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Many audiophiles talk about a “noise floor”, and it is interesting, because you really don’t hear “noise” in a system, aside from an obvious hum, but you do notice when it is gone! There is no doubt that power line hash, varying current, and other anomalies affect the performance of a high-end system. This is not up for debate.
What many do debate is if power conditioners, even high quality ones, do more harm than good. In my mind, this is a non-issue today with so many well designed conditioners on the market, albeit, some of them very expensive. That is where I think Bryston really has a winner here. The $2195 price is very fair considering its level of performance and build quality.
Like anybody else evaluating power conditioners, I listened for constricted dynamics, a flattening of the presentation, or any negative artifacts. I heard none. This can be caused by faulty designs, cheap parts, or shoddy engineering. Nothing could be further from the truth concerning the Bryston BIT-15.
When I mentioned what I was hearing to Bryston’s James Tanner he replied, “when we were developing the BITs we found that the size (amp rating) of the transformer could cause the above issues that you mentioned so we found we had to increase the size (amperage) of the transformer at least 50% more to get around the constriction problems. So we decide to go one step further and double the rating to allow for even more headroom. So the 15 amp transformer in the BIT 15 is actually a 30 amp size – large quality transformers are not inexpensive!”
I can highly recommend the Bryston BIT-15 Isolation Transformer with surge protection. I found that it allowed my system to reach peak performance, and it offered the peace of mind of knowing any unforeseen spikes or power surges would not leave me with expensive paper weights. Please note: I had no incidents where I was able to test the protection function, thankfully. At $2195, it is literally a sound investment, and may outlast the owner.
For those with current-hungry, high-powered amplifiers, and other components that may require it, Bryston recommends the BIT-20, the 20 Amp version. Either one will have ten, sensibly-spaced outlets, which was enough for my system and allowed for the use of the power cords of my choice as well as a few wal-wart power supplies for accessories like the new UpTone Audio REGEN. The Bryston BIT-15 is an easy recommendation. It is sonically and ergonomically right on target. And, to sweeten the deal, Byrston offers a 20-year warranty on its products.
If you are in the market for a state-of-the-art power product, audition a Bryston BIT series before making a final decision.
Bryston BIT-15 Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
: $2195 www.Bryston.com
- Plugs into standard household receptacles (NEMA 5-15R)
- Provides clean AC and surge protection
- Performs as a low pass filter
- Uses moving mode surge protection rather than MOV’s for better surge performances
- Meets IEEE c62.41-1991 and is built to withstand 6000 Volts, 3000 Amps for 1000 repeats
- Clamping voltage of 2 Volts above peak nominal voltage
- Provides protection for 120Vac mains at up to 15 Amps of current
- 10 medical grade duplex outlets
- Options: 17” faceplate available (non-rack mountable) in black or silver
Server: SOtM Mini Server w/ battery power supply
DAC: Simaudio Neo 308D w/MiND streamer module, iFI Micro iDSD
Tape Deck: Revox A77
CD Player: Onkyo C7000
Preamp: Coffman Labs G1-A
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Simaudio 760A
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables: Stager Sound, Acoustic Zen, Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs Mirage (USB), DH Labs standard USB
Accessories: UpTone Audio REGEN, Symposium Rollerblocks and Svelte Shelves, Shakti Stone,, Salamander rack
CD Player: Marantz PM5004
Music Server: Simaudio MiND 180
DAC: Musical Fidelity V90, Bryston BDA-1
Amplifier: CLONES Audio 25p
Preamplifier: Belles Soloist 3
Tape Deck: Sony TC-350
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3, Fluance XL7F
Cables: Stager Sound, Transparent, DH Labs AES/EBU & Toslink,
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold