First time poster on these forums. I have owned quite a selection of power amplifiers in the past 24 months (approximately 170 power amplifiers total) which has given me plenty of exposure to different brands. Bryston, NAD, Butler Audio, Simaudio, Mark Levinson, Octave Audio, Plinius, Krell, Classe Audio, Rotel, Parasound Halo, Pass labs, Mcintosh, Anthem, Theta Digital, ATI SIGNATURE, Cary Audio, and now PS AUDIO BHK 300 mono blocks. My journey of speakers includes Martin logan Montis, B&W 800s, Revel Salon 2s, Goldenear Trition One, Dynaudio Confidence C4, and now the Renaissance from Martin Logan which i consider the best speaker under 50k.
I will say that before i heard the BHK 300 monos i was impressed by the detail of the Mark Levinsons. Although most of you have heard that these are nothing else than rebadged ATI amps, i can assure you they don’t sound anything like the ATI amps. They were the very first amp that i had which made my jaw drop. Layer of detail upon layer of detail and amazing clarity. Anyhow, i had ventured with hybrid amplifiers in the past from Butler Audio which was a very smooth sounding amp and with great detail. i started to build a mental picture of what i thought were my best amps at the time and here are what i remember as my top amplifiers:
Mark Levinson 532h
Pass labs XA 30.8
This brings me to the BHK 300 monos. i bought these being very skeptical and going strictly on what my dealer had recommended me. The review i had read on the BHK300s didn’t exactly make me want to pull the trigger. i thought it didn’t quite nail the weaknesses and strengths so i went ahead and decided to gamble (meaning i decided to spend a substantial amount of money to try this and risking not liking them).
Upon connecting these amps to my Renaissance electrostatics, i heard an immediate level of detail that surprised me. however, i didn’t really pay much attention to it since i wanted to let them break in for a few days. If you are wondering what was my preamp, it is the Anthem AVM60 processor which isn’t exactly the best, but i had intentions of buying something better. After about a week of break in time, i proceeded to play some of the songs very well known to me and i sensed that the amps were throwing an amazing level of detail and yet i had zero ear fatigue. i felt as if i could play them louder and still feel very comfortable. That said, i wondered “what if i get a better preamp to do these amps some justice?” and so my Mcintosh C2500 tube preamplifier arrived days later. WHAT A DIFFERENT LISTENING EXPERIENCE!
The amps have so much more musicality, depth, clarity and detail that i couldn’t hear before. i felt as if they simply came alive. i stayed up until 4am several nights listening and listening and i couldn’t believe my ears. Again, let’s not forget that i was skeptical about these when i first bought them. Fast forward to today and i must say that the MCINTOSH C2500 and the BHK300s sounds MIND BLOWING to say the least.
I will also add that this is the first pair of amplifiers that make me think TWICE before selling them. i don’t get attached to material things and to be quiet honest i enjoy buying a great product, enjoying it for a bit and move on to the next great thing. This is exactly what has allowed me to compare this amp to my previous amplifiers. Right now, i can say that for THE VERY FIRST TIME ever i am afraid of letting go of these. i don’t think i have ever had this fear previously as far as parting ways with any of my amplifiers. Yes my dealer was right about it. These are amazing amps and they do a lot right. i wonder if the new BHK pre amp will defeat the Mcintosh MC2500? Not sure, but either way if i do end up trying the BHK preamp i will end up giving my impressions when comparing to the Mcintosh.
Where do i go from here? i am not quite sure. I almost bought the Direct Stream DAC today and used it as a preamp, but the BHK preamp would also work if i use my Ayre DAC. Of course, i am already hearing from several sources that i should try the Esoteric Grandioso M1 mono blocks because they are supposed to be the next great thing (i have also heard the same about the Bel Canto Black system).
Fear from moving away from these amps and regretting it IS what is making me hang on to them. These BHK 300s are something truly special. DO NOT hesitate when it comes to these. Stay tuned, i will keep updating this thread with any new additions i make in my set up and also share my impressions, but for now:
BHK 300 MONOS
MARK LEVINSON 532H