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The Bel Canto Design Owners Thread - Page 2

post #31 of 77
I am considering running 3 M300 amps to power my PSB Synchrony One speakers in my HT. Can anyone give me any input as to whether or not the M300 will be enough power to run the 4ohm load of the PSB's in HT.
post #32 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by psyopwak View Post

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?

What kind of speakers are you planning to use with the S300i?

None of the speakers I have used the S300i with are of high sensitivity (~ 88db / w @ 1 meter) but the unit does seem pretty quiet. I don't hear much if any noise on the amp when no music is playing. I'd describe the sound as cool and very smooth. The bass is pretty strong and taut. Mid-range is possibly a little too cool. At certain impedences, I think the top end could be rolled off every so slightly, but I'm not sure I can tell.

You might read the Stereophile review of the S300i on their website. The unit does not measure well IMO, but for the price, I think it's a very nice package. I would definitely buy Bel Canto again because the sound compares well against similarly priced AB designs and the package is so tidy. The units are small and attactive looking, which helps.

User "mpmct" can possibly lend some more advice if he happens to chime in. I know he has compared the Bel Canto separate amps to the likes of Arcam and found little difference.
post #33 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrunr View Post

I am considering running 3 M300 amps to power my PSB Synchrony One speakers in my HT. Can anyone give me any input as to whether or not the M300 will be enough power to run the 4ohm load of the PSB's in HT.

I believe the minimum load of those speakers is also 4 ohms, so I think the M300s will do just fine. 300w / channel into 4 ohms is a good amount of power. As for sound quality, some high-end speakers might do a little better in the bass department with a little more power, but I'm not sure if that applies to yours.

You might try calling up Bel Canto. They are very helpful / honest about these sorts of things and can help you choose. I think the Ref1000s would be overkill (in terms of power), but there are also the Ref500s or S500s as well, if you want a little more power.
post #34 of 77
OK. I appreciate that.

I have also been looking into the d-sonic, and wyred4sound amps as well. I figure I need to look at all of the options in this arena, so why not, right?

Both D-sonic and W4S have better pricing than the Bel Canto. The D-sonic appears to be Bel Canto rebadged. the W4S seems to be the MKii Bel Canto equipment... lol

I am not sure what the best route is, but the cost factor does play in here! Also, I tried to talk to someone at Bel Canto, and did not get ANY help. It was as if they were irritated by my inquiries as to which of their amps would be best for my speakers...

Do you really think the Ref 1000 would be overkill? My speakers are 4ohms, semi-full range, and can handle good power. But I dont want to waste my money either for a negligable difference...

Thanks!
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrunr View Post

Also, I tried to talk to someone at Bel Canto, and did not get ANY help. It was as if they were irritated by my inquiries as to which of their amps would be best for my speakers...

I am surprised. My experience with the BC guys is that they are really gung-ho for their products and they are always greatly interactive with folks at shows.

Quote:


Do you really think the Ref 1000 would be overkill? My speakers are 4ohms, semi-full range, and can handle good power. But I dont want to waste my money either for a negligable difference...
Thanks!

What is rated sensitivity? How big is your room? Do you know what levels you listen at (in dB)?
post #36 of 77
Maybe I caught someone on a bad day then... I dont know but I was pretty alarmed by the lack of interest...

My room is 15 X 22 X 10 and opens up to my kitchen and dining room. The speakers rated sensitivity are 90BD in room. I usually listen to movies at -10db.
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrunr View Post

Maybe I caught someone on a bad day then... I dont know but I was pretty alarmed by the lack of interest...

My room is 15 X 22 X 10 and opens up to my kitchen and dining room. The speakers rated sensitivity are 90BD in room. I usually listen to movies at -10db.

If you had not said anything about the room opening up into two others, I would have concurred that the REF1000 is overkill. The REF500, of course, is only 3dB less.
post #38 of 77
lol... yes, 3db less...

But what about the overall SQ and control it will have over the 500 or the M300 for that matter. Significant?
post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrunr View Post

lol... yes, 3db less...

But what about the overall SQ and control it will have over the 500 or the M300 for that matter. Significant?

First, the folks at Bel Canto have been some of the most consistently
nice and helpful folks that I've had retail dealings with.
So you must have caught someone before they had their morning coffee,
or similar.

I bought the DAC3 and M300 pair direct from BC, about 1.5 yrs ago.
They were helpful all the way through the process, multiple phone calls and
lotsa' questions from me of course. At one point I too was concerned
that I might need the REF1000s, but when I explained the speakers I
would be driving, and room config, they were fair enough to tell me that I absolutely
did not need the 1000s. With the same unease that you're describing,
I decided it only made sense to take their advice, and not do overkill
for the 1000s. They were right, as far as I can tell.
I was running Monitor Audio GS20s at that time, 16 x 26 x 8 room, open
on one side to a 6 x 14 x 8 room, and a stairwell along side.
Agree with vantagesc, 300w @ 4ohms per speaker ... oughta' cover it.
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrunr View Post

lol... yes, 3db less...

But what about the overall SQ and control it will have over the 500 or the M300 for that matter. Significant?

Dunno. I have used only the Ref1000 and the S300 but on different speakers.
post #41 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrunr View Post

lol... yes, 3db less...

But what about the overall SQ and control it will have over the 500 or the M300 for that matter. Significant?

I've read around the net that Bel Canto is claiming the 500 is their best sounding amp if you don't need the extra power of the 1000. This is of course all second hand info, so maybe Bel Canto can confirm this over the phone for you...
post #42 of 77
It is also just as expensive as the new Ref100MkII amp...
post #43 of 77
Could use some help here.
I just got my EVO 6 back from BC because it was shutting down during movies. BC was unable to get my amp to fault out, but I got it to immediately after getting it back. Any thought before I send it back again? This is so frustrating and I have my other EVO 4 bridged driving my dual SoundSplinter DIY subs with no problem. BTW, you can't get it to reset by removing the power until a good long period of time has passed, leaving me to believe its something thermal.
post #44 of 77
One of my REF1000's just died for no apparent reason. I've had it into a local service center and they say everything appears to check ok except it is not switching. The fuse is also fine. Anyone got any ideas?
post #45 of 77
Has anyone upgraded their Ref1000 MkI to the new MkII? I'm wondering if its worth it, opinions?

-DrPyro
post #46 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPyro View Post

Has anyone upgraded their Ref1000 MkI to the new MkII? I'm wondering if its worth it, opinions?-DrPyro

http://stereophile.com/musicintherou..._the_round_35/
post #47 of 77
i've got a chance to grab up a bel canto pre 6 for 500, good condition, bought in 2004 and hardly used. it's a gen 1 and i was wondering if there's a significant difference between it and the gen 2.

i was just looking for a solid 2 channel preamp to get the most out of the analog sound from an oppo SE and i came across this opportunity. i was looking at cheaper new gear like a parasound 2100, but if an older, more high end piece of equipment like this bel canto pre 6 would a better buy i'd appreciate anyone letting me know.
post #48 of 77
I am running the BCD Phono3, Pre3 and a pair of REF1000MkIIs (upgraded from MkI).

The REF1000MkIIs are driving Thiel CS2.4 Signature Edition.

Sources:
Wadia iTransport/Squeezebox Duet feeding Benchmark DAC1 Pre (balanced out to Pre3)
Marantz SA8003 SACD
Thorens TD125LB with SME 3012 and Denon 103R, soon to be replaced with Project Audio RPM/RM 10.1 with 10cc evolution tonearm and Sumiko Blackbird MC cart

Other Gear
Yaqin tube buffer (uses the RCA output of the DAC1 feeding another input on the Pre3)
Behringer DEQ2496 (uses optical out from Duet to optical input of DAC1)

The MkII upgrade was noticeable to me since I did it in the course of a day... unplugged the Mk Is. Dropped by the local dealer and got it back in the evening. Transients and imaging and image height were noticeably improved. Kal's review was one of the reasons that I opted for that upgrade.

Because my hifi rack and HT rack are so far away, I use AudioEngine's AW1 kit to send the AVR pre out to the Pre3's HT bypass input and use the REF1000MkIIs and Thiel CS2.4SE for the HT as well.

Mulling over the VBS upgrade kit for the Pre3/Phono3. Would also work with the DAC3/CD2.
post #49 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

i've got a chance to grab up a bel canto pre 6 for 500, good condition, bought in 2004 and hardly used. it's a gen 1 and i was wondering if there's a significant difference between it and the gen 2.

i was just looking for a solid 2 channel preamp to get the most out of the analog sound from an oppo SE and i came across this opportunity. i was looking at cheaper new gear like a parasound 2100, but if an older, more high end piece of equipment like this bel canto pre 6 would a better buy i'd appreciate anyone letting me know.

1. I can't give any specific feedback about the Pre6 but just to let you know that Bel Canto gear share similar sound signatures and can sound very neutral. There's just a slight hint of warmth but not a lot. It can reveal flaws in source material.

2. The Pre6 is a basic simple pre amp. There's no Room EQ or Auto EQ processing. If your room has difficult modes (eg bass suck outs or bass boosts at certain frequencies), you'll need to do more room treatments (bass busters/corner traps etc) vs one with some amount of autoEQ.

3. Some older analog multichannel inputs don't properly compensate for the 10dB boost for the LFE channel. Some don't do bass management either (so there's no proper way to redirect some bass information from surround channels to the subwoofer. This can be problematic if you use small satellites. May not be an issue if you are using full range speakers throughout.
post #50 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

i've got a chance to grab up a bel canto pre 6 for 500, good condition, bought in 2004 and hardly used. it's a gen 1 and i was wondering if there's a significant difference between it and the gen 2.


The BC Pre 6 is a MC *preamp*, and not to be confused with their 2 MC prepros.

Try the audiogon bluebook for Bel Canto: http://cgim.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/bb....zkoegck/DEqOP6

I've a paid subscription to see prices, so not sure if this ref will work for you.

FWIW, I bought a used BC Pre 6 roughly 5 months ago and paid ~$1650.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

i was just looking for a solid 2 channel preamp to get the most out of the analog sound from an oppo SE and i came across this opportunity. i was looking at cheaper new gear like a parasound 2100, but if an older, more high end piece of equipment like this bel canto pre 6 would a better buy i'd appreciate anyone letting me know.


IMO, you should immediately buy that BC Pre6 at that low price of $500!


Cheers
post #51 of 77
Got it! Picked it up this morning. Perfect condition and only less than 50 hours of use on it! they guy who sold it to me is an a/v equipment reviewer and let me have it for a cool 500.

unfortunately i don't even have a set of separate amps yet (just a denon 3808) so i won't be using the bel canto for a little while, but i'm glad to have it.

quick question, if i use an outlaw icbm for bass management, will it degrade the signal noticeably? i wasn't sure because in one of kal's music in the round articles he says it won't, and then in another he said it will
post #52 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

Got it! Picked it up this morning. Perfect condition and only less than 50 hours of use on it! they guy who sold it to me is an a/v equipment reviewer and let me have it for a cool 500.


You very lucky dog!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

unfortunately i don't even have a set of separate amps yet (just a denon 3808)


I still have a Denon 3808 AVR. It's not all that bad (several of the more respected people on AVS (not me as I hate the 2 remotes that it comes with) think surprisingly well of it); confusing as all get-out to pull in a 5.1 analog input and avoid re-digitizing the signal, but it can be done if you keep at it for awhile.

IMO/experience, better to get a 5 channel amp (generally 70 or 80+ pounds which is over my self imposed "60 pound" limit), or do a 2 channel amp, and a 3 channel amp, at 60 pounds and under.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

so i won't be using the bel canto for a little while, but i'm glad to have it.


There are two key things about the BC Pre6: 1) it has the best I/O options for *many many* 2 channel analog inputs and 2 5.1 analog inputs (or 1 or 2 7.1 analog inputs), and 2) the sound is as neutral as anything I've heard from a SS pre/prepro.

And how about that remote. Built like a tank and twice a heavy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

quick question, if i use an outlaw icbm for bass management, will it degrade the signal noticeably? i wasn't sure because in one of kal's music in the round articles he says it won't, and then in another he said it will


Although KR is widely popular here (much more so than me, as I tend to speak bluntly), I've recently fallen out with him (i.e. KR) here.

I use my very high end Denon 5910ci ($4k new) player for bass management, and in order to keep the signal as "pure" as possible I set all 5 speakers to "large" so that the signal goes straight to the MC preamp (i.e. the BC Pre6) without having to go through any player crossover, and yes it does make a noticeable (minor?) difference: namely it makes a small improvement in lessening digital harshness.

e.g. for *great* 5.1 DVD movies with *great* DTS sound, try Moulin Rouge (w/Kidman, a modern musical which you may or may not care for, but a fair amount or the actual singing is beyond unbelievably good) or Collateral (w/Cruise, an action movie).

For *great* 5.1 DVD movies with *great* DD 5.1 sound, try Michael Clayton (w/Clooney).

All 3 can be bought used on Amazon for a total (including shipping) of $5-to-8 each.

FWIW, I use a Parasound Halo A21 stereo amp for my front L/R, and an old Proceed Amp3 for my center and 2 rear surrounds. I use two subs (5.2) daisy-chained, for my LFE.

Cheers
post #53 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

Although KR is widely popular here (much more so than me, as I tend to speak bluntly), I've recently fallen out with him (i.e. KR) here.

I use my very high end Denon 5910ci ($4k new) player for bass management, and in order to keep the signal as "pure" as possible I set all 5 speakers to "large" so that the signal goes straight to the MC preamp (i.e. the BC Pre6) without having to go through any player crossover, and yes it does make a noticeable (minor?) difference: namely it makes a small improvement in lessening digital harshness.

Despite our personal differences, I do agree with your approach here. It certainly makes more sense to do the BM in the player, if you can, than to add an additional appendage (ICBM) to the signal chain.
post #54 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Despite our personal differences, I do agree with your approach here. It certainly makes more sense to do the BM in the player, if you can, than to add an additional appendage (ICBM) to the signal chain.


I'll take that as a compliment, and thank you for that.

Zissou (sp? ; now gone from AVS) was also of the opinion that digital processing is problematic.

See the very long very high end thread that he started: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...173&highlight=

Interesting that his post #1 is still there, as he made some effort to delete it.

Which is my own current opinion. i.e. that digital processing has very negative audio influence.

Thank you for responding decently!

Very sorry that I pissed you off with my recent AVS posting!!


Cheers
post #55 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherSongs View Post

I'll take that as a compliment, and thank you for that.

Zissou (sp? ; now gone from AVS) was also of the opinion that digital processing is problematic.

See the very long very high end thread that he started: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...173&highlight=

Interesting that his post #1 is still there, as he made some effort to delete it.

Which is my own current opinion. i.e. that digital processing has very negative audio influence.

Thank you for responding decently!

Very sorry that I pissed you off with my recent AVS posting!!


Cheers

Thanks. I do not see why we cannot disagree more amicably in the future.
post #56 of 77
Songs and KR making peace. It warms the heart.

BTW, I have never heard a "bad" Bel Canto demo with any speaker.
post #57 of 77
thanks for the great feedback othersongs.

so now that i've got this great preamp, i'm looking at buying some separate amps that will match well with the pre 6 and my emp ef30t speakers. the speakers are fantastic, obviously not high end but i won't be upgrading them for another couple of years, in the mean time i'd like to build up a collection of nice amps and versatile room treatments that i can take with me as i move from place to place.

as for the amps, i'm currently just looking at a nice but relatively inexpensive set of stereo amps that could be used to power my fronts for 2 channel music for now. eventually i could move them back to power surrounds when i can afford better amps.

my price range is 800 so i'm looking at a used bel canto s300, used parasound 2250, or a high value ID product like the emotiva XPA-2 (the enthusiasm over at the emotiva forums is pretty ridiculous but admittedly slightly tempting, especially at the prices, i could get a 5 channel amp for the same price of the 2 channel, can someone explain that to me?). while i will probably end up buying several amps and comparing them in my setup (and reselling the ones i don't want) i'd appreciate any thoughts you guys might want to share. thanks.
post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by sketch2099 View Post

...as for the amps, i'm currently just looking at a nice but relatively inexpensive set of stereo amps that could be used to power my fronts for 2 channel music for now. eventually i could move them back to power surrounds when i can afford better amps.

my price range is 800 so i'm looking at a used bel canto s300, used parasound 2250, or a high value ID product like the emotiva XPA-2 (the enthusiasm over at the emotiva forums is pretty ridiculous but admittedly slightly tempting, especially at the prices, i could get a 5 channel amp for the same price of the 2 channel, can someone explain that to me?). while i will probably end up buying several amps and comparing them in my setup (and reselling the ones i don't want) i'd appreciate any thoughts you guys might want to share. thanks.


1st I've never owned an Emotiva product.

2nd there are a lot of solid state amps out there, both new and used.

Anyhow, Emotiva's XPA-2 stereo amp weights in at 75 lbs (!) which is well over my self imposed limit of 60 lbs. Friendly price, but the weight just rules it out for me.

Interestingly, their XPA-3 amp weighs in at only 57 lbs, and they have a 30 day no questions asked full return (less shipping expenses).

My only other idea/suggestion is to get a copy of "Get Better Sound" from: http://www.getbettersound.com/

The soft-cover is $44.50 plus shipping.

Cheers
post #59 of 77
Need opinions- For movies only!!- using the oppo 83se for HD audio- opinions between the krell HTS 7.1 or the belcanto processor- which do you guys think would be better for sound again movies only- thanks-
post #60 of 77
hi BC owners
Just logging in and subscribing for future news!
Current use 3*REF1000s and 1*S300 for rear power duties.
Wished BC would make a new PrePro......want to upgrade from my 861v4 but not impressed with cost of upgrade to v6.
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