New Bel Canto amps compared to older models?

Has anyone yet compared the new Ref 1000 Mk IIs (or Ref 500s) to the older Ref 1000? I know that Stereophile's Kal Rubinson is in the middle of a review of the new amps, but am hoping for any impressions folks have thus far.


If you do search then you will see many inputs describing impressions of these amps and comparing them to other class D ampliifiers like Jeff Rowland 312 ($15k), Spectron monoblocks ($21k). It seems to me that general concensus was that all of these amplifiers are on about the similar level but no one did direct A/B comparison. I feel that if general perception is true - and I substcribe to it myself, again from my own RMAF 2008 experience then Bel Canto Ref 1000 MkII is clear winner in virtue of their price of $6,000 per pair allowing to invest the difference in other parts of the system.

I still did not have a chance to compare them with my Spectron monoblocks but one day I ....will

All The Best
I have a Spectron Amp ($7195 MSRP)....mono-blocks would be twice that but not a fair comparison against the Bel Canto 500 watt/channel mono block that are $3000 each. I think using one Spectron amp that puts out 600 watts/channel at $7195 retail is a fairer comparison.

In any event, I have tried the new Bel Canto REF1000II against my Spectron MK2 with V-Cap. My impressions are as follows.

The sound is similar but there are some differences. The Bel Canto REF1000II is a little more aggressive on leading notes of music and perhaps a bit more detailed. I found the Spectron to be better balanced overall throughout the entire frequency range.

The new models indeed sound better than the older non 'II' models. They have a higher S/N ratio, are quieter and more musical. If I had an older model one I would upgrade it as the work they did on the input and output sections is critical in better sounding Class D amps.

Bel Canto has the upper hand on service and size of company however.

My 2 cents.
Hello Nick,

How long you own your Spectron (with v-cap only its about $8.5k retail)? And how long you own your Bel Canto? It seems to me that your description of somewhat aggressive sound is clear characteristic of unbroken amp. Plus, if you put V-cap (or similar oil cap) upgrade into Bel Canto amp power supplies then tjeir highs will be much more liquid.

Did Spectron finally fixed your amp?

All The Best
Hi Nick, somehow I missed your response I really appreciate it.
Cal Rubinson published rave review of these monoblocks in the latest issue of Stereophile (issue 32, page 41). He is so impressed that he sent them to John Atkinson for the follow up.

Bravo, Kal!!!!