Bryston 9BST Amplifiers

9BST

120w x 5 channels

User Reviews (24)

Showing 1-10 of 24  
Robert Allen   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 24, 2003]
Strength:

20 year guarantee, typically excellend Bryston sound, good integration with the SP-1 preamp/processor.

Weakness:

rear outputs won't take dual bananan plugs, no ground lift switch like the ST series, slightly different form factor of rack-mount grips, and external case (ST series had external heat sinks, 9 series has internal heat sinks). 5 channel amp is built of discrete channels and so cannot be bridged!

I bought this, *in 2 channel form*, from a local vendor I bought an SP-1 from, to complement my 4 channel 8b-st amp.Overall I'd say this is as good or better than the previous ST series of Bryston amps. Compared to my 8b there are a couple issues: the front handles on the rack-mountable mode are of a slightly different form factor (doesn't bother me though), the rear outputs can no longer take dual banana plug connectors (due to EU safety issues I believe), and there is no manual Ground Lift switch. However I've had no problem with ground loop humm so the lack of the button isn't an issue. I just miss the extra toggle switch. Good news is that the SP-1 can turn on this amp but can't turn on my 8b-st. Also I like the momentary power switch on this rather than the in/out switch on the 8b-st. The really great thing here is that the 9 series appears modular, so as I upgrade to a bigger home, or home theater technology advances to more speakers, I can likely upgrade by just filling in the blank spots in the amp since I only have 2 channels currently populated. The inability to bridge the 9b series of amps is a minor annoyance.

Similar Products Used: Bryston 8b-ST
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
burrbrown   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 10, 2002]
Strength:

Built quality.Very neutral and detailed. 20 year warranty.

Weakness:

none

This amp is the latest addition to my home theater set up. Was looking for an amp that would do the job for not only home theater but two channel as well. I am totally impressed with this product.Its built like a tank! Its quality of sound is awesome.Very open and detailed.Was a little concerned about the 125wpc.rating but found the amp had no problem driving my Mirage "om" series speakers to extremely loud levels without compromise.theatre room is roughly 20'x25'.

Similar Products Used: Classe.Denon. Musical Fidelity.Rotel.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Dirty_Samsen   AudioPhile [Sep 24, 2002]
Strength:

Clean sound, great detail especially with music.

Weakness:

Not enough power, clips under loud passages. More aparent on sensitive, high detail speakers.

This is one of the better amplifiers on the market, very clean and full sound. Fantastic for use with music. But inadequate to deal with THX ultra harsh specifications. You get the picture when you use this AMP with THX material and it begins to clip during extremely dynamic / loud passages (loud gun shots, high pitched screams, even some vocal passages) . To it's defense this is a problem for all amplifiers and is extremely difficult to get around because movie sound tracks are designed to be extremely harsh in order to propel sound through movie canvases and fill up very large rooms with sound. In my configuration I used it with Meadowlark Shearwaters Hot Rods. Shearwaters offer an unmatched detail in sound, and any variation or distortion in sound is very easy to pick up on. I will admit that run of the mill consumer electronic brands of speakers will work better with this amp, because of their inherent ignorance to detail as apposed to creating fantastic sound stages and crisp sound. If you are going to spend this much money on an amplifier then you owe it to your self to at least test an EAD Powermaster 6200. It has allot more power and its design has plenty of features to prevent sound from clipping. My system is a living testament to that.

Similar Products Used: EAD / Alpha Digital Tech Power Master 6200
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
FDW   AudioPhile [Aug 17, 2002]
Strength:

Very refinded dynamics,slugehammer bass that is well controlled, women voices sound great,and very musical.

Weakness:

I hav'ent seen anything,thank GOD.

Let me start by saying that a lot of testing went into the devolopment of my home theater system, ran by my Bryston 9B. When I first cranked this baby up I knew it was something special, but there was a concern for more power.At this point I asked my dealer for some tweeks in this regard .So he suggested power cords all around ,PS audio and Acustic Zen.Again Acustic Zen Wow (Xlr) for my interconnect and Audioquest Bedrock's for the speakers. After all that the most devastating upgrade of all was in the digital domain . Now get this,because I'm using my Denon 2800 DVD player for music and movies ,I needed a coaixal cable that could outflank my $40 optical cable and bring true high end sound to my system. Again my dealer said Audioqest has a coaixal cable that could make your DVD player use my Bryston Sp1's dac to sound like a high end cd player on music and flawless on movies.This cable is the new Audioquest VSD-4, and man let me tell you I don't know what they did to it but this is a true high end piece. Before this cable everything was mere child's play . Now my system has the kind of detial that you can hear all the instruments so seperatly that it is breathtaking.The soundstage is huge , powerful ,clean ,and crisp.The midrange is smooth like a thick coat of velvet,the high's are sweet and the bass coming from my Sonus Faber Grand Pianos is so tight and well controlled that I sometimes wonder if I need a sub.So now that I have made these upgrades it has more then compensated for the lack in bass I thought I had. This is the kind of amp that is at it's best when paired with high end gear. My next upgrade will be Acustic Zen power cord Kracatoa for the 9B. I'm currently using a small Custon power cord witch sounds better then the standard Bryston issue.The fact thatI have 1 M PS audio mini lab'son my sub,Bryston Sp1,and dvd player gives me that beautiful black quite between segments and slam out of the gate that I'm so proud of. Each premium cable upgrade brought out of this amp. Now I can handle this amp like a piece of true high end pedigree . Oh and I can also save for Bryston new 5 channel analog for the SP1. With a 20 year warrenty and a kind gentalmen like James Tanner makes listening even more wonderful. Well done Bryston.

Similar Products Used: My 24 year old Harmen Karden amp.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Keith R. Evans   Audiophile [Feb 05, 2000]
Strength:

Tranparent, Neutral

Weakness:

None

One of the things you will constantly here about this AMP is that it is totally neutral. So, when someone starts talking about the musicality of an AMP what they really mean is noise that is being added to the audio signal. However, the Bryston does not add noise and passes the audio signal through as un-touched as possible. If top quality components are not used with this AMP then you will here what they add to the signal. If you are looking for musicality then look else where. However, if you are looking for an AMP that just passes the signal on with noise figures in the Digital realm (.0002) then buy the Bryston. Many people have given up there Krells and use the Bryston as there reference....Enough said, it is one of the best at what it does...which is not add noise (musicality)! It gets a 5!

Similar Products Used: Levison, Adcom, Krell, Classe
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 18, 2000]
Strength:

Neutrality, Soundstage, Dynamics

Weakness:

None

Just bought the 9B-ST recently without having audition this product. Took a chance based on the great reviews on this site and magazine's reviews. All the positive things about this product is true. I never thought that an amplifier would make such a difference to my system, which consist ov a Lexicon DC-1, B&W Matrix 802s, Sony DVP-7000, but the 9B-ST definitely did. Great soundstage, dynamics, and extremely neutral. You have to have the same class of equipment to appreciate this product, otherwise it will just show how poor your set up is. A definite 5 stars!!!!!

Similar Products Used: Krell KAV-500, ATI-2505
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Keith R. Evans   Audiophile [Feb 02, 2000]
Strength:

Awesome Highs, Mids, and Fantistically detailed Bass

Weakness:

Absolutely none

You can keep your Mark Levisons, Krells, Classe and other high priced AMPS because Bryston at half the price and with a 20 year warranty blows them away. Incredible detail and the noise floor is non-existent. Totally quite, and detailed. If the music is on the source and you have a half way decent pre-amp, and DAC then the Bryston will play it. Why do you think that the major record company's and recording studios use Bryston....Maybe they know something that the rest of us don't and that is that Brystons are the most neutral AMPS out there bar none. Check the reviews on there site and search around the WEB, and you will find out that everyone else says the same things about these AMPS. AWESOME!!!!!!!

Bryston 9B THX
B&W Nautilus 804 (Front)
B&W Nautilus HTM1 (Center)
B&W 602 (Rear)
ADCOM GCD-700
ADCOM GTP-600 (Moving to Classe' SSP25 THX 24 Bit DACs)
Transparent Music Wave Plus Biwire
Transparent Music Link Plus Interconnects
Monster Cable M-550 M Series Interconnects
Monster Cable HTS1000 Powercenter

Similar Products Used: ADCOM, Mark Levison, Classe', Proceed, Krell
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Shannon   Audiophile [Aug 14, 2001]
Strength:

Look below

Weakness:

Farther Below

I bought this floor demo from BayBloor at a steal ($4200can tax in)in early 1999 and have built an awesome sounding stereo/home theater around it since. When I first brought it home I found my spades (at the time Kimber) wouldnt fit the binding posts so I sent it to Bryston to have bigger ones put on. I also asked for a silver face plate to be put on the front and to have the amp checked from inside to outside for any anomalies (it was a demo unit after all). When I got the thing back about a week later Bryston sent a new spec sheet with the amp. To my delight my "new" amp out performed the one I sent in. Comparing the new and old spec sheets showed that the new amp had better harmonic distortion numbers, about the same intermodular distortion numbers, better noise figures (averaging about -115db per modular amp,balanced) and much better output power figures (a wopping 158 whatts per channel!). I dont know what they did but when Bryston says they are going to check out your amp for you, they mean buisness! Out of the amps I've demoed for home theater I kept coming back to the Bryston. Very neutral with dynamics that kill. Bullets will whiz and bombs will blow with such uncanny realism, it could very well make you sh*#@#* yourself. Even for 2 channel stereo this amp is competative with amps costing 2-3 times as much ($4200can my price divided by 5 completely seperate modular amps = $840can per amp = $1680can in two channel mode)=incredible bang for the buck and one very happy customer. I throw my AE1signatures on this amp for 2 channel critical listening and am always amazed at how the Bryston can keep up with what the AE1's($7000can minimonitor) are capable of. Crystalline detail for the highs and a midrange thats neither lush nor dry - just right.And as everybody knows, knowone controls base like Bryston does. If you like tight tushies then this amp wont dissapoint. This amp images very well with believable height and edge definition with velvety blackness between instruments. Soundstaging width is above average, but depth is just ok. Nothing to complain about but I've heard better. If the recording is good I get some amazing sounding wraparound effects. If the recording is bad, this amp wont hide any flaws, and if the recording is bright this amp can get fatigueing (it is a VERY revealing pro amp after all) so mate your speakers carfully. When I consider its "tank like" build construction, competative price (compared to alot of other so called high end 5-channel amps -great price), 20(whew) year warranty, and a customer service department(ok its not a department its one guy named James Tanner who is as friendly and honourable as a guy can get) then I honestly believe this is one of the best 5 channel amps on the market.
My system:
-Bryston 9BST amp
-Bryston SP1 preamp/processor
-Anthem CD1 (mod version upgraded at Sonic Frontiers)
-Taddeo Didital AntidoteII (between CD player and pre-amp)
-PS Audio p300
-Kef RDM2's mains,Kef RDM1 surround,KefC100 center
-Acoustic Energy AE1signature speakers swapped in sometimes for 2 channel listening
-M&K MX5000 markII subwoofer
-Sony XBR400 36"TV
-Toshiba SD3109 DVD player
-Hitachi VHS
-RCA Direct TV satalite
-Yamaha tape deck
-XLO Ultra and Signature speaker wire,Silver Audio Symphany48 speaker wire
-Silver Audio Hyacynth interconnects throughout with a dash of XLO Signature and Reference interconnects here and there
-Silver Audio Power Bursts plugged into everything that can be plugged baby
-Monster Subwoofer cable and M1000 component video cable
-Assortment of Ultralink video and rca cables
-Lovan Sovergn sand filled racks and stands
-Vibrapods under EVERYTHING including TV and sub

Upcoming purchases:
-some Symposium Rollerblocks or Aurios MIB vibration dampeners
-2 Bryston Powerpack 120 amps for rears (I currently have over an unacceptable 35 foot run of speaker wire to surrounds)
-Sonic Frontiers Power 2SE, Cary V12 or some other tube amp to run my AE1 sigs off my SP1 surround processor at the same time as my 9BST/Kef home theater combo. (Yes the SP1 can really do that and sounds incredible as a sole 2 channel preamp!)
-eventually come sort of SACD/DVD-Audio hybrid player or something if either if these two formats take off
-some day a big ol 120 inch front projection TV and a progressive scan DVD player
-maybe even another M&K MX5000 mkII sub if I can find a used one (gettin greedy now)

And that is the end of my fantastic story, or is it the beggining........................

Similar Products Used: Have heard Classe, Arragon, Sonic Frontiers, Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, Roxan, Krell, Mark Levinson etc...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John Sawers   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 04, 2000]
Strength:

good bass strength, killer soundstage

Weakness:

does not sound good with all speakers

this is the amp I lust after, gobs of power available for good bass and soundsageing. The caveat is that it may not work so well with harder to drive speakers. I tried it with Martin-Logan Aerius i speakers and it sounded terrible (they can drop below 2 ohms) but pair it with Revel or simkilar and it sond stunning. Tremendous amount of energy in the music, more rythm and energy in everything. it had a "grip" on me much stronger than anyting else I've heard, even at twice the price.

Similar Products Used: PRoceed, sunfire, Macintosh
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Thanh   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 09, 2000]
Strength:

Powerful and very neutral, Low noise level

Weakness:

None

This amp may be rated only 120 watts per channel (8 ohms) but it sounds like a much more powerful amp. It drives my B & W Matrix speakers effortlessly and excels in both music listening and movies.

The most obvious improvement is in the bass. It is tight and powerful. The Bryston also delivers crystal clear treble and does not sound bright regardless how hard you push it.

Finally, with its excellent overall built and 20-year warranty, the people at Bryston want you to enjoy this piece for a long time.

Similar Products Used: Proceed AMP5
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 24  

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