The BHK Pre As A Headphone Amp

For those of you that have dedicated headphone amps and the BHK pre I’m wondering how the two compare. I have a BHK, would I have to spend big bucks to better it ?

What headphones are you using?

Sony MDRZ1R Signature

I had the BHK Pre - I thought the headphone side should have been much better given how good the Pre was. It seemed to be an afterthought soundwise. I used a Ray Samuels Raptor Headphone amp instead of the BHK Pre when I had the latter. To me, the BHK Pre was uneven in terms of bass and mid range - was very fatiguing.The Raptor was smooth and never produced fatigue.
I also thought the headphone outlet on my Marantz SA14S SACD Player was better than the Pre.
I traded the Pre along with the rest of my PSA setup and replaced with a Luxman system - D10x, c700U. m700u and a Luxman 750 headphone amp. The 750 is far better sounding than the Pre ever was - never compared it directly to the Raptor. I have Sennheiser 800s and 650s headphones,


At $5,000 the Luxman, as a dedicated headphone amp, should be better.

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It was even better at $2,800!
Best regards

I have a pair of MDR-Z1R and did listen to them with the BHK Pre while it was installed in our system. For the price as an inclusion with the Pre it sounds good. Clearly you can do much better.

You really need to decide how much you are willing to spend.

What’s a ball park price you guess to better ?

I have a Naim Unity Adom HP and Focal Stellia headphones, Focal and Naim are the same company and seems the headphones should go together very well but I don’t enjoy them near as much as I thought the total was about 8k $ for both. The BHK preamp is simply to noisy to be a good headphone amp, the headphone section is not an afterthought it takes up a large part of the the PC board. I just ordered a Boulder 1110 preamp after 3x BHKs because of the noise.

Thanks, I’m getting the same from everyone so I guess I need to look for a dedicated pre.

Anyone have experience with the Chord 2 ?

IME Luxman offers some solid gear, having a 509X integrated amplifier. The Class A 590AXII is also a great sounding unit.

I have an AirLens in my main system, for a headphone DAC/ Pre in a bedroom can I use a second AL ? How would I identify each in Roon ?

I don’t have a wired network connection in the BR and my router doesn’t have WPS so does this rule out the AL ?

BHK pre sounds great with Audeze LCD-X (2021 version), though I still prefer the LCD-X with a dedicated balanced headphones amp.