Pros: Excellent build, neutral and completely noise free
Cons: Some unbalanced sources may not offer enough gain for low efficiency phones
What no Bryston review?
So here’s a short one and to the point as there is lots of info and feedback on the forums.
I should say that I’ve been using Bryston gear for over 25 years, professionally in the studio and at home, and have owned in total over a dozen of their amps and pre-amps over the course of that time so I hope I have a fairly good grasp of what they can offer but definitely not impartial to criticize if need be.
With the BHA-1 I’m a late adopter but it only made sense to finally add one to the roster, which ironically enough I proposed to Bryston back in 2004.
First off the BHA-1 is virtually noise free and if you do indeed use an all balanced configuration that blackness should be present across the chain, Bryston does go through great strides to design and manufacture equipment that is as neutral as possible.
This is extremely evident just by trying different phones with the same piece of music; more than any other head-amp, preamp or mixer that I’ve used the BHA-1 makes it abundantly clear through which phones you a listening through, their sonic personally clearly revealed. Not to get into details reviewing different types of music but I can emphatically say there is excellent control throughout the full audio spectrum with nothing added and nothing taken away regardless of genre.
Basically the BHA-1 is just the messenger and IMHO is as impartial as you can get, leaving the rest up to the quality of the source but mostly the headphones.
Like all Bryston equipment it is a very well made all Canadian piece of gear and should have no problems living past it’s 20 year warranty, price wise it’s probably seen as disproportionately high for many head-fiers but if your coming from the speaker/amp side of things the BHA-1 is quite reasonable, if not a bargain.
Headphones: Sennheiser HD700, HD580/600, AKG K701, K501, 240DF, Grado SR325i