music, and get lost in it. That's my meditation, personal time, vice, what ever you want to call it. The Byrston's audio quality is among THE best, if not THE best in processors. All the added extra "features" my Rotel had (and that that others offer), I really never use or need. I'd rather work on repairing room acoustics than trying to alter the original signal. All the video manipulation stuff... I prefer to let my television handle all that.

I figure most of us have video equipment that'll do what we want these days. Don't like your video signal? Send it through your Oppo BDP-103. Let your projector or Pioneer or Panasonic monitor handle it. If you're in the market for Bryston for audio, you probably already have (or will get) a video solution. All I really wanted was the processor to handle audio and allow me to use one input to my television. It does both of those wonderfully. Anything else you add will become a dated/outdated feature eventually.

Want a great music server? Get a product for that purpose. Want something to plug you iPod into? Get a product for that. That way, when your needs change or the product line updates, you can do it. Imagine if your processor had come with a built-in DVD drive. What happens when Bluray comes along? What happens when 4K comes along?

And speaking of Bluray, the OP mentioned Dolby Atmos. And don't forget that DTS will come up with their version too. I was also concerned. What if my $10k processor can't run the latest and greatest? I just want 5.1 sound, but what if I can't watch new movies because they JUST come out in Atmos? I forget where, but I finally found a press piece that stated discs pressed with Atmos would still contain the Dolby TrueHD track as well. Great! That basically fixed my worries. After all, think about how many people have 5.1 (or less). Atmos makes sense for its flexibility, but the odds of movie studios abandoning all those customers who already have systems without Atmos? Probably won't happen.

I don't blame you. For me, this purchase was just one step down from buying a car. It was agonizing and I second-guessed myself over and over, reading and re-reading every review and post I could find. There's LOTS to consider: customer support, quality, features, resale value, etc. I feel great about my purchase on all those counts. I'd bet you would too.

- Garrett
- Garrett
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Buseto » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:33 pm

eternalcamper wrote:what I mostly liked of it is its manual: very well written - like an 'ancient' apple manual.


So, you really did not get a pre/pro for $10,000. because of the MANUAL, did you?[/quote]

No, I didn't. I have added a sentence to make that clear.
It's just that Bryston could something learn from Classé about how to write a nice manual.
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Gary Dayton » Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:34 pm

I think Dolby Atmos will catch on. It seems to be a cool concept in that the speaker configuration is highly scalable, and the notion of "object" based mixing is very novel. Further, the Dolby marketing machine is unstoppable. I've heard a couple of demonstrations and it's pretty cool - having a realistic height dimension is absolutely delightful.

I cannot fathom any current surround processors from any company being upgradeable to Atmos. The requirements are quite different. I'm sure we'll build an Atmos capable processor at some point, but it's not a near-term release. As usual, the less expensive Japanese brands are leading the rollout of the new technology. I think within the next two years, Atmos will become the new standard at which time higher end companies like us will release products that are explicitly compatible.

My roles at Bryston include technical support to customers and dealers, marketing and graphic design, sales, pandering for products and features, training, etc.

I hope this helps!
--Gary / Bryston
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Grit » Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:36 am

Gary, what do you think? I'm guessing it'll be several years before they are offering movies with ONLY Atmos.

I'm going to be limited to 5.1 channels for a LONG time (maybe 5.2, if I'm REAL lucky). For me, the concern is 4k pass through (already offered, check!) and being able to decode movies in a loss-less multi-channel format (Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio HD). As long as the studios continue to include Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio HD in their movies, I'm a happy camper!
- Garrett
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