Interview with James Tanner of Bryston Audio

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: