BHK 300 monoblocks with which speakers?

This is probably the ultimate question for me… I’m auditioning a pair of BHK 300’s connected to my BHK preamp and mark levinson 5101 SACD player.

As of now, I’m having issues enjoying the BHK 300’s. I like to think years of listening that I know what sounds good and where issues are. Unfortunately, I still am not good with all of the terms used to describe speakers.

In laymen’s terms, connected to my 1st gen B&W 802d’s the sound is fuller, yet the midrange is muddy, accented by harsh upper frequencies. This is present no matter which PCM filter I am using. Also, it’s as if i need to play everything louder to obtain the midrange. I just can’t relax and enjoy the music without getting stressed.

I eventually want to replace my B&W’s, it’s all part of me putting together my retirement system. I’m in a point in life where I can afford and enjoy music at moderate listening levels.

I think what I’m asking, is this anomoly that I’m experiencing a function of the sound of the BHK 300’s ‘warmness’ or a function of the B&W tweeter/midrange issues that others have talked about since 2005?

Help me out, my trial period is ending, and I don’t know what to do…

Helpless in NJ

I assume you still have your old amps to put back in the system for comparison?

There should NOT be brightness or harshness with the BHK Pre & BHK 300’s in the system.

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I will be doing that tomorrow, each speaker is bi-wired bare wire which makes it cumbersome to switch back and forth.

I don’t know if the 300’s are making the midrange sound recessed, therefore not as clear? Is this something that tube amplifiers consider warm?

Also to consider, my BHK preamp is 2 years old, could the tubes be acting up?

Quite possibly old tubes on the pre. You can check the number of hours on the tubes. The preamp does display that in the settings menu.

There should be magic from tube midrange. When there isn’t magic, usually the tubes need to be replaced.

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If the stock tubes in BHK pre are over 2500 hours the midrange would fade, unless they are NOS tubes then they could last much longer.

Gold Lion tubes have sweeter midrange than the stock Psvane tubes. I like Telefunken NOS “Mazda” brand 12au7 tube also but it’s pricey. They have excellent midrange. Another new tube that I like a lot is the one I’m currently using: Apos Ray 12au7. It’s the most balanced and neutral sounding tube with a great midrange too, but it’s more expensive than GL and Psavne tubes.


What are you comparing the BHK 300s to? That upper midrange harshness is typical of the B and Ws. Let me know your setup and maybe I can make some suggestions.

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Have you considered speaker positioning as a possible cause? Too much toe-in perhaps?

Paul, I sent you an email.

I let (she was being nice to me) my wife, who isn’t into audio at all, compare 3 songs on each amplifier. She said the old amps sounded clearer and the instruments were more defined, where the new amps everything sounded as congested. Any suggestions?

I can say from my experience, the problem isn’t the BHK pre or amps. In my system the bass is tight, midrange is glorious, and the top end is sweet and non fatiguing. The problem lies elsewhere.

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what speakers are you using?

Paul is a genius.

Not going to say anything more…well, actually I am. Paul suggested that over the years I have tweaked my speaker position to make my Classe monoblocks sound the best with my B&W 802D speakers.

Having doubts about the BHK 300 monoblocks, his suggestion was to pretend that everything is new, including speaker position. Basically starting from scratch and positioning the speakers for the BHK monoblocks.

The difference is amazing. Basically I pulled the speakers out from the wall, spread them out some, and reduced the toe in, and all of a sudden the BHK 300’s came alive.

It’s as if I have an entirely different set of speakers. The soundstage is huge, resolution is amazing, all without ZERO muddiness in the midrange.

Thank you, Paul !!!


They are wonderful amps. Congratulations getting the setup correct.

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Please excuse my naivety, but to me, the B&W 802D speakers are the most revealing speaker I’ve ever encountered. Move them an inch this way/that way and they sound different. Change the Cd player PCM filter and I can hear it. Change the speaker cables, even from single to bi-wired and I can hear it. Why is this?


Don’t question it, enjoy the fruits of your work.

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took me awhile to understand. I think part of it was so many years listening to my Classe amplifiers, that everything else was wrong…dunno if that makes any sense.

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The B&W tweeter hits one on the head and gets in your face. It states clearly what likes and does not like. This is not a bad thing, but it can be an acquired taste.

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This means you’re an audiophile. This means that differences do exist, and can definitely be heard.
Congrats on finding magic with your new speaker setup!!

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