New Member - becoming a PS Audio Fan

Hi all,
I’ve just joined this forum as a result of doing some research on particular upgrades to my system. I am looking(hoping) Australian supplies of the DirectStream DAC will hold out till next Friday when my dealer has said that the spike in demand of this day has put some orders back till May 2019.! My dealer is hopeful for getting one for me by this Friday (an early Christmas Present! ;-).

In anticipation - and with additional research - it seems that BHK Pre is preamp that my system could benefit from. I’m currently running a Bel Canto Dac direct into my amplifier. I have been happy with that setup - not needing a dedicated preamp - but it appears I may be missing out!

So - I do have a question regarding the tubes and their life. I use my system in the family lounge room where it does the TV sound duty. So - the system is currently on 24 x 7 - I never turn it off … (I’m running a class D amp). Given that the BHK pre goes into a standby mode means the tubes are not powered up 24x7 but the usage with TV and music together would total to around 5 hrs a day average. Doing the maths here results in ( 5 x 7days x 52weeks) 1820 hrs/year.

And the question is based on this usage - how long before tubes are recommended to be replaced.?

Thanks all in anticipation of being a genuine PS Audio DS Dac and BHK Pre owner!


Welcome, Kevin!

Small input tubes can easily last 10,000 hours.

The classic test is to buy a replacement set and to periodically replace the tubes in the unit with the new tubes and listen. If it sounds clearly better, leave them in. If not, put the old tubes back and enjoy them.


Thanks Elk for the response. 10,000 hours should cover all our upcoming summer tennis and then some!

The fact that I don’t need to be worried about changing bulbs every few months gives me the confidence to have a chat with my dealer.


And … I’m now the proud owner of the BHK Pre! The differences between a Linn DAC (at the dealer) or my Bel Canto Dac 3.7 direct to the amps was a large difference - so much so that the BHK pre is staying with me! It goes to show what I have been missing! 20 seconds was all it took! A bit bright and slightly over exuberant bass on my B&W 800 Diamonds initially - but it has already started settling/burning in after 50 hrs on the tubes.

It was the sort of change I might have been expecting going from the Bel Canto top DAC (3.7) to the Direct Stream DAC but I believe the DirectStream can’t match this level of improvement. Hopefully I’m mistaken!
I’m now waiting for the DirectStream DAC - hopefully have that Tuesday now.
Christmas coming early!


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Woo hoo! Thanks for letting us know. Make Santa happy!

Excellent decision!

The Bel Canto 37 is a wonderful DAC.

It continues to fascinate me how the addition of a good preamp can improve the sound significantly even when used with DACs such as the DirectStream and the Bel Canto 37 which are designed to be used directly into an amp.

Thanks Paul. So you have dual roles … CEO and Santa! :wink:

Im hopeful that my dealer will have it delivered to him this Tuesday 18th Dec. Fingers crossed and Credit Card ready!