Interview with James Tanner of Bryston Audio from Canada. Bryston is one of the most known Canadian high end manufacturers. Questions by Matej Isak of Mono and Stereo.
MI: How and when did Bryston enter audio circles?
JT: Started in 1962 as a medical supply company building high quality blood analyzers. Started building amplifiers in 1974 and after 3 years we were manufacturing amplifiers only.
MI: Do you consider yourself an audiophile?
JT: Sadly yes.
MI: Is there a person or company in audio business that inspired or still inspire you?
JT: Yes anyone who makes a great loudspeaker.
MI: You compare your products to mechanical Swiss watches. Can you elaborate on this?
JT: Hand built with a cost no object approach.
MI: You are doing everything in house? How do you stand in the fast rising competition from China? How do you find yourself in the middle of that?
JT: We do most things in house. China does not seem to affect us much as our buyer is looking for quality much above the level of mass production.
MI: You are well known for your 20 years warranty? How is that possible in these ever-changing moments?
JT: The 20 years is on all analog products. Digital is 5 years due to the changes you mention.
MI: Do you think we are on the to fast train of faster, bigger, better?
JT: Think we are on a ’race to the bottom’. Audio products are becoming a domestic appliance and if we are not careful quality audio will be a thing of the past.
MI: What do you think about turntable? Is it a past or?
JT: Still important - we sell more Phono stages now – mainly in Europe - than we ever have.
MI: What is your opinion about tubes vs transistors?
JT: It depends on what your goal is – if transparency and neutrality is the goal then transistors – if a specific sound or perspective is wanted then tubes.
MI: Do you see a pure class A transistor amp as a holly grail?
JT: Not really the Holy Grail.
MI: There is an option to build DAC inside of your components (integrated amp for example). Is this step to the future?
JT: Yes the internal DAC has been very successful and we just introduced a new CD Player using this DAC.
MI: There is amazing amount of audiophiles going into high end headphone listening. Do you plan something into this direction?
JT: All our preamps have Class A headphone sections built in.
MI: What would be your dream setup, if time, circumstances and finances wouldn't be the limit?
JT: My Quad 2905 stereo system at home for intimate nearfield listening and my PMC Active Tri-amped system for big sound and surround.
MI: What is your Bryston dream audio product?
JT: Surround processor that handles all the new audio formats with State of the Art sound.
MI: How do you see digital era with itunes, mp3's etc?
JT: Hopefully move those folks up-market performance wise.
MI: What is an ultimate audio system for you?
JT: As above
MI: What are your musical references?
JT: Live sound in the Studio or on location at Concerts etc.
MI: What do you listen to at end of the day, when work is over?
JT: Mainly Folk Rock and Jazz.
MI: How do you see audiophile and high-end market?
JT: Hopefully expanding as more of the ipod generation learn about quality audio.
MI: Is there a place for high end on the market. Is this moving towards small high quality manufacturers?
JT: Not sure - I guess it depends on whether audio becomes a commodity as opposed to an art form.
MI: What kind of impact internet made on audio industry and your business?
JT: Huge – it is driving the prices lower and many small companies and high dealers will disappear due to lack of customer support.
MI: What are your plans for future?
JT: Continuing to build the best and most neutral products we can.
MI: Any words for our readers?
JT: Do not let high-end Stereo die – the world will be much more depressing without it.
You can get more info about Bryston at their website: www.bryston.ca