PS Audio or Ayre?

So I'm thinking about getting the BHK signature preamp or, I just read a review on the AyreK5xe preamp. They both seem like great pieces. Anyone have a preference?

Auible Illusions or PS Audio BHK preamp?

I currently run an Audible Illusions L3A linestage and Bryston BHA1 headamp with PS AUDIO BHK 300s.  

Have an opportunity to pick up the PS Audio BHK pre at half price.  Any experience with AI and/or BHK?  BTW am running Siemens E88CCs in Audible Illusions for months.  Much freer upper end. Removes any trace of grain or hardness.  I've been assured by the dealer  the tubes well last despite AI's being tough on tubes.  

Sorry to half hi-jack thread but no experience with Ayre. 

Current system -
PSA BHK 300 monos
Audible Illusions L3A linestage
Harbeth 30.2
Dual HSU ULS-15 MK2 subs
Bryston BHA1 headphone amp
Sennheiser HD 800s
cantorgale10-14-2018 7:11pm Report this
Both good companies
long long ago sold PS when it really was Paul and Stan
disapointed they don’t support older pre bankruptcy product with simple things like schematics, etc for power amps, power supplies
i get it they lawyered up
ayre is certainly evolving
if you like etched hyper detail or need single ended look elsewhere
horse $&@“ about engineered to be louder
certainly not true at a 7 amp power amp selection I went thru
i would say make every attempt to hear both !!!!!!

I endorse the proposition that these are two good companies. I own both PS Audio and Ayre. The DirectStream DAC/Memory Player combination is hard to beat while the Ayre VX-5 Twenty and K5xemp, though not a the pinnacle of the Ayre hierarchy, are first rate. I also use an Ayre P5xe - an incredible phono stage.
No experience with Ayre but I have the PS BHK pre. In my system it is superb and is better than direct connection of my Berkeley Reference DAC to Atmaspere S30 OTL power amp. I was previously very happy with a Bent Audio TVC pre but was intrigued to try the BHK for a loan demo. 

I have previously been a big fan of passive and TVC units but immediately noticed a more 'live' sound with absoultely stonking bass. In comparison to my previous pre's I found the bass to have much more texture/colour alond with a fabulous drive to the music.

I love Robert Cray and recently saw the band in concert. Well, listening to the 40 Years Live CD really brought back the excitement of the tremendous guitar playing from Robert and the driving bass from Richard Cousins.

I think the BHK is excellent and value is very hard to beat at anything like the price (plus some!). 

I own both and have the K5xeMP and the BHK. The Ayre is an amazing value and at the prices you will find it used and even new unless Ayre has run out of stock. It has 2 balanced and 2 unbalanced inputs and no headphone amp.

That being said, there is no question the BHK gives you more detail. It has more inputs and it has a headphone amp. I don’t like the stock tubes and would recommend getting a pair of Tunsgrams to roll in. The stock tubes were slightly bright and rolling is a little bit of a pain in that you need to move a jumper.  Another perk of the BHK is that the volume control has more steps.  It is the superior unit but then again is nearly twice as expensive.  

I have replaced both now that I am Art Audio’s importer and my Conductor is a big step up vs. even the BHK. Of course it is also a lot more expensive. The Conductor simply is similarly priced to the BHK and I think it sounds better. But the neither Conductor model has XLR inputs and the Simply has no headphone amp and in the end I am a bit biased.