my Bryston demo
I thought that it would be nice to share my experiece demoing Bryston kit in the hope that this will get more people to post their audition experiences. This was my first Bryston experience. The dealer didn't have a Bryston 4bsst2 at hand so he arranged for us to demo at an accomodating client's house. The setup consisted of Bryston's top of the line BP26 preamp, middle of the range Bryston 4bsst2 power amp, Dynaudio Contours I think (a high end floorstanding model which is no longer made), a sony blueray player and some japanese xlrs which cost 1500 pounds per pair!
All the kit looked beautiful, the built is solid, tank-like even. I could see why Bryston proudly offer a 20 year warranty. So the music began, starting off for some Norah Jones. The sound was on the warm side of neutral, oodles of bass, clean and smooth treble and vocals were better than your average solid state. I should at this point tell you that the way the speakers were setup and the blueray player harmed the audition a bit. The speakers were only about 5 feet apart, which might be fine for small bookshelves but way too close or largish floorstanders such as these. We were sitting about 7 feet from the center of the speakers. The speakers weren't really given the opportunity to reveal the wonderful Dynaudio soundstage that a lot of Dynaudio fans talk about. As a result I felt the soundstage closed in, not enough room for vocals to be centered. I also suspect the Bryston pairing didn't help the unruly bass. Its sad really to have a setup like this and not getting to enjoy it to the max.
I will try to subtract the setup deficiancies and tell you what I can. The Bryston power amp has loads of power, it can possibly drive any speaker ever made, hell it can probably drive your car too >). It had control too and could be subtle when required. There was great detail on display even with the limited abilities of the source. I think given a great source and fast sounding speakers one could have a great setup. I don't think it will be one for tube fans though, there just wasn't the same silky midrange and the feeling of "being there" as with tube amps. If I was spending this kind of money, I'd probably wait till I could buy a Grypon Diablo. It has a lot of the same qualities but the vocals are much more tube like. But each to his own and I'm sure this amp will make many users very very happy.