"Best of 2009" Award Winner - EnjoyTheMusic.com
"The Performance / Price Ratio is Off the Scale"
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. And when it comes to monoblock amplifiers, you simply can't do any better than a Bryston at any price.
"The performance / price ratio here is off the scale," marvels Canada's Inner Ear Report (Volume 15, Number 1). "Bryston has outdone themselves with the 7B SSTs, offering powerhouse amplifiers with sonic finesse comparable to low-powered single ended vacuum tube amps."
"The mighty Bryston 7BSST2 is in many respects an owner's delight with its ample power, solid construction and immensely reassuring warranty," notes Paul Miller in the July 2010 issue of England's Hi-fi News magazine. Miller goes on to praise the "sophisticated, grain-free sound from a package undaunted by any speaker."
"Nothing Short of Breathtaking"
EnjoyTheMusic.com honored the Bryston with a "Best of 2009" award in its April / May 2009 issue. "My experience with the Bryston 7B SST2 amplifiers was nothing short of breathtaking," raves Anthony Nicosia. "These were amplifiers that if I had been told were $10,000 a pair, considering all they had to offer, I would have thought them still to be competitively priced."
The Inner Ear Report critic revisited the 7B for the new 7B SST2 version, and he likes what he hears. "My memory banks fail when it comes to names, model numbers, and a whole lot of other things, but, surprisingly, I remember sound quite well. Thus, I remember the sound of earlier 7Bs and I can attest to the sonic changes and admirable improvements of the new 7B SST Squared."
A New Degree of Transparency And Musicality
The Bryston 7B SST2 single-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 7B SST2 monoblock 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 7B 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.
"Best of 2009" Award Winner - EnjoyTheMusic.com
"My experience with the Bryston 7B SST2 amplifiers was nothing short of breathtaking... The amplifiers had a very tube like magical transparency that gave the music a live 'you are there' type of effect."
"Put them in the proper listening environment, with the right associated equipment plus some good cables and get ready to re-listen to some of your old selections as if for the first time. I like amplifiers that can create good depth to the soundscape and here once again the Bryston's delivered."
"Now at only $3995 each ( $7990 a pair), they felt bargain priced with their quality of construction, engineering designs, ample features, long warranty, attractive faceplate and ability to create a 'you are there' type of musical experience at both low and high volume levels. These were amplifiers that if I had been told were $10,000 a pair, considering all they had to offer,"
- Anthony Nicosia, EnjoyTheMusic.com, April / May 2009
"The mighty Bryston 7BSST2 is in many respects an owner's delight with its ample power, solid construction and immensely reassuring warranty. But like any audio product, it will only give long-term listening satisfaction if it makes music as you like to hear it. In the 7B's case, this means a sophisticated, grain-free sound from a package undaunted by any speaker."
- Paul Miller, England's Hi-fi News magazine, July 2010
"All in all, we feel Bryston has outdone themselves with the 7B SSTs, offering powerhouse amplifiers with sonic finesse comparable to low-powered single ended vacuum tube amps. Price in high-end territory is usually in accordance with performance, but the performance / price ratio here is off the scale."
- Canada's Inner Ear Report, Volume 15, Number 1
"My memory banks fail when it comes to names, model numbers, and a whole lot of other things, but, surprisingly, I remember sound quite well. Thus, I remember the sound of earlier 7Bs and I can attest to the sonic changes and admirable improvements of the new 7B SST Squared."
"These amplifiers are the best Bryston ever made since the inception of the 7B series a couple of decades ago. In my opinion, the only amps that will outperform the new 7BSST Squared units are the 28B monoblocks I have reviewed about three years ago (review is posted in out archive section). Both sets of amplifiers have delightful sonic characteristics that cannot be categorized easily. Both designs boast what solid state is all about — loads of kinetic energy, great dynamics, speed and control. However in addition to those elements, these amplifiers have a warm blossoming quality that is customarily found in (expensive) tube gear. As the 7B Squared amplifiers offer a bit of both, they may be the solution to achieve a high degree of musicality with any loudspeakers rated under 90dB efficiency. They will, however, sound great with any loudspeakers under the sun. They are still offered at a very reasonable price, which, in my opinion is not indicative of their performance in the high-end category of the audio industry. They may well be the least expensive high-end monoblocks on the market."- Canada's Inner Ear Report, Fall 2009
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.