In a private email I may have convinced Paul to consider the business case for a “BHK 550” stereo amplifier based on the P20 powerplant chassis. Paul’s made it clear he’s making the “BHK 600” monoblock pair as the ultimate amplifier for the new reference speakers (and that’s GREAT for those who can appreciate them! ) but I’d think a stereo amp in one chassis would be a good upgrade for us BHK 250 fans who don’t want to go the hardcore monoblock route.
If the “BHK 550” is priced nearly the same as the P20 it (in my mind) would fill a price point between the BHK250 stereo and BHK300 monoblock as follows based on current prices:
BHK 250 stereo: $7500
The new “BHK 550” stereo : ~$10,000
BHK 300 Monoblock: $15,000/pair
BHK 600 Monoblock: ~$20,000/pair
So, to me, the stereo amp based on the P20 chassis may actually be a cost-effective upgrade and represents a decent upper/mid-price point in the PSAudio amp lineup below the BHK300/600 monoblocks, plus has the advantage of introducing the new technology of the BHK600 monoblocks into the stereo amp.
BUT: that depends on the customers and how many would actually buy the stereo version of the new amp as there’s no point in producing it if there’s no interest in the marketplace.
So what do you guys think? Would you consider it? Or just go for the 600 monoblocks no-matter-the-price?
Ultimately the decision is up to Paul to give it the green light for production, so feedback, pro or con, is welcome.
Streets, I think that is a great idea. I would very likely buy one for my main system at that price. In addition to the reasons you give, there are space considerations. I simply do not have room for a second large amp so even the BHK 300’s are out (I have thought about picking up a used pair many times but just can’t figure out where I could put the second amp). I could just barely squeeze a P20-sized amp in where my BHK 250 is now so that would be a great solution for me. I hope it happens, and the sooner the better.
Great thought, I’d not thought of that! And a perfectly good reason to go for the stereo-variant.
Out of curiosity, have you upgraded your rail fuses in your BHK250 from the stock fuses? I upgraded mine with the HiFiTuning Supremes a few years Before Pandemic (BP) and it seemed to me like I got a huge jump in performance. When the BHK300’s came out everyone was saying how much better they were compared with the BHK 250, but I was surprised how much better the 250 got with just the improved rail fuses.
This, is of course, taken with what I now know to be degraded hearing performance (even though my right-ear hearing loss of a few weeks ago did recover, I still have a high frequency rolloff starting at 2 kHz and can barely hear 8 kHz at 80 dB)
If you haven’t tried the upgraded rail fuses, you can do so while Paul gets the new amps into production. But if you did, then enjoy!
I’ve been meaning to try that for a few years now, ever since I saw your earlier recommendation ages ago. I also need to do the fuses in some of my other components (I did my BHK Pre, but mainly because I blew the stock fuse). I’m retiring at the end of this month which, in theory, should give me more time for that kind of thing. But first I’ll have to overcome my natural inertia (the real problem). Did you also replace the two other fuses in the BHK250 (in the US, one 1.6 amp and one 10 amp)? The manual refers to them all as “H-rated”. What does that mean? Do I have to look for something special in choosing these fuses?
Sorry to hear about your hearing loss (saw an earlier post about it) but glad some of it came back. I know I have significant high frequency loss as well, just from playing test tones on my stereo. That part of getting old sucks.
Thanks for the tip!
Yes, I did change the 1.6 and 10 amp main fuses in my BHK250, and they improved things a bit, but not as markedly so as the ones on the rails.
BUT: (caveat) when I did so 4 or so years ago the Synergistic Research Blue had just come out so the Black were on sale (3 for the price of 2) so I got those for the mains. There being 4 rail fuses I just went with the HiFiTuning Supreme at 1/2 the price of the Synergistics and the results were very noticeable.
For the main 1.6 and 10 A fuses you want the “T” slow blow fuses. You can use “F” fast blow for the rails. (all small 3/4 inch)
I did have to replace the BHK preamp fuse that blew 6 months ago when I jiggled the power connector. I guess that unit does that at times, so whenever one is fiddling with the BHK preamp connections shut the power off to save the fuse.
I’m waiting for Chris at VH Audio to put the Synergistic Orange on sale, then I’ll upgrade the BHK250, preamp, and P10 to the Orange (and hopefully my ears can tell the difference)
But yeah, even I noticed a difference with the rail fuses on the 250, even with the HiFiTuning at 1/2 the price of the Synergistics.
Let me know what you decide!
Best of luck.
Very helpful Streets. Thanks much. I similarly blew my BHK Pre fuse by plugging in the power cord with the unit switched on–I had turned it off but accidentally turned it back on while blindly trying to insert the power cord. I’ll keep you posted on the fuses, when I get around to it. Six fuses are a lot for one piece of equipment.
@Streets_Still_Works, I took advantage of the July sale earlier this month. I replaced all six of the BHK250 fuses with the SR Orange fuses. In the past I’ve heard limited benefits from fuse upgrades but this one was substantial. I did them all at once so I can’t say how much was attributable to the rail fuses versus the others but the combined effect was quite noticeable. Thanks for the recommendation–should have done it a long time ago.
I also upgraded the fuses in my P20 and SPP with the Orange fuses. The improvements were more subtle (but then those were single fuses, versus the six in the BHK250) but worthwhile. My DS DAC and BHK Pre already had beeswax fuses in them and I just left them as is.
Anything further on the prospect of a “BHK550”?
Steve, I upgraded my 250’s non-rail fuses to the Orange this month and noticed a slight improvement, but nothing like how the rails themselves had improved.
Glad it all worked out for you! And that means I wasn’t imagining things! The rail fuses DO make a difference!
I have no clue on the “BHK550” It’s all up to Paul at this point. The last email I got from him said i had given him a lot to think about, but I have no idea if he’s given the OK to proceed with it. I’d think if the price point was similar to the P20 that would fill in the amp market niche between the BHK250 stereo and BHK 300 monoblocks.
You are definitely not imagining things. Unless I am too, of course. Wouldn’t be the first time.