£6500 BSC-60s is a slightly
lower power (60W/ch) stereo version of the BSC-100m
monoblock amps (reviewed HIFICRITIC
Vol. 6 No. 4). It has the same variable bias arrangement, and gets very
hot indeed on the full 'Class A' setting. Not exactly self-effacing, it
looks identical to the 100m,
with a large and chunky case in black aluminium, plus an anodised front panel.
Plenty of ventilation is provided around the heatsinks. Black and grey
sections sit either side of a black centre that has the on/off pushbutton; a
function light glows red in standby and green in operation. A bias selector
switches between eco-mode (low bias), 50% bias, and 'Class A'. On the
rear, four gold-plated loudspeaker binding posts (no specific bi-wiring
provision here), and the inputs consist of either balanced XLR or
single-ended/unbalanced RCA/phono inputs. A toggle switch can optimise
grounding for single-ended/unbalanced use (as seen below).
one heatsink tower for each channel disperses all the heat generated. A single
multi-tapped toroidal transformer has separate supply capacitors for each
channel (50,000uF each). Six output devices per channel are used, which should
be more than sufficient considering the relatively modest power output. It's
configured to deliver the rated 60W 'Class A' output into an 8 Ohm load,
although these 'Class A' credentials are not sustained into difficult
loads. It will continue doubling its output power as the load is halved: 60W
into 8 Ohms, 120W into 4 Ohms, 240W into 2 Ohms and 480W into 1 Ohm loads, but
as it comes out of 'Class A' to drive more difficult loads, the sound
quality is likely to alter subtly. This will probably affect the character of
the amplifier depending on the characteristics of the specific loudspeaker.
This power amplifier might not quite have the overkill construction of some
other high end offerings, but it's nevertheless a substantial piece of
established the close similarities between the 60s
and the 100m, one
might expect virtually the same sonic characteristics, and past experiences
had led me to anticipate this stereo version might well exhibit extra musical
integrity and coherence, though that didn't prove to be the case here.
Nevertheless, the BSC-60s is
wonderfully subtle, exhibiting creamy textures while also maintaining fine
dynamic integrity and good rhythmic drive. It is very detailed with a
well-balanced and very articulate midrange. The treble is clear and revealing,
allowing an unexpectedly large soundstage, and the bass is solid, structured,
and abundantly able to resolve complexity.
the 100m is simply better, with
more driving torque, resulting in seemingly effortless power delivery within
design constraints, and it consequently sounds more natural, dynamic, and
musically interesting. The 60s sounds
slightly more strained, just a little uptight, very slightly hard and not
quite as focused or able to create as solid a soundstage, but the difference
is really only really noticeable on direct comparison. Whereas the 100m
can sound quite sublime, the 60s
is merely exceedingly good.
said, I'm not particularly happy with the noise performance. Although within
the manufacturer's specifications, I feel this problem really does need
addressing. I don't notice it at normal listening levels, but, depending on
system and set-up, hum might become audible during quiet passages.
goodness! Bully Sound has avoided the trap of creating just another piece of
over-specified electronic dullness with uber specification and sledgehammer
power delivery. So many big amplifiers I've encountered in the past (Class A
designs included) offer about as much subtlety and dexterity as a troll on
Mogadon. Happily, the Bully 60s is
not of the slow and sweet variety. It seems to have been designed with a
knowledge of what's really needed to reproduce music faithfully, and seems
to be perfectly at home with all musical genres too.
really surprised me is the way it slotted into my system and continued to
provide the same familiar sound I have spent decades carefully building my
system to reproduce, while also adding a little extra interest to well-known
discs. At its first attempt, Bully Sound has got straight to the crux of
performance essentials, and provide a very musically cultured result.
amplifier manages to sound light and nimble, yet still has the ability to
provide thunderous power and drive difficult loads – a very neat trick.
Twenty five years ago I might not have recognised its virtues in quite the way
I do now, but those years have given me enough experience to learn exactly
what's needed from a really good amplifier, and the Bully Sound delivers.
This amplifier is one of the most musically satisfying on the planet, which
makes it very competitively priced. But it's still a shame about the mild
Bully Sound 100m Monoblock Update
issues back this power amp sounded very promising but had some technical
weakness. Now it's back, so we're having another go!
Priced at £13,000
per pair, the Bully Sound BSC-100m is
an impressive sounding 100W monoblock amplifier that we reviewed in Vol6
No4. However, it didn't quite measure up to the specifications:
apparently a small grounding fault had created an unwanted feedback path. The
units are now returned for reassessment.
The sound is now
stronger, more natural, with better timing, transparency, stage width and even
better grip and control. The soundstage has better focused images than before,
and is now rich and graceful with great depth perspectives. The treble sounds
airy and elegant with loads of detail, and the ability to create space around
instruments can be unnervingly realistic.
also easily reveal different rhythmic patterns within the music, while holding
the whole performance tightly together. Their ability to hold the attention by
revealing new and previously unheard information continues to keep one
listening, and the improvement demands that old recordings are revisited for
shows very good control throughout the audio band. In the last
review I reported that I preferred the sound on the medium bias setting, but
since the grounding change it now reaches its greatest potential using full
bias. The medium bias setting definitely sounds grainier in the treble, has a
harder midrange and is no more transparent; in fact it's definitely a little
rougher all round. I didn't have a chance to compare with the D'Agostino Momentum
Stereo this time, but the improvement is definitely closing the
the hum still hasn't been banished, and spectrum analysis showed it was
unchanged. While it does comply with the manufacturer's specification,
it's still too much in my opinion, and greater than its peers. Coupled to my
90dB/W loudspeakers there is little apparent hum in my preferred listening
position, but it can be more obvious elsewhere in the room, and could be a
problem with more sensitive loudspeakers. Designer Bret D'Agostino is
working on this, and promises that new production will be fixed.
Thee last time I
tried the BS100m I was mightily
impressed. Despite measured flaws, the sonic virtues put if very firmly in the
top category. Now that it's back, working as the designer intended, it's
even better and is definitely one of the best sounding amplifiers currently
available. Hum is the only caveat, and while it doesn't actually bother me
while listening to music in my own system, I'd be far happier if it were
eliminated completely. However, the overall musical performance is so
convincing at the price, it's still quite a bargain.
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