behringer reference?

This thing looks like a beast at 500 watts into 8 ohms. Aesthetically it is horible, but maybe all the enginneering went into the electronics. I am just wondering I guess if this behringer reference a500 amp would sound good in a 2 channel set up. I am kind of on a budget, and dont care about looks, so I wonder if this amp at less than 200 would be a good bet. It definetly would open up my options for speakers. I am thinking if this amp works I can than spend a lot more on speakers where I may see the true gain in quality. What do you think?
No reason why the Behringer shouldn't work BUT keep in mind that it is much easier to make a good 10 Watt amp than a good 100W amp and so on to 500W.
You would probably NOT get the extra extension & quality you paid for from the speakers.
There has been a lot written about this amp on Audiogon and also in the Magneplanars user group, and I for one am a big fan.

I have three of them so far, and use two in a monoblock configuration for mini monitors on my main desktop at home.

Compared to my Mark Levinson 23.5, they sound a bit dark and congested.

But for the price, I would think they are pretty much impossible to beat and well worth a try. FYI, some people think they do not perform as powerfully as their specifications suggest.

I actually like the looks of the amps in person, but the front panel and controls are a bit cheap and plasticky.

You might also check out their more powerful amps where the 1500 is rumored to be the best of the bunch. The only problem is that they come with fans which are a bit noisy, but some enthusiasts change the fans to quieter ones.

You will also find a lot of complaints about the cheap build quality, lack of reliability etc etc. Although not built like a Rowland for obvious reasons, mine have been perfectly reliable and I suspect a lot of the complaints come from dealers whose vastly higher priced equipment gets embarrassed by Behringer.

Good luck.
People call Behringer equipment, "cheap" and/or "cheaply built" because it is. Why do you suppose the front panel IS, "a bit cheap and plasticy"? In the venue installs I do, my cheaper customers always get Behringer. It's the cheapest and easiest to replace when it goes bad. I also always insist they get a DEQ 2496 for the ease it delivers in EQing the room(gotta love that 6th oct RTA). Same Day Music has a very easy return policy, and I've had to use it a number of times. I can't complain, and no one else should either. For the money- you can't beat it! I'd never personally use it in a home system. What makes you happy is strictly your business though. Try one out, and if you don't like it- you've got 60 days to send it back. (

I am not suggesting that Behringer is state of the art, or even approaches the build quality of truly "high end" gear.

I am, however, considering the possibility that a disproportionate part of the savings

(or in the case of "high end" gear, the high cost)

is more a function of

a) the absence or presence of silky smooth controls and exotic chassis work

than it is a function of

b) a similarly dramatic difference in sound quality or reliability.

I suspect this is a more nuanced and accurate view of Behringer than "no duh of course it's cheap because it is cheap, PS it's cheap, and by the way, why do you think its cheap?!"

My apologies to those who are trying to pay a mortgage and/or feed their families by selling, say, Ongaku amps or Harmonix "tuning" devices.

With regards to your point "b", I reiterate: I've had to use Same Day Music's liberal return policy a number of times. That "number of times" was a direct result of reliablity issues. IOW: The gear either stopped working, or stopped working properly. None were abused, and some- bad right out of the box! There's much more lacking than silky-smooth controls, or exotic chassis work. Do you suppose those two amps you have running mono, and powering desk-top mini-monitors are putting out more than one watt each? What a stressful test of their reliability! Enjoy your sounds, and I hope your gear lasts a lifetime.
I was just listening to a system today that had those Behringer amps used in a multi-amp, actively crossed-over setup. The owner likes the amps and I admit they sound pretty good. However, he did tell me that he had to send the first four back because they did not work out of the box. He ultimately received 2 that did work and he's happy with them for the price.

I would say it very important to buy them from a reputable dealer who will replace them if necessary and/or refund you money in the event they don't work as advertised. If you try them and like them, you've saved a lot of cash over the typical home hi-fi offerings.


Parts Express has been my supplier for these amps and also for a DEQ24/96 which also continues to work perfectly.

Unlike many audio dealers I have met, they have been 100% customer service focused with a liberal, absolutely no questions asked return policy.

They have even offered to refund shipping costs.
Just to update a very old thread, I just tried one of these A500 amps in my system. It drives the Martin Logan Aeon-i's. I am sold on its performance. The only issue is long term reliability. However, for the price, I don't think you can beat it. I have several other megabuck amps on hand for comparison (Classe, Parasound, Pass, Forte, etc.) and it is as good as any of them.

Before the naysayers jump in and assure you that your Behringer amp will break, destroy all your associated components and/or burn down your house, I would like to say that I have three of them, and they have been on 24/7 for my PC, HDTV and desktop listening for about 3 years now while still going strong without any problems.

To be fair, the faceplate is bit plasticky, one of the volume controls has gotten a bit noisy, and they are not as powerful as their rating suggest.

But generally I would agree that these amps make a mockery of many high priced audiophile offerings.

Oops, I now see I already participated in this thread and said almost exactly the same thing 2 years ago.

Sorry for repeating myself, but it is the truth.
Thanks Cwlondon. I know this doesn't pump out its claimed 230 W at four ohms but it is more than enough power for my speakers and room (180W or so). It is pretty funny to AB this amp with ones costing over 10X as much and the Behringer sounds as good as any of them.

FWIW, I found this review to be incredibly accurate and honest. Of course the Behinger bashers will have none of this!