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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to decide if I should just go for the 507, or scrounge up and get a Ref 50 and an amp.


Does anyone know what amp is in the 507? Is it basically the same as their Ref amp line (but at lower power)?


What real advantage is there to the Ref 50? If I wanted to change my amp later, would the lack of balanced outputs on the 507 really matter for using it as a pre-amp? Are balanced cables that much of an improvement?


For the short term, isn't having the amp internally wired even better than a balanced connection - or is there no difference?
 

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O.k., one by one....

I feel that the benifits of balanced cables are realized over long cable runs to distant amps(sayyyyy over 4 meters)....

The 507 has a ref50 inside so no other trade-offs...

The amplifier design IS TOUTED BY b&k as differing greatly from most rcvrs BECAUSE it is like seperate amps(most) in that it is "non-current limiting"....

In short it is like seperates in a one box solution....

This may make resale go much easier as you potential customer base would be larger....

There are better sounding 7 channel amps and more powerful ones than are built into the 507 but there are lower powered and worse sounding stand alones as well......

The real advantage of seperating, I believe , is when More AMPS are given seperate power supplys, the pre-pro doesn't draw much current or generate much noise, what needs to be seperated are more amps from one another to avoid strain and increase dynamic potential.....7 mono's are always good in my book!!!!:D
 

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The 307/507 Preamp sections are basically the same as the Ref 30/50. the amplifier section in the 307 has 2 transistors per channel and the 7270 has 5 per channel, a lot larger transformer and huge supply of reserves (capacitors).


I have had both the 307 and the Ref 30 and now the Ref 50, and the 307 sounded very good but there is a difference in mid-range and upper end sound, more depth in the instruments and detail in the separates.


I have a buddy who just purchased a 507 and I have helped him set it up and he is very impressed with it, his viewing area is a lot smaller then my area, I think you will be happy with either one, but if you are thinking of maybe upgrading latter to a separate amp, I went this route and ended up with the separates later.


Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Peccavi -


So, the more stuff you have drawing from the same power supply, the more noise? Interesting! I'll keep that in mind (I'm considering using 2 or more amps as a possibility).




HDTVNut -


Any idea how many transformers per channel are in the 507? How about the new Ref 200.X amps?


Have you compared the sound of the Ref 50 versus the 507 at all?
 

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So, the more stuff you have drawing from the same power supply, the more noise? Interesting! I'll keep that in mind (I'm considering using 2 or more amps as a possibility). .............

end quote...........

No, I meant that a pre-pro (if designed properly) shouldn't add much current draw to the power supply or a significant amount of noise...Having more power supplies will give the seperate amps more juice to run with and this is where the benifit lies./..The amp section in the 507 is not touted as being as nice as the REF 200.7, WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT. The person who is looking into seperates could go with a better amp than is in the 507 (like the 200.7) or a cheaper one......I think the real benifit would be in buying a rerf200.2 for the fronts and a ref200.5 for everything else...then you have more power where needed.....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Raistlin_HT
Peccavi -


So, the more stuff you have drawing from the same power supply, the more noise? Interesting! I'll keep that in mind (I'm considering using 2 or more amps as a possibility).




HDTVNut -


Any idea how many transformers per channel are in the 507? How about the new Ref 200.X amps?


Have you compared the sound of the Ref 50 versus the 507 at all?


I believe if you were to compared the ref50 amp combo vs. 507 in a blind level matched test you would be able to distinguish a sonic difference, even at reference levels. People like to talk about noise, but what we need to make a comparison are actual noise measurements between the ref50/amp combo vs. 507, after that you must ask, is the more noise claim even audible, if its not audible to your ears its not something you should consider when trying to decide what to purchase.


Quite honestly, I don't see a real benefit in purchasing the ref50/amp combo over the 507, not unless you have a large room, really low impendance speakers and you like to play your system to the threshold of pain level.


Also, even if you were to purchase the 507 now and decide later down the line that you need more amp power(I don't know why you would), you can always add additonal amps to the 507 and turn off the internal in the 507(using the advanced menu) and use it strictly as a pre/pro. Doing that you will get the same sound as the ref50 combo, but again, purchasing the 507, which powerful internal amps, I don't see why you would need to purchase additional amps.
 

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Make no mistake when comparing 307 to ref30 and 507 to Ref50. Amps being similar in quality, the preamp will always sound better than a receiver.


It is a matter of improved isolation between video, analog and digital circuits. When it comes down to receiver’s manufacturers always have to make compromises. ;)


My .02$
 

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Plus, the internal amps, quality wise (i'm not sure but i think?) of B&K receivers are closer to there AV line of amps, rather than their Reference line of amps.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVNut
The 307/507 Preamp sections are basically the same as the Ref 30/50. the amplifier section in the 307 has 2 transistors per channel and the 7270 has 5 per channel, a lot larger transformer and huge supply of reserves (capacitors).
The part lists for the preamp sections are the same, DAC board, ADC board, tuner board, processor board, even the software revisions are identical. The obvious difference is the receiver is in the same housing and uses the same power supply as the amp. Now, some argue sharing the power supply is bad. Maybe, Im not an audio amplifier designer, but when I asked B&K about it when I was shopping around, they turned it around and pointed out the receivers use a superior torroidal power supply for the preamp section vs the cheap EI used in the ref preamps . Plus there are advantages to sharing a power supply in circuit design (common ground = less noise)


Just a slight correction on transistor counts. The 307 has 3 pairs (6) of output devices on each main and center channel, but 2 pairs (4) on each surround channel. The 72xx series has 5 pairs (10) on all channels. The actual transistors are the same make and model on the ref amp line and in the receivers. It's only quantity that differs. The transistor count, transformer size and capacitor count (and therefor current capabilities) make up the main differences. Circuit design is the same.


REF7250 - 10output devices/ch = 75amps peak to peak

AVR305/307 = 6output devices/ch = 42amps peak to peak

AV5125 = 4 output devices/ch = 30amps peak to peak


You can see comparisons of the AVR vs a ref3220 amp here
http://24.118.217.131/theater/images/B&K/b&k.htm

Quote:
Originally posted by Chip E
Plus, the internal amps, quality wise (i'm not sure but i think?) of B&K receivers are closer to there AV line of amps, rather than their Reference line of amps.
I would assume this is true, at least from what Ive seen in the similarities between the REF and AVR lines and discussions with B&K. The circuit design is certainly the same, it is mostly current design and features that dictates the parts selection that establishes the differences between their lines, not parts quality. They would rather use more common parts among their models than use many different ones.


Now Im not saying any of these things make them sound the same. Im sure they dont. But what sounds better? Thats an individual's choice.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Hanson
receivers use a superior torroidal power supply for the preamp section vs the cheap EI used in the ref preamps .



Just a slight correction on transistor counts. The 307 has 3 pairs (6) of output devices on each main and center channel, but 2 pairs (4) on each surround channel. The 72xx series has 5 pairs (10) on all channels. The actual transistors are the same make and model on the ref amp line and in the receivers. It's only quantity that differs. The transistor count, transformer size and capacitor count (and therefor current capabilities) make up the main differences. Circuit design is the same.


REF7250 - 10output devices/ch = 75amps peak to peak

AVR305/307 = 6output devices/ch = 42amps peak to peak

AV5125 = 4 output devices/ch = 30amps peak to peak



toroidal transformers are not always superior to EI transformers in preamp applications, toroidal transformers can also cause noise and have there short falls, check in some of the old forums on transformer's, the toroidal may be superior in a amp application , but not necessarily in a preamp.


Your right on the transistor count, I was going by memory, which is not as good as it use to be, I looked at the pictures I took of the 307 and the 7270 today and You are correct .


There is one transformer in the 507 as is the 200.7, but the transformer in the 200.7 is at least 30% larger than that of the 507. Don't get me wrong, I really liked my 307, and I had the same questions ,why would some one buy the Ref 30 when you could have about the same with the 307. When I asked this question to my dealer, he smiled and said you tell me, and he let me take a demo Ref 30 and a 7270 home to A/B against my 307, I was really shocked to hear what I was missing in a lot of the music, even my wife commented on the different instruments she could hear with a lot more depth on the Ref 30 combo vs the 307, and trust me if it comes to spending more money on my equipment, I really have to hear a difference (it also helps when even the wife notice's the difference). I also agree the size of the room makes a big difference, I have cathedral ceiling in room that measures 24 x 20, and this is a lot of area to fill. Like I mentioned earlier, I just set up my buddies 507 and his room is a lot smaller, he loves it, he said it can't get any better, I smiled at him just about the way the audio dealer smiled at me :) .
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jerry Pease
Make no mistake when comparing 307 to ref30 and 507 to Ref50. Amps being similar in quality, the preamp will always sound better than a receiver.


It is a matter of improved isolation between video, analog and digital circuits. When it comes down to receiver’s manufacturers always have to make compromises. ;)


My .02$
How can you say that when its confirmed that processor section 507 is exactly the same as the ref 50.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVNut
toroidal transformers are not always superior to EI transformers in preamp applications, toroidal transformers can also cause noise and have there short falls, check in some of the old forums on transformer's, the toroidal may be superior in a amp application , but not necessarily in a preamp.


Your right on the transistor count, I was going by memory, which is not as good as it use to be, I looked at the pictures I took of the 307 and the 7270 today and You are correct .


There is one transformer in the 507 as is the 200.7, but the transformer in the 200.7 is at least 30% larger than that of the 507. Don't get me wrong, I really liked my 307, and I had the same questions ,why would some one buy the Ref 30 when you could have about the same with the 307. When I asked this question to my dealer, he smiled and said you tell me, and he let me take a demo Ref 30 and a 7270 home to A/B against my 307, I was really shocked to hear what I was missing in a lot of the music, even my wife commented on the different instruments she could hear with a lot more depth on the Ref 30 combo vs the 307, and trust me if it comes to spending more money on my equipment, I really have to hear a difference (it also helps when even the wife notice's the difference). I also agree the size of the room makes a big difference, I have cathedral ceiling in room that measures 24 x 20, and this is a lot of area to fill. Like I mentioned earlier, I just set up my buddies 507 and his room is a lot smaller, he loves it, he said it can't get any better, I smiled at him just about the way the audio dealer smiled at me :) .
If you didn't match levels, you nor your wife couldn't be sure that the difference that you claim to hear between the 307 and ref 30 was related was due to level differences or actual audible differences. I highly doubt , if give a blind level matched test between 307 vs. the ref30/amp combo, you would be able to detect which is which in a listening test.


Many sales people will always try to convince you to spend more money, that is what they do, that is how they make commission, Although a store where I live that sales B&K gear the salesman was honest and just told me straight up, the ref30 and B&K sound the same.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTVNut
toroidal transformers are not always superior to EI transformers in preamp applications,
The arguments were B&K's, not my own. And it was more just to show how you could argue it both ways, not that one was superior to the other in this category.

Quote:
demo Ref 30 and a 7270 home to A/B against my 307, I was really shocked to hear what I was missing in a lot of the music, even my wife commented on the different instruments she could hear with a lot more depth on the Ref 30 combo vs the 307, and trust me if it comes to spending more money on my equipment, I really have to hear a difference (it also helps when even the wife notice's the difference). I also agree the size of the room makes a big difference..... [/b]
I most certainly hear a difference between my 305 amps and my REF3220 amp as well. Depending on your speakers and room, the amount of audible difference between the amp sections will vary, simply because they will handle the load differently. It's considerably more difficult to make a blanket statement that one will be considerably better than the other in all setups, especially since they come from the same 'breed'. For many setups you might not be able to hear any difference.


Now differences between a ref30 and a 305 being used as a preamp only with the same amp should be minimal. I could hear nothing on the 2channel testing i did.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Auditor55
If you didn't match levels, you nor your wife couldn't be sure that the difference that you claim to hear between the 307 and ref 30 was related was due to level differences or actual audible differences. I highly doubt , if give a blind level matched test between 307 vs. the ref30/amp combo, you would be able to detect which is which in a listening test.


Many sales people will always try to convince you to spend more money, that is what they do, that is how they make commission, Although a store where I live that sales B&K gear the salesman was honest and just told me straight up, the ref30 and B&K sound the same.
I did match levels, both with a sound meter and db level match between the two,and what I was hearing was not loudness related, but more definition in the instruments.

The sales person is a friend of mine, and he did not tell me one way or the other as to what to expect, in fact he told me to give it a good listen and also told me that if I did not hear any difference to not waste my money!

You should try and audition them together in your home before making judgments , for me there definitely was a difference, without a question !
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Auditor55
How can you say that when its confirmed that processor section 507 is exactly the same as the ref 50.
We have gone over this a million times with the ref30 and 307. Compare them and you will know. If you can’t tell the difference then stick with the receiver because you are wasting your money.


I got a very good friend named Robert "Obi" George who argued for years over the same topic. He has finally changed his tune as in "I see the light".


If there was no sonic difference between preamps and receivers manufacturers would only sell receivers.


Look at some of the premier manufacturers out there: Lexicon, Proceed, Anthem, Theta Digital, ML, Classe, Bryston, EAD, etc. there is a reason why they don’t make receivers. It is about not making compromises.


I am not saying receivers sound bad or are no good they serve their purpose.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Auditor55
I highly doubt , if give a blind level matched test between 307 vs. the ref30/amp combo, you would be able to detect which is which in a listening test.
Based on several discussion I have had over the years with other friends I can tell you have not tried the comparison.

Quote:
Although a store where I live that sales B&K gear the salesman was honest and just told me straight up, the ref30 and B&K sound the same
and my dear neighboor who is a ford salesman tells me that Ford Taurus drives

as good as my Honda Accord and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. :rolleyes:


Just try the comparison.
 
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