I will attend RMAF. . . I just added the new Bel Canto amps to my list of devices I must listen to at the show. Guido
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I'm using a full BC system (less the DAC) and enjoy it quite a bit. My REF's are the original 1000 model and not the MK2.
I sold a D250MK2 ARC amp to buy these and I think the purchase was neither a step up or down. I would say the ARC had better top end resolution (transparency) than the BC's but the REFs definately had more control and a smoother midrange balance.
If the MK2 offers better top end resolution this amps will be hard to beat at any price.
The CD player was a major jump from my Jolida and so far I don't believe that I need the DAC to make my digital sound any better.
The phono stage is very nice. I was able to compare it to my Sonic Frontiers Phono 1 sig and preferred it so I sold the SF.
I think the BC's offer good value in audio and are definately a "greener" choice when it comes to power consumption. They most certainly should be heard with your partnering equipment before purchasing.
I had forgotten about this thread. . . I did listen to the newest Bel Canto Ref 500 at RMAF. . . I was extremely impressed. A complete set of Bel Canto electronics was driving TAD mini monitors using Argento wiring. The system was incredibly musical, detailed, filegreed, and authoritative. I went back to room 589 in the Marriot several times. . . A delight to listen to. . . A great system regardless of any underlying technology. . . Not even faintly suggestive of stereotypical class D 'digititis'. I have heard that the Mk.2 Bel Canto amps may use a form of power rectification in the input stage reminiscent of the excellent PFC circuits in newer Rowland offerings. . . . that would explain the engaging musicality. I hope sometimes also to listen to the Ref1000 bigger brothers. Guido