Pairing Bryston 28b3 with tubes

Hello all

I have a pair of Bryston 28b3 monoblock which I want to pair up with a tube pre-amplifier.

I want to add that "tubemagic" to make the music come alive and I´m interested in hearing from
you guys what you recommend. What could be a great match with the monoblocs from Bryston. 

These are some of the pre-amps I´ve been reading up on.

- Cortese from
- Microzotle from LTA

The speakers I will have is custommade with these specs

Drivers: 4 x 17,4cm
Treble: 1 x 2,8cm
Impedance: 7 ohm
Effect: 800W
Maximum effect: >20 kW (> 400 hz)
Sensitivity: 92dB-2.83 V
Power handling: 5w (min) to 2000 W (max)
Soundpressure: >130 dB/pair, 100 Hz (1,4 kW)



I have a much smaller Bryston Amp the 3B Cube and I have it hooked up to a Luxman CL38U se all tube preamp. For me an excellent combo. 

Backert Labs.,     Zesto Leto Ultra 

I had the original Zesto Leto and it was the best sounding preamp I have owned or had firsthand use with.   It commits zero sins and sounds incredible 

As you make a list of pres to research, be aware of the input impedance of your amps.It needs to be at the very least 10 times higher than the output impedance of the pre.Pres with highish gain can be an issue also. A gain of 10db is good,but higher gain that reaches close to 20 and above means barely turning the volume control or it will be quickly too loud.Then you'd miss out on all of that tube goodness:-)I have no experience with Bryston so no recommendations.

You could also try the BAT product line. I had a lesser Bryston amp quite a few years back ..4BSST2 paired with an older BAT VK30 preamp which housed 6 - 6922/6DJ8 tubes. I used many NOS and even newer stock tubes and really enjoyed swapping the tubes while paired with the 4BSST2. I always found it softened or evened out the overall audio characteristics of the Bryston amp which some would often term them to be harsh in nature. I found it quite an enjoyable listening experience as compared with the older BP Bryston preamp. The model escapes me but it would have been about 20 years ago. One word of caution is please be sure to match the AMP input impedance to the PREAMP output impedance by using the 10:1 rule. I believe the 4BSSt2 had an IP impedance of 10Kohm while the BAT VK30 had an op impedance of 750 ohm. 

the newer B-series is a bit tubelike in character and NOT like the old ST-model. But I will search around, thanks

I also have the 2.5B cubed but paired with a Primaluna Evo400.  I greatly prefer this pairing than that with the amp and a Bryston preamp.  It’s a great preamp and reasonably priced.  

What preamp are you using now, and what specific improvements/sound characteristics are you looking for?

I´m not using anything as today. This is for a client, but he would want the clean power from the Brystons but he also like the warm (not syrap) lifelike sound of tubes. Nothing is set up as of now. 

Speakers - Check

Subwoffers - Check

Amps Class D for subbs - Check

Monoblock Bryston 29b3 - check

Pre-amp - Bryston BR-20/BP17 (not tubes), Supratek, octave audio, ?

DAC - Halo Audio Dac, ??

Source/Frontend: Taiko musicserver

From what I have heard; Jadis/Kondo are very thick sounding, too much of a tube amp. But I am open for suggestions.

I have the Bryston 14B3 paired with a Pathos Incontrol MKII. This is a lovely tube preamp that has greatly elevated my sound. Plus it has a very low output impedance which is appropriate for the Bryston's very low input impedance. 

Question for OP: Are you happy with the 28B3? I am considering upgrading...