In the ten years or so since its introduction the BC3 design has remained essentially
unchanged. Our attitude is that if a product is designed properly it shouldn't require
regular upgrades and tweaks. This attitude is supported by the fact that the BC3
is still extremely popular and well regarded by the audiophile community. Still.....it
has been ten years.
Enter the MKII.........
The MKII is not a radical design change but rather a number of small (and some not
so small) design improvements that result in a substantial increase in musical performance.
This is the original intro to the BC3. Since our attitude hasn't changed the intro
is still as valid now as it was ten years ago....
The BC3 preamplifiers epitomize what Blue Circle Audio is all about. They typify
how we believe components should be designed and crafted. They are not the most expensive
components we make, nor are they the least expensive. They are the "meat-and-potatoes"
components for that special someone who is deadly serious about music reproduction
and doesn't have a totally unlimited budget. No bells and whistles, no remote controls
(OK...we've become a bit more flexible on this one), no exotic cosmetic treatments
and no submission to some fad or design dogma. Every penny you spend on these components
is dedicated to music and simple elegance.
Preamps build around vacuum tubes simply sound better. There are good sounding solid-state
preamps, and there are bad sounding tube preamps. But given the choice, when cost
is not an overriding issue, tubes are the way to go. Here are some of the things
that make the BC3 (MKII) worthy of your attention:
Still.. Dual Triode Single-ended Class A Topology
Still.. Totally dual mono in the signal path including volume and input selector
Still.. Totally handcrafted featuring point to point hardwiring and no PCB's in the
Still.. Extremely high gain and current capability for long interconnect runs
Still.. only 5 resistors per channel
Still.. hand-built one at a time, run and tested for 50 hours and personally inspected
by Gilbert before shipping
200% greater capacitance than the original in onboard power supply
dual HexFred rectifiers
all new internal wiring
Rubber feet....yes rubber!
silicone bubble mount tube sockets...trickle down tech from the AG3000
ultra high speed power supply caps used in the on board power supply
double the capacitance on output coupling caps for improved bass
low profile main chassis with indicator dots on faceplate for volume controls....no
more counting clicks
volume control high/low level switch - with the high low volume switch there are
a total of 62 volume settings available
improved wiring layout for lower noise
1% metal film resistor used throughout
DC power cord made in house by Blue Circle
Blue or black covers for preamp instead of stainless available upon request (power
supply remain stainless only..or in the case of the Despina black only)
We can't go into all the details about the BC3 MKII, but perhaps a description of
the volume controls will illustrate the attention to detail that goes into its crafting.
Each channel has its own volume control, totally hand-assembled from matched pairs
of precision metal-film resistors, forming a true mono-ladder attentuator. Each of
the 31 unique position contacts is constructed from military-grade coin silver and
is self-cleaning. Each control takes approximately four hours to assemble. This is
not a production preamp.
The BCG3 MKII Power Supply
When matched with the BCG3 MKII the integrated preamp is called the BC3 DESPINA MKII.
The BCG3 MKII comes in a simple black metal case with an integrated dc cord that
mates with the BC3 MKII. It features:
High current toroid transformer
High speed recovery diodes
Double Reverse Twisted dc cord for RF noise suppression Mark II ...B+
rectifiers mounted in silicone for vibration control
The BCG3.1 MKII Power Supply
BCG3.1 MKII Power Supply
When matched with the BCG3.1 MKII the integrated preamp is called the BC3 GALATEA
MKII. The BCG3.1 MKII comes in a beautiful stainless steel case that matches the
BC3. It has a detachable dc cord custom manufactured by Blue Circle. The BCG3.1 MKII
Dual toroid transformers for greater current capability
Hexfed Ultrafast Soft Recovery rectifier diodes
200% more ac filtering and 300% more filament filtering
Integrated Power Line Pillow ac powerline conditioner Mark II... B+ rectifiers mounted
in silicone for vibration control ... Seperate B+ power transformer and
rectifier ... DC and AC filtering 200% greater than original BCG3.1
... Filament filtering is 2.5 times greater than original BCG3.1
*5 Line level inputs, 1 loop input (3 line level inputs for balanced version)
*Optional USB input available
*2 Pre-amp outputs, 1 loop output
*Tube complement: 2-6922
*Power requirement: 120Vac 50/60Hz 38Watts - available in 100, 220, 240 Vac
-Main chassis: 17.5" (width) x 3.25" (height) x 14.6" (depth)
-BCG3: 5.25" (width) x 3.25" (height) x 8.25" (depth)
-BCG3.1: 6" (width) x 5.375" (height) x 14.6" (depth)
Weight (without packaging):
-BC3: 35 lbs.
For detailed photos of the BC3 Despina and Galatea visitthe gallery.
The BC3 Despina MKII and The BC3 Galatea MKII Dual mono linestage tube preamplifiers.