- Written by John E. Johnson, Jr.
- Published on 03 June 2010
Bryston, renown manufacturer of amplifiers with a 20 year warranty, markets products with a full gamut of power output ranges. The 14B SST2 is a stereo power amplifier rated at 600 watts per channel output into 8 ohms. That's a lot of power. Is all that power useful? Is it necessary?
Well, that all depends on a couple of things. One is the type of music you listen to and how loud you listen to it. If you like heavy metal or Beethoven's symphonies, then yes. If you have speakers that are not very sensitive (e.g., 85 dB/w/m), then yes. The reason is the overhead. Most of the time, regardless of the music, the power delivered to your speakers will be less than 20 watts per channel. But, with powerful transients, such as the leading edge of a steel string guitar, crash of a cymbal, or a big crescendo, the power demand can easily go to hundreds of watts. That is because for 10 times the wattage, the sound only doubles in loudness. So, if you are using 20 watts, and along comes a demanding passage, you had better have at least 200 watts or more in reserve. Otherwise, it will either clip, or the amplifier will limit the output and it won't sound as if the passage is as loud as it should (dynamics are an important part of the "you are there" listening experience).
I am a firm believer in having as much power in reserve as possible. I use 1,200 watt monoblocks as a reference. The Bryston 14B SST2 is rated at 600 watts rms per channel output into 8 ohms. That is only 3 dB less in loudness capability than 1,200 watts (power is an exponential variable).
So, let's take a look.
- Design: Solid State Stereo Power Amplifier; Class AB
- Power: 600 Watts RMS x 2 into 8 Ohms, 900 Watts into 4 Ohms
- MFR: 1 Hz - 100 kHz
- THD+N: 0.007%
- S/N: 112 dB
- Input Impedance: 50 kOhms Unbalanced, 20 kOhms Balanced
- Input Sensitivity: 4.5 Volts Balanced - 500 Watts Output
- Inputs: True Balanced XLR and Unbalanced RCA
- Dimensions: 7" H x 19" W x 17.25" D
- Weight: 85 Pounds
- MSRP: $8,695 USA