I've been reading this forum for years but have just recently started chiming in. I never see very many posts/threads about their products. I own and have owned a few of their pieces and I honestly think that pound for pound, or $ for $ their equipment is pretty close to top notch, not to mention their "best in the business" warranty. Also their aesthetics are complement worthy. Thoughts?
Bryston is one of the most popular and stable brands that is well known in pro, audiophile, and casual demographics. It may be there isn't a lot of discussion because it is relatively easy to find a local Bryston dealer to audition their products,to read online reviews of their past and current products, and because Bryston's James Tanner frequents other online forums and answers questions directly on those web sites.
I have a Bryston 2.5 SST2 in my system. Nice combo w/my Aerial 5T's. When I bought the amp I mentioned it on a Bryston online forum. I said I was expecting it in a couple of weeks. James Tanner asked what dealer I purchased the amp from. I told him and he said the amp will be at the store in 3 days. I wasn't even complaining. Great amps and fantastic customer service.
James Tanner hand delivered my first amp to me, a 3B-ST, at Whitby Audio in Canada on his way to the Peterborough office (or home). I have communicated by email and on the online forum with Bryston personal and I have nothing but good things to say about them. I no longer have any Bryston gear but I had a lot of enjoyment when I did.
You are correct @nekoaudio their products and service are top notch. I did find my way onto one of their forums one time and there were nothing but positive reviews and accolades. They always respond quickly to phone calls and emails also. The only problem I have is living in Central FL which is not exactly an audiophile hotbed, there's not of auditioning available for many products. One of my most recent acquirements is a 4Bsst2 which I absolutely love.
I have came across other Bryston forums @erik_squires and have read quite a bit. My OP was really regarding Audiogon. Btw Erik, your posts have always been some of my favorite reads along with Elizabeth and Millercarbon, although no real common denominators lol
My impression is that Bryston has the reputation of producing very well engineered, neutral amps, the larger models being very powerful and all of which will go the long haul. But on A'gon whenever anybody asks about, say, Bryston vs. Pass, the Pass is always reckoned to have more nuance or sophistication.
Bryston digital gear is also worthwhile. And like everyone else, I've had topnotch product support from them.
I began with Bryston when Jim Thiel recommended a 4B series amplifier for my Thiel 3.5 speakers. Since then, my electronics have been Bryston: The latest 4B cubed amplifier and BP17 cubed preamp are top SQ for a collection of classical CDs, played via the BCD-3 spinner. With a large living room and current Thiel 2.7 speakers, the 4B amp never seems to run out of watts, and the SQ does not diminish with high volume. A near-instantaneous increase in volume does not result in clipping. My son "inherited" my previous 4BSST2 amp, BP-6c and BP-26 preamps and BDA-2 DAC. He's happy!
A few years ago I did a system overhaul. Looking for an amp and preamp I reviewed several Brands. Bryston was just bringing the Cubed versions to market. I was able to secure a "demo" 4BSST squared. It had pro handles and I asked it changed to flat face. This was done and the handles included in the box. There was a modest fee. The amp was tested and a performance sheet supplied. I talked to Bryston service and was assured a full warranty applied. My search for a preamp took me to a one owner used BP25P. Another call to Bryston to check production dates and any repairs. I bought the preamp. I keep my gear long term. Bryston is for me one of the top choices that was available to me. I am 100% satisfied with both pieces. In or out of warranty all their models can be upgraded with any improvements available. It costs, this is not a bargain brand. In my mind worth every dollar spent.
I don't own any Bryston gear (yet), but was recently at T.H.E. Show in Long Beach, and my favorite room in the "moderately affordable" sector showcased a pair of Eggleston Emma's ($5500) with all Bryston electronics. It sounded so good, I'm now wondering if I should upgrade my McCormack amp or do something more drastic. Not to mention, as other replies here have emphasized, Bryston's reputation for customer service is unsurpassed.
@cheeg Don’t sell yourself short with the McC’s. I own and have owned many of each back then and now and in a blind taste test between comparable power units, it’s very hard to choose. Steve McC still does repairs, mods and upgrades too. I’ve been a Bryston, Classe and Magnum D fan for years but I guess McCormack and Bryston are always my “reference” units.
Back in the 1970's they were considered pretty good amps. I have no idea if that has continued, but would not be surprised. Some companies maintain their quality and customer focus; some do not.
Obviously not considered the "best of the best" out there, but it was stable, added little to the "sound" of the system, and seemed to be well designed and built. More than you can say for some stuff, right?
They're more pricey than they used to be, but then the cosmetics are more luxurious than they were years ago. I think that the sound is very good when I have heard them, (never owned one). Certainly on the solid state side of things but clean and powerful. Less rich sounding than good tube gear but I think if I owned it I would acclimate to that and appreciate it for its good points.
On my main, mainly but not completely, analog system, I have a Bryston 17B3 Preamp, a Bryston BDA-3 DAC, and a pair of Bryston 28B3 monoblock amps driving my modified Magnepan 1.7 magenplanar speakers with Myestands and the Powell Magnepan jumper and “fuse” upgrades. I love this system. No coloration that I can discern and has plenty of power which the Maggies need. Everything is built like a tank. Bryston’s Customer support is responsive and detailed, and their warranty is the best.
So many companies gear require overhauls after 20 years of us ( I do not want to name names, as this can easily be researched ). Bryston, is one of those companies, who’s equipment can still meet factory spec, and could sound the same, as the day it left the factory. This has been my experience with Bryston gear, and this says a lot. The 20 year, transferable warranty backs this up. Back in the day, I owned a 4B, with the Bryston electronic crossover, to run a pair of Janis sub bass systems ( John, of Janis, did not use the term subwoofer ), with exemplary sq. Only the pair of Janis was run with the amp / crossover, as I felt a bit of hardness and dryness above the crossover point, to the speakers. I suppose I could live with Bryston, but with amplifiers such as Pass, and Modwright ( as a few examples ), which " I " prefer on an sq basis, I still feel the Bryston equipment is fantastic, and would outlive, those other brands I mentioned ( simply an opinion, not factual ), and many more. Nothing wrong with over ten year old Bryston pieces, as they are more affordable than the new stuff, and, for the reasons I mentioned above.
I have a 15 year old 4BSST, never missed a beat, BP-20 with 18 years age and 18 months remaining warranty. How many manufacturers do a 20 year transferable warranty? Got used 7BSST2 with BP26 MPS2 and BR2 for a smoking price on here. 10 years warranty remaining.
I do notice for whatever reason the 3 series seems to be selling used at quite a bit lower price than retail, for basically new 7B3 for example. Personally my perception is that anyone seeking "warmth" sit closer to their heat source instead of spending big $$ trying to get warm from Bryston. Or, sit closer to your Bryston amps. That will warm you up.
Maybe it has to do with Bryston being on the Lower-End price-wise of the Upper echelon of Solid-State performance.
If I came into a large sum of money - I would probably purchase a full set of Bryston Components TOMORROW. I have heard, seen, and touched their stuff and it is something that a guy like me can lust-after and maybe actually afford someday. And once I got my Bryston set, it would likely be my LAST set. (IMO - It is expensive, but not beyond-reach, and REALLY friggin’ GOOD stuff!) [I also like PASS Labs and ML, but they have no dealer in our area.]
For those who are not enamored with Tube-Based Systems or those who cannot afford the Ulta-Pricey Ultra High-End products - they are probably one of those manufacturers where people tend to Hang-On to their Bryston gear once they acquire it. (I have been watching, and Bryston gear that is not "ancient" does not seem to come-up for sale HERE very frequently.)
Eric, my statement was based on my experience with many " class A ss amps I owned, or installed for clients. Also, ime, many tube products, both amp and preamp categories. Not all class A, btw. Not to mention, the products of many companies, that are no longer in business. Again, this is based on " my " experience. I am not sure how many different pieces of equipment you have had through your doors, or how many hours, weeks or months, you have had to spend with products, to actually know what I am saying. Speakers as well. Is my statement fair ? I know others that have experienced the same, as I. Have a good day, my friend. Enjoy ! MrD.
Eric, I am not only speaking of the storage cap failures, although, there were a number of poor quality caps that I have seen, as well as excellent caps. Many older pieces of gear, with newer components, re soldering of circuit traces, etc. ( complete rebuilds ) would surprise you, as amp design, for what it is today, is not significantly superior today, as opposed to yesterday. Good technicians today ( some I know ) are extremely busy, as re builds are an excellent alternative of many, as opposed to purchasing a newer product. I hope I answered your inquiry. Best, MrD.
I think the 4B Cubed is a hell of an amp, and a sleeper in the high-end. It won't give you all the tactility and liquidity of the best Class A/tube stuff, but it gets you 90% of the way there with indestructible build quality few in the high-end can touch, and of course that incredible warranty and support. It's not cheap, but one of the best values on the market in the grand scheme of things. I returned the review unit and often regret not having kept it. It would be at the top of my list for a hybrid music/theater system in particular, where you need something powerful and bulletproof but still true to the source with music. (The review is super overdue but I will hopefully get it out in the next couple weeks.)
The 17B3 preamp is quite transparent - not as compelling musically as the amp, but accurate and dynamic.
I had a Bryston preamp and amp years ago. I believe that the preamp was the BP25 with a MM phono board. I also had the 3BST amp. I ended up swapping the preamp for a used McIntosh home theatre preamp, which was a huge improvement over the BP25 in terms of sound quality and functionality. However, the Mac amplifier that I later paired it with did not really improve on the 3BST. So what I am saying is that I felt that the Bryston amplifier was a much better performer than the Bryston preamp that I had it paired with.
I love Bryston's power amps. I’ve not heard anything in the same price range that works as well in SQ. Eager, but not edgy, quiet, open. Seem to last forever and I’ve read that customer service is as good as it gets. Haven’t heard any of their other products due to a lack of dealers in the area. If you have a Bryston amp, wire it to a dedicated circuit; made a jaw-dropping improvement for me.
I am curious as to anyone's thoughts on their speakers like the Mini T in particular. I have read only a couple reviews out there. They are pricey new but used seem like a very good value. I am looking for a 3 way bookshelf that fits the user $1500 budget and everyone here raves on their electronics, what about their speaker line?
I had a Bryston BP20 and traded up to a BP26 Love it!!! I have a pair of 4BST amps (each on individual 15 amp lines), driving two pair of Maagie 1.7s. Love these amps. I produce all the warmth I need by using tube buffers in my system. For just the smallest amount of lost detail, my tube sound is warm and inviting - like sitting near a good fire. I would love to move up to a pair of 4BSST2 amps. Do any of you with 4BSST or 4BSST2 models have them hooked up to a 15 amp service? (I am not able to change my services to 20 amp). Sorry ’bout the slight derail.
I am just itching to hear the model T with the outboard active crossovers. only saw one pair come up for sale used about a year ago. Hoping someone will include them in a setup at upcoming NY Audio show. personally, got a pair of 7b monoblocks and 20bp preamp.
I recently bought a pair of Bryston 28B3 cubed mono blocks under the assumption ( or hope) that they would be a better match for some new PMC MB2SE speakers --- as Bryston and PMC had a long partnership & I believe many of their speakers were voiced with these amps in mind - in any case -- they are supposed to be a great match from all the reading I've done.
I previously had a pair of ML CLX -- with 2 Decent I subs --- and again matched the speakers with what research I could find for a good match -- Spectron Musician III Mk 2 -- class D amps -- bridged as mono blocks - endless power / high amperage delivery for the demanding low impedance on the ESL's and fantastic sounding with the CLX - enjoyed tremendously for about 6 years
I was very happy with the Spectrons -- but you don't know what you don't know - so I wanted to compare Spectron class D (which often gets a bad rap) to a A/B amp with the PMC speakers -- and was convinced that I would keep whichever one I liked best.
After almost a month of back and forth switching between amps -- (still at it) keeping all the cables and sources identical when switching back and fourth -- playing the same tunes over and over ---- I really don't know why I can't tell the difference -- let alone find a preference - they both have 26db gain -- so the volume between the two amps was as closely matched as I could discern ------ but I'm frustrated that I can't really pick a preference - and by the time I switch the inputs and speaker cables between the two amps -- I've lost some auditory memory -- making it real hard to find a preference (wish I could just A/B with the same song back and fourth - but difficult to do without introducing other variable like cables etc. ) -- they both sound great -- similar tone & I would be happy with either one -
I'm just confused because I've read so many amp comparisons where users state "night & day difference" --- That has not been my experience ------- they are both great amps --- but now I know that there is absolutely no audible difference between this Class D amp ( 6 years old ) and a Bryston 28B3 (brand new) -- to my ears ( YMMV ). ------- Although if anyone can suggest a tune or two that might better reveal an audible difference -- I'd love to check it out -- but I think I'll be fine parting with the Bryston amps -- after realizing that if I can't tell the difference -- then there's no sense throwing money at it in order to feel comfortable having a new piece of gear with a 20 year warranty (knowing that my Spectrons will likely need work in the next 20 years)
@bjg I have a Piaget Dancer (about $15k) beautiful watch, and a Movado SE (about $1k) very nice also, both quartz movement. Doesn’t matter which one I wear, I’m always 5 minutes late for work. I thought the Piaget would get me there sooner..... I set them next to each other and watched them for hours, A/B comparison, nothing. I love Bryston and could sometimes tell the difference between it and a couple other amps I had. Where I could tell a big difference was listening to live and/or acoustic music, especially when listening to loud music with very quiet passages like Counting Crows’ “Round Here” or “Anna Begins” or electronic music like Dido or Sarah Fimm.
I own a 4B-ST & 4B-SST2.... they sound different! The ST is a bit more lively and dynamic, and the SST2 more refined & controlled. The ST is the ideal amp for my old B&W 801series2's, whereas the SST is better on speakers that are a bit brighter. I like them both for system matching. On some speakers, I can see the argument that they might be too bright. But the bottom octaves just go down forever! Bass control and slam is the best. I had my 22yr old ST reconditioned by Bryston a few years ago... One channel was having DC offset issues..... Best $600 I ever spent. It's better than new now with modern capacitors!