how good is the bryston bp-25's headphone section?
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Tom M

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The bp-25 looks like a good preamp but, how is it's headphone section. Is it good enough to make a headphone amp not nessary or at least less nessary? Bryston claims that this unit has one of the best headphone section on a preamp. Is there any truth to this claim by bryston? I will be looking forward to your feed back. Thanx
 
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dinosauract

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I think the headphone out on the BP-25 is excellent. I use it to drive Senn 580's. Very detailed and transparent. Bass is solid and deep. It's definitely one of the strong points of the pre-amp. I wouldn't recommend adding a headphone amp unless you look at top of the line models. I tried Creek, Musical Fidelity and Headroom amps. Only the Headroom (Max) was even comparable and I still felt the Bryston was more transparent. You can go to Bryston's web page and search for reviews on the BP-25 (or the B-60 integrated, whose pre-amp section is similar) for "objective" reviews, some of which comment on the headphone section.

The volume pot is at about the 12:00 position to drive the 580's to my fairly loud listening levels, but the BP-25's volume contour is fairly linear, so there's a lot of gain left at that point.
 
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Tom M

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I wish others who are familiar with the bryston bp-25 would respond too. Again thanx
 
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Old Pa

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Sorry to say this, but my Senn 600s sound dead out of my new BP25MC headphone output compared with my new MOH-R. This is evidently a load the BP25MC does not like, although it has done everything else I have asked it to do extremely well and I am very happy with it. Just needs an MOH-R along side.


LATER: I just went back and had a good long listen comparing my BP25MC headphone output to my MOH-R with the Ety-4S. While there is less inner detail across all musical examples with the Bryston, the difference is most noticeable where there is musical content with strong bass. The MOH-R not only more fully forms the low tones, but also is much faster and more accurate sounding. Acoustic instruments without a lot of bass content sound most similar between the two headphone outputs and a Bryston owner who liked such music would enjoy an adequate albeit mid-fi experience there. The MOH-R has a much better soundstage with greater air and depth around instruments and voices. So it's not just with the Senn 600s. Having heard the MOH-R, I could not be content with the Bryston's headphone output for more than occasional non-critical use.

My experience is that pre-amps/receivers with one volume control with which to modify their headphone and other outputs do not have as good a headphone output as CD players or other sources which have a headphone output with its own independent volume control. I don't know the reason, but that has been my observation.
 
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Blighty

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It is not too bad. I would place it somewhere between the supreme and cosmic. Preamps, receivers, CDPs etc usually do not have a great headphone output but the bryston is above average. The nOrh ACA is also reported to have a good headphone out. The best route is still to go with a dedicated headphone amp, IMO.
 
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I once listened to my friend's BP-20 with Senn 580 and 600. I made comparison with Creek SE. To my ears, Creek SE was better. It was not a long listening session, though. But I think I heard somewhat veiled sound with BP20. BTW, BP 20 and 25 should be the same unit except the remote control. Just my 2 cents.

Jibra
 
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so far 2 people seem to like the headphone section and 2 don't.
 
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Tom M

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Does any more people like or dislike the bryston bp-25 headphone section?
 
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Tom M

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No one else likes or dislikes the sound of the bryston bp-25 headphone section?
 
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JohnActon

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I listened extensively to the headphone output of the B60 integrated amp (the preamp of this unit is dreived from, and is supposed to be very similar to, the BP-20/BP-25).

The headphone output (derived from the preamp, not the amp) of the Bryston is actually very good in comparison to the headphone out of every other component (excluding dedicated headphone amps) I've ever heard. It is neutral, open and has more than enough gain to drive my Sennheiser HD 600s. It possesses good extension at the frequency extremes and has plenty of dynamic slam.

That said, my dedicated McCormack Micro Integrated Drive headphone amp easily bested the Bryston. It was more open still, more transparent, and it possessed better soundstaging abilities. Dynamically, the two units were about the same, but the greater transparency of the MID gave it the edge in portrayal of microdynamics and the presentation of detail. The MID was a little brighter than the Bryston, however.

If headphones are a secondary means of listening for you, then I think the Bryston will be more than sufficient. It does an excellent job. However, if you are assembling a headphones-only system, or if you intend to listen primarily to headphones, than I would think your money would be better spent on a dedicated headphone amp (Headroom, Sugden, Corda, etc for solid-state; RKV, Antique Sound Labs, Wheatfield, etc for tubes). Keep in mind that some of these headphone amps also function quite well as minimalist preamps (from what I've heard), but in this case, the tables will have turned; I imagine the Bryston would walk all over the headphone amps as a straight-up preamp.

Hope this helps!!
 
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Tom M

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in order to get a good improvement over the headphone section of the brsyton bp-25 you need something better than a low to mid price headphone amp?
 
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