Replacement for B&K Reference 50 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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We have loved our B&K Reference 50 for several years now, but I'm starting to get audio drop-outs. Also, I may be wanting to get a pre/pro with HDMI integrated to ease our system control. I don't have a specific budget in mind, but I won't spend more than $2500, and obviously spending less is always attractive. We use it 50/50 for music & movies. I currently just have a turntable, Sonos, BluRay and cable box hooked up. We run 5.0, using a B&K Reference 200.7, which powers a full set of Montana speakers, bi-amping the mains.

What suggestions would you have for replacements? I'm not really up to speed on what's current that would be in the same or slightly better than my Ref 50.

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post #2 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, I should note that I don't mind looking at used equipment if it meets our needs. Most of our equipment has been purchased used, and we've had great success with it.

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 11:27 AM
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I'm about to retire my Ref20 for similar reasons. I have a similar budget in mind. I'm about to buy an Anthem MRX 300 to use as a pre/pro. It's only $1k, is limited to 4 HDMI inputs, one output and can't accept multichannel analog in. The main reason I'm going with this is the ARC room correction software.
I also considered the Integra 80.3, at the high end of your budget, but my Integra/Anthem dealer prefers the Anthem, even though I have no current need for it's amp section. The Onkyo SC5509 is the same thing as the Integra 80.3, but not available in the US yet. The Integra does have balanced connections available it that's important to you. The Marantz pre/pro is in within your budget, but has the outdated Audyssey XT. Many also like using the Denon 4311 as a pre/pro, if you want Audyssey XT32. It has more bells and whistles than the Anthem.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 11:33 AM
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Please see my comments in another thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post21561654
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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The Integra 80.3 looks interesting, but I've always been afraid of pre/pros that have all the bells & whistles. Can it really sound as great as the more stripped down pre/pros? I guess I'll start searching the Integra threads.

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-06-2012, 08:02 PM
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I have the B&K ref70 thats been flaky from day one. Always made some strange noise when I got it. Sent it in for repair, took for ever, and after updating it its been wacky as hell and locks up etc...! The 70 sounds great but drives me crazy! I pretty much gave up the hobby and went back to my 1st love, cars. Been getting back into AV again hoping somebody would have some affordable prepro's. Looks like there may be a few more options than there was but still not many. You have the Integra and the Onkyo's. There are the NAD's, I think they have a new stripped down model coming out without video scaler/processor. There's the Marantz prepro. I have seen that Sherbourn is coming out with a new prepro and Rotel has just came out with a prepro. Hope this helps to steer you in the right direction. Happy hunting!
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Craig for the suggestions. I've also been reading about the new Outlaw, which apparently has been in near-release status forever, but looks promising if it can ever get to the market.

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post #8 of 10 Old 02-07-2012, 04:58 PM
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Seems that the Outlaw has been almost ready forever! I've also been waiting and hoping for ATI to come out with the improved ref70 or altogether new prepro. Last I heard they were going to do one of those choices but I haven't heard anything about ATI plans in a long time. About time to give up on that and start looking at one of the mentioned prepro's. I'm really surprised there aren't any platforms for the smaller Audio companies to buy and use in there products like they did years ago when there was just DD & DTS. With companies like Sherbourn and Rotel coming out with new prepro's it makes me wonder if maybe there is an available platform now?
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-20-2012, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I grabbed the Denon AVR3312CI during the Amazon lightning sale last week. I got it set up, but I haven't had a tremendous amount of time to tweak it. So far, my impressions are quite positive. The remote is a huge weak spot for me. If I had paid a grand for this thing, I'd be pissed about that lightweight piece of junk with limited functionality. I definitely need to look into getting a true, good universal remote at this point.

When I first hooked it up, I was running my speakers straight off of the receiver, and was quite underwhelmed. It sounded small, distant & anemic (even after the auto-calibration). I don't just mean the lack of bass, either. It just didn't sound lush, dimensional, and detailed like I was used to. This had me worried at first. Once I hooked up the old B&K amp, though, the sound really came to life.

After I have some more experience with it, I'll try to update with some more impressions. Once thing for sure - if you're using a receiver, get yourself an external amp!

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post #10 of 10 Old 06-20-2012, 09:17 PM
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Good to see you found something. I'm starting to look at receivers myself to use with my B&K amp. Just doesn't look like there's going to be any prepro's coming out to my liking. After Integra screwed me on the DTR 10.5, Integra/Onkyo can F off. Besides there reliability & CS suck. Kind of like the Yamaha stuff and usually can't go wrong with Denon. Probably wait until the new models come out before I decide.
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