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During the chat with Brian Russell, the president of Bryston, on Oct 21, he told us about the SP3 Surround Preamp/Processor which will be launched in about six months' time, but he did not provide details.
He said it would be a big box with space for an optional video module board and at that time we were trying to visualise how it would look like. The pictures below from avguide.com show clearly how it is constructed.
Brian told us the SP-2 would not be upgradeable to SP-3 by changing parts, but he did mention something about coming up with a way for SP2 owners to upgrade. The article from avguide.com below said that Bryston will offer a trade-in scheme, but the pricing details are not known.
However, the recommended retail prices are revealed. The SP3 will sell for US$9,500 [RM32,300] (audio-only) or US$11,950 (RM40,630) with the HDMI/video module. Bear in mind these exclude Malaysian import taxes.
Avguide.com reported: At CEDIA Expo 2009 the Canadian firm Bryston previewed its upcoming high-end SP3 A/V Controller (or Surround Preamp/Processor, as Bryston puts it), which will be offered with an optional HDMI/video pass-thru module that is both electrically and physically isolated from the audio section of the controller. In the photos that accompany this article, readers will see that the video board fits in a separate tray in the top of the SP3’s chassis, spanning its full width, while the audio circuit boards are mounted in a separate chamber in the lower part of the chassis. By design, the SP3 can be bought as an audio-only product based on the audio circuit boards only, though we think many prospective customers will also opt for the video module (since high resolution audio codecs such as Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio will presumably require the HDMI inputs provided by the HDMI/Video board).
Construed as a surround preamp/processor for audiophiles, the basic audio-only version of the SP3 provides a very high quality multichannel analog preamp based on "discrete class A op amps." The SP3’s analog preamp section, per se, is said to sound every bit as good as Bryston's dedicated BP26 stereo preamp.
The optional video module adds HDMI inputs, and provides the capability to strip off and pass through HDMI video signals while processing HDMI audio signals onboard (all the expected high res codecs are supported).
The SP3 will be released in Q1, 2010 and will sell for US$9500 [RM32,300] (in audio-only configuration) or US$11,950 (RM40,630) with the HDMI/video module installed.
In the past, Bryston has traditionally offered upgrade pricing to allow owners of earlier generation Bryston A/V controllers to convert their units into current generation models. However, the SP3 is sufficiently different from its predecessor, the Bryston SP2, that such upgrades will not be possible. Instead, Bryston plans to offer a not yet announced “tradeback” price for SP2 owners who wish to step up to the SP3.