BHK 300 Quality Question / Next Steps Suggestions

After considerable research and consideration I purchased a pair of the 300 BHKs. After days of delays from FedEx, they arrived Monday. I tore my existing equipment down and disassembled my rack to install the 300s, hooked everything back up (hours of work), switched on the amps and heard a hum from one unit. I decided to give it a shot anyway, as the amps work fine. After a couple of days, the hum (in standby or full power on, from amp only, not speaker) persisted so I called for help. Was transferred to a voicemail, left a message, had no response so called again the next day. Bottom line, one needs to go back. I can send it now and wait two weeks (round trip shipping time) for a replacement, or pay for a new one and be refunded once the defective unit is returned. Another teardown of all equipment and rack to uninstall and then install replacement. Not a great beginning to my experience with these amps. So the question is about owner experiences with the 300s. Have others had quality issues? Would you get a replacement or return both? One will now have 200 hours on it while another is new. This was a very significant financial investment, and I want to make the right decision before the 30 day return window closes. Any owner experiences relevant to any of this would be great to hear.

Do you have an idea of the origin of the hum? Mechanical (transformer) or could the tubes in the one amp be causing the hum?

Tubes where suggested as possible source. Per support’s recommendation I tried reseating them, with no change. Will swap tubes into each other’s sockets to see if that helps, but the hum happens both in standby (tubes not powered on) and when unit is fully turned on.

Could certainly be the tubes. If not, I would do what you needed to ensure consecutive serial numbers. Recently sold mine for a song and the consecutive numbers help.

What’s the rest of your front end and are you using SE or XLR connections.

Sorry to hear this happened. I can assure you, it’s worth the wait when you get them setup and singing without any hum coming from one of the amps.
It really stinks when these things happen. I forgot who it was, but a customer mentioned a few months back that he saw the delivery guy rolling the amp up his driveway like you would preparing a snowball for a snowman.
Whether or not something happened during shipping is kind of moot. My point is with something as complicated as the BHK amps, you’re bound to have these happen now and then. I hope you give them another try. It really is worth it.

Nortonkp, I’ll swap the tube sets between amps to see if that changes anything.

Dawkinsj, front end is an Akurate DSM/3, streaming via NAS. XLR connections.

Jamesh, so far everyone at PS Audio has pointed to shipping. The boxes don’t look abused, and I watched the delivery in person to ensure no dropping (can’t, of course, speak to the rest of their journey).

I want this to work. But what a hassle, and the onus is all on me to either go without a system or pay for a replacement during shipping exchange. Not to mention the immense amount of work at my end. I’m in my 60s and live alone, so this is no small undertaking. Sorry to be a bit gruff, but all PS Audio has to do here is ship one box and receive another - all of the work is left to me.

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XLRs are the best connection choice! Hoping the tube switch is all you need! Interestingly, when I sold mine the buyer suggested isolating the tubes during shipping due to a previous bad experience.

Sorry to hear about your issues, it’s always disappointing to have something like that happen. Having second thoughts after such an incident is normal. However, seeking feedback on a forum about service issues isn’t a reliable source of average owner experiences. Most owners buy their components and just go about happily using them and never bother to comment one way or another. The old adage about an unhappy customer being a hundred times more likely to publicly exclaim their unhappiness than a happy customer is going to go out of their way to tell about their positive experience is very true. No manufacturer has 100% failure free products and shipping is rough on auto gear. The previous comment about maintaining consecutive serial numbers is probably good advice. I notice people asking “why aren’t the serial numbers consecutive?” all the time on Audiogon mono block sales.

Just remember that it’s not personal, just be objective about your contractual position and do not jeopardise it.

For a period of time it is the manufacturer’s problem. It then becomes your problem. Much better it’s their problem and gets fixed then before it becomes your problem.

I take the view that it does not matter if the goods cost $10 or $10,000. They must be fit for purpose. In most countries there is law offering protection. (In all of Europe we have 2 years manufacturer guarantee by right, irrespective of contract.)

If you think the items were damaged during shipping, return them. PS Audio will have shipping insurance if there is any outlay. Shipping was their risk, not yours.

If there is a user-replaceable part that you think is faulty, get the manufacturer to send a replacement part by next-day courier.

Never get involved in doing something that is not user-serviceable by design.

If you are in any doubt at all, return the goods.

As with any insurance or contractual liability matter, take a video or photo recording the issue, the sooner the better. For example, I had something arrive with a hole in the side of the box. I took a photo before I opened the box and the goods were indeed damaged.

If it is particularly valuable, get a friend or neighbour to confirm the problem.

If they are sold as a pair, return the pair.

Remember that manufacturers deal with faulty products and returns as part of their day-to-day business. They have quality control procedures to minimise the cost or servicing. They often design products with a view to ease of servicing and repair. By returning products that are faulty you are doing them a favour as it should make them fix such issues so they don’t happen again and the product gets better.

The experience of other customers is not really relevant. PS Audio has been around a long time and that probably suggests their products are reasonably reliable and they offer an appropriate level of service. All that matters is that you get the products you paid for, they work properly and you are a satisfied customer.

Finally, never hold a grudge. I had a Leica camera, very expensive, 3 weeks old, been on holiday 24 hours and it stopped working. Dead as a Dodo. REALLY ANNOYED. Came home, it was sent to Germany, they fixed it, a month later it started having very minor faults. Called customer service and a brand new replacement unit was arranged within a few days. Has worked perfectly and I am still a happy brand-loyal customer.


I didn’t get consecutive serial numbers to begin with. Regarding earlier messages, tube swap made no difference.

Too bad on the tube test. Would suggest sending the pair back and requesting replacements with consecutive serial numbers.

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They are not matched in any way is my understanding so I’d focus on just getting the not-right one right. If it were me I’d float the CC charge to get the 3rd one in the house. If it’s that simple a fix then you’ve got two great amps and you can start enjoying them. If you’re unhappy with a 3rd then there is always option to ship all three back.

After a bit of an unhappy experience with FedEx (which I told them about), mine arrived without issue and I’ve been happy since. Have been listening to them for a year. Also, I wouldn’t worry about the 200 hours. As a percentage of its overall life, even the tubes life, it’s not going to make a difference. Well, OK, I’d be really bothered simply because that’s what I’d be looking at in the moment but a couple weeks of wonderful listening time and I’d completely lose all track of it as “an issue”. If you really feel strongly about it just run one channel for a few overnights to get it “caught-up” with the other one.

Only other bit I’ll type-up… Let’s remember this is mail-order and mailing 100+ pounds of electronics is going to take a little bit of a different mindset than if you had a local dealer involved. If I had bought these from a dealer I’d probably ask they to bring me a new one and help me wrestle swapping it into place. A nice dealer wouldn’t hesitate to do that. But there is no dealer. There also isn’t a dealer markup which is one reason these wonderful bits of kit fall into my budget. I’d very happily swap boxes through a shipper, even with the added time attached, to keep the price down. But, that’s just where I am in my life. Who knows how I’ll feel when I get the upgrade bug… I may value that face-to-face more.

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BHK300’s in system 2,000 plus hours without issue. A tube went bad on 2 occasions; once in the left channel amp (channel became noisy) & once in the right channel amp (pressing MUTE on my ARC LS28 preamp caused a CLICK in right channel only). To allow me to keep tube hours the same for both amps PS Audio replaced all 4 tubes on both occasions without cost, something they were not obligated to do.

If one amp is working perfectly, why return it? 200 hour difference in a power amp is meaningless. Tubes yes, the amp itself, no. Go for it, PS Audio will pay shipping both ways. These are terrific amps & my experience with PS Audio customer service on 3 occasions has been first class.

Getting consecutive S.N. doesn’t have much bearing behind it because the amps aren’t matched. All of the amps measure the same (with a marginal tolerance) so there is no need to have consecutive S.N. It’s also very hard for our team to achieve this because we build these amps in fairly large batches. They then get packed, and the shipping team grabs them. Some get back to back, but it’s rare. Now if a seller were selling a single mono that’s 4 years old, and you get a different mono that’s a few months old, then we would have a different discussion.

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I did end up with consecutive serial numbers.

My Stellar M700 also consecutive

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My 300’s are 60 or so production serial numbers apart. I imagine one was a warranty return or trade in but have no way to know and it truly does not matter. They both sound equally glorious.

Edit: My M700’s are two numbers apart.


My BHK 300s had consecutive serial numbers.

Saying consecutive serial numbers don’t matter is a little disingenuous. In a perfect world, 100% all BHK 300s would be built and sound exactly the same. Products have running changes all the time on the part of the OEM and/or suppliers and/or subsuppliers. While these amps may not be built in pairs, for $15k a pair maybe they should, sequential serial numbers help ensure they are as similar as possible. It is also helpful if you ever resell them.

Funny story, had a pair of Paradigm which did not have consecutive serial numbers. The rep said it did not matter, they all test the same. For grins I looked up the serial numbers of all the Stereophole reviews on Paradigms spanning more than 20 years. All speakers had consecutive serial numbers. Paradigm replaced my speakers.

This got me thinking what about the Stereophile review of the BHK 300s? You guessed it, sequential!

Serial numbers of units reviewed: NPWA-A1-5G0062, '5G0063.