Bryston vs McIntosh Amps (The Truth)

Norvan Martin
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Bryston and McIntosh are two of the most well-known high-end audio equipment manufacturers. McIntosh is owned by D&M Holdings, a Japanese company. Bryston is owned by BPE Inc., which is a Canadian.

Both companies have been around for decades and produce top-quality products. Here we will discuss the Bryston vs Mcintosh amplifier.

Bryson Amplifiers are very dynamic and offer good bass support. However, McIntosh amplifiers are warmer, more quest, and offer excellent soundstage. Bryston is the better option in terms of affordability, but McIntosh offers better-quality amps that offer sweeter/softer and smoother sound with punchier bass.

Bryston vs McIntosh Amps Comparison Table

Brand ReputationWell-regarded in the industryIconic and prestigious brand
Sound QualityHigh fidelity, detailed soundWarm and rich sound signature
Build Quality/DesignRobust build, minimalist designSturdy construction, distinctive look
Product RangeDiverse range of amplifiersVaried product line with amplifiers and audio equipment
PricingGenerally mid to high rangeTypically in the high-end price range
FeaturesFocus on performance and reliabilityInnovative features and advanced technologies

Read on to learn more. You can also check out a similar guide below:

McIntosh vs Mark Levinson Amplifiers

Why Do We Compare These Two Types of Amps?

  1. Bryston and McIntosh’s amplifiers have high prices and outstanding reputations, so they seem to be competitors in the same market niche.
  2. Bryston manufactures some equipment used in Mac’s testing facilities (so Mac people will see many Bryston amps being tested at Mac).
  3. Bryston’s direct sales model means that their products are only available directly from them or authorized dealers. In contrast, McIntosh’s more expensive products can be found on the used market for substantial discounts over new prices. Consequently, some people will consider buying a cheaper product even if it is not as good as the more expensive product.
  4. Bryston is a Canadian company, while McIntosh is an American company. Some people will feel more affinity towards one than they do to the other, simply because they are from their home country or just like that brand more in general for some reason.
  5. People who don’t want to spend so much on an amp will compare the tubes-vs-solid state section here, but Bryston and McIntosh both use class A/B solid-state power supplies, so that is not relevant to them.

Differences Between Bryston And Mcintosh Amplifier


Bryston amplifiers tend to be less expensive than their McIntosh counterparts, often by as much as half depending on model and power output.

However, both manufacturers offer several different models to suit any budget or application requirement, from basic 2-channel stereo amps costing roughly $600 CAD (Bryston) and $3200 CAD (McIntosh), all the way up to very high-end mono amps costing $22,000 CAD (Bryston) and $20,500 CAD (McIntosh).


Bryston amps are built like brick houses, with thick metal cases secured by massive hex screws. They come in black or silver finishes.

McIntosh amps are also built like brick houses; they don’t have large hex screws but look striking in brushed aluminum.


Bryston uses an internal fan for cooling its equipment. At the same time, McIntosh doesn’t require a fan for their amps because of the natural convection generated when the amp runs at very high power levels that need to be dissipated.

However, it’s still recommended that you leave a fan running near the amp to help with cooling.


Bryston amps come with a remote control stock and don’t require any workarounds to change the amp’s inputs or volume.

McIntosh amps do not come with a remote. You can buy one separately, but it will cost you an extra $500 more than what they charge for their classic non-remote amp.


Bryston has several types of audio inputs available, while McIntosh does not offer RCA ins, only XLR.

Difference Between The Bryston 4b3 And Mcintosh Amps

The Bryston 4b3 amp is a 30-watt tube-type amplifier. This is not an appropriate match with the Mac C62. It has been said to handle 70 watts separately, but it will clip at that power level, and that would cause distortion.

The Mac C62 can handle 125 watts of class A/B separately (better than most other amps in its class). Suppose you plan on using anything over two channels of this amp.

In that case, we suggest using another brand separately rated for 125 watts or more to protect your investment in speakers and ensure the long life of all components.

Bryston Bp26 Vs Mcintosh

Bryston BP26 is an integrated amplifier, while McIntosh MA6900 is a pre-amplifier.
There are other differences between the two amps, and please see these details below.
Bryston BP26 Integrated Amplifier.

Bryston Bp26

The Bryston BP26 uses SOTA vacuum tube technology to provide superb sound quality. This is unlike older vacuum tubes like the 6J1 Tube and its equivalent

The chassis of this amp has 60-pound heatsinks, which can heat your room if it runs for hours. It has seven inputs, including one balanced input and two pairs of speaker outputs.

This amp runs on a 100 – 240VAC power supply but will convert voltage automatically, so you don’t have to worry about changing the wall outlet when traveling internationally. Its dimensions are 17 inches x 11 inches X 4 inches. Bryston BP26 weighs 12.7 pounds.

Comparing the two amps, Bryston BP26 seems to have better features in terms of the inputs and power output. On the other hand, the McIntosh MA6900 has a better finish with a higher weight. Now, if you are looking for which one to choose Bryston BP26 or McIntosh MA6900, it will depend on your preference for more essential features.

Bryston 28b Vs Mcintosh

The 28b’s are great amps, and it doesn’t make sense to pay more money on something you don’t need.

Bryston 28b

The MacIntosh MC275 monoblock amps are nowhere near as good as the real deal Mcintosh amps, though some people own them and swear by them.

If you are looking for an amp to power your speakers, I will go with the 28b’s any day of the week.

Bryston Amp Vs Mcintosh

Bryston amplifiers are amps that use thoroughly elaborated circuit design to achieve good high-frequency performance, high power density, low distortion level, wide dynamic range, and so on.

MacIntosh tube amps use ECC83/12AX7 dual-triode tubes as a preamp stage for each channel. It does not have DC protection components like Zener diodes & resettable fuses but has a bleeder resistor. In addition, it uses an AC power switch for on/off control rather than using a DC power switch used in Bryston amps.

In short, these two amps have their good points and characteristics. But what you need to consider is the price difference between them. The main reason that the prices of MacIntosh tube amps are relatively higher is mainly because of their transformer material used which is imported from the USA and UK by itself. So the cost goes up quickly if it’s not made in USA or UK.

Price-wise, Bryston tends to be more expensive than MacIntosh even though they use similar components inside. If you don’t mind having an amp with its power transformer made in the USA or UK, then go for MacIntosh tube amps.

They are undoubtedly worth it. But if you don’t want to spend extra money on the power transformer and like Bryston’s features and performance, then buy Bryston amps and enjoy them.


This conclusion is about the sound quality of Bryston vs McIntosh amps. Both are highly regarded for their powerful tone that will not damage your ears or speakers if you play them too loud.

When these amplifiers first came out, only a few companies were making heavy-duty solid-state amplifiers, so they had something unique to offer to an amplifier buyer at the time.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin