I have been using my PS Audio Dac straight into my power amp along with my memory player for some time now and have loved it but was always curious about the pre amp…after reading numerous reviews and speaking to several people i took the plunge and ordered the pre amp and i must say I am truly thrilled thus far…although I have only had a brief period of listening thus far i find the sound stage expanded,details enhanced and the placement of instruments simply magnificent.I am a tough critic so i myself am surprised.I did not expect to be this impressed.The combination of Dac,memory player and pre-amp is simply a pleasure to listen to…bravo!
Likewise here. I actually had a BHK Pre “lying around” boxed for a month or two not even bothering to try it because I just “knew” it wouldn’t beat the DS to BHK’s direct setup.
Then, after reading the remarks from other owners I thought what the hell; let’s try it. I’m SO glad I did … almost every positive sound descriptive term I can think of sort of “shrink” when I take the Pre out.
Would you all recommend switching out a wyred4sound preamp to BHK preamp over switching from DSJr to DS senior for sound quality improvement?
I would, yes. You’ll get far more mileage with the new preamp.
I agree with Paul and I own both preamps. Their sound profile is similar but the BHK is just better. Would be interesting to do the comparison with EJ’s Stage 2 version which is supposed to be a significant improvement.
The BHK pre really woke up the bass in my system at low to moderate volumes which was a very nice unexpected benefit to my system. I have a huge space to fill with sound the BHK really makes it sing and sound full without having to blast the volume as much as was required before the BHK.
Thanks! advice is appreciated
I must admit,I do not understand why everything sounds better with the pre-amp involved…in theory the DAC direct to the amp should be more transparent and true to the source yet somehow it all comes together better with the Pre…a Pre should be one more layer that should detract rather than enhance and that is what i always assumed over the years and as a result I always went direct to amp…I am confused yet extremely pleased!
Logically I agree 100%. However I just did a retest and the sound noticeably improves with my pre. And I think that the system (in my case a Jr to M700s) benefits from a pre period, not just a BHK. I use a Cary and while I want to try a BHK, I’m not sure what difference I’ll hear. I would love to go 100% PSA though. And I’m not a guy who will tell you I “heard” my “bass get tighter” when I lifted my speaker cables off the carpet. I have to really hear a discernable difference and it’s there- no doubt. I was amazed too but took the pre leap when I saw a vid with Paul and his calypso experiment.
Which video is that? Is there a link handy? Tia
Forgive my slight consternation in bumping this thread as it along with numerous posts here have helped me thru a six month thought process of either adding the BHK Pre to my chain of DirectStreamDac>M700s>B&WMatrix801serIII or adding one of the Innuos Zenith Mk3/Auralic Aires G2 players (which reportedly is the greatest SQ bump) or replacing the 20yr old speakers. Yesterday I became my dealer’s 80th client to order the BHK Pre and without reservation will be all-in on PSA and wait patiently for Octave to complete the chain. After months of watching the YouTube videos of not only all of the BHK/Arnie(RIP)/Paul and all of the Forum scrubbing along with JohnDarko’s excellent thought provoking source comparisons, and TerryEllis PursuitPerfectSystem speaker demo’s, There is just too much evidence that the BHK Pre provides the infrastructure within a PSA chain that one can simply not ignore it’s long term contribution. I look forward to implementing the BHK Pre. Thanks guys.
Just curious, has anyone compared the BHK preamp to the Calypso from Aesthetix? Paul has for sure, since I think he owned one prior to the BHK. I just wanted more feedback. I own a BHK myself.
I like how the Calypso has dual outputs for the RCA and XLR. Wish the BHK had that, at least for the XLR for bi amping
I bought my BHK to replace a Calypso Signature that was damaged when a tree crashed into my house.
The Calypso was sublime. I can’t say which is better but I sometimes find myself looking at used ones.
I did experience a “problem” with the Calypso with hiss but learned that with high efficiency speakers or a high gain amp, the gain can be adjusted. Hiss gone. And I liked the dual mono design.
I never heard a BHK or Calypso, but I Do have a Bruce Moore Companion 3 tube preamp 4k. I believe 4k might be the lowest price preamp to beat going to power amp straight. With the Companion in, it did sound marginally better with better dimensions and solidity, but also with a bit of hiss. I believe it is the tubes but could never eliminate the hiss entirely by changing tubes. You don’t hear the hiss with music unless on real quiet passages. When you get use to it, you kind of ignore the hiss.
Now I have a Esoteric C02 which I will not talk too much because it is beyond what people would be using with the DS. But I can say you do not know how good the DSsr is until you try a better preamp.
I beg to differ, suggest you start talking…
When I was using the Companion III preamp, it sounded really good in comparison to the Audio Research SP9 II. There was more body and more 3D and better location of instrument in a soundstage. I thought it couldn’t get any better. Until I got hold of a Esoteric C02. It wasn’t even close. With the Esoteric, the sound just opened up. It really sounded like real instruments in a real space. Incredible presence. But there is a big difference in price. $4k oppose to $24k. You’re not paying all that extra money for nothing. I have found over the years more expensive usually is better sound with very few exceptions. Usually someone spending on a Esoteric would also get a all Esoteric system. I haven’t the funds to do that yet, but maybe someday. I find the DS dac is really better than what the price suggest. Everytime I improve something, the dac does not limit that improvement. I’m at that point where I do not want to change anything. It’s sounding that good.
Comes as no surprise. If I didn’t own a Halcro pre-amp I’d be using an Esoteric as well.