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Old 16th February 2004, 05:52 AM   #1
LBHajdu is offline LBHajdu  United States
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Default Bryston VS Pass XA

I'm considering building the Bryston 3sst amps. Itís for music and HT, mostly rock. the Brystons sound clear with extended highs and a very good bottom end. They donít have the warmth, and silky smoothness of the original Alephs. However I donít know if I want that sound. For HT it would play down seems like, for example the seen in the original Matrix where they where braking marble tiles in the lobby of that sky rise.

Now enter the XA. It has improved bass and highs. This is an $18,000 amp compared to the $2,500 Bryston. Does this amp do everything the Brystons do and more? Or is the XA made to appeal to a special kind of listener.

The brystons and Pass XAs are some of the best topologies I found online. I have both there schematics. They both employ creative solutions for lowering distortion. The XA has higher distortion and higher heat . But is it worth it? Beside the heat sinks, they cost about the same to build.

Opinions are welcome by everyone, but hopefully by people who have actually lisined to these amps.

Leve Hajdu
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Old 16th February 2004, 06:13 AM   #2
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Default distortion, dischmortion...

I have not heard an XA yet, but I traded a Bryston SST for a PassX - the Pass wins hands down (what a place to make such a statement, huh? ). I imagine the XA should be even better.

The Brystons sound very clean and "in control" but the Pass are more musical and transparent at the cost of some (but not a lot) bass definition.
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Old 16th February 2004, 06:19 AM   #3
moe29 is offline moe29  United States
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If all you're interested in is the sound of braking marble tiles (sic)
go with the Bryston's.

If you want a really nice stereo set up - and are willing to work
for it - build an Aleph-X. I don't think you'll be let down.


How did that Bryston make the weigh-in??... this is the Heavy Weight division!
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Old 16th February 2004, 07:05 AM   #4
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Have your cake and eat it too, bi-amp with the Bryston on the sub.
Rodd Yamashita
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Old 16th February 2004, 08:01 AM   #5
Jozua is offline Jozua  South Africa
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Default Bryston VS Pass XA


If possible can you mail or post me the plan and building details of the Pass amp ?

Please let me know if it is possible ?


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Old 16th February 2004, 12:06 PM   #6
LBHajdu is offline LBHajdu  United States
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I have the true schematics for all of the bryston amps. As for the pass AX I only have what everyone else sees online.
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Old 16th February 2004, 12:43 PM   #7
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I guess you really have to decide if you want to listen to the music (Pass) or just listen to sound(Bryston). The decision is purely yours though.......

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Old 16th February 2004, 01:37 PM   #8
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The XA from PassLabs and the Bryston 3Bsst do not play in the same league....

The XA is a pure class A mono amplifier, its a lot of heat but the results are wonderful ; the Bryston 3Bsst is a Class AB stereo... good music but not the smoothness and purity of the XA... to compare the 3Bsst you'll have to go for the X150 - 2 ch amp: The X150 is rated at 150 watts per channel in 8 ohms...

To build a class A you'll have to buy a lot of heatsinks, and for more than 100 watts
it will cost both arms and legs... I have built a A75 stereo 2*75 watts class A and for a DIYer, going more than 100 watts mono or 2*75 stereo is a very pricy project.

Good luck.


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Old 16th February 2004, 02:50 PM   #9
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My Aleph 2's cost me about 1000.00 to build including new heat sinks. I believe thats alot less than a used Mint Condition Bryston. No comparison in sound either. The Brystrons are made to be reliable...... at the sacrifice of sound quality...they have a 20 year warranty they have to fulfill, but the Pass labs stuff is designed to last until the universe is eaten up by the sun

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Old 16th February 2004, 02:53 PM   #10
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Originally posted by Mark A. Gulbrandsen
until the universe is eaten up by the sun
I believe you meant it the other way
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