Originally Posted by Lhasa-lover
B&K makes great gear, no doubt. But they don't get much attention around here because so many of us got burned by them, left the brand, and they don't care. Really. They just don't. The main issue is that claim that they don't leave people behind. Tell that to an AVR307 owner. We paid thousands for our receivers, partially based on B&K's claim that they would provide a platform for moving up. Then they released the 507. They told us that the upgrade would be made available to us for over A YEAR AND A HALF. before any upgrade was make available. And the cost was HUGE. It was cheaper to sell the 307 and buy a 507. No exaggeration. So that's what some of us did. Others left the brand behind. They kept telling us that the upgrade was a month away. Two months away. Ready to be released. Next month. It was going to be a nominal charge of $100. No, make that $200. A YEAR AND HALF LATER we were offered the upgrade for $900. So they lost some of us. Then we bought the AVR507. Great kit but it popped, clicked, and whined. A lot of them. They spun it every which way but eventually they introduced the AVR507 series 2. No pops, no whines, no clicks. Great. But guess what? We were told that the upgrade from the 307 to the 507 and then upgrade to the series 2 was a months away. Two months away. They kept spinning us telling us that the upgrade was just about done. And guess what? THEY OFFERED NO UPGRADE. NONE. They said "sorry, I know we promised you a platform of never being left behind but we are leaving you behind. No upgrade to the series 2 was offered. Why? Licensing issues with THX. It seems there was a THX label on the orginal receivers and the new series 2 didn't offer THX. THX wanted them to pay for the right to remove the label during the upgrade and B&K said no.
So guess what? a LOT more of us got left behind. Then they came out with the AVR707. It was supposed to have codecs for all new HD audio and EQ.
Guess what. It doesn't. Sorry, those will be provided in a month or two. Now, A YEAR LATER guess what? You got it. Nothing. Not even promises this time. No upgrade for the 507 owners. An incomplete receiver, at best. And no news as to when it will be finished. The upgrade was supposed to be free but now there's talk of a charge.
It just goes on and on and on and on. So what happens is every time they leave somebody behind, or charge them for something that was promised for free, or take a year or more to release something that was promised in a month or two, they lose customers. They lose a LOT of customers and that's why not a lot are left. You only have to read the current B&K Ref70 thread running right now to see the issue. A popping, clicking preprocessor/receiver
that cost twice as much as many others with half the features and promises about upgrades that will never come.
But if you buy their gear as is. If you don't care or want any upgrades and just take it at face value. Especially if you buy used. It's great gear that sounds good. My guess is that this thread will run out of gas pretty quickly.
Okay, I've been aware of the crappy customer service for some time now and much, if not all, of what is said above is true. That said, my understanding of the situation differs with the comments above (see bold).
1. While I can't speak for the 507 customers, I can speak for the Ref. 50 (S1) owners. I was offered an upgrade to the Ref. 50 S2 for $700. Part of the cost was a new faceplate.
2. I don't recall B&K ever stating, in print, that the latest units would have HD audio and EQ. Yes, their dealers indicated they would be supplying an HD audio board in the future and I wouldn't be surprised if they made verbal promises re: that board. As far as EQ is concerned, I'm not sure what Lhasa is referring to. Are we talking automated EQ? If so, I've never heard anyone promise that. Not even their dealers. I also have not heard any official word about being charged for the board so I'm not going to get all wound up about that until I hear something more concrete.
3. Lastly, while my Ref.50 made mild clicking/popping noises when changing inputs, it was never bad. That said, a sizable number of owners indicated that the problem was bad and I believe them. However, my Ref. 70 has NEVER clicked or popped. I'm not suggesting that it doesn't exist in other units - just not mine.