WE’RE being deluged with Bryston news the past weeks, the latest being the Canadian company’s new high-performance preamplifier, the BP17. Bryston is obviously toasting to its half-a-century of existence this year, and followers won’t be disappointed at the slew of new products that have been emerging from Peterborough, near Toronto.
The BP17 is touted as a state-of-the-art analogue/digital stereo preamp derived from the preamp portion of the recent B-135 integrated amplifier. Of course, building the BP17 on existing architecture constituted a saving in R&D costs, enabling Bryston to deliver a top-notch product at a down-to-earth-price.
The preamp incorporates Bryston’s most advanced analogue circuitry, power supply design and isolation techniques. Much of the technology took more than two years to engineer, with analogue circuitry derived from the SP-3 processor platform.
The BP17 has a software-controlled motorised analogue volume dial, integrated with a balance control – this allows the preamp to be operated remotely while adhering to fully discrete analogue circuits. Channel balance is almost perfect, with near-zero distortion levels.
“We have reduced total harmonic distortion (THD) levels in the BP17 by utilising buffer amplifiers optimised for wide open-loop bandwidth and low open-loop THD,” explains Bryston CEO Chris Russell.
“These carefully selected components essentially eliminate the increase in THD with rise in frequency exhibited by almost all op-amps, giving the BP17 phenomenal detail and complete lack of grain in the sound field.
“The BP17 also features a brand new balanced action volume control, eliminating another source of distortion while maintaining channel-to-channel tracking within 1/10dB over the full range of control,” Russell adds.
Four configurations are available – in standard line-level form, with MM phono stage, with high-resolution DAC or with both phono and DAC. Six RCA inputs are provided (four with assignable DAC option), one set each of RCA and XLR outputs, one tape loop and a headphone output. The BR2 remote unit is an option.
The BP17, which comes with Bryston’s legendary 20-year warranty, is available now at a retail price of US$3,550.