Mk1200 and BHK Pre vs BHK 250 Amp and BHK Pre

Ive no doubt its covered in many previous threads
But for those with tolerance
Any thoughts?

Good question. I have a BHK Pre and have wondered the same thing. Hopefully, you will get some input from the others.

Summarizing what others have mentioned, the BHK to BHK sounds smoother, sweeter and more alive. I have a BHK Pre and the M1200 combo, and love this combo, as they sound really, really good together, with smooth female vocals, great resolution, great 3d imaging and great dynamics. Basically, this combo has the midrange smoothness of tubes but without the bloaty bass. The M1200’s also work VERY nicely when fed by an all-tube Conrad Johnson Preamp (this combination has 100% tube magic, but without the need to replace output tubes and has plenty of power to drive speakers) and also works well with a solid-state Parasound P6 preamp (for a cooler, cleaner sound but with some of the midrange magic because of the M1200 tube input stage). The M1200 is a fantastic amp, and will never get rid of it.


I’ve been contemplating a move up from the 700s and wondered the same.

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I had a BHK preamp & BHK250 and traded the BHK250 for the M1200s. I could see how one would perceive the BHK250 as “smoother and sweeter” but with my Tidal Piano Cera speakers the M1200s convey a greater sense of`transparency to the source than the BHK250 did. For that reason I’d say the M1200s sound more “alive” than the BHK250. To get the M1200s to perform at the level they do now, I’ve had to use expensive Furutech power cords, Iso Acoustic Orea feet, and two High Fidelity Cables MC.05 power conditioning plugs in the quad outlet power distributor and one High Fidelity Cables MC.05+ Helix plug on the duplex outlet feeding the mono blocks. Comparing the two amps in stock form I’d say the BHK250 would likely be preferable to me but there’s much further potential in the M1200s available with additional ancillaries. In other words, I found the M1200s to improve a lot more with new tuning feet, power cords, etc. than the BHK did (although Stillpoints SS feet did improve the BHK’s performance noticeably.) The two amps have different personalities and the M1200 easily reveals downstream deficiencies because it isn’t as inherently sweet and forgiving in character. Since adding the M1200s to my system there have been several times I thought this or that was bothering me about the amplifier’s sound only to discover they were just revealing something downstream in the signal chain that wasn’t quite right or simpatico.


In your estimation, is it a matter of sonic character, headroom or a combination somewhere there about?

As a non-engineer I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that. I’d imagine it’s mostly a difference of character due to circuit design and implementation. I will say the M1200s control the woofers in my speakers with noticeably more authority than the BHK did. That’s not to say that you’d ever perceive the bass of the BHK250 as sub-par in any way. But there is definitely something different about the bass reproduction of the M1200 vs. the BHK250 with the Tidal speakers.

In my experience, you’re never going to get a complete picture of what to expect with a new piece of equipment compared to someone else’s system. I’ve got multiple amplifiers and two sets of speakers with nominally equivalent specifications. One amplifier sounds glorious with one set of speakers and unbelievably blah with the other. Go figure.


Thanks for the responses.
What im gleaning is its a pretty close call (as Paul has mentioned in a few videos)
I had considered upgrading to the BHK 250 from the mk1200’s
But the difference seems slight ir certainly nit enough to justify cost of upgrading
Thanks again
Good stuff

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But if there was a sale on the BHK…that could change things :wink:

Sorry to highjack. Wanted to ask a quick question to those with a BHK pre and M1200s…

When you get the expected volume adjustment popping when cranking it, or even turning it down, is the pop exclusive to the right channel?

Interesting question
Ive not noticed that but also havent paid much attention

I ONLY hear popping (in both channels) when using rca cables between BHK Pre & M1200’s. When using XLR there’s no popping sounds.

There was only one time I heard loud popping sound when I changed tubes. Then I switched the tubes from R to L and the popping sound went away.

My volume adjustment on the pre is silent except when changing from 24 to 25, and from 52 to 53 (I could be remembering the numbers wrong since I seldom turned to that high). But it was a small click, not a popping sound.

Interesting. I’m using XLR to and from BHK.

And using Audioquest Red River, 2 meter pair.

I hear the click in secondary speakers connected to BHKPre Rca outs, no click in main system connected via Xlr’s. After replacing a fuse in the BHKPre last week, I’ve been inclined to leave the Pre volume at 55 or above, as the sound takes a step up in fullness, then surf the DSD volume to desired level.

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Thanks for chiming in. I could do volume via the DSD, but phono is still subject to the BHK/M1200s. The popping recently started sounding less appropriate than before, but my unit has always done this. Still under warranty…and I’m heading to Boulder for a show Monday…might be worth a call to the mothership.

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Please let us know what you find out

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I can hear it from both right and left speakers. I found that tube models can decrease it (Gold Lion vs stock Psvane) and tubes life (new ones vs used ones).

I generously replaced my former GLs before their time, but didn’t notice this trouble until recently. Might rollback a change from two or three months ago just to see…reconnect everything, etc.

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