With the BHA-1, the bass was super deep, had good impact, the mids were on point and transparent. Treble was clean, without harshness (although a bit fatiguing with the LCD-3 in balanced mode) but surprisingly not with the D2000 (single ended), which is supposed to be brighter. Both were being driven properly as far as I could tell. I mostly tried the BHA-1 and BDA-2 combo. I had to keep changing the volume, sometimes turning it up and sometimes down, just to get the perfect treble and bass ratio. I think I could've gotten used to if I had more time with it. However, in my four hour audition, it never really moved me, especially considering the price of the setup. Later on I tried the BHA-1 with Arcam D33. This took care of the treble for sure and preferred more, although had less energy and maybe dynamic. I can't tell which one I would've picked though.
With the Marantz combo so far, for a week or two, I'm going to figure it out more and report back, before getting all critical on it. Although I will say that music on the Marantz combo actually sounds music for a change. For me, with speakers I'm less nitpicky about the sound, but with headphones it has to be just right for me to really enjoy it. The BHA-1 while had everything going for it just couldn't really engage me in a fun sense. Like I kept listening to how well it did the music but just couldn't get it to sound fun after that.
I really want to try the BHA-1 again though.
Yeah, the Bryston stuff tends towards the analytical and neutral.
Personally, I like analytical and neutral.
OTOH, I used to be all about the tubes. I guess I changed.
That's why I love this unit. It has a bit of the tube sound in the mids, but still solid state dynamic and full of attack. Another thing I should note is that the volume knob can be controlled with the remote as well as from the knob directly. It seems to be going off in steps. With the remote, it's a noticeable change each time I turn the volume up or down. At 9:00 - 9:30, it's almost a BHA-1 and aggressive (but not hurtful). At 8:30 ish, with only slightly loss in volume, it's more relaxed in the treble. It's almost like having two different amps. Yet to figure out if this is an advantage or disadvantage. I am super busy in the week, so will get to try out the combo again either this or next weekend.