Well, you know my addiction for Bryston, hence why they were my first visit - and also because they had a spread of 4 meeting rooms on Level 2.
They were introducing their new headphone amp, and also featuring their surround sound processor and DAC.
The headphone amp is quite something else, built like you could send it to the moon and back in one piece, but mainly designed for us, mere mortals on Earth, and capable to drive ANY headphones, including the famously difficult to drive Stax.
What impressed me most though, was the demos conducted by Mark Waldrep, of Aix Records, using five channels HD recordings of his own making on Blu-Ray, and played via an OPPO player and appropriate (lots of...) gear from Bryston and a new Thiel speaker CS2 paired with an USS/PX05 subwoofer and passive crossover for each of the five channels (5.0 combination, rather that the popular home theater setup of 5.1).
The way the music is recorded and then played back via such a system completely alleviate the sweet spot syndrome, and gives the listener a DIFFERENT perspective depending where you are in the room.
It is like being in the studio with the musicians, completely immersed in what they are playing, and capturing every nuances of the music and every detail of the ambience in the room.
Very difficult to put in words, but certainly some of the most rewarding listening of recorded live music I have experienced so far.
I will take the liberty to quote Mark from an email correspondance we had after the Show, relating to his experiments with DACs (OPPO vs BRYSTON). Interesting to say the least:
" I was very interested in the Bryston converters and especially the multichannel version that resides in the SP-3 processor. I didn’t realize that the converters in that new box are the same as in the stereo dedicated box. After speaking with James Tanner about a multichannel piece, we hooked up the Oppo via HDMI to their SP-3 and I listened again to many of my tracks using their conversion rather than the Oppo Sabre ESS DACs of the previous few days. I cannot say definitively that they were better but knowing Bryston gear (I’ve owned their power amps for decades), I look forward to getting a unit in my studio to check it out."
More recently, Mark teamed up with Bryston again and B&W speakers at the AXPONA Show in Jacksonville earlier this month. I was not there, but this interesting and friendly "competitor" was there:
you can read his report here: http://parttimeaudiophile.com/2012/03/14/axpona-2012-aix-bw-bryston/
And below some more photos of the Bryston gear and Thiel speakers.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.