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  1. #1

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    Default Looking at B&K Reference 30 & 50 preamps

    I started looking at these a few years ago but was brief, so now I am back in the hunt. Looks like my 2CH setup needs a good pre, so with the age of these in question, are they still a good unit? Doesn't seem to difficult to find them both for under $500 and the 30 seems to go for less than $300.

    I am currently using a ST-202 so why not compliment it, so with a sub-$500 limit are these the wise choice?

  2. #2

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    I would PM Mantis on this as he's very familiar with them but IIRC he's a BIG fan of these. Pepster was as well (RIP Ruby Pep if your reading). I looked at them myself at one point but ended up with a Sunfire TGP-II for a price I couldnt pass up.

    I think either is a solid buy.
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    Also a fan of the B&k and former owner of the 307 receiver, which I regret selling btw. The ref 30 is a HT processor, do you need all those bells and whistles ? If not, and this is a 2 channel rig, why not look at the Dared sl2000 pre ? There was a nice Parasound pre too in the FM but I think it sold.

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    I don't mind the extras of the 30 & 50, 2ch is my primary concern but added channels is welcome.

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    I dig the sound of either one then, and the used prices right now pretty much make them a steal. Cary cinema11 would be a good choice too.

    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/pro...4-palo-alto-ca

    A tad over your budget, but make the dude an offer.
    Last edited by tonyb; 10-29-2013 at 12:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    I dig the sound of either one then, and the used prices right now pretty much make them a steal. Cary cinema11 would be a good choice too.

    http://app.audiogon.com/listings/pro...4-palo-alto-ca

    A tad over your budget, but make the dude an offer.
    Yeah, thanks for the link....that's a nice one for sure. I have a bead on a ref 50 and for $360 it may be the way to go.

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    Cool man, just make sure your able to run that ref 50 before buying, make sure everything works. Some of them have some glitches.

    Wow...can't believe I just used that word, "glitches". Add another one to the PC world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Some of them have some glitches.
    Units with "glitches" wind up in "ditches"

    My humor for the afternoon.
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    As I said in PM, if they have the things you need, go for it. Sound quality wise IMO there is absolutely NOTHING that sounds better in there price class then. They where class leader by a long shot.

    On a side note , if B&K ever comes back , I will be the first to own their new Pre or AVR. I truly miss that company.
    Dan
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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    As I said in PM, if they have the things you need, go for it. Sound quality wise IMO there is absolutely NOTHING that sounds better in there price class then. They where class leader by a long shot.

    On a side note , if B&K ever comes back , I will be the first to own their new Pre or AVR. I truly miss that company.
    http://www.bkcomp.com/index.html

    Not sure how the company has changed, but they're around.
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    No experience with the preamps, but I sure am enjoying my ST-202+. Bought it on a whim and haven't regretted it once.

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    Well.....it's a done deal. The ref 50 will be on it's way this week, I couldn't let this one go.....it looks brand new. Will post pics upon arrival. I appreciate the push and I had to act quickly, debating the 30 for mainly 2Ch but I think this was the better choice.

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    Mantis........need to clean out your inbox. :)

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    Good call- The Ref 30 is my backup when I'm between 2ch preamps and their serial control protocol is quite easy to learn -I've got mine hooked up to an Extron ethernet/serial bridge, so I can control it from my iPhone. As others have noted, you can do better with dedicated 2ch preamps at that price point, but not much better, especially if you do need a few of the bells and whistles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Cool man, just make sure your able to run that ref 50 before buying, make sure everything works. Some of them have some glitches.
    I did read about the "glitches" and apparently I found out a lot more about issues with the some 50's after I bought it. Another bummer is it won't be here till Monday now but no biggie, this weekend is full already.

    Owner said he had zero issues with it, lets hope so. I will post up some pics when it arrives.

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    Cool man, that B&k sound is addictive for sure.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    http://www.bkcomp.com/index.html

    Not sure how the company has changed, but they're around.
    They where supposed to have products out in 2011, it's now the end of 2013 and nothing. I believe they are officially gone my friend, Sad but true.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmcman View Post
    Mantis........need to clean out your inbox. :)
    Done.
    Dan
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  19. #19

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    My first taste of really great sound was back in 1988 when I heard a pair of ProAc Studio 1 monitors mated with a B&K ST-140 amp & the matching B&K Pro 5 preamp...I simply fell in love with the sound but still continued to listen to other systems in other stereo shops in the area. After about a month or so I found nothing that moved me like the B&K & ProAc combo. Needless to say I went back & grabbed them. I had that system for many years & simply loved it...the sound was so soothing & relaxing.

    I'm with Dan if B&K ever does make a come back I would give B&K another serious look especially after my experience with them. And I also swear that someday I'll own another pair of ProAc speakers.

    Just for nostalgia here is what I paid for the system back in 1988: I still have the original receipts.
    B&K ST-140 amp - $475
    B&K Pro 5 preamp - $375
    ProAc Studio 1 monitors w/ Target stands - $1350
    Van Den Hull speaker cables - $92.00

    To this day I'm still kicking myself for selling them!!!

    To the OP, I can only imagine how sweet either of the two pres your looking at must sound after my pleasure of having the Pro 5. I'm sure you'll be happy with either.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    They where supposed to have products out in 2011, it's now the end of 2013 and nothing. I believe they are officially gone my friend, Sad but true.
    From what I understand a few of the B&K techs (could have been George only, not sure) either started or went to Eastern Elite AV www.ee-av.com

    Just recently they posted that as of 10-01-13 they are no longer accepting B&K products for repair. Who knows...perhaps they are starting up again....how great would that be. I believe the founder of B&K just recently passed (RIP) and could have been legal issues causing this but haven't heard of anything yet.

    I'm sure that simple repairs could be made but the brainchild of these pieces just aren't working on them right now. Would like to know who actually does repairs just for a worst-case scenario.

    A risky avenue to pursue right now but I really want to give this thing a whirl, way too many positives to not give it a trial. One thing I noticed using the B&K amp with my AVR's as a pre, is some hiss when the volume is about halfway up and I was thinking the line-out voltage is just slightly low or something else. After speaking with a former B&K salesman he said a lot of the Japanese receivers have lower line-out voltage of just under 1V and these amps like to see about 1.5V. That's something I'm not well versed in but makes sense.

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