MEMO: To All Bryston Customers
SUBJECT: Dealer Feedback – Brian Gammon – Industry Veteran
I’ve been meaning to comment for the longest time regarding my Bryston system so far. As you know, over the past four years I’ve slowly and progressively updated my audio system using predominantly Bryston components. This was prompted by a move to a different house, giving me a larger space in which to integrate music listening & theater in one larger room.
The room is 25’ x 18’ with a 10’ ceiling. Although not how I would have designed the build-out from raw space, the room has reasonable attributes, including only very nominal low frequency nodal issues, in part as it’s built over a full crawl space, not a concrete floor. I’ve located absorption panels in key locations in the front two-thirds of the room, including the area of the ceiling between the speakers and the primary listening seats.
My Bryston “experiment” started with an SP3 (now updated to include a recent gen HDMI board), a pair of Model T Signatures, and a pair of 7B’s (now 7B3’s). A bit later the BDA-3 DAC and the BLP-1 turntable joined the party. Every part of the Bryston chain has brought its’ own overall improvements, but there is one “signature” characteristic that I feel defines the Bryston system experience, which I’ll get to in a moment.
I spend more time with music than movies (or concerts on disc). Faithful rendering of good recordings, whether recreating live performances or studio sessions, is my priority. (You guys know my background; I’ve been privileged to be part of an industry that I love for many years.)
Each Bryston component that I’ve added, taken on individual merit, is great.
• I’ve heard the 7B’s outstrip well regarded, legacy amps.
• The turntable is everything I hoped it would be and more without spending the price of a car.
• The SP3 in full Bypass mode allows the overall system to reveal each new improvement.
• The Model T Signature speakers are credibly neutral, extended in frequency response, controlled without sounding overly analytical, and resolve detail in gobs for a monitor designed around dynamic drivers. (Not intended to suggest dynamic-driver speaker designs need take a back seat to any other designs, only that it takes careful attention in design and component selection to compete with the best planar designs in the critical midrange.) Interestingly, the Model T’s respond well and communicate clear differences in musical presentation with changes in room placement, angle relative to the listener, and so on.
• The BDA-3 DAC is extremely flexible and sounds great overall, and particularly in the area of dynamics.
Wherein hangs my main point – what I perceive as the “hallmark” of Bryston design, and possibly the reason why a mainly Bryston system just may be greater than the sum of its’ parts.
Every serious manufacturer in audio can do nice tonality (although there are distinctions!). Every manufacturer can lay claim to appropriately neutral measurements, acceptable noise specs, at least half-decent phase characteristics, and so on.
Dynamic contrasts, from the rendering of small transient details in the background through to mid-level contrasts and a sense of pace and timing overall in the music, is where I hear Bryston consistently bringing it. This provides a degree of overall transparency, by way of dynamic details, is tough to beat, certainly in the upper-mid price strata that Bryston products tend to occupy.
Dynamic contrasts & transient details are what make recorded music remind me of the live experience. Over the decades, many Hi-Fi products have sounded very good, in varying ways and to different degrees, but not a lot have had the kind of micro-dynamic portrayal I’m currently enjoying.
Thanks for it all!
P.S. – I am going to contact you as I have decided to upgrade my Model T Signatures to the ACTIVE version as I agree with you that active systems take the performance up a rung!