Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

Discuss Bryston's SP3 surround processor

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

by wilsonij » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:14 am

I too had a Bryston SP1.7 and waited for several years for the SP3 to arrive but eventually I couldn't wait any longer and had to buy something else. After endless research and critical listening, for me, the best alternative was the Classe SSP-800.

After installing it I was really impressed by the build quality and the sheer power available - at the time, and possibly still today, it had the most processing power of any processor; you could throw almost any format and any number of channels at it and it would manipulate and convert them however you wanted. The manual and user interface were also a joy to use.

The sound quality was also top notch, certainly better than anything else "digital" (eg. Cary, Meridian, Theta) but not quite in the league of the very best "analogue" (eg. VTL, BAT, Audio Research) that I had either owned or demo'do.

I lived with the Classe for just over 2 years, during which time the SP3 came out, and of course I made the mistake of listening to one... and yes, it had the digital prowess of the Classe but also sounded as good as *any* pre-amplifier I'd ever heard... And believe me, it wasn't even close - the Classe and the Bryston are in a totally different league when it comes to sound quality (though, to be fair, in the UK the cost of the Bryston is half as much again as the Classe).

Needless to say I saved up and eventually bought an SP3 and, apart from the occasional bug, have never regretted it; however I did end up with a rather expensive paperweight in my loft, after finding no interest in the Classe on the secondhand market, something you could never say is true of Bryston gear.

Hope that helps !

Ian
BDP-1 > SP-3 > 2 x 7B3 > 2 x Vandersteen Quatros front, 1 x Theta Dreadnaught > 4 x Vandersteen 1C's back
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by Gary Dayton » Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Grit wrote: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!


My opinion is that Atmos is far enough away from ubiquity that it's still a value to purchase a high end home theater processor that doesn't support it. But, your personal decision will also factor in how comfortable you are with spending a bunch of money again in a few years on a new processor (if you even find value in Atmos). Lots of people with high end theaters are still pretty happy using V1 Dolby Digital and DTS.

If you have a once-in-a-lifetime shot at purchasing a high end home theater processor, and you expect to be alive by the time Atmos is fully adopted, then you may want to wait. It's a difficult decision because lots of personal preferences and ambitions are at play!
--Gary / Bryston
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by cgw » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:34 pm

There are many movies that still do not have and never will have 7.1 sound tracks. I really like that my SP3 will convert my 2.0 and 5.1 recording into 7.2. The SP3 is a great processor!

Atmos may be the next fade, but I would rather put the money into better speakers and amps than have an Atmos receiver that is the weakest link in the sound path.
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Re: Is the SP3 for home theatre as well as stereo?

by JeffQc » Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:35 pm

wilsonij wrote:The sound quality was also top notch, certainly better than anything else "digital" (eg. Cary, Meridian, Theta) but not quite in the league of the very best "analogue" (eg. VTL, BAT, Audio Research) that I had either owned or demo'do.

I lived with the Classe for just over 2 years, during which time the SP3 came out, and of course I made the mistake of listening to one... and yes, it had the digital prowess of the Classe but also sounded as good as *any* pre-amplifier I'd ever heard... And believe me, it wasn't even close - the Classe and the Bryston are in a totally different league when it comes to sound quality (though, to be fair, in the UK the cost of the Bryston is half as much again as the Classe).

Ian



A totally different league? The SP3 is that much a ssp-800 "killer" ? Both for Music and Movie?
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