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New headphone amplifier from Bryston - Page 37

post #541 of 1425

Mine showed up today.  Giving it 48 hours of burn-in (iTunes on shuffle with the HD-800 plugged into the SE output, then the fun starts.
 

post #542 of 1425

Oh hell yeah!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

I'll try to get some thoughts together in the next day or two. Busy week.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burnspbesq View Post

Mine showed up today.  Giving it 48 hours of burn-in (iTunes on shuffle with the HD-800 plugged into the SE output, then the fun starts.
 

post #543 of 1425

Well, so much for 48 hours of burn-in.

 

I'm listening to it now, through the balanced outputs, with Senn HD 800s (Cardas balanced cable).

 

Initial reactions mostly positive.

 

The first record I listened to was "The Telluride Sessions" by Strength in Numbers.  This is probably the most-played record in my collection, so I'm really familiar with it.  There is a ton of high-frequency energy here, with violin, mandolin, banjo, and dobro.  I think it's a little more relaxed than the Luxman.  There seems to be tad less bite on banjo and mandolin attacks.  The 5.5-6K and 11-12K peaks that so many people find objectionable in the HD 800 seem to have been reduced a bit, which may not be a bad thing.  And Edgar Meyer's bass is front-and-center, well-resolved and impactful.

 

The San Francisco Symphony recording of Mahler Symphony Number 1 is a good test of dynamic range, which the Bryston had no difficulty passing.  The opening of the fourth movement is supposed to blow you out of your chair, and it did.  And the first entrance of the clarinets, about 90 seconds into the first movement, snuck up on me the way it's supposed to.  However, in the fast unison passages in the first movement, I though I heard a little bit of imprecision.  Will have to go back and listen again, and this may be a focal point once I start doing comparative listening.

 

Just for fun, dialed up Luciana Souza's new "Duets III."  Once voice, one nylon-string guitar.  Really nice imaging, with a lot of air around voice and instrument.  And little of the hard edge that sometimes creeps into Luciana's upper register.

 

Haven't played any rock-and-roll yet.  That should be next.  I have a 96/24 rip of the original late-70s Mobile Fidelity reissue of "Waiting for Columbus."  Lowell George's slide guitar verges on too hot on several tracks.  This should be a good test.
 

post #544 of 1425
Final thoughts on the Mjolnir and BHA-1 as well as some comments on the Gungnir vs Bifrost: http://www.head-fi.org/t/631313/schiit-mjolnir-vs-bryston-bha-1-and-schiit-gungnir-vs-bifrost
post #545 of 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Final thoughts on the Mjolnir and BHA-1 as well as some comments on the Gungnir vs Bifrost: http://www.head-fi.org/t/631313/schiit-mjolnir-vs-bryston-bha-1-and-schiit-gungnir-vs-bifrost

 

Nice.

Thanks, nice work!

post #546 of 1425

Is the BHA-1 de facto balanced from input to output?

post #547 of 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

Is the BHA-1 de facto balanced from input to output?


When connect my LCD3 to 4pinXLR headphone output--> the sound is 2 times louder than 6.3mm headphone output.

This finding indicates that BHA-1 has fully balanced output.

 

When connect Eximus DP1 DAC to BHA-1 using RCA interconnect, still have sound out of both 4pinXLR and 6.3mm headphone output.

This finding indicates that RCA input and XLR input of BHA-1 have the same pathway.

 

Note: my system:  Eximus DP1 DAC-->RCA or XLR interconnect-->BHA-1-->Skuld cable 4pinXLR or Cardas Clear cable 6.3mm-->LCD3.

 

Hope this informations answer your question.


Edited by chirawatf - 10/12/12 at 8:37pm
post #548 of 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by chirawatf View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

Is the BHA-1 de facto balanced from input to output?


When connect my LCD3 to 4pinXLR headphone output--> the sound is 2 times louder than 6.3mm headphone output.

This finding indicates that BHA-1 has fully balanced output.

 

When connect Eximus DP1 DAC to BHA-1 using RCA interconnect, still have sound out of both 4pinXLR and 6.3mm headphone output.

This finding indicates that RCA input and XLR input of BHA-1 have the same pathway.

 

Note: my system:  Eximus DP1 DAC-->RCA or XLR interconnect-->BHA-1-->Skuld cable 4pinXLR or Cardas Clear cable 6.3mm-->LCD3.

 

Hope this informations answer your question.


Those things don't necessarily indicate that the whole circuit is balanced all the way through. Going by the pictures available online of the internals, it looks like there are two full circuits per channel, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't balanced through the entire signal pathway. It only tends to be transformer-coupled tube amps where only the input and output is balanced.

post #549 of 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post


Those things don't necessarily indicate that the whole circuit is balanced all the way through. Going by the pictures available online of the internals, it looks like there are two full circuits per channel, so I'd be surprised if it wasn't balanced through the entire signal pathway. It only tends to be transformer-coupled tube amps where only the input and output is balanced.

 

According to the schematics in the preliminary manual there is an input buffer, SE volume and balance controls and then two amp sections (+ and -) per channel. So it is not fully balanced from input to output.

 

Minus (ground) for SE TRS out is connected to common ground and plus to balanced plus so you only use one of the amps per channel when using SE out.

 

It still gets nominated for the TEC awards in the AMPLIFICATION HARDWARE / STUDIO & SOUND REINFORCEMENT category, though...  wink.gif

post #550 of 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanDude View Post

 

According to the schematics in the preliminary manual there is an input buffer, SE volume and balance controls and then two amp sections (+ and -) per channel. So it is not fully balanced from input to output.

 

Minus (ground) for SE TRS out is connected to common ground and plus to balanced plus so you only use one of the amps per channel when using SE out.

 

It still gets nominated for the TEC awards in the AMPLIFICATION HARDWARE / STUDIO & SOUND REINFORCEMENT category, though...  wink.gif

 

Yep, sounds about right.

The input buffer can accept either SE or balanced inputs and outputs an SE signal.

 

FWIW, I think the "is it balanced from input to output" question irrelevant.

The important questions are "do you like the sound of it?"

and "how versatile is it?"

Since it has both balanced and SE inputs and outputs you can use it with a lot of different sources (SE and balanced) and a lot of different phones (balanced and SE).

And it has enough power to drive almost everyhead.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

post #551 of 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

Yep, sounds about right.

The input buffer can accept either SE or balanced inputs and outputs an SE signal.

 

FWIW, I think the "is it balanced from input to output" question irrelevant.

The important questions are "do you like the sound of it?"

and "how versatile is it?"

Since it has both balanced and SE inputs and outputs you can use it with a lot of different sources (SE and balanced) and a lot of different phones (balanced and SE).

And it has enough power to drive almost everyhead.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

I can confirm without having any engineering knowledge, that the BHA-1 IS NOT balanced from input to output.

 

How I know that fact? Because Stuart Taylor chief engineer at Bryston, told me so a couple months ago when I asked him a couple of technical questions regarding the BHA-1. The signal is converted in single ended inside the BHA-1 to be transformed again in balanced at the output. So we still get the full adavantages of balanced design (double the power, total absence of pick-up noise).

 

That beeing said, Chris J is right.  "do you like the sound of it?" It's the only thing that really matters.

 

And for me, the answer is a definite and categoric YESSSS!

post #552 of 1425
Let the games begin!

BHA-1 vs. Luxman P-200. The signal chain is MacBook Pro - Amarra 2.4 in cache mode - WireWorld Starlight USB -Ayre QB-9 - Audioquest Diamondback - amp - Sennheiser HD 800. The Bryston is being fed from the balanced outputs of the Ayre, while the Luxman uses the SE outs. Cardas cables for the Senns (again, balanced with the Bryston and SE with the Luxman).

Round one: four tracks from Mark O'Connor's Thirty-Year Retrospective (CD ripped to 44.1/16 ALAC): "A Bowl of Bula," "Swingin ' on the Ville," "Macedonia," and "Bowtie."

Advantage Bryston, but it's close. North of 100 Hz, it's a tossup. The Bryston takes a tiny bit of edge off attacks vs. the Luxman, but compensates with slightly better clarity (e.g., it's slightly easier to hear the flatted sevenths in the guitar chords during the solos on "A Bowl of Bula"). Neither amp constrains the Senns' notoriously wide soundstage to any noticeable extent.

From 45-100 Hz, it's a narrow but clear win for the Bryston (note that given the instrumentation on this record, there is nothing below 41 Hz). Bass is definitely more present and more solid, with no loss of clarity or pitch definition.

Round one to the Bryston. Is it a certainty that I will keep it? Not yet.
post #553 of 1425

Have a think about what you are doing here. You are pitting a tiger against a kitten.

 

P-200 specs: Output: 2W+2W/8Ω, 1W+1W/16Ω, ½ W+ ½ W/32Ω. (The published specs to not cover higher impedance)

 

BHA-1 specs: HI-Z load: 20 Volts into 600 ohms (667mW) at 001% THD + N at 20-20K
Low-Z load: 4 volts into 32 ohms (500 mW) at 001% THD + N at 20-20K

 

Ok, they are equal at 32ohm, but after that... Seems like the Luxman is optimized for low impedance cans. The HD 800 is around 350 ohms http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SennheiserHD800.pdf. I would say that the Bryston is optimized for high impedance cans. I would hazard to say that the Luxman is not great for driving high impedance cans.

 

The result is a foregone conclusion. The Tiger eats the kitten for lunch. This should be especially apparent in the bass which needs the highest energy. Like you say "From 45-100 Hz, it's a narrow but clear win for the Bryston (note that given the instrumentation on this record, there is nothing below 41 Hz). Bass is definitely more present and more solid, with no loss of clarity or pitch definition." It's a clear win, but no one should be surprised.

post #554 of 1425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooster View Post
I would say that the Bryston is optimized for high impedance cans.

 

BHA-1 is designed to drive difficult low impedance headphones (http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=104028.msg1124982#msg1124982).

post #555 of 1425

Then why does it make more than half a watt into 600 ohms, and what low impedance cans are difficult?
 

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