BHK Pre Amp Volume Clicking

BHK Pre Amp Volume Clicking

Very happy to order and receive a BHK Pre Amp after months of planning and saving. I am pleased with the performance and noticeable upgrade to my system. I am, however, having an issue with a clicking sound when volume is increased or decreased. I am not referring to the internal click that I think comes at 25 and 52 on the volume dial, this is a click that occurs at every step up or down on the volume dial and is coming out of the speakers. I can hear the clicks from my sitting position. I have kept the unit on overnight to see if extended warm-up helps but the clicking is almost always present.

I researched another thread here: Brand new BHK Preamp... Brand new Noise and Clicks where some people said the clicks were normal others said their BHK Pre never clicks. There appeared to be a resolution to the click issue in this thread but I really didn’t understand it. Hope some here can help. I don’t think I would ever get used to the clicking and it’s bumming me out because the unit is everything else I thought it would be.

Here is my system:

PS Power Plant 15
BHK Signature Pre Amp
Rotel RMB 1075 Amp
RCA interconnects
Bluesound NODE 2i
B&W 703 Speakers

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I expect it is normal.

Whether the soft gentle clicks are heard appears to be a function of the sensitivity of one’s speakers and gain structure of the system.

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Also, using RCA connections (as opposed to the XLRs) is often mentioned as a factor resulting in louder clicks.

Are you running the stock tubes? In the past I had that issue with 6 volt tubes. My speakers are quite efficient at 93 db per watt and I do not get any noises when changing volume with the Psvanes, Gold Lions, Conn/Sylvania or JJ tubes. These are all 12 volt tubes. Be sure whatever tubes you use are triode matched as that will surely cause a noise if they are not.

I do not hear clicks except at 25. I don’t know about 52, I haven’t played my system that loud in a while.

25 there is click and it’s normal. I do remember around 52 or 53 there’s a click too.

Thanks Photon46. XLRs not an option with the Rotel so can’t make that switch right now. Long term plan to upgrade to BHK 250 Amp. Do you think that will eliminate or curb clicks?

Thanks sixpack1, Yes I am running the rubes that came with the unit. I am new to tubes so have some learning to do but if its a possible solution to the clicking I’m encouraged.

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I experienced a click noise since I bought it, increasing and decreasing volume at every level, not just 25-52.
It would be tube dependent, PSvane Gold Lion, Tube Amp Doctor, NOS Mazda/Telefunken (the Nirvana level in my opinion thanks to Dchang!).
More or less, the little noise still here.
So what? I can hear it at the beginning of a listening session or when I switch from input (analog-digital sources). The rest of my time I live with volume at 32 (always Even number) so who cares?

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Indeed! And at 52 it feels as if the volume goes up by 2 or 3 notches. Great sounding preamp :star_struck:.

Nice setup. Congratulations!

Don’t overthink it. It’s the way they work. The volume control is unique and is an essential reason the preamp sounds so good.

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(I meant to reply to the OP, not myself)

I have used my BHK preamp with PS Audio BHK 250, PS Audio M1200 monos, Decware Zen Torii II, and Mivera AS1200 amplifiers. Both pairs of speakers used are 87-88 db. efficiency. The presence of audible volume change clicks has always been primarily the result of tubes that have some sort of issue. When I am using a set of tubes that has minor issues with volume clicks, using XLR connections usually seems to stop the clicks. If the tube set make consistent louder clicks, using XLR doesn’t stop the clicking but reduces the volume level and/or frequency that the clicks occur. Even with a perfectly matched set of PS Audio sourced Psvane 12au7-S tubes I hear random slight clicking noises if I spin the volume control knob rapidly by hand (I’m using XLR connections now.) If I use the remote, all is dead quiet except for steps 25/52.

I have never let the issue of volume clicks annoy me greatly. It’s not like I change the volume constantly during listening sessions. In my experience, the use of tubes in any capacity in one’s audio system requires a bit of mental acceptance of the fact that tubes are often a finicky factor that need periodic attention. Some brands and pieces of equipment are “needier” and pickier than others regarding tube issues. The BHK preamp is a prima donna when it comes to tubes. It suffers no less than the best matched sets of prime grade. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve considered getting rid of it for something less picky and demanding. However, it functions at such a high level for its price and partners so well with the M1200 mono amps I find its idiosyncrasies to be livable.

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Thanks Ron, Trying to adjust to it. I’m 63 and this is my first experience with tubes.

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Thanks again Photon, The XLR and tube info is encouraging to me.

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Ron is right here, it is a byproduct of the DC stepped attenuator that we’re using in there. As others have mentioned, it’s much harder to hear if you’re going balanced out to the amp.

thanks, by balanced out you mean XLR?

XLR connections = balanced (assuming one is connecting two genuinely balanced components.) Some components have XLR “faux” balanced connections for the sake of convenience but their circuits aren’t actually balanced.

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Thanks to everyone who responded. As a newbie to high end I appreciate it. M

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If you want an opinion you’ve found the right place. :roll_eyes:

Welcome to the party. It’s BYOP (Bring Your Own Psychedelics).

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