Bryston has unveiled the BR-20 preamplifier, which combines a brand-new analog preamplifier with the company's flagship digital-to-analog conversion (DAC) platform and a high-performance streaming music player.
The BR-20's analog preamplifier is a byproduct of years of R&D that resulted in the development of an optimized discrete buffer amplifier capable of delivering a low THD+N measurement at or below 0.0006%. The analog signal path is a fully balanced design, using an array of very tightly matched components and a compact circuit design. A ring of small LEDs graces the perimeter of the volume knob, clearly indicating the output level. With support for up to 15 sources and a wide variety of inputs, users will certainly find the connectivity options they require for any system configuration.
The BR-20 features Bryston's most advanced DAC and digital player. Users can access high-resolution content from up to seven external sources plus the internal digital music player that offers TIDAL and Qobuz streaming capability. Connectivity for an additional four HDMI sources becomes accessible when using the optional HDMI card. The internal DAC can decode PCM up to 384 kHz/24-bit and DSD256, and it has the capability to decode DSD over HDMI. With the BR-20's optional HDMI card, audiophiles can connect a compatible SACD player over HDMI to achieve the purest signal reproduction and best sound quality utilizing the player's onboard decoders. Furthermore, if the Hi-Fi shares living space with a video system, users can connect 4K and HDR sources such as Apple TV, Blu-Ray players, and more to the BR-20, while passing the high-resolution video through to their monitor or projector. The digital music player inside the BR-20 ensures a smooth user experience along with 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 features Bryston's most powerful onboard headphone amplifier ever offered, providing the high-output and critical low-output impedance to drive even inefficient headphone models. The BR-20 includes front-panel controls plus Bryston's user-friendly BR-4 handheld remote. With so many inputs available on the BR-20, control options have been expanded beyond the front panel buttons. The 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 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 will love the control over IP, RS232, and trigger input/output options. The BR-20 is expected to ship to dealers in Q4, 2020 with a U.S. MSRP of $5995. A premium quality Moving Magnet (MM) phono stage equivalent to Bryston's outboard BP-2 can be added for $1000 MSRP and an HDMI card can be added for $1200 MSRP. Info and photos by Bryston.