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New headphone amplifier from Bryston - Page 77

post #1141 of 1488

I've been asked about the settings I'm using with Audirvana for the graphic equalizer, and since the main criticism regarding the BHA-1 seems to be related to the frequency response (and any harshness caused by it), I think this is very relevant to this thread (for example it means I'm seriously interested in it, and am setting up a demo at a local dealer).

 

Meanwhile I've spent many hours tuning the settings, there seems to be a mutual benefit from attempting to develop a set of settings which can be used for very different music. I'm using the audio unit called AUGraphicEQ (the Audirvana preferences window has a new tab called "AudioUnits"), it seems to be very good quality, and apparently does its computation on the (possibly up-sampled) 24-bit conversion of a 16-bit file. I've gotten to the point where these settings, to my ears, improve the subjective sound quality from "computer audio with a cheapish touch" to "sincere Hifi equipment".

 

They have somewhat similar benefits even when used on the internals speakers of the computer, so it doesn't seem to be my specific equipment or headphones (although you'd probably fine tune them for specific equipment). However, in order to avoid distortions (real ones) at high volumes, each setting seems to have to be 0 db or lower. As you can see from the curve in the image below (if it posts correctly), some of the settings are below -6 db, so this reduces the overall volume substantially. One will need a headphone amp with sufficient extra power, which the BHA-1 seems to have. I suppose this is the reason why music is sold in the current form. The settings below takes of few minutes of getting used to, but for me there is no way back. For example, voices sound much more they way I would expect them to sound. I wonder if hifi speaker set-ups make a similar "conversion" as a matter of the frequency response of the loud speakers (or in the CD player?).

 

 

 

(Click for larger version)

 

The most important part seems to be to reduce the range between 800 Hz and 2 kHz, while leaving the range around 3 kHz to 6 kHz quite high (as well as the bass region). I can definitely say that "wrong" settings can subjectively cause harshness and other apparent "distortions". 

 

Keep in mind this combination of settings is still evolving and may have some faults I haven't discovered yet, even though I've tested it with a lot of different music, such as Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert, Bob Dylan's diverse voice(s), Pink Floyd, classical music (current favorite: Anne Akiko Meyers), and Klaus Schulze (with Lisa Gerrard)'s demanding sound variations.


Edited by soundscape1 - 6/13/13 at 11:14am
post #1142 of 1488
Quote:
Originally Posted by soundscape1 View Post

I've been asked about the settings I'm using with Audirvana for the graphic equalizer, and since the main criticism regarding the BHA-1 seems to be related to the frequency response (and any harshness caused by it), I think this is very relevant to this thread (for example it means I'm seriously interested in it, and am setting up a demo at a local dealer).

 

Meanwhile I've spent many hours tuning the settings, there seems to be a mutual benefit from attempting to develop a set of settings which can be used for very different music. I'm using the audio unit called AUGraphicEQ (the Audirvana preferences window has a new tab called "AudioUnits"), it seems to be very good quality, and apparently does its computation on the (possibly up-sampled) 24-bit conversion of a 16-bit file. I've gotten to the point where these settings, to my ears, improve the subjective sound quality from "computer audio with a cheapish touch" to "sincere Hifi equipment".

 

They have somewhat similar benefits even when used on the internals speakers of the computer, so it doesn't seem to be my specific equipment or headphones (although you'd probably fine tune them for specific equipment). However, in order to avoid distortions (real ones) at high volumes, each setting seems to have to be 0 db or lower. As you can see from the curve in the image below (if it posts correctly), some of the settings are below -6 db, so this reduces the overall volume substantially. One will need a headphone amp with sufficient extra power, which the BHA-1 seems to have. I suppose this is the reason why music is sold in the current form. The settings below takes of few minutes of getting used to, but for me there is no way back. For example, voices sound much more they way I would expect them to sound. I wonder if hifi speaker set-ups make a similar "conversion" as a matter of the frequency response of the loud speakers (or in the CD player?).

 

 

 

(Click for larger version)

 

The most important part seems to be to reduce the range between 800 Hz and 2 kHz, while leaving the range around 3 kHz to 6 kHz quite high (as well as the bass region). I can definitely say that "wrong" settings can subjectively cause harshness and other apparent "distortions". 

 

Keep in mind this combination of settings is still evolving and may have some faults I haven't discovered yet, even though I've tested it with a lot of different music, such as Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert, Bob Dylan's diverse voice(s), Pink Floyd, classical music (current favorite: Anne Akiko Meyers), and Klaus Schulze (with Lisa Gerrard)'s demanding sound variations.

 

Wouldn't an EQ curve like this with an AKG K70x leave your ears bleeding from the excess treble? redface.gif

This curve looks more suited for the HD650.

Do you use this curve with all your headphones?

post #1143 of 1488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

Wouldn't an EQ curve like this with an AKG K70x leave your ears bleeding from the excess treble? redface.gif

This curve looks more suited for the HD650.

Do you use this curve with all your headphones?

Well, yes, the AKG 702 has a bit too much treble for me, in the first place (a bit opposite of the LCD-2 which I used for the above curve). So I am in fact going to adjust the curve for the AKG 702, which will actually increase its value for me. However, I just gave it a short try, the difference seems to be 3 db or less, so the curve will still look very similar, and I experienced a definite improvement even with the curve as posted above.

 

I'll be receiving the HD 800 tomorrow (which is said to also have more treble), and then wanted to post an update, showing curves optimized for the different headphones. Also, some albums require less treble, for example Joan Baez' "Diamonds and Rust" and Anne Akiko Meyers "Smile". Both great albums, by the way. I also found that some albums require a slightly different curve altogether, for example Roger Water's live album "In the Flesh", however, in this case, with an even larger benefit. I thought this to be a "bad recording", not anymore.

 

Not a problem, since Audirvana supports presets, so you can easily switch between different settings. Fortunately, I cannot detect any loss of quality from using the EQ audio unit.

 

Meanwhile, the (main) curve evolved, and looks slightly different, also in the treble area. But in general, the one I posted above is a good first step.


Edited by soundscape1 - 6/16/13 at 3:26pm
post #1144 of 1488

To add to the preceding post: I don't usually listen at maximum volume... the higher the volume, the less treble I'd want. If I were to listen at different volumes frequently, I'd probably create different curves. (In the first place, this seems to be independent of the specific curve used to fix the common "ghetto blaster" sound).

post #1145 of 1488

James, can you please comment on the upsampler of the BDA-2. Is it true that it is indeed a BB SRC4392? Also, as far as I can see, there are three clocks inside the BDA-2: one for the XMOS USB decoder and two for S/PDIF inputs at 44.1 and 48 kHz base frequencies respectively. Would you please comment why?

 

Also. please share some insight into the progress of direct DSD deconding on the BDA-2. If this feature should ever be implemented, is it going to be user-upgradeable? The BDA-2 has a serial port but most computers nowadays don't include this form of connection (even though it is still very much used in automated industrial machinery).

 

I have one more question regarding the upsampler. If it is really a SRC4392, then it is asynchronous and yet your DAC offers synchronous upsampling at either 176.4 or 192 kHz (depending on the incoming sampling rate). My question is this: how were you able to program the SRC? Is there a dedicated controller onboard that "tells" the upsampler to which frequency to upsample to? In contrast, if you disable the upsampling feature, how is the signal resampled?

 

I realize that I am asking a lot but I think there are plenty interesting things about your DAC. Last weekend I had the pleasure to compare it to the new Musical Fidelity M6DAC. Although you'd never tell, the MF is a monsterous DAC and yet, your machine compared rather nicely to it. Congratuilations on that!

 

Cheers!

Antun

post #1146 of 1488

Ive been wanting to hear the BHA-1 paired with Sabre ES9018 Dac chip on the Yulong D18 unit for the LCD2

post #1147 of 1488
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngGeezeh View Post

Ive been wanting to hear the BHA-1 paired with Sabre ES9018 Dac chip on the Yulong D18 unit for the LCD2

Should be extremely good synergy if it reflects my findings with W4S DAC-2 and LCD-2.

post #1148 of 1488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lappy27 View Post

Should be extremely good synergy if it reflects my findings with W4S DAC-2 and LCD-2.

You meant you are driving your LCD2 directly with the DAC-2? Have you compared it with an outboard headphone amp? That is very interesting indeed consider the DAC 2 now has a DSD capable version.
post #1149 of 1488
Quote:
Originally Posted by breadvan View Post


You meant you are driving your LCD2 directly with the DAC-2? Have you compared it with an outboard headphone amp? That is very interesting indeed consider the DAC 2 now has a DSD capable version.

No. I'm driving it with my BHA-1. It's because I answered to a post asking synergy between BHA-1 and Sabre ES9018 dac.

post #1150 of 1488

which headphones you will get better with Bryston hd 800 or T1

post #1151 of 1488
I'm also interested in the combination of BHA-1 and Beyerdynamic T1.
Has anybody tried this?
So far 90% of the feedback is based on HD800 or LCDs... maybe someone has tried some other cans as well?

thanks for any input!
post #1152 of 1488

The BHA-1, like all current Bryston amplifiers, is neutral to the point of being well suitred for final mastering. Therefore, it will be a good match for most headphones, including the T1. Think of it this way - if you like how T1 sounds, then you will like it with BHA-1. On the other hand, if you think T1 is good but has certain limitations (some people find them sibilant and a bit exaggerated in the top end), then this amplifier will only amplify those qualities.

 

The reason people find it most acceptable with HD800 is because HD800 itself is neutral and so there is no "signature stamp" on the end product but rather a neutral reproduction that is well suited for any style of music.

 

Synergy is a difficult word but if an amplifier and a set of speakers (or headphones) exhibit neutral quality to the sound without excessive colouration, then those two will sound good together. Unless, of course, technical specifications prevent these two from working well.

post #1153 of 1488

To add something on my previous comment.

 

The bottom line is, if you do like the T1 and you like them a lot, you like the somewhat liftted highs with a lot of sparkle and a punchy but sometimes inconsistent bass, then the BHA-1 won't take anything away from that but will build on those qualities.

 

If you think there are some qualities to the T1 that should be tamed to make them more pleasant, then there is a strong possibility that BHA-1 will not be for you.

post #1154 of 1488
Thank you for your answer!

for me it is actually the other way round- I am looking for suitable headphones for this amp and not an amp for my cans wink.gif

I am new to this game, so I have no real experience with headphones.

Basically, you're saying that with the Bryston being so neutral you can remove the amp from the equation (in a way) and just have to find the right cans...

preferably the cans should match or mirror the rest of my system which is a pair of Spendor A9 driven by a Karan KA-I 180 integrated. I don't want a total different presentation from my main rig. (yet wink.gif )

I would describe the sound as neutral with a small hint of warmth and slightly laid back.

any recommemdations for cans with that signature? I am looking for both halv-/open and closed cans.

thanks for your help!
post #1155 of 1488

currently fueled bha1 AKG K702 65 anniversary  and this is a great combination.

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