Does it sound good when you turn it down?!

I’ve got a total of 162 hours on my BHK Pre. I’ve listened to it, Roon -> DS feeding, M700 driving, for half of those total hours.

One true measure of a system for me is does it (continue to) sound good when turned down to ~50dB SPL? The BHK Pre along with M700 has the SGCD and S300 totally beat.

I’ve only run the stock tubes so far.

I’ve got to plug my speakers, built by Dave Fabrikant San Clemente, CA with Seas drivers and RAAL ribbons, Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2. I’m just a very happy customer from 2016.

I often forget about my pair of Rythmik L12 sealed servo subs in the mix too. They do their job without ever calling attention to themselves, but when I take them out they are certainly missed. I take them for granted while the BHK makes them sing or kick or hit, whatever is called for.


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My BHK pre should be arriving later this week and one of the main reasons for the purchase is to maximize lower volume performance with the DSJ. Your post is timely to stoke the excitement fire!

Last summer i started with a DsD player SGCD and A set of M700. Sounded pretty good and the M700 just kept getting better…long burn in. Then the Black Friday deal hit and I brought in the BHk pre and 250 with the intention of unloading the Stellar gear. I could not believe how good the BHk pre made the M 700s sound. I bought some XLR Y connectors from BHk pre and hooked up the M700 feeding a set of towers (4 mid drivers and 4 ribbon tweeters per tower) and the dual RELs. And the BHK 250 to another set of towers (all repurposed cabinets replaced with Invisa drivers). Essentially my room is bi amped. I use the M700 for continual listening and add in the 250 for the magic. My speakers are probably my weakest link now. Good thing Paul is making some .

I bought my BHK Pre because I wasn’t getting the volume out of my DSJ direct to my White Audio amp that I wanted. So in January I finally received my BHK Pre. It achieved what I wanted - more volume and effortlessly. But what I didn’t anticipate is the significant boost to overall quality no matter what the volume. Listening with the Pre in the chain has made a big positive impact on the overall sound. There is better imaging, better instrument separation, wider stage and something hard to describe, but there just feels like there is an overall effortless feel to the music. And all of these positives are at lower levels too. My setup never sounded so good at a low volume. It’s hard to describe but there is an overall ‘ease’ to the music that I now realize wasn’t there before.

Overall the BHK Pre added to my system has been a game changer for my setup. The improvements exceeded all my expectations.


I pulled the trigger and order the BHK preamp. It should arrive this Friday. Thanks @brett66 for the buying tip. Can’t wait to get it to drive the M700 amps. My SGCD preamp will become the DAC. The problem now is I need another XLR cable.

I have pretty sensitive speakers, Spatial M3s Turbo, and usually listen at low volume. Hopefully the BHK preamp will match nicely in this new setup.

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Yay! Let us know. I am sure it’ll be great.

You’re going to love your BHK Pre. I’ve had one in my system since the Black Friday sale and I couldn’t be happier. I have a small listening room so I typically listen at low volume levels myself. The BHK is incredibly articulate and tonally rich no matter the volume, which absolutely delighted me. The prior preamps I was using were the Ayre K-5xeMP and Pass Labs XP-10, and the BHK is better than both in that regard.

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It’s rather dangerous reading posts here on the forum! I should go audition the BHK Pre…

My setup right now is PWT > DS DAC > First Watt J2.

Sometimes I do feel the lack in punch. I turned on the filter on the DS Dac to eliminate hiss noise from the speakers, and the volumn on the Dac is usually between 75 to 90, depending on the track.

Still kinda in the original thought / belief that there’s no pre-amp as no pre-amp. But as always, hearing is believing? :blush:

I’ve got the DSD, the BHK preamp and the BHK 250 so for “fun” I have tried it both ways and to my ears it wasn’t even close. I also tried the comparison using the Modwright LS-100 and the W4S STP-SE preamps and in each case the system with the preamp won out over DSD directly to the amp. If you don’t want to spring for the BHK preamp initially try to find a used STP-SE as it is a great alternative with a similar sound signature.

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What was this black Friday sale? Will it happen again?

“…wasn’t even close” huh? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Thankks @dawkinsj for the recommendation of the STP-SE.

Too bad there aren’t any “black Fridays” in Hong Kong.

I also have a First Watt J2. Setup is DMP to DSD Sr to Zu 97db spkrs. I find the J2 to be the warmest, most dynamic ss amp I’ve ever heard. There is complete silence between tracks at even full volume.
I used to use my Cary 98P, F1 that added a tubey liquidity but I felt it removed more detail than it added and now I just use the dac.
I also borrowed a Decware pre for a couple weeks and same opinion.
But I’d like to try the BHK someday. It never ends.

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Black Friday is the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. It is traditionally a big shopping day and many companies offer substantial discounts on that day. I have no idea if PS Audio plans similar sales in the future but they sometimes happen. They generally only apply to the U.S., however.

And is referred to as Black Friday as the tremendous amount of retail sales this day puts retailers’ into the black; i.e., it takes them out of debt (red).

Does anyone know what the BHK pre sold for during the sale?

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$3999, a great deal and I got one since I am a bargain lover! Not sure if this will be repeated though, somewhere I recall someone from PS Audio saying this is the first time they ever did this, but they may not do again. I think they moved a lot of product since it took a while to fulfill orders. I waited several weeks for mine.

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We may do another Black Friday next year around Thanksgiving but you can almost be assured it won’t be the same products.

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@Paul, what happen to the Black Friday this year? You can’t skip that.

Now at 220 hours the BHK pre continues to captivate my ear. Wildly impressed with the work by BHK and PS Audio team. This is now my must have desert island component for sure…well, and Ted’s DS…

I think it’s time to try some other tubes. Upscale BHK Select - Tungsram PCC88 later today, perhaps.

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