Bryston 4B-SST-2 19: The Ultimate HiFi Amplifier

Introduction

In the world of audio enthusiasts, finding the perfect amplifier is a quest for unparalleled sound quality and performance. Today, we delve into the realm of high-end amplifiers and explore the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier. This two-channel power amplifier has gained international recognition for its balanced characteristics, optimal pricing, and exceptional compatibility with the most advanced sound reproduction systems.

Amplifiers play a crucial role in delivering powerful and accurate sound reproduction. They amplify audio signals to drive speakers and enhance the overall listening experience. The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier stands out as one of the most renowned models in the Bryston lineup, offering a combination of cutting-edge features, impeccable design, and exceptional audio performance.

In this comprehensive review, we will delve into the technical specifications, design and construction, functionality, sound characteristics, sound performance, advantages, value for money, and ultimately conclude with our final thoughts on this remarkable amplifier. Join us on this sonic journey as we explore the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier and its ability to elevate your audio experience to new heights.

Technical Specifications

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier is a two-channel power amplifier that belongs to the High-End class. It offers a balanced set of features, optimal pricing, and has gained international recognition as an amplifier suitable for use with the most accurate and advanced sound reproduction systems.

This amplifier is designed with two monophonic modules, each equipped with separate power supplies, providing 300 watts per channel into an 8-ohm load. In bridge mono configuration, the power output increases to 900 watts into an 8-ohm load. This design eliminates cross-interference and enhances the precision and focus of the soundstage. Additionally, users have the option to select between 23 or 29 dB of gain.

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier utilizes innovative low impedance circuitry for its amplification cascade, resulting in reduced inherent noise levels and overall distortion. Only discrete components are used in the analog circuitry, eliminating compromises, phase shifts, and characteristic nonlinearities often associated with integrated circuits.

To address typical issues found in transistor-based circuits and achieve greater output power, this amplifier employs an AB-class circuitry. At lower power levels, it operates in Class A mode to eliminate crossover distortion by shifting the operating point away from cutoff. As power demands increase, it seamlessly switches to Class B operation for efficient two-stage amplification. Remaining distortions are mitigated by fast driver transistors and Bryston’s proprietary “Quad-Complementary” output stage architecture.

The rear panel of this stereo amplifier features balanced XLR and 1/4” phono inputs, as well as unbalanced RCA inputs. It also includes input selectors and sensitivity controls, auxiliary connectors, and two speaker outputs. The amplifier’s sturdy construction includes a metal chassis with thick aluminum front panel handles and large heat sinks that fully enclose the sides of the unit. The design, shape, and size of the cooling radiators have been meticulously developed using computer modeling.

In terms of technical specifications, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier consumes 2100 watts of power and weighs 22 kilograms. It has dimensions of 133mm in height, 483mm in width, and 401mm in depth. The amplifier supports a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and offers a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 113 dB. With a total harmonic distortion (THD) of only 0.005%, it ensures clean and accurate sound reproduction.

Overall, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier’s technical specifications showcase its high-quality construction and impressive performance capabilities. Its power output, low distortion levels, wide frequency response, and support for balanced inputs make it an excellent choice for audiophiles seeking exceptional sound quality.

Design and Construction

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier boasts a sleek and robust design that is characteristic of the Bryston brand. With its black metal chassis, thick aluminum front panel, and large radiators covering the sides, this amplifier exudes a sense of durability and reliability.

The attention to detail in the construction of the amplifier is evident. The use of high-quality materials ensures longevity and enhances its overall aesthetic appeal. The sturdy build of the amplifier not only adds to its visual appeal but also contributes to its ability to withstand rigorous use.

One notable design feature is the incorporation of efficient cooling mechanisms. The large radiators on the sides of the amplifier effectively dissipate heat, preventing overheating and ensuring optimal performance even during extended listening sessions. This design feature is crucial in maintaining the longevity of the amplifier and preventing any potential damage due to excessive heat.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the thoughtful layout of connectors and switches. The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier features balanced XLR and 1/4” phono inputs, as well as unbalanced RCA inputs, providing versatility in connection options. The connectors are of high quality, ensuring secure and reliable connections without any signal loss or interference.

The switches on the amplifier are sturdy and responsive, further adding to the overall quality of construction. They provide a satisfying tactile feedback when operated, giving users confidence in their durability and longevity.

Overall, the design and construction of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier showcase meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to high-quality craftsmanship. From its robust exterior to its efficient cooling mechanisms and reliable connectors, every aspect of the design contributes to an exceptional user experience.

Functionality

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier offers a wide range of functionality to cater to different audio sources. With its versatile connectivity options, you can easily connect various audio devices such as CD players, computers, smartphones, and more. Whether you want to enjoy your favorite music from your CD collection or stream songs from your smartphone, this amplifier has got you covered.

One notable feature of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 is the inclusion of balance controls and tone adjustments. These controls allow you to fine-tune the audio output according to your preferences, ensuring an optimal listening experience. Whether you prefer a more bass-heavy sound or a brighter tone, the amplifier gives you the flexibility to adjust the audio to suit your taste.

Additionally, the amplifier offers various operating modes to enhance your listening experience. While it may not have a direct mode, it compensates with its bridged mono mode, which allows for a power output of up to 900W at 8 ohms. This mode provides increased power and efficiency, ensuring that even the most demanding speakers can be driven with ease.

Furthermore, the absence of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity might be seen as a limitation by some users. However, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 makes up for this with its balanced inputs, which ensure high-quality audio transmission and minimize interference. The amplifier also lacks headphone outputs and line-level outputs RCA, which may limit its versatility in certain setups.

Overall, the functionality of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 is impressive, offering a range of connectivity options and control features to cater to different audio sources and preferences. While it may lack some modern connectivity options, its balanced inputs and tone adjustments make it a reliable choice for audiophiles seeking a high-end amplifier with exceptional performance.

Sound Characteristics

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier delivers exceptional sound characteristics that will captivate any audiophile. The sound quality produced by this amplifier is simply outstanding. It offers a level of detail and clarity that brings music to life, allowing you to hear every nuance and subtlety in your favorite tracks.

One of the standout features of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 is its ability to provide excellent instrument separation. Each instrument is precisely defined and positioned within the soundstage, creating a truly immersive listening experience. Whether it’s a complex orchestral piece or a simple acoustic guitar solo, you can easily distinguish between different instruments and appreciate their individual contributions to the music.

The bass response of this amplifier is powerful and tight, providing a solid foundation for the entire sound spectrum. It effortlessly reproduces deep lows with great control and accuracy, ensuring that you feel the impact of bass-heavy tracks without sacrificing clarity in other frequency ranges.

When it comes to treble clarity, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 excels. The high frequencies are crisp, detailed, and well-extended, adding sparkle and airiness to the overall sound presentation. You’ll be able to hear subtle details in cymbal crashes or delicate vocal harmonies with remarkable precision.

In terms of overall sound presentation, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 offers a balanced and neutral sound signature. It faithfully reproduces the original recording without adding any coloration or distortion. This makes it suitable for a wide range of music genres, from classical and jazz to rock and electronic.

Regardless of the music genre you prefer, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 will enhance your listening experience by delivering an accurate and engaging soundstage. It brings out the best in each genre, allowing you to fully appreciate the dynamics, textures, and emotions conveyed by the music.

In conclusion, the sound characteristics of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier are nothing short of exceptional. With its detailed instrument separation, powerful bass response, clear treble, and overall balanced sound presentation, this amplifier will elevate your listening experience to new heights, regardless of the music genre you enjoy.

Sound Performance

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier delivers an exceptional sound performance that is sure to captivate even the most discerning audiophiles. With its high-end class power and balanced characteristics, this amplifier truly shines in its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with remarkable clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance.

When it comes to clarity, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier excels in revealing intricate details and nuances within the music. Each instrument and vocal is rendered with precision and accuracy, allowing the listener to fully immerse themselves in the intricacies of the recording. The amplifier’s ability to maintain a low noise floor ensures that even the subtlest musical elements are brought to life, creating a truly immersive listening experience.

The dynamics produced by this amplifier are simply breathtaking. It effortlessly handles sudden shifts in volume, providing a dynamic range that adds depth and realism to the music. Whether it’s the thunderous crescendo of an orchestra or the delicate plucking of guitar strings, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier captures every nuance with finesse and impact.

Tonal balance is another area where this amplifier truly shines. It delicately balances the frequencies across the entire spectrum, ensuring that no part of the music is overshadowed or overemphasized. The low frequencies are tight and controlled, providing a solid foundation for the music, while the midrange is rich and full-bodied, bringing vocals and instruments to life. The high frequencies are detailed and extended, adding sparkle and airiness to the sound.

Whether you’re listening to classical symphonies or modern rock anthems, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier delivers a sound performance that is both engaging and accurate. It effortlessly reproduces complex musical passages with ease, allowing you to fully appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of the recording.

In conclusion, the sound performance of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier is nothing short of exceptional. Its ability to faithfully reproduce audio signals with clarity, dynamics, and tonal balance ensures a truly immersive and captivating listening experience. Whether you’re a music enthusiast or a professional in the industry, this amplifier is sure to impress with its remarkable sound quality.

Advantages

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier offers several advantages that set it apart from its competitors. Firstly, its construction and design are top-notch, with a sturdy metal chassis and thick aluminum front panel. The large radiators on the sides ensure efficient cooling and enhance the overall durability of the amplifier.

One of the standout features of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 is its power output. With 300 watts per channel at 8 ohms, this amplifier delivers an impressive amount of power, allowing it to effortlessly drive even the most demanding speakers. Additionally, in bridged mono mode, the power output increases to a whopping 900 watts at 8 ohms, providing even more headroom for larger setups.

The use of discrete components in the analog circuitry ensures superior audio quality, as it eliminates the compromises and phase shifts associated with integrated circuits. The innovative “Quad-Complementary” architecture further enhances the sound performance by utilizing carefully matched pairs of PNP and NPN transistors, resulting in smooth operation without introducing any intermediate distortions.

Another advantage of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 is its versatility in connectivity options. It features balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs, allowing you to connect a variety of audio sources. The inclusion of a balanced input is particularly beneficial for minimizing noise and interference in professional setups.

When compared to other amplifiers in its price range, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 stands out for its exceptional build quality and reliability. The meticulous hand assembly process ensures that every component is installed correctly and that the overall construction is flawless. This attention to detail translates into a product that not only delivers outstanding performance but also lasts for years without any issues.

Overall, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier offers a combination of power, precision, and reliability that is hard to match in its price range. Its robust construction, high power output, and superior sound quality make it an excellent choice for both audiophiles and professionals seeking a reliable and high-performing amplifier.

Value for Money

The Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier offers exceptional value for money, combining high-performance audio capabilities with a range of impressive features. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option on the market, its price is justified by the level of quality and performance it delivers.

In terms of performance, the amplifier’s power output of 300 watts per channel at 8 ohms ensures ample power to drive even demanding speakers with ease. The ability to bridge the amplifier in mono mode further enhances its versatility, providing a staggering 900 watts at 8 ohms. This level of power allows for a dynamic and immersive listening experience, particularly in larger rooms or when paired with high-end audio systems.

The build quality and construction of the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier are also noteworthy. The absence of fans and moving parts contributes to its reliability and longevity, ensuring that it will continue to perform optimally for years to come. Additionally, the manual assembly process and rigorous testing procedures employed by Bryston guarantee a product that meets the highest standards of quality.

While the amplifier may lack certain advanced features such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity, it excels in delivering pure, unadulterated sound reproduction. The absence of an integrated DAC or equalizer allows for a more transparent signal path, preserving the integrity of the audio source and enabling audiophiles to customize their listening experience using external components if desired.

Considering its exceptional build quality, powerful performance capabilities, and renowned reputation for reliability, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier represents excellent value for money. While it may require a higher initial investment compared to other amplifiers on the market, its long-term durability and uncompromising audio performance make it a worthwhile investment for discerning audiophiles who prioritize quality above all else.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier is a powerhouse in the world of high-end audio. With its balanced characteristics, optimal price point, and international recognition, it has become a go-to choice for audiophiles seeking precision and advanced sound reproduction.

The amplifier boasts impressive technical specifications, with two mono modules and separate power supplies for each channel, delivering 300W per channel at 8 Ohms. In bridged mono configuration, the power output increases to a whopping 900W at 8 Ohms, ensuring a focused and accurate soundstage without any cross-interference.

The innovative design of the amplifier incorporates low-impedance circuitry, discrete components in the analog scheme, and an AB-class circuitry that seamlessly transitions between class A and class B operation. The “Quad-Complementary” architecture further eliminates distortions and enhances power delivery.

Visually, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ exudes elegance with its signature Bryston design featuring a robust metal chassis, thick aluminum faceplate, and large cooling radiators. The rear panel offers balanced XLR and 1/4” phono inputs, RCA inputs, input selectors, sensitivity controls, auxiliary connectors, and dual speaker outputs.

The meticulous construction process ensures high-quality craftsmanship with manual installation of electronic components and precise soldering techniques. Bryston’s rigorous quality control includes thorough testing to detect any hidden defects before the product leaves the factory.

When it comes to sound performance, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ delivers exceptional clarity, detail, and dynamics. It reproduces music with remarkable accuracy and transparency across the entire frequency range from 20Hz to 20kHz. The amplifier’s impressive signal-to-noise ratio of 113dB ensures a clean and immersive listening experience.

In terms of value for money, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier offers a premium audio experience that justifies its price tag. Its build quality, reliability, and top-notch performance make it a worthwhile investment for audiophiles who demand the best.

In conclusion, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier stands as a testament to Bryston’s commitment to excellence in audio engineering. With its exceptional design, robust construction, and outstanding sound performance, it is a clear choice for those seeking a high-end amplifier that delivers on every front. Whether you are a music enthusiast or a professional seeking studio-grade sound quality, the Bryston 4B-SST-2 19″ amplifier is sure to exceed your expectations and elevate your listening experience to new heights.

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