BHK VS Linear Tube Audio

Hi everyone. Happy DSJ owner and watcher/follower of Ask Paul videos.

My question is regarding upgrades to my amp. Going from sub $1000 to something high end and the two that have grabbed my attention most are the BHK250 and the Linear Tube Audio brand (Ultralinear or ZOTL40). Has anyone heard the two? Or can provide any additional recommendations?

Setup:
-Tekton double impacts
-Schiit Vidar Amp / Crown XLS 2602 (Have used both)
-Schiit Audio Freya + Preamp
-DSJ DAC
-Mac Mini

-Morrow audio interconnects
-DIY Speaker cable

Thanks for your help!!

Cheers :beers:

I have been troubling my mind with same thoughts as I have same speakers as you do with dsd sr ,bhk pre and gamut monoamps. More than happy with my amps but would like to try bhk amps to get full loom. Problem is that there is probably too much gain and therefore hiss with Tekton’s 98db sensitivity. Now my amps have selectable gain and I use lowest 21db gain setting without hiss luckily. When I used normal 29db setting hiss was prominent all the time.

What i have read is Tektons do like power but work well with smaller tube amps too. Good choices have been Pass xa25 and LTA amps as you suggest,Eric uses Parasound etc…

Maybe you don’t have hiss problems with Schiit front end gear,but let us know how they sound with bhk250 if you get them :blush:

Thanks for the reply. Part of the reason Ps Audio is on my radar is the company. I appreciate Paul’s videos and the customer service so I want to reward that.

The new M1200 looks very interesting as well. I’d be interested to hear what those have to offer. I love the idea of hybrid amps.

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Ah what the …i just went and ordered BHK250 and I should have it here next week. Will tell you later how it sounds with Tekton´s and compares to Gamuts. I have not tried any other amps so far with these speakers ,but following PS Audio product line was obvious choice for me to go for. Now you need to wait a few weeks before they start shipping M1200´s out but you go ahead and try them when possible. So far beta testing reports are being nothing but happy people writing happy stories :smile:

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No way! Thats great! haha, id be very interested in hearing what you think :slight_smile:

Yeah so far all the reviews are great. I was thinking that maybe its a great entry into 2 monoblocks and when I upgrade I go for the BHK 300s? I really want to read some reviews from people who have the BHK 250 since that is basically the very next step up.

Does PS Audio pay return shipping?

Where you live at?

I live in Finland. Sorry I don´t know about PS Audio US shipping policy,but I usually pay them myself if I want to try something. I think it is fair thing to do as shipping heavy amps etc. gets expensive pretty quick.
I am not sure if anyone here uses BHK amps with Tekton´s so far,but there are a few Tekton owners around.Just try them BHK´s out…

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Bhk amp has been playing now for 5 days here commanding Tekton´s and they sound very ,very good. No hiss or noise problems that what I was a little worried about. In fact these have lower noise floor than my Gamut amps,nice surprise there. Without hearing LTA amps I would say go for BHK !
Gamut´s have deeper and wider, more pinpoint sound,always putting me in middle of concert hall, compared to BHK closer character and Gamut sounds more “hifi” ,yet very good. BHK has more slam and bass power and ease with loud volumes,smoothness with almost same resolution. Both great amps and I have a feeling that BHK will not leave my doorstep.

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Thanks! That’s a great review. Give the BHKs some time. They need a few weeks to come into their own.

I have heard nothing but good stuff about the BHK amps, although I have never heard one. I can say that the LTA amps sound great with Tekton Double Impacts and now the Moabs. The ZOTL40 in my opinion is the best of tube and solid state combined. It has dynamics and bass slam like the best SS amps with the beautiful qualities of tubes minus the transformer noise.

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Nice to hear and I bet those LTA amps are great sounding too.They were on my radar too but I decided to go with BHK. Congrats on a great system!

BHK300’s in system 1,400 + hours. The more you play them the more you’ll like them. Spoiler alert: you won’t be sending them back.

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Would love to get a good comparison. Tempting! Maybe I’ll get both and trial them out.

Have you guys heard any hiss with the Tekton speakers and the BHK 250?? (DIs or Moabs)

I tried briefly to run direct from dsd dac to BHK250 with Double Impact´s and there was a lot of hiss. Unbearably lot I would say. Then I put BHK pre back and there is zero hiss,just beautiful music and totally silent background. I have found my sweet spot to be preamp set to 65 and controlling volume from dsd. Wonderful match…go for Tekton and PS Audio ( BHK ) :+1:

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I have a schiit audio pre, wondering if there will be any issues

No I don´t think so and you can always upgrade Schiit to BHK if you feel the need.

Hi guys. So updates.

I figured if I’m going to spend upwards of $6K, I better be dang sure of what I want. Luckily, the two companies I was looking at, as the title of this thread states, PS Audio and LTA both offer trial periods. So I ordered a BHK250 and ZOTL40 Reference.

My other equipment includes a DSD Jr Dac, Schiit Freya+ Preamp, Tekton Double Impacts. Cables are Morrow Audio XLRs. All balanced. DIY Mogamo speaker cable. Streaming Qobuz and Tidal to DirectStream Jr.

I’ll cut to the chase and say what is better in my system:

LTA ZOTL wins in:

  • quiet background. I have some hiss from the BHK… BUT I will say that the ZOTL40 isn’t balanced so the gain going to the BHK is higher. ALSO, the BHK isn’t at fault here, it’s my Freya+ in tube mode that gives me hiss. The only thing is that the LTA, even with the tubes engaged on the Freya +, is whisper quiet.

BHK wins in… basically everything else:

  • detail, clearly the BHK wins. Solid state>tubes here
  • highs. BHK much more extended and crisp
  • mids. Personally I feel that the BHK is more natural sounding. The LTA is great here but I remember thinking it was less “believable.” Perhaps this is the trade off for having tubes in the output stage, it causes some midrange ‘enrichment.’ While I don’t know that I can confidently say tube compared to solid state is better, I can say my preference seems to be the detail in solid state.
  • Bass? Honestly it’s a toss up. The LTA bass is more “full.” But the BHK has tighter bass. My preference is tight accurate bass so I say BHK
  • power and headroom, BHK for miles. The 40-50watts in the LTA is plenty sufficient for my DIs. Yet, the BHK seems to have a more effortless presentation. At low volumes, the BHK has more dynamics which is made evident with the high sensitivity DIs. A very pleasant experience.
  • soundstage, my DIs disappear easier with the BHK. I kept thinking “if I could somehow improve my soundstage by slightly my speaker position” when listening To the LTA. I am completely content with the BHK at their current position. I seem to forget about the analyticals… In addition, I found a more believable musical soundstage presented to me. The LTA is better than what I had prior, but not as enveloping or enjoyable.
  • that brings me to listening enjoyment. The BHK is so… musically right. There aren’t highs, mids, and bass… it’s just music. This is arguably the most important factor for me. I find myself not wanting to change the song so I can finish the current one. I know I like a product when I’m listening to full 7-10 minutes tracks. Well done.
  • build quality, BHK. I’m fairly certain the insides contain unobtanium and dark matter densities. Either that or a black hole. Chuck Norris personally delivered the amp and had to use two hands. Nuff said… I will say the LTA is amazingly light (15lbs) which is remarkable and due to the absence of output transformers. In all honestly, that is quite remarkable of them to achieve.

All of these impressions are after 2-3 hours with the BHK. I hear it gets better??? Oh geez. Excuse my while I drool for a sec :drooling_face:

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Thanks for great comparison and after only 2-3 hours of listening new gear you have no idea how good BHK will get after a month of burning in. I am very happy with BHK ´s powering Tektons here too. :dart: bullseye

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Thanks for this concise and well articulated summary. Once you clean up the drool, and after BHK has had time to fully break in, let us have another update please.

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