BHK 250 tweaks


#1

I ordered the BHK 250 after reading about its development and the reviews from the beta testers. I was a little anxious because my Pass X250.5 has served me well for a long time. After several days of break-in, I was relieved that the BHK 250 met my expectations, and was offered better resolution, bass and treble extension.

Out of curiosity, I decided to bypass the stock footers with the AmCan version. AmCan Audio is a small company that makes very effective isolation footers. Previously, I used a full complement of Stillpoints Ultra SS footers under my VPI Classic 3 table, Direcstream DAC, Pass amps, and Revel Studio2 speakers. The AmCan footers were better and less expensive so I quickly sold all my Stillpoints. Other AmCan users even prefer them to the Ultra 5 footers.

Rather than removing the stock feet, I just placed the large AmCan footers evenly under the BHK. The bass was noticeably tighter and stronger, and the lower noise floor made it easier to hear subtle details. The BHK just sound significantly better. I suspect that any good footers will generate similar improvements. Has anyone else tried this tweak?

I’ve also had good experience using Synergistic Red fuses in my Directstream DAC and amps. Since the BHK has 6 fuses (2 main + 4 rails), has anyone tried upgrading the fuses? Which fuse is the best candidate? It’s expensive to upgrade all six fuses!


#2

@mtseymour57, welcome! I’m curious to hear more about the comparison of the BHK to the Pass amp. If you used the Pass without these footers, can you tell us a bit more about how the BHK sounded next to it also without footers (or with if that’s how you had the Pass set up).

Also sent you an IM about the TT since that would be OT here.


#3

+1 on the welcome. Nice post. I’m not familiar with the AmCan products. Which model did you use?


#4

I’ve used a lot of footers and racks over time (eg. Sympsium Rollerblocks, Symposium shelves, Nordost Ti Pulsar Points, Stillpoints Ultra SS). The degree of improvement varies but they’re generally beneficial.

In their stock form, the BHK 250 is better than the X250.5 in most areas (bass control, low level detail, speed, treble extension, etc). The X250.5 is a very fine amp, and my preference was to upgrade within the Pass family. Unfortunately, I don’t have room for monoblocks like the XA160.8, or 3-box XP-30 preamp.

With any good footer, the Pass will sound quieter, with better bass and low level detail. Notes are fuller with less grain, and they decay more slowly. The same improvement is easy to hear with the BHK. It just sound more like real music.

Let’s face, all components have to built to meet a price point. The Pass rest on thick rubber donuts that are bolted to the bottom plate. Not exactly the most sophisticated way to dissipate vibrations from the transformer and other components. When you add something like the Stillpoints or AmCan, there will be less “noise”.

Todd Kubon is the man behind AmCan. Todd is a keen audiophile who works as an anaplastologist (who fabricates facial prostheses at hospitals). His small company is really a labor of love. Through his work, he’s familiar with different silicon formulations. After multiple prototypes, he developed a custom silicon that will work well with copper, brass, and stainless steel footers. His website has all the product details. I used the large footer under my Classic 3 table, Pass/PS Audio amps and Revel speakers. I use the medium under my Directstream.

I think the Stillpoints are excellent products. I owned a full (and expensive) complete set of Stillpoints before I tried my first set of AmCan footers. After the first successful test, I quickly replace all the Stillpoints. Although the AmCan footer are about half the price of the Ultra SS, it was not a factor. I made the change because the AmCan provided more vibration control. With the Revel Studio2, the increase in bass control and higher resolution across the board was particularly easy to hear. It was a no-brainer to spend less and get better sound. Of course, YMMV.


#5

Anyone try replacing the stock fuses???


#6

For the BHK 250, I too was wondering about fuses. To be specific, HiFi Tuning fuses. I just sold my Quicksilver V-4 Monos to buy the BHK 250. I use MapleShade Brass footers and found them to be wonderful in all my components. Although, I’m a little concerned about putting 3 footers under this very heavy amp. I have some concern that it might damage the bottom of the chassis. Has anyone used MapleShade footers with this amp??

Also, if anyone has done a head to head with the DirectStream DAC to the DirectStream Jr. I would love to hear from you.


#7

The BHK250 is well-made, and the bottom plate should not be deformed if you use 3 footers rather than 4. I think that Mapleshade or any good footer will easily surpass the stock footers. Even high-quality amps like BHK250, Pass X250.5, Bryston 4BSST, etc, use relatively inexpensive plastic feet that are attached by small metal screws. They just don’t dissipate or control the vibration from inside the amp or from other components (eg. speakers).

So it’s pretty easy for high quality footers (eg. Stillpoints Ultra SS, Nordost Sort, AmCan) to surpass the stock feet. It’s like replacing the $20 factory AC cable with a high-quality cable from Shunyata, Nordost, Synergistic Research, etc.


#8

FYI- I just replaced all stock fuses with HiFi Tuning Supreme fuses. Also, used Silclear Silver-Bearing Contact Enhancer from Maple Shade. Just apply a light coating on the ends of each fuse. I’ve been using it on my components for awhile now and it’s just wonderful. Also, swaped-out the Gold Lion Genlax tubes for Russian NOS 6H23P-EB (Premium).

That said, the BHK 250 sounds so FREAKING nice!!! Running the BHK direct to the Direct Stream DAC is really the way to go. I had a modded Audible Illusions L3 pre-amp and I just sold it b/c it sounded better without. There is no listening fatigue; so I find myself listening for hours on end.

Thanks for the info on the Maple Shade footer… I have a set of Heavy Feet, but like others, I’ve been afraid of damaging the bottom of the amp.


#9

When you installed the Supreme fuses, was the improvement more audible with the 2 mains fuses (10A & 1.6A) or the 4 rail fuses (10A)?


#10
tony22 said @mtseymour57, welcome! I'm curious to hear more about the comparison of the BHK to the Pass amp. If you used the Pass without these footers, can you tell us a bit more about how the BHK sounded next to it also without footers (or with if that's how you had the Pass set up)
@tony22 : I use the same Finite Elemente Cerapuc feet (similar design to Stillpoints) for both BHK250 and for my old beloved Pass Labs x250 (which I sold last week). You can read my review here: http://www.psaudio.com/forum/bhk-power-and-pre-amp-forum/bhk-beta-tester-reports/page-4/#p43354

#11

I did all the fuses at the same time so I am not sure which fuses made the most difference.


#12

@Richard: so what is your impression after you replaced the fuses? What differences did you notice?


#13

For the fuses…It’s really hard for me to explain, since I’m not a professional. The BHK just seemed to have more detail and openness. When I used HiFi fuses in my Quicksilver V4 mono block…they had a much bigger improvement.

Other Tweaks to Share:

As for power cables, I have tried many and the best cable for me was the The Maple Shade Double Helix MK1i AC Power Cord with PLUS (CRYO). Nothing I’ve heard or owned has sounded as live and open. I’ve had cables costing 3x as much and they do not compare. I use the The Maple Shade Double Helix MK1i AC Power Cord with PLUS on the DS DAC and BHK and will probably never change them again. I also use the The Maple Shade Double Helix MK2i AC Power Stripe with PLUS which also sounded better than anything I’ve used. That’s including the PS P3 which I sold soon after getting.

The one tweak I tried that yielded no results (to my ears) was the Maple Shade Heavy feet. They are great on the DS DAC, but on the BHK, I actually think the stock footers are best. They are cut from a solid block of Aluminum,…I was surprised that they were so nice.

The last tweak I can share… is something I had for awhile and that is a dedicated 20amp line and Maple Shade Ultra Minimalist outlets. I have also used VooDoo cryo outlets… But the Maple Shade’s are much better.

Please note, I do not work for Maple Shade and it took me many years to come around to Pierre’s way of thinking. But hearing is believing.


#14

As my room is going together I soon will be trying outages moons. Any advice on tubes to have on hand to roll?

L


#15

My preference is Russian NOS 6H23P-EB (Premium). You will not find a better tube for the BHK. Can buy at http://www.thetubestore.com

RP


#16

Richard, What did you notice as a benefit over the stock tubes? What others did you try? For the BHK300 does one need to order the matched versions ?


#17

I’ve only tried the Russian premiums I mentioned, and of course the stock Genalex. I love them both. Since I have had tube equipment for many years, I have a good idea of what I like. Although the BHK is self biasing… As a rule, I would always choose to get matched tubes whenever it is an option. The Russian NOS 6H23P-EB (Premium) is very crisp and open, it also adds more detail. If you try another tube you like, let me know.

RP


#18
mtseymour57 said I ordered the BHK 250 after reading about its development and the reviews from the beta testers. I was a little anxious because my Pass X250.5 has served me well for a long time. After several days of break-in, I was relieved that the BHK 250 met my expectations, and was offered better resolution, bass and treble extension.

Out of curiosity, I decided to bypass the stock footers with the AmCan version. AmCan Audio is a small company that makes very effective isolation footers. Previously, I used a full complement of Stillpoints Ultra SS footers under my VPI Classic 3 table, Direcstream DAC, Pass amps, and Revel Studio2 speakers. The AmCan footers were better and less expensive so I quickly sold all my Stillpoints. Other AmCan users even prefer them to the Ultra 5 footers.

Rather than removing the stock feet, I just placed the large AmCan footers evenly under the BHK. The bass was noticeably tighter and stronger, and the lower noise floor made it easier to hear subtle details. The BHK just sound significantly better. I suspect that any good footers will generate similar improvements. Has anyone else tried this tweak?

I’ve also had good experience using Synergistic Red fuses in my Directstream DAC and amps. Since the BHK has 6 fuses (2 main + 4 rails), has anyone tried upgrading the fuses? Which fuse is the best candidate? It’s expensive to upgrade all six fuses!


On your recommendation, I installed three Copper AmCan footers under each of my BHK 300s and experienced the same results.

#19

Paul, are the first Preamps still on sch for mid-June ?


#20

The first beta units will ship out end of May on schedule. The next batch are scheduled for end of June if the beta tests don’t bring up any funny business. The unit’s well vetted so I doubt the beta testers are going to surprise us, but you never know.