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B&K Reference 50 processor whine...


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120 replies to this topic

#1 of 121 Frances_H

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Posted March 15 2003 - 11:19 AM

Guys,
I was dead set on the Reference 50 until I stumbled into one of the threads in the other forum, talks about processor noise, with volume down, from several feets away. So, if I can get your opinion on several of the other brands that you think I should audition and consider:
- Anthem
- Bryston
- Arcam
- other?
Currently I have Rotel RSX-1065 receiver, that will be demoted to 2 channel second room job if and when I find a pre/pro and power amplifier that can surpass this marvelous unit. All speakers are Polk Audio LSi series (15/C/Fx/9). Budget is around $5k for the combo, it has to do 7 channels in the same box and be able to drive 4 ohms load with ease. Thanks all, fh

#2 of 121 Michael Mohrmann

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Posted March 15 2003 - 11:24 AM

Frances,

Quote:
Budget is around $5k for the combo, it has to do 7 channels in the same box and be able to drive 4 ohms load with ease.
"In the same box"? If you go the pre/pro and power amp route, you will have at least 2 boxes. If you truly require a single box, you need to look at a receiver for HT.

Michael

#3 of 121 Frances_H

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Posted March 15 2003 - 11:32 AM

Michael, sorry, I meant Power amp with built-in 7 channel amplification....thanks

#4 of 121 Roger Kaufmann

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Posted March 15 2003 - 12:39 PM

I have had the Ref 50 for almost 2 months and don't hear any whine at all. My suggestion would be to go down to your local deal, audition the piece and then make a fully informed decision. BTW my configuration is:

Ref 50
Earthquake Cinenova Grande 5 Channel Amp
B&W Matrix 805's
Sunfire True Subwoofer MK II
Monster interconnects cabling throughout including biwire speaker cables
Monster HTPS 7000 Signature etc.....

Just my $.02.
R. Kaufmann
My DVD Profiler Collection

#5 of 121 RayC

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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:24 PM

I auditioned the B&K 50 the past 3 weeks. I am not sure why some are experiencing the whine and some aren't but I in fact did experience the whine! I have mine mated with a 7 channel sherbourn...For the most part the whine is harmless and is only present a low volumes. However, my unit emits a very loud whine out of the rear right channel that can be heard from atleast 10ft. away. The piece is very functional the sound is very good and the remote is excellent, I just couldnt live with the whine!! To each their own.

#6 of 121 Frances_H

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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:28 PM

Roger, thanks for your feedback, attached is the link, I wonder if some folks just happened to get a defective unit?

B&K Reference 50 noise

cheers, fh

#7 of 121 Michael Mohrmann

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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:31 PM

Frances,

If you like your Rotel receiver, why not Rotel separates? The Rotel 1066 processor or 1098 processor (is it out yet?) plus Rotel amps would be a very good combination. The only thing I am unsure of is I don't know if Rotel makes a 7 channel power amp.

Michael

#8 of 121 Frances_H

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Posted March 15 2003 - 01:55 PM

Michael,
1098 is also being considered, however, release date has been pushed back twice, to May now, and unfortunately Rotel doesn't make 7 channels amp. So, I am waiting for the 1098, along with possibly B&K Reference 200.7 fh

#9 of 121 Roger Kaufmann

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Posted March 15 2003 - 02:04 PM

Hi Frances,

I read these a few days after I took delivery of my Ref 50 and they scared me, to the point where I started listening for the whine. I just didn't hear it but I did have what I thought was a ground loop hum coming from my subwoofer. I installed a Monster HTPS 7000 Signature which magnified the hum but also indicated my line & neutral wires were reversed. I then checked my circuit and sure enough they were reversed. After this was corrected no hum! What does this have to do with the Ref 50, probably nothing but maybe just maybe. And can't vouch for B&K's quality control, this is first piece of their's I've owned I can only tell my experiences. I did check to see I have V1.01 firmware, I'm curious what others might have and if they have eliminated all other possibilities before pointing the finger at the Ref 50.

But again, I can't stress the importance of doing your own auditioning, don't take my word for it and don't take anyone else's. If you are going to put out several thousand dollars for an amp & PrePro then you owe it to yourself.

BTW, if you happen to live in the SF Bay area you are welcome to come over and listen to my set up.
R. Kaufmann
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#10 of 121 Frances_H

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Posted March 15 2003 - 02:37 PM

Roger,
thanks for your offer, that's very kind of you. I live down SoCal, but do travel a lot to Sunnyvale/San Jose area. I might take up on your offer one of these days. I am actually glad you mentioned about hts7000, it's on my list, pending the electrician coming in to put do dedicated 20 amps fuse breaker for the HT. How do you like it? did you do a comparison between plugging your amp directly to the wall, and thru 7000? see if there is any difference? just curious, since some folks claimed that it degrades the sound a bit...

I had spend several time auditioning ref 50 at tweeter, and until just recently, I didn't know about the whine. I owned Denon DVD 3800, while it has the best PQ and AQ for the money, people are having problems with locking, stuttering, skipping, etc. I bought the unit, and found out about all the problems, and Denon admitted the problem and taking units back for retrofitting the laser unit. Mine is fine, but it creates anxiety and angst. Since mine doesn't do it, I decided not to ship them back, besides, I don't know what other problems might surfaced when it's done. Now, I am hearing that Denon is discontinuing the 3800 (after only about a year in production in the US)...bummer

fh

#11 of 121 Roger Kaufmann

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Posted March 15 2003 - 04:15 PM

Frances,

NP on the offer, I live about 30 minutes from Sunnyvale/San Jose in Redwood City area. Yes I did have my sub plugged into the wall directly and then before getting the 7000 I had the hts 2000 which I plugged the sub into as well. The 7000 actually improved sound by dropping the noise floor some. I'm in the exact same boat as you on the dedicated 20 amp fuse breaker. My landlord is a contractor and he's consented to do it but he does things on his own time schedule so I might be dead before he gets around to it. :>

Now that you know about the whine, go back and re-audition the Ref and see if you hear anything. I auditioned it at 3 separate dealers and never heard it. Of course it will sound different in your home then it does in dealers showroom so if you can bring it home to audition. I was very surprised to find that mine sounded better in my home then it did at any of the dealers, I consider myself lucky on that one. I happened to audition the Ref 50, Tag Maclaren AV32R, Anthem AV20, Proceed AVP, Rotel 1066 and the Lexicon MC-1. All are excellent but my ears liked the Ref 50 the most however there were things I liked about each and every one not just sonically but company policies on upgrades, overall service, remotes, etc... It's not an easy decision that is why I stress auditioning as much as I do.
R. Kaufmann
My DVD Profiler Collection

#12 of 121 AVspec

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Posted March 16 2003 - 04:58 AM

I should be getting my Ref50 next week and will be sure to check for this "whine" and will of course check the version of the software.

I will be using the balanced connections hooked up to QSC EX Pro amps and JBL Studio monitor speakers.
-Mark
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#13 of 121 Roger Kaufmann

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Posted March 16 2003 - 05:16 AM

Mark,

Let us know if you hear any whine please.

TIA,
R. Kaufmann
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#14 of 121 Albert Damico

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Posted March 16 2003 - 11:25 AM

B&K Ref 50, Sherbourn 7/2100 amp, no whine. Fantastic sound.

#15 of 121 Frances_H

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Posted March 16 2003 - 11:59 AM

Thanks guys for the feedback!

Ray and Albert,
you both had decided to go with Sherbourn 7/2100, any particular reason? I am not familiar at all with Sherbourn, did a quick research, it seems a very solid amps. Do you mind sharing your decision process as to choose Sherbourn? I am currently torn between B&K reference 200.7 or AV 125.7. I would go with 125.7 more because of the fact that I felt ref 200.7 would be an overkill for my speakers (Polk LSi15/9/C/Fx)

Albert,
from the other thread, you had mentioned you did lots of research, did you by any chance do extensive auditioning of 507 and ref50/125.7? would you share with me your impressions? Lastly, I like to know where you get yours, if you don't mind sharing. Thanks all, fh

#16 of 121 Albert Damico

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Posted March 16 2003 - 01:09 PM

I actually spent some time listening to both of the B&K amps you mention. Both are fine amps. I am not any kind of expert so my opinions are based on my personal preferences. The B&K pre/pros such as the Ref 30 and 50 I love. The sound and feature set fits my needs perfectly. I love computers and the ability to connect my laptop directly to the Ref 50 and tweak the heck out of the system via my computer attracts me. You can set it up via your TV as a monitor, the front panel of the unit itself, or with a computer. I like that flexibility. It sounds great in my system and is whisper quiet. But I found the B&K amps to be a little compressed. Don't know how to explain it better than that. I was afraid that 125 watts would limit me for future needs and the 200.7 was expensive as well as my issues with the sound. I will probably get a ton of responses about that, but I am not critizing it, I am only saying it wasn't for me. The Sherbourn came highly recommended by people I trust. I love the monoblock design. 7 amps each with 200 watts at 8ohms, each with seperate transformers. I called Sherbourn and one of the owners actually answered the phone. Ron Fone and Eric Tang are highly respected in the industry and I was not dissapointed. The system is dynamic, and opened up my speakers wonderfully. If you drop me an email at atdamico@adelphia.net I will share with you, off line, where I purchased both. It is an authorized dealer, I checked with both B&K and Sherbourn, so no issues with warranty. Trust me, you can get both, brand new in box, and still have quite a bit of that 5K budget still in your pocket.

#17 of 121 Frances_H

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Posted March 16 2003 - 01:51 PM

Albert,
thanks for the quick response, you've got mail..

Ray,
One thing I forgot to ask you, did you end up keeping ref 50 or do you get a different pre? thanks, fh

#18 of 121 Logan G

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Posted March 17 2003 - 04:12 AM

B&K Reference 50 (version 1.0 software), B&K 200.7 amp. No whine.....

#19 of 121 RayC

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Posted March 17 2003 - 04:26 AM

Frances-


Ray and Albert,
you both had decided to go with Sherbourn 7/2100, any particular reason? I am not familiar at all with Sherbourn, did a quick research, it seems a very solid amps. Do you mind sharing your decision process as to choose Sherbourn? I am currently torn between B&K reference 200.7 or AV 125.7. I would go with 125.7 more because of the fact that I felt ref 200.7 would be an overkill for my speakers (Polk LSi15/9/C/Fx)



I too auditioned numerous amps and just kept coming back to the Sherbourn, not too mention that the $$$ was lower than some of the amps you have mentioned.


Ray,
One thing I forgot to ask you, did you end up keeping ref 50 or do you get a different pre? thanks, fh



I returned the 50 as the whine was too much for me. I am currently waiting the arrival of my newly purchased AVM20. It cost more $$$ but I figure if it makes me happy then whats the extra money. As for the B&K50 at its price point it was a good piece, very functional, but the fact that numerous people continue to have the same problem worried me. I heard numerous response one regarding muting circuits and the other regarding fixes that B&K were planning on implementing none of wich were straight from B&K.

#20 of 121 John H

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Posted March 17 2003 - 04:52 AM

Quote:
I returned the 50 as the whine was too much for me.

I auditioned a Reference 50 in my system back in January. During silent passages the high pitched whine was present from all speakers and could clearly be heard from the listening position.

Before returning the piece I disconnected everything but the power amplifier. The whine was still present.

I replaced the unit with a Parasound C2.

John





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