"Reviewers' Choice" Award Winner 2009 - Home Theater Sound Magazine
Four-Channel Version of a Flexible Modular Amplifier
The Bryston 9B SST2 multi-channel power amplifier doesn't just offer the sound quality, performance, ease-of-use, and longevity that has made Bryston one of the most trusted brands in the world. It also provides unparalleled flexibility.
The 9B SST2 is a "Reviewers' Choice" Award Winner for 2009 in the November 2009 issue of Home Theater Sound magazine. Howard Kneller calls it "the best multichannel amp I've heard." He goes on to say, "During my time with it, the 9B earned my lust, my respect, and ultimately, my love. Many amplifiers can evoke one or two of these emotions, but itís a rare breed that summons all three.
The 9B SST2 is a modular, single-chassis power amplifier delivering 140 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms. That word 'modular' is critically important here. Like other models in the SST2 series, the 9B employs modular construction in which each channel is self contained with audio circuitry, connectors, and an independent power supply. However, the 9B channel module differs in that it is built on its own removable assembly. This means that not only may any channel be easily swapped in the unlikely event of failure, but also that the 9B may be configured with fewer channels if an application so requires.
Indeed, the 9B SST2 may be ordered in a 3, 4 or 5 channel version. Modular channels are available separately for later expansion.
"The Performance Sucked Me In"
"With big multichannel amps, people tend to focus on raw power and bass-both of which are abundant with the 9B SST," notes Chris Lewis in Home Theatermagazine. "However, as I switched over to multichannel music, it was this amp's performance with midrange and high frequencies that sucked me in."
"Handles Every Kind of Sound Perfectly"
"The laboratory results are sheer delight. For the 80 attainable points for tonal quality, the Bryston combination achieved a full 78, and the two missing points are really a theoretical margin rather than an appropriate criticism," reports Germany's AudioVisionmagazine, April 2004. "That the Bryston combination is able to handle every kind of sound perfectly was ultimately also confirmed by the listening test."
"The uncompromising construction of the Bryston five channel power amplifier promises prolonged hearing enjoyment," observes Germany's AUDIOphile magazine for January 2004. Soundwise it ranks above its predecessor by allowing more of the music to come through, and by providing still more air in the middles and highs."
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 CĖSeries 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 ó balanced XLR-F, balanced 1/4" phone, or single-ended RCA jack ó 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.
"Reviewers' Choice" Award Winner 2009 - Home Theater Sound Magazine
"The Bryston 9B SST2 looks like a million bucks, and its rock-solid construction means it will likely see your kids through nursery school, kindergarten, grade school, college, and grad school. And it performs at a level that will scare the bejesus out of amps costing twice as much."
"During my time with it, the 9B earned my lust, my respect, and ultimately, my love. Many amplifiers can evoke one or two of these emotions, but itís a rare breed that summons all three. All of which means that, in addition to earning my affections, the Bryston 9B SST2 has won a 'Reviewers' Choice' award as the best multichannel amp Iíve heard. Unconditionally recommended."
- Howard Kneller Home Theater Sound magazine, November 2009
"With big multichannel amps, people tend to focus on raw power and bass-both of which are abundant with the 9B SST. However, as I switched over to multichannel music, it was this amp's performance with midrange and high frequencies that sucked me in."
"The clarinet's timbre throughout Bucky Pizzarelli's outstanding Swing Live disc was as true as I've heard it. High notes hit with passion and attack but didn't drive you out of the room with hardness or excessive bite. The 9B SST slugged its way through Jerry Goldsmith's dense SACD rendering of 'The Generals' with little obvious effort, even at higher volumes. If you think 120 watts is a low power rating, don't worry. This amp has plenty of current and punch to fill rooms far larger than those it will likely be used in, and it does so without any compromise in dynamic range. 'The Generals' runs the gamut from loud to soft and dense to sparse, and the Bryston was ready with instant power and a massive, well-defined stage."
- Chris Lewis, Home Theatermagazine
"The laboratory results are sheer delight. For the 80 attainable points for tonal quality, the Bryston combination achieved a full 78, and the two missing points are really a theoretical margin rather than an appropriate criticism. That the Bryston combination is able to handle every kind of sound perfectly was ultimately also confirmed by the listening test."
"Delicately and at the same time powerfully the signal triumphed through our loudspeakers and did not hold back the slightest detail - true high end in its most forthright form."
"The Bryston equally fascinatingly reproduced movie sound tracks, no matter whether soft tones or room atmosphere was called for, or brutal bass heavy thunderstorms and directional effects all around. The reproduction pulled the listeners downright into the scenes."
- Germany's AudioVisionmagazine, April 2004
"The uncompromising construction of the Bryston five channel power amplifier promises prolonged hearing enjoyment. Soundwise it ranks above its predecessor by allowing more of the music to come through, and by providing still more air in the middles and highs."
- Germany's AUDIOphilemagazine, January 2004