Power Amplifiers

Bryston 9B SST2 Multi-channel Amplifier

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Design

Bryston 9B SST2 Multi-channel Amplifier

We will get to the sound in just a moment, I swear. First let's marvel at the beauty of the 9B SST2. The unit is available in 17" and 19" black or silver faceplates. There are handles on the back and front (19" version) that help when moving this beast around. The face has a power switch and an LED for each channel. This LED will change color depending on the channels state: red indicates muted, green indicates normal operation, and flashing red indicates channel clipping and orange indicates thermal shut down.

Bryston 9B SST2 Multi-channel Amplifier

The back panel of an amplifier is usually pretty mundane. Not so with the 9B SST2, each modular channel has single-ended (RCA) inputs, balanced inputs (1/4" and XLR in the same connector), binding posts that will take most any size and type of connector (up to 3 gauge bare wire!), polarity switch (allowing for bridging the channels) and a three-way gain switch (great for matching to a wide-variety of pre-amps). The 9B SST2 is a modular design, with each module having an independent power supply. The detachable 15 amp cord plugs into an IEC socket on the far left of the back panel, which also houses a magnetic-trip circuit breaker htat further protects the amplifier. On the same panel you will also find a 12 volt trigger (in/out).

Bryston 9B SST2 Multi-channel Amplifier

Speaking of modular, the 9B is available in 3, 4 or 5 channel versions, and if something were to happen to one channel, you simply remove that module and send it in for service. This leaves you with the rest of the amplifier channels to power your speakers.

Overall, the 9B SST2 is not a new amp, rather an improved version of the original 9NRB from 1998. After the unit was modified and re-designed by Stuart Taylor, the name changed to a 9B SST, and since then more refinements added the 2, or squared, designation. This change included a new soft-start circuitry, new RF input filters, the input impedance increased, and there are improved input and feedback capacitors. What this translates to is a smother high-frequency response (not as clinical as before), improved power-band (more consistent sound throughout the entire operating range), as well as lower measured THD and noise.