“Constricts” is what I meant in the previous post
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I own the BHK, have had only a brief exposure to the RP7 and spent a lot of time with the RP5. I liked the RP5 a lot and in my brief exposure to the RP7, it is great.
With the BHK, I swapped the stock tubes out for a pair of NOS Tunsgrams (which was Mr King's preferred tube according to Kevin Deal and I believe him!) and with those tubes it is outstanding. I found the stock tubes unpleasant.
Which is better is a really tough call. With stock tubes, my gut tells me the Rogue. With the Tunsgrams, it might swing to the BHK. Both will be an upgrade and both companies make outstanding products and have superb customer service.
I am going to sell my BHK soon. I have since upgraded further (because I am the importer) to the Art Audio Conductor which is in a different league from a preamp perspective. Analog volume controls, gain that is adjustable and customizable based on sensitivity of your amp, etc...
I have the RP-7 driving a Rogue Stereo 100. The RP7 is incredibly dynamic, quiet, and airy in the highs, and has a multitude of inputs and versatility. I swapped the stock JJ 12AU7 with Radiotechniques and that sweetened the sound even more, and added more bass whack. I don't have any experience with the BHK, but am super smitten with the RP7. It's a fantastic pre amp.
I had a Rogue RP5 for 2 years and liked it very much. It was dead quiet. I wasn’t thrilled with the stock JJ tubes and once I rolled in 4 NOS Mullard tubes which I bought from uncle Kevvy, the sound was just fantastic. It is a very well made preamp with many internal adjustments for the phono stage. My only gripe was the cheesy plastic remote. I would have gladly paid $100-150 more for a nice aluminum one.
I liked it it so much that it could have been my forever preamp and the ONLY reason I sold it was because I went to a McIntosh based system.
I auditioned the RP-7 for a weekend. Superb! It absolutely blew away the Parasound I had (I promptly sold it). I returned the RP-7 when I found an LS27 used - which sounds fantastic, but I think the RP-7 sounded better to be quite honest. I am happy with LS27 and service has been very responsive. I have never auditioned the BHK stuff. The prima luna stuff I have heard is MEH.
Thanks bigkidz. My mind is pretty set on replacing the super magnum 99 at this time. Although, I am curious about the reliability of Rogue. It worked fine for 10 years but in the past 3-5 years I had to return it 3 times for various malfunctions.
It's another factor on my mind when I consider the two replacement options - the RP-7 versus the BHK preamp from PS Audio
I auditioned the BHK, but did not buy it. I was mainly interested in the PS Audio trade in discounts, but that wasn't enough to seal the deal after hearing it in my space. It was good, but it seemed to make my system sound a bit brighter than I expected. I am currently am using an RP-7 with good success. The RP-7 is a much nicer sounding unit in my system. No overt brightness, but it's not as "tubey" as I was anticipating. It is like it isn't there at all. I have had no reliability issues so far. I did have a power failure not long ago which required a reboot, but other than that, it has been a really great pre for me thus far. My only complaint is that it has a really large case, and so I couldn't fit it in my equipment rack. Luckily I had an extra shelf space, so I used that and rearranged my stacks to make it work.
My 2 cents worth.
The obvious choice is usually Mullard but they are getting very expensive if you buy from a reputable seller like Andy at VTS. A more cost effective alternative are the tubes made in the Matsushita factory in Japan that was set up with the help of Mullard and used many of their tooling and methods. They were available with under many labels other than their own. Last I checked Andy had a good supply. I also have had good luck with the Black Plate Raytheons and Toshiba's that were available as tubes from the organ companies like Conn and Baldwin. I was not as impressed with the 6 and 7 volt tubes and I tried quite a few. The best were the Matsushita's and the Phillip's that Kevin was selling. Both are on the warmer side. One thing to consider with the BHK is that it greatly prefers tubes that are not only matched to each other but also have matched Triodes. The best of the current production tubes is probably the Gold Lion which you can buy that way from the TubeStore for under $100 a pair. You probably can't go wrong with either choice but I have never owned a Rogue preamp only amps. Another good possibility is the Backert Rhuma 1.3.
Have had a BHK preamp in my system for a week now. Replaced a Rotel RC-1590. It was a very noticeable change in sound. Only 35 hours on it so far. I am using Bob Carver VTA-180 mono blocks using all Gold Lion tubes. I have tried 4 or 5 tone tubes in the amp. Came to me with medical grade 50s era Mullard tubes. I found them too bassy and no high end detail. Of course, I have Klipsch Cornwall III’s with a 15” woofer.
BHK preamps are shipped with Gold Lion tubes. Depending on your system, it may sound bright. Like jackd said above, the beauty of tube gear is that changing tone is just a matter of finding the right tube. I like that the fact that as I upgrade, I can adjust the sound as I go.
Rogue Audio RP-7
Audiophiles I know who have flipped their Rogue Pre - Amps have gone on to regretted it. One even tried to buy his back after he sold it to no avail.
Very friendly to Tube Rolling - IMHO highly recommended for optimum performance - will produce incredible sound stage, imagery and detail.
Dare I suggest to feed it with a very good power chord and you will have a unit that will rival others with a MRSP 4X its price.
Try NOS - GE, Mullards, RCA, Siemens, Telefunken, and the European alternative ECC82. The Siemens ECC82 is my preference - Has the rich mid range of the Mullard combined with the detailed high to mid low of the Telefunken.
Hi , I have played with the lower level Rogue RP-1. I’ve changed the cord and added isolation dampeners, and placed 2 brass weights on top . I have rolled numerous tubes and prefer medical grade Telefunkens. But depending on which power amp I’m feeding and especially which speaker is in the rotation . When I go to more power with 95db speakers or greater , the hiss is pretty noticeable. I’ve spent more on cabling and tubes than the amp cost . So when I’m running higher power tube amps and 95-98 dB speakers I run a SS pre . YMMV, Cheers Mike B.
Thanks Mike. My speakers are Triangle signature delta (high sensitivity) and the Bryston 4B SST is 300W into 8 Ohm, so I think I might have the same hiss you are talking about. I have a low level hiss that is not noticeable when you play music with my current Rogue magnum 99 and I certainly would like not to have it in the new preamp. Others have said that the RP-7 is dead quiet, so not sure. Maybe the tubes in the RP-1 are different? or the fact that it is balanced helps?