Bryston Middle T loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Digital Sources: Oppo BDP-105 universal Blu-ray player; Baetis XR2 PC-based music server; exaSound e28, Mytek Stereo 192-DSD D/A converters.
Preamplification: Audio Research MP1 preamplifier, Meridian HD621 HDMI audio processor & 861 V8 Reference digital surround controller.
Power Amplifiers: McIntosh MC303, Parasound Halo A 31.
Loudspeakers: Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond.
Cables: Digital: AudioQuest Vodka HDMI & Carbon USB, Black Cat Veloce. Analog: AudioQuest Cheetah (balanced). Speaker: AudioQuest Mont Blanc (biwire). AC: AudioQuest NRG-10, JPS Aluminata.
Accessories: CyberPower 850PFCLCD (Baetis server), Environmental Potentials EP-2450 power conditioner.—Kalman Rubinson

COMPANY INFO
Bryston Limited
677 Neal Drive
Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7Y4
Canada
(705) 742-5325
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
william.meredith's picture

Made by Axiom, the K-Mart of Canadian speaker manufacturers.

Allen Fant's picture

The Aerial is way over-priced.

funambulistic's picture

The first time I saw the Model T, I thought, "That's an M80 - dual tweeters and all!" The Middle T looks like a beefed up M60. I am sure, in working with Bryston, Axiom has developed a fine loudspeaker (I have not heard either Bryston model) but I cannot help but be reminded of when I bought into the Axiom hype when the M22 was the FOTM on another review site. Not bad for the price but always left me unfulfilled...

Stanley1's picture

I have a pair of Axiom M60s and they are wonderful sounding speakers. I have to admit it took longer than usual to break them in, but was well worth the wait. Such clarity and sweetness with plenty of thump. I also have Harbeth Compact 7ES3 speakers which I love. But make no mistake the Axiom speakers are every bit as good and even better for rock and roll.

corrective_unconscious's picture

I don't know who else Axiom has been OEM'ing drivers for over the years, but it now appears they're trying to go upmarket.

I suppose the drivers could be of fine quality. What strikes me is how utterly conventional the Bryston speakers appear to be in every way. They might be good values for all I know, but there's definitely a complete lack of any unique selling proposition or visible tech breakthrough.

william.meredith's picture

My findings with the Bryston Middle T are consistent with those of the reviewer. Bryston's lack of expertise with speakers is reflected in the Middle T's lack-luster performance. It just doesn't present music as accurately and realistically with the type of imaging and soundstaging that can be experienced with more established and proven brands.

CliffS's picture

Ever since Bryston was sold off, it never quite was the same company.

Partnering with Axiom is just a prime example of squeezing out as much profit in a box as possible. These Bryston speakers are using the exact same mediocre tweeter found in most Axiom speakes.

JA revealed the cabinets are poorly braced in his tests and Kal shows just how ridiculous the grilles are and the ugly shape of the cab.

These would be fine speakers at $2k/pair but cannot compete with speakers in its price class and this is what I found when hearing them at CES. Bryston priced these speakers like they've been pricing their amps, way too high! But this is high end audio so if you slap on a high price it must be good, right?

Anon2's picture

I'll give Stereophile and Bryston credit for an honest effort and honest review with this product.

This is a first effort for Bryston. While they went to a maker of less expensive speakers, they did avail themselves of some manufacturing and design resources that would have been a difficult and resource-draining endeavor to do internally. They may go on to better things. They may abandon the effort after this first product roll-out. Time will tell.

Their manufacturing partner, while a maker of less expensive speakers, certainly has some knowledge of what it takes to make a more expensive speaker (though perhaps less R&D and actual experience than companies that devote themselves to obtaining these hard-earned findings from years of research).

This is the reason why I find it interesting, though I am not the expert who did this review, of how a first try at making a speaker gained such favorable comparisons to the notes of past reviews of the products of some very experienced, even eminent, manufacturers' products.

It is all part of the mystery surrounding the speaker industry. There are some manufacturers whose products are the result of unquestioned devotion to acoustic research (in small letters) and materials science. The results, which I have had the opportunity to hear at product expos, "speak" for themselves. Some of these manufacturers allow some of this technology to trickle down to their lower priced models. These products often gain positive reviews, no doubt with some recognition of "you get what you pay for." Still, the value per dollar proposition is good.

Then, in an industry with what I think many would say are reasonably low barriers to entry, we get a fascinating, and frustrating at times, array of products. Some of these products are in, what I have written in these forums before, this $3,000 to $10,000 gray range. This range of products, and others are free to put their own limits on it, is where the price for value equation becomes fuzzy, particularly speakers.

Yes, a $5,000 speaker is better than $1,000 speaker. But is it 5x better? Above the $10,000 level, for those who can afford it, there are products of evident merits given the prices charged to the consumer.

I have stayed out of this "middle range" of products mainly for financial reasons. But had I the resources to afford products in this middle range, I would be asking questions about what I am getting.

There are some unquestionably great speaker products, with credible R&D and advanced materials science, in the products above this price range. There are some surprisingly great values in the $1,500 and below range; Stereophile has ably reviewed many of these products.

It is this $3,000 to $10,000 range, with better electronic and driver components perhaps, but in the same low-tech encasement of the lower-end products (perhaps better braced) that make me wonder what all the extra money is going towards.

One observation I'd make in defense of all speaker manufacturers to some extent is that any high initial profit mark-ups, particularly when inventory stocking is involved, are offset by the physical distribution and inventory carrying costs of bulky, damage-prone, and slow moving physical inventories (compared to other consumer goods). Currency exchange rates and less-than-container/truckload shipping also impact some manufacturers, again my guess.

My concern is how much of the customers' money can and should go to cover these costs. Sure it is the consumer's choice to do what he/she sees fit. But with other unrelenting expenses, it's going to be a choice that collides with many other expenses of life.

An interesting solution of one very established name in speakers, and in another case the very maker of the Bryston speaker reviewed in this article, is to sell directly to the consumer through internet/phone orders. This centralizes any inventory stocks, probably promotes more of a make-to-order manufacturing process, and reduces physical inventories. I'm sure the consumer gets some savings out of all of this.

I often go back to a late 2008 Stereophile interview with a leader in coalescing speaker technology with advanced materials. The remarks of this speaker manufacturer resonated greatly with me (and if I daresay, with the writer of the interview). It often motivates me to ask these questions.

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