New PS Audio BHK Signature 300 mono owner ...


#1

This is my first post here.

I would like to give my most sincere thank you to Paul, Bascom, and the entire team who made these new Signature amps a reality.

My monos arrived yesterday morning and I’m still smiling.

They are in a word, stunning. Big and wide sound stage. Full meat on the bone tone. Wonderful vocals. Powerful presentation. They kind of remind me of the classic Conrad Johnson Premiere 350 amp that I used to own, only way better. The monos have a little more front and center sound stage and a right there, immersed in the music feel.

I just love them. So much so that I immediately ordered the BHK Signature preamp. I can not wait.

Paul, I own many PS Audio products but nothing has made me feel like these amp do. Well done Paul and Bascom. Stereophile Class A rating is an understatement.

Thank you so much.

Joe


#2

I can attest to Joe being quite a knowledgeable and dedicated high end audio enthusiast, as you can see from his extensive equipment list. Welcome to the PS Audio forums Joe, I expect that many here will benefit from your participation and sharing of your experience.


#3

Welcome!


#4

Thank you so much, happy to be here.


#5
joeinid said This is my first post here.

I would like to give my most sincere thank you to Paul, Bascom, and the entire team who made these new Signature amps a reality.

My monos arrived yesterday morning and I’m still smiling.

They are in a word, stunning. Big and wide sound stage. Full meat on the bone tone. Wonderful vocals. Powerful presentation. They kind of remind me of the classic Conrad Johnson Premiere 350 amp that I used to own, only way better. The monos have a little more front and center sound stage and a right there, immersed in the music feel.

I just love them. So much so that I immediately ordered the BHK Signature preamp. I can not wait.

Paul, I own many PS Audio products but nothing has made me feel like these amp do. Well done Paul and Bascom. Stereophile Class A rating is an understatement.

Thank you so much.

Joe


blush_gif Wow. Thanks Joe! I’ll pass your kind words on to the team.

#6
Paul McGowan said

blush_gif Wow. Thanks Joe! I’ll pass your kind words on to the team.

Paul,

I truly am delighted with these amps. They seem to strike the perfect balance between musicality and truthfulness. A wonderful achievement. Thanks again!

Joe


#7
joeinid said They seem to strike the perfect balance between musicality and truthfulness.
I am always intrigued by this and similar statements.

For me, truthful is musical, and musical is truthful; they are neither mutually exclusive nor opposite ends of a spectrum.

Expressed differently, untruthful is far from musical.


#8
joeinid said This is my first post here.

I would like to give my most sincere thank you to Paul, Bascom, and the entire team who made these new Signature amps a reality.

My monos arrived yesterday morning and I’m still smiling.

They are in a word, stunning. Big and wide sound stage. Full meat on the bone tone. Wonderful vocals. Powerful presentation. They kind of remind me of the classic Conrad Johnson Premiere 350 amp that I used to own, only way better. The monos have a little more front and center sound stage and a right there, immersed in the music feel.

I just love them. So much so that I immediately ordered the BHK Signature preamp. I can not wait.

Paul, I own many PS Audio products but nothing has made me feel like these amp do. Well done Paul and Bascom. Stereophile Class A rating is an understatement.

Thank you so much.

Joe


What’s interesting about this post is Bascom actually designed that Conrad Johnson amplifier you thought the sound reminded you of. I didn’t know that, but when I forwarded your comments to him he sparked up and wrote:

"Thanks, Paul! I always like to hear the appreciations of our work. BTW, I designed that

CJ Premier 350 amp. It had a single complementary MOSFET voltage amplifier stage

driving compound emitter follower bipolar outputs with MOSFET drivers. No overall FB

loop for audio but did for DC output zeroing.

BHK"


#9
Elk said
joeinid said They seem to strike the perfect balance between musicality and truthfulness.
For me, truthful is musical, and musical is truthful; they are neither mutually exclusive nor opposite ends of a spectrum.

Expressed differently, untruthful is far from musical.


As general statements, Elk’s comments are correct. The problem comes when we build actual audio components.

I think we’ve all heard components (and whole systems) that are emotionally engaging and fun to listen to, but which do not enable one to hear deeply into the recording; details are just not there. Others present much more detail but are not so engaging or are difficult to listen to. There are perhaps fewer of the latter than there were 20-30 years ago as designers have gotten more skilled, particularly at playing back digital recordings. The OP’s comment simply reflects this experience that many of us have had.

So many components err in one direction or the other that we have gotten accustomed to thinking in this way. World-class components like the BHKs give us a sufficiently close approximation of the original performance that the dichotomy we often hear is just not an issue. And we praise such components by stating they strike a balance or express both truth and musicality. If we all grew up listening to BHKs and their ilk it would probably not have occurred to us to think in these terms.


#10

A thoughtful analysis.

But the tension has never been between musical and truthful, nor musical and detailed. Rather, it has always been between musical and unmusical.

I have heard just as many mushy sounding/non-detailed amplifiers which are unmusical as I have detailed amplifiers which are wonderful. I’m sure others here have as well.

I’m afraid the threadbare cliché of detailed versus musical has prompted many to believe that murky and warm is desirable - even if they would not have been impressed but for being told this sound is “better.”

I attended a wonderful concert of German baroque yesterday afternoon. The space is fine, warm and cozy. I know it well, having both performed and recorded there. But a couple rows back, the bowing detail of a fine viola da gamba player is lost, the subtle nuances of expression of the flute obscured. Without this detail, musical truthfulness is compromised.


#11
Paul McGowan said
joeinid said This is my first post here.

I would like to give my most sincere thank you to Paul, Bascom, and the entire team who made these new Signature amps a reality.

My monos arrived yesterday morning and I’m still smiling.

They are in a word, stunning. Big and wide sound stage. Full meat on the bone tone. Wonderful vocals. Powerful presentation. They kind of remind me of the classic Conrad Johnson Premiere 350 amp that I used to own, only way better. The monos have a little more front and center sound stage and a right there, immersed in the music feel.

I just love them. So much so that I immediately ordered the BHK Signature preamp. I can not wait.

Paul, I own many PS Audio products but nothing has made me feel like these amp do. Well done Paul and Bascom. Stereophile Class A rating is an understatement.

Thank you so much.

Joe

What’s interesting about this post is Bascom actually designed that Conrad Johnson amplifier you thought the sound reminded you of. I didn’t know that, but when I forwarded your comments to him he sparked up and wrote:

"Thanks, Paul! I always like to hear the appreciations of our work. BTW, I designed that

CJ Premier 350 amp. It had a single complementary MOSFET voltage amplifier stage

driving compound emitter follower bipolar outputs with MOSFET drivers. No overall FB

loop for audio but did for DC output zeroing.

BHK"

Holy cow! I had no idea. Thanks for the validation Paul. I love Bascom. Pure genius in my book. That is so cool to find out. I guess my experience does have merit. Makes me feel better.

Joe


#12

Welcome Joe. Glad you joined. Your experience will definitely help the community further.


#13
Dev said Welcome Joe. Glad you joined. Your experience will definitely help the community further.
Thank you Dev. I appreciate the kind words and vote of confidence.

I will admit to all here that I am not a seasoned musician nor “technically” knowledgeable. I do however know what I like when I hear it. I love music and how it makes me feel.

I’ve heard systems so detailed and in my mind “truthful” that it was painful to me. I just want to be able to relax into the music and enjoy the feeling it gives me. If I am missing something but still love what I hear, no worries. I’ve never heard a perfect system, but I have heard many that I love and many that I don’t like.

Put me FIRMLY in the camp that the BHK Sig monos make me absolutely LOVE what I am hearing. How and why, not sure that I need/want to know. Just give me more time in front of MY system.

Thank you again Paul and Bascom. You guys rock!


#14
Joeinid said

I’ve heard systems so detailed and in my mind “truthful” that it was painful to me.

I think Joe and I must be wired internally with the same kind of audiophile wire.cool
Elk said But the tension has never been between musical and truthful, nor musical and detailed. Rather, it has always been between musical and unmusical. . . . I'm afraid the threadbare cliché of detailed versus musical has prompted many to believe that murky and warm is desirable - even if they would not have been impressed but for being told this sound is "better."
I didn't mean to promote clichés or murky amps.sad_gif But people do need to listen for themselves, first and foremost.

To me, the first attribute of ‘musical’ reproduction is that it draws you in and connects you to the feeling of the music. Without this, I don’t want to listen any more, so why bother? Given my internal wiring, I find that it’s easy for components to slip over the line where detailed becomes unpleasant or occasionally unlistenable. Others are different and aren’t bothered by what I would call a sizzly treble or a sound that presents lots of detail without ‘soul.’ That’s fine.

At this point in life I am fortunate to be able to purchase a BHK amp; for a long time I owned less exalted components. But with careful listening and effort and time, I put together a system that was musical in the sense I have explained above. With a tube amp, it did not have the detail or the bass control or the soundstage of the BHK (not that it was muddy or seriously lacking in detail; I could for instance easily hear the change when a new firmware for the DS came out). But I kept it for a long time because I enjoyed it so much. Should one not go to the concert because one cannot get front-row seats?

Last night I was listening and just kept smiling in amazement at the quality of reproduction I can now get in my home. The BHK is musical (in my definition) and in fact I enjoy many recordings more when I hear more of what the performers are up to than I did with my previous amp. For this reason Joe’s description of the BHK as offering both musicality and truth seems to me very apt.


#15
magister said Others are different and aren't bothered by what I would call a sizzly treble . . .
I certainly am. A sizzly treble is undesirable and certainly not truthful, nor musical.

This leads directly to my point. I doubt you are actually objecting to too much detail, but rather to systems which present too much treble energy or exhibit an edgy etched high-end. Some system sound like a PhotoShopped picture with the sharpness turned way up. The picture looks brittle and etched. Some systems sound this way. Both are untruthful.

Think of it from the flip side. Are there actually accurate details in the music you truly do not want to hear? The absence of which would improve the sound? If so, what sounds would you remove?

The initial attack of a cymbal, rosin on a violin string. the small chiff sound which begins a note on a flute, the small swell in volume as a soprano begins a phrase and the almost imperceptible diminuendo at the release of a phrase, the interplay of reverb as it disappears into the ambient space, the rich dense timbre of a 'cello or tenor sax? Which, when removed, would make music more compelling, more emotional?

In my experience, the best and most emotionally involving equipment captures and reproduces all of this exquisite detail, but does so honestly and without artificial high frequency emphasis. The DS does this superbly. It quietly lays out all this exquisite detail. The BHK amps do the same. This is precisely what makes them so compelling.

Truthful detail equals musicality.


#16

I’d like to hear Joe’s impression of the BHK preamp with the BHK monos - all balanced.

To bad Joe seems to no longer own the TAD CR1’s. The monos are the best amp I have ever heard on my CR1’s and truly show off what the speaker is capable of.

While I have no objective measurents, I would swear that in listening it seems like amp/speaker combo reproduces with less distortion than what’s on the recording.


#17
emailists said I'd like to hear Joe's impression of the BHK preamp with the BHK monos - all balanced.

To bad Joe seems to no longer own the TAD CR1’s. The monos are the best amp I have ever heard on my CR1’s and truly show off what the speaker is capable of.

While I have no objective measurents, I would swear that in listening it seems like amp/speaker combo reproduces with less distortion than what’s on the recording.


Hi Robert (?),

Yes, I had the TAD CR-1’s for almost 2 years and really did not like the “forward” treble. To MY ear, the upper end felt too accentuated. I would have loved to hear the BHK’s on the CR-1’s just for fun. One of the best combos, other than the CJ GAT and ART monos was the Music Reference RM-200T-II. An amazing tube amp on the TADs.

I now have the Sonus Faber Strads and JBL 4367’s and LOVE the BHK gear on them. Absolutely wonderful, musical gear.


#18

I’ve lusted after the BHK monos for a long time.

First it was the teaser interviews that Paul made with Bascom.

I finally got the chance to demo the BHK 250s over Christmas and it set in motion a series of upgrade plans.

Finally got the gear yesterday but only just had the chance to swap the monos into my system.

I have had the DirectStream DAC for a few years now. With new firmware updates, it’s like the gift that keeps giving.

The first thing I added was the Bridge II. Gave it a run through last night.

Today I carted the BHK monos and swapped out my Electrocompaniet Nemos for the BHK keeping everything else the same.

I just can’t stop listening. Must be driving the missus nuts with the non stop playback as Roon keeps me inspired to try out new and old favourites. She must be thanking her wisdom in giving me my own mancave.

The soundstage was the first noticeable improvement. It stretches way out beyond the speakers. Behind them. In front of them. And how brilliantly it images each instrument. I was struck a few times when I realised a song I was intimately familiar with had a panning effect.

Also a source of amazement was how much timbre and nuances were in a recording. In the quiver of a voice. Or the realization that what I thought was one background vocal was actually two. That “trick” was why I always loved the DirectStream and the BHK seems to continue the family tradition.

I’m going to keep this running in for a bit first before I swap my Audio Research Reference 5SE for the BHK preamp.

Before adding the DS Memory Transport.


#19

I swear a few times today when I hear the performer start to sing - the realism in the voice. The lack of digital glare.

I just let out an involuntary sigh.

Its just so moving.

Thanks Bascom!


#20

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