Bryston SP-1.7: Used $999, New $4800
If you’re considering buying a GREAT preamp with on board DAC, consider no further. Buy the Bryston SP-1.7 we just got in!
If you Google this piece you’ll read that it is a surround pre-pro, with no HDMI and no video capability. That’s true. But Bryston in all of its wisdom, created the piece to be a MAGNIFICENT STEREO PREAMP/DAC to boot. While it has surround modes with filtering, we’re not recommending this piece for that purpose. We’re recommending it for its exquisite two channel prowess!
In the stereo domain, Bryston doesn’t use ICs or signal processing. SP-1.7 uses discrete op amps that sound IMMEDIATE. The typical layer of fog you have to fight through in a modest preamp are simply not in the path. Hence the Bryston is lightning fast, clear, has tight bass and an extended top end with feather like detail. This ain’t your garden variety Chinese made preamp! And that, mis amigos, is what you are going to find for $1k.
The DAC accepts Coax or Toslink, not USB. Running a generic CD player into the digital input of SP-1.7 yields dramatically better results than listening to that CD player alone.
Of course SP-1.7 has six high level inputs as well. Outputs include RCA AND XLR! It has a sub out in case you’d like to use that as well.
The dynamic contrast of Bryston is so great that SP-1.7 allows you to limit it for late night listening if you like. The other guys don’t provide nearly Bryston’s dynamic range- thus they aren’t even concerned about such things.
It’s rare we “push” a used product in our Latest section. But this is a worthwhile exception. If you bought a Bryston stereo preamp alone new these days, it would be BP-17 for $4175. If you buy the Bryston BDA-2 DAC alone new, it would be $2400. My math says that’s $6575. While the DAC in SP-1.7 isn’t quite a BDA-2, it’s competitive. And when you can get essentially a BP-17 and close to a BDA-2 in one package for a grand- do not pass it up!