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New headphone amplifier from Bryston - Page 84

post #1246 of 2090

I have this combo as well.  I really enjoy the LCD-3's with the Bryston.  I predominantly use the NAD M51 DAC with that combo and I am very pleased with the performance.  I also have a pair of Mr. Speaker Alpha Dogs that I use but I find the LCD-3's to be far superior (as one would expect).  

 

I had also borrowed the new Marantz 11S1 DSD DAC and used it in this system.  The DSD performance was outstanding and I am now in the market for a DSD capable DAC to add permanently to this system.

 

I'm happy to answer any questions...

post #1247 of 2090

Hi Guys

 

I’ll be joining the fold as I just opted for a BHA-1 from one our users here (hopefully here within the week), it’ll be replacing my current set-up which is the pre section of a Bryston B60R controlling a Bryston 2BLP pro amp (this 60 watt amp has a headphone jack properly wired for phones) to power my AKG K701s.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 85

 

 

 

 

 

I was about to get Bryston to mod my B60, which has the same amp section as the 2BLP so that the phones ran off the amp and not the pre amp section of the B60 and therefore do away with the 2BLP as this combo workrd wonders producing bass on the K701s

 

Hopefully from what I’ve read there should be more than enough power but I’ll keep you posted by doing a comparison between the BHA-1 and the BHA-1 as a pre controlling the 2BLP pro.

 

Also I’ll be re-cabling the AKGs to be used with the balanced outputs.

post #1248 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob80b View Post
 

Hi Guys

 

I’ll be joining the fold as I just opted for a BHA-1 from one our users here (hopefully here within the week), it’ll be replacing my current set-up which is the pre section of a Bryston B60R controlling a Bryston 2BLP pro amp (this 60 watt amp has a headphone jack properly wired for phones) to power my AKG K701s.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 85

 

 

 

 

 

I was about to get Bryston to mod my B60, which has the same amp section as the 2BLP so that the phones ran off the amp and not the pre amp section of the B60 and therefore do away with the 2BLP as this combo workrd wonders producing bass on the K701s

 

Hopefully from what I’ve read there should be more than enough power but I’ll keep you posted by doing a comparison between the BHA-1 and the BHA-1 as a pre controlling the 2BLP pro.

 

Also I’ll be re-cabling the AKGs to be used with the balanced outputs.

 

hey!

I have a 2B-LP myself.

I've also used the balanced pre-amp outputs on my Bryston pre-amp to drive a pair of balanced headphones. This only works for high impedance headphones BTW.

Have You noticed that the 2B-LP has a 120 Ohm output impedance at the headphone jack?

Just my guess, but based on my experience with the newer vs. older Bryston equipment, I suspect you will find that the BHA-1 removes a layer of mud from the sound of your headphone.


Edited by Chris J - 11/11/13 at 9:43am
post #1249 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 

 

hey!

I have a 2B-LP myself.

I've also used the balanced pre-amp outputs on my Bryston pre-amp to drive a pair of balanced headphones. This only works for high impedance headphones BTW.

Have You noticed that the 2B-LP has a 120 Ohm output impedance at the headphone jack?

Just my guess, but based on my experience with the newer vs. older Bryston equipment, I suspect you will find that the BHA-1 removes a layer of mud from the sound of your headphone.


Hi Chris

 

Should be interesting to see how the lower impedance of the BHA-1 versus raw power of the 2BLP pro (latest version by the way) but higher impedance control the K701s.

In theory the BHA-1 should be the better beast.

Although each phone is different, my Senn HD580/600, even though 300 Ωs react differently and do not sound as good through the 2BLP as the K701s which are rated at 62 Ωs but need power to sound best. And my K501s (120 ohms) which one would think would benefit the most from power sound best from my Shanling PH100 (which by the way is no slouch) but a bit less powerful than the 2BLP pro headphone output and the Grado 325i's 32 Ohms seem to like everything.

So I guess it comes down to a combination of a reactive load, current draw, efficiency  and impedance but if the BHA-1 can match the power output of the 2BLP running the AKGs then it should be a winner.

post #1250 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 

 

 

Have You noticed that the 2B-LP has a 120 Ohm output impedance at the headphone jack?

Just my guess, but based on my experience with the newer vs. older Bryston equipment, I suspect you will find that the BHA-1 removes a layer of mud from the sound of your headphone.

And just to quote Mike from Bryston.

 

"Hi Robert;

I'm sure the BHA1 will be the best bet in this situation.  It has a very low output impedance, especially compared with the 2BLP.  The 2BLP is capable of driving lots of voltage to the headphone jack, but has a very high output impedance, as a result of the resistors in series with the headphone jack.

Thanks,

 

Mike"

 


Edited by Rob80b - 11/11/13 at 10:23am
post #1251 of 2090

Man this is very cool stuff

post #1252 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilftronic View Post
 

Man this is very cool stuff

 

Indeed it is! How are you enjoying the Mad Dogs that you picked up at the last Calgary meet? I suspect you'ld be blown away by the combo of the BHA-1 and the Mad Dogs, especially if you have the opportunity to re-termnate your Mad Dogs with a balanced cable.

 

I've still got the BHA-1 on my short list and hope that I'll be able to purchase it early in the New Year.

 

Dale

post #1253 of 2090

I finally switched to balanced cables by adding AudioQuest Niagra balanced XLR's from my NAD M51 to my Bryston BHA-1.  Both my LCD-3's and Alpha Dogs use balanced cables as well and both have never sounded better.  I also replaced the power cables for the whole system with AudiQuest NRG-4 cables.  The whole system plays louder and cleaner with a much lower noise floor.  I listen at fairly loud volume levels and it is now far less fatiguing.  Depending on the content I can prefer both high and low gain at different volume levels.  Whats everyone else doing for gain setting on the BHA-1 with the LCD-3's?

 

Thanks

post #1254 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob80b View Post
 

Hi Guys

 

I’ll be joining the fold as I just opted for a BHA-1 from one our users here (hopefully here within the week), it’ll be replacing my current set-up which is the pre section of a Bryston B60R controlling a Bryston 2BLP pro amp (this 60 watt amp has a headphone jack properly wired for phones) to power my AKG K701s.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 85

 

 

OK the BHA-1 is the house,

 

Impressions so far are quite favorable, smooth and very analogue sounding from the Bryston BCD-1, most noticeable is the more natural staging with the K701’s accompanied with perceived depth, very nice. Timbre is without fault, no artificial flavoring (or plastic sounding like some have mentioned with the K701s) but I have yet to compare bass with the brute force of the Bryston 2BLP pro, but as it stands now the lower notes are tight and well defined on the AKGs.

Quick listening with Grado SR325i’s was also quite satisfying, overall without being too premature I’d have to say the BHA-1 is a potential winner all round.

 

Currently I’m running 30 feet of single ended RCAs from the preamp tape-outs up front to BHA-1 which is behind the listening position, although over the weekend I'll hopefully get things totally balanced to get more gain, which for now is maxed out on the K701s.

 

And while I'm at it, anyone have any preferences running a 20 ft headphone extension instead of long interconnects.


Edited by Rob80b - 11/15/13 at 11:29am
post #1255 of 2090

Nice! I still really miss my Bryston-sounded pretty darn good with my HD800s for the most part. I still regret selling it.

 

-Daniel

post #1256 of 2090

Here a copy of my preliminary impressions which I've just posted on the Bryston forum.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=104028.700

 

Well a few interesting hours doing some comparisons between the stand alone BHA-1 and the BHA-1 as a pre for the Bryston 2BLP pro.

Music Selection:

Fluke “Puppy”, Kathleen Battle “Grace”, Massive Attack “Mezzanine”, Underworld Dark and Long” and Stravinsky “Petruska” (conducted by Stravinsky 1960).

 

Source: Bryston BCD-1 from tape-outs on my pre with a 25’ run of BlueJeans RCA LC-1 Low Capacitance Audio Cables to the BHA-1 behind the couch.

 

Headphones. (all single ended) AKG K701, AKG K501, Grado SR325i and Sennheiser HD580s (with 600 grills and HD650 cable).

 

First up using the AKG K701s both setups were delicate, Kathleen Battle’s voice soared upward with a natural clarity without reserve. Stravinsky’s symphony was well laid out with discernible imaging with front to back layering, midrange being well defined and the crescendos had weight and impact with excellent tightness and definition.

The techno selections also faired very well and a joy to listen to.

 

The Grado SR325i’s also performed similarly, but what’s interesting is that do to the odd volume control they were close to the K701s on the dial, normally there is a much bigger spread. Now it’s known both the Grados (32 ohms) and AKGs (62 ohms) like current and that may be the deciding factor which allowed them both to perform at their best, which speaks a lot for the BHA-1 in supplying necessary current.

 

The Sennheiser HD580/600 at 300 ohms did not scale as well, previously on prior setups I found the inefficient K701s (at least as far as bass is concerned) needed more gain but here it was the reverse, even maxed out the BHA-1 could not supply enough volume, and they’re probably the most likely candidate for the first balanced cable up grade.

 

Compared to my previous set-up using the Bryston B60R as a pre for the 2B was also fine, although not as delicate, maybe because I had to use an unbalanced to balanced adapter where as the BHA-1 and 2B are balanced through out.

 

Overall though once I was able to match unity gain between the BHA-1 and the BHA-1/2BLP pro combo I was hard pressed to discern an obvious differences, if any, the similarity I would have to attribute to the preamp section of the BHA-1.

 

I’ll need to dig a bit more into the forums to see if balanced headphones resolve the volume issue because as it stands now it is very difficult with single ended phones (at least it is for the phones I have on hand) to adjust from almost 5 o’clock, which is almost there and then a little incremental nudge makes it too loud with some recordings.

 

Setting the 2BLP pros dial for unity gain with the BHA-1 produced the same results when monitoring, with the gain on the 2B maxed the volume control on the BHA-1 was more linear much like the B60 and BP25, with most listening between 9 and 1 o’clock on the dial depending on the source.


Edited by Rob80b - 11/15/13 at 4:04pm
post #1257 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob80b View Post

I’ll need to dig a bit more into the forums to see if balanced headphones resolve the volume issue because as it stands now it is very difficult with single ended phones (at least it is for the phones I have on hand) to adjust from almost 5 o’clock, which is almost there and then a little incremental nudge makes it too loud with some recordings.

 

Setting the 2BLP pros dial for unity gain with the BHA-1 produced the same results when monitoring, with the gain on the 2B maxed the volume control on the BHA-1 was more linear much like the B60 and BP25, with most listening between 9 and 1 o’clock on the dial depending on the source.

Quick update, just connected the Bryston BCD-1 direct with balanced cables to the BHA-1, the low volume issue has been resolved. :wink:

post #1258 of 2090

Thanks, Rob!

Excellent review!

post #1259 of 2090

Thanks Chris, although more to come later.

 

 

I will add though that the BHA-1 does appears to have a lower (darker) noise floor, subtle but it sort of reminds me of what one experiences during a power outage, that foreboding sense of silence without that pervasive 60hrz hum that we’ve gotten accustomed to in our day to day lives from power lines, transformers and all the other electrical devices that surround us, which we only notice it when its gone.

Basically, keeping unwanted noise out of the source signal allows the recording to breath that much easier so that little details that were previously missed have a better chance to come forth, not necessarily high-lighted but there none the less.

post #1260 of 2090
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob80b View Post
 

Thanks Chris, although more to come later.

 

 

I will add though that the BHA-1 does appears to have a lower (darker) noise floor, subtle but it sort of reminds me of what one experiences during a power outage, that foreboding sense of silence without that pervasive 60hrz hum that we’ve gotten accustomed to in our day to day lives from power lines, transformers and all the other electrical devices that surround us, which we only notice it when its gone.

Basically, keeping unwanted noise out of the source signal allows the recording to breath that much easier so that little details that were previously missed have a better chance to come forth, not necessarily high-lighted but there none the less.

 

Hey, thanks Rob (not Ford!).

 

BTW, I vote for long balanced interconnects and relatively short headphone cables.

And since I no longer live in Toronto, I did not have the opportunity to vote for Rob Ford!  :wink_face:

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