BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS

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James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #200 on: 19 Jun 2018, 07:19 am »
MEMO: To All Bryston Customers
SUBJECT: It’s All About System Resolution - Hi Res vs Redbook

June 2018



I am not sure if you know Mark Weldrep of AIX Records.  He has a blog regarding “TRUE" High-Res music recorded and mixed in 24-96.  He has serious concerns about all the so called High-Res disks sold based on Low-Res masters from the good old days.

Well a few days ago he put out a challenge to see if a 100 or more people would participate in a blind test to see if they could discriminate between the 24-96 and the CD 16-44 standard. It was not easy because the files were extremely well recorded and sounded just fine in both formats. 

High- Res might be:
Tune 1
Tune 2
Tune 3
Tune 4
Tune 5
Tune 6

It seems I accurately achieved 5 out of the 6 correct.  Which apparently was very unusual.  Mark wanted to know how I did it, (see answer below).  Basically I attribute it to the excellent Bryston Active System and the flexibility of the Bryston BDP Digital Player.

“Hi Mark

I was using a Bryston Digital Player and the new Bryston Active Model T speaker setup. 

It is the best sound I have ever known irrespective of price.  Primarily because it is truly phase aligned with a DSP.   It rivals the punch of Dynamic speaker with the highs and sound stage of Electrostatic. 

I was listening mostly for the high frequencies like cymbals and percussion.  Female voice had more “depth” and “complexity”.

Cheers
Drew”

« Last Edit: 19 Jun 2018, 11:17 am by James Tanner »

NavyDoc

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #201 on: 28 Jun 2018, 05:04 pm »
MEMO: To All Bryston Customers
SUBJECT: Bryston Active Demo – Mark Jones Audio

April 2018

Bryston Active event at Audio by Mark Jones

A couple of weeks ago I was invited by Mark Jones to attend the Bryston Active event at his place. James Tanner of Bryston was presenting the new active loudspeaker system featuring Model T Signature loudspeakers and BAX-1 electronic crossover.

I am familiar with "active" loudspeakers, such as those produced by Meridian Audio. They have amplifiers built right in and all you need is a source, like a CD player or a network streamer.

Bryston's Model T active loudspeaker system is different. The loudspeakers' drivers (woofer, mid-range and tweeter) are directly connected to an amplifier's output. This is known as active bi-amping or tri-amping, since there are no passive components, i.e. crossovers, are present in the signal path between the amplifier and the drivers. Not to be confused by "passive" bi-amping or tri-amping, where a separate amplifier is assigned to each driver, but internal crossovers are still used to control which frequencies are handled by which driver, as well as roll-off characteristics.

But in a truly active system this is handled by an "electronic crossover" placed between the preamplifier and individual amplifier(s), basically in a small signal level stage. The electronic crossover used in this presentation was Bryston BAX-1 dedicated Digital crossover.
The other components in the system were:

•   BP17³ preamplifier (bottom box in the photo above)
•   2 x 28B³ power amplifiers to drive the woofers
•   2 x 4B³ power amplifiers to driver mid-range and tweeters
•   BDA-3 DAC
•   BDP-3 Digital Player

The BAX-1 electronic crossover is controlled through a Bryston developed app from an iPad.

Although it is more costly to properly develop a truly active system, it has a number of advantages:

more efficient use of power superior direct coupling of drivers to the amplifiers provides better control of drive units and damps unwanted resonances in drivers splitting frequency bands before amplification results in easier design of crossover filters simplified control of amplitude and phase (delay) and driver anomalies higher SPL's are achieved in larger systems (you get 4dB improvement in level with the same power) it can be used to tune the system to any room with any acoustic deficiencies

As James Tanner remarked, music reproduction is a transient condition, where stop and start signals are transmitted to the drivers. With the amplifier being connected directly to the speaker driver this condition is improved and better controlled, which results in a much more accurate reproduction of the music. True active system can bring a much higher resolution and dynamic control to an audio system.

And this is exactly what I experienced with the system that was being presented that night. James first played some of his own selections. But then one of the guests brought his own musical selections on a USB stick. As they were played, the gentleman remarked that this is the best reproduction of these tracks that he has ever heard.

•   Besame Mama by Poncho Sanchez and Mongo Santamaria
•   The Black Messiah (Part Two) by George Duke
•   Good Bye Pork Pie Hat by Uzeb

Each musical selection showcased the system's full potential. The clarity, the level of detail, the instrument separation and air around each instrument were simply superb.

The bass was tight and powerful even without any subwoofers. The imaging was precise. Soundstage was truly three-dimensional with depth, width and height clearly defined.

I have only heard this level of reproduction in systems that cost tens of thousands more than Bryston.


That is not to say that the electronic crossover does not have its weaknesses. The main one being that you cannot currently use BAX-1 in any other system. Current design only works with Model T speakers and Bryston amplifiers (ED: For very good technical and performance reasons).

But all in all it was very enjoyable experience and I am grateful to Mark and James for the presentation.

Alex G.


Nice review, but as with the inner ear article linked it is incorrect in stating that the BAX has to be used with Bryston amplifiers.  In my view the ability to use other amps is what makes the Bryston approach the best in the business.  I upgrade rarely and in stages.  I cap my spending on any upgrade at $12,500 [arbitrary number that I think most of us have for most items in our lives, dollar value will obviously differ].  I am sure having all Bryston would have a synergistic effect, but the ability to get there is multiple steps is critical for me.

I have been researching active speakers for a two channel system. I run active DIY LCR's in my home theater and will not go back to passive XO's with all their limitations.

I am considering Bryston, Kii, Dutch and Dutch, ATC and Legacy [Legacy is not fully active but has the Wavelet which helps offset XO limitations). What separates Bryston is the flexibility. I use the dbx Venu360 for XO/DSP in my HT speakers and love it's flexibility. But, the overall system performance is limited to MY ability to measure and establish XO points, slopes, driver delays, and phase. The Bryston does all this for me, and with anechoic data I cannot readily replicate at home.  No way I can produce results as well as audio engineers with real lab grade equipment, but then again the Bryston audio engineers could probably not sequence and annotate a bacterial genome.  For HT my DIY speakers are fantastic, but for a serious two channel system I will leave design to the professionals.

James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #202 on: 6 Aug 2018, 04:02 pm »
MEMO: To All Bryston Customers
SUBJECT: James Hayward Visit To The Bryston Demo Rooms

July 2018

“Good morning James:
 
Listening to the three Bryston demo systems on Saturday was a very interesting and enjoyable experience.

I would summarize my overall listening impression this way.  Each of those systems demonstrated state-of-the-art performance for a significantly different set of price points.
 
The little Mini A speaker did an excellent job of imaging and had an impressive depth of field.  With its obvious limitations in output at extremely low frequencies, it still did an admirable job of accurately producing lower midrange and bass information with minimal exaggeration of enclosure and driver resonances.

The Middle T Active system is very easy to listen to.  Its increased dynamic range, extended lower frequency response, increased clarity in the lower midrange bring an ease to the listening experience.

The Model T Active is clearly my favourite system. 
It does everything right and with total ease! I can listen to it for hours as it uncovers amazing musical detail let effortlessly reproduces bass and lower midrange without any hint of exaggeration in both dynamic range and frequency response.
 
Thanks, James, for the great time.”
 
Best regards,
James H.


Jim Hayward is an electronic technologist, pianist and a perfectionist whose deep love of music put him on a lifelong quest to accurately capture the reality of treasured musical performances.  After a 28 year career managing high tech engineering and operations groups in Bell Canada, he taught electronics and supervised student designed audio projects at Radio College of Canada for 10 years.  He was Chairman of the Toronto Section of the Audio Engineering Society in 2000/2001 and has been an active executive member for 24 years.  As a contributing editor to Andrew Marshall’s Audio Ideas Guide, he wrote three feature articles on the electrical characteristics of cables and their relevance to audio performance.  He also wrote a feature article for the Bryston Newsletter, Volume 5, Issue 2, on the characteristic impedance of cables highlighting its relevance in the professional audio world.
« Last Edit: 6 Aug 2018, 08:32 pm by James Tanner »

James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #203 on: 14 Aug 2018, 04:27 pm »
MEMO: To All Bryston Customers
SUBJECT: Bryston Middle T Active Speaker Setup Demo

August 2018


Hi Folks,

Please see link below regarding a demonstration at one of our premium dealers on the Bryston Middle T Active speaker.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkWrx_xJ6gk&t=6s



TJ-Sully

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #204 on: 14 Aug 2018, 05:33 pm »
Cool video James - thanks for posting.

Can you expand on the point about converting passive Bryston speakers to the active version?
I had thought we were unable to convert....

thanks!

TJ

James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #205 on: 14 Aug 2018, 06:50 pm »
Cool video James - thanks for posting.

Can you expand on the point about converting passive Bryston speakers to the active version?
I had thought we were unable to convert....

thanks!

TJ

Hi

We are looking at that now but it is a bit more difficult than we thought so still seeing if its possible.

james

TJ-Sully

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #206 on: 14 Aug 2018, 10:36 pm »
ok, thanks JT.

mr_bill

Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #207 on: 24 Aug 2018, 03:33 pm »
Hi James,

With the new BAX-1 and the rest of components needed:

If not using Bryston amps - how do you balance the sound levels if the amps used have different gain?  Is it simple to do or handled by the BAX-1?

Also, if I understand, most systems will have D/A conversion and possibly a preamp for source or volume control if needed.............then an additional conversions in the BAX-1.  Is the additional BAX-1 conversion of A/D and then back to analog again for the amp outputs considered transparent?  Seems like a lot of conversions from analog to digital or vice versa but just something I wondered about.

Thanks,
Bill

James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #208 on: 24 Aug 2018, 08:27 pm »
Hi James,

With the new BAX-1 and the rest of components needed:

If not using Bryston amps - how do you balance the sound levels if the amps used have different gain?  Is it simple to do or handled by the BAX-1?

Also, if I understand, most systems will have D/A conversion and possibly a preamp for source or volume control if needed.............then an additional conversions in the BAX-1.  Is the additional BAX-1 conversion of A/D and then back to analog again for the amp outputs considered transparent?  Seems like a lot of conversions from analog to digital or vice versa but just something I wondered about.

Thanks,
Bill

Hi Bill

You must use amps of equal gain or have gain controls on the amplifiers.

The AD conversion is done with quality AKM DAC's at 96/24.  But that's not really that critical.  The important performance advantage of any active system is the fact that the amplifier is directly connected to the driver and bypasses all the passive components in a typical passive crossover. 

Believe me the difference is not subtle and once you experience Active speakers your will never go back.

james
« Last Edit: 24 Aug 2018, 11:32 pm by James Tanner »

veloceleste

Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #209 on: 25 Aug 2018, 09:30 pm »
Hi James,
Do you think a 2.5Bsst2 is powerful enough to drive the the three woofers on an  active Model T set-up to 85-90 db listening levels?  Thanks.

James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #210 on: 26 Aug 2018, 11:22 am »
Hi James,
Do you think a 2.5Bsst2 is powerful enough to drive the the three woofers on an  active Model T set-up to 85-90 db listening levels?  Thanks.

Hi

A lot would depend on the size of the room of course but one of the big advantages of an active system is the speaker efficiency is much improved - up to 4dB greater sensitivity. 

Which translates to needing about 1/2 the amplifier power in an active system vs a passive system.

james

veloceleste

Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #211 on: 26 Aug 2018, 10:57 pm »
Hi

A lot would depend on the size of the room of course but one of the big advantages of an active system is the speaker efficiency is much improved - up to 4dB greater sensitivity. 

Which translates to needing about 1/2 the amplifier power in an active system vs a passive system.

james
Thanks for the information. I didn't realize there would an increase in speaker sensitivity when going active. That is a significant difference.

mr_bill

Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #212 on: 27 Aug 2018, 02:29 am »
Hi Bill

You must use amps of equal gain or have gain controls on the amplifiers.

The AD conversion is done with quality AKM DAC's at 96/24.  But that's not really that critical.  The important performance advantage of any active system is the fact that the amplifier is directly connected to the driver and bypasses all the passive components in a typical passive crossover. 

Believe me the difference is not subtle and once you experience Active speakers your will never go back.

james

Thank you James,
Can the Model T Active with BAX-1 be used with different manufacturers amps (if all channels are gain matched) or do you have to use Bryston amps?
Thanks,
Bill

James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #213 on: 27 Aug 2018, 09:48 am »
Thank you James,
Can the Model T Active with BAX-1 be used with different manufacturers amps (if all channels are gain matched) or do you have to use Bryston amps?
Thanks,
Bill

Hi Bill

You can use other amps as long as you match the gain.

james


James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #214 on: 28 Aug 2018, 11:51 am »



James Tanner

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Re: BRYSTON ACTIVE SPEAKERS
« Reply #215 on: 12 Sep 2018, 12:24 pm »
MEMO: To All Bryston Customers
SUBJECT: Bryston Middle T ‘ACTIVE’ – Customer Feedback


September, 2018

Hi James,

After some months of intense hearing and testing the Middle T Active system as promised, here I am with a more definitive feedback...



The system required some fine tuning and correct placement in the room (5x6 metres) to get the maximum from it.

Testing was conducted in many ways and with many albums of acoustical ensembles, always correct recorded music. Guess this is a good way to test the timbre and dynamic performance of a hi-fi system.

I involved as well a professional musician (guitar player) and compared his own music reproduced by the Bryston system and the real live concerts he has held, his own opinion being of course very important.

Results: outstanding performance of the Active system, the artist being reproduced in a life like manner, with incredible fast transients, perfect imaging and very natural and dynamic performance. Absolutely stunning. Every musical instrument, as well as voice were very material, perfectly isolated from the others, full bodied. Transparency and detail at top levels.


I guess the only upgrade possible would be moving to the bigger model T’s... The only tweak I have done was to place 30 kg of lead over each speaker, this leading to an even better detail and micro dynamic reproduction, not a dramatic improvement but definitely perceptible.

Thanks James...!
Dario