I doubt it. My guess is that it is more of a face lathering performance thing. I would think this would primarily be the case with a floppier brush - you could dial it in a bit by holding at the base of the bristles with the handle in your palm. I'll have to try this now just for the heck of it.I am getting good results holding the handle. I was just wondering if it was more of a brush care type of thing. Like holding the bristles prevents strain on the knot. Something along those lines.
+1 However, I don't see the need once you get comfortable with your brush(es).Holding it by the bristles allows you to flatten the brush out and get into tight areas better, like under the nose. Other than that it really doesn't matter how you hold your brush. Anyway you do it its really a YMMV thing.