This is a very special preamp/processor that is unique in that pairs a class A analog audiophile 2 channel preamplifier with a reference surround sound processor.
I'm told that JBL and Bryston collaborated on the product. It is identical to the Bryston SP3. This is the pre 4k model.
The sound quality is top notch and the reliability is fantastic.
For some reviews and specs see the following links
Spec Sheet Secrets of Home Theater and HiFi Review
Below is from Audio Advisor product page
Best of 2014 Award – Best Surround Sound Processor – Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
"'Recommended Component - Class A" 2013 - Stereophile
"Reference Status" Award – Home Cinema Choice Magazine
"The Sound Quality Is Simply Superb"
With the increased clarity and dynamic range of today's recordings and uncompressed movie soundtracks, playback equipment must surpass the parameters of the most demanding high resolution software. Bryston's SP-3 preamplifier/processor is without peer in meeting this performance challenge.
Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity honored the SP3 with a Best of 2014 Award as Best Surround Sound Processor. "The sound quality of the SP3 is simply superb. Bryston has focused on quality and clearly only builds features into their products which they feel add long-term value."
Stereophile honored the Bryston by including it in its "Recommended Components" list for 2013. The sound quality was "absolutely pristine, powerful, and a breath of fresh air," reports Stereophile. "It almost redefines Class A sound for a surround processor."
"The First Great Audiophile Preamplifier-Processor"
"Altogether, I think the Bryston SP-3 is the first great audiophile preamplifier-processor," reports Kalman Rubinson in the May 2012 issue of Stereophile. "Its combination of features, controls, and purity of sound make the SP-3 especially appealing to those who love to listen to music, regardless of the number of channels, and whether or not accompanied by images."
"The Bryston SP-3's high-purity digital audio abilities and the 9BSST2's faultless amplification combine to deliver audio performance of the very highest order," notes Daniel Kumin in his March 22, 2012 joint review of the Bryston SP-3 preamplifier/processor and Bryston 9BSST2 five-channel amplifier for Sound & Visionmagazine.
"I'd Trade a Major Organ for It"
"If I was able to trade body parts for AV goodies… I wouldn't think twice about proffering a major organ for Bryston's SP-3 processor," says Richard Stevenson in England's Home Cinema Choice magazine, which honored the SP-3 with its "Reference Status" Award.
The SP-3 is an uncluttered, easy-to-use processor/preamplifier incorporating both stereo and a full range of surround sound capability and delivering state-of-the-art performance in both analog and digital formats. The SP-3 will provide 2-channel stereo output as well as 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1 surround output modes.
The Bryston SP-3 is the first high performance processor designed to make home theater easy for the non-technical user. For example, most functions are automatic, controls are well labeled, and there are clear unambiguous display windows. Step-by-step set-up menus are provided, and a user-friendly yet comprehensive owner's manual make initial set-up simple and straightforward. Bryston also supplies each SP-3 with factory settings that include the most common configurations dialed in and ready for playback.
First and Foremost an Audio Product
Unlike most processors that have been designed to emphasize features over sonic performance, the SP-3 is first and foremost an audio product. It uses 'Class A' discrete analog circuitry throughout rather than cost-saving integrated circuits. And like other Bryston components, the SP-3 utilizes separate power supplies for the analog and digital circuit paths to achieve the lowest possible noise floor. Modular construction allows for easy changes or modifications going forward.
In consideration of the unpredictable world of ever changing HDMI protocol, the SP-3 simply strips away the audio portion of the signal from the HDMI inputs and passes the video untouched to the display. This helps future-proof the SP-3 while emphasizing Bryston's expertise in delivering the finest audio performance possible.
Home Theater Processing Plus True Analog Pass-Through
In the digital mode (HDMI, coaxial, optical), the SP-3 automatically detects the digital input signal, routes the signal through the DSP module, and adjusts to the appropriate mode. The digital circuit provides decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio as well as the more standard Dolby Digital and DTS formats, in 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 channels. There is also stereo down-mixing for all modes and independent Bass Management modes for all speaker setups. Each source can be set up with a different set of parameters if you want specific configurations for each one, such as your DVD player, cable box, etc.
Most theater processors provide an analog pass-through option that moves the audio signal through undesirable digital circuitry before it exits the device. The Bryston SP-3 provides true analog pass-through for 2-channel as well as 5.1 and 7.1 surround formats that eliminate all digital circuits from the signal path.
Analog And Digital Control
The SP-3 puts you in control numerous analog and digital input/output options, including eight HDMI inputs, two HDMI outputs, four coaxial digital inputs, three optical digital inputs, 2-channel analog (bypass) inputs, and eight inputs for a 7.1 analog pass-through.
A toggle button lets you switch easily between digital and analog inputs, and there is a built-in state of the art 24/192 digital-to-analog processor. The SP-3 provides both balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) 7.1 outputs, each with its own discrete 'Class A' low level output amplifier. The two sets of 7.1 outputs can also be used in parallel if more channels are required. Balanced signal transmission uses fully discrete common-mode rejection to prevent induced hum and interference even with long cable runs.
Stereo And Surround Bypass
While the SP-3 is a great multi-channel digital controller, it is also designed to take full advantage of stereo or surround sound in the analog realm. At the touch of a button, the digital circuitry can be bypassed and the SP-3 becomes an audiophile analog preamplifier – a product category for which Bryston has become renowned. The bypass mode provides a totally discrete analog signal path, including a digitally operated analog volume control. The signal does not go through any ICs or digital circuitry from input to output. There is analog bypass available for both stereo and 7.1 modes.
Digital Signal Processing For Music
With two-channel sources, the SP-3's DSP music modes give you a range of options to enhance the acoustic ambience of your listening room. These include Pro Logic II Music, Pro Logic II Movie, Pro Logic II Natural, Neo6, Club, and more for turning two-channel stereo content into high quality synthesized 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound.
Sonic Superiority By Design
The Bryston Design philosophy ensures sonic superiority. All analog signal circuitry is fully discrete to avoid the phase shift and nonlinearity inherent in ICs. Bryston exclusively uses only the finest components, such as 1% metal-film resistors, polystyrene capacitors, hand-matched transistors, and gold-plated RCA and XLR connectors to reduce noise and distortion to the absolute minimum. In addition, two completely separate and independent power supplies are employed to prevent any possibility of digital to analog crosstalk or interference. There is no internal video switching, therefore eliminating interaction between video and audio circuits.
Of course, the ultimate goal of the Bryston SP-3 is to place you within the scene of a movie or to transport you to the front row of an exciting musical event. This is the one and only meaningful measure of any audio/video playback system. With the Bryston SP-3 preamplifier/processor, you'll completely rediscover how wonderfully exciting music and movies really can be.
Hand Assembled With Care and Built to Last
All Bryston audio products are hand assembled and individually tested by a dedicated team of Bryston employees in the company's own North American manufacturing facility.
Bryston applies techniques and employs custom materials in its everyday construction of electronic equipment that are more typically utilized in military and aerospace industries. The company's traditional adherence to proprietary parts and sophisticated construction and testing techniques prevents the unit-to-unit variability typical of mass produced product and assures that your SP-3 will perform for many years without concern.
Bryston's commitment to build-quality and to quality control is why every analog product it manufactures features a 20-year warranty from Bryston. This is a warranty that remains unequaled by any other audio manufacturer in the world. Digital circuits have a full 5-year warranty from Bryston.
Unique Burn-In Procedure
Each and every Bryston audio product undergoes an extensive quality control burn-in procedure. Following a complete operational checkout, every unit is placed on a test-bench and run for 100 hours. This extremely rigorous burn-in quickly 'matures' components and weeds out any potential premature failures. The result is reliable trouble- free performance for many years. The SP-3's existing DAC chips can run at sample rates up to 192 kHz.