Bryston BR-20 Preamplifier is the latest solution from the Canadian high-end hi-fi company Bryston Ltd., which is described as an extremely versatile solution for analogue as well as digital sources and is thus convinced to have designed a perfect preamplifier.
The Canadian company Bryston Ltd. has been regarded as a proven expert in amplifier solutions for years. The company has a broad product range in this area, which is always aimed at particularly ambitious users. The solutions from Bryston Ltd. are particularly inspiring with their flexibility when it comes to expansions, for example, there are usually numerous upgrade and conversion options available, not least a reason why these are products that have an exemplary value stability over many, many years.
All this should also apply to the latest offspring of the Canadians, which is now available in the form of the Bryston BR-20 Preamplifier. The aim was to develop a state-of-the-art analogue preamplifier that also features an excellent D/A converter and is also equipped for hi-res audio streaming. Simple control directly on the device, via a suitable remote control, via web interface, but also via smartphones, tablets and computers, all this should ensure that the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier represents the flexible control centre at the highest level that the Canadians promise with this.
The new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier combines a newly developed, outstanding fully balanced analogue preamplifier architecture with an excellent converter and a streamer borrowed from the Bryston BDP Series, says Bryston Ltd. about the approach taken in this solution.
This preamplifier provides the ultimate audiophile hub, with all the features and connectivity to meet the demands of a modern high-end hi-fi system in the most compact form.
The Bryston BR-20 preamplifier is designed to connect to any source.
This starts with analogue source devices, for which the standard version offers two unbalanced RCA jack pairs and two inputs designed as XLR connectors for balanced sources. If desired, the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier can be upgraded with an optional phono preamplifier, which corresponds to the Bryston BP-2 and is designed for drives equipped with MM cartridge systems. It must be mentioned in this context, however, that one of the two RCA inputs is “sacrificed” for this purpose.
What is really impressive is the range of connections for digital sources offered by the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier. This starts with two optical and two coaxial S/PDIF interfaces, followed by two AES/EBU interfaces. In addition, there is a USB port for direct connection to a PC or Mac, as well as further USB interfaces for corresponding storage media.
But that’s not all: via an optional board, the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier provides four HDMI inputs, all of which are designed for content in 4K and HDR, whereby the audio signal is processed and the image content is looped through to the HDMI output. The special feature here is that DSD is also supported.
The D/A converter of the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier has impeccable key data. Depending on the input, it is able to process up to 32 bits and 384 kHz for linear PCM data, as well as DSD256.
Of course, this also applies to content that is played back via the integrated streaming client, although this naturally requires integration into the network. For this purpose, a Gigabit Ethernet interface is provided on the back of the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier. The streaming client is based on UPnP and is able to play back all relevant data formats.
Let’s get back to the analogue world, the Bryston BR-20 preamplifier relies on a fully balanced design that is built to achieve only the lowest possible noise and superior common mode rejection. The manufacturer speaks of unprecedented clarity, transparency and detail.
The new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier offers two balanced outputs, designed as XLR sockets.
In addition, it is possible to enjoy music through headphones alone, whereby the high quality of the integrated headphone amplifier must be explicitly emphasised. This is said to be a so-called Lo Z Headphone Amplifier, which, as an independent discrete circuit, is capable of operating even sophisticated headphone models without any problems.
In the case of Bryston Ltd. in particular, there is no need to mention that the new Bryston BR-20 Preamplifier sells of course has all the interfaces needed for integration into various control solutions. Both an RS232 interface and trigger connections can be found here.
However, the network interface mentioned above is particularly important, because, as already mentioned, the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier can be controlled completely via IP, even via a tidy web interface and thus any browser on any device.
In addition, there is a matching remote control in the form of the Bryston BR-4 Remote, but also convenient control directly on the device. Nowadays, it is no longer a matter of course that every function of a solution like this is accessible via separate buttons and status LEDs, as is still the case with the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier. Even details like an LED ring around the rotary encoder for volume control in addition to the display have been thought of here.
As always, the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier is extremely robust and stable, with a solid aluminium front panel in either silver or black.
“Our new BR-20 preamplifier offers an unprecedented level of audio clarity, transparency and detail, as well as tremendous flexibility in processing any type of audio signal, analogue or digital. I know my brother Brian was very proud and excited about the things we were able to achieve with the BR-20, and we are also proud to name it in his honour.”Chris Russell, CEO and Technical Supervisor of Bryston Ltd.
The new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier is expected to be in stores as early as these days.
Getting to the point
With the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier, the aim was to develop a state-of-the-art analogue preamplifier that also features an excellent D/A converter and is also equipped for hi-res audio streaming. Simple control directly on the device, via a suitable remote control, via web interface but also via smartphones, tablets and computers, all this is to ensure that the new Bryston BR-20 preamplifier represents the flexible control centre at the highest level that the Canadians promise with this.
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