BHK Pre "Synergy" Question

I have decided to up my amp game (I’ll save you from the details of an extensive research and listening test oydessy as this is really a preamp question) I will say I wanted monoblocks, SS/Hybrid and budget was 12K or under (used/Demo)

The final 3 contenders were:
-Pass X260.8’s
-PS BHK 300’s
-Accuphase m-6000’s

I ended up going with the Pass Labs mono’s got a great deal on a static demo pair, the BHK,s were neck and neck sound quality wise but personally I like the aesthetics of the Pass’ not that the BHK’s are not very sharp looking (in black)

Anyone running a BHK Pre with Pass X.8 series or X.5 series? Not the XA series as I’m not sure that would be a fair comparison as the xa’s run in 100% class A and have a different sound from th X series.

Any guidance or experience would be very much appreciated. Rest of system is P12, DSJ, Monitor Audio Gold 300, wire world XLR silver eclipse ic’s, Tributaries series 8 speaker cables. Current pre is an Allnic L-1500, which is wonderful but is on longish term loan from a friends collection.


Ok, how much time ya got?
I have an X250.8 stereo amp and an XP-22 in my main system. But sometimes I take my BHK Pre upstairs and plug it in. The combination with the Pass amp is sublime. I’m thinking seriously of selling the XP-22 and just leaving the BHK in place.
The performance is not as dead silent, as it is with the XP. But with the BHK, you have the fun of changing the character of the sound with the swap of two tubes. I love that setup.
And— watch your meters on the amps. The meter tells you when you leave class A and unless you live in a stadium or you love pain, I’ll bet they never move.

Thank you, very helpful…

I definitely want tubes on the front end

Thanks again!

Sounds like you made your decision. If you want tubes go for the BHK.

I’m looking for a pair of X260.8 myself. Maybe one day I will get lucky and find a nice used pair.

Check with Reno Hifi. I’ll bet Mark has a demo or used pair. His stock doesn’t always make his website list.

I sold my Pass XP-20 in favor of the BHK Signature pre. I use a Pass X250.5. The BHK pre + Pass X250.5 is a lovely match. Just the right combination of tubes and SS. Btw be sure to go balanced rather than single ended. This pre-power pair-up definitely benefits from balanced operation.

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I have them both and there’s something about the overall sound, texture, engaging quality of the XP-22 that I just can’t give up.

Gotta be the detail retrieval on the XP, I’ve heard a few and they dig deep!

I’d go with Pass but I really want tubes up front BHK pre is the front runner, my dealer is giving me a loaner for a week or so, if it’s as good as I hear it is with the Pass amps, then it most likely won’t leave my rig and I’ll just call him with my credit card…shit, he probably has the number memorized by now!

Thx for all the input from the Pass amp owners!


IMO especially the black (I have a black DS myself) doesn’t look as good due to the somehow too „painted“ looking surface…I still like it on the slim cases, but imo in combination with the understatement outline design it’s getting worse looking the bigger the cases get. But my persnalmtaste is still preferring the PSA design to that of the X260 series…the X350 series is another kind of fish :wink:

What don’t you like about the aesthetics of the 260’s? The size? Otherwise the appearance is standard X.8


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That’s really just very personal taste. I don’t like that kind of face plate/back end design if it’s so separated, don’t like the circular meter in the middle like a bulls eye…I generally like very reduced design or if it’s more flashy, then it must still be simple somehow for my taste…really just mine.

To make it understandable I can show you two pictures of similar amps I owned and really liked (not only) their looks The silver one is a Vitus prototype, the black one another prototype I designed the this time more flashy exterior for and cared for all the small manufacturing works and put together the whole stuff. So that’s what I mean with reduced design and simple if flashy :wink:

And I’ll add a third one I owned, the Pass Aleph 0 monos with also a very reduced but great design imo. Sound also great.

All the Pass dot 8 amps, class A or AB, vary aesthetically only in size. Otherwise they’re identical.
And I agree that I can do without the meter.

@RonP Thanks for the info. I will give Reno Hifi call.

I have had great success with a DSD DAC, a BHK preamp and a Pass Labs XA25. No dial :wink:
The XA25 does have a different character to the .8 series though. Class A to 25 watt RMS, then Class A to 50 watts peak. Then Class A/B up to 90 watts RMS into 8 ohms. So sort of similar power envelopes to the XA30.8 (which I previously owned) but very different in presentation and to my ears, handles being driven hard with more aplomb than the XA30.8.

I’ve heard the 25 and I love it. I thought it was particularly good in the mid range and high end airiness.
But that was with an XP-20.
I’m curious what moved you from the 30 to the 25?

The XA25 proved to suit my tastes in music more. I listen to a wide range of music but my primary love is electronic music. The highing damping factor and speed of the XA25 really suit that genre. The XA25 is not as romantic or a “full” as the XA30.8 but I’ve managed to build a system (interconnects, power cables, etc) that gets the XA25 to get most of what I loved about the XA30.8 with the other positives of the XA25. The last piece of the puzzle was the recent swap out of the stock fuse in my DirectStream DAC.