B&K Reference amps ... Opinions please


Hmmm... These amps get very little discussion, and I'd love to know why. I understand how they were marketed, one step up from products like NAD and such, but I'd like to hear more than just a general opinion if possible.... What were their strengths and weaknesses ? How would you catagorize their overall sound ? Do they have any strong inherant attributes ? I'm speaking of the Reference series, such as the EX4420 and such.
Thanks for your opinions.
timtim
I liked them. I heard my sonus faber grand pianos demo'd at magnolia hifi using a b&k ref 2 channel amp(one of the silver ones 200 watts per channel at 8ohms). Sounded amazing and was a great match with the sonus fabers. Sounded very tube like but still had very good low end which is hard to do with the sonus fabers imho. I believe they had high current capabilitys which helped a lot. I don't really understand why these amps don't get more attention.
i had a 4420 for a number of years. Very good for the money but not the ultimate in clarity.

They are euphonic (soft highs) and are somewhat dark sounding.

I used mine with Paradigm Studio 60v2's a few years back.

I replaced mine with Classe CA150 which was a lot cleaner and had more bass.

Then I went another way and replaced my speakers to Totem Hawks and simplified the system by using a Simaudio I5 integrated with them.

Being audiophiles, I think our tastes evolve and change.
I really enjoy my B&K Ref.4430(200w/ch)3 channel. I am currently powering a pair of Klipsch RF-63's and an RC-64. IMO, B&K's amps are on the warm/nuetral side which mate very well with the Klipsch's horn tweeters. I think the B&K sounds even better with my Klipsch Forte's.

Bill
Ah hah !!! This is what i am looking for. You see, I'm using speakers that are a tad on the warmer side of things, and have been considering amplification that is NOT on the warmer side .... and now a couple of you have mentioned B&K as being warm with soft highs. I am using B&K Reference amps at this time.
But now, considering their MIGHTY "bang for the buck" pricing, what kind of amplification should I look towards for cleaner, airier highs, but without loosing the tight, controlled bass, that will not break me ? The Stratus series speakers NEED current. ( There are no 2ch McCormack DNA 225s for sale at this time ) rats ....
I liked them. I heard my sonus faber grand pianos demo'd at magnolia hifi using a b&k ref 2 channel amp(one of the silver ones 200 watts per channel at 8ohms). Sounded amazing and was a great match with the sonus fabers. Sounded very tube like but still had very good low end which is hard to do with the sonus fabers imho. I believe they had high current capabilitys which helped a lot. I don't really understand why these amps don't get more attention.
Timtim

As an alternative look for a Soundcraftsmen 5002 on EBay.
Killer amps, 250 WPC/8 ohms. Class H Mosfet circuitry. These will handle ANY load. Tight bass, great mids and highs. A superb amp with a wonderful tube like sound, and built like a tank. Or get a Soundcraftsmen Pro Power 4. Any of the Soungcraftsmen amps are great. I have a Pro Power 10, and wouldn't trade it for anything except a pair of MFA 200 mono blocks.
Please keep in mind that B&K makes electronic test equipment, so audio components is not their only arena. However, I would rather own their test equipment than any of their SS power amplifiers due to others out there that simply sound better for not that much more, or even less, if purchased used on Audiogon, Ebay, personally, etc.
Parasound Halo's, Pass Lab, Musical Fidelity. They make amplifier's with sound qualities you're looking for.
good value