Deliriously sublime

It is hard to give credit to any one component in particular. Is it the P15, the DSD DAC, the BHK 250, the assortment of good cables or the Focal 1038s that continue to redefine sublime on a daily basis?

All but the cables were acquired within the last six weeks. Who knows what is still breaking in after 16 hours of daily play and 8 on standby? Something is.

All I know is that instruments in all kinds of musical genres continue to sound more like themselves and the speakers continue to disappear. Spin me around and I truthfully could not point to the origin of the music.

It could also be brilliant speaker placement. I’m not beyond taking credit for a job well done, if deserved. I wish I knew for sure so I could pat myself in the back.

Nothing is perfect. The DAC hiss had to be tamed by the lower output setting and the cooling fins on the 250 need mild blowing air to stay below the burn-my-fingers threshold.

Still, the gear combination I now have is giving me the thrill of a lifetime. I don’t care which component is the most responsible. I guess the outcome just points to the power of synergy. The Focal 1038s, being the last addition, probably brought it all together. They likely were the icing of a quite delicious cake. Triple chocolate, please.

It may be delirium from being cooped up for too long except for walks and trips for groceries and medicine. All I know is that I am glad my condo does not share wall space with a neighbor. It’s a hell of a ride I hope lasts beyond our current crisis.


Fun isn’t it?!

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Nice system, BHK amplification & Focal loudspeakers, marriage made in audiophile heaven in my experience.

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Happy that you have reached system nirvana. A little concerned that your 250 heat sinks are more that warm to the touch. I have had this amp and now 300’s
on inefficient speakers and have not gotten hot sinks.
Maybe check with PSA.


Thanks, Patrick. It’s my real life marriage made in heaven that allowed this one to happen :slight_smile:

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I have, straightwire. It can’t be, or not to worry is the answer. There have been threads devoted to sink heat in the past. Check them out. No word from PSA on a safe temperature threshold. Not great customer service but owners resorted to a variety of fans. We’ll see how it goes long-term.

Glad you are good with it. Didn’t know some need fans :man_shrugging:t2:

Good for now :slight_smile: Staying safe is a much bigger fish to fry at the moment.

I don’t ever remember my BHK250 ever got beyond warm to the touch.

But yeah, sublime indeed I have all PS Audio electronics as well, and before that have compared the BHK250 and BHK Pre to pass labs offerings, XP10 and X150.8 finally choosing PSA over for my Klipsch speaker. Only until the Cube Nenuphar do Pass SIT2 wins out, but the Nenuphar is a special speakers favoring low damping factors instead of higher ones. Nothing against the brilliant BHK250, just synergy.

Heat sinks on my BHK300’s warm, but never hot, regardless of playback levels (which are usually reasonable) or how long they’ve been on.

I’m sure there is some variance, in finger sensitivity, in amp build and in room temperatures. That is why I would like to know a measurable safe range for long-term parts longevity. It may well be that mine is ok. I just don’t know.

Not knowing does not feel good. Troubling is that the lack of a definitive and compelling PSA response is inconsistent with general company excellence and transparency.

Synergy seems to be so important, in marriage, relationships of all kinds and even in audio.

Oct 17 Paul answered a question about whether or not a 123 degree infrared thermometer heat sink reading was normal:

“If it is in Fahrenheit then yes, it is perfectly normal. The fins are slightly hot to the touch”

Hope that helps.

Thanks so much. Your search skills are better than mine. His fingers may be less sensitive than mine. If 123 degrees is a threshold then it’s easy enough to monitor. You are gold.

I don’t understand the hot heat sinks on the 250. I use 4 ohm speakers and play loud and neither the 250 or the P 10 get beyond warm.

I think the term “hot” is relative in this discussion in terms of what the owners past experience is. To me the 115 degrees plus or minus on my 250 is warm not hot. To a former Pass or other Class A amp owner that would not be the case. I have a friend that measured the heat sinks on the little Pass XA-25 at in excess of 130 degrees on a regular basis but only found it an issue in the Summer same as I do with the 250 but it is because my point of reference is with amps that run much cooler. They just need room to breathe and I would never put one in an enclosed cabinet though many here do.

Years ago I had a Quad 405 and that baby got hot, hot, hot. At the time I did not have an IR temperature tool so I don’t know what temperature hot correlated to.

At 105-100 degrees (with small fan on and playing), my 250 is warm to the touch, closer to 115 I can leave my fingers on for maybe 10-15 seconds, closer to 120 for maybe 3 to 4.

So, yes, hot is relative to our past experience and the thickness of our finger skin. The point is that the “hot” scale is very subjective. That is why I was looking for a number and Patrick quotes Paul at 123. That is a measurable temperature, so long as it is measured properly with the right tool.

I would not be surprised if, all other things being equal, units may vary in their operational temperature within a certain safe range for parts longevity.

To this day, I cannot fathom how my Quad 405 lasted 10 years cooking breakfast on it every morning until its sale to another happy chef.

I use the same style infrared digital thermometer my HVAC guys recommended so I’m pretty sure it is fine. Don’t surprised if you get slightly different measurements on each side of the case. A lot is going to depend on the average temperature in your area. In North Florida we have already reached 90 degrees multiple times so it will soon be time for me to swap to my cooler running amp for the hot months.

Wow, the thought of a different backup amp for the summer months never occurred to me. Any recommendations? :slight_smile:

Actually, in Southern California we have some of the highest electricity rates in the country. A summer Class D running amp would be cool (pun intended), but I don’t think I’m ready to part with the SQ of the 250, unless I found a comparably “cool” amp.

I don’t think I have to worry much though. My A.C. is a high-end unit running a constant 72 degrees year-around to keep all internal house surfaces at a steady temperature and prevent the cool-hot cycles that plague lesser units. In other words, my A.C. mimics my always-running 250.

Should the electric bill get truly out of hand (I actually got a notice from SCE telling me I am now using more juice than my neighbors), I can return to the days of cooking on my amp. The 250 has a nice slick top surface (is it non-stick?), even larger than I had on my Quad 405. Omelette, anyone?

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For a couple of years I was using and Odyssey Audio Kismet but a couple of months ago I picked up a Van Alstine Vision SET 400. Great ;pairing with my Supratek preamp.