Bryston 3B/4B-SST clone? - diyAudio
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Old 9th December 2006, 07:34 AM   #1
taj is offline taj  Canada
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Default Bryston 3B/4B-SST clone?

I would certainly be interested in some clone PCBs of the Bryston SST series amplifiers if someone were to design some. (Schematics are here:

The 3B-SST or 4B-SST would be killer.

I have a couple of old original 4B amps that could use updating. The chassis/heatsinks are wonderful and dying for a project. Unfortunately, I'm PCB-design challenged.

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Old 9th December 2006, 12:05 PM   #2
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Have you read this thread?
Rick: Oh Cliff / Sometimes it must be difficult not to feel as if / You really are a cliff / when fascists keep trying to push you over it! / Are they the lemmings / Or are you, Cliff? / Or are you Cliff?
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Old 9th December 2006, 05:14 PM   #3
taj is offline taj  Canada
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Yes, I lurked through it a while back, and I've just reread it now to refresh my memory. Thanks.

If I were to summarise that thread, with a bit of reading between the lines, here's what I would conclude: There is a lot of confusion regarding Bryston's models. The originals are the plain 3B, 4B, etc. which have a less than favourable aural quality compared to the other projects available here. Then came then 3B-ST, 4B-ST etc., then (and still current) the 3B-SST and 4B-SST, etc. The negative opinions offered regarding the circuit design seem for the most part to be of the original series, which had a different circuit designer according to Bryston's online history notes.

And to add my two cents to that thread topic: the Bryston family of amps has been the defacto standard in recording studios since the early 80's. This is my background. I have engineered in dozens of studios since the mid-80's and virtually all respectable studios use Brystons and virtually all recording engineers hold Bryston amps in very high regard. This, in my opinion, isn't a coincidence, and recording engineers (we) are not easily influenced by opinions or marketing. The sound and the fit (the power spec. requirements for the given monitor situation) are all that matters. And my opinion of the sound? Tight, clean and accurate. The instruments sound like they do in reality. True, we typically don't have the time, money or energy to try everything available, but the niche is filled so why bother. Would a Leach Low TIM or a Double-barreled amp work, of course, I'm sure it would be very popular. But they aren't available as a product, so the point is moot. Would we use class A amps? If they offered up enough power at the right price and didn't threaten to burn the studios down, sure. But that's also moot. Nowadays, all self-respecting studio monitors are self powered (Genelec, Meyer, etc.) so the niche is gone.

And they are robust. I own two of the original 4B amplifiers that have probably done 10 times as many concerts (thus 10 times as many miles) as I have (and I have mixed over 2700 concerts of every description). We've replaced the filter caps (age related) and very occasionally blown output sections, usually because of frayed/shorted speaker cable termination.

Now back to the present. I would like to upgrade my original 4B's to the newer SST circuitry. I have a leach amp already, and want to build a Bryston SST with my Bryston chassis that have a Bryston logo on them. That's all my motivation is. It seems to me that others would love to get onboard with a project like this, and all I can do is encourage it and hope someone comes onboard with a PCB design.

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Old 9th December 2006, 07:46 PM   #4
taj is offline taj  Canada
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If cloning a current production design is the issue, then a suitable alternative might be that we could start with the original 4B circuit and update it where it lacks, into a more modern circuit so that we can update our old 4B's with something evolved and unique (invented here) based on that circuit, that will fit the original form-factor of the orginal amp. And include other ideas as appropriate.

The 4B uses 4 boards per channel (sort of) a separate stereo input board (connections/routing mostly), a "main board" (diff. amp, VAS and a double-pair output section) plus a pair of outboard single-pair output-section boards.

It uses TO-3 devices on the heatsinks, which would have to be maintained to fit the existing hardware.

I have two old 4B's here and can supply any photos desired and can help out as much as possible given the limitation of my lack of EE knowledge and training.

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