McIntosh Vs Bryston Amplifiers




A comparison for which is better between McIntosh and Bryston amplifiers is a regular debate. The reason is that these two companies are known for their closely similar high-end audio equipment products. Asides from that, they are also both known for their products which are quite expensive. However, as similar as they might look with products, features, and pricing, there are still some factors that differentiate them well.

One of such differences is in their origin. McIntosh is owned by McIntosh Group which is an American company, whereas Bryston is a Canadian company that is a subsidiary of BPE incorporated. Also, there is a difference is in the performance of the amplifier itself. McIntosh amplifiers deliver warmer and excellent sound delivery. Bryston amplifiers however are known for the dynamic and high-end quality of their sound support.

There are a couple of other factors that can easily influence your decision on which one to get. Keep reading this article till the end to find out some of the factors that can help you differentiate them better.

Why is This Comparison Necessary?

  1. These two brands have quite a high price in the market which means pricing alone may not make it easier to know which is better.
  2. Mac makes use of some equipment from Bryston in their testing which might confuse consumers that the two companies are one.
  3. Judging by the origin alone may make some people choose one over the other without information about other features.
  4. McIntosh and Bryston use class A/B solid-state power supplies which makes it difficult to pick one over the other.


Generally speaking, the amplifiers from the two companies are quite expensive. However, both McIntosh and Bryston have Amps that might be best suited for other budgets but that’s a subjective statement.

For example, the basic 2 channel stereo amp from McIntosh is $3200 CAD, whereas the same type is just $600 CAD from Bryston.

But while the high-end mono amps from McIntosh go for about $20,500 CAD, it is around $22,000 from Bryston. So, it’s all about what you want to know which of the two brands have a better price for it.


McIntosh amplifiers come in a casing that looks like a brick house but with fewer hex screws and an amazing body finishing.

Bryston amplifiers on the other hand have a body structure that looks almost similar to McIntosh. But they are more secured with large hex screws on either side.

Cooling System

The rule of thumb is to place an amplifier near cooling devices such as an Air Conditioner or fan.

Bryston amplifiers have a fan designed internally that acts as a cooling device. McIntosh on the other hand is designed with a natural convection system that easily dissipates hot air from it.


Most McIntosh amplifiers do not come with remote control, but you can decide to get one for your amp at around $500.

However, Bryston amps are much easier to use since they come with remote control.


McIntosh amps don’t have the RCA inputs, only XLR inputs are compatible. Whereas, Bryston amps have quite many compatible audio inputs.

McIntosh Mac C2  Vs Bryston 4B3

One of the major points of difference is power compatibility. The Mac C62 is said to be strong enough for up to 70watts of power, but it has been reported to clip by the time it gets to this level.

This can lead to distortion and muffling sounds delivery.  Whereas, the Bryston 4b3 amp can only support up to 30watts of power effectively.

When used with a class A/B separately, the McIntosh Mac C62 can handle up to 125 of power which is better than other amp products in this class. But, care must be taken to ensure it doesn’t damage the speakers and other audio devices/components.

Bryston BP26 VS McIntosh MA6900

The first thing to note about these two is that they are not even the same. Because while the BP26 is an integrated amp, the MA6900 is a preamp. But, this is just the basic difference, there are other factors for consideration.

Bryston BP26 delivers high-quality sound using the high-tech SOTA vacuum tube. It also has 7 input ports which include a balanced input and 2 pairs of speaker outputs.

But, this integrated amp has a chassis of about a 60-pound heatsink. Well, what that means is that it has a greater tendency to produce great heat as it runs. This might not be very ideal for use in a small room because it can hear up the room within a few hours of work.

The Bryston BP26 has a dimension of 17 x 11 x 4 inches and weighs around 12.7 pounds.

Bryston BP26 VS McIntosh MA6900: Which Is Better?

Selecting any of these two will depend on what you are looking for in the amp. For example, the Bryston BP26 has features that are quite better than the McIntosh Ma6900 in terms of input and power output.

Whereas, if your concern is about the finishing and weight consideration, then the MA6900 will be your best choice for selection.

McIntosh Vs Bryston Amplifier: Why are they expensive?

A major reason for the expensive price of any of these amps is mostly due to the components which are imported.

For example, McIntosh amps use transformer materials that are imported from the UK and USA. The cost for shipping and purchase are some of the deciding factors that eventually push the price up. But strange enough, Bryston amps are still more expensive.

The truth is, these are quite worth the money if you look at the resultant quality. But, most people would still prefer a cheaper amp even if the quality is not as good as the expensive one.


Both McIntosh and Bryston amplifiers will undoubtedly deliver the quality sound you need from an amp. However, if the price is your concern, then the McIntosh amplifier is your best option. But if you don’t mind spending an extra buck on what you like, the design and features of Bryston will also be worth the money.

Check out our guide on Mark Levinson Vs McIntosh Amplifiers to learn more about McIntosh amps compare.

If you are looking for a cheaper amp, you can check out our guide on Lepy vs Lepai to learn more.

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