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Thread: BHA-1

  1. #1
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    BHA-1

    I just got my BHA-1 back from my buddy to use with my new Abyss cans. I cannot imagine anything better in a headphone amplifier!
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  2. #2
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    Re: BHA-1

    Dan came over yesterday. Dan is the president of the Central Coast Audio Club. First day spent with a audio club friend in a very long time. It was a blast talking everything music and trying different piece of music, etc. We did fire up the Bryston for a bit to check it out. Dan was amazed. He has Audeze LCD-3s, but uses them sparingly. He said these were the best cans he had ever heard and the Bryston was such a wonderful match.

    Anyway, I tried a bunch of different things on the Bryston after Dan went home. It played perfectly on everything I threw at it. I cannot even imagine a better headphone amp. I truly don't think it is possible .
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

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    Re: BHA-1

    Randy-

    Thanks for the info. From time to time I toy with the idea of a headphone amp. Looks like the Bryston would be the main contender for the LCD 3's based on your review and those of many others.
    McIntosh C-1100, MC 75's, MC 275 (lows), MR 85, MCD 205.
    Legacy Focus SE's. VPI Classic 1 w/ Denon 103R. Bryston BDP-3 & BDA-3.

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    Re: BHA-1

    The LCD-3's are nice headphones, a couple of our club members have them. In my view you would be hard pressed to find a better headphone amplifier then the Bryston!
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  5. #5
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    Re: BHA-1

    the BHA-1 does an great job on Audeze headphones.

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    Re: BHA-1

    I just received a Black Dragon 4-pin balanced cable. What a difference mainly do to how the Bryston handles balanced versus single ended output. If you ever try the Bryston headphone amp you absolutely have to get a balanced cable!!!

    I can say, without reservation, the Bryston amp with the Abyss headphones is better than I ever imaged headphone listening could be. My speakers may not be world class but my headphone listening certainly is!
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  7. #7
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    Re: BHA-1

    Randy did you have the BHA-1 when you had your MR Speaker headphones ? if so how did it sound. But a lot would depend upon the DAC used as well.

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    Re: BHA-1

    Hmmmm... I can't remember for sure which amp I used with the Ethers but I think I had the Dennis Had at the time. I dealt the Bryston to my buddy trying other things, like the tube amp. Always regretted it and recently got it back. He is a bachelor and has two nice systems in his house so never used headphones much.

    I really liked the Mr. Speakers but after our audio club can jam had to try Focals . They were great as well, but I definitely like the Abyss much better. They are in another league, but they are also more than twice the price of either.

    I am fairly certain I had the T+A as the source for all of these.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  9. #9
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    Re: BHA-1

    I've been using the now Dan Clark ( Mr Speaker) Aeon 2 Closed, and the Ether C Flow, LCD-3, HD-600, HD650 with my Woo headphone amp, but always wanted to try SS. I had a HeadampGSX Mini on loan but it just didn't click. The Dan Clark phones just fit my head and are very comfortable to me.

  10. #10
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    Re: BHA-1

    Woo is a nice amp. I had one of their basic ones for a bit. A friend had one of their big boy amps, but he is very much into rolling.

    I prefer open back headphones but I assume those Ether C Flow are nice! I agree about their comfort level. Did Dan change the name from Mr. Speakers to Dan Clark Audio?

    The Bryston is amazing, even more so when using a balanced cable. I am surprised about your experience with the Head Amp. That is one I was considering before my buddy told me that the Bryston was available back to me. I have never heard one or actual seen one. I was going purely by reputation and what I had read.

    By the way, The Music Room has a pre-owned Bryston for a decent deal. Always ask for better price .
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  11. #11
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    Re: BHA-1

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Woo is a nice amp. I had one of their basic ones for a bit. A friend had one of their big boy amps, but he is very much into rolling.

    I prefer open back headphones but I assume those Ether C Flow are nice! I agree about their comfort level. Did Dan change the name from Mr. Speakers to Dan Clark Audio?

    The Bryston is amazing, even more so when using a balanced cable. I am surprised about your experience with the Head Amp. That is one I was considering before my buddy told me that the Bryston was available back to me. I have never heard one or actual seen one. I was going purely by reputation and what I had read.

    By the way, The Music Room has a pre-owned Bryston for a decent deal. Always ask for better price .
    Ye Dan Clark changed the name late last year. The Head amp did sound nice but it didn't give me anything that I already didn't have. If I didn't have my Woo it would be a nice addition.

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    Re: BHA-1

    Ok, that makes sense. I would be surprised if the Bryston did not impress you, especially if you can use balanced cables with it! SE does sound great also but the amp is designed to use more amp stages with the balanced outputs.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

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    Re: BHA-1

    I have both the Bryston BHA-1 (with gain mod for external speakers) and the Benchmark HPA4. The HPA4 is a little clearer and preferred with my Meze Empy but the BHA-1 is also great. A bit more relaxing sound, or it could be because I listen to the BHA-1 when I am in bed.

    I am going to flip my systems around today to give the BHA-1 main system duties (in my office). I want to see how it sounds with the Benchmark DAC3B. I have been using a SACD player on the BHA-1 prior to today.

    I use Balanced cables throughout both systems.

  14. #14
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    Re: BHA-1

    I was going to say the Bryston definitely performs better with balanced cables. You got that covered!

    I had the Benchmark DAC3 HGC. It was a good DAC but I found it very analytic sounding. Not nearly as musical sounding as the Wyred 4 Sound that I replaced it with. However, nether are in the same ball park as the T+A that I currently own. Besides that I feel the Benchmark, while definitely above average, was not as musical as the T+A. More importantly their refusal to put any efforts into DSD was quite disappointing. DSD64 is very good, but has high frequency noise issues. A DAC needs to support at least DSD128 or DSD256, both of which Benchmark refuses to do even though the chip they use does.

    Anyway, let us know what you think switching the two. Being that you are using the Benchmark DAC I believe the HPA4 should have a leg up .
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  15. #15
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    Re: BHA-1

    Well Randy, I got my BHA-1 and its worked with every headphone I had and even borrowed. So far impressed. I have a 4 pin cable coming for the HD650's since I've read it really perks those up.
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  16. #16
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    Re: BHA-1

    Awesome!!! It is an excellent headphone amp... the best I have ever listened to for sure.

    Yea, you will like it with balanced cables. From my understanding with SE cable it is only using half of its outputs and with balanced cables all are employed! I purchased a 4-pin balanced cable for my Abyss... very nice improvement!
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  17. #17
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    Re: BHA-1

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Awesome!!! It is an excellent headphone amp... the best I have ever listened to for sure.

    Yea, you will like it with balanced cables. From my understanding with SE cable it is only using half of its outputs and with balanced cables all are employed! I purchased a 4-pin balanced cable for my Abyss... very nice improvement!
    Its a solid amp for sure. I unloaded mu WOO WA6SE two weeks ago. So tubeless at teh moment.

  18. #18
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    Re: BHA-1

    I find I use my headphones mainly with my portable any more. My buddy is having to deal with issues with his mom and is having to stay there often, so I got the Bryston back to him (we have traded it back and forth a few times now ). It is the best headphone amp I have heard but for the occasional times I might listen to headphones through my system the T+A works well.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  19. #19

    Re: BHA-1

    Bryston BHA-1 was a very good headphone amp indeed. Until I tried the Violectric V281... The muscular drive of the BHA with an even richer and denser presentation without sounding overly warm or dark. Bass was stupendous with very analog like quality to it. I also really enjoyed the SPL Phonitor studio headphone amp. There are newer versions of both the Violectric and the SPL now but I have not heard them.

    Kind of regret selling them but I am back to Woo tubes and my Sennheiser HD600 and ZMF Auteur Blackwoods and the Prima Luna Dialogue HP for serious "tooobage" listening sessions.. I find that combination of rich, warmish and dense presentation best for my main headphone listening genres of music. The kind of sound one can enjoy for hours on end and I typically do!





    Serge

  20. #20
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    Re: BHA-1

    I hear good things about the Phonitor, but I do believe the Bryston was the best I have ever heard with my Abyss headphones... Since this is the Bryston thread I am not going to get into talking about other companies offerings here though.
    Hattor; T+A; Bel Canto; McIntosh; Rega; Technics; SimAudio; Magnepan; Rythmik; Astell & Kern; Abyss

    "You are entitled to your opinions but you are not entitled to your own facts"

  21. #21

    Re: BHA-1

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I hear good things about the Phonitor, but I do believe the Bryston was the best I have ever heard with my Abyss headphones... Since this is the Bryston thread I am not going to get into talking about other companies offerings here though.
    BHA-1 is a very solid choice. It was my reference amp against which all others were judged.
    Serge

  22. #22
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    Re: BHA-1

    I know I like the BHA-1 after owning a few others mentioned on here. The amp pairs well with my HD650, HD800s, Focal Clear, Dan Clark Ether C, and the LCD3. Can't wait to try the BHA-1 with my on order ZMF Verite open's.

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