Brand new BHK Preamp... Brand new Noise and Clicks

I’m not able to upload video/audio files (if allowed) to share with you what I’m hearing from my loudspeakers so I’ve already sent a copy of this post by email to PS Audio team.

Reading a lot of posts on this forum I noticed a little bit of this and a little bit of that but not exactly what is happing to my system, so sorry if it seems a thread already discussed.

I’m an enthusiast fan of @Paul and all HiFi Family at PS Audio, I simply believe in them and their philosophy, following forums and videos on website. In fact I just purchased without any previous listening (a truly act of faith!):

BHK Preamp

Stellar M1200s Amps



In addiction to 2 P12 powerplants (2 REL T7/I SUB + Dynaudio Evoke 50 Loudspeaker + TT Technics Sl1200G + Phono Preamp Roksan RPP)

Since a few days I’m burning in all and I admit it’s all wonderful, next impressions with all details scheduled in future.

Here we are… also some little noise occurring


I don’t know how to define it: “hum” or “hiss” or “floor or white noise” please let me know, so I generally call it “NOISE”


1> If I turn Off (no plug into AC and no plug into signal path) all the sources and are On only BHK Preamp and M1200s = noise is present.
Both the two P12 power plants are On and plugged into 2 wall sockets but on the same dedicated line.

EXCLUDING AMP (without any other gear On or connected)

2> if I turn Off BHK Preamp (connected or not to amps) and turn On only M1200s = silence, no noise

3> if I turn On BHK Preamp and volume level is on “0 mute” = silence, no noise

4> if I turn BHK Preamp volume knob from 0 to 1 = noise appears and it still remain here even if volume value goes to 2, 3, 20, 40, 60 etc etc, Noise is the same without increasing or decreasing along the volume changes, no more noise no less noise. Volume changes do not affect noise in any way


5> BHK Preamp is connected to M1200s amps via XLR cables (Invictus Ricable high quality) = noise always present


6> I tried swapping tubes (original stock PSvane) right with left = noise is better mainly with one speaker that before swapping tubes was so much louder than the other one but… unfortunately noise is still present

7> I just purchased a new pair of tubes PSvane 12AU7 S (art series) because here in Europe is the only PSVane 12AU7 model I can find. Let me know if you suggest to put them into the BHK Preamp or is better to keep the stock valves

I clearly hear this noise if I put my ears close to the speaker and far from 1 meter distance. I do not hear it so clear from my listening sweet spot 3 meters far from speakers. Anyhow I do not have as before BLACK DEADLY SILENCE. is it normal? Am I accept this noise as consequence of tubes (first time for me).

Is it annoying? YES!

Can I live with it? Yes, but… if possible to remove it or reduce it is better, so much better.

What can I do?


Each time I change the volume on BHK Preamp I hear a little thin “click” from loudspeaker.

Not the loud big click at 25 or 52, that I know is correct and much more clear to hear.

Just a thin click at every incremental/decdremental value, for example from 4 to 5 and also the reverse from 5 to 4, I hear “click". And if I turn continously the volume knob I hear a lot of continuous clicks, for example from 15 to 23 “click click click very speed one following each other” and the same if on reverse from 23 to 15.

If volume “0 mute” to 1 and reverse 1 to 0, no thumps or big rumors or any other alarm big odd sounds - nothing at all - all is ok and quite silence (only the annoying noise above described in point 1)

Any ideas?

As a little boy with the brand new toy, I’m so happy of my new gears and their SQ but if I can solve these 2 issues would make me happier, I would like to exclude without any doubt any faulty or similar problems, and most of all reducing or removing issues above mentioned.

Thank you.

The tiny clicks with each volume change are normal. I find them amusing.

The noise is most likely the tubes. If it sounds like “shhhhhh” (white noise) it is almost always tubes making the noise. It is not uncommon to have a faint bit of noise, but it should not be loud enough to hear without being close to the tweeter of a speaker.

I have the BHK preamp and I’ve never noticed the tiny clicks with each volume change. My speakers have an efficiency of 93 db. Does this only manifest on speakers that are much more efficient?

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The OP should try -10 dB in-line attenuators at the power amp inputs.

As Elk mentioned, the little clicks are normal when changing the volume. As for the hum you’re getting from a meter away, it’s really hard to say whether or not that’s something wrong with the system or the noise floor of the gear. Based off your testing, it does sound like the pre is what you’re hearing. It’s very possible that with some tube rolling, you may be able to reduce the noise. The stock tubes are usually very quiet though.

Tube noise is like salt and pepper. In moderation, it makes everything taste better.


Fired up my system this morning and tried to hear if I could detect the tiny clicks when changing the preamp volume. They were barely audible even with my ear right up against the drivers. Would be curious for those who hear the tiny clicks, what efficiency your speakers are?

My loudspeakers Dynaudio Evoke 50 are 87dB

How close to the speaker do you need to be to hear the tiny clicks?

Not mention 25 and 52 big loud CLICK. I’m referring to tiny clicks at every volume value change (also one step by one). Clearly hear them within 1 meter, almost audible in a silent room far 2 meters from loudspeakers.

Not so relevant. More annoying is white noise, because even if less than audible with attention from sweet spot would avoid or compromise the black deadly silence so much appreciable during listening passages or between two tracks.

I repeat: I can live with it (both clicks and white noise) but if possible to remove or reduce them I’m happier about my system and most of all if it is a common issue it means that my gear is ok (no faulty or damages matters).

I used to have a BHK Preamp that would click through the entire volume spectrum as well. My speakers were the B&W 804 d3’s, so not incredibly efficient. I sent back the preamp at one point to PSA and they confirmed it was normal. From what I gather some are worse than others with certain speakers, but mine was clearly audible from any listening position. I loved the preamp, it sounded great, I just couldn’t get past those clicks! Good luck.

That’s what I was referring to.

Apparently it has nothing to do with speaker efficiency.

Also don’t hear why white noise from my listening position with 93 db speakers.

You have all the same components as me except for amplification. I’m using the bhk 250. As mentioned before, I have to hold my head right up against a driver to hear the tiny clicks, which even then are barely audible.

The only variables here are the speakers, amplification, and probably cabling.

PS Audio really needs to get the FAQ together.

Clicks are normal. Big clicks at 25/52/84 are normal. RCA clicks louder than XLR.

A light airy noise is normal – to an extent. I measured it at 42-52dB at the tweeter on 94dB sensitive speakers depending on tubes…

Certain tubes are quieter than others. 12v tubes are quieter than 6v tubes.

A light high pitched buzzing noise is normal – due to the display. Hit the dimmer.

Wasn’t aware of that, although the original poster is using XLR’s and hearing more white noise and clicking with less efficient speakers.

Good info but I can’t agree with the general statement about 12v/6v tubes. My BHK has Telefunken 6dj8’s and they’re dead quiet. I haven’t found anything as trial-dependant as tubes.

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I’ve found 12v to be quieter than 6v, in general. Currently running Tele ecc802s (12AU7) and they are ghostly quiet.

Ron, your Tele 6dj8 are as rare as unicorn perspiration on a hot dry August day at 12,000 ft.

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Sorry, I checked many posts here on the forum before asking something already discussed. It is not my intent to replicate and annoying members.

Therefore I excluded hum hypothesis, RCA cables (I use XLR Invictus Ricable) and other common frequently reported cases… in my original post, point by point, I reported differences in my step by step checking.

This is my first experience with tube, reading other posts I noticed folks experienced: tubes problems and also board problems (the little one close to valve behind it in vertical position). I hear a white noise far 1 meter from speakers that makes me loose black deadly silence pauses. Ii is supposed to be “normal”: what is normal for you? Maybe is odd for me and others. Someone said their loudspeakers are totally silent, some other are able to hear a little noise. Not so easy to understand if my BHK brand new preamp is ok or not.

Lots of previous posts ended without a clear solution, here why I’m asking again…

In conclusion: if there is no solution and I have to live with this noise… I’ll do, otherwise if some other member can help me to mitigate it I’ll appreciate so much.

Once again sorry if my arguments seem to be old and already well known, please send me link to post where solutions were found at the end, happy to study them accurately.

PS: hearing something like modulating, fluctuating in noise I hear from tweeter not so common. And as for Psvane new 12AU7 S (art series) anybody experienced if better than stock one? If more quieter? Thank you.

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Yes and they’re for sale for-------a millllyun dollars!

How loud, in dB, is the noise at each speaker?

You might want to read through this thread.