I may be the person to discuss this.
I own a number of preamps.
My main preamp is the Bryston BP-26
I also own a Vac Standard (tubes) (upgraded and retail $5,300) which I really enjoyed until fooling around I knocked over the power supply and (because I added some dampening inside shorted out something in it,) So it sadly sits waiting to get repaired. I really liked the VAC I expect it will be repaired when I can send it to the maker.
Since I broke it I also bought a Conrad Johnson Act 2 (tubes) for a fraction of it's cost of $13,000. Also a refurbished Audible Illusions 3A (Tubes) for $1500. And I have had for a long time an Audio Research Sp-15 solid state with a three tube phono section was new $6000.
And finally a really nice Threshold FET10 line plus th separate Phono box and a upgraded power supply from the main guy himself.
I use all of these in my system! right now I use the Threshold and Bryston, and the ARC just for the phono section.
So if anyone can compare a Bryston BP-26 it sure is me.
Right off the Bryston is a wonderful preamp. the clarity and truthfulness is wonderful. that TAS finally made it a recommended component is good.
The only thing I can say I have against it is too much gain. both the single ended and balanced are good.
Some folks if the system is not up to the clarity of the Bryston would blame it for some other fault it passes right on through. But put the best through it, and it gives the best out.
The Threshold is also a great preamp. a lot older, but the finest sold state from the 80's. really hard to find and usually overpriced. (I paid $900 for BOTH the line and phono. a good deal)
One thing you will want with the Bryston is a good powerline conditioner. and the better the IC th better it all will sound.
So what it raly comes down to is what SORT of sound you want. warm and fuzzy is not the Bryston. clean great clarity and the ability to really be better with every other upgrade.. THAT is the Bryston BP-26I could easily live wit hthe Threshold, the ARC, the VAC,,
The Conrad Johnson is an actual blast furnace hot and I would not recommend it to anyone unless you need a full timespace heater anyway.. LOL