B&K Ref 50 Processor

You know "it's all good really", when it comes to this audio video stuff. Yeah "some's better than others" when it comes to gear. But I just don't see it or hear it when it comes to this B&K gear! I just don't like the sound I hear from these unit's! They sound very "plain vanilla" to my ears, not so refined, rather "un-high end" sounding, and like a lot of receivers preamp sections to me! I think the Lexicon stuff sounds the same in my experiences!...not so fantastic. Maybe other ears will disagree. But bells and whistles don't do it for me with audio gear...SOUND QUALITY DOES!
There's simply far too many other competetively price pre/pro's out there that sound better! Classe, Krell, Proceed, Aragon, even old Acrus have the overall sound qualtiy of the B&K beat to death! I just couldn't personally get happy about a B&K pre/pro thus far. Nor would I plunk down any greed for Lexicons overpriced digtialia!
If you want some more audiphile grade refined, transparent sounding pre/pro's for your HT dubties, and even you music chores, I would submit you could find better if you keep looking/listening! But, you might listen to it think it's "The cat's pajamas"?. I just don't hear it personally. I'd rather spend my money on a good 2 channel preamp, or even a used, if not lesser "feature equiped" Krell HTS, Classe SSP25, Proceed AVP, or Aragon Soundstage than have to listen to the B&K.
If you need more current/up-to-date features, Krell's $4k piece, or Classe's SSP30 beat up on the B&K sonically. And I could live with real sound like that!
Heck I could think of a number of receivers out there that would sound very similar overall HT sound from their pre amp sections to what you'd get from the B&k's!...and then still have lots of money left over for a high end used 2 channel preamp for my analog and CD dubties.
Good luck
Wow, so what do you really think about the B&K unit, forever?

I own a B&K 50 and it works very well for movies and with music it is pretty good too. Just for the heck of it, I tried it in my audio system, replacing my BAT VK31SE, and of course, the 3D presentation was gone, much of the harmonic richness was gone, but overall, I was quite impressed with what it did as a 2-channel preamp. It handled the dynamics of the music quite well and I think this is the key for HT systems. Resolution too was quite impressive but too much was missing in the presentation that I had been used to hearing. I could never live with this as a serious audiophile preamp but it works mighty fine in a HT setup. But keep in mind this is in the context of a supreme product like the BAT. The rest of the audio system is Clearaudio Ref/Koetsu, BAT VK P10, Counterpoint NPS400 driving Talon Khorus at that time. SO the B&K had some serious stuff to play with and it came out pretty well.

If you absolutely need audiophile quality music from your HT system, then other products would be the way to go. But if you use this mainly fot Movies, I honestly think it is a waste to pay multi thousand $$ for Krell, Classe, etc. Their preamps simply don't cut it in musicality anyway. I think what many of us seek for perfection of musical playback is very different with what we expect in HT gear.

There are Ref 50s and Ref 30s in the $1200-2000 range. For what you get, this is a great bargain. So keep an open mind and see if you can take one home on trial.

I own a B&K 50 and it works very well for movies, with music I use it as mainly background. I am compiling a seperate system for two channel music now. I don't think the B&K is bad for music it is just not where it shines.

For movies and multi channel music DVD's it really shines. As someone stated earlier the Reference 50 can be had for around $2,200. I think you would have to spend $3,000 to $4,000 to get significantly better sound.

From a feature standpoint I love it, flexibility, lots of inputs/outputs including digital, flexible bass management and multi-zone capabilities.

If you are not set on seperates you can get some A/V recievers that match the features.

It depends on your budget, I wanted to allocate less than $3,000 in my theater processor and spend more on amplifiers, source and video. I knew I would be investing in a dedicated system soon for music. I am very pleased with the B&K.

As always if you have more to spend you can always do better. Isn't that what makes this so much fun$$
I agree, I have a Ref 507 and for HT and DVD-A, I really think it sounds very good, but of course I only paid $2500 for the unit new(yes $2500 for a 507). As for 2 channel it's not great but thats what my Pass Labs system is for. If your going to use this unit for AC3, DTS ect, and multi channel DVD's, then at the price there going for it's hard to beat.