Stereophile Review online now


#1

Jim Austin’s great review of the BHK preamplifier is available online.

Here’s an excerpt:

“PS Audio’s BHK Signature preamp is one of the finest audio components I’ve had in my home. It didn’t raise the dead, but it could conjure in my listening room the spirits of dead musicians, or fine facsimiles thereof. It didn’t solve my problems, but it could sure distract me from them—and, with the right recordings, even trigger catharsis or philosophical insight.”

https://www.stereophile.com/content/ps-audio-bhk-signature-preamplifier/

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#2

I like the review and all but is it a conspiracy not to let them use a more seasoned reviewer who can compare it to better gear :slight_smile: for fear the humble PS Audio is going to outclass much pricier equipment?

I mean, if the reviewer had any experience with say an Ayre KX-R/R20 he would have heard clicks EVERY indent :slight_smile: and wait till he switches from an input with HT bypass/unity gain to a regular input.

Any why is it every reviewer seems to just compare the BHK Pre to using the system without a preamp. It should be pitted against the best preamps. I know it will prevail.


#3

’ and wait till he switches from an input with HT bypass/unity gain to a regular input’

That’s been fixed so his pre probably would not have exhibited that.


#4
DoggieHowser said I mean, if the reviewer had any experience with say an Ayre KX-R/R20 he would have heard clicks EVERY indent :)
Not necessarily; with balanced interconnects between preamp and BHK250 I no longer hear the clicks except at 3 points, although I heard them all the time when I first had the preamp and was using single-ended interconnects. Please don't ask me why the XLRs have this effect.105_gifThe clicks got softer as time went on, I recall, with the single-ended cables; the Stereophile reviewer noticed this too. Paul, have you or Bascom ever figured out what's going on with this?
Any why is it every reviewer seems to just compare the BHK Pre to using the system without a preamp. It should be pitted against the best preamps. I know it will prevail.
The Stereophile reviewer and, IIRC, at least one other had been driving his amps directly from the DS DAC. I suspect there are quite a few people out there who set up their systems this way (unlike old fogies like me who have always used a preamp and always will). For them it's a serious question, "Why should I spend money on an additional component that I wouldn't expect to improve the sound?" Getting them to part with cash affects PSA's bottom line as well as being an interesting question in itself (as Paul himself has discussed here). I'm sure comparisons with other good preamps will come and will be interesting to read, no question.

#5
rogerdn said

’ and wait till he switches from an input with HT bypass/unity gain to a regular input’

That’s been fixed so his pre probably would not have exhibited that.


a.it hasn’t been fixed properly. It does turn down the volume but it is a split second of loud noise and I suspect the review sample might have been a few months old (may even be older than mine)

b. I was referring to the Ayre KX-R volume control which as I said clicks on every indent so switching from an HT input to a regular one, you hear a very loud series of clicks (internal)

magister said

The Stereophile reviewer and, IIRC, at least one other had been driving his amps directly from the DS DAC. I suspect there are quite a few people out there who set up their systems this way (unlike old fogies like me who have always used a preamp and always will). For them it’s a serious question, “Why should I spend money on an additional component that I wouldn’t expect to improve the sound?” Getting them to part with cash affects PSA’s bottom line as well as being an interesting question in itself (as Paul himself has discussed here). I’m sure comparisons with other good preamps will come and will be interesting to read, no question.


I understand that - but the BHK preamp needs to be pitted against the best in class. If this had been with another more seasoned reviewer (like the one who had the Dartzeel pre/power combo and reviewed the BHK300s for instance), it would have been a much more edifying comparison.

I was really looking forward to a follow up to his review of the BHK300s because all the criticisms he had when using the Dartzeel pre (with a single ended connection) would have been addressed with using the BHK pre


#6

Sorry to hear that, mine is fixed, no transient at all, did you get the new PIC installed ?


#7
If this had been with another more seasoned reviewer (like the one who had the Dartzeel pre/power combo and reviewed the BHK300s for instance), it would have been a much more edifying comparison.

I was really looking forward to a follow up to his review of the BHK300s because all the criticisms he had when using the Dartzeel pre (with a single ended connection) would have been addressed with using the BHK pre


I think this does Jim Austin a disservice. Jim’s been reviewing for well over 15 years, and has a background in physics and scientific journalism, and is every bit as discerning as any reviewer out there.

This post also conveys ideas about the review process that simply are not true. Who does what is often based upon scheduling availability as much as the Editor or reviewer’s inclination, and many reviewers are disinclined to revisit familiar territory—as in your mention of revisiting the BHK 300s with our pre.

Just throwing this in as the guy who wrangles all reviews of PS products.


#8

Reviews aside, there are a few reasons why I’d buy this pre even without listening:

It is designed under the lead of veterans/experienced

It uses tubes

Volume control is a promising concept

I trust the PSA sound priorities which besides everything else done well I’d name as ultimative revealing and ambiance/soundstage performance

I trust the PSA price/performance ratio

I trust the basic ideas, taste and the approach of the leading people behind it

My only problem is it has no built in phono stage and to a lesser degree that I’m usually convinced of a separation of power supply from main unit.


#9

Blush. embarassed77_gifgoofy-heart_gif