Review: Bryston 4B-SST Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

I purchased this Bryston 4B-SST about 3 weeks ago. It replaced a Bryston 4B-ST. I have had several Brystons over the years and the SST series is by far the best yet from Bryston. The latest SST series sounds significantly better then the previous ST series. The first few tracks I played (Diana Krall, Josh Groban, Cris Isaak) showed an obvious improvement in the vocal range and up. Voices had more definition and warmth with less grain. The high frequencies were a little smoother and the image had more depth, but overall sounded slightly smaller. I don't know if the slightly smaller sound stage is due to the overall warmer sound or if there is really something to it. Either way it was a minor differnce. Brystons have always had great bass response and the SST was no different. I really could't here much of a difference in the bass. It was low, accurate and fast like previous Brystons. Overall I would describe the sound as very neutral, nothing drew attention to itself in the amplifiers sound. The B&W Nautilus 800s are a very good at bringing out flaws in recordings and components. Comparing the Bryston to other amps I would say overall the 4B-SST is perhaps the best there is at this price or anyhwere near it. The Bryston 14B-SST had more in the bottom end and sounded a lttle richer everywhere else. It will be my next purchase when I get the funds. The audio research was softer and smoother overal, but the bottom end was not nearly as accurate and it lacked the power to play at moderate volumes. It had a much more laid-back sound, some people may prefer this, and it could work very well with the right speakers. The Classe 350m had a little better midrange, but wasn't as good in the bottom end, and certainly not as good as the 14B-SST.

Associated gear
Audio research LS-15, Denon DVD-5000, B&W Nautilus 800

Similar products
Bryston 4B-ST, Bryston 14B-SST, Audio Research VT-200,
Your post is of great significance to me as I too have:
AR LS-15, Denon DVD-5000. My speakers are Tyler Acoustics Taylo Ref II's and I'm driving them with 2 x Classe DR-6's running in bridge mode ( 400+ watts per channel ). Did you have the AR vt-200 with the same setup at one time? if so how did it compare? I'm glad to see someone else agrees that the Denon DVD-5000 is a great CD player.

thanks for the review .

thanks for the review!