B&K-ish suggestions for main system?


I have an old B&K ST-140 which I love. Warm, non-fatiguing, etc, etc. Got lucky on that one.

I am looking for one or more amps for the main living room 5.1 system with more or less the same sound. I figure I could use multiple old ST-140s or 202s, but I would love any other brand suggestions - and up around 200 RMS if possible to drive the B&W speakers.

To me, lots of equipment is way, way too bright and harsh. Feels like hammering a nail into my forehead. So I was super happy to run across the B&K. Are there other brands that would have the same non-harsh tone in a three or five channel amp? I gather from this site that maybe the newer B&K amps don't quite fit the bill.

As a point of reference, I have a small tube amp in the other room I also like a lot.

Thanks for any thoughts, and hopefully for saving me from multiple big black amps stacked three feet high. :-)
I happen to be a fan of B&K amps. I think the older amps as well as the newer ones are great, especially at their price points. Warmish/neutral sound with plenty of current to drive most speakers very well. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these. (No affiliation)




I'm also a big B&K fan. The other brand that may meet your criteria would be Conrad Johnson, but they will be somewhat more $ for comparable power output. For example the CJ MF2100 is a 100 w/c and they generally sell for $450-550. This is a 1995 vintage amp. The newer models MF2250 up the power and sell for ~$1000. Go to the higher power units and you're pushing $2000 for 200 w/c. The CJ 5 channel offering MF5600 is 125 w/c and sells used for ~$2000+.

I had a B&K AV5125 (predecessor to the Ref 125.5) and it was a wonderful amp. I only sold it because I went to B&K M200 mono blocks in my home theater.
I recently bought a current B&K power amp, the Reference 200.2. I liked how it sounded in the store, but I will not be able to listen to it in my home system until Wednesday. I have not heard that there is something "lesser" about newer B&K units. Both the 125.2 and the 200.2 seem very nice to me. My 200.2 has four of the biggest capacitors I have ever seen. Also, B&K is one of the *very* few audio manufacturers that has not sold out to communist China--bravo, B&K! My Reference 200.2 is made in Buffalo, NY. For me, this is meaningful. The loss of American manufacturing is extremely sad.
While I agree with Bdgregory. I would offer that there are some differences within the brands. The B&K M series is cooler sounding than the ST series, but offers better performance, especially into lower impedances. The new c-j ss amps are tighter in the lower frequencies than their older bretheren. The B&K's offer more bang for the buck, but the c-j's are more suave. The Classe' amps are a natural with B&W's. Of course, that's just my opinion, YMMV.
Having owned more expensive gear for the past decade I've got nothing but praise for the B&K Ref series. I owned the Ref 200.2 and 200.3 for a brief few weeks, and they were definitely up to speed to other amps I owned which were 3 times the price of the B&K gear. I'd highly recommend snagging a Ref series amp if that meets your budget for to my ears they truly are the real deal. Great build quality too!