PMC Distribution UK has introduced the Bryston BR-20 preamplifier, DAC and streamer – a front end solution that combines the best of Bryston’s technologies into one “ultra high-performance audiophile hub,” allowing connection of up to 14 analogue and digital sources and combining this with built-in high-resolution music streaming.
Named in honour of Bryston’s president, Brian Russell, who passed away in September 2020, the BR-20 is the most advanced combination of analogue and digital functionality in the 50-plus year history of the Bryston brand.
“Our new BR-20 preamplifier offers a never-before experienced degree of audio clarity, transparency and detail, along with tremendous flexibility in handling every kind of audio signal – analogue or digital,” said Chris Russell, Bryston CEO and technical supervisor.
“I know my brother Brian was very proud and excited about the things we have been able to accomplish with the BR-20 and we are also proud to name it in his honour.”
The BR-20’s analogue preamplifier is a result of years of R&D into a new discrete buffer amplifier capable of delivering a low total harmonic distortion measurement below 0.0006%. The analogue signal path is a fully balanced design, using an array of very tightly matched components and a compact circuit design to achieve the lowest possible noise and superior common mode rejection.
With Bryston’s most advanced DAC and digital player/streaming platform, the BR-20 is optimised to give listeners the best possible performance from any source. Users can access high-resolution content from up to seven external digital sources, plus Tidal and Qobuz from the internal digital music player. The DAC can decode PCM up to 384 kHz/24 bit and DSD 256 and it has the capability to decode DSD over HDMI thanks to an optional four input plug-in HDMI card.
With the optional HDMI card, audiophiles can connect a compatible SACD player to achieve the purest signal reproduction and best sound quality utilising the onboard decoders. Furthermore, users can connect 4K and HDR sources such as Apple TV and Blu-Ray players to the BR-20, while passing the high-resolution video through to the monitor or projector.
The digital music player inside the BR-20 provides the ability to manage large music libraries thanks to gigabit Ethernet, more RAM and the addition of USB 3.0 connectivity for external music storage. The BR-20’s built-in music player will natively pass PCM up to 384 kHz and DSD128 to the DAC.
The BR-20 also features Bryston’s new Low Z headphone amp, providing the high-output and critical low-output impedance to drive even inefficient headphone models.
Completing the multitude of connection options is a premium quality Moving Magnet (MM) phono stage, which is equivalent to Bryston’s highly regarded outboard BP-2.
The BR-20 includes elegant front panel controls, such as the ring of small LEDs found on the perimeter of the volume knob. With so many inputs available on the BR-20, control options have been expanded beyond the front panel buttons. The user-friendly BR-4 remote control can be configured by each user to command each source component, and a web-enabled phone or tablet can be used to adjust volume and change sources. Users can also rename inputs and hide those not in use.
For those who prefer a darkened listening space, the front panel LEDs and display can be dimmed or disabled. Smart home integrators can implement control of the BR-20 using IP, RS232 and trigger input/output options.
The BR-20 will be available in November 2020 at a UK MSRP of £7,500 including VAT.
The optional HDMI card will cost £1,200 and the phono stage can be added for £950.