Bryston’s SP-3 Surround Processor Sets the New Standard for Home Theatre

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Bryston SP3 Processor

PMC loudspeakers, UK distributor of Bryston electronics, is launching the SP-3 surround processor, following three years’ development and designed to surpass the already class-leading SP-2.  This easy to use, ultra-high performance processor combines discrete Class A audio circuitry with separated analogue and digital power supplies, true analogue pass through and the ability to handle the latest audio formats.  As a result, the SP-3 redefines the level of audio performance possible in high-end home theatre systems.

The SP-3 preamplifier and processor is first and foremost a high performance audio product which provides high quality two channel stereo output, in addition to 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 surround modes required for home theatre use. Processing is provided for the latest Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats as well as the standard Dolby Digital and DTS decoding for 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 channels.

With ease of customer use also very much at the forefront of the designer’s brief and to simplify the operation of a high-end home theatre playback system, Bryston has automated many of the commonly used functions. For example, the SP-3 automatically detects the input signal bitstream type and adjusts the mode accordingly. The factory settings include the most common configurations pre-set and ready to use. In addition, step-by-step set up menus are provided for any custom settings along with a user-friendly, yet comprehensive owner’s manual.

Building on Bryston’s expertise in the field of high-end audio, the SP-3 features Class A discrete analogue circuitry throughout, rather than the more common integrated circuits used for cost- saving purposes in most surround processors. Separate and carefully isolated power supplies are also utilised for the analogue and digital circuits to lower the noise floor. Future upgrades are catered for via a fully modular internal design, which enables upgrades to be performed easily; and firmware updates are conducted via the user’s home network, which also provides remote access for the retailer/installer in the event of any servicing requirements.

Further highlighting Bryston’s commitment to ensuring the best possible audio performance from the SP-3, the company has incorporated true analogue pass-through for two channel and 5.1 and 7.1 surround formats, which eliminate any digital circuits from the signal path.

With a total of 11 inputs, including six digital and one with discrete analogue stereo or 7.1 analogue and 3D compatible video pass through, plus two HDMI outputs, the SP-3 is able to satisfy the requirements of even the most demanding home theatre and audio set ups. 

“It was very important to the overall value proposition of the SP-3 that this product has real longevity in the marketplace,” states Bryston’s James Tanner. “Considering the volatility of rapidly changing video formats, we have chosen to simply pass the video signal through the SP-3 untouched to the display. This helps future proof the SP-3 while emphasising Bryston’s expertise in delivering the finest audio performance possible.”

  • Audiophile sound quality and construction — all analogue gain blocks are fully discrete; premium components and hand-matched transistors used throughout; two separate independent linear power supplies with toroidal transformers isolate analogue and digital circuitry preventing crosstalk or interference
  • Easy to use — automatically detects input signal bitstream type and adjusts mode. VFD window shows decoding and signal information and error messages; LED indicators show button selections. Clean, uncluttered control layout
  • Flexible input management — select from 11 sources, including 6 digital and 1 with discrete analogue two- channel stereo and 7.1 analogue inputs. Toggle button switches easily between digital and analogue inputs
  • Audio and video inputs switched concurrently
  • Twin HDMI outputs and 3D video pass through
  • 7.1 Balanced (XLR) outputs