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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am debating the purchase of a B&K Ref 30 for about 1700USD (new, full warranty). From what I can tell, the downside is:


o no balanced outputs.

o no DPL II.

o new version imminent (ha!).


The only alternatives I like are the *classic* Lexicon DC-1 (about 1100 USD for v4.0) however, it appears to not be as good in 2 channel mode. The other alternative is the Anthem AVM2 (1400USD). However, the Anthem is clearly at the end of its life, there is no upgrade path (B&K seems to be promising something, if at a price), and I hear conflicting reports on 2 channel music (it does have balanced outputs, more fetish than anything in my case, and would mate well with my MCA 5 amp).


Would it be a mistake to buy the B&K at this point? Am I buying a processor on its last legs, or should I just admit I will always be behind the curve (unless I want to pony up for an TAG/RDC-7/MC-12B etc) and just enjoy.


Thanks... as always.


P.S. This will be in an MG IIIa Maggie based home theater, REL Storm III Sub, Anthem MCA 5 amp (possibly moving to biamp the maggies with tubes up top... two channel music is pretty important).
 

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The rumoured DPL-2 and DTS-ES upgrades for the Ref 30 are awaiting release of the new Motorola DSP which has the required code.


I'm not sure what the upgrade cost will be on the Ref30, but it does require replacement of the DSP board, and in all likelihood the firmware board as well.


Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks John... I have read many of your opinions on the Ref 30. They have been helpful.


Any idea if the follow-on processor to the Ref 30 will keep the same "shell"... or will it be a departure (I would assume a departure.. and the best I can hope for is a DPLII upgrade).


Thanks.
 

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I think the Ref 30 is an excellent processor and a relative bargain at less than 2K. However there are new choices just on the horizon, that will be more up to date.


The Outlaw 950 being the most obvious..................


nbnp :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree... it is like computers... the longer you wait, the better it gets.


As for the 950... as imminent as it seems, I am not convinced it will be all it is cracked up to be (and I truly hope I am wrong... nice processors are way too expensive in my book... and somehow I doubt the manufacturers are getting too cosy off this stuff).


I think I will just get the Ref 30... and hope it works out... but that could change in the next 5 mins!


m.
 

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I've had my ref 30 for about 10 months now, and I've been nothing but happy with its performance. Though the performance of the B&K PR staff seems to be lacking. Their webpage is never updated and they never seem to return e-mails.


I have begun to grow wearisome over the delay in getting the DPL2 and other upgrades, but when I sit down to think about it, I come to realize that they won't affect me very much. Like most people here, I assume, I have a very serious case of upgrade-itis. I always want to have the most up to date equipment (if I can afford it) and that causes me to become impatient about upgrades. But I really don't think I have any need for DPL2 because the only material I want to watch in surround sound are DVDs and HDTV and that is handled fine by DD and DTS. Also, I occasionally listen to CDs in the 5-channel Stereo mode on the ref 30 and that's enough for me. I also don't see my self upgrading to a 6.1 or 7.1 setup anytime soon.


SO, if you can get the ref 30 for $1000 below list I say go for it. Of course, be sure to do some in store comparisons, but I think the sonic characteristics of this pre/pro are pretty damn good and that's won't change for me, upgrade or not.


Good luck, Brian


**************************

Here's the theater:
http://home.nyc.rr.com/lasciviousboasts/theater.htm
 

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Med,


Brain has said it best. The Ref 30 is a very good pre/pro for the money and based on your needs

it hits the bill. Especially this low bill you speak of. Upgrade..itis we all do have but patience and ensuring new things work is the key to me. I'm DVDing, CDing, TUNERing, TVing, VINYLing and having a great time with mine. I'd say jump on it and enjoy for it's hard to go wrong with it.


all the best ... ricky
 

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I can't add to anything else everyone else had said other than $1700 for a new Ref30 is a great price. Best I've seen is about that same price for slightly used. If you don't mind me asking, where are you getting this deal from?


I've narrowed my choice between the Outlaw 950 and the Ref30. I'm in no hurry so I'll audition the 950 extensively along side a Ref30. I also don't like B&K's customer service as I have emailed them twice with no answer and the lack of info on any upgrade path (DPL II, DTS discrete).


Thanks.
 

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I have been a devoted B&K customer, to the point that Jerry recognizes my voice. Back to the 1030 and the ST series amps. I have upgraded and had a lot of good luck with them. I share your feelings of frustration, but I think that is part of buying these types of components. We pay more for the opportunity to upgrade and we also want very high quality. I have been waiting to see what the new upgrade path will be also. I think that having DPLII will make listening to regular TV etc more fun. The chip story is the same one that I am getting and I expect it will be Dec. before they can give us a real date. Other than waiting for this particular upgrade I have never been disappointed with B&K.


Best Regards

Brett
 

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I'm a very happy owner of B&K307 and at this time of new formats, I think it is reasonable to expect upgrades by Jan-Mar 2002.


The Ref30/307 represents great value within sub 2.5K range. In terms of sonics I very much preferrred B&K sound to other brands.


If you are looking at a new pre/pro now I'd recommend you to compare(within $2K I mean) Outlaw 950 and B&K Ref 30 :)


Cheers,

Kishore
 

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Med,


I recently (past 2 months) went through the same decision process you are going through.


I know I want DPLII -- I know I will enjoy it a lot. However, I wanted a Ref30 more, and I'm glad I decided to buy it, even if it is a year before I get DPLII for my Ref30.


The Ref30 (esp. at the price you're getting it at!) is a flexible, feature-rich unit with sonic performance comparable units 2-3x its price.


If that wasn't enough, I think it's a handsome unit to add to my rack (Sorry Meridian, but sharp aesthetics are a data point in my decision making process).


My only beef with the Ref30 is that it's a bit "clicky" when changing sources. My beef with B&K is their communications incompetency. If they'd just tell their user base what to expect, everyone would be much happier.
 
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