I am looking to buy my last amp and found the BHK-250 an interesting prospect. I must say I would be very leary making a purchase. Yes I know there is a warranty but a 100 lb. amp is not fun sending back and forth!
Are these design issues and are they fixed? What manufacture dates are safe, if any. It is a shame that a product goes into production with such serious issues. I would like to know what is going on before I would Buy!
The BHK250 (and 300 monoblocks) is an excellent product and a good choice for “my last amp”. I’m thinking along those lines, but then, I don’t know how much longer I’ll be using mine so a replacement many years in the future is a possibility. And, yes, shipping a 94 pound amp back is not fun, been there, done that.
As far as design issues, the only one I am aware of is the original binding posts were substandard and were replaced (hence my shipping it back). This only impacted the initial production run and I’m pretty sure it was corrected within six months of release. I’ve had my amp for 2-1/2 years without any serious issue, I did have one fuse blow, but that was a simple thing to replace. Fuse blowing is not a problem unless it happens repeatedly. As for overheating, most of the forum posts are from folks who are not sure what constitutes “too hot”. From what I recall no amps were actually diagnosed as overheating, at least that had adequate ventilation. If I am wrong, hopefully some one will correct me. Finally, I’m not familiar with the “clicking” issue, at least with it being a fault. There is a relay in the unit and it does click when turning the unit on from standby, this is not a problem. I did have some noises early on that sounded like “clicks”, but they were expansion sounds. By that I mean the heat sinks expand when they get warm. As the heat sinks expand they can make a tick sound as the metal moves relative to whatever it is attached to. These sounds disappeared after a period of time as the mating parts that were moving relaxed. This is normal.
Now having said all that and you are still not convinced, you can consider the Stellar series amps. From what I have read they are quite good, cost less, and weigh less too. Good luck with the quest!
Thanks for the reply pmotz. If there are other thoughts, they are certainly welcomed.
I’ve had my BHK 250 for over two years with no problems and like it very much. It does get hot when in use for a long time but I’ve never thought that the heat output is beyond what one might expect from a powerful amp. Mine sits on a PowerBase on the floor, so it has plenty of ventilation. I would not put it in a an enclosed cabinet; a rack with open sides should be OK as long as the shelf above isn’t too close.
I was one of those who posted about clicking sounds. My experience was the opposite of pmotz, who heard the sounds initially and then they went away. I did not hear them when I first had the amp and so got a little concerned when I began to notice them (hence my post).
I agree that the sounds are caused by metal (probably the heat sinks) expanding. I now hear them less often – rarely, in fact. This might be a seasonal thing. IIRC I first heard them in the summer, when the heat sinks would have been slightly larger than they are now when the ambient temperature is cooler in the winter (northern US). In any case I wouldn’t worry about this. The BHK amps have an awful lot going for them and are certainly worthy of consideration as a “last amp.”
One of the problems with a public forum like ours is the magnification factor. One or two problem units gets magnified into a “thing” and we don’t see the hundreds of perfect devices in the field. If you only read the forums you’d think there were serious problems with every unit which, I can assure you, is not the case. Yet, I understand why this happens. Think of the newspaper which publishes only the sensational of the day. If your only view of the world was through a news channel you’d think the world was falling apart at the seams—yet when you travel outside the news bubble everything looks weirdly normal.
The BHK series is one of the most reliable product lines we’ve launched. Failure rates are well under 1% which means 99% of all production is trouble free and making glorious music for people.
I get that these public forums are a window into the decision-making process. How else would you find anything out? I would just caution that the forums give you a very narrow window view into the extremes.
I have one of two or three BHK Stereo 250s mentioned in the PS Audio forum as overheating. Three points about my unit, it is a Beta (pre-production version), it was sent back to PS Audio for a repair modification bringing it to production model spec in the winter of 2016 and it has worked flawlessly for over 18 months. Never once has it overheated again even after 24 hours of continuous use.
Please also know PS Audio gave beta testers a discount on the beta test amps and was fully transparent, upfront, they may be recalled to the factory for modification if necessary.
I would buy another BHK Stereo 250 without reservation. It’s the best sounding amp I’ve owned and I’ve had over 20 different amps from all the usual suspects. In fact, I may upgrade to the BHK Mono 300s.
BHK’s like air flow but can reliably function in an equipment rack.
Me again, who started this question on heat, fuses, and clicks.
I agree with Paul about the small window of issues that can get blown out of proportion. It appears from the many, who like this unit, that these few reported issues, are not the example, but the exception. Public forums don’t give the whole picture, but merely a peek into a product that can otherwise be great. I am getting the idea from those who took the time to explain, that this is, a really nice amp! Thanks!
I have enjoyed a number of really fine amps in my system over the years, and I must say that the BHK amps have a very special balance of virtues, especially for their price. And their customer support is fantastic, should issue arise. I wouldn’t hesitate to try one.
I have the exact same issue with my 250. Probably som sort of metal expansion going on in the heatsinks due to temperature changes…
Over on a Nikon forum that I am active in, we have all agreed that the internet is the cause of equipment failure. Things just didn’t fail until the advent of WWW.
And old topics, particularly if they have false negative implications, never go away. I got my BHK250 in April 2015 (it was a beta unit, if memory serves). It has been in daily use ever since (excluding occasional vacations and other brief out-of-town trips) and I have had zero issues with it.