Bryston’s Mini A Bookshelf And AC-1 Micro Centre Channel

The Mighty Minis

by Venoth Nair


Many AV enthusiasts would agree that by far the most critical speakers in any home cinema setup would be the three speakers up front which consist of both left and right channels along with the center channel which anchors the sound to the image on screen. Some would argue that a subwoofer would be the most valued component in a system, but without these three channels performing to par, the entire shebang would be a total let down. After all, the main focus on sound when it comes to any movie would be to deliver intelligible dialogue, together with a detailed albeit powerful main score and effects for the entire film.


Bryston, a brand synonymous with delivering high powered, heavy hitting and “tank like” construction Hi-Fi equipment which are all revered in its own right, has also produced the AC-1 Micro which was specifically built to be a center channel to complement the Mini A bookshelf speakers. The Mini A’s which are known in the Hi-Fi realm for delivering transparent, detailed and highly enjoyable sound proves to be an excellent choice to be utilized in a home cinema setup when paired with the AC-1 Micro. The two speakers are quite well matched both in size, build and sonic characteristic as to be used as a system to line the front of your home cinema system.


Bryston's AC-1 Micro is designed to be simple and functional with a cool retro look
Bryston’s AC-1 Micro is designed to be simple and functional with a cool retro look

The AC-1 micro is a two way design speaker utilizing 3 drivers. A single 1 inch tweeter paired up with dual 5.25 inch mid-bass woofers. The entire cabinet of the speaker is rather diminutive at a width of 17 inches and a height of 7.5 inches. It’s also worth noting that the AC-1 Micro is a sealed design with only the speaker terminals at the back, making the speaker a lot more forgiving when it comes to placement and positioning. The cabinet also matches the aesthetics of the Mini A bookshelf’s, employing the same chamfered edges, lining the longest side of the speaker which in the case of the AC-1 runs perpendicular to the Mini A for a somewhat coherent look.


The front and rear of the Bryston Mini A.  Note the bi-wirable speaker terminals and unique bass port the latter designed to minimise low frequency chaffing
The front and rear of the Bryston Mini A. Note the bi-wirable speaker terminals and unique bass port the latter designed to minimise low frequency chaffing


Unlike the Mini A with its lower 87 dB sensitivity, the AC-1 is a little more sensitive with a higher rating of 90 dB.  It is also a little more powerful with a maximum handling ability of 200 watts. Irrespective of these specifications, the AC-1 is a perfect complement to the Mini A especially when used in a multichannel home theater setup. Even though different when it comes to their driver configuration as well as their driver dimensions, the individual characteristics of these speakers come together to create a complete cohesive image.


The mini A which is a 3 way design speaker and is ported at the rear, work wonderfully to deliver a full bodied, weighty sound which is in stark contrast to their smallish size. Bass response is also particularly good with the rear ports of the Mini A effectively going deep without bloating or muddling the sound. Overall the 3 speakers work together seamlessly handling sharp dynamic shifts well, while keeping each particular sound in the right place at the right levels. The sense of scale and authority that these little boxes are capable of is pretty impressive as they are capable of filling a large room with sound effortlessly.


The Mini  A  seen here on stands
The Mini A seen here on stands


These little wonders from Bryston are a titanic step up in performance when compared to the usual home theater in a box solutions as well as even most basic separates systems. The asking price of RM 4200 for the Mini A and RM 2900 for the AC-1 might seem like a sizeable sum, but when you take into account the solid build, high performance and ridiculously confident warranty, the Bryston speakers do come off as a pairing of great worth. The pedigree that Bryston delivers with the Mini A and AC-1 suggests that these speakers are also capable of lasting through a number of receiver upgrades before needing to be swapped out themselves as the extent of their abilities are pretty far reaching. This combo is one that is designed to deliver astonishing performance at a great value in a package that’s small  yet pleasing to the eyes.


For further details contact:

AV Designs (M) Sdn Bhd

Tel:  03 21712828

Tony Low: 012 2330771


Article by Venoth Nair

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