Experiences with Bryston BHA-1 headamp?
Dec 19, 2020 at 2:43 PM Post #122 of 139

gimmeheadroom

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Can you link me that test, or tell me what is the tier up from Bryston? Thanks!

My biggest focus is sound, looks and the fact that I can use it with my turntable. Bryston seems to have a good phono preamp that I could use with my Cadenza black and it could match the look of the BHA-1.
and
Or perhaps I should get a A90+D90.
Ok, this is totally off the rails now.
 
Jan 1, 2021 at 5:10 PM Post #123 of 139

Sound Eq

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the other day, I auditioned the bha-1 with my hifiman he1000v1, and i tired an r2r dac and another dac, and so surprised how we needed almost go full volume on BHA-1 on high gain, and the volume form bout 50% till bout 80% was doing nothing in volume. I am not sure if that is some others have experienced, also even with my EC Design R2R dac the sound was cold and analytical and just off

I do not know what could the reason why the BHA-1 had this bad impression on me, although I could have gotten it for a good deal. But it was simply awful. I tried it then with focal stellia and it did have enough volume, but the amp sound simply is not my cup of tea

Maybe we were doing something wrong, I could go back and try again, but wanted to check here again before I do, if there is something to look at when testing again, I also aim to see if it can power LCD4 but I am doubtful as it barely had juice to power he1000v1
 
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Jan 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM Post #124 of 139

makan

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the other day, I auditioned the bha-1 with my hifiman he1000v1, and i tired an r2r dac and another dac, and so surprised how we needed almost go full volume on BHA-1 on high gain, and the volume form bout 50% till bout 80% was doing nothing in volume. I am not sure if that is some others have experienced, also even with my EC Design R2R dac the sound was cold and analytical and just off

I do not know what could the reason why the BHA-1 had this bad impression on me, although I could have gotten it for a good deal. But it was simply awful. I tried it then with focal stellia and it did have enough volume, but the amp sound simply is not my cup of tea

Maybe we were doing something wrong, I could go back and try again, but wanted to check here again before I do, if there is something to look at when testing again, I also aim to see if it can power LCD4 but I am doubtful as it barely had juice to power he1000v1
The attenuators is designed like that. From about 10 to 2 o’clock, there is very little change in volume. I find my BHA-1 outputs more volume than it is rated.
 
Jan 1, 2021 at 9:03 PM Post #125 of 139

ThanatosVI

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the other day, I auditioned the bha-1 with my hifiman he1000v1, and i tired an r2r dac and another dac, and so surprised how we needed almost go full volume on BHA-1 on high gain, and the volume form bout 50% till bout 80% was doing nothing in volume. I am not sure if that is some others have experienced, also even with my EC Design R2R dac the sound was cold and analytical and just off

I do not know what could the reason why the BHA-1 had this bad impression on me, although I could have gotten it for a good deal. But it was simply awful. I tried it then with focal stellia and it did have enough volume, but the amp sound simply is not my cup of tea

Maybe we were doing something wrong, I could go back and try again, but wanted to check here again before I do, if there is something to look at when testing again, I also aim to see if it can power LCD4 but I am doubtful as it barely had juice to power he1000v1
I know someone here on head-fi Who absolutely loved his bha-1 LCD-4 Combo.
So from what I've heard the Bryston has no problems driving them
 
Jan 30, 2021 at 10:47 AM Post #126 of 139

mav52

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I've been using the BHA-1 for a few months now and I'm finding it does a nice job, on HD650, HD800s, LCD-3, Dave Clark phones, even the HE-6 V1. I've also noticed a big increase in dynamics when the bal xlr's are used in lieu of the 1/4 jack. So I contacted Bryston , Their answer. :

""
The big advantage of using the balanced outputs on the BHA1 is the doubling in output voltage, because, as mentioned in the forum, you have two class A amplifiers driving the output rather than one. This doubling in voltage actually results in a 4 times increase in power, since power is proportional to voltage squared.

This applies to both the 3-pin XLR connectors and the 4-pin XLR connector.

The question of how much advantage there is to having 4 times the power is difficult to answer. For most headphones, the power isn't strictly necessary, but can improve the dynamic response of the amp. For some more difficult-to-drive headphones, the extra power would be required to drive the headphones to their maximum useful level.

The 'phones you mention below probably fit mostly into the first category from a specification standpoint, but the Audeze's reportedly benefit from extra power, and my experience with the HD800's is that the difference between single ended and balanced operation is significant, specs notwithstanding.

Thanks,
Mike ""
 
Feb 15, 2021 at 12:15 PM Post #127 of 139

mfadio

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I've been using the BHA-1 for a few months now and I'm finding it does a nice job, on HD650, HD800s, LCD-3, Dave Clark phones, even the HE-6 V1. I've also noticed a big increase in dynamics when the bal xlr's are used in lieu of the 1/4 jack. So I contacted Bryston , Their answer. :

Thanks,
Mike ""

How would you characterize the sound?
 
Feb 23, 2021 at 5:15 PM Post #128 of 139

Birdman69

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Anyone have experience with the RME ADI-2 FS and the BHA-1 combo?
I am looking at the Chord Qutest or the RME as a step up from the below DAC‘s also current phones listed any advice opinions welcome.
I have had the BHA-1 for over a year using a topping D70 , dragonfly red, ifi idsd micro bl , bluesound node 2i with HD820, LCD 2 fazer, HD6xx, Focal Elex, Hifiman HE400i
 
Feb 26, 2021 at 10:39 AM Post #130 of 139

tamahome77

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the other day, I auditioned the bha-1 with my hifiman he1000v1, and i tired an r2r dac and another dac, and so surprised how we needed almost go full volume on BHA-1 on high gain, and the volume form bout 50% till bout 80% was doing nothing in volume.

The bha-1 pairs very well with hd800s but not with the he1000v1 - just couldn't drive it with authority. The jot 2 does a much better and more capable job of driving the he1000v1.
 
Mar 4, 2021 at 4:10 AM Post #131 of 139

teknorob23

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I've had my BHA-1 for just over a week and i'm very impressed. Depth in staging in is rarity and a real grail for me in amplification, and coming from the V281 which was lovely but had pancake flat stage, the Bryston has been a bit of a revelation on this front. I put this down to the levels of transparency it delivers, able to resolve the the nuances in the staging and pull photograph into 3d moving images.. if that makes any sense. Obviously the levels depth revealed are dependent on quality of the recordings/ mastering of the material which is being fed through the amp. Anyway i havent heard anything like this in an SS amp, since i sold my Feliks Audio Euforia AE tube amp and the BHA1 adds a greater dose of detail and clarity in the process.

The apparent synergy with the rest of my system is also a big contributory factor as i have a bit of warmth in the my DAC and HPs fed by one the most natural streamers i've heard:

Bricasti M5 Streamer > Denafrips Venus 2 DAC > BHA-1 > Focal Stellia

The Bryston has been on my radar for a while, always enjoyed their hi-fi products, but i was expecting it to be stepping stone to another amp, but based on my experience so far i'm not sure i'll need to do much stepping for a while.

I'll try and share something a bit more comprehensive when i've good a few more weeks of listening under my belt :)
 
Mar 8, 2021 at 10:44 AM Post #132 of 139

mav52

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I've had my BHA-1 for just over a week and i'm very impressed. Depth in staging in is rarity and a real grail for me in amplification, and coming from the V281 which was lovely but had pancake flat stage, the Bryston has been a bit of a revelation on this front. I put this down to the levels of transparency it delivers, able to resolve the the nuances in the staging and pull photograph into 3d moving images.. if that makes any sense. Obviously the levels depth revealed are dependent on quality of the recordings/ mastering of the material which is being fed through the amp. Anyway i havent heard anything like this in an SS amp, since i sold my Feliks Audio Euforia AE tube amp and the BHA1 adds a greater dose of detail and clarity in the process.

The apparent synergy with the rest of my system is also a big contributory factor as i have a bit of warmth in the my DAC and HPs fed by one the most natural streamers i've heard:

Bricasti M5 Streamer > Denafrips Venus 2 DAC > BHA-1 > Focal Stellia

The Bryston has been on my radar for a while, always enjoyed their hi-fi products, but i was expecting it to be stepping stone to another amp, but based on my experience so far i'm not sure i'll need to do much stepping for a while.

I'll try and share something a bit more comprehensive when i've good a few more weeks of listening under my belt :)


By all means don't forget to try out the XLR connections. I found a big improvement in dynamics .
 
Mar 8, 2021 at 10:53 AM Post #133 of 139

teknorob23

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By all means don't forget to try out the XLR connections. I found a big improvement in dynamics .

Apologies i didnt give very precise info on my set up. I am using both the balanced inputs and headphone output. I havent actually tried it unbalanced.
 
Jul 31, 2021 at 7:17 PM Post #135 of 139

mortcola

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Currently using a Schiit Mjolnir 2 with solid state tubes and looking to upgrade. Any experience with Bryston BHA-1? what else should I consider in the 1300-1700 price range? I had a Ragnarok briefly that I had to return due some malfunction secondary features, but I enjoyed the sound.

Headphones: LCD-3F
Hi Nicholas - So, your post is four years old. I'm wondering - what did you end up doing re Mjolnir w/SS tubes, and asking about the BHA-1. I got a chance to upgrade - Gumby and Mjolnir2 with LISST and other tubes, now using the Bryston BDA3.14 and BHA-1, as well as a Woo WA5-LE.

I'm delighted with the Bryston gear. I remember some good big-speaker auditions using Bryston, but had no experience with their stuff for decades. The DAC/Amp combo is head and shoulders better than the SChiit in most respects, using both Grado GS3000e and Empyrean cans. Like a thick curtain has lifted off the music. What was engaging, reasonably resolving, totally enjoyable in the Schiit-based system is now as close to end-game as I can imagine without spending a lot more....and I don't get many opportunities to spend even this much. Transparency, perfect dynamic envelope (groove with delicacy, bass-slam with clear tonality, timbre, speed, and harmonics); extremely natural.

And, the SS Bryston amp is a neat compliment to the 300B Woo amp - it doesn't sacrifice much in the tonality department - there's loads of natural soul coming through the music despite the "clinical" and "boring" knee-jerk adjectives I've hard applied to Bryston. Great frequency extension, but even with the Grado phones, which have a lovely richness, retain their extraordinary presence but also their intolerance of any high-frequency assertiveness in the signal, the Bryston drives them without a hint of glare.

The Empyreans? Strange, I'm a presence-and-sparkly-treble guy, and I was skeptical auctioning the Empyreans, given that one dealer called them "pleasant but not reference", and some forum contributors called them "dull". I've found them to be great chameleons. Other than being a welcome, make yourself at home kind of headphone, they really deliver the character of the music. One set of adjectives simply doesn't apply at all when listening to a very different recording, as if a different headphone entirely. And the Bryston seems to pair with them beautifully. If at all possible, I want to hear them with different TOTL cans.

The Woo WA5-LE is quite a beast. Great transparency, the 300B legendary midrange is there, but never at the expense of clarity. I'd like to think I'm saving for Holo gear, and maybe a Susvara or Abyss, but honestly, I have no quibbles with anything here, no "if only" or good, but...". I shouldn't, at this level, but what audiophile is ever satisfied?
 

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