B K Reference 30 Audio/Video Preamp

Okay, I just got this thing set up. Sounds awesome. But the little voice in the back of my head is telling me that I'm missing something. I've listened to the Bryston SP-1, Lexicon(take your pick which model), Parasound, Acurus, Aragon, California Audio Labs. What it comes down to is cost. The stuff that sounds better, like the Bryston, costs a lot more. Does anyone know of any other Pre-processor in the B&K price range that I should listen to before my return period runs out? Thanks all, for any suggestions.
The reviews in "The Perfect Sound" (TPS) and other similar A/V mags usually include the Parasound 2500 among the group of "best" pre/pro's. The 2500's price is close to the SP-1, but it is sometimes available used here on A-gon at a fairly good discount. If you can find a used SP-1 for around $2500-2800, it's a great unit that has a fully discrete analog circuit plus excellent digital surround processing. The SP-1 is modular, and Bryston will offer upgrades as the home theater and digital recording standards change.

The other pre/pros that I am familiar with for less money, such as the Adcom GTP-760, are a notch below the B&K 30 in audio quality, so you may not be satisfied. I am quite familiar with the Adcom 760, and think it offers very good performance for the money -- and the recent issue of TPS agrees.
The B&K uses the same preamp section on the 30 as their 307 receiver, so if it sounds no better then a receiver that is why, in that price range I would consider a classe ssp 30, the sunfire theater grande 2, personally I would go with the sunfire because imo their upgrade policy is the best around, if you can live without video switching the bryston sp1 is a good choice, good luck
I bought my B&K reference 30 about a month ago and I'm pretty happy with it.Before that I listened to quite a few pre/pros in it's price range including the parasound 2500u. My decision came down to choosing between the Anthem AVM2 and the ref 30. I posted here on Audiogon and listened to advise from some people who had the ref 30 and my decision to buy the B&K was sealed by the upgrade options on the B&K.
For the $2000 that I paid for my unit and it's performance I think you have to go up to the Tag McLaren or Krell to be able to better this unit once it is setup correctly with the right equipment.

Happy Hunting

I really think you should give the Integra product line a chance. They sound great, cost between 3-4 grand (not too bad, all things considered), and can be eternally upgraded through software downloads, which I think is a huge advantage. I know Integra doesn't have the high-class image that many other brands do, but I swear to you that the sound is right. Please see "The Perfect Vision," Sept./Oct. 2001, for reviews.
I listened to Integra after reading about them in Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. Nice stuff, but just a tad expensive for the Pre-pro. What impressed me about the B&K was the upgradability and the price, and most importantly, it sounded great. I kind of like the video switching, too, which rules out the Bryston. I've never really liked the sound from Parasound, so I'd rather not go there. One question though, for Samski: shouldn't the separate pre-pro Ref-30 sound better than the receiver just on the basis that it has its own box and power supply--removed from the amplifiers? Anyway, thanks all for the recommendations and article references. I'll be sure to check out Classe, Sunfire and Integra again.
B&K builds to a 'seperates' standard. I have the AVR202 (which has the Ref 20 pre-amp) and, for me, there is no reason to upgrade.
I have the Ref 30 and don't really want to part with it because of the Bass Management aspects and independent speaker volume control for each source. Do any of the more expensive processors being recommended here offer that? I'd be interested to know.
The Ref 30 is in it's own class at it's price it cleans house. The 307 is a ref 30 with cheaper amplifiers and hence the Ref will sound better than the 307. The next step up I'd say is the Tag and Integra piece but they are close to 2X the price.