The Bel Canto Design Owners Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 93 Old 07-11-2008, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,
Thought I would start a thread for all Bel Canto owners, in order to share thoughts on current products, news on upcoming products, or whatever the case may be.

Would also love to hear about what you all are pairing your electronics with, and what kind of speakers you all think go well with Bel Canto products.

My system:
- Bel Canto S300i
- Slim Devices Transporter
- Monitor Audio PL100
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post #2 of 93 Old 07-18-2008, 01:16 AM
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I've heard great things about the Bel Canto e. one S300iu Integrated Amp.

I was wondering if there was a similar bel canto product with the same specs that could be used for home theater?
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post #3 of 93 Old 07-18-2008, 07:34 AM
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Funny this thread would show up.

I work for an electronic component sales company in Minneapolis where BC is located. I've been there a couple of times and had some conversations with John Stronczer, their designer. They are looking at an ipod dock, and would like to get into HT in a big (read expensive) way. If things pan out, I'll be in there once in a while. I'll pass on what I hear (lol) in maybe a generic sort of way so as not to get into trouble with him.

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post #4 of 93 Old 07-18-2008, 07:46 AM
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For some reason the relatively rare BC PrePro is suddenly showing up in large numbers at Audiogon. Which raises the question - what are they moving on to as a replacement?

I have the BC Pre6 and feel it is an exceptional analog preamp. And while I like it's highly transparent sound quality I have finally decided I prefer the sound of my Citation 7.0 overall, so I am thinking of selling the Pre6. If anyone here is interested send me a PM.

"The truth is out there!"
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post #5 of 93 Old 07-18-2008, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyDaves View Post

I've heard great things about the Bel Canto e. one S300iu Integrated Amp.

I was wondering if there was a similar bel canto product with the same specs that could be used for home theater?

Bel Canto, in the past, made various home theater equipment, such as the Pre6 (6-channel preamplifier) and Evo6 (Tripath based 6-channel amp). They may have made a processor at one point too, but I don't know.

Today, if you want to use current Bel Canto gear for home theater, you have to find your own processor / pre-amp (perhaps something like the Integra DTC-9.8) and then use multiple Bel Canto amps. For instance, you could run 3 M300 monoblocks for the front three speakers and then one or two of the S300 stereo amps for the surrounds, depending on whether your are doing 5 or 7 channel surround.
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post #6 of 93 Old 07-18-2008, 02:42 PM
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fyi, ICE power, version 2 ...

"ICEpower125ASX2 is now released for sale! DECEMBER 07, 2007"

http://www.icepower.bang-olufsen.com/en/news/news?id=20
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post #7 of 93 Old 07-29-2008, 12:31 AM
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Vantagesc:

I am getting a pair of Paradigm Signature S8's and the C5 center channel. I was reading a review where the reviewer tried a few amps with these speakers and when he used Bel Canto on the S8's, he felt it was the most synergistic match of amplifier/speaker that he had heard.

So I'm definitely looking to get into Bel Canto for powering these speakers (they're still in the process of being shipped). I pretty much made up my mind to get the Integra Research 9.8 because I hard it works/sounds great with Bel Canto as well and I've owned Integra Research in the past and have always had great experiences with it.

My biggest question is should I use 3 of the M300 monoblocks for the left/center/right speakers or should I got higher and use the M1000 monoblocks for the LCR? The S8's are relatively effecient speakers at 8 ohms and I believe that the M300 puts out 150 watts into 8 ohms, 300 watts into 4 ohms. The Paradigm C5 is pretty much the same speaker so I don't know what advantage I would get by getting the M1000's over the M300's. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions on this type of setup?

I've never owned Bel Canto or even a digital amp, but I don't want to make the mistake of getting an M300 and have it not be powerful enough to drive those huge Paradigm S8 speakers. But I don't want to spend the extra money on M1000's when I don't have to.

Also, any recommendations on speaker cable or interconnects that work well with Bel Canto? I'm surprised there's not a longer thread for these amps?

Thanks! Jimmy
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post #8 of 93 Old 07-29-2008, 10:09 AM
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Jimmy-

I have tested the S300 at home, and now own the Ref1000. I had the SAME concern about power for my inefficient Dynaudio Confidence C1 Monitor speakers (85dB, i think @ 4ohm). I extensively tested the S300, and thought it wasn't bad. It was detailed, and has excellent base control, but at the time, i felt it had a little too much base bloom or exaggeration (aka not neutral). I was not able to audition the Ref1000 at home, but i ended up purchasing them on the belief that "more is better". After listening to the Ref1000 for several months, I'm not sure i made the right decision. The S300 are quite wonderful and would have driven the C1s perfectly. Plus it would take up ALOT less space and only 1 powercord. I'm likely going to use the Ref1000 for the Center & Sub, and go with a Simaudio Integrated in an attempt to improve my 2-ch listening.

Hope this helped....
-DrPyro

I think IÂm addicted to placebos!!!
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post #9 of 93 Old 07-29-2008, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPyro View Post

Jimmy-

I have tested the S300 at home, and now own the Ref1000. I had the SAME concern about power for my inefficient Dynaudio Confidence C1 Monitor speakers (85dB, i think @ 4ohm). I extensively tested the S300, and thought it wasn't bad. It was detailed, and has excellent base control, but at the time, i felt it had a little too much base bloom or exaggeration (aka not neutral). I was not able to audition the Ref1000 at home, but i ended up purchasing them on the belief that "more is better". After listening to the Ref1000 for several months, I'm not sure i made the right decision. The S300 are quite wonderful and would have driven the C1s perfectly. Plus it would take up ALOT less space and only 1 powercord. I'm likely going to use the Ref1000 for the Center & Sub, and go with a Simaudio Integrated in an attempt to improve my 2-ch listening.

Hope this helped....
-DrPyro

FWIW ...

I've not auditioned the 1000s. I have M300s, stereo only.
( and a DAC3, all purchased direct from BC ).
I asked about the 1000s as a possible upgrade path, in speaking
to John Stronzner himself, by phone. He suggested that the 1000s
would deliver more power and more bass, but I might lose a
small amount of detail. Given my Monitor Audio Platinum bookshelves,
he suggested an upgrade to the 1000s would not be of benefit, basically.
Now, I'm paraphrasing only, and definitely not quoting
Mr. Stronzer directly. But that was my take-away from our conversation.
Yes, I appreciated his honesty. He could have sold
me a pair of 1000s ... possibly.
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post #10 of 93 Old 07-29-2008, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyDaves View Post

Vantagesc:

I am getting a pair of Paradigm Signature S8's and the C5 center channel. I was reading a review where the reviewer tried a few amps with these speakers and when he used Bel Canto on the S8's, he felt it was the most synergistic match of amplifier/speaker that he had heard.

So I'm definitely looking to get into Bel Canto for powering these speakers (they're still in the process of being shipped). I pretty much made up my mind to get the Integra Research 9.8 because I hard it works/sounds great with Bel Canto as well and I've owned Integra Research in the past and have always had great experiences with it.

My biggest question is should I use 3 of the M300 monoblocks for the left/center/right speakers or should I got higher and use the M1000 monoblocks for the LCR? The S8's are relatively effecient speakers at 8 ohms and I believe that the M300 puts out 150 watts into 8 ohms, 300 watts into 4 ohms. The Paradigm C5 is pretty much the same speaker so I don't know what advantage I would get by getting the M1000's over the M300's. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions on this type of setup?

I've never owned Bel Canto or even a digital amp, but I don't want to make the mistake of getting an M300 and have it not be powerful enough to drive those huge Paradigm S8 speakers. But I don't want to spend the extra money on M1000's when I don't have to.

Also, any recommendations on speaker cable or interconnects that work well with Bel Canto? I'm surprised there's not a longer thread for these amps?

Thanks! Jimmy

Encourage you to call the folks at Bel Canto.
They have all been consistently helpful to me
when I've had similar questions.
Six Moons has a handful of BC reviews that I've
found helpful too: Here's one ...

http://www.sixmoons.com/audioreviews.../prepower.html
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post #11 of 93 Old 07-30-2008, 01:09 AM
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mpmct:

Thank you for the advice. Getting so many new audio products is a bit confusing, but speaking directly to the manufacturer would be a great idea. Also, thank you for the link!
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post #12 of 93 Old 08-12-2008, 06:32 AM
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What happened to my earlier post here? I can't see why it should be deleted.

Anyone else notice major sonic change over the first few hundred hours of their Bel Canto Ref 1000 monoblocks? I'm using a pair to drive my Dynaudio Confidence C1 with a tube pre amplifier. It felt it has gone through 3 phases of sound changes.
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post #13 of 93 Old 08-12-2008, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasperT View Post

What happened to my earlier post here? I can't see why it should be deleted.

Anyone else notice major sonic change over the first few hundred hours of their Bel Canto Ref 1000 monoblocks? I'm using a pair to drive my Dynaudio Confidence C1 with a tube pre amplifier. It felt it has gone through 3 phases of sound changes.

Looks like a bunch of posts were deleted,
all within a certain timeframe?
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post #14 of 93 Old 08-12-2008, 02:42 PM
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You didn't notice? There was a system crash and AVS was restored from an 8/2 backup. A lot was lost but there was no intent behind it.

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #15 of 93 Old 08-12-2008, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpmct View Post

Looks like a bunch of posts were deleted,
all within a certain timeframe?

"Paranoia, may destroy ya" - The Kinks

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #16 of 93 Old 08-13-2008, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

You didn't notice? There was a system crash and AVS was restored from an 8/2 backup. A lot was lost but there was no intent behind it.

That makes sense now. Didn't realise there's a crash recently as i don't frequent here much. 7 posts in 4 years.
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post #17 of 93 Old 08-13-2008, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

You didn't notice? There was a system crash and AVS was restored from an 8/2 backup. A lot was lost but there was no intent behind it.

.........

MichaelJHuman;14431844]"Paranoia, may destroy ya" - The Kinks

I didn't suggest that there was anything intentional about
anything:

"Looks like a bunch of posts were deleted,
all within a certain timeframe?"

The question mark in the above should be noted, to be fair.

Beyond that, let's not get carried away with icon-o-graphical
over-interpretations, gentlemen.
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post #18 of 93 Old 08-19-2008, 01:30 AM
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I heard from a local dealer that there's a version 2 of BC Ref 1000 ICE power module coming out in a few weeks . There will be increase in price and to justify this, there will be improvement done with better power supply and input stage.

One of the criticisms thrown at Bel Canto Design ref 1000 is that their top of the line monoblocks is a rebranding/recasing exercise with brand name mark up over a stock ICE POWER 1000 ASP module. Compared to the cheaper offer these days from Wyred4sound who are doing more audiophile modifications to the ICE module for a lot less retail price, the existing ref 1000 is looking jaded and pricing too cynical for my taste.
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post #19 of 93 Old 08-19-2008, 05:03 AM
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That may well be but Bel Canto is FCC Part 15 certified in the US. To my understanding, these other outfits are not and violating FCC guidelines, hence breaking the law, by selling a finished product to the general public without doing this.

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post #20 of 93 Old 08-20-2008, 12:02 AM
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I'm new to this type of amplifier and was just wondering what makes Wyred 4 Sound a better sounding amp than Bel Canto? Bel Canto has been reviewed by Stereophile and their M1000 monoblocks have gotten a Class A Recommendation. I'm looking for a good amp and I've heard nothing but raves about Bel Canto and was leaning that way. But I could be persuaded if someone has views, reviews or has compared Bel Canto with other types of similar amps that sound better.
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post #21 of 93 Old 08-20-2008, 01:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyDaves View Post

I'm new to this type of amplifier and was just wondering what makes Wyred 4 Sound a better sounding amp than Bel Canto? Bel Canto has been reviewed by Stereophile and their M1000 monoblocks have gotten a Class A Recommendation. I'm looking for a good amp and I've heard nothing but raves about Bel Canto and was leaning that way. But I could be persuaded if someone has views, reviews or has compared Bel Canto with other types of similar amps that sound better.

I'm not sure anyone is saying either amp sounds better than the other. Short of a direct comparison/shootout, it's all just guesswork.

However, I can think of a couple of reasons why someone may prefer the Bel Canto.

1) Brand name - Personally, I don't give a rat's @ss, but it's important for some people.

2) Clean, professional look - I find the Wyred4sound enclosure to be quite lacking in aesthetics. I tend to be very critical of how components look, so I can understand how most people seem to feel it looks just fine.

Since both amps use the exact same ICE module, they theoretically should sound very similar. It would be interesting to see a shootout between the two (and other ICE based amps).
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post #22 of 93 Old 08-20-2008, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldenbear View Post


Since both amps use the exact same ICE module, they theoretically should sound very similar. It would be interesting to see a shootout between the two (and other ICE based amps).

The 6moons reviewer who gave the top award (Lunar blue moon) to Bel Canto Ref 1000 2 years ago is reviewing the Wyred4sound SX1000monoblocks currently. It won't be long before the review is out. I'm interested to hear his opinion of the W4S amp in his system context because he did a review on a pair of modified BC Ref 1000 by Underwood and was not "over the moon" regarding the changed version due to his sound preference and system synergy.

I have a pair of BC Ref 1000 in use at the moment and prefer its external look over the Wyred4sound amp but W4Sound has modified their ICEPower modules more for their monoblocks , one of the modification being the input stage which has raised its input impedance to 60kohm, much easier load for tube preamplifier (what i'm using ) to work with. Where as the original Bel Canto input impedance is 20kohm via the balance input and 10kohm via RCA. Apart from ferrite choke, case dampening, nice Wbt binding post and case design for the Bel Canto, there's not much else different to the much cheaper D-Sonic. If i'm wrong here, some please correct me.

Apparently the new version of Bel Canto Ref 1000 has modified input stage so i guess they are taking this on board.
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post #23 of 93 Old 09-08-2008, 04:57 PM
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I have a question regarding the evo4. Currently, I have Anthem's AVM50/ARC pre/pro with a Simaudio Titan 200x5 running my fronts and surrounds. An Adcom GFA-5500 runs my rears. My speakers are Paradigm's S2, C3 (version 2) with a Velodyne DD15 sub. I would like to get a dedicated 2 channel amp for my mains and switch the Titan to power my center, surrounds and rears and sell my Adcom. I was originally looking for a Simaudio W5, but can't seem to find one on the used market. One amp that I have a chance to purchase is an evo4. I would use it bridged to power my mains. Anyone have any comments on the synergy with the rest of my gear and how it will mate up with the Titan. How does it compare to the W5?

Click here for pic of my 7.1 home theater system and here for pic of S2 surround wall mounting.

Click here for pic of my 2 channel system.

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post #24 of 93 Old 09-28-2008, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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In addition to the Ref1000 MkII, apparently Bel Canto is now offering M500s and S500s. Might be a good stop gap if you are unsure whether to get the 300s or the 1000s.

I am curious as to how other people are finding the Bel Cantos stack up to other class-D designs, like NuForce.
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post #25 of 93 Old 09-28-2008, 11:19 PM
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Six channels/3000 watts of of belcanto amplification in a 2 way speaker system.

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post #26 of 93 Old 09-29-2008, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gooki View Post



Six channels/3000 watts of of belcanto amplification in a 2 way speaker system.

I want to know how they get six of those speakers in that car!

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post #27 of 93 Old 11-10-2008, 06:54 AM
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How does the new Bel Canto line compare to the D-Sonic ?
Is there a sonic improvement of the new Bel Canto versus previous model?
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post #28 of 93 Old 11-13-2008, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant-Florida View Post

How does the new Bel Canto line compare to the D-Sonic ?
Is there a sonic improvement of the new Bel Canto versus previous model?

I suspect that would depend entirely on the rest of your gear and set-up --
whether or not you might actually *hear* a difference.
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post #29 of 93 Old 12-02-2008, 04:51 AM
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Vantagesc

Can you write more about your Bel Canto S300i? I am considering this amp, but need one with low noise. How does the class D perform, say compared to AB designs? Does it go high/low and perform well with midrange freqs?

Any thoughts...much appreciated.

Also, does anyone else have a comment about their Bel Canto integrated or power amp?
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post #30 of 93 Old 12-03-2008, 07:12 PM
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All,

I may have a chance to buy a Bel Canto PrePro at a good price. How do the DACs in it compare to the DAC1 or DAC3? I'm currently using a Proceed AVP-S as a DAC for my system - it slightly beats the Bel Canto DAC1.1 that I also have. Using the BCD Evo 200.2's in monoblock running my Martin Logan SL3's for the rest of the system.

Your thoughts?

John
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