Review: B&K Components AVR 202 Surround Pre

Category: Preamps

As you can see this is a AV set-up. I use to own a 2801 and helped set-up a 2802, 3801 and auditioned the 3802. I listened to the marantz at a store.

the 202 is a good step-up from the mass market Denon and the Marantz(although the Denon's are very good values and have even more functionality in the HT arena). The Marantz had a very good sound as well, but I feel the Denon have a more reliable repair history.

The 202 gave a more fuller sound to the Dyn's and the two channel stereo sound become more convincing. The Denon was very smooth and open, but did not have either the presence or the weight that the 202 added. Plus the soundstage has extended somewhat on both the horizontal and vertical plane compared to when the Denon was in place.

The most noticeable change in movie watching was the more encompassing sound coming from all speakers but extending well away from the boxes. The most noticeable change on 2-channel listening was the weightiness and image improvement along with a slight improvement on soundstage size and depth.

Cost no object, I would have to step up to separates to gain any sound advantages or get a newer B&K to get the newer features.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to get a response from B&K about their upgrade policy and what I have found is that they are upgrading the AVR305/307 but don't seem to have anything for the older 202.

Associated gear
Dynaudio Audience 52 (mains)
Dynaudio Audience 122C (center)
Dynaudio Audience 40 (rear)
Definitive Tech 15PTL (sub)
Pioneer DVD
Mitsubishi 60" Analog RPTV
Rotel 991 CDP

Audioquest ic
Harmonic Tech digital coax
Harmonic Tech Melody spkr cable

Similar products
Denon 2802, 2801, 3801
Marantz 7200
You HAVE TO CALL. They do have upgrade at 1K now. I upgraded REF 10 and it is close to REF 50 now and done with ease. They have always been polite on phone and NEVER answer an email.