SP4 Surround Processor

Bryston SP4 Surround Processor

Gary Dayton of Bryston and Drew Baird of Moon Audio go over the specifications and features of the Bryston SP4 Surround Processor for home theater audio use.


Hey, this is Drew with Moon Audio and we're really excited today to have Gary Dayton from Bryston, and we're here to talk about a fantastic new pre-pro processor for your home theater, the SP-4. I've been waiting a long time for a new processor that really had the configurations that I needed from my home theater I'm still using the Denon upa-1c HDI it's a honker big massive chassis a little bit taller than the SP-4 weighs a million pounds and it's the only processor at the time that had at least two but actually has three subwoofer outputs so that I can really get a good configuration on my home theater in the way I want it to sound the bad news about it is it's dated it doesn't have Dolby Atmos and you know I need to get with new technology so finally somebody has come out with something very special and I'm very excited about to replace out with and we're gonna be selling it at Moon Audio starting when starting at the end of the month into the month and what month is this this is May so Gary's going to tell us a little bit about the functionality then we're going to turn it around and look at more of the technical inputs and outputs and all the crazy things you can do with it so tell us about it Carrie alright so Bryson is very pleased to introduce the new SP 4 this is a fully functional surround sound immersive surround sound processor for high-end home theaters the unit features 16 fully configurable outputs a seven by two HDMI switch you can take seven HDMI ends to HDMI outs it supports the full range of dolby digital DTS at most DTS X and even or 3d surround codecs you can mix legacy sources to take full advantage of your immersive surround loudspeaker layout it can also process to channel sources in either their native mode or a nut mix it doubles as not only a very high quality surround processor but also an extremely good quality to channel preamp as well one of the nice things about the SP 4 is that not everybody has 16 channel layout and home theater but any unused channels can be routed to either a second zone or you can build a special headphone out zone using the sphere audio codec to get surround virtualization and you're in your headphone unit or you can route your sources to distribute audio systems throughout the home regardless of how you use the sp4 there's always a way to take full advantage of all 16 outputs on the back plus the down mix channels to build your entire home entertainment system around this unit so we'll take a look at the back part of the SP 4 where there's just a plethora of inputs and outputs and and first we're going to talk about the video aspect yeah so the the SP 4 has a full suite of inputs and outputs that are fully configurable so regardless of how your theater is configured you can find a way to use the SP 4 in a very intuitive and a high performance way taking a look first at the HDMI inputs we have seven inputs and two outputs this HDMI switch can accept a wide variety of formats it can process at up to 600 megahertz so you get full HD are 4k for the inputs out of the box run at hdcp 2.2 HDMI 2.0 speeds the other three can be enabled to run the that speed as well through software and then the two outputs let you configure two different monitors these are in parallel so maybe you want to have one go to a projector and another go to a television but this is a this is a modern software upgradeable HDMI sleeve so that has new additions of HDMI come out we should be able to issue firmware updates to keep your SP for current for quite a long time and essentially it's all passed through so you don't have to worry about any issues with formats not being taken care of this so you can do your 3d or 4k whatever it's going to pass through and whatever your blu-ray DVD Xbox etc is doing it's going to push it through no matter what and a great other feature with the dual outputs as you can do picture and picture with your projector so you can watch two sports games at once so that's very nice so tell us about the the audio outputs that's going to go to all of our amplifiers so take note first of the fact that of these 16 channel outputs not a single one is labeled for a specific speaker location they're simply labeled 1 through 16 instead of left front right front Center etc that's because each one of these fully balanced analog outputs is configurable to any loudspeaker location in your theater or in another zone in addition to the 16 balanced outputs we have a pair of dedicated down mix outputs so these down mix outputs will always process 2.0 down mix of whatever surround program you're running and you can assign those to either run to the distributed audio system in your home or you might decide to add the optional Sphere audio license which is an incredibly believable headphone virtualizer forced surround maybe you're down mix and headphone system is often 2 bedrooms so you can start the movie in your cinema finish up in the bedroom with a Bryston BHA one and a headphone ready very nice very nice and what I'm really excited as I alluded to earlier is now I can go from 3 subwoofers before individually configured subwoofers in my home theater which I've wanted to do for a very long time yeah everybody knows that LFE base is mono base but with the bryceton SP 4 you can configure as many of these outputs to process subwoofers as you'd like even though the signal is mono going into each sub every sub can have its own level and EQ curve applied and so I'm assuming we can do DSP correction for every speaker individually every speaker individually yeah every channel has its own 10 band parametric equalizer and so taking care of that boom in the room the unwanted anomalies that are happening from your subwoofer if you've only got one LFE output you're really somewhat screwed so now I can configure each one based on its location and the geometry of the room to take care of too much boom and get it tighter and more controlled yeah speaking of subwoofers you can also integrate those subs with the main speakers through a very intelligent crossover system naturally you can set the crossover point between the sub and the main speaker and in each one of these channel occasions but you can also set separate crossover points and slopes for the high pass and low pass in addition to delay so you can always make sure you've got excellent phase addition and very linear response to through the subwoofers and then I see we've got some RCA outputs and inputs can you go over those for us right so in addition to the HDMI switch we also offer legacy sources we have three Toslink and three coaxial digital inputs as well as eight RCA inputs so looking first at the digital inputs this is a great way to support legacy sources maybe a DVD player maybe a CD player music server etc you these spin if receivers will take up to 192 24 digital audio the RCA input is particularly configurable this in software can be configured to support either 7.1 Audio maybe through an OPA or Universal disc player if you want to listen to multi-channel audio discs and surround or they can be configured as four pairs for stereo input pairs it also be convenient for your older si CD players that had the multiple music audio format outputs so that would be good for that and then if you could tell us about the control connectors as well yeah this is where the SP 4 really shines there's a lot of very difficult to use at most processors on the market that almost require an advanced degree to set up and use but barrestins SP 4 has really put quite a bit of focus on user interface and for setup and control this means operating the SP floor through a dedicated bryceton web interface or through an iOS app so when your SP 4 is connected to your local network through Ethernet 100 megabits per second Ethernet connection you can log into this from your iPad computer or mobile phone etc and go through a series of very intuitive menus to do a setup process within that setup process you can connect a microphone such as our our optional model here to do automatic room calibration or take measurements you can also configure trigger outputs so that based on what source you're listening to or what profile you have currently enabled different products in your home theater rack are turned on and off so using the SP 4 has the control up for your makes an awful lot of sense based on some areas and profiles you set up you can always have just the right gear on or off and perfectly configured and then I see that we've got a couple of panels I guess for upgrades in the future what do you think are some potential options for those right yeah for a processor of this scale in this price it's very important that it stays current in your home theater for a very long time we have two separate slots that will accept upgrade modules right out of the gate we offer a 16 channel RCA output that can be inserted into this slot here this will give you the opportunities to either run 16 extra channels in your existing theater if you have a particularly large room or you can assign these channels separately to feed other zones other possibilities for modules in the future include a full bypass analog section which would duplicate the precision of Bryson's analog preamplifiers we may also do a dark section that includes USB and spit of input but really the possibilities are endless the digital audio and DSP engine that's built into the SP 4 has lots of extra Headroom so that as customers come to us with specific requests we can consider new features in the future so tell me a little bit about all the calibration software and kits and whatnot what are the different options that customers might want together yeah so there are several different options the SP 4 can be configured automatically with a dirac live system with the optional direct live kid you can place a microphone in the theater let the SP 4 run a full suite of measurements you know with your your laptop in the microphone and automatically program the SP 4 to have flat response in your room you can save that calibration as a profile and make modifications to the profile or duplicate the profile for different listening scenarios if you choose not to purchase the dirac Live kit you can also manually go in measure each channels response you can build groups to measure the response of speakers and subwoofers put together and configure just the right EQ on a per channel basis using your ears or the microphone or a combination of the two to achieve excellent response regardless of your raishin so what that means is essentially now you guys that are trying to have two systems in one a two channel and a home theater it's very it's been very complicated in the past to try and get both to sound right in the same room it sounds like this tool really makes it flexible for creating a profile for audio so when you want to listen to music it doesn't have the same sort of boom if you will to the that you had with your theater it'll be more tight controlled and audiophile like if you will so that's really exciting because now even get rid of some extra gear that I've got in my theater and just set it up as a dedicated theater that can do two channel as well and pull out my two Channel preamp that'd be nice yeah it's worth noting that those profiles are very very configurable in addition to different eq's that that you can apply to the same speaker layout in one room you can also build profiles that will let only the two front left and right speakers run in full range for your music listening for instance but you might want to enable subwoofers for your movie listening so use these profiles wisely build certain listening scenarios for yourself and make listening to music and movies in the same room an absolutely joy and pleasure very exciting well we'll have all the information on this product on our website as well as PDFs and setup guides and so forth in the future as they become available we're really excited can't wait to start shipping these out to you guys thank you