Bryston 9B ST FIVE CHANNEL vs Rotel RMB-1585 5ch

What is the consensus among you?

I have a new Marantz av7704 and B&W cdm9nt's 

What is a better buy, and what will my B&Ws most benefit?

Used Bryston 9B 5ch OR A new/ish Rotel RMB-1585??

Looks like A-gon has a Bryston for $1700ish. I can get a new/ish Rotel 1585 for about $2k

Best choice is :
The Rotel RMB-1585 retails for $3k new. Unless if you can find a used one for around $2k ish. 
That Bryston is pretty old and you might run into issues and will probably need re-capped. 
Will Bryson recap it under warranty for free? Or does there actually need to be an issue found? 

Have any idea what a recap generally would cost?

If both were in new condition... which would be a better performing unit ?

bryston just replaced the power supply on a 10 year old preamp i have of theirs for free.  My amp is a classe that is 20 years old and still hits all its specs.  Modern caps will last a lot longer than some people think.  I think the bryston is the better buy.
I think the Rotel RMB-1585 will be a better choice for your B&W speakers. They will pair really well together. 
@lightfighter2018 Rotel is nice but the specs say only 4 Ohms minimum. I am sure it can do 3 Ohm as others are using it. 


Thanks. I think I will go for the Rotel after all. It would be ’new’ and I think it would be a good fit.

Given the following information: I have the ability to acquire Audioquest ICs and PCs at a steep discount. Given my setup - Marantz av7704, Rotel RMB-1585, B&W speakers, Kimber Kable 8TCs -- do you have any experience with AQ gears - and if so -- which product line will return the best bang for the buck?


If there is a better choice for ICs and PCs... I am open to suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

If you want go with Class A/B there is ATI AT4005 a beast second only to its larger sibiling. I think an overkill for surrounds. Used ones are rare I guess most of them just keep them. 

Thanks will keep that in mind. I believe the ATI stuff is top notch as well. 

Do you have any insight into whether or not the Monoprice ATI clone is worthy of an audition?
@lightfighter2018 why not?, but I think Monoprice is based off of ATI 1800 rather than the 4000 or the 6000 series, I could be wrong. From what I read 4000 is really good. You could go 3 channel with 4000 and buy anything for surrounds like Emotiva bass-x A300 or something which is just $400(can find used a bargain).

Again you have a lot of good choice, try getting something that is over engineered. Like a great value for 3 channel stable to 2 Ohm. You can call Odyssey they may discount it further. You get better parts and build quality when compared to Rotel or Marantz etc. You will be pleasantly surprised with the sound quality you are getting for such a low price :).

Save money on IC and cables, I can whole heartedly recommend for cables, no BS cables but a tad better than blue jeans in build still you won't hear a difference compared to blue jeans, keep the cables short and save money on Kimber and AQ and use those funds for amp. 

Thanks.  I have read that folks were having issues with CS with Odyssey so I scratched them off the list.

If I do a 2 ch -- won't the center sound 'off' if it is amplified by a different 'brand' of amplifier?

I understand about the surrounds - not as important to me anyhow... I was mainly concerned with solid power to LCR.

But if I can get a 2ch and save some cash - maybe that would allow for either other mods or a new sub.

Thanks again.  Will check out benchmark.
@lightfighter2018, I am assuming you are going to use a AV processor that calibrates the speakers for you to watch movies. That will take care of gain difference in using different amplifiers. There is no need to get same amp for LCR. Same amp for L/R yes but not LCR. The gain difference should not be large however like 6 or 10 dB most amplifiers have gain between 26 and 30. Stick to 26 area and you are good.

I a not sure where you heard about CS issues, but folks at audiocircle are quite happy with Klaus @ Odyssey, he personally responds and takes care of every customer if I am not mistaken. They are a small shop, you are looking for value for $ so I pointed them to you, everything is hand built and 20 year warranty. Real HiFi sound on the cheap. Similarly used Parasound are quite good value, they are stable till 2 Ohm again well engineered.

Marantz AV7704

Comments I saw were personal exp from folks here at A-gon so I paused on the Odyssey.

I REALLY appreciate your assist.  I am always looking for good info. Just sharing back what I ran across re: odyssey.

Do you think Odyssey would be a good fit for my b&Ws?

My one concern with the Rotel was whether or not it was stable to 2ohms - my speakers spend time at 3 ohms... so I did think about that a bit.

And will 150w be enough for my CDMs?
@lightfighter2018 Since you have $2k budget I wanted to point you to Odyssey. See no one needs 100 Watts all the time. Your amp must supply sufficient current and voltage swings when needed. I am sure Rotel is the most good looking all rounder but do you need 200 Watts for your surrounds?, I would bet no. The odyssey amps can run in high bias Class A, i.e is what makes the difference. 

Think about it, if you want to optimize 2 channel the most then get 2 + 3 i.e two amps. You can skimp on 3 channel amp.

For the budget I would shop like this 1. Used Parasound Halo 2 channel, 2. Used ATI 4003/4002 + ATI 1800 2/3 channel, 3. Used / New Odyssey 2 or 3 channel. 

The saved funds for 2 or 3 channel cheap amp.

My story to power 3 channels (new speakers):
2 Channel evaluation:

  a. Benchmark AHB2, Class Benchmark
  b. Line Magnetic 805IA integrated, Class A SET
  c. Hypex NC500 from Apollon/Nord., Class D

I got myself both AHB2 and LM-805ia, still contemplating on how to get my hands on class D modules economically. I would keep one of the three amps. Also want to evaluate AHB2 in bridged mode.

Center Channel:
  a. Emotiva A-300, lot of people are happy but it has fans inside, I like passive heatsinks, very economical.
  b. Again Hypex NC500 mono block or ICEpower 1200AS2 (look at this, super economical and high current class D). Four channels each at 620W @ 8 Ohm. Do not listen to people who say class D sucks you listen to Class D everywhere. New class D amps have high switching frequency and and most people who have bad impression are people who listen to distortion of tube amps or listened to older class D amps, which were not good.

I want to spend as much less as possible to get the best of my speakers. The rule of thumb is if you are getting Class A/B amp you need to know what is the class A bias of the amp, getting a very low bias amp means you will have lot of cross over distortion and also get a good implementation. 

Again you cannot go wrong with Rotel, it is a good as it gets for 5 channel package and if you are getting it for $2k new and not $3k I would just check it out.

I'd go with the Rotel as well as I had it in my system for about a year. Sound was great though it does take up a lot of room. Seriously consider replacing that Marantz pre amp though. I had the same until I went to the NAD M17V2 and its night and day different. Granted it's a pretty penny more but I heard as much or more of a difference in upgrading my pre as I did the amps.

Appreciate all of the wisdom.

It is exactly what I am looking for:

Best bang for the buck within a reasonable budget - that will make the most out of my B&Ws.

I realize they are not the best. But they are what I have and so I just want an amp that makes them sound great, and that has enough horsepower ( I know that is not the right term, but you get the idea.

My biggest concern was that there are certain amps that will be 'better' with my current gear. Marantz AV7704 and B&W; some amps will NOT make these gears sound as good as others.  I know Rotel works well with B&W, which is why it was on the short list.

However, if there are other amps that will provide better performance, higher quality product etc for my LR -- I am far more interested in that, rather than sticking to a particular brand. 

Not really focused on how the amps look. As they will in a cabinet largely unseen.

Can you comment on the above amps you mention ( except the emotiva ) and how they would be a good fit with my B&Ws... 

Wide stage, forward sound, sweet midrange, heavy meaty bass, etc... I have no idea if Odyssey can offer that... it may be a better built product ... but how does it sound? :)

If Odyssey or ATI is where its at -- I am all in. I just don't have the luxury of wasting money.
Generally I think amplifiers do not have a sound and if they did then it is not a good amplifier in my opinion.

Most of the features you are talking about is how the amplifier can drive and control your speakers well. So that the sound has the attributes you are look for in general. 

A high current amplifier with good damping factor and good class A bias(I am thinking 10 to 20 watts Class A bias will be good for most listening situation). Most amplifiers that are rated for 8 Ohm but can double watts to 4 Ohm and is spec'd to be stable to 2 Ohm is a good amplifier. There is a reason most folks don't state 2 Ohm stability, this is something you have to ask about.

It is hard for anyone to be objective about amplifier, some one will say X amp sounds good with B&W, but then you have break down on why X sounds good otherwise the count of X is quite high. , one option is the older A21 used, if I am not mistaken first 10 watts are class A. But either ways keep this mind when going with a Class A/B amp. 


Good advice. Thx.  I don't see Class A rating specs within normal list of specs on any of the amps I have been researching. How does one acquire such info to make a better, informed decision in amplifier choice?

@lighfighter2018 email or call the company , sometimes reviewers mention this. Ask around here.

I found Benchmark AHB2 to be such an amp it is like class A but with lower (ridiculously)
distortion. But it is $2k used if even one can get it.

But I found it to be cheaper to lot of class A/B amps and be better at specs in every way. 
get the oddssey 3 channel amp and a 2 channel, and enjoy 20 year warranty,  stable to 2 ohms.      much better sound than rotel.
better midrange, better low end driver control, doesnt sound so industrial as those rotels.

none of the amps in this price range new will be true class A,   true class A is easy to spot, if the amp is running and you can hold your hand on it for 20 seconds its most likely not true class a, and it should weight at least a pound per watt.   takes heavier electronics to hold the higher bias current at class A . its very inefficient hence the heat...  You will see them on your power bill every month, mine cost more to run that a hot tub on the power bill.

I auditioned the newer Marantz AV preamps but the system that they switched to for calibration sucked - very difficult to get a decent result compared to the old way of setting up (easy if you have a friend with $20K of special pro instrumentation to do the job). I went with the 7702 Mk 2 as the last one to allow.

No experience with the Bryston, but have always respected their gear and still have a couple of pieces from them in my systems.
whoever said oddyssey doesnt have good customer service has never called or met Klaus.   Hes about as solid as they get as far as helping with anything audio related.   Go check out his shop, he also sells symphonic line if you wanna hear some really high dollar amps and speakers.  My main amps are 17 years old odyssey and they have been back 2 times, once to bias to run some big martin logans, and once more to put in black boards and more capacitors, and i felt like he didnt charge me enough to upgrade them, whens the last time you felt like that in the audio game.... I think i have 7 of his amplifiers and they are all solid.

that bryston is super old, and not even close to what new brystons sound like.   The rotel will be worth like 300 used, the oddyssey tends to hold its value better, IMO.