BHK 300 mono's vs. McIntosh MC452

Hi Paul,

I’m wondering about this post of yours regarding the firmware version of the bhk 300. I have recently bought a pair and they have started to randomly go into protection mode. Sometimes while listening but at other times even just sitting idle.

As per your manual, it could be due to low input impedance, which I took to mean the preamp. I have since removed the pre (an old Nagra Tube Preamp) from the system and running off the dsjr since yesterday… Protection mode hasn’t since happened, but since it was unpredictable, I’m wondering if that was the solution or will it rear it’s head again.

How do I check to see if I have the latest firmware? Will an update solve my problem?


Well, impedance problems are referring to speaker impedance, not preamplifier. Sorry for the confusion.

It could be the preamp is spitting out spurious blips that set the protection in motion. I would just keep an eye on it. Seems like you’ve narrowed it down.

I don’t think an update would help since I don’t believe it had anything to do with that. I’d have to check with our service folks to be sure, but that won’t happen until Monday when folks are back to work.

Hi Paul,

Thanks for writing.

It could either be the preamp or the power that is being to them through an online ups… Will see a couple days with the preamp out and keep my fingers crossed.

I own BHK 300’s with Maggie’s. 20.7’s. Would a pair of McIntosh MC 1.2kW be a sonic improvement or a sideways or downward move? Thoughts anyone? Maggies love power so I ask.

Hi darren…

A while back I posted this link in another thread…Audiobacon
is reviewing a Parasound JC5 amp…and has a comparison
of the BHK 300 and an MC 452 amp .

The reviewer Steve gives his observation of the sound qualities
of the 3 amps…

While the MC is a much smaller amp then the MC 1.2 Kw
each uses autoformers on the output so there could be some
indication of the MC 1.2kw…

Here is the link:

Hope this gives you an idea…

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Hi Darren,

Have you ever owned McIntosh amps? If not, I strongly encourage you to go demo them. As they do have a “signature” sound that many refer to. I would say it’s a little more on the “wet” side, not unnatural sounding, but more lively. Having owned McIntosh amps, and then the BHK’s, I would not revert back to McIntosh. But that’s just my preference for how I like to hear my audio.

I would also add that’s not quite an apples to apples comparison, as the power difference is going to naturally create more sonic headroom with the 1.2kw’s; which you may or may not notice, depending on how hard you drive the Maggie’s.

I’d also throw caution to the wind, it would not shock me one bit to see a revamped BHK 300 and a more powerful version, possible BHK 600. Point being, you may want to lob a couple inquisitive questions around that, especially if you like the sonic signature of the BHKs.

I read enough. No Mac for me. I am going to grab my dealer demo pair of the new Parasound JC1+ and hear how they compare to the BHK 300

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I owned BHK 300’s for two years. I owned Parasound JC-1s prior to the BHKs. Both are very good amps with subtle differences. When comparing amps absolutes just don’t work. System synergy is a giant influencer in a given amps performance.

That said, prior to covid lockdown I had a demo MC462 and C2700 that I was comparing side by side with the 300’s and a BHK pre. I ended up having the demo units for over two months because my dealer was closed so I speak with authority. Hands down, the MAC gear was the clear winner, simply a more effortless and natural presentation. I would have been quite happy to keep the MC462 since it is a fantastic stereo amp. However, I ordered MC611’s to go with the C2700 and couldn’t be happier.


I was at my dealers yesterday picking up a few demo pairs of speaker cables to try out, anyway he had a pair of JC1+ wired up to a pair of Magico A5’s (Mac C-1100T pre) it sounded ridiculously good, the JC 1’s just “manhandled” the speakers (88db/4 ohm nominal)

I’m running Accuphase amps at the moment but if I had the urge to change, the new JC 1’s, as well as the BHK’s would be on my demo list, along with Bryston 4B3 x 2

The Parasound’s were quiet, powerful and detailed, provided big soundstage width and slam, maybe not as “sweet” on the top as some (very costly) solid state amps or the BHK’s with the tube stage


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Your Accuphase is a no holds barred quality parts and engineering
hard to surpass.

Thinking that perhaps the JC1+ needed more burn in time…

Thanks for sharing your experience

Possibly more burn it would open up the top a little more!
Don’t get me wrong…I’m in no hurry at all to trade out of the Accuphase amps (P4200 x 2) I absolutely adore them and yes, as you referenced, the build quality is top at the top of the food chain! If their A class amps were in my budget realm, that would be the direction I would go in the future, no question

If I do change down the road, the JC 1’s really surprised me, they were much more “musical” (sry hate to throw out that wide ranging audiophile cliché) than the previous version but they still had that slam


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John …which Accuphase amps do you have …just curious why would you consider going from your Accuphase to a non Accuphase ?

Hard to top Accuphase…

Thank you sir!

See my reply above, no plans to change anytime soon, but eventually down the road, I may get the bug or urge for change that many of us get

Anyway, running a pair of Accuphase P-4200’s currently in BTL (bridged mode) as my new speakers (Magico A3’s) do not accept bi-amping. 360 wpc into 8 ohms 720 wpc into 4 ohms

They are stable to 2 ohms in BTL and 1 ohm is stereo (that is a claim I have not tested) but suffice to say they are very, very nice amplifiers


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I should have a dealer demo JC1+ pair soon to try for a month or so. Aesthetix Janus Signature and Maggie’s 20.7 with JL Audio F113v2 subs. PSA DS DAC and DSMP is my current set up. All powered by a P20 pair( expect for subs wall direct ).



Can only begin to imagine how your maggies will sing along with orchestral flair…

Your audio room may never let you out of there…

Full report please…

Thank you darren

I wish PSA offered a BHK 600. So like 600@ 8 ohms 1100@4 maybe do what they did with the P20 with sliding gate for 15/20 amp outlet

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Plus accessible tube opening in the front of the amplifiers!