BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 240450 times.

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #80 on: 25 Jun 2012, 05:22 pm »
If one were to place an order for the BHA-1 today, approximately how long would it take to get it, given the current production schedule and the number of orders already placed?

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

I would say 3-4 weeks.

james

lycia

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 61
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #81 on: 26 Jun 2012, 06:25 am »
I have had little experience with headphones and that little mainly consists of listening on Sennheiser HD 650s via the headphone jack of my BP 26 (which is fed by a BDP-1/BDA-1 combination. Never having used a dedicated headphone amp, I am curious as to how much of a difference an amp such as the BHA-1 would make (in very general terms!) using the same HD 650s. Any advice would be appreciated.

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #82 on: 27 Jun 2012, 07:34 pm »
Customer Reviews

Excellent Product - by Jackie H

Quality - *****   
Price    - *****
Value   - *****

After a long wait Drew (dealer) turned this around and out to me like 5 minutes after he got it from Bryston--UNBELIEVABLE--

I am using it Balanced with my Audeze LCD 2's with a Balanced Silver Dragon 3 cable Drew did up for me--

Fantastic sound with no time on it yet right out of the box--

My LCD 2's have never sounded so good and I have 3 other Headphone Amps-2 Solid State and 1 Tube amp-

Thanks Drew-What a pleasure to deal with you!!!

Jack (Posted on 6/26/12)

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #83 on: 28 Jun 2012, 05:10 pm »
Hi Folks,

I compared the $1295 Bryston BHA-1 Headphone amp to the $3250 hybrid tube/chip Cavalli Liquid Fire last Sunday at a meet.

Bryston BHA-1 vs Liquid Fire (with HD800 off the Calyx DAC, Bryston using balanced, Liquid Fire on unbalanced, 800s on Bryston using balanced output.

The main attraction for me, seeing just where this Bryston stood among the Head-fi elite. What does a speaker amp maker know about headphones? Apparently plenty. Coming into this comparison I knew my tastes lately have been for more neutral, slightly biting/attacking, crisp, clean sound, and with Bryston's reputation for these attributes in the speaker world, I thought this BHA-1 was a sure thing.

After roughly volume matching the two, I started paying attention with the Bryston going first. I've had this pairing of HD800 and amp for a couple weeks, but the DAC was new in the chain so I wanted to get my bearings. Oddly the sound didn't seem all the much different than what I remembered from the Bifrost, but we didn't compare the DACs side by side so I can't be sure. I picked up the expected bite and extreme resolution from this pairing and readied myself for the Liquid Fire change off. Right away the Liquid Fire was a completely different sound. People who say amps make no difference in sound have no clue what they are talking about. The Liquid Fire impressed right away with it's smooth flowing sound that luls you in and relaxes you. At first, coming from the Bryston, I panicked, thinking.. the Liquid Fire is way better(!), but as I listened more, I could tell the accuracy is not what I'm used to. Things like birds flying across the stage sounded like a recording not as if they were really there like I hear with the Bryston. Detail was slightly smeared, and on the whole I started feeling less in the music/sounds, and more bored. The Liquid Fire was playing music at me, not taking me along for the ride.

Back on the Bryston, I hear the detail pushing the edge almost to harshness, but not quite. Exactly as I want it. Travis commented that certain passages with the Bryston were just too energetic and he couldn't accept that for his enjoyment. I can certainly see where he is coming from, but that rawness, when paired with an ultra clean headphone like the HD800 is really majestic, IMO. Bass seemed rather similar between the amps, no difference in volume I could detect, perhaps a slight warming from the Liquid Fire, but it was negligible. Soundstage and imaging edge goes to the Bryston easily. A marble (or something like it) effect used on a BT recording tracked left to right and right to left precisely on the Bryston, where there was some slight gap in the middle on the Liquid Fire. I think the Fire did better with meshing images in front of the listener, though, and with it's smaller soundstage brings sound sources together and blends them nicely with it's creamier presentation. Large wide tracked effects were a delight with the Bryston. Massive, but precise soundstage with the HD800 paired along with it put everything in place from very intimately near to very distant and all in between.

Orchestral music is as best as I've heard, short of playing in the orchestra myself, with this pairing.

I have no desire to buy anything else, which is shocking.

Scott

MellowVelo

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #84 on: 2 Jul 2012, 12:15 pm »
I had the chance this weekend to go to Audio Consultants in Evanston, IL and listen to the BHA-1/Sennheiser HD800 combo. Wow! Just ridiculously good. Last time I heard the HD800 was also at Audio Consultants, and I remember being sorely disappointed by the lack of bass response and the resulting shrill highs. The massive power of the BHA-1 just opened up these headphones and made them sing in a way that I've never heard before. About 12 o'clock on low gain and 10 o'clock on high gain were enough to put the headphones at a pretty loud level. There is an incredible synergy between the BHA-1 and the HD800. I was floored by the BHA-1's ability to resolve details against a jet-black background. I think that a higher-quality source would have made the experience even better. I listened with the Micromega CD player that they already had hooked up. It's a pretty good player, but I know that there are better sources for not significantly more money.

I've been searching for quite some time now for a headphone and amplifier combo that would satisfy my desire to be in the upper echelon of audio without having to take out a second mortgage. I've found it with this pairing. Bryston is going to have many of the boutique manufacturers of headphone amplifiers running scared because the sound quality of this amp is as good as they come and it costs about 1/3 of what some other companies charge for their amps.

James, just a quick question about the gain switch? Is the gain switch supposed to be used essentially as a volume control, like, if I can't get enough volume on low gain, then switch to high gain? Or should I be choosing low gain or high gain based upon the nominal impedance of the headphone, like, every headphone below 100 ohms should be set to low gain, and every headphone above 100 ohms should be set to high gain? (I'm just making up these numbers.) Thanks!

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #85 on: 2 Jul 2012, 12:49 pm »
I had the chance this weekend to go to Audio Consultants in Evanston, IL and listen to the BHA-1/Sennheiser HD800 combo. Wow! Just ridiculously good. Last time I heard the HD800 was also at Audio Consultants, and I remember being sorely disappointed by the lack of bass response and the resulting shrill highs. The massive power of the BHA-1 just opened up these headphones and made them sing in a way that I've never heard before. About 12 o'clock on low gain and 10 o'clock on high gain were enough to put the headphones at a pretty loud level. There is an incredible synergy between the BHA-1 and the HD800. I was floored by the BHA-1's ability to resolve details against a jet-black background. I think that a higher-quality source would have made the experience even better. I listened with the Micromega CD player that they already had hooked up. It's a pretty good player, but I know that there are better sources for not significantly more money.

I've been searching for quite some time now for a headphone and amplifier combo that would satisfy my desire to be in the upper echelon of audio without having to take out a second mortgage. I've found it with this pairing. Bryston is going to have many of the boutique manufacturers of headphone amplifiers running scared because the sound quality of this amp is as good as they come and it costs about 1/3 of what some other companies charge for their amps.

James, just a quick question about the gain switch? Is the gain switch supposed to be used essentially as a volume control, like, if I can't get enough volume on low gain, then switch to high gain? Or should I be choosing low gain or high gain based upon the nominal impedance of the headphone, like, every headphone below 100 ohms should be set to low gain, and every headphone above 100 ohms should be set to high gain? (I'm just making up these numbers.) Thanks!

Hi

Glad you enjoyed the BHA :thumb:

The gain setting is more like a volume control in that the more inefficient headphones will need more gain that the more sensitive headphones. The impedances seem to corrolate to the higher and lower impedances settings as well but I would make the decision based on comfortable listening levels. 

The volume control is designed to have a wide gain variation from say 9 o'clock to 2 o'clock and the BHA runs pure Class-A so using the volume control at say 12 o'clock on the low gain setting will probably give a lower noise floor than using higher gain setting at 10 o'clock.

James

Blackstone

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 26
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #86 on: 2 Jul 2012, 03:51 pm »
I had the chance this weekend to go to Audio Consultants in Evanston, IL and listen to the BHA-1/Sennheiser HD800 combo. Wow! Just ridiculously good. Last time I heard the HD800 was also at Audio Consultants, and I remember being sorely disappointed by the lack of bass response and the resulting shrill highs. The massive power of the BHA-1 just opened up these headphones and made them sing in a way that I've never heard before. About 12 o'clock on low gain and 10 o'clock on high gain were enough to put the headphones at a pretty loud level. There is an incredible synergy between the BHA-1 and the HD800. I was floored by the BHA-1's ability to resolve details against a jet-black background. I think that a higher-quality source would have made the experience even better. I listened with the Micromega CD player that they already had hooked up. It's a pretty good player, but I know that there are better sources for not significantly more money.

I've been searching for quite some time now for a headphone and amplifier combo that would satisfy my desire to be in the upper echelon of audio without having to take out a second mortgage. I've found it with this pairing. Bryston is going to have many of the boutique manufacturers of headphone amplifiers running scared because the sound quality of this amp is as good as they come and it costs about 1/3 of what some other companies charge for their amps.


This is the setup I heard at Audio Consultants as well and I concur with these conclusions. The amp is killer with the HD800s. The amp they usually have set up there is either the Pro-Ject Headbox SE (or more recently SEII, which I own) and the Lehmann Linear. The Pro-Ject amps can be shrill, so that may explain your previous experience with those headphones.

JohnR

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #87 on: 2 Jul 2012, 03:56 pm »
Glad you enjoyed the BHA :thumb:

Can I ask? Was a result like "There is an incredible synergy between the BHA-1 and the HD800" accomplished by "voicing" the BHA-1 for the HD800 or similar? Or was a more "open loop" engineering process followed?

Vipers

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #88 on: 2 Jul 2012, 04:06 pm »
Maybe I've been a little unfair on the HD-800's in the past, I've heard them on a various selection of amps but the 800's have always left me a little cold, maybe it is time to revisit them again with the BHA-1.

So come on James, stop teasing me, any idea when a shipment is going to hit the UK?

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #89 on: 2 Jul 2012, 04:32 pm »
Maybe I've been a little unfair on the HD-800's in the past, I've heard them on a various selection of amps but the 800's have always left me a little cold, maybe it is time to revisit them again with the BHA-1.

So come on James, stop teasing me, any idea when a shipment is going to hit the UK?

Hi Vipers,

We sent a unit last week  :thumb:

james

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #90 on: 2 Jul 2012, 04:34 pm »
Can I ask? Was a result like "There is an incredible synergy between the BHA-1 and the HD800" accomplished by "voicing" the BHA-1 for the HD800 or similar? Or was a more "open loop" engineering process followed?

Hi John

As with all things Bryston - "LINEARITY" of input to output  :thumb:

james

bjski

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #91 on: 2 Jul 2012, 10:32 pm »
Ordered mine today.

JohnR

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #92 on: 3 Jul 2012, 08:14 am »
Hi John

As with all things Bryston - "LINEARITY" of input to output  :thumb:

james

Thanks James - clearly a philosophy that works.

OgOgilby

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #93 on: 6 Jul 2012, 08:31 pm »
Hi James,

I saw this posted in another audio forum's BHA-1 thread:

Quote
James,

How is the clearing of the backlog coming along?

Jon

Quote
Hi Jon

Not good - some proprietary parts shortages.

James

Is this still an issue, and if so, do you have any idea how long of a delay the parts shortage will cause with the current back orders?

-Greg

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #94 on: 6 Jul 2012, 09:13 pm »
Hi James,

I saw this posted in another audio forum's BHA-1 thread:

Is this still an issue, and if so, do you have any idea how long of a delay the parts shortage will cause with the current back orders?

-Greg

About 3 weeks.

james

OgOgilby

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #95 on: 7 Jul 2012, 01:33 am »
About 3 weeks.

james

Thanks James.

-Greg

Todd R

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #96 on: 7 Jul 2012, 11:57 am »
Got mine Friday!
Still need to spend some quality time with it, but so far I like it.

James Tanner

  • Facilitator
  • Posts: 16508
  • The Demo is Everything!
    • http://www.bryston.com
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #97 on: 7 Jul 2012, 01:30 pm »
Got mine Friday!
Still need to spend some quality time with it, but so far I like it.

What phones Todd???

james

DaveNote

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 615
  • Without music, life would be a mistake. Nietzsche
Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #98 on: 7 Jul 2012, 06:10 pm »
Thanks James.

-Greg

Greg,

I tried replying to a personal message you sent to me, but it seems your mailbox is full and won't receive any replies.

Dave

OgOgilby

Re: BRYSTON BHA-1 HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER
« Reply #99 on: 8 Jul 2012, 01:09 am »
Greg,

I tried replying to a personal message you sent to me, but it seems your mailbox is full and won't receive any replies.

Dave

Dave,

Thanks, should be OK now.

-Greg