(October 9, 2020) Ontario, Canada's Bryston has introduced a new high-tech preamplifier. Named in honor of Bryston President Brian Russell, who passed away during September 2020, the BR-20 ($5995) is designed for enthusiasts seeking audio purity.
Sporting a sleek silver faceplate, a volume knob edge-lit with indicator LEDs, and expansive physical controls, the BR-20 oozes class and audio proficiency. But it's the preamp's innards that make the show come alive. Bryston says the BR-20's analog circuit path is fully balanced, utilizing matched components and a compact circuit design for low noise and common mode rejection. And an optimized discrete buffer amplifier delivers a THD+N measurement falling below 0.0006%. On the digital side, the incorporated DAC can decode PCM up to 24-bit/384kHz and DSD 256.
Because the BR-20 is crafted for music lovers, it's endowed with onboard streaming support for TIDAL and Qobuz, with native transfer of PCM (384kHz) and DSD (128) to the DAC. Other digital sources can be accessed using balanced, SPDIF, optical, and USB connections. An add-on HDMI card ($1,200) opens the door to four HDMI inputs (4K compatible) and a single HDMI output. Additionally, the BR-20 can manage large music libraries using gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 connectivity.
For those moments that audio needs to be consumed at a private level, owners can tap an onboard Low Z headphone amp. This amp is billed as offering high output and critical low out impedance needed to drive the most demanding of headphone models. And, vinyl lovers will be glad to know a Moving Magnet phonostage similar to Bryston's BP-2 can be added for an additional $1,000.
Bryston says the BR-20 expected to begin shipping to dealers during Q4 of 2020.