New headphone amplifier from Bryston
Aug 26, 2013 at 6:30 PM Post #1,216 of 2,372

Maxvla

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Yes this gain was very noticeable even when using single ended out with balanced in.
I wasn't sure if there was any other audible difference I was hearing as a result of changing inputs from single ended to balanced.
I'm curious about what people have their gain settings on with their balanced bha-1 setup. I still have mine on high paired with the hd800s.

I run my fully balanced rig with HD800s on low gain and about 8:00-9:00 max volume on popular music, and about 11:00 top end on some quieter classical recordings. High gain leaves me very little adjustment range.
 
Aug 26, 2013 at 6:35 PM Post #1,217 of 2,372

Olias of Sunhillow

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Quote:
I run my fully balanced rig with HD800s on low gain and about 8:00-9:00 max volume on popular music, and about 11:00 top end on some quieter classical recordings. High gain leaves me very little adjustment range.

 
My listening range is almost exactly the same. Replacing my Grace m903 with the BDA-2 has resulted in even less adjustment range -- hotter XLR output, perhaps.
 
More to come after I have listened to more music, but the BDA-2/BHA-1 combo is fantastic so far (liking it with the HD800 a little bit more than the LCD-3).
 
Aug 26, 2013 at 7:51 PM Post #1,218 of 2,372

BournePerfect

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I can't believe how much I'm enjoying my HD800s with this thing. Keeps getting better by the day, too, as the amp continues to burn in. Never thought I'd find an ss amp in this price range that sounds decent with the HD800 without the expense of it's great technicalities. Having owned the Mjolnir previously, I can easily say that this amp is a step above with the HD800s. Much better bass, better soundstage depth, overall a more natural sound for lack of a better word. If there was one word to describe the MJ with the Senn, it would be: dry. I know some people think the Bryston is hotter up top than the MJ, but I don't. At first it was a bit tizzy, but after a couple hundred hours now that is mostly gone. With the MJ, I never quite felt that it disappeared completely.
 
I also find the BHA-1 more musical sounding, with great PRaT. I know both amps are said to be agressive sounding, but I'm not sure if that's the right word-at least after burn in. I do find the BHA-1 impeccable with it's timing-and that's not something I've ever really thought about in regards to an amp. I've heard faster and slower amps if you will, but the Bryston seems to have a way of just tap-dancing on each and every note with the precision of the world's most accurate metronome. I can't really explain it-I suppose it may be a combination of proper decay, blackground, and soundstage depth...more to come later...
 
-Daniel
 
Aug 26, 2013 at 10:25 PM Post #1,219 of 2,372

Bolardito

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I can't believe how much I'm enjoying my HD800s with this thing. Keeps getting better by the day, too, as the amp continues to burn in. Never thought I'd find an ss amp in this price range that sounds decent with the HD800 without the expense of it's great technicalities. Having owned the Mjolnir previously, I can easily say that this amp is a step above with the HD800s. Much better bass, better soundstage depth, overall a more natural sound for lack of a better word. If there was one word to describe the MJ with the Senn, it would be: dry. I know some people think the Bryston is hotter up top than the MJ, but I don't. At first it was a bit tizzy, but after a couple hundred hours now that is mostly gone. With the MJ, I never quite felt that it disappeared completely.

I also find the BHA-1 more musical sounding, with great PRaT. I know both amps are said to be agressive sounding, but I'm not sure if that's the right word-at least after burn in. I do find the BHA-1 impeccable with it's timing-and that's not something I've ever really thought about in regards to an amp. I've heard faster and slower amps if you will, but the Bryston seems to have a way of just tap-dancing on each and every note with the precision of the world's most accurate metronome. I can't really explain it-I suppose it may be a combination of proper decay, blackground, and soundstage depth...more to come later...

-Daniel


Do you think the Bryston is on the same league with the HD800 as the Zana Deux?
 
Aug 26, 2013 at 10:55 PM Post #1,220 of 2,372

BournePerfect

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Not quite. ZDSE still had better technicalities (tubes what whaaa??) than the Bryston. Still has the 'emotion' and microdynamics and micro detail coupled with that enormous 3D soundstage that is heard to beat. OTOH-I've gone thru a TON of ss amps for the HD800s, and am usually fairly unimpressed. Even the somewhat synergistic ones had their drawbacks with the Senn i.e. m-Stage, warm and rich but congested and lacking detail and many other strengths of the HD800 are held in check. Phonitor, completely unrealistic soundstage to me and some wonky vocals at times which I can only imagine there's some midrange suckout in certail frequencies...smooth, airy, detailed yes, but...fake. MJ, not bad, but dry, almost a 2D b&w tv comparison someone here made hits it right on the head imo. Master 8...bland and boring (at least in conjunction with M7 and HD800. The list goes on...and on...
 
The Bryston though, has a few traits that I haven't heard in a lot of other ss amps with the Senn-good soundstaging depth, snappy, textured bass, natural timbers, PrAT...hmm. It falls short of the ZDSE (tubes play a huge role here) in nearly every category...but not by a lot. Again-the ZDSE is the best I've heard the HD800 so far-and it took the right tube to do it (current Sophia Electric)-and I'm sure there were better tubes to bring it to another level still. Keep in mind I also had a much better dac with the ZDSE (Eximus) than I'm using with the Bryston (Dac100)-and not even a balanced one at that. I have a Gungnir incoming and possibly an Anedio D2 and will see how much further those take the BHA-1, especially in balanced mode.
 
So far-I was completely expecting to the Bryston to be average at best with the HD800, but I'm pleasantly very surprised. Hope you find another deal on one cuz mine is probably staying put...for at least a few more days lol.
 
-Daniel
 
Aug 26, 2013 at 11:18 PM Post #1,221 of 2,372

Bolardito

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Not quite. ZDSE still had better technicalities (tubes what whaaa??) than the Bryston. Still has the 'emotion' and microdynamics and micro detail coupled with that enormous 3D soundstage that is heard to beat. OTOH-I've gone thru a TON of ss amps for the HD800s, and am usually fairly unimpressed. Even the somewhat synergistic ones had their drawbacks with the Senn i.e. m-Stage, warm and rich but congested and lacking detail and many other strengths of the HD800 are held in check. Phonitor, completely unrealistic soundstage to me and some wonky vocals at times which I can only imagine there's some midrange suckout in certail frequencies...smooth, airy, detailed yes, but...fake. MJ, not bad, but dry, almost a 2D b&w tv comparison someone here made hits it right on the head imo. Master 8...bland and boring (at least in conjunction with M7 and HD800. The list goes on...and on...

The Bryston though, has a few traits that I haven't heard in a lot of other ss amps with the Senn-good soundstaging depth, snappy, textured bass, natural timbers, PrAT...hmm. It falls short of the ZDSE (tubes play a huge role here) in nearly every category...but not by a lot. Again-the ZDSE is the best I've heard the HD800 so far-and it took the right tube to do it (current Sophia Electric)-and I'm sure there were better tubes to bring it to another level still. Keep in mind I also had a much better dac with the ZDSE (Eximus) than I'm using with the Bryston (Dac100)-and not even a balanced one at that. I have a Gungnir incoming and possibly an Anedio D2 and will see how much further those take the BHA-1, especially in balanced mode.

So far-I was completely expecting to the Bryston to be average at best with the HD800, but I'm pleasantly very surprised. Hope you find another deal on one cuz mine is probably staying put...for at least a few more days lol.

-Daniel


Thanks for this post, very useful to say the least..your experience with so many amps is very valuable for HD800 users. Have you ever considered getting the GS-X ? Would be awesome to see your impressions of it vs. the ZDSE since it is supposed to be the king of ss amps and a top performer with the HD800.. I have been toying with the idea of getting one..but its price and to have to wait 5 months is a deal breaker for me..
 
Aug 26, 2013 at 11:30 PM Post #1,222 of 2,372

BournePerfect

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Well I'm currently shooting for the moon amp wise-I have a 5-6K Eddie Current Leviathan currently being built for me. Because of that, I really just wanted a passable ss amp in the meantime that does well with the HD800-and so far the Bryston fits that bill. Not sure if the GSX fits into my future plans now-mainly because I doubt it would live up to the Leviathan (who knows yet), and for that kind of money and wait time...yeah. Maybe if MH ever decides to sell me his I'll try it out. Also-based on current impressions of the Stratus-if you're looking at the ZDSE, I'd recommend trying either the Stratus or Eddie Current 2A3 amp which are probably a step above the Zana.
 
*typos galore tonight* grr
 
-Daniel
 
Oct 5, 2013 at 5:25 PM Post #1,223 of 2,372

Synthax

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Is it normal that this Bryston with volume pot placed on 0 gives a little sound at headphone autput (6,3mm jack output). I mean that even with zero level volume I still can hear the sound, very little of course. I use HD650.
 
Oct 5, 2013 at 6:16 PM Post #1,224 of 2,372

dleblanc343

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  Is it normal that this Bryston with volume pot placed on 0 gives a little sound at headphone autput (6,3mm jack output). I mean that even with zero level volume I still can hear the sound, very little of course. I use HD650.

 
Yes, it's possible you hear it very very feintly.
 
Oct 8, 2013 at 8:55 PM Post #1,225 of 2,372

Namkung

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  Is it normal that this Bryston with volume pot placed on 0 gives a little sound at headphone autput (6,3mm jack output). I mean that even with zero level volume I still can hear the sound, very little of course. I use HD650.

 
Yes, it is possible although I would guess it's due to something other than the BHA-1.
My BHA-1 is dead silent except at the very max volume . When disconnected from everything, the BHA-1 is dead silent even at 100% volume so the noise is a result most likely from my PC.
 

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