PS Audio - BHK Signature 250 - Power Amplifier
Thank you for visiting The Audio Tailor.
We’re Stuart, Gabby, Liam and Vaughan. It’s a pleasure to have you here!
The first question we get from customers usually starts with, “What’s the difference between...”
When you’re shopping for new speakers, a turntable, or even thinking of putting together that home theatre of your teenage dreams - you’ll likely be faced with stacks of comparisons.
Why would I buy the Bluesound Pulse 2i when the Flex 2i is half the price?
Is PS Audio the best?
Should I wait for a sale? Or get this now? What will I be missing out on when the new model comes out next year?
Endless questions. Lots of FOMO. Loads of hmm-ing and ha-ing.
And there SHOULD be.
Because you don’t go to a Hi-Fi store and drop $2000, $3000, or $15000 on something you're not 100%, positively, secure-in-your heart sure of.
It’s a lot of hard-earned money on the line.
Imagine doing hours of your own research. Reading up the suppliers’ websites, taking notes from Hi Fi blogs, categorizing the differing opinions as you trawl r/audiophile. You know what you’re getting. You’ve narrowed the online stores down to the final five. You’ve checked and re-checked that you’re getting the best deal. You’re sure you’re not getting ripped off by shipping.
You hit the “Checkout” button. Momentary relief!
Until your speakers haven’t arrived by the estimated delivery date and you have yet to hear a peep about its progress.
Until your new turntable arrives with a crack in the dust cover.
Until your long-awaited amp set-up fails to deliver the kind of sound you had in mind. Now you’re not even sure if you got the right one anymore, or how to troubleshoot it.
What could possibly be worse?
What about: No after-sales service. No phone number to call. And no one responding to your tickets.
Not to mention the hundreds of man hours you’ve already lost on reading layman opinions from the likes of Graham H. from Melbourne and Sarah D. from Perth; dutifully scrolling through pages and pages of reviews. Torturing yourself by looking for all the ones with less than 3 stars... when you could have been sitting back and diving into a whole new world of immersive sound and deliciously satisfying body vibrations.
Would it make sense to go to audio specialists that know brands, specs, and installation like the back of their hands?
Should you spend less time on weighing up pros and cons and more time enjoying good music?
Want to get the absolute best home theatre for your budget and surroundings without the weight of 100++ brand offerings bogging you down?
We like to think so!
And that’s why we’re here. Two things to know about us:
Thing 1: We were voted Australia’s 2021 Hi Fi Retailer of the Year (Yay! And THANK YOU!)
Thing 2: This is purely because we are sound specialists and audioheads - NOT salesmen.
We got into this business because we genuinely love audio and because we realized there was a lot of faceless dropshipping in the HiFi industry - and not enough expertise out there. People who keep coming back to us do so because they’re getting attention to detail and individualized solutions that they can’t find elsewhere.
Our clients don’t need to worry about budget, brand name, or size.
All they need to worry about, is talking to us.
Because, when you come to us, you’re in for a conversation.
We want to know the picture in your head.
That final portrait of you back from the flea market with Pearl Jam’s Ten, eager to place it gently upon a turntable you haven’t quite decided on yet.
A summer barbeque in your garden with the boys. Having a yarn around a beer-filled cooler while appreciating the crisp, clear, quality of sound streaming through the open doors of your listening space.
The kids having mates over - quiet for once - immersed in a good movie, lights out, in the comfort of the home theatre that is your pride and joy. “I wish we had one of these at our place!”
Once we know precisely what your ultimate scenario looks like, we’ll want to know what you’re working with.
What kind of budget have you set aside?
What’s the existing set-up look like?
How big is the listening room you have in mind?
How much ambient light is coming in?
Are you running drywall or wood panelling? Carpet or hardwood?
What about room resonance and reflection?
No idea what we’re going on about? No worries. We intend to talk you through all that. Our aim is that you get the absolute best sound system for your home, at a price point you’re happy with, and an aesthetic you can’t help but want to show off.
To get to this end goal, an unhealthy interest in all things audio simply isn’t enough. That’s why we spend countless hours behind the scenes sourcing products from only the most reliable brands and trustworthy suppliers - regardless of their branding and marketing.
We don’t rely on them to tell us what’s good about their equipment. We’ve developed our own proactive testing process to judge what’s what. So you get hands-on knowledge every single time. Coupled with our tight networks and stable supply chain meticulously refined over the years, we strive to ensure that the experience you get at The Audio Tailor is personal, seamless, and painless.
Personal, because it’s uniquely you in musicality, design, and taste. Your options are hand picked by us from amongst some of the world’s biggest, best, and most dependable brands.
Seamless, because we’re only small. You get one of us. Not one of dozens of salesmen milling about the place, working for commission and pushing the most expensive products.
Painless, because we don’t recommend anything until we’re clear about your needs. We follow up with you to make sure everything’s arrived in one piece. For us, the transaction isn’t over until your equipment is safely installed and fully satisfying.
Some of the big things we feel are missing in the HiFi world are:
- The need for expertise before, during, and after the sale
- A vast wealth of comparative knowledge, and
- A commitment to end-to-end service.
At The Audio Tailor, we hope we’ve made it clear that service doesn’t shut off when a problem pops up. It’s an opportunity to tighten the ship we run, bolster our 5-star reputation, and most importantly - make someone’s day.
Hi! We see you’ve actually made it to the end of this page. Love it!
We’d like to end this by giving a shout out to all the enthusiasts and audiophiles we’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the years. It has been a privilege to share our desire, passion, and journey for the purest sound and finest entertainment solutions for your homes and businesses.
Thank you to all our customers - past, present, and future - for helping us chase after something above the ordinary.
To make your audio dreams come true - call, email, or hop on down to our Brisbane store.
We’re looking forward to meeting you!
When cost-no-object performance is the goal there are a rare handful of power amplifiers capable of transporting listeners into a musical space few are able to enjoy. The BHK Signature 250 is one such amplifier. Lush, gorgeous, powerful, revealing, hand built, perfect.
The BHK Signature 250 Stereo Power Amplifier culminates one man’s lifelong quest for perfection in power amplification. Bascom H. King’s magnum opus combines a vacuum tube input with a powerful MOSFET output capable of 250/500 watts per channel. The BHK Signature 250 Stereo amplifier can drive any loudspeaker to musical perfection and is the most important element in your music reproduction chain.
- Zero-loss vacuum tube input stage
- Differentially coupled balanced MOSFET output stage
- All through hole construction (no surface mount parts)
- RCA Single ended input
- XLR balanced input
- 250 watts per channel 8Ω Signature
- 500 watts per channel 4Ω Signature
- 2Ω stable Signature 250 stereo
- Less than 0.1% thd 20Hz to 20kHz at rated power
- Damping factor 100 for excellent loudspeaker control
- Front panel standby button for vacuum tube input
- -3dB greater than 200kHz
- Dual, custom, solid copper, gold plated output binding posts
- Fully balanced from input to output
- 83 pounds
- Input 12 volt trigger
- Easy access for tubes
Available in both stereo and mono models, the BHK Signature series is unparalleled in its ability to render details formerly lost in the music. The BHK Signature is a hybrid design enjoying performance benefits from multiple design techniques including, a balanced differential vacuum tube input, balanced differential MOSFET power outputs, and separate, isolated, analog power supplies feeding each.
When it comes to musically controlling and powering loudspeakers, the BHK Signature has no peer. The stereo Signature 250 produces 250 watts/per channel into an eight-Ohm loudspeaker, 500 watts/channel into four-Ohms, and stable into 2-Ohms; enough power to satisfy even the hungriest of loads.
The power amplifier is technology always present in stereo systems. Yet, despite the fact everyone uses them, few appreciate the power amp’s critical role in preserving music’s nuanced details, because most amplifiers fail to preserve them. Overtones from plucked instruments, subtle cues defining placement, depth, soundstage width, and transient decays are often lost in the power amplifier.
The BHK Signature power amplifiers are unique in their ability to faithfully pass even the tiniest of details. The first listen to the BHK is like pulling a blanket off the loudspeakers. Suddenly revealed are the tiniest of details that now ring clear through the BHK, perfectly preserved through its extraordinary bandwidth, low feedback, vacuum tube and MOSFET design.
The input stage is a critical interface
The connection between preamplifier and power amplifier is critical, for it is at this junction where most essential musical details are easily lost. Nothing in the design of a power amplifier is more important than its input stage when preserving music’s finest nuances. In the BHK Signature a vacuum tube serves as the perfect interface between the preamplifier and the massive power output stage inside the BHK Signature. The input stage’s seemingly impossible task of passing both delicate and powerful musical information without loss is made possible by massive numbers of free flowing electrons traveling within the BHK’s vacuum tube; electrons quantities that are not to be found in transistors.
Used as the interface between the preamplifier and the input stage of a power amplifier, tubes have no peer. Invented by Fleming in 1904, and refined by deForest in 1906, the vacuum tube is unique amongst amplification devices: it boils an abundance of free electrons in empty space while modern devices pull fixed numbers through solids. A tube’s high voltage, empty space, rich numbers of electrons and connection through unattached fields preserves details lost in the solidity of silicon. Tubes are the perfect interface between sources and power stages.
The BHK Signature input features a classic triode vacuum tube in a modern configuration. Hand matched pairs of Russian Gold Lion 6922s are self-biased with constant current and high voltage, free of timing and phase distortion without the use of negative feedback. They provide the perfect interface between the delicate musical transitions output by the DAC or preamplifier, and are electrically isolated from the BHK power output stage which is connected to the loudspeaker.
The hybrid approach used in the BHK Signature takes advantage of the best traits technology has to offer, unavailable in traditional solid state or tube designs. While vacuum tubes are the perfect input stage, they cannot make the same claim on a power amplifier’s output. Conversely, solid state designs are correct for output stages, but suffer when used as inputs. Only a hybrid approach takes advantage of the best in both disciplines.
A power amplifier connects its reservoir of energy to the loudspeaker through a type of valve (solid state or vacuum tube) controlled by the input stage. If the input stage has done a good job of preserving music’s subtle details, textures, timing and phase information, transferring it without loss to the power stage and eventually the loudspeakers is best handled by a tube-like solid state device known as a MOSFET.
MOSFETs handle power without the additional circuitry needed by tube power amplifiers, and they sound better than tubes or their solid state alternatives, bipolar transistors. Field effect transistors were first invented by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925 and because they require very little current and operate with an invisible field, their sound is more closely related to vacuum tubes than transistors, without suffering any of the issues driving loudspeakers typical of vacuum tube power amplifiers.
Not all MOSFETs are the same, their differences characterized by their relationship with the input signal and the power supply driving them: N-types for the positive going signals, P-types for negative. It turns out that N-types have lower distortion and perform better than P-types. Despite this anomaly most power amplifier designs use both types of transistor in a configuration known as complementary symmetry. The BHK takes a different approach, one that avoids the problem of uneven performance between N and P devices altogether. Using only N Channel MOSFETS in its output stage, the BHK Signature produces a near-perfect balanced waveform without the degradation inherent in a complimentary design.
Work on the BHK Signature began in 2014 with the goal of building one of the top five power amplifiers in the world, regardless of price. Bascom H. King took the charge under the condition he be permitted to design and build the amplifier his way, without restriction and that is what happened.
Starting with a clean slate, he reimagined the traditional transistor and tube based amplifier as a hybrid, with vacuum tubes on its input and transistors on its output, an idea invented by him thirty years ago. In 1979 Bascom had designed the Infinity Class A, the world’s first hybrid power amplifier, with tubes for inputs and transistors for outputs. Its success was great and reviewer J. Gordon Holt, founder of Stereophile magazine wrote: “it is the best sounding amplifier I have ever heard.”
To maximize the benefits of the two amplification topologies inside the amplifier, it should be built as if it were two separate systems, each with their own power supply tailored to fit. Thus, the BHK Signature has two power transformers, one for the vacuum tube input stage, the other for the MOSFET power output stage. Regulation of the power supply for the input stage is important. Separate and discrete MOSFET regulators are used throughout to preserve details found in the music and keep noise levels to a minimum.
The path music takes through the amplifier must be pure and without a polluting sonic signature. Each passive component is hand selected to provide the cleanest path possible. PRP resistors, film and foil Rel Caps, and the finest sounding parts possible are hand soldered onto BHKs circuit boards. Bascom had insisted no surface mount parts be used in the signal path.
No expense was spared on the BHK. Even the output connectors are custom machined out of copper then polished and gold plated for best connection.
The BHK Signature 250 stereo amplifier, and the BHK Signature 300 Mono Amplifier embody one man’s life’s work and passion in the art of amplification
- Unit Weight - 83 lbs [37.6 kg]
- Unit Dimensions - 434.3mm (17.1”) x 221mm (8.7”) x 355.6mm (14”) Chassis only. 381mm (15") deep including connectors.
- Colour Options - Black, Silver
- Voltage - 230V
- Mains Power Inputs - IEC C14
- Fuse Compliment - 4 - 10 amp fast blow H-Rated 5x20mm Rail Fuses
- Fuse Compliment Mains - 1 - 1.6 amp slow blow H-rated 5x20mm, 1 - 5 amp slow blow H-rated 5x20mm
- Accessories Included - US (NEMA 5-15P), Schuko (CEE7/7), UK (BS 1363)
- Audio Inputs - RCA (Unbalanced), XLR (Balanced)
- Speaker Outputs Signature 250 - Gold plated copper binding posts (2 pair per channel)
- Other - DC Trigger Input, 3.5mm 5-15VDC