The Bryston BR-20 merges our newly designed, best ever fully balanced analog preamp architecture with the award-winning digital to analog conversion (DAC) and built-in streaming borrowed from our well regarded BDP series. The BR-20 is the ultimate audiophile hub, including the features and connectivity to accommodate the demands of the modern audiophile. From our best ever built-in headphone amplifier to optional phono inputs for vinyl collectors and 4K HDMI inputs for DSD playback and A/V connectivity, the BR-20 has been engineered to work with nearly any source. Bryston’s innovative analog circuitry designed specifically for the BR-20 preamplifier has yielded the lowest noise and distortion measurements in the 40-plus year history of the Bryston brand. For the music enthusiast, this means more lifelike performances, more detail, and more dimensionality from the recordings you love. The BR-20 comes with the BR-4 remote plus RS232 and network connectivity for limitless control options.
Killer Preamp with a World-Class DAC
The new BR-20 is Bryston's best preamp ever. It combines the excellent BDA-3 DAC with an updated BDP streaming platform, for no-compromise digital performance from the built-in player or from the digital source of your choosing.
Bryston even updated the internal headphone amplifier with more power and lower output impedance to effortlessly power even difficult loads. The BR-20 also offers Bryston's best phono preamp and an all new HDMI card as options for even greater flexibility in your system. It supports up to 15 sources and a wide variety of inputs
The analog preamp section is an all-new fully balanced design based on years of R&D at Bryston. The BR-20 utilizes all new fully discrete operational amplifiers from Bryston that outperform previous versions in both general noise floor and common mode rejection. Innovative analog circuitry designed specifically for the BR-20 yields the lowest noise and distortion measurements in the 40-plus year history of the Bryston brand. This means more lifelike performances, more detail, and more dimensionality from the recordings you love.
The volume control is fully analog, truly balanced, and uses an array of very tightly matched resistors across the entire dynamic range of the system. High performance is verified by a clean lab report. THD+N is less than 0.0006%! A ring of small LEDs around the volume knob indicates the output level and are easily viewed from across the listening room.
Two balanced and two unbalanced analog sources can be simultaneously connected. An optional high precision MM phono stage is available as an internal option and is equivalent to Bryston's award winning BP2-MM stand-alone gain stage. Dual balanced outputs can drive multiple amplifiers or even subwoofers. An optional HDMI card is also available.
Bit Perfect and High Resolution
In today's hi-fi system, digital playback is dominant and here to stay. That's why Bryston built its most advanced DAC directly into the BR-20. This allows you to enjoy exceptional sound from seven external digital sources, plus the internal digital player, plus (optionally) four HDMI sources. The internal DAC is none other than Bryston's world renowned BDA-3, which can decode not only PCM up to 384kHz/24 bit, but also DSD 256 (DSD x4). This gives the BR-20 the capability to dramatically enhance the sound of older digital source components while providing the high resolution and interconnectivity of modern and future devices.
Built-in Digital Playback
Bryston's BDA-3.14 was an instant success, combining a digital preamp, a DAC, and Bryston's much loved BDP-Pi. The BR-20 improves on this formula by upgrading to a faster Raspberry Pi 4 with more RAM, faster processing, gigabit ethernet, and USB 3.0 connectivity – which means that the user experience will be smoother, large library handling is better, and the BR-20 is perfectly equipped to handle years of new features and other software improvements. The built-in audio player will natively pass PCM and DSD up to 384kHz and DSD128 respectively to the DAC.
SACD and HDMI
One of the best loved features of Bryston's original BDA-3 is the unusual ability to decode DSD over HDMI. With the optional HDMI card, audiophiles can connect compatible SACD players to the BR-20 over HDMI for a big sound quality boost. Furthermore, if your hi-fi shares living space with your TV, you'll love being able to connect 4K and HDR sources like Apple TV, Blu-Ray, and more. High res video is passed through to a connected monitor or projector.
Advanced Options and Control
With so many inputs available, Bryston wanted to expand control options beyond buttons. Each source button on the front panel and included IR remote control can be configured by you to address your choice of source component. You can even use a smartphone or another web enabled device to adjust volume, change sources, and adjust balance. You can even rename inputs to something easy to remember and hide those you don't use. Those who cherish a dark listening room can dim or disable front panel LEDs and display. Integrators will love the control over IP, RS232 and trigger input/output options.
Though Bryston's built-in headphone outputs have never been an afterthought, Bryston is proud to introduce a new higher power built-in headphone circuit for the BR-20. Its new Low Z headphone amp has a very low output impedance of less than 5 ohms. While this is no replacement for a dedicated device like Bryston's highly acclaimed BHA-1, it's a major step up from typical built-in headphone stages and is capable of powering many of your favorite difficult-to-drive cans.
Note from Bryston on Wi-fi Dongles
Originally, Bryston felt the use of a wi-fi dongle would not be detrimental to the performance of the BR-20. But after further testing, Bryston does not recommend the use of a dongle.
Wi-fi operates at very high power, and the dongle will allow noise to seep into the preamplifier circuitry. The BR-20 is an industry leader in low noise and low distortion. Introducing a noisy external source is counterproductive to ultimate performance.
Additionally, the BR-20's internal Pi 4 streamer lacks enough current to simultaneously power both the attached hard-drive and the dongle. So streaming reception is intermittent at best. Given the above, Bryston highly recommends using a wired Ethernet connection with the BR-20.
- High performance stereo preamp with analog and digital inputs, balanced and unbalance analog outputs
- All new fully discrete Class A analog circuitry
- Independent power supply for analog and digital circuits
- Software control and balanced action volume control
- Built-in high-res DAC up to PCM 384 kHz / 32 bit and DSD x 4
- Built-in high resolution streamer plays back virtually any file format at native resolution
- Control entire system using intuitive webUI on a smartphone, tablet, or computer
- Low Z Headphone amplifier is a dedicated headphone circuit capable of powering even very difficult to drive headphones
- Optional MM phono stage and HDMI card (see below)
- Includes BR-4 remote
- 2 ea. balanced and single ended inputs
- 2 ea. balanced outputs
- Relay switching on all inputs
- Programmable theater bypass feature
- XLR pair configurable as variable or fixed output
- Digital Inputs include 2 ea. AES/EBU, TOSLINK, S/PDIF (RCA) and 1 ea. USB
- Headphone output
Silver or black faceplate
17” or 19” faceplate (non-rack mountable)
Internal 4 input, 1 output HDMI card is 4K HDR compatible. Can also receive DSD over HDMI
Internal MM Phono Stage (replaces 1 RCA analog input)