Hauntingly Realistic Reproduction
Probably the best-value esoteric high power two-channel amplifier on the market today, the 14B SST2 is basically a pair of 7B SST2 amplifiers on a single compact chassis. Its superbly low noise floor yields an inky black silence between notes for hauntingly realistic reproduction.
"A Real Value," Says Stereophile
"The Bryston 14B-SST amplifier is a beefy, rugged, reliable amplifier whose 20-year warranty and [$9,550] price make it a real value," notes Larry Greenhill in the November, 2002 issue Stereophile magazine. "Its power and headroom are competitive with such great amplifiers as the $14,995, 600 Wpc Electrocompaniet Nemo."
When it comes to the best possible sonic performance, you can't beat the monoblock approach of dedicating a separate amplifier to each channel of your system. Thanks to the 14B's true dual mono modular design, it has the power to drive, with breathtaking ease and clarity, speakers which have been considered 'impossible' loads in the past.
"The Finest Amplifier I've Heard to Date"
"An unconditional recommendation, for the finest amplifier I've heard to date," raves David Allcock in England's Hi-Fi News magazine. "Seriously investigate what the Bryston 14B-ST can deliver in reliability, power and astonishing sound quality."
"Does Everything I Would Expect""The Bryston does everything I would expect from a high quality solid state amplifier," reports Chris Binns in England's Hi-Fi+ magazine. "If that sounds like a guarded statement, it is - but I will go on to say that it is also one of the very few designs that has managed to turn my head away from valve amplification."
"Buy It - And Laugh All The Way To The Bank"
"When an amplifier sounds this good, looks this cool and handles expensive loudspeakers effortlessly under demanding conditions, it deserves to be regarded as a first-class component," says Canada's Inner Ear Report magazine. "Audition it, buy it - and laugh all the way to the bank."
"All of This is Addictive"
"Not only does this power amplifier control transients from within the overall reproduction, its resolution is also one of its strong points, coupled with its incredible transparency," notes Issue 3, 2002 of Germany's Hi-Fi & Records magazine. "This world class performance of the Bryston amplifier is rounded off by a silky string sound previously found only in successful tube amplifiers. All of this is addictive."
A New Degree of Transparency And Musicality
The Bryston 14B SST2 two-channel amplifier employs a balanced-output design that reduces THD and IMD to unprecedented low values (typically 0.001% or less).
With a low noise floor (typically below -118 dB) and excellent signal tracking characteristics (slew rate of 120 Volts per microsecond), the 14B SST2 assures a new degree of transparency, musicality, and ease of listening.
Capable of delivering a truly prodigious 600 Watts continuously into 8 Ohms, and with tremendous power reserves, the 14B SST2 offers virtually perfect freedom from overload on any type of speaker or music.
Bryston SST2 C-Series Upgrades
Bryston's SST2 C-series amplifiers are the direct results of the company's ongoing quest to improve its already legendary SST C-Series product line.
For over 30 years, Bryston has committed itself to designing and manufacturing the most accurate and reliable audio electronics. The performance, value, and reliability of Bryston amplifiers, and the unrivaled warranty, have earned the company critical acclaim and awards worldwide.
Bryston maintains an extensive research and development program, constantly investigating techniques, technologies, and devices that promise improvements to all aspects of its amplifiers. The Bryston SST2 C–Series is the direct result of this ongoing quest, and represents a significant step forward in the art and science of audio amplification.
The SST2 C-series answers the need for today's increased dynamic range and clarity in recordings and movie soundtracks. The end result surpasses the parameters of the most demanding material available.
Upgrades over the previous series include new power supply transformer design plus a new power supply board, push on/off power switches, enhanced chassis design, new 'Soft-Start' circuitry, and new balanced input stage. This series also offers a bridging mode performance improvement, reduced point-to-point wiring, reduced circuit board count, and a redesigned output choke.
Design Philosophy Ensures Sonic Superiority
From input to output, all the circuitry has been optimized for the most accurate performance possible. All analog signal circuitry is fully discrete to avoid the compromises, phase shift, and non-linearities inherent in IC's. The amplifiers incorporate an innovative gain stage topology, which yields a substantially lower noise floor through the use of low-impedance pathways within the amplifier, and has strong advantages in reducing overall distortion.
Bryston's computer controlled distortion analyzers confirm that IM distortion of less than 10 parts per million (below 0.0009%) are typical for this new circuitry. All SST amplifiers use Bryston's proprietary output stage, which we call "Quad-Complementary." The Quad-Complementary topology improves linearity to a new standard of accuracy, while virtually eliminating aggressive higher harmonic distortion products.
The overall harmonic distribution of Bryston's Quad-Complementary output stage closely approaches an ideal Class-A output, except that the overall distortion is actually much lower. (True class-A output stages suffer from relatively high current-induced distortion levels, consisting of mostly lower-order harmonics).
The listening characteristics display a high degree of transparency without harshness or grain. The annoyances previously ascribed to 'transistor sound' are absent, and the amplifier seems to combine the seductive lushness of tube equipment with the focus and accuracy of solid-state.
Modular Design/Independent Power Supplies
No matter how good an amplifier's signal path may be, it's meaningless if it's starved in the power supply, an all too common way of cutting costs. One of the things that makes the Bryston SST Series unusual is the company's insistence that every amplifier in the line have a completely separate and independent power supply for each channel, including its own toroidal transformer.
Bryston's research has shown that separate power supplies provide the best imaging, clarity, and dynamic range , all attributes that are especially crucial given the emerging and demanding high resolution digital sources. The power supplies employ multiple filter capacitors per channel, rather than single pairs of larger filter cans, allowing improved high frequency response, and reducing overall losses in the supply.
Bryston uses only the finest components, such as 0.1% metal-film resistors, polypropylene capacitors, custom-wound toroidal transformers, and hand-matched transistors, to reduce noise and distortion to the absolute minimum. Gold-plated balanced or single-ended (RCA) input connectors are standard as well as gold-plated 5-way loudspeaker binding posts, to eliminate possible causes of distortion from corrosion. As befits products intended for use on stage as well as in the home, the SST chassis are extremely robust.
SST amplifiers offer feature flexibility. For example, all allow a choice of input connection — balanced XLR-F, balanced 1/4" phone, or single-ended RCA jack — together with a switch to select gain settings. A trigger input allows system-wide on/off control. Overall, the SST Series itself facilitates flexibility in putting together the total system through a variety of channel and power output.
Unique Burn-In Procedure
For Each and every Bryston audio product undergoes an extensive quality control "burn-in" procedure. Following a complete operational checkout, every amplifier is placed on a test-bench and run for 100 hours at full output (one-hour on/one-hour off for additional thermal stress), with a high frequency square-wave input and a capacitive load. This extremely rigorous burn-in quickly "matures" components and weeds out any potential premature failures. The result is reliable trouble-free performance for many years.
"The Bryston 14B-SST amplifier is a beefy, rugged, reliable amplifier whose 20-year warranty and [$9,550] price make it a real value. Its power and headroom are competitive with such great amplifiers as the $14,995, 600Wpc Electrocompaniet Nemo. The 14B-SST has the midbass punch and solidity, transparency, high-end openness, and soundstage depth of the 7B-ST, but it's smoother and less harsh on peaks. And, claims Chris Russell, it's built to last 50 years."
"I'll take neutrality any day. Combined with its power, effortless dynamics, soundstaging, and open highs, the 14B-SST's impartiality allowed me to hear the most subtle details of the Burmester B-99s, the Revel Salons, and the Quad ESL-989s. The 14B-SST got out of the way of the music, and its unflappable neutrality shook my longstanding assumptions about bridged output circuits. Contrary to popular opinion, a well-engineered bridged output circuit might just be the ideal solid-state design for producing high power with low distortion."
- Larry Greenhill Stereophile magazine, November, 2002 issue
"As a satisfied 7B-ST monoblock owner, I was surprised at just what the 14B-ST did for the sound of my system. I still believe that the 7B-ST monoblocks represent excellent value even at £4400, but if you can accommodate the size and weight of the 14B-ST, then I would seriously consider spending the extra, confident that the Bryston 20-year warranty will be there should you need it. I would also seriously investigate what the Bryston 14B-ST can deliver in reliability, power and astonishing sound quality - and all I have to do now is figure out how to pay for the unit I have!"
"An unconditional recommendation, for the finest amplifier I've heard to date."
- David Allcock, Hi-Fi News magazine
"The Bryston does everything I would expect from a high quality solid state amplifier. If that sounds like a guarded statement, it is - but I will go on to say that it is also one of the very few designs that has managed to turn my head away from valve amplification. The combination of that fluid and engaging quality with no apparent restriction of the operating envelope forms a temptation that I find difficult to resist."
"So there we have it. An amplifier with a spectacular specification, which for once hasn't resulted in a technically marvellous but musically boring and uninvolving product. And if the thought of an amplifier with a professional heritage starts to ring alarm bells, turn them off. For once you can have your cake and eat it. And bear in mind that there is a good chance that the next disc you buy could have been mixed on a Bryston amplifier."
- Chris Binns, Hi-Fi+ magazine
"What we have here is an outstanding solid state amplifier that can drive any speaker under the sun, while maintaining musical finesse in line with some of the best single ended vacuum tube designs currently on the market. And another thing: even trained ears will have difficulties identifying this amplifier as a Bryston product."
"We consider the 14B ST a high-end design without the customary high-end price tag (high-end, high, performance amplifiers usually go for about $10,000). When an amplifier sounds this good, looks this cool and handles expensive loudspeakers effortlessly under demanding conditions, it deserves to be regarded as a first-class component. Audition it, buy it - and laugh all the way to the bank."
- Canada's Inner Ear Report magazine
"Not only does this power amplifier control transients from within the overall reproduction, its resolution is also one of its strong points, coupled with its incredible transparency. This world class performance of the Bryston amplifier is rounded off by a silky string sound previously found only in successful tube amplifiers. All of this is addictive."
"OK, it simply has to be said: This Bryston amplifier banishes my favorites, the Gamut-Monos, to second place. At least in matters of silken sound, but also because of the added resolution - where it's no longer just a matter of the famous image - completely to my surprise the Gamuts have met their master. One just never stops learning."
- Germany's Hi-Fi & Records magazine, Issue 3, 2002