What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 27 Jun 2006, 12:00pm

Bryston 2B SST

Tested at £2925
100100
5

This model may be relatively low-powered for a Bryston power amp, but it’s a definite must-listen

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For

  • Insight and punch
  • sturdy build
  • flexibility

Against

  • Plain appearance
  • that’s all

The 2B SST sits relatively low in a range that extends all the way up to the massive 28B SST monoblocs, which can pump out 1kW of power without breaking a sweat.

But while it is a junior model, it's no lightweight: it tips the scales at well over 12kg, and is capable of delivering 100w per channel into an 8ohm load, or 180w into 4 ohm speakers.

And that's not the end of the story: upgrade your system with the addition of another 2B SST and, at the flick of a bridging switch, the amp becomes a 350w monobloc, with some serious stump-pulling power.

So it's a chunky hunk of Canadian-made metal, with the solidity of the build backed up with a 20-year warranty. And under the skin there's a hefty twin-transformer power supply, output devices specifically developed for the SST series and computer-modelled heatsinks to keep the whole plot on the island even when your driving your speakers hard.

The 2B SST sounds effortlessly huge
There are selectable RCA phono and XLR inputs, 12V trigger switching for remote start-up/standby, and a choice of silver or black finishes plus Bryston's usual 17in (43.2cm) and 19in (48.2cm) faceplate options.

In use, the 2B SST sounds effortlessly huge:  it combines refinement, transparency and punch in a way that eludes all but the very best. Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is delivered with immense scale and dynamic reach, with each instrumental strand easy to follow no matter how complex the piece gets.

In addition, there's a lovely openness to the presentation that makes speakers like our ATC SCM 50s disappear. Move to the White Stripes, and the Bryston delivers rock solid bass, crisp timing and a truckful of detail.

This is a must-hear amp, and a fine partner for Bryston's preamps.

 

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