BHK Preamp tube rolling

After 1700 fine hours with a pair of Baldwin 12AU7 (probably made by Sylvania USA), I’ve rolled to a newly manufactured pair of Slovak Republic JJ 12AU7. I’ve got an estimated 5000 hours in 2 years on the preamp.

I enjoy the heck out of a new pair of tubes. I enjoy the process of learning how they change the sound. They all sound pretty darn good, just a little different.

These are starting out a bit fuller in the bottom end but I suspect they will tighten up with a bit more time. The Baldwins with 1700 hours were getting just a touch soft on top, very pleasing, but a bit down on energy in the region. JJ has picked it back up and appears to be headed to a solid performer. Not bad for $20/pair shipped.


My amp came with the highly regarded Tungsram select tubes from Upscale. I swapped with a new set of the stock Gold Lions. In my system I prefer the Gold Lions.

I believe they come stock with psvanes. Gold lions in the BHK amps. Unkle Kevvy hypes lots of things including the 2 pairs of included Tungsram. Still was a good price but the tubes were meh after a relatively short number of hours.

John, is your BHK250 back on the track again, after suffering from popping and banging noises ?

Not back yet I an holding my breath to see that it is now quiet again. I sure hope so.

Yes I was speaking about the power amp. I tried the tungsram in the preamp and they were way noisier than the pisvanes,jjreds,matushita tubes that I have tried.

I just switched to a new pair Psvane 12au7 from Grant Fidelity after I did a fuse upgrade(Hifi Supreme).

This new pair has none of the tube rush, hiss that I had from stock tube(also Psvane). I did a proper break in to the preamp before replacing the fuse and got a new pair of Psvane.

I am in love with this piece of equipment.
I also put the Herbie Tube Damper. Cherry on top.

In October i purchased from Uncle Kev " stash, cryo, a pair of Tungsram for my BHK pre amp.

Noticed very noisy. I swap them back to original Psvane 12au7, and they were silent compare to the Tungsrams. I noticed also, w the Tungsrams, that the clicking was noticeable everytime I turn knob on pre amp.
I have to admit the sound w the Tungsgrams had more soundstage, but the hassle of having to mute the volume to bring up the sound & the noise, made me go back to orig Psvanes.
My syst. consists of 2 Merril’s mono blocks, BHK pre amp, PS directstream, ,Linn 12 TT, Lyra Scala cart., EAR 834P, all cables are crystal clear audio magnum opus .

Let me know if you change your mind on the Tungsrams. Als I am always looking for a spare matched pair or two.


I would like to sell my Tungsgram tubes ,I bought them in October from Upscale Audio, they were from “Kevin’s Stash”,Cryo, and are a matched pair.

I probably put less than 15 hours on them.

I paid $157.75 (including ship).

I live in Phoenix, AZ . I will be willing to depart from them for : $ 140.00 shipping is already included on the price.

Please let me know if you are interested.

My 250 arrived back safe and sound today! I waited 6 hours for it to equalize to the indoor temperature before I hooked it up. It is nice and quiet again and sounds great. I pray it remains this way now. It is an amazing sounding amplifier.


That’s good news to hear. Better luck than I’ve had!!

1 Like

If you ever buy tubes again from Uncle Kev and they are noisy, send them back.
I’ve done this a couple times; they’re not free after all and they should be silent when music is playing, even at low volume and close up. (But don’t put your ear up to the tweeter listening for hiss as some people do. That’s dopey).
Upscale immediately sent replacements which were perfect.


The last post I saw about your gear, was a message from PS Audio that your BHK250 and 2 BHK’s 300 would be properly taken care off. Did not hear about it from you since, hope they are working well now.

Glad everything is working again and is quiet! You should be good for a long while. It’s the perfect season to hunker down and listen to tunes. :slight_smile:


Thanks James. My system is sounding wonderful. I appreciate the help I was given.

1 Like

Well, basically, I received new BHK preamp (which had a fault that I had to repair myself - after PSA sent me new parts), BHK300s and BHK250. It took almost 4 months to get all the amplifiers here and to get them all working together!! 4 attempts to get a properly working BHK250….”which I had to repair myself on the 4th attempt”. Issues with UK Customs! Because there was so much traffic back and forth with defective BHK250s; UK-Customs thought I was importing amplifiers and trying to avoid paying import duties, etc. At the point of the 3rd replacement BHK250 the Customs wanted £2,700ish from me for taxes or they were sending the amplifier back to Colorado. I told them to send it back as I couldn’t give a $hit. PSA stepped in and they eventually sorted out the situation with the assistance of the TNT representative.

‘But this is just scrapping the surface’…! I have neither the inclination nor the willpower to go into it all in greater detail.

Because I was without amplification going back to “rustplate” when the disaster started. I had to buy new amplifiers and I am still using them. Apart from trying the BHKs - they are in their boxes in my garage. All the staff at P S Audio, including Jim Laib and Paul were ‘very helpful’ but, that said, it was still a long, troublesome process. As it has been from day one with me and PS Audio products. I should have listened to RonP years ago when I first wrote about all my problems with PS Audio equipment.


Time for a garage sale real US style. May I ask which amplifiers did cause you to keep the BHK’s in your garage?

I happened to be in south of Germany last week an a local dealer there let let me listen to rather local speakers, amp and source. Had some Dutch van den Hul cables and those nice wooden merk you happy high frequency waves coming from medical technology, call my psyched, but I suffer from those ugly buzzes in my ears at times, also the evening I drove there, 15 minutes in front of those microwaves and the buzzing was gone such that those beautiful horn speakers and Octave (not PS Audio Octave, but the German brand) could impress me.

Those Octave integrated tube amplifiers can be owned for the budget of a Stellar Stack (here in Europe). The speakers are above my budget sure, but that listening session surely set a benchmark for me. The dealer allowed me to sit there and listen for two hours, explained all details and, important, gave me a cup of coffee. I told them up front that I came to listen not to buy. That dealer said the same as Paul, put your money in the speakers. I must agree, but it is a lot of money and I am still exploring all options.

1 Like

They remind me of this



Yes, Avantgarde Acoustic takes horn speaker technology to a different level, 107 dB, closed cabinet 2 x 10” DSP controlled 1000 W active subwoofers. The geometry of the horns allows for minimalist cross over filters that allow for filtering with close to zero phase distortion.

These speakers reveal everything, through Roon I was able to listen to 5 different recordings of “Smoke on the water” from Deep Purple, one sounded like the worst crap I thought I’d ever heard, but when I hit play on the Live in Japan recording I knew that it is the best of the 5 choices.

But even more Important it plays music in details at low volume, it revealed every detail in Marie Clair Alain’s Bach organ music. Voices like Paul Mc Cartney and Nils Lofgren, but also their guitars, just phenomenal.

But yes, these aren’t exactly small. I’d love to hear the smaller Zero XD TA’s, which are more affordable one day. But am also curious what PS Audio is cooking for the Stellar speakers.