BHK preamp scratchy volume control even when using remote annoying! Help. Just got the unit also?

Anybody having issues with scratchy volume control called ps audio and they are trying to figure it out. Help it’s driving me nuts

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I know about the control at 24 and 52 but all through the turning it sounds like an old preamp that’s dirty

It is most likely a tube issue. I would try a new set of PS Audio OEM 12v tubes to see if that fixes the problem.

Edit - You might try pulling the tubes and reseating them. Also check the tube jumpers to make sure they are set correctly.


From line 79 of the BHK volume control pops thread. I tried a quote or link but no luck so here it is.

I’m surprised PS Audio Support didn’t have some initial recommendations similar to Baldy’s regarding the the tubes.

Hi James,
I recently bought a BHK Pre and it was noisy on one channel when changing the volume from the get go. I assumed this was ‘normal’ given the reviews and other comments. But it was loud and was at every level, with the 9th, 17th (sometimes thought it was 1 through 7 ‘pop’ pop, pop etc then ‘crack’ at 8/9 then pop, pop etc). I also bought a Mcintosh C70 at roughly the same time and swapped them around. I ended up with the PS Audio not being used. ANyway I put it in my second system this evening and it was really prevelent. In fact it tripped the mono block’s protection circuit, so I did some troubleshooting. It was right channel only, on both XLR and unbalanced (switched outputs to eliminate the power amp fault switched too). Long story short - I swapped the valves over and the fault swapped. So it was the tube. The dodgy one is marked No: 9C672, the good one No: 9C968 They are PSVANE. I wanted to find the tube time but I had never used the setup so when I accessed it, it said 0 hrs 0 minutes. Software is version release 19.
I’ll contact the local agent tomorrow, but I wanted to let you know about the timer needing at least one access of setup to work (it appears) , the firmware version and the tube numbers,

Of all of my PSAudio devices the BHK Pre is the most solid in terms of reliability. When there’s an issue it’s invariably the tubes. The volume on the BHK Pre operates on “gain” making it sensitive to tubes with problems.


Is it scratchy like kind of staticy, or is it the pops and ticks with each volume step? Scratchy is definitely not normal, but the little clicks are.

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I had this problem with an ECC88. The tube was bad.

Just want to give everyone on this thread the end of the story that @weedeewop used. The store that sold the BHK Pre-amp is sending out a set of PSVANEs from PS Audio (- I wonder if the name helped them choose that supplier?) - when they arrive back in country (Australia). It seems like people are concerned with valve supply and bought up all his stock. 12au7s - the new toilet paper?
Anyway, in the meantime I bought a pair of Genelex 12au7s and the unit is transformed. I’m super happy with the sound, it beats the Mac C70 for rock I think personnaly (now using MC611s as my monos instead of Cyrus X300s into PMC Fact.3).
Just to re-iterate all the other comments, especially from @jamesh , that very feint ‘ticks’ from the speakers are normal with each volume step (ear against speaker). You also hear the relays in the amp click at certain points. Other sounds or I guess sounds you don’t think should be there should be investigated.
I guess I’ve spent most of my listening with solid state based devices and only in the last month or two had my first experience using valves. I guess you have to realise that they feature hot filament electron emmitters at their heart and that there is a reason that light bulbs have moved from using incandescent sources - even though they look good!
The bit that I haven’t confessed to so far is that, it wasn’t just that I’d been condtioned to think that volume change noise was normal - it was that I thought ‘Jeez, these PS Audio fans must be a dedicated bunch to put up with this’ :slight_smile: . I guess I must be ‘one of us’ too because I’ve just bought the SACD transport. And I’m hanging out for the new DAC …


Carry on and TURN IT UP! :loud_sound:

Congrats on the fix.


I have a Wyred STP-SE (without the uber upgrades) that’s sitting in the corner of the room since I got my BHK. It’s solid state, and it clicks on every volume level, with more substantial clicks at certain levels (like the BHK), but that’s because the volume control is made up of completely discrete resistors, so every volume step requires a change up the ladder of resistors.

My wife says I have to stop hoarding equipment…