Will BHK Signature Pre Compensate for DSD Dac's Lower Gain?


#1

Will incorporating the BHK pre in a system provide for more (louder) volume compared to using the DSD as a pre?


#2

Of course!

Plus I’m not sure what you mean by, “DSD DACs lower gain”? As far as I know, it outputs line level like any DAC, only it has a volume control, which like most all volume controls, only turns the output DOWN. You could plug any CD player or DAC straight into your amp (DO NOT try this at home!), but you couldn’t turn in down without a pre. BUT, with a pre, you can also turn it UP! : )


#3

He’s referring to the fact that the PWD’s output was a bit higher (louder) than the DS’s.

Ben, as badbeef said, the BHK Pre has ample gain. It will also very likely make your system sound better than going straight from the DS to your amp.


#4

Thanks guys. I don’t very often miss the additional 3dB that the PWD had over the DSD, but every once in a while . . .

Great review of the BHK Sig in the most recent edition of Stereophile. It may have to be my next purchase . . .


#5

Isn’t there a choice of output levels, high or low? My guess it would be in the menus somewhere.

Found this in the specs:

Output level, low 1.41 Vrms(+5BV)/3.15
Output level high, maximum 2.81 Vrms (+8dBV)/5.3 Vrms (+12dBV)

#6

The DSD does have low and high output levels, but even the high level is -3dB referenced to the PWD.


#7
timequest said

Thanks guys. I don’t very often miss the additional 3dB that the PWD had over the DSD, but every once in a while . . .

Great review of the BHK Sig in the most recent edition of Stereophile. It may have to be my next purchase . . .


I can tell you the BHK Sig has transformed my system. Between the DS with Huron, a pair of BHK monoblocks and the signature preamp, the system now brings consistent shivers, chills, and tears when the lights are low.

#8

In term of Volume number , if the DS is set for 100 what level would the PWD beset at to give the same output voltage? Is it 70?

thanks

magicknow


#9

Just a guess, but perhaps more like 88 - 90?


#10

When wanting to compare two products that have different outputs I always use pink noise test tone and a sound pressure meter on a tripod 1m away from one of the speakers (or some distance away and midway between the speakers). You could also play a disk with test tone and measure the Vout at units terminals.


#11
@Paul McGowan I can tell you the BHK Sig has transformed my system. Between the DS with Huron, a pair of BHK monoblocks and the signature preamp, the system now brings consistent shivers, chills, and tears when the lights are low.
The BHK Sig is at the pinnacle of my "next purchase list." I always used to run a tubed pre with my ss amps, but that changed when I purchased my PSA GCC-550 and sold my old ARC LS-8 - after which, I went right into the PWD, and now the DSD, running direct of course. It sure would be nice to have a tubed pre back in the riglaugh

#12

Dude, as much as it pains me to say it, the BHK preamp made a huge improvement to my system in terms of dynamics and transparency. I too was running my DS DAC direct to my BHK 250 amp in an all digital source system. It pained me to buy the BHK preamp just for the volume control. It was worth it in the end though!


#13

I feel your pain norton! I’m glad you shared your experience with me thoughbeer_gif