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"Best Power Amplifier" 2010 - SVI Magazine, England
"One of the Best Amplifiers in the World"
The Bryston 4B SST2 is something of a legend among audio amplifiers. Because it is the Canadian company's most popular amp, it has attained international status as an amplifier suitable for the finest and most sophisticated sound systems. Whatever the venue, be it a recording studio stage, a broadcast facility, a home theater installation, or a state-of-the-art stereo system, Bryston has continued to be the number one choice.
"Best Power Amplifier"
The 4B SST-2 was honored by winning the "Best Power Amplifier" Trade Award for 2010 from SVI magazine. SVI stands for 'Sound Vision Install,' and SVI is England's leading home electronics trade publication.
The 4B SST2 is a pure dual mono design and offers 300 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 500 watts into 4 ohms, with over 1000 watts available in bridged mode.
The 4B SST2's features list includes a soft start circuit on power up, and multiple filter capacitance per channel for smooth and quiet operation. It also offers selectable inputs for balanced or single ended (RCA) connectors, remote 12-volt power trigger input with delayed output feature, and selectable gain settings.
"Noise Levels are Seemingly Nonexistent"
"The first thing that hits you (by its absence) is the quietness of the background," reports England's Hi-fi Choice magazine. "Noise levels are seemingly nonexistent despite the vast power on tap. This means that all the fine detail, all the low level effects, and background samples can be heard clearly."
"I Think I'm in Love"
"I think I'm in love. An amplifier I'd already thought great has been improved without sacrificing any of the sonic attributes that made the original so outstanding," raves John Crossett in the July 2009 SoundStage!. "I knew that Bryston has always been one of the stalwarts of the high-end-audio industry, but the improvements embodied in their new SST2 series show that, instead of being complacent about having come up with a great product, they'll always be on the lookout for ways to make it an even better one."
"This amplifier is a price breaker par excellence, which makes life really quite difficult for the large heavyweights," observes Wilfried Kress in Germany's HiFi & Records magazine. "The 4B SST amplifier can compete with practically anything that costs much, much more. And soundwise it unquestionably belongs to the Creme de la Creme of manufactured amplifiers: Under the unpretentious hull is indeed one of the best amplifiers in the world."
Winner of the "Component of Merit Award"
Canada's Bound for Sound magazine awarded both the Bryston 4B SST Power Amplifier and the Bryston B-60 Integrated Amplifier its "Component of Merit Awards." Says the magazine, "This is a superb amplifier, especially for the money. With monstrous power output of 300 wpc there is little that this amp can't power with ease. It is built extremely well (hence the 20 year warranty), without going to meaningless extremes."
"The 4BSST2 is the ultimate solution for achieving very high power, a solution that honors the sense of transparency and musicality," notes Greece's HITECH magazine.
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. In the 9B SST, and 6B SST models, Bryston carries the modular concept further, making the channels removable.
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.
Easy System Upgrades
Bryston designed the SST Series to take into account that systems change. There's a full range of channel and power options, several amplifiers may be operated in bridged mono mode, and the 9B SST may be ordered with as few as three channels, and later expanded up to five channels.
How are components selected and installed in a Bryston product?
Starting with a bare circuit board each component is hand selected and installed, every wire is cut and bent by hand, every connection is hand soldered. Although Bryston could do the job much faster by employing wave-soldering machines typically used in large assembly operations, that would mean exposing the entire board to a molten-metal bath. This is a source of extreme heat shock that could result in long-term reliability problems. Bryston's focus on excellence just doesn't allow for these kinds of short-cuts.
How many hours does it take to build a Bryston product?
The skilled technicians that build Bryston products are not pressured by schedules or quotas. On average, it takes 30-35 person hours to assemble a single Bryston amplifier or preamplifier. The company believes in quality, not quantity.
What kind of product testing does Bryston do?
Frequent inspection and extensive testing are a critically important part of the Bryston assembly process.
Individual components, completed circuit-boards, sub-assemblies and final assemblies are all put through rigorous inspection and testing procedures. Are the soldering joints all clean? Is every component aligned properly? Is the internal wiring laid-out symmetrically and neatly? During every stage of production, quality and performance are checked - and rechecked - against exacting tolerances and specifications.
At the point of final assembly, many manufactures immediately pack their amplifiers into boxes for shipment. However, at Bryston, each of the fully assembled products is connected to what the company calls a "burn-in table." For example, during 100 hours of continuous testing, Bryston amplifiers are monitored through a range of input cycles and thermal stress levels to duplicate a broad spectrum of operational loads. If any failures occur, the company catches them here, before you begin using our product.
Then, and only then, are Bryston products sent to the final quality inspection area for a comprehensive and carefully documented test of all their functions. The printed results of this computer-aided analysis are actually shipped with each unit. During this intensive procedure, Bryston rejects any product that falls outside of advertised specifications, or an even narrower band of specifications used for internal testing. As a result, you can expect each Bryston product to perform as least twice as well as the advertised specifications.What kind of manufacturer's warranty do Bryston products have?
The Bryston manufacturer's warranty is unprecedented in the consumer electronics market.
Bryston analog audio circuits are warranted to be free from manufacturing defects for twenty (20) years from the original date of manufacture. The warranty includes parts and labor.
Bryston Digital circuits and cables are warranted for five years from the original date of manufacture. The warranty includes parts and labor.
Bryston products having motorized moving parts, excluding motorized volume controls, are warranted for three years from the original date of manufacture. The warranty includes parts and labor.
In the event of a defect or malfunction, contact Bryston's repair centers for return authorization.
"The first thing that hits you (by its absence) is the quietness of the background. Noise levels are seemingly nonexistent despite the vast power on tap. This means that all the fine detail, all the low level effects and background samples can be heard clearly".
- Hi-fi Choice magazine
"The first thing that hit me was the 4B SST2's total silence. Music emanated forth overlaid by absolutely nothing. I could hear each note as fully formed, from initial transient through harmonic decay. This allowed me to better understand what each musician was trying to convey with his or her playing, making them sound more realistic in my room. I'm not saying that this new Bryston amp was perfect -- we all know that no audio component is -- but to my ears, the 4B SST2 significantly narrowed the gap between perfection and reality."
"I think I'm in love. An amplifier I'd already thought great has been improved without sacrificing any of the sonic attributes that made the original so outstanding. Every difference I heard between the 4B SST and 4B SST2 was a change for the better. While some updates can be more detriment than benefit, that's not the case here. It's not so much a 'Holy cow!' jump in performance as the next step toward perfection: I sat down, spent some time listening, and suddenly found myself enjoying my listening time that much more."
"I knew that Bryston has always been one of the stalwarts of the high-end-audio industry, but the improvements embodied in their new SST2 series show that, instead of being complacent about having come up with a great product, they'll always be on the lookout for ways to make it an even better one. Combine that company philosophy with the backing of their 20-year warranty (yes, that's right -- a full 20 years) and, should you become as beguiled by the sound of the new 4B SST2 as I have, you'll know that you're buying a product that may very well become a family heirloom, passed on from father to daughter or mother to son, so well built and so wonderfully musical is this amplifier. Great audio companies build great products. With the 4B SST2, Bryston qualifies."
- John Crossett, SoundStage!, July 2009
"This amplifier is a price breaker par excellence, which makes life really quite difficult for the large heavyweights. The 4B SST amplifier can compete with practically anything that costs much, much more. And soundwise it unquestionably belongs to the Creme de la Creme of manufactured amplifiers: Under the unpretentious hull is indeed one of the best amplifiers in the world."
- Wilfried Kress in Germany's HiFi & Records magazine
Winner of the "Component of Merit Award."
"This is a superb amplifier, especially for the money. With monstrous power output of 300 wpc there is little that this amp can't power with ease. It is built extremely well (hence the 20 year warranty), without going to meaningless extremes."
- Canada's Bound for Sound magazine
"If this kind of quality sound cost a fortune, it wouldn't be news for anybody, especially in our times. The Canadians, however, are absolutely down to earth and have full consciousness of their mission."
"The 4BSST2 is the ultimate solution for achieving very high power, a solution that honors the sense of transparency and musicality, and at the same time this amp is easily able to drive even the most demanding speaker in the market."
"The only thing left to do is to give the 4BSST2 our recommendation - squared!"
- Greece's HITECH magazine
Audio Advisor Review - Bryston 4B-SST2 Power Amp
Audio Advisor Review - Bryston's Warranty
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Great amp; using this amp to drive a pair of Dali MS4s. These speakers love power and the Bryston 4B-SST2 can bring it. In combination with the Bryston 4B-SST2 I utilize a Cary SLP-98 pre-amp. The Cary brings the warmth & color and the Bryston brings the slam.
|- L W, OR|
I recently purchased this amp shortly after purchasing a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 100s. I originally purchased Rotels modest RB-1080 to power these. It sounded pretty amazing, but I wasnt confident that the RB was quenching the power hungry thirst of the Studios, and the came the Bryston. I was absolutely correct. The Bryston brought these speakers to life. Thank you Bryston for building such an amazing amplifier at a fair price. In a world of automation and assembly lines, Brystons hand built amplifiers is a breath of fresh air.
|- Ryan Z, OR|
|Power Beyond Belief!|
After purchasing the Martin Logan Ascent electrostatic speakers back in 2001, I discovered that their infamous ability to drop below 2 Ohms resistance had fried, smoked or thermally shut-down high powered amplifiers from well-known manufacturers, which included: Adcom, Anthem, Parasound and Musical Fidelity. Out of sheer desperation, I finally bit-the-bullet by spending extra money for the highly acclaimed Bryston 4B SST˛. ***** OMG!!! The avalanche of super-clean high power coming from the Bryston’s 500-watts RMS per channel @ 4 Ohms, dynamically transformed the Ascents into a holographic soundstage, wide, deep and absolutely thrilling; which rivaled and at times, surpassed experiencing a live performance. The reserve power capability of the 4B SST˛ is mind-boggling. The amplifier is teamed-up with the Cambridge Audio Azur 840c CD player, both bought at Audio Advisor; and much credit to AA for honoring their 30-day return policy, as I had to trade-up, twice, before experiencing the power of Bryston 4B SST˛.
|- Rich V, NJ|