BHK250 vs M1200

I’m struggling with the same choice. I recently moved from a Herron VSTP-3A preamp and Herron VTPH-2A phono pre to a BHK preamp and Stellar phono preamp, and an Audio Mirror Tubadour III SE DAC to a DirectStream Sr. DAC. Overall, my system sounds better. Vinyl is somewhat of a toss-up; streaming using the BHK/DSD combo is better.

I have Tannoy DC8Ti speakers (89db) and a NAD M22v2 power amp. The NAD works well, but I’m looking for more midrange warmth, musicality, and tighter speaker control. I want the BHK250 but I am strongly considering the M1200. I’m 72; I dread getting a BHK250 from my 1st floor to my basement listening room :hot_face:.

And then there’s the power plant. The jump from a P12 to a P15 isn’t pocket change on a retirees budget. Decisions, decisions, …

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The 250 is in fact very heavy and bulky. In your situation I would tie a rope or strap around the amp still in the box and let it slide down under control.

@OldSchool1948, I feel your pain. I’ll be 70 next week and can’t imagine trying to move a BHK250 or BHK 300 even a few feet let alone down stairs to my basement. To avoid that situation, I’ve put off a BKH250 vs. M1200 decision until I’m older - and hopefully wiser. For now, I’m expecting delivery of a BHK preamp on Tuesday and will probably upgrade my DAC before revisiting a replacement for my M700s.

You, on the other hand, being so much older (and probably wiser) than me, have already upgraded your pre and DAC and must now face the difficult amp decision head on. If I were at that point, I’d probably wait a few more months and see what insights come out of the pending professional reviews of the M1200. Those reviews won’t tell you exactly what the M1200 would sound like in your system, but they may point out characteristics of tonal balance or performance issues that could influence your decision.

It’s great to hear from another “seasoned citizen” who is still seeking better sound rather than just shutting down their musical journey and retiring from life. Stay safe and keep getting wiser!

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ps audio needs a flying volunteer force of burly folks to drop by and move these things around!

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@SDL - Agreed on the waiting. I’ve auditioned the LTA ZTOL40; it sounds really nice in my system. Having said that, my preference is to have an all PS Audio system so I can use one remote to control everything, except for the streamer. I use an Innous Zenith MKII with a Matrix SPDIF X to the DSD and I’m quite satisfied with the synergy. I also like PS Audio’s trade-in program.

@joma0711. This wasn’t a problem until PS Audio when to direct sales. I could always hire a local “mover” to move it to the basement :smile:!

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Now that looks rather wonderful, I hope it sounds to match - in the 80s/90s I had a pair of 1960s EL34 based monoblocks, and they were really quite special.

You still can hire a mover to move it. Just coordinate the delivery time with when they’re available.

I recently purchased a BHK 250 after two years with M700. It’s the heaviest piece in my collection. P10 and music server are close 2nds.

@jamesh James will move it for a 6 pack happily. He prefers a double IPA of the highest caliber. Pliney the Elder or Mongo if Pilney is scarce.

P.S. I sold the M700 for a profit. Only $50 but still when did that last happen?!

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in Rockville (MD), local movers have a 4 hour minimum…hope your neck of MD is better…

How does the BHK 250 sound in comparison to the M700?

More alive. More real.

The M700 are a fantastic value and very good and I would on occasion here a track or two that just really had that hard to describe quality to the stage, the presence. The 250 simply does this much more often.

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The BHK 250 is reportedly the amp that Arnie Nudell gave up his tube amps for. The M1200 also has several highly detailed (rave) reviews from the beta testers. Class A/B combined with a tube input stage would potentially provide the better sound quality (warmth and musicality), but the more powerful M1200 could potentially have tighter speaker control. I am in the same boat if I do start thinking about upgrading from the M700 monoblock amps that I am currently quite happy with.

My speakers are ATC SCM11v2. Modest, well engineered stand mounts. M700 had a death grip on the 6.5" woofers. Perhaps it kept them too tight. The ATC are known for tight bass being sealed cabinets. Low ~83dB/m/w sensitivity but very forgiving load. They will play cleanly louder than I ever care to listen.

The 250 brings out more layers of bass. I have dual sealed servo subs to fill out the last octave or two. They blend at 60Hz 12dB slope.

I didn’t think I could house the 250 until I moved my preamp to the back closet with everything else. I thought about the M1200 until I figured this out and went straight to the 250. It’s heavy and runs ~100F at the heatsinks but with modest cooling is no problem fully contained in a cabinet. The M1200 would be much easier to accommodate, less space and much less BTU but if the $ are not an issue I’d do it again without question. 300 are not possible for me.

I’ve not heard the M1200 with it’s tube input stage but I’m sure it’s next level of the M700 and then some.

In the end and all that matters is try it for a month and then decide.

Not sure if this helps…but hopefully it doesn’t hurt

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Fort Washington is probably no better. Provided I can get the delivery driver to drop it off at my backyard basement stairs, me and a friend could probably move it down the stairs to my new listening room.

About 20 years ago when I was building my rec room systems, I moved my 130 lb McIntosh MC2600 power amp from a room to a custom built wall rack

My son and I put that bad boy on a large cooler with wheels :grin: and pulled it

The challenge was getting it into the slot. I foresee a similar problem trying to get a BHK250 on the bottom shelf of my rack. I can use furniture sliders for wood floors to slide it into place.

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See this for ideas and how I managed the 250.

Piano movers are good for these tasks. They are accustomed to dealing with expensive items over which their customers obsess.

Good suggestion and I would think the minimum would be the job itself not minimum hours.

@brett66. Thank you for the link. Never thought about using a dolly nor some of the other methods mention for sliding it into place. Good stuff.

More than likely, I’ll order the BHK250 this month and the P15 before year’s end. In the meantime, I want to hear the BHK250 while plugged directly into my dedicated 20 amp wall plug.

i tried hiring piano movers and they told me that they were not (name your excuse) interested moving anything but pianos and organs…

so, with new equipment still in their boxes, i “rolled” them up or down the stairs, depending on which system they were being used in…
and then lifted the amps with an hydraulic pedal fork lift stacker/hand truck (all contact areas were covered with layers of felt) and slid them into place on my shelves…working smart, not too hard…

the 320 lbs Magico M3’s and the 180 lbs A5’s were done with movers - kinda hard to “roll” those crates…

Unfortunate, I have had piano movers address all sorts of non-piano objects, as well as pianos.

I agree with this completely. When I got the 250 installed at home, the staging and separation between instruments and vocals became much more tangible. Kind of like the visual difference between 1930s Disney Snow White to modern day Pixar. From somewhat fuzzy images to believable animation. You know it’s artificial, but if you could reach out and touch it, you know what it would feel like.