With this wonderful preamp having been out for a few years now, I consider myself late to the game. I had no idea just how much I was going to elevate my system. Here I am listening to the DSD Senior DAC in combination with a ROON server and Tidal, through the BHK Sig preamp with Tungsram pcc88s, connected to Vandersteen M5 HPA amps which drive matching 5A Carbon speakers. Except for the built in subs, everything is powered by a P20 with Multiwave on level 3. Listening to the famous Rachmaninov Symphony #2 by Andre Previn from Tidal has been revelatory. Before my system was pretty good, but now it has just transformed into shockingly good sound. I’m hearing all the detail I was getting with my Pass XP 22, but with a more layered and intricate soundstage, more precise instrument placement, fuller upper bass and lower midrange, and most importantly, smoother response which translates to much lower listener fatigue. I want to commend BHK and team for their outstanding work on this preamp.
Heh,I know what you ( and others before ) talk about. I received my BHK preamp yesterday and I just can´t believe how good it is Same Tungsram´s installed in this one also.
Better late than never Happy listening
Great write up. I am considering adding a BHK preamp to my system in the near future. However, I would need to run it as an HT Passthrough for my current system when listening to two channel audio. I just wonder if it would yield the same benefits as yourself?
Curious as to why the Vandersteen subs aren’t powered by the P20? Also, did you ever try a BHK amp? If you have, curious how that compares to the Vandersteen amps.
Welcome to the BHK Pre club! I hopped on the bandwagon a tad over 3 years ago and have never looked back. I encourage you to check out the tube rolling threads on the board. I use NOS Telefunken 6922s and NOS Siemens 7308s interchangeably in my BHK. You may find even another tier of performance above what you are already enjoying with the Tungsrams. The BHK is a tube rolling machine.
Welcome to the club! I second the Telefunken’s. They definitely take the amp a step up. Siemens are good too, just a little more analytical.
Upscale Audio has those Telefunkens starting at $349 per tube! I haven’t looked anywhere else yet.
I feel that it’s not necessary since it’s only for low frequencies, and I don’t want the P20 to work very hard. I like to keep the total draw on the low side, no more than about 300 watts. When I had my power hungry Pass 60.8s hooked up, total load was about 55% and dynamics sounded constricted compared to just plugging them into the wall.
I have not tried the BHK amp. I’m thrilled with the Vandersteen amps, which are made specifically for the high pass requirement of my Vandersteen speakers. Let’s put it this way: The performance is so incredibly great with these amps that I don’t feel any temptation to try anything else. They are far superior to the Pass XA 60.8s I used to have.
Thanks for letting us know. The BHK is such a fundamental change in performance for most people it’s hard too describe just how big that is. Thanks.
Yes even though DSD direct to amps can sound excellent, a BHK preamp really brings more magic to my system. Especially the ease,musical flow and much better bass. Like my speakers just got extra woofer somehow and lot more naturalness across the board.
Not to mention dynamics,scary !
I have a theory that may help to explain why the BHK sounds so good in my system especially. Richard Vandersteen has told me that his time and phase accurate speakers don’t like negative feedback because it causes time smear. My new Vandersteen Amps and the BHK both do not employ any additional feedback beyond what is inherently in the circuit, which I think means no global feedback. I believe the result is a more believable and unconfused presentation. I can’t speak for the output stage of the DSD DAC, so perhaps Paul or someone else can chime in. I have one other piece that is questionable in this regard, and that is my Pass XP-17, which I’m quite sure employs it to some degree. I am very intrigued by the Stellar Phono as a possible replacement for the Pass. I did see the video in which Darren says it is only used after getting the circuit naturally as correct as possible, if I’m stating that right. So maybe I’m making a too much of a fuss over this, and correlation is not causation, but I know what I’m hearing is a big improvement.