BHK vs Musical Fidelity Primo

A friend bought Primo from Musical Fidelity, it really is a phenomenal pre-amp, the amount paid was ridiculous, phenomenal opportunity!!! Now an opportunity has arisen in a BHK here in Brazil and I would like to know if anyone has heard BHK and Primo and would know how to tell me which would be the superior in this duel.

One thing I’ve learned about high end audio, there are no such things as absolutes. There are wonderful sounding products from PS Audio, and also from many, many other companies. It all comes down to what kind of music you listen to and the sound quality aspects that YOU prefer, and the tubes one chooses. Does one choose to put $30 tubes, $60 tubes or $320 tubes in the Primo, which uses 14 tubes (14 x $320 = $4480 just to retube)


This exactly why I didn’t buy either an Audio Research GS150 or 160S. The current price of quality tubes is too high for me. If we were at 2019 prices, I’d be looking at a 160S right now. That said, the 625 S2 that I purchased instead is fantastic.


I agree with you, the big problem is that I can’t listen to BHK on my system and an opportunity like the one my friend bought Primo will never appear here in Brazil (around 2000 USD). Today I use Electrocompaniet pre/power and I really like their signature because of their musicality, but I’m thinking of trying new pre-powers to raise the level of the set, but I can’t give up musicality in any way.

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Vince, how about this one, with 36 KT150’s to retube…

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Oh, that’s on my list when you win the lottery and give me half of the earnings.

I sit here at the edge of my chair in anticipation. Thanks in advance.


There’s this issue with the valves, I’ve never had experience with changing valves (except for an integrated Viva Solista that I had for a short time) but everyone says that changing the valve makes all the difference in the performance of the device.

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If you can afford the tubes, go for it. You should however do the math on how frequently you need to replace the tubes and the cost. Advertised is appprox 3000 hours. Most people find it’s closer to 2000 to 2500 hours. If you only use this pre for 2-channel, it’s not horrible, but if you also use it for home theater, the hours add up very quickly.

Here’s the table I used, I wasn’t willing to spend $2400+ USD every 17 months on tubes.

Use Cases Hours Utilization Notes
Mon 5 6 PM to 11 PM
Tues 5 6 PM to 11 PM
Wed 5 6 PM to 11 PM
Thur 5 6 PM to 11 PM
Fri 5 6 PM to 11 PM
Sat 13 10 AM to 11 PM
Sun 13 10 AM to 11 PM
Total for one week 51
Weeks per month 4
Total per Month 204
Months per year 12
Total per year 2448 This is the high number. We do spend a lot of time at home with the stereo on.
KT150 Tube life 3000 This is on the high side. There’s reports that after 2500 hours they start to sound dim
Total months of KT150 in HT 14.71
Total months of KT150 with 15% reality check 16.91 Reducing the total by 15% to compensate for vacations and weekends where we may be out and about.

Even those small valves from Primo and BHK the best cost 300 usd ? :hot_face:

Many of us have settled on New Old Stock. I am currently running some Mullard 7308’s. I think I paid around $375/pair. I have a spare set as well. It all depends on the sound you are after. I wanted a very sweet tubey midrange.

If you are interested in understanding NOS pricing look at Brent Jesse’s website:

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Buy new gear every 6 to 9 months like a normal person and you don’t have to worry about such things.