Sub vs bhk pre

Looking for opinions on which I a better way to go? A pair of rel s3 sho or the bhk pre.

I’m experiencing the slight noise issue with my DS dac, similar to a thread posted here, so leaning towards that to solve my annoyance.

My system:
Bhk 250
Ds sr dac
Tannoy xt8f

Are you happy with the bass of your Tannoys? I heard those can go low. If so, then the pre-amp route will do it.

In any case, I would think of borrowing or getting a pre-amp on home trial which will lower the risk of buyer’s remorse tremendously.

If it were me, I would either replace the speakers or get a subwoofer.

Take a look at the specifications of your BHK 250 stereo amplifier. At 8 Ohms (rating of your Tannoy’s), that amp is putting out 250 watts per channel, which is actually more than your speakers are rated. Tannoy recommends 25-200 watts for that speaker model. The problem is not power and a pre-amp won’t make any significant difference as you are already driving those speakers with 50 watts more than their maximum rating. Nor will the density the preamp provide make up for what I consider the shortcoming in your system…the speakers.

Moving onto the XT 8F specification, I see a problem. Those speakers are only capable of extending down to 34 Hz. The BHK 250 amp that you have extends down to 10 Hz. A preamplifier will make no difference.

You have a couple options and each is accompanied by some pros and cons.

  1. Replace the Tannoy’s with a Make/Model of speaker that extends much lower than 34 Hz.
  2. Try to integrate a subwoofer to provide a frequency response below 34 Hz

Personally, I have had very good speaker and amp combinations where I attempted to integrate one or more subwoofers. I have not owned your model of speaker ,so I cannot speak to how readily they’ll adapt to a subwoofer in the room. I have found this task uncannily difficult. I’m not trying to suggest it can’t be done as I am sure there are people here who are pleased with the subs in their systems, but for 2-channel stereo music listening where sound quality is of the utmost, I prefer a loudspeaker that is designed in such a way that the low frequency drivers are integrated. Time alignment has such an impact on speaker performance & sound quality. It’s exponentially more difficult to achieve with disparate systems.

I agree with you, I’m kinda waiting for PSA speakers to upgrade too, another reason I am leaning toward the BHK Pre, this way my front end is done and the speaker purchase will be my last (famous last word I know)

Generally yes, but from Paul’s videos he advocated for the subs for more than just FR response. I never experience this before so I don’t know how it feel to have a good sub integrated into the system, basically curiosity is a very expensive thing.

And I may have focused too much on the low frequency element in my response, which may or may not have been your main concern as I reread your initial post.

If you do intend to eventually replace the speakers, one thought would be to hold off on the pre and apply that cash toward your speakers. You can always add the pre later to augment, but if the speaker system ain’t all that, whatever you do upstream may always end in some level of disappointment.

Tough decisions across the board. Good luck with however it all plays out! I think it would be wise to hold off and see how PS Audio speakers (or others with the specs your desire) play out and how they responsd to just the BHS250 in the chain.

I would buy the BHK preamp and then if you still have bass concerns you can buy a pair of Rythmik F12’s for about a third or less the price of the REL’'s and connect them speaker level to the 250 as I do.

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll look into this.

Many people choose (some say it isn’t possible without DSP) to implement integration through DSP between the amplifier and the subs / main speakers.
I think that you should 1st be looking at room treatments (especially bass) to make the most of your system, then see if you still feel you need to add subs.
Many speakers don’t show their true worth in an untreated room.

A pair of Rythmik F-12’s in a basic finish shipped to your door are less than the price of one of the Rel’s and might still allow you to buy them and the BHK preamp from somewhere like Underwood HiFi for close to the cost of the pair of of REL’s.