I love B&K ss amps. Superb performance, quiet no noise and warm tube-like, and at a very low price. I have the 202+ and M200 Sonatas. The 202+, 12 years old, has run 4 pair of Polk 55rti's simultaneously with no protection--the sound was spectacular. No strain at all. It now runs Maggies. Need I say more. I would suggest you use a tube preamp.
buy the EX442... much better
Thanks for your response. Could you be a littel more specific, please?
I have the EX-442 sonata. Original owner too. I love it very sweet and punchy. better than the 202+ because its dual mono better transieent response.Driving polk audio monitor10's also have a B&K ST 1400 for the second system pre amps are Audio research LS-7 and Adcom 545 Go for the EX 442
Definitely go for the 442. Punchier and better separation due to dual mono construction.
I have an ST-202 which was modified in CT.!If at the time I had found a EX-442 I might have opted for it ,but i would still have gone with the Modification for the unit!The mod. brought it closer to being in the class of a world class amp so I am very happy with it!
The question also depends on what speaker's you will be driving with it?
Either choice you will not be sorry!
The Dual Mono Design will haelp in Isolation of the Chanels which in turn would improve on the Crosstalk aspect.
I have looked around for another amp ,but I am really reluctant to get rid of the ST-202 even if I were to get another amp.
I also have a 5-channel B&K I have not used yet!Waiting for my total speaker system to be sorted out and a way of isolating my 2 channel from my Video setup.
I believe that B&K is one of the most undervalued steals in audio today or in the past!
If you can get the unit Modified in the future ,do so!No veiling whatsoever in my 202!Channel seperation and detail are top rate.It sounds better than a $1600 Rotel reciever\CDP with $2800 Transparent Cables hooked into them!
I was told by the people that did my Mod. and have read that the Plus Version is not as good as the regular Blackfaceplace version of the same amp.You might want to find a vintage 1989 vintage model used for around $400!
Just food for thought!
The EX 442 is the better amp. It can handle lower impedance loads better, has better stereo seperation and it's DC coupling should improve upon the mushy bass response of the lesser B&K amps.
I had my ST-202 Modified to have a DC Coupling cicuit,newer Risistor\Caps installed,Star Grounding and re-wiring.Plus having the BIAS turned up to run higher Class A!That is the best of it and it is a totally different Amp!Same Transistors though!
He could opt to get a modified ST-202 also!
Your in the right camp, i run B&K M-200 monos with a Conrad Johnson Premier 3, awsome.
I own lot of B&K amps and preamps. ST1400 2x105rms,AV6.5.4 6x60rms,2pcs-TX4430THX 3x200rms and 2pcs-AVP300THX, all are excellent performers especially in music.I guess EX4420 dual mono would be much better choice as I enjoyed much of what I got.
I own a B&K Reference 200.2 S2 amp, which is their current production amp. This thing never runs out of power and is very quiet. It only have a couple of inches above it to breath and yet it still hardly gets warm. With a new tube preamp, I would actually begin to make comparisons between this amp and tube amps. Nothing but smooth music at all volumes. The bass on this amp is very impressive. No subwoofer required even on music that would normally need it. I am powering a pair of Dali Ikon 6's with it. I have however powered many other pairs of speakers with it. As others have said, I would keep this amp even if I bought something better. Hope this helps
B&K is a great value player...their amps are their bread and butter for their product line. I have owned in the past the B&K Reference 200.2 and Reference 200.5, and they never failed me once. Solid build quality, no nonsense design, built in USA, very muscial amp. They are very good for the money. They make great stereo or multichannel application. Highly recommended. I am sure their older models are that good too.
I have the 442 Sonata, great amp, sweet sounds and warm pretty much inline with the above owners.
But may I ask, what is this modification mentioned above?
And does anyone know where to get service documentation?
I have (2) ST3030's, (1) EX442 & a Ref 30 Pre/Pro. An Ebay purchased fixer Ref 4420. I have also noted that I have Power LED's that do not light up but sound is good, anyone have this problem?