Bryston BDP-1 di Alan Compaan (Edmonds, WA) 13 Dicembre 2012
James, just a quick e-mail to wish you and all the staff at Bryston a very happy holiday season!!
Also to thank you for making such a great addition to my music system - the BDP-1. I have not bought anything that has single-handedly transformed the way I access and listen to my music library any better than the BDP-1.
And sonically, it's a slam dunk, as it takes red book to a new level.
Once you helped me to get it configured along with mPad, I have not had a single "problem" with it. In fact, I never did have any problems with it - any temporary glitches were just due to my newness with the BDP-1. I am thoroughly pleased, and I thank you (and Chris) every time I fire it up to enjoy music.
From a very satisfied customer who made an absolutely right purchasing decision a year ago.
Bryston SP 3 di Anthony Barsoom 6 Dicembre 2012
Hi James, I wanted to thank you again for all the time you spent answering my upfront questions about the SP3 and BDP-2. I received the SP3 a couple weeks ago and have been thoroughly enjoying it.
The SP3 was an upgrade to my venerable Anthem AVM20, which was a piece that was highly regarded by the press and its owners when it was released 10+ years ago. The primary reasons why I upgraded the Anthem was to gain HDMI functionality and the processing of HD multichannel codecs.
I knew to expect at least equal sound quality from the SP3, but I truly was surprised by the very noticeable increase in clarity and the reduction of noise. Two things stood out. First was how good of a job the DAC did on a complex acoustic guitar track that I have. On all but the best systems, the notes are a jumbled mess, because the artist is so quick on the strings. On the SP3, it was clear and musical, which puts the SP3 in the same league as Boulder.
Secondly was the sound of silence. By that I mean, silent tracks were actually silent. This is true of movies, music, and even streaming radio.
I am so impressed by the increased performance of my system by the SP3, that I am even considering a second, two channel Bryston system for my office.
Thank you again for your customer service, and I look forward to receiving the BDP-2 and adding it to my system.
Bryston BHA-1 di Paul (HiFi Lounge, UK) 15 Ottobre 2012
After months of waiting my Bryston BHA-1 Headphone amplifier it arrived towards the end of last week and yesterday I sat down for a few hours to put it through its paces, all I can say is BHA-1 - OMG. Actually James I think you should have called it the OMG-1. What a piece of kit, it was certainly worth the wait.
First off I tried the BHA-1 as a ‘pre-amp’ out of curiosity, hooked up to a 4B SST2 with the BDP-1 and BDA-1, all balanced, what an amazing system, it sounded fantastic, I think this feature really shouldn't be overlooked as this system is a cracking set-up and as long as you don't need more than one source hooked up offers fantastic performance Then for the real test, the BHA-1 connected to the BDP-1 and BDA-1 using balanced cables again, with my Grado PS1000's, un-balanced unfortunately, I played with the gain settings but with the Grado's preferred the high setting. I have to say I really wasn't expecting the quality jump compared to the SP3 headphone out, which is no slouch it has to be said, but the difference really isn't subtle, through the BHA-1 the PS1000's just came alive, it was like I'd bought a new pair of headphones, it does make me wonder how many people have never heard their headphones real performance, I tried various recordings all with the same effect, but when listening to the Eagles 'Hotel California' from the Hell Freezes Over CD, as an example, I was quite simply amazed at the clarity, separation, dynamics and detail that the BHA-1 was retrieving, it was simply astonishing.
I tried the BHA-1 with a Naim streamer connected via RCA's, it still sounded fantastic but was not in the same league as when connected to the BDP-1/BDA-1 combo, if you are into your headphones then I really believe this to be headphone nirvana, it is for me anyway.
Over here in the UK, the BHA-1 costs £1425 which I feel makes it the bargain of the century, especially at the moment when Bryston prices in the UK have been questioned a few times, as not only do you get a truly reference headphone amplifier but also a top end Pre-amp, you can't ask for more than that.
All in all though I'm amazed at the performance of the BHA-1, basically I've never heard my headphones driven properly, it is amazing how with the BHA-1 they came alive, well done to everyone involved at Bryston, the BHA-1 really is a true reference product.
Bryston BHA-1 di elhefe (Moderatore di hifi4sale.net) 15 Ottobre 2012
I finally received and hooked up this wonderful piece of kit 2 days ago and this is my first 24 hours review.
First of all, why the change from Musical Fidelity M1 HPA headphone amp? http://www.hifi4sale.net/t21731-confined-space-a-review-of-musical-fidelity-m1-hpa
I blame it on the Kuala Lumpur International AV show held in July this year. For this year event, I didnt have anything in mind to purchase. Just attended the show to look around and support a few fellow hifi friends who was show casing their set up. However, it was written in the star that I was to catch a glimpse of this unit on demo from the local supplier. I have several times listened to Bryston set up several times and it has its own merit. But when I saw this headphone amp, I said to myself, I have to try it, especially that it was paired with Grado PS1000.
My my my....it was a jaw dropping experience. As soon as I put on the cans, I was instantly disconnected from the busy surrounding and my mind just focussed on how this unit can deliver such a lively, detailed and natural sound. Such beautiful presentation. But, is it the amp or PS1000 giving me this experience. So, I told myself, I have to try it with my Alessandro Grado MS Pro. Unfortunately, I can only attend 1 day of this 3 days event. So, I guess I have to pay the dealer a visit after the show. And only this week in Oct I have the time to do it.
I went to the dealer's shop (AV Designs) with a good hifi buddy of mine from Indonesia. The shop is actually in the same office building as mine and requested a demo on this unit again.
Both James and Low were there and they were very accommodating despite I didnt arrange for an appointment first. I was there for 2 reasons actually. One is to demo this amp again. And the other is to check out their sale on various items. I can see at one corner number of boxes of AV amps, BD players and speakers ready to find a new home at a much discounted price. And I have to admit that I did not leave this shop just with this Bryston amp. The sale on the items was just too good to be passed.
James and Low initially explained a bit on the unit as I had questions on those multiple headphone outputs. Frankly speaking, I never knew there were balanced headphones.
However, just to reconfirm the experience I had in the show, I tested it with the PS1000 cans first. Sure enough, I was not dreaming during the AV show. In fact, it sounded even more natural this time. After discussing with them on some technical queries and commercial of course...I told them that I would need to test the amp with my cans. They fully agree and did not hesitate to invite us to their shop the next day. So, I popped in again the next day with my Alessandro Grado. Part of me hoping that it will not sound as good with my cans to avoid me parting with about RM X380 and ditch my MF M1 HPA. And.... I lost the battle and succumbed to luscious Bryston. It still delivered such a lively and non-exhaustive listening session. And now the unit is hooked up to my system.
This unit is built like a tank, a typical Bryston feature. I opted for the all black unit to match the rest of my black MF set up. The dimension L x W x H is 17 x 11 x 2.425 and weighs 5.3 kg. The volume and balance knobs are sturdily fitted and has the right amount of friction to gradually increase the volume in a smaller scale. Thw power, input and gain switch however are of an old school electrical switch which I dont particularly fond of but the MF M1 HPA uses the same switch too. On the rear, the RCA connection is of gold plated. The power supply connection is IEC and comes with a basic power cord with a UK 3 pin plug. The front fascia is a mix of modern and vintage look and for some might even say it looks a bit industrial. The blue LED power indicator is also soft to the eyes.
Its a Class A amp but does not run really hot. In fact, my Class A/B M6i runs hotter.
Inputs and Outputs
There are 3 inputs available:
1. Single ended RCA
2. 3.5 mm stereo jack
3. XLR Balanced
The unit can drive 3 headphones at one time but with different output connection:
1. 1/4 stereo jack
2. Stereo Balanced output (4 pin XLR)
3. 3 pin Balanced Output
NOTE: there is also high and low gain switch to match your headphones.
I am limited to use the RCA input and 1/4 stereo output.
The Set Up
I hooked up the unit via the tape loop on my MF M6i integrated amp using QED RCA Signature series IC and QED Qonduit power cable.
1. MF CDT via M1 DAC with Siltech XLR cabling throughout
2. MF M1 CLiC with Siltech IC
3. Clearaudio Concept TT via MF M1 ViNL
Gain was set to low.
1. Alessandro Grado MS Pro
2. B&O P5 (courtesy of my Indonesian buddy)
1. Girl from Ipanema (Stan Getz/Gilberto) - FLAC
2. My Hero (Foo Fighters) - MP3 48kHz 320 kbps
3. Time to Say Goodbye (Andrea Bocelli) - CD
4. Hotel California (The Eagles) - FLAC
Out of the Box Performance
I was so excited with the purchase that I put aside the ‘run in’ principle. Hooked it up and immediately put on the cans and fired up Foo Fighters. Even out of the box, this amp delivered a very powerful yet subtle bass from the drummings on this track. Very detailed presentation in which the 'overlapping' drum beats can be heard on each note. After listening to this track, I went out for dinner and let it run in for 3 hours. In fact, the dealer did mention to me I can actually enjoy the high SQ even fresh out of the box.
The Listening Session
After 4 hours of running in, I started to run my playlist above. First up was Girl from Ipanema. The vocals on this track was somehow elevated and created a personal space to me. ONce the music came, it gave me a different experience compared to playing Foo Fighters. A very relaxing sensation kicked in due to ambience delivered by this unit. However, maybe because its FLAC file, the volume seems a bit lower compared to playing Foo Fighters. I tried switching the gain to high. It did increase the volume level up a notch but I loose the subtlety that I was enjoying. So I wswitched back to low and increase the volume to about 10 o' clock. Previously it was at 9 o' clock. With power output rated at 1 W into 32 ohm, it can easily drive my cans.
Next up was Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman. This track has always been one of my favourite track for reviewing as I measure the performace of the unit tested against Andrea's and Sarah's vocals. Both of their vocals compliment each other to have a balanced tone (high and low pitch). And sure enough the Bryston delivered this flawlessly. This was one part of where the MF M1 HPA having difficulty to deliver the balance for this track.
I then went back to a FLAC file Hotel California. Listening to slow rock and in this live performance by the Eagles is even much more soothing. The live ambience was delivered by the Bryston through my cans that made me feel that I was at the concert and audience are supplied with a personalised headphones. The drums and guitars on this track was so refine and detailed out that you can here every single strumming and plucking the Eagles. This was one track that I repeated thrice just because it sounded too good to be true that I had to confirm and reconfirm the statement I made above. And each time, the Bryston just keep presenting a lively experience.
I went through all the tracks again using the P5 headphones. Unfortunately, the pair didnt give me the same satisfaction. This made me further believe that just like speakers needs to match the amp, headphones are the same. I am not saying the P5 are not good headphones but it just didnt rhyme nicely with the Bryston. A bit on the harsh side.
So there you go. A solid performer this amp is.
Is it worth the price? I strongly believe so.
Will I let go of my MF M1 HPA? Not so soon. It will do some office duties first.
Will I recommend this amp for head-fi-ers? Definitely with a word of caution. Demo it before purchase with your own cans.
But now I am curious how would a balanced headphone sounds like????? Will there be another quest for a new pair of cans after the Alessandro?
Bryston BHA-1 di Tyson 12 Ottobre 2012
I was unsure of who to send this message to. I just purchased a used Bryston BHA-1 from a friend, who purchased it from moon-audio.com on 8/21/2012.
I must first tell you that my Grado PS1000s have never sounded better. I have been grinning for 3 days straight, haha!
I couldn't be more happy with it. The PS1000s are low ohm, so I barely have to turn the volume up, but the sound is just so mesmerizing and textured.
I'm blown away.