BMU 3000 MKII Hi-Fi+ review
Monday, 17th July 2023
It’s been quite a while since we had a review of our Balanced Mains Units and then, just like buses, one comes along after the other!
In this case, following on from the recent review of the install version on the-ear.net (see that review here), Andrew Harrison took a listen to the stand-alone BMU3000™ for the July issue of Hi-Fi+ magazine. He was equally impressed.
The review begins in customary fashion with an explanation of the principles behind a balance mains supply. We won’t go over that again here as it has been covered well in the previous review of the install version. Suffice to say, it’s a well-established and highly effective principle for reducing noise on the mains.
Apart from the far more aesthetically pleasing casework compared to the install version, the key difference between the BMU 3000 MKII and it’s sibling, is the inclusion of five Russ Andrews UltraSockets™ across the back panel of the box.
Rear view of the BMU 3000 MKII showing the five inverted UltraSockets™. Note the 16A High-Current mains IEC input - click here for information on the relevant WattGate plug for this type.
The reviewer notes that “these are deep cryogenically treated and finished with DeoxIT® contact enhancer, and are mounted inverted, to help wiring when the unit is sited close to the ground”.
The first step in the process of purchasing a BMU is to check your current average voltage. We lend you a voltage tester to make this an easy task; just plug it in and take a number of readings over 2-3 days. We will then set the unit accordingly to perform the best for your voltage (we can adjust this again for you if, for example, you move house).
Once Andrew received the unit, he noted that, although “the MKII features re-designed internal transformers with the result said to be quieter operation… in practice… [they] were often audible. This was not a constant noise, but was relate [sic] to mains quality”. The likely issue here is DC on the mains causing the precision transformers in the BMU to react. As the reviewer notes, “while the obvious solution might be to add a DC-blocking capacitor, Russ says it affects musicality”, and that certainly is the case.
It is testament to the performance of the BMU 3000 MKII that, despite this reservation regarding transformer hum, Andrew is unequivocal in his assessment of the unit’s performance:
“without doubt, the sound quality from the system whilst using the BMU 3000 MKII improved palpably. One is tempted to say that it is ‘transformative’”.
He goes on the elucidate on this assessment by stating that “there was a relaxation effect, with instrumentation sounding smoother, more natural and flowing. Stereo space became holographic. It’s that feeling of calm, like stepping into a soundproofed room deprived of daily ambient noise”.
Given the impressive level of improvement the BMU 3000 MKII brought to the system, he emphatically recommends a home trial using our No-Risk, 60-Day Money-Back Guarantee: “While the BMU can show a staggering subjective improvement in perceived playback ‘hush’”, he writes, it is important to trial it at home to ensure any potential hum is non-intrusive. “If all is clear”, he concludes, the BMU 3000 MKII “should then sell itself”. And if not, remember that the equally impressive install version is available, which keeps the unit out-of-earshot!
Edition: 221, July 2023
Click here for more about the BMU 3000 MKII™
Click here for the review of the BMU 3000 MKII™ install version from the-ear.net
Click here to read The Audiophile Man review of the BMU 1500 MKII™ - the 'smaller' sibling of the BMU 3000 MKII™
Written By Simon Dalton