Bryston 4B ST + ATC SCM12 Pro, anyone?

Discussion in 'Home Audio (Stereo Systems)' started by bailydread, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. bailydread

    bailydread Supporting Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm using these mainly for studio purposes, but because this amp is a Hi-Fi amp I'm asking here.

    I have a pair of ATC SCM12 Pro that I was planning on powering with a Bryston 4B ST... I've read online that this combination is especially good, since the 4B ST has a "mids-forward" thing going on that helps to make the ATC's closed cab even tighter sounding, kind of like a more neutral NS 10. At 250 watts per channel, it would drive the ATC's very well--the ATC manual recommends getting as close to 300 watts as possible for the best speaker performance.

    Just wondering everyone's thoughts about this. I'm placing the offer for the 4B ST right now ;)
     
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  2. ddog

    ddog Supporting Member

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    Using modwright integrated 200 watts aside...bryston should absolutely be a fit for these...When I first got these atc 19 I gave a good running in....but because im in a different house smaller room situation the noise level got to my wife...burning in with (flight cosmic hippo) a track with heavy bass and got these units drivers mechanically moving.I can play them at a way lower volume now and its full and articulate,dynamic.I use to sit and listen and think that I needed more power cause they just weren't jumpin enough with 200 aside...problem solved.
     
  3. Mister Natural

    Mister Natural Supporting Member

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    pull the trigger
    great amp
     
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  4. bailydread

    bailydread Supporting Member

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    thanks!! i already put an offer on it :)
     
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  5. Wyzard

    Wyzard Supporting Member

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    I Used to run my ATC20s with first a big Chord, then a 3B-ST and last of all, a borrowed 14B SST! The Brystons worked better with the ATC than the Chord did IMO.

    I still have the ATCs (on a big modded Hafler at the moment), and will probably end up getting another (recent-ish) Bryston, when I have some money that's not going towards yet another guitar amp.
     
  6. bailydread

    bailydread Supporting Member

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    won the bryston!!! a pristine condition silver 4B-ST unit from 2005 (still 5 years on warranty!) that had been serviced just a month ago by bryston themselves. Final price was 12 hundred even. Considering I see super beat up ones out of warranty go for that, I'm happy as a clam.
     
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  7. Sigmund Floyd

    Sigmund Floyd Supporting Member

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    Congrats, that's a keeper piece. You can always try some other speakers if needed. Please post your listening results... I'd say you have some endgame gear for reasonable coin, it can be done!
     
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  8. bailydread

    bailydread Supporting Member

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    will do!

    i've tried quite a few different monitoring setups and this is the first time i'm going with passive speakers + a power amp. I've always dealt with annoying rattle developing in my monitors (and combo amps too, come to think of it), and I came to conclude that amplifiers have no business being in a speaker cabinet.

    here's what i've tried:

    KRK Rokit 5 - bought these as a teenager and they served me up until the final year of college, when they started to finally die on me. sound is basically like a ghettoblaster... HUGE bass boost, huge inarticulate bump from like 200 hz to 90 hz. sounds great for rap music, not so good for other styles. impossible to mix on with any degree of accuracy, it's just like playing darts blindfolded

    focal alpha 65 - these were OK when i first bought them... decent SPL, decent bass response, relatively usable for mixing... developed a rattle within 2 years of near-daily use, and not worth repairing. they're now my echo-chamber speaker.

    unity audio the rock mk III - i thought these would be my be-all, end all speakers. the mk II's have great reviews, but the company that makes the drivers discontinued those driver models, and the mk III has a different driver. supposedly, the only effect of this driver swap is "more SPL". what they failed to mention is that with more SPL, the structural rigidity of the cabinet must be adjusted to account for the pressure levels inside (they're closed-cab). well, that didn't happen with the MK iii, they just slapped the new driver in the old cab. and guess what? rattle, within two weeks, right out the back, where the amplifiers attached to the cabinet. distinctly metallic and certainly not worth the huge cost. they got returned.

    genelec 8040B - might as well be boom-box speakers... huge bass and a neat sound-stage with a lot of dimensionality, but everything below 300 hz is a blurry mess. furthermore, these also developed a rattle within the first week. i don't know what my problem is with rattles... i am sure to use everything exactly as intended, and in the event that i clipped the input, the speaker is supposed to have in-built protection that makes it no problem. these were returned

    the only monitor that i trust, at this point (having not heard my ATC yet), is my Avantone Mixcube. The definition and fidelity of the mid freqs is there, and that's what I count on for making mix decisions most of all. so that was my logic behind getting the ATC; closed cab, mid-focused, built like a tank with really nice reinforced drivers that can withstand 50 more watts than i'm feeding em, no electronics inside to get jacked up by the vibrations...

    feeling very hopeful about this setup... indeed i had been hoping for an end-game monitoring solution that i wouldn't have to fret about for years and years to come. i sit quite close to my monitors (usually within 2 feet), so i really like to "listen to the speaker" rather than the speaker + cabinet; ATC seems perfect for this.

    :)
     
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  9. vds5000

    vds5000 Member

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    Are you sure it's an ST and not an SST?

    2005 seems kinda late for an ST.

    Bryston customer service is just superb. I met the team (including the president/owner) 2 years ago at their head office in Canada.
     
  10. bailydread

    bailydread Supporting Member

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    I was wrong about the date, there are actually only 50 weeks left on the warranty... but I'm OK with it since it was just serviced by bryston. [update later in the day... I was getting some crackling in the right channel, but now that I've unscrewed and re-screwed the posts connecting the speaker cable it's not happening anymore... will be keeping an eye on it but seems to be good now and it's been several hours... think it was just a poor connection]

    the verdict is in... this setup is nothing short of spectacular. below are a bunch of disorganized thoughts about them:

    beautiful. effortless. distortion free and silent. very three dimensional, and with a degree of resolution that's startling. if I had to compare the Bryson's sound to anything, it would be a Neve 1073. there is that kind of photographic fine granularity that just gives the ear so much usable detail, and makes reverbs have a depth and sheen. there is no ambiguity anywhere, no fudging or flattering, no masking. one thing I'm really loving is how consistent the performance is regardless of whether they are cranked or set low. they get surprisingly loud!! I was very pleased by that, and yet they are still extremely exciting to listen to at more moderate volumes. that will be great for longer sessions where ear fatigue is a concern. they don't have the kind of deep sub octave that you would expect from modern ported designs, but with careful positioning I am getting adequately satisfying bass response. I'm not a bass guy though anyway, and I am much more eager to have even-ness between 100-400 hz, which these do perfectly. there's ZERO hype, ANYWHERE. at least, not that my ears can detect, and my ears are quite decent if the last two appointments with the audiologist are any indicator. the time domain response is terrific, better than the unity audio, and is less artificial sounding... by comparison, the unity sounded exaggeratedly stiff. these sound just effortless. the high frequency reproduction is a chameleon... on edgy guitars, the sizzle comes through with a vitality that reminds one of being in the room with a blazing amp. and yet on soft Bossa nova guitars and ribbon-recorded vocals, it's velvety smooth. very revealing. the first thing I can say about this setup is that it makes listening to music exciting. I am finding myself just sitting staring face first at the wall with a big grin on my face, for... hours. I will say that the amp does contribute a hi-fi thing to the sound that is not there in all my other "studio monitor" experiences. in those, I would find that the monitor was especially good for reproducing certain genres over others, depending on the customary mix styles and tones etc.. with this setup, there is a way that the amplifier kind of puts whatever you put into it up on a pedestal. that's the best way I can explain it... you know how in a museum, there can be a ragged artifact that's super beat up, but because it's on a pedestal in a glass case, you're able to appreciate all the rough textures? that's what it's like to listen to recordings from the early history of recorded music on this setup... early delta blues and low-fidelity recordings of all different kinds are presented in a way that conveys their qualities as though they're within a higher resolution presentation... like zooming into a grainy black and white photo; the photo itself has limited information there past a certain level of zoom, but if once continues to do so, the actual level of grain is revealed. I'm not sure if this is making sense, but it's wonderful. and then when you feed it something high fidelity, especially with natural bus treatment like the recordings of Steve Albini, it's just 20/20 clarity, with zero boundary between you and the music.

    jeez now I understand where all the hot air of the hi fi people comes from... there IS something here that I wasn't getting before. very difficult to describe but its just apparent as day.
     
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  11. vds5000

    vds5000 Member

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    My 3BSST2 had the same symptoms. I sent it in to get looked at and they did have to replace some parts. I would say you should probably at least contact them about the crackling.
     
  12. bailydread

    bailydread Supporting Member

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    I did send an email but followed up with another after it stopped. Fingers crossed it was just a bad connection, because I've listened for maybe 9 hours since then and have not been able to reproduce it.
     
  13. vds5000

    vds5000 Member

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    Well, you've got 50 weeks. Hopefully if it is a problem, it'll rear it's ugly head before then.
     
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