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I don't think i like how my amp matches my speakers (B&K w/ Paradigms)

533 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MarginWalker

I recently added a B&K 200.7 to my studio 100's, and i'm starting to think i don't like the combination. At first I really though it was great because it gave them a lot of punch, bringing out the bass and made them play with more authority. Now that i've had more time with it, i've had a chance to listen to more CD's and now i feel like it stole the detail and clarity of my studio's. They simply lack the detail they had when i ran of my yamaha reciever. Now i have to turn the treble up 3dB or so to make them sound right (to me :) ) I guess i've discovered that i don't like "warm" sound but instead prefer a more detailed sound. Unfortunatley the store i bought it from has a really lame return policy and even though i've only bought it a week and a half ago, i'm stuck with it (I actually have the 200.5 right now while awaiting the special ordered shippment of the 200.7).

Does anyone else run their studios off a B&K?

Also does anyone use the tone controls on their pre amp/reciever? I feel like after spending $2700 on an amp i shouldn't need to do anything to improve the sound. This is really depressing.

My last question is whats the best way of going about selling a brand new amp still packaged without losing money? If anyone is interested in a 200.7 they can have it for $2700. I think thats $800 less than msrp. :rolleyes:
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I have long felt that system/room synergy is ultimately what determines if we like our systems.

Obviously, to your ears, the B&K + Paradigm coupling is not working. Some are of the opinion that amps need to break in. Without agreeing or disagreeing on this, you might try leaving your system on with an FM signal running through it for three days straight at moderate volume. Do not listen critically to the system during that period. Then, re-audition the B&K/Studio combo.

IMHO, there is nothing wrong with using tone controls, provided you do not notice them degrading the sound.

Check back with your dealer. Tell him you're unhappy with the B&K, and that you're not keeping it, whether he takes it back or not. Tell him that he can work on some kind of accomodation offer for you, or that he will forever lose your business and the business of any future potential referrals. See if he will allow you a generous trade-in (don't settle for less than 90% of what you paid for the B&K), especially if you like some of his other brands.

If you go the Audiogon route, you should get at least 80% of MSRP if everything is pristine.

You should also audition some Anthem amps with your Studio 100s. They are both Sonic Frontiers products, and AFAIK, Anthem electronics are used to voice Paradigm speakers, especially the Reference line. I've heard the Reference/Anthem combo many times, and IMO it is a winning combination, and should provide the level of detail you seek.
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I couldn't agree more with what Bondmanp has said. I've bought highly regarded equipment for some major dollars that just didn't perform well with the rest of my system. I think it's just as important to match equipment as it is to base a purchase on specs.....probably moreso.
Obviously, you've discovered the importance of system synergy the hard way (haven't we all :rolleyes:?). While you lost a few coins, at least you learned an invaluable lesson: now you know to demo every piece of equipment within your own rig before you buy. Consider it the cost of education.

B&K's are warm sounding amps and always have been. I used to have the legendary ST-140 which worked famously with my Mission Argonauts but turned into a car wreck when I upgraded my speaks. Out went the B&K and in went a PS Audio HCA2 after 6 months of auditioning amps.

If you want more detail, you should give Odyssey an audition (30 day return policy). They are very well built, carry a 20 year warranty, and are the epitome of ss sound. Detail, especially in the microdynamics, is their forte. Odyssey is the US arm of Germany's Symphonic Line, a well regarded line. Beware, these things are absolute beasts to move (try 80lbs or so for the HT5), and can exaggerate bright or aggressive speaker designs. It appears you prefer this so definitely give them a try. For the money, they are hard to beat. Here is a link .
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Originally posted by topspeed:

try 80lbs or so for the HT5
Actually, there isn't an HT5 in the Odyssey Audio line. There is a 3-channel HT3. But, yes you are correct that they are heavy amps. My Extreme Monos weigh about 65lbs each as does my Dual Mono. Here is a better website for the Odyssey Audio products.
Talk to your dealer and let him know how unhappy you are with the amp and see what he'll do. If you'v been a loyal customer he should accomodate. One thing you may want to give a shot with it changing your interconnects and speaker wire to something thats either copper/silver mix or just silver. See if your dealer has some cables he could lend you to see if you hear a difference. Silver/Silver coated cables are said to be more detailed.

I used B&K for years, I still have 2 ST-140's, and when I went auditioning for potential replacements, I thought everything else sounded better. IMO they have not changed their designs to keep with the times, they still use a fairly low bandwidth, slow circuit, with the exact same specs as in, say 1985. They have beefed up the power supplies, but I am convinced nothing else has changed as the prices have risen. For example, they have a slew rate of only 14V/microsecond, which is about the slowest you will see in separate amps made today, and their S/N is only 95dB when many other amps in the same price range are doing 120dB.
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