Bryston BLP-1 Turntable and Tonearm

Mr Spock

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. . . As the photograph shows, the BLP-1 cuts a basic and traditional profile. Open the box and you think Rega, owing to the svelte dimensions, the integral dust cover (hooray!—maybe turntable designers are becoming practical again), the plain-Jane styling, the tonearm already mounted, the belt drive (motor mounted below the matte-black plinth), the complete absence of any sort of suspension except for adjustable feet that couple the plinth to the surface it’s placed upon . . .

. . . The plinth is made from dense MDF with the unusual feature of being vented via cutaway slots to help dissipate any vibration from the motor (the platter hides the slots). A weight is supplied to help couple LPs directly to the thick Delrin platter, intended to be used sans mat (though doubtless this won’t prevent many purchasers from trying after-market mats). The bearing, meanwhile, is hard bronze (“ultra hard,” says Bryston’s literature) polished to 0.02mm tolerance, while the spindle is “hardened carbon-steel.” . . .

. . . When I listened to music two impressions immediately struck me. The first was of exceptionally precise timing and articulation of rhythm . . . The other impression that struck me forcibly was the strength and power of the bass . . .

. . . Is the BLP-1 perfect? Of course not. It doesn’t achieve quite the levels of background blackness (source permitting) that I’ve heard from any number of SMEs I’ve reviewed, the SOTA Cosmos, the TechDAS Air Force One, the Basis 2200, the Kuzma Stabi M, and the Brinkman Spyder. Nor does it have their sense of ultimate iron grip and control, yet, paradoxically, supreme ease and relaxation. Yes, bass response is better still on larger, bigger, heavier, and/or suspended turntables. But vinyl being a pretty mature technology, the Bryston comes a whole lot closer to these other tables in all these areas and others than you might think given the differences in cost, size, materials complexity, and manufacturing . . .

Type: Turntable and tonearm with outboard power supply
Tonearm bearing: Gimbal
Speed: 33/45
Drive: Belt
Motor: Synchronous
Dimensions: 16.7" x 6.7" x 14.7"
Weight: 25 lbs.

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