Took advantage of the August sale and hoping this post will be helpful to people with M700 and looking for future upgrades:
It’s been about a month since the 250 is in my system, overall improvement compare to my M700s is cleaner mids and more air, slightly better control to mid base. Better clarity and resolution overall. A smoother overall presentation and slightly bigger soundstage. The improvement isn’t night and day, definitely not as apparent compared to when I added a P15 in the mix a year ago.
In my system, the tubes in the BHK can make or break the overall sound. The stock tube sounded really dry and sterile to me in the first two weeks, changing those to some NOS greatly improved the sound. Maybe the stock tube will improve with further burn-in, but I didn’t have the patience.
Big plus to PS audio’s customer service, I received my new order within 3 days. When the first unit had some issues, Taylor Newberry and ZB(sorry, didn’t get the full name over the phone, only initial from the return slip) took care of it and advanced a new unit to me within 3 days while I can still use the first unit.
Overall a great experience. This upgrade made me realize what a great value a pair of M700s are, considering they can be had for less than 2k on the used market. The BHK 250 is definitely a step above the M700s, but if my funds are limited, I’d be very happy if I’d stayed with the mono blocks.
Hope this helps and thank you PS Audio and Paul for making my audio craze journey easier in this day and age.
Very noteworthy observation; thank you.
Enjoy the new amp!
I suppose I need to get my 250 ready for sale.
@wudai_e don’t forget that with the new amp, you may want to consider some cable changes. Are you using balanced connections to the 250?
Vince so how is the new amps sounding?
The 625 S2 sounds really, really good. I don’t know how Jeff Rowland does it, but somehow he voices his amps to have a bit of sweetness/liquidity that we normally associate with tubes. What I like about it the most is how the soundstage is presented. I think the 250 creates an image as if you were seated in the front row listening to the band. The Rowland image is more like sitting in Row 10. Neither Row 1 or Row 10 is better/worst then the other. I think it’s a matter of taste. Right now, I like Row 10.
You are going to laugh, but I am already plotting out my next upgrade, probably in two years, to a pair of his 735’s. Of course, that’s today. Ask me tomorrow, and I’ll be back to drooling over an Audio Research Reference 6 SE Pre and a 160S amp.
Great point Vince, my signal chain from the DS DAC to my C2700 MC preamp to my BHK are all balanced cables. I did notice a center image shift after I swapped in a SR Foundation speaker cable, Fixed that with reposition one of the speakers. I guess that’s how sensitive my system to changes now. It’s really a two edged sword.
System improved even more after I put Isoaccoustic feets under all of my components. So far loving the sound regardless what type of music I’m putting through.
Considering using full SR foundation loom in the near future.
This isn’t a criticism in audio descriptions, more a commentary because it’s now the second time I’ve seen it on this forum.
I think (and I admit I could be wrong about this) but I think what Vince above (and also the dude who bought PS speakers and then switched from 300’s to 600’s, in describing the upgrade) is describing when he says he prefers row 10 to row 1, is that his interpretation is that the PSA amp lacks soundstage depth presentation compared to what it compared to (here Rowland, in the other thread 600’s). If that’s right, then I think it’s better to just say the new amp provides a much more convincing soundstage depth presentation.
When row 1 versus row 10 is discussed, I believe this is more typically used to describe how one would perceive the high frequencies (in particular, but all frequencies generally) when sitting in row 1 (which is to say, much more pronounced, immediate), than when sitting in row 10 (where they would be not so immediate or intense). That’s the way I’ve always heard these features being discussed, but as acknowledged, I could be wrong about this.
Soundstage depth is almost always a good thing - you rarely ever hear someone say they prefer a shallow soundstage - but one’s preference as to immediacy of row 1 versus row 10 is entirely preference-dependent.
IDK, if I’m wrong I’ll certainly stand corrected - but just something I wanted to get off my chest - ahhhh, much better, haha. And it’s certainly possible that I’m not understanding what they’re trying to say either, for sure - I could be out to lunch, so to speak
How far back or how close instruments are should be in the recording, but inadequate low and high frequency reproduction as well as added noise and distortion from an amp or other components can compromise some ambience and other informations in the recording that can shorten soundstage depth and separation of images. It can flatten the soundstage and make everything sound more upfront. And it can also dull the images and make things sound more indistinct. How you hear this sound space of where everything is, and how palpable everything is depends on how accurate and resolving the amps and the rest of the playback components are in producing the recording.
Most of my jazz recordings I hear are pretty much in my room behind the speakers from wall to wall and very live sounding. Most of my classical recordings are with instruments in a much larger space behind the speakers and sometimes extend beyond the room and also re very live sounding. Width with both sometimes extend beyond the outer edge of the speakers to the side walls. I just hear where things are more accurately as I get better equipment.
A great track to be on…
Have you experimented with speaker placement and room treatments as well?
My current mission is to lower noise in signal and power cable connections and to improve upon room acoustics and equipment/speaker placement. Always a better piece of kit to be had, but I want to try and get the potential for noise and the room sorted as much as possible along the way, as well.
I can see your point(s). My intent up above was not to say that one version of soundstage was better than the other. It’s merely my observation.
I liked listening to the 250. I tailored cables, fuses, and tubes to my taste. In the end, I almost didn’t switch. The 625 S2 is a different animal. I still have system adjustments to make.
Full disclosure, the amount of time I have spent trying to learn how to express what I am hearing is equivalent to the amount of time it takes to grill a steak.
My laughter is drowning out the music in my room! Love your humor!
Also love the beauty and sound of Rowland amps. My dream amp was the Roland Model 8TI, so rich, natural and detailed sounding.
A youtube reviewer, forgot who, made an analogy comparing hi-fi to ice cream. Once a system reaches a certain level, it becomes your “insert your favor flavor ice cream”. But once in a while, we get tired of eating “Mint Chip” everyday.
That depends on how you cook it…rare or really well done
Yes, I think I got the speakers where they disappear the most without hole in the middle or too much center fill, and also where the bass has the full impact without overwhelming the room. The room has the right amount of absorption without being too dead or live. I couldn’t be any happier with the sound as it is right now. You are right, speaker setup, placement, and room acoustics are critical to the sound quality of a system.
I am still working on getting that back…some sub-amp failures and room re-arrangements have me off track at the moment.
Congratulations on your room/system.
If you haven’t gotten at least 1000 hrs on the BHK 250, you haven’t realized its full potential yet.
I normally pull them at 125F and let them rest. That usually yields perfect medium rare. First and foremost is taking them out of the fridge an hour before cooking.
Steak cook time should be a universal time standard.
How long to get an oil change? 20 steaks.
How long to go to Costco? 200 steaks. Why? The parking lot is stupid big.
How long to mow the yard? Zero steaks. Why? Landscapers.
I don’t know if I am “the dude” in the soundstage discussion you are referring to. I agree that the presentation of instruments and voices in a sound field,
the “image”, is difficult to describe or quantify. Yet, between amps like the BHK 300 and 600, there is a difference. I like to use the description “things are better delineated in space” rather than say it puts me as a listener in any particular row. I have spent too many hours behind a recording console to say that the final product is true to the actual space and position of the players. The exception, and the one I use to claim any imaging characteristics, are from select classical recordings. Here, you mostly know the position of the unamplified players, and it is one take. No fixing in the mix. It’s not perfect, but closer to reality and thus a better reference for assessing spacial cues. All that said, these cues can be altered by the “little” things like cables and tubes, and even fuses. And round and round we go.
I recently sold my BHK250 because in my system, with Magnepan 1.7i speakers, the M1200’s just sound impressingly BETTER! I don’t miss it at all…
Makes sense. 250 didn’t seem to be a good match for some Maggies (see thread on shutdown issues with LRS). 1200’s power to spare so seems like better fit for tougher loads