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Bryston Mini A Loudspeaker Review Print E-mail
Monday, 23 February 2015
Article Index
Bryston Mini A Loudspeaker Review
Set Up and Listening

The CLONES Audio 25iR, which offers superb resolution and an amazingly low noise floor despite its modest price, brought out the Mini A's dynamic quality. Transients were quick and precise, but in no way clinical. The recent 192 Khz releases of two classic Bruce Springsteen shows from 1975 and 1978 had incredible drive and live energy. “Spirit In the Night” from The Agora, in Cleveland, 1978, had an immediacy and energy that was the second best thing to being there.

The Denon PMA-50 did a short stint with the Mini A, and it was also a wonderful combination. The topology of the amp converts digital to analog at the output, so you could call it a "power dac". The benefits are transparency, detail, and a very short signal path. I was quite taken with how wet reverbs were, and how long note decays were. Input resolution from Redbook CD to 192 Khz PCM were all rendered nicely.

At this point I realized something about the Mini A. They sounded different with each amplifier, accentuating each one’s strengths and reflecting the unique character of each amp. I began to wonder if the Mini A was really a chameleon like speaker, simply reflecting what is being given, and this is ultimately what I concluded. There was no homogenization, only a unique presentation depending on the partnered gear. That is quite an amazing accomplishment at this price point, and it makes me wonder what Bryston has done at the higher end of the speaker line.

The Mini A is a stellar achievement in the way it unraveled the layers of good recordings, the soundstage width and depth, and the just about perfect balance of the drivers. And, while I am at it, the treble was exactly to my liking, smooth, grain free, and very neutral. I also found that it is a superb monitor for nearfield listening, which I often enjoy, and they don’t seem particularly fussy with set up, although distance from walls and toe in should be addressed.


The Bryston Mini A, at $1200 a pair, is a class leader. Bryston has clearly avoided fads and trendiness in the design and decided to just make an excellent speaker. Just a few obvious points however. They will do best in small to medium room, and on good quality stands like my Sound Anchors, or probably even better on the optional Bryston stands. I found the bass very satisfying, but if one craves more weight and bottom end, matching the Mini A one of Bryston’s subwoofers would be a great idea.

Yes, the Bryston Mini A surprised me, only in that I, like most, have not associated Bryston with loudspeakers, but listening is believing. Bryston surely knows how to manage its resources to be able to bring the Mini A in at $1200, and have it made in North America to boot. I highly recommend those in the market for a stand-mount speaker, even above this price point, audition the Byston Mini A. It just may be an ear opening experience.


Bryston Mini A
: $1200

●    Frequency Response: 60Hz to 20Khz (+/- 3dB)
●    Impedance: 8 Ohms (nominal)
●    Sensitivity: 87 dB (2.38V, 1m, anechoic)
●    Recommended Power: 10 watts to 175 watts RMS
●    Max SPL @ 1M: 100dB
●    Tweeter: Single 1.00"
●    Midrange: Single 3.00"
●    Woofer: Single 6.50"
●    Crossover: 3 Way
●    15.5” H x 8.5” W x 8.25” D
●    394mm H x 215mm W x 210mm D
●    11 Ibs (5 kg)


Review System 1

Server: SOtM Mini Server w/ battery power supply
DAC: Simaudio Neo 308D w/MiND streamer module, iFI Micro iDSD,
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Preamp: Channel Islands Audio PLC-1 MkII,  Coffman Labs G1-A, Luminous Audio Axiom
Amplifier: Conrad Johnson LP125se, Audio Research VS55, CLONES Audio 25p
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4
Cables: Stager Sound, Acoustic Zen, Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs Mirage USB
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks and Svelte Shelves, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner, Salamander rack

Review System 2

CD Player: Marantz PM5004
Music Server: Simaudio MiND 180
DAC: Marantz HD DAC1, Bryston BDA-1
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600, Denon PMA-50, CLONES Audio 25iR
Tape Deck: Sony TC-350
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
Cables: Stager Sound, Transparent,  DH Labs AES/EBU & Toslink,
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold


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