About to purchase Bryston BP-2MM moving magnet phono stage for Sondek LP-12


I have been out of vinyl listening for 20 years. My Linn Sondek LP-12 turntable has been in a box since my move in 1999. My teenage daughter tried to hook it up one weekend while I was at work. She didn’t realize that my Bryston BO-26 preamp had no installed phono stage. The one time the LP-12 came out of the box, it went back in the box. I focused on getting the sound right on my mostly Bryston system (4B2 amp with Thiel CS 3.6 speakers). 

Fast forward to 2020. I still have this great Bryston BP-26 preamp with the optional external power supply, the MPS-2. This external supply has 4 sockets for compatible Bryston gear. Turns out that the 1/3 chassis “BP-2MM” takes advantage of the MPS-2. Based on the quietness of the BP-26 preamp, it seems like a fair bet that the BP-2MM would also be very quiet, a well made product that could be counted on to deliver satisfactory MM (moving magnet cartridge) performance at its price point. 

I just wondered if any vinyl buffs here had any first hand experience with any of the Bryston phono stages. Honestly, I’m not expecting much based on scant reviews on-line. Bryston does not get much sexy press coverage in Stereophile, which I have subscribed to for years. I spoke with Gary Dayton (the Bryston North American rep, formerly employed by Thiel) and asked why Michael Fremer’s excellent, ongoing analog column in Stereophile has nary a mention of any Bryston phono product and he shrugged his shoulders and merely said “you’re not likely to ever see it”. We were having too much fun auditioning awesome gear that I forgot to go back and ask “why?” 

Perhaps the blue collar audiophile pedigree is a deterrent, I honestly don’t know. But 20 years of no vinyl appreciation is 2 decades too much! Hell, $1,000 for the MM only BP-2MM sounds like a bargain to me. I still have my “Sound Organization” wall mount for the Linn table that is waiting to be (re)-deployed to isolate the sprung Linn LP-12. I’m not really wanting to fool with the more expensive combined MM/MC step up transformer that Bryston also makes at nearly twice the price. The reason being, I figure that getting my table up and running in MM mode will be quite an awesome accomplishment, I’ve thought about it for years. 

If all goes swimmingly as I hope it should, I would really value suggestions for tubed MC up transformers. In the meantime, I have a back catalog of over 100 vintage euro jazz titles on the ECM label just sitting in the cabinet unloved. And then there are all the pristine Japanese pressings of King Crimson, David Bowie, etc... that I’ve nearly forgotten about. Unfortunately, while I do have an Ittok tonearm with the 2nd from the bottom Linn cartridge (name sounds like a dog’s name - I’ve forgotten it), I never updated much on the Lp12. I would like to be able to play 45’s (12 inch club singles) in addition to normal 33 LP’s. I live in Dayton, OH and the nearest Linn turntable specialist (I believe) is in the Detroit suburbs. 

Thanks for reading along. I love the quietness and simplicity of my digital front end into my excellent Bryston system, but now I really need to bond with some analog folks to really mine the depths of my original record collection which is still held onto by me and in excellent condition.



masi61
The Bryston phono stage is excellent! I have a Bryston .5 preamp in use with a Pioneer PLX1000 TT and Denon 103R mc cartridge. Step up is a Bellari mc transformer. This combination sounds particularly fine!
I also have a Linn Sondek with a Grace 707 arm awaiting installation. Cartridges on hand that will work include: Denon 103D and 304, Dynavector Ruby, Empire 2000EIII, Grado Sonata and Shure V15VmrX.
The Bryston .5 is connected to a Bryston 3B amp. In turn connected to a pair of SpeakerLab 7's.

Thanks a bunch for your reply. I listened to the 2.5b cubed amp (that Gary Dayton demoed in my home) and it was more coherent than my 4b squared amp.

So that is encouraging that you are able to get good results with your .5 preamp where I assume your Bellari MC transformer connects with RCA interconnects into your built in MM phono stage. Is everything quiet or do you notice any hum issues? Do interconnects or power cables change the quality of the sound noticeably.

My Bryston 4B2 / Bryston BP-26 /Thiel CS-3.6 / with Bryston BIT 15 power conditioner and all Analysis Plus XLR interconnects and Analysis Plus spade plug speaker wires is very quiet and powerful. Detail retrieval is quite good and can be almost startling, unfortunately there is that last 5% or so of detail which is lacking somehow which makes it difficult to discern lyrics and also can make following countermelodies and background vocals more fatiguing. They are there in the mix but it takes quite a bit of concentration to fully discern all the interplay details.

It will be fun to see if I can extract more coherent details once I get the phono set up in operation.

I'll have to look up the Pioneer PLX1000 TT by the way. Thanks again, from Bill.



So what’s the problem? Go for it.
Forgot to mention I would take those ECMs off your hands, if you get cold feet.
Never heard it but do have the same preamp and mps-2 and the local Bryston dealer raves about their phono stage they even have a tt now hmm what's next a Bryston cartridge.  As for me I have the lowly rega mini but you know what i kinda like it a bit hummy but I have a fancy outdoor ground and leave it on all the time  My other thought in a phono stage for the 300 price range is that mofi which people seem to love.  Also man get the Air Matrix interconnects yessir you will love them.
Thanks for the replies. I’ll most likely order the BP-2MM in the next month. I may have to be the one to write a review, it seems to be just another phono stages in a crowded market. I could buy another phono stage at around this price point but I really want to access the MPS-2 power supply for quietness of the unit.
The Bryston gear is well engineered, built and has a significant following. I use a pair of monoblocks and mini A in a mobile recording rack. Another excellent and hyper quiet SS phono preamp to consider would be the Musical Surroundings Nova II or III. About same $ you are considering.

on the Linn, there was at one time serious Linn dealer in Columbus, they are long gone ( Custom Stereo ) but there will remain a cadre of the devout who know how to setup and maintain the LP12. You are going to need spring adjusting and a belt and have a serious look at cartridge compliance- a specialist who believes in measuring tracking ability highly recommended.

you really are not that far from Detroit!

have fun, I don’t want your ECM, now the Japan pressings... ah

jim
OP I seem to recall that you will need a Y adapter to make this work.  You can't just plug it into the MPS-2 "empty" connection.  That's my recollection I could be wrong of course.