SO you got yourself a spanking new BHK power amplifier from PS Audio last year. The obvious question that follows is, what preamp should you get to match it?
Well, a solution has now presented itself in the form of the new BHK Signature Preamplifier, designed by industry legend Bascom H. King. The preamp, says PS Audio, is the “culmination of a lifetime of research and design work on the art of analogue preamplification by Bascom King”.
His long-time collaborator Arnie Nudell was actively involved in the voicing of the preamp, and says that this is the “best-sounding preamplifier I have ever designed or heard”.
Bold claims indeed, but what’s so special about the BHK Signature preamp? Perhaps it’s the fact that it is a fully-balanced design with classic through-hole construction. Or that it is designed around a pair of zero feedback 12AU7 tubes feeding a class A Mosfet output stage. Users, however, are not restricted to that particular variant and tube-rolling of suitable 6, 7 or 12 series vacuum tubes is possible.
Special attention has been paid to the unit’s volume control – as it should be with every preamp, for that matter! The BHK Signature uses a unique combination of a stepped attenuator and controlled gain of its vacuum tube stage. This unique topology, PS Audio claims, is the “most sonically-transparent level control” they’ve heard, and has the lowest possible impact on the signal passing through.
While the preamp is a perfect match with the BHK Stereo 250 and BHK Mono 300 power amplifiers, it is flexible enough to fit into any system configuration due to its five single-ended and balanced inputs and an assignable home theatre bypass feature.
Best yet, headphone enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that the preamp features a discrete Class-A Mosfet headphone amplifier, capable of driving even the most demanding pair of cans!
The BHK Signature starts shipping in June, which gives you some time to budget for its US$5,999 asking price. As an added bonus, the first 50 units off the production line will be signed in gold by King himself!