Seriously. When a brand announces their next product as ‘One of the most remarkable musical instruments of the world’, they’ve got my attention. Why? Because that’s a pretty bold statement if you ask me. I get the whole connecting with music approach. It’s something else to compare your preamplifier with a Steinway or a Stradivarius!? Let’s find out what makes this PS Audio BHK Signature preamplifier so special.
Exceptionally built vacuum tube preamplifier
This exceptionally built vacuum tube preamplifier opens up the music and reveals nuances, life and space not previously heard on your system. It’s the perfect interface between your sources and power amplifier. Designed by Bascom H. King, the BHK Signature distils Bascom’s 50 plus years of high end audio design experience into a single masterpiece of audio amplification.
“This is the best sounding preamplifier I have ever designed or heard,” and that’s saying a lot for a man of Bascom’s experience.
Preamplifiers play a critical role in any separates audio system, strategically positioned between sources of music: CD players, phono preamps, DACs, tape recorders and tuners – and your power amplifier – the preamp serves essential roles of control and isolation. Control is simple in concept, but extraordinarily difficult to design in an acoustically transparent manner. Control duties such as input switching, volume, balance, and amplification can place unwanted acoustic thumbprints on the music if not designed with extraordinary care. The challenge in any design is to do as little damage to music’s purity as possible.
The single most important element of design
Over Bascom’s half century of designing high-end audio products for companies like Infinity, Marantz, Conrad Johnson, Counterpoint, Constellation Audio, and now PS Audio, one overriding principle has dominated all others when sonic compromise isn’t an option: use of a vacuum tube on the input. The isolation and near-perfect linearity of a well-designed vacuum tube input stage cannot be duplicated by solid state means, though many have tried.
“Vacuum tubes are simply more convincing and musically accurate than any other input configuration I have ever tried,” said Bascom, and the BHK Signature preamplifier is demonstrative of this observation.
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