Looking for Amp Recommendation

I am in need of a new amp since my ML 333 smoked and is not an economical repair. The amps on the short list are:

M700- I like the fact that I do not have to hire help to move them around, reviews seem to be running favorable but not sure how they will intergrate with the rest of components (specifically speakers)

BHK 300, From everything I have read, seem to be a top shelf amp but again will require help to move around as they are nearly as heavy as my old 333

Pass X-260.8 mono, again a very good amp from the reviews but again a large heavy amp

(Size and weight can be a issue as I will be retiring in a couple of years and will be moving out of state WITh my system)

Unfortunately, my speakers, Shahinian Acoustics Hawks are not a terribly popular speaker in the states so being able to demo them with the amp and the rest of my system (ARC 27 pre, PS DSD Dac, PS DSD Memory Transport) does not seem to be an option. Speaker manufacturer amp recommendations include Bedini (no longer in business) I have a 100/100 amp of theirs and was/seemed to be grossly underpowered for the rest of the system.

While I understand that PS as well as Mark at Reno would allow in home demo’s with the availability to return the units if they did not quite fit the system, in the case of the BHK and the Pass, shiping these back and forth could get a little costly.

I am posting in the hopes that someone else has gone through this previously and can offer some advice or direction and allow to sidestep some of the trial and error.


Keep in mind that PSA pays shipping both ways, so no out of pocket for you if you decide not to purchase. I have M700s which I love. Most reviewers of the BHK monos say that they are the very serious listeners choice or if you have a lot of cash … A lot depends on the make up of your system. Alternately, I know of a few people who use a BHK preamp with the M700s.

In a couple years (after your move) PSA may give you a generous trade for your M700 against the BHK. Call James in sales to discuss your plans, he has been very helpful.

Given the sizes of the shipping boxes, consider buying a used furniture dolly for around $20. At 75, my wife still has me moving furniture twice a month. That dolly, and furniture straps, have been a practical investment. To me, the box size is more of a problem than weight.



Fellow Shahinian Hawk owner, and I thought I was the lone US survivor of the Hawks - Hi. I’ve had my Hawks for about 25 years now, wouldn’t trade them, though I am curious as to what you do decide to buy for a new Amp. I have a White Audio 100 Class A amp, but like some of the equipment you quoted, White is no longer in business either. It’s a beautiful sounding amp, though it has always been weak in the bass, never having the Omph to deliver a deep bass. The rest of the range, stage, everything else about it is superb.

I own the PSA DSJr and the PSA BHK-Pre. I strongly believe the BHK-Pre was a good upgrade over my ARC 22 Pre, in fairness that was over 20 years old too. My logical next upgrade is the Amp. I’ve been intrigued by the Pass amps and the BHK amps, but like you I can’t deal with lugging a 100 lb amp around the house (I’m no youngster anymore). I really don’t see a Class D amp over my Class A as an upgrade except in reduced weight for lugging.

So although I can offer no suggestions, I am very curious as to what you decide and how it works with the Hawks. So I’ll be monitoring this thread.

This is quite a simple one, if you are not fussed as to what brand.

“Little surprise, then, that some of the more successful amplifier pairings with Shahinian speakers have long been Plinius’ solid-state designs, which appear to be unusually robust in terms of damping factor and current delivery. Richard Shahinian owns a Plinius power amplifier, while Plinius’ Peter Thomson owns Shahinian Hawks. Fancy that.”

This integrated one here will drive anything with ease.

The SB-301 is a classic power amp and has been made for ages, switches from A to A/B. Runs very hot at times and is very heavy.
There are two very attractive 301’s on Audiogon.

p.s. Shahanian are popular in the UK.

Shahanian speakers should be more popular than they are. They are extraordinary in their own way.

Nice find! Can’t get a better testimonial than that for a Shahinian speaker and amp combination.

Plinius is amazing.
I have their Tautoro preamp with 2 bridged SA 103s, and I am really happy about them driving my B&W 800 D2s, a well known difficult load.

I would be looking at the same amps that you list; BHK’s and Pass. I’m a huge Pass fan. But if you’re talking about new, the prices are quite different. I think the Pass’s list at $27K.
If you’re concerned about moving things around, you can go stereo and cut the effort in half. That said, I certainly understand the appeal of monoblocks.
Mark at Reno is a real gentleman as is Paul, so no worries there.


Thank you for reminding about the Plinius, I had forgotten about them. They did sound remarkable the last time I was over at Vasken’s shop. I have the pleasure of working five minutes from him and have brought every speaker I currently own over to hime for a check-up, the Hawks, Oblisks and Arcs (in threee different systems).

The ML(before its demise) did a outstanding job with the Hawks and my current amp with the Oblisks is a ML 23.5 a pairing that I can’t hear anything lacking. Currently driving the Hawks is a Perreaux 3150, pressed back into service, and the Bedini is running the Arcs in my work office set-up, there it sounds perfect and not overworked.

I had the ML on a custom platform that I made for it and going to mono’s I expect I will have to make an additional pair of platforms for whatever I amps I elect to go with. The main issue is my listening room is on the second floor of the house and I am not big on asking for help so getting them up the stairs is a major concern. As well as when they will have to come down…


In retrospect I should have known someting was wrong with the ML, as it had initally had full command of the subs and at some point with the same setup, nothing changing it slowly dissapeared. I was concerned enough to have Vasken send me the wiring layout for the subs as the one I got with the speakers I thought might be in error, which it was not. I really miss the way the ML was able to drive the Hawks and want to get back to that sound quality.

I read a review about the M700 having very good command of the base and being very musical overall, but I guess it is something instinctive about going from a 110# anchor to a 19# mono…

I also have a guy that I am trying to coax his Diapason from…or I need to keep that in mind


@Dirk on this forum is a Diapason owner and using BHK amplification. You may want to reach out to him to discover his experience with both BKH250 and BHK Mono amplification into the Diapason’s. He’s a fine gentleman to boot!

I’d love to see your electricity bill. Do you leave them in Class A?

A chap near me shorted out his SA103, he’d had it for years so bought something else, but could never get round to hauling it out, so it sat in a corner until he had the house rebuilt and got the builders to move it.

LOL, stevensegal

Stevea1298, both stevensegal and RonP make interesting points. You can’t go wrong with either Pass or BHK’s.

But, if you think that one of the Powerplants might be in your future, the BHK’s or the X260.8 might be a better choice. I’d be worried that the bigger class A amps (Pass XA’s or Plinius) would suck the Powerplant dry. Class A’s also throw off a lot of heat.

I have a set of the Pass XA monoblocks, but the listening room is located in a cool basement where the extra heat they throw off helps to maintain the room at a comfy 70 F. YMMV, of course.

FWIW, PS Audio recently hosted a meeting of the Colorado Audio Society. Gus Skinas was on hand to show off the new studio and play some DSD masters. Prior to occupying the new studio his go-to amps were Pass XA 160.5’s. These were replaced by BHK 300’s for the front channels. I asked him how he thought they compared and he told me that he initially had some reservations, but that the BHK’s “…were wonderful amps.”

I was in a similar situation, contemplating amp change and anticipating moving to a different home in a year or two. I had Audio Research tubes in main system but tried my Stellar M700’s from the office. I was impressed, livelier than the tubes and more dynamic but not at all harsh or annoying. Since our move is on hold I ordered bhk 250 for the main system. Who can come over and help me get it down stairs?

Dick Shahinian used to use the Bedini 803 to power the Diapason’s at the shows. He was the man who got me to purchase that very amplifier. It like the Plinius is a high power solid state amp that uses same sex output devices the BHK does in the 250 and 300 amps. The Bedini puts out 250 wpc at 8 ohms and 500 wpc at 4 ohms. enough power for even very low sensitivity speakers.

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But at least, We don’t get cold in the winter :wink:

All kinds of great and directly relative recommendations @stevea1298

I hired a crane to lift the P20 to the top of my rack, and kept it to move the SA 103s around :blush:

Yeah, before the ML died, a Powerplant was on my list of must haves. With some decent deals for the P10’s I am still on the lookout for one.

Yes me too - leave my White Audio Labs Class A amp on all the time. My PSA P12 has been constantly reminding me that I’m burning 300 watts continuously when not listening to any music. :frowning: My amps and P12 are in the basement, directly below my listening room connected via a hole in the floor. So switching the Amp on and off is problematic, so it just stays on.