My New BHK 250 - I'm Impressed & A Bit Disappointed Too


#1

So I pulled the trigger & bought a new BHK 250. I un-boxed it last night and hooked it up to my system, which is pretty basic. The music source is Tidal, streamed wirelessly to the Directstream DAC. The DAC goes directly to the BHK 250, which is powering Magnepan 1.7i’s. I’m using Audience Forte F3 power cables on the DAC & amp.

I was impressed with the its openness & the remarkable separation between instruments, improved sound stage/imaging and how it revealed subtle details. However, vocal parts were somewhat thin & recessed & lacked the fuller body of what I’m used to. The top end seemed a bit strident & spitty, also. The bass was full & defined, but didn’t have the punch & tightness that I’m used to hearing.

The amp I’m comparing it to is my old workhorse, Aragon 8008 BB. While lacking the detail, separation and soundstage of the BHK, it has a smoother top end, a richer, fuller midrange & punchier, tighter bass.

I know the amp should be broken in at least 100 hours or more before I pass judgement, but I’m a little nervous that I spent so much money on an amp that may be wrong for my system. I’ve read that the BHK 250 has a smooth high end & is just ever so slightly on the warm side of neutral, but that’s not what I’m hearing now.

Will this amp “warm up” & have fuller mids, smoother highs & tighter bass after a good break in period?

Thanks for your help & opinions.


#2

Have faith, the SQ you desire will come. One way to help burn-in is to leave it on and secondly playing if that’s possible.


#3

Since you just plugged it in last night, it hasn’t even fully warmed up yet, not to mention being broken in. Not to worry, it will improve with time.
From my experience, it will take 3 days to stabilize, and reach it’s optimal operating temperature, but then you’ll need to let it break-in for at least 250 hrs before doing any critical listening.


#4

Welcome to the BHK club. Two things, the first is break in time and the second is tube rolling. Both are covered here in the forums. I would keep the amps playing for a few hundred hours. They definitely sound better with time. Rolling the tubes has a pretty dramatic effect also. There isn’t much point in swapping out the tubes until break in is done.


#5

How do you stream wirelessly to the DSD? In my system, hard wired sounded much better than wireless—not with the DSD, since I don’t own one yet.


#6

Also curious about the wireless piece, and will also confirm that hardwired sounds better. Especially with the hashiness, spaciousness, and body.

Def give it a week or so if break in time. And once you do, good to check out the tube rolling threads. The Tungsram 7DJ8 is a great start.

Would recommend the HFC Reveal Series if you’re looking to add that additional body to the power cables.

Lastly, I know it’s a bit controversial, but I found an aftermarket ethernet cable like the SOtM DBL-CAT7 or even the Supra Cat 8’s and an aftermarket Audiophile grade switch like those from the Linear Solution or SOtM will offer an improvement to your streaming experience. Re the switch, even a LPS will help plenty.


#7

Thanks for the help. I’m feeling a little less buyer’s remorse now! As far as streaming, I use an iPad, or a Samsung Android tablet with Mconnect that streams to the Bridge II card in the DS. I’ve compared streaming to running USB from my Dell laptop and prefer the sound of streaming. My USB cable is a Shunyata Venom.

I’ve always doubted the validity of upgrading Ethernet cable, but I also doubted upgrading power cables. Boy was I wrong on that. The Audience Forte 3 cables made a big difference, especially on the Aragon 8008 BB. I’m sure it will do the same for the BHK 250.


#8

Bridge II is connected via Ethernet? Technically you are not streaming wirelessly. You are just controlling the UI wirelessly. There’s a big difference. Give your 250 time. I love mine!!!


#9

Ok. Thanks for the clarification. So, will the mids fatten up a little & be more forward in the sound stage once it’s broken in? I feel like I’ve moved a few rows back with the BHK.


#10

I don’t have the BHK’s but from what I’ve heard you’re in for a real treat when broken in. The 1.7i’s are real word beaters -set up properly they’re comparable to speakers many times their cost. They just keep getting better as the system improves. Magnepan has to be one of the best values in all high end audio. I think you’re looking at 100’s of hours for full break in. I’m sure someone on here will know for sure. Have fun that should be a great combo.