Power Amplifiers

Bryston 28BSST2 Monoblock Power Amplifier

ARTICLE INDEX

Design and Setup of the Bryston 28BSST2 Power Amplifiers

The Bryston 28BSST2 is their flagship power amplifier. It is a single channel (mono) amplifier with enough power (and finesse they claim) for even the most difficult or inefficient speaker. Designed to have an ideal power curve from the first to the last watt (most amps have only a sweet spot within their operating range where they sound best). By using dual mono-block amplifiers you have the benefits of individual power supplies (the 28BSST2 have 2000 VA each) and you can place them near each speaker permitting short speaker cable runs.

Bryston rates the 28BSST2 amplifiers at 1000 watts into 8 ohms; they feature both balanced and unbalanced inputs, and are fully convection cooled negating any need for fans. They come in either silver or black and with 17" or 19" faceplates (with handles, but no rack mounts) and sit at 4U high. They are massively overbuilt and weigh a back-straining 92lbs each. The amps have a special micro-controlled soft start which reduces the current inrush when turning on these beasts. They have been designed to have exceptionally low noise thanks to the AC being shielded from all other components. And of course are backed by Bryston's industry crushing 20 year warranty.

James Tanner of Bryston explains that while this amp is the Bryston flagship, it is not necessarily their best sounding amplifier. This is their most powerful amplifier (and most expensive) yet does not stray sonically from the lower priced amps. Bryston recommends choosing the amp based on the system and room requirements. This also means one could mate the 28BSST2's to the 14BSST2 or 7BSST2 in a multichannel setup and still retain the timbre balance that is essential.

As Bryston claims this amp able to work with most any speaker and to sound great regardless of the power output, I chose three very different speakers to test the amp. I used the Bryston Mini T rated at 86dB SPL as an inefficient speaker, my difficult to drive MartinLogan Vista (rated at 4 ohms nominal yet dip down to 1.2 ohms) and my Frugel-Horn MK3 which has a single 4" delicate Mark Audio Alpair 7en driver to test the sound quality and finesse at low to moderate volumes. Each system used an Oppo BDP-105 as a source, Bryston BP17 pre amp and Blue Jean Cables connecting it all together.