B&K AVR307 or separates?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeffrey_S, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Jeffrey_S

    Jeffrey_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all,

    I'm about to get a B&K AVR307 integrated receiver. For what it will cost, about $3,000.00, would I be better off going with separates?

    It will mainly be used for hometheater, but music is important to me as well. I have seen on this forum that the Outlaw 950 will be available soon as will their 770 amp. The price for this combo is actually less than I was planning to spend on the B&K.

    What would I be giving up, if anything, with Outlaw separates? What would I gain if I went with an Outlaw system? Because hometheater is my priority, I need to have the capability for 7 channel sound. By the way, suggestions of any brand of separates would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Jeff
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Judging by the early reviews of the 950, I think you would be a fool to not at least try the 30 day money back guarantee of the Outlaw combo. You get 7 full channels of 200 watt power and a pre-amp that one beta tester said sounded very similar to the 8K Lexicon MC-12. I say wait another month if you can.

    I assume it will blow away the 307 seeing as John Morris said the 950 kills the Ref 30, which sounds better than the 307. Just my humble opinion.
     
  3. Rob Lloyd

    Rob Lloyd Stunt Coordinator

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    I have the 307 and really like it except for the really bad manual. I used to have a Yamaha DSP w/ about 30 modes, I only ever used 3 - Rock, Cinema and a TV one. The rest were fun to show off but I never used them. The B&K just sounds great. Later on you can always add a seperate amp and use it like a Pre. I also like the fact that it is supposed to be upgradeable (although no upgrades have been announced yet) for new formats (DPLII for instance).

    The suggestion of trying Outlaw for 30 days was a good one.

    I'd try them both in your house for a little while and see what you like.

    -Rob Lloyd
     
  4. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    If music is important to you, you may want to go with a multi-amp setup versus a single 7 channel amp. You can go with a 2 channel amp or 2 mono blocks for the mains and a 5 channel amp for the rest. Of course, you could split up the 5 ch amp into multiple units as well. Depending on your speakers, this alternative may or may not have significant improvement vs a 7 ch amp. See what you can try out before purchasing.

    Doug
     
  5. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    Yup, you'd be shooting yourself in the foot with the Outlaw's six shooters if you didn't try their 950/770 combo.

    However, if you don't like the amp then I'd try keeping the Model 950 and demoing some other amps with it. For $899 it could easily become the heart of a secondary system when some new processor with FireWire/DVI I/O's, internal SACD and DVD-Audio decoding support, DTS 24/96, etc. comes along.

    The B&K Ref. 30 does not have all the decoding functions of the Outlaw (DTS-ES and PL II) and it sounds like B&K is mostly all talk when it comes to upgrading their products with the latest and greatest stuff, at least so far.

    Also the un-upgraded B&K components currently use only middle of the road 24/96 DACs instead of the high end 24/192 DACs the Outlaw is sporting.

    Dan
     
  6. Jeffrey_S

    Jeffrey_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the replies! It really does help in the decision making process.

    I guess my main concern is what I might be giving up in the hometheater area if I were to go with an Outlaw 950 based system. For example, is the 950 THX certified? I haven't seen any mention of this at all. The B&K also has some Bass management capabilities that the 950 doesn't seem to offer. However, an investment in a Behringer Feedback Destroyer would solve most of this deficiency. And the 950's separate x-overs for front/center/surrounds looks like a really nice feature.

    With respect to future upgrades, I don't think B&K plans to upgrade the 307 anytime soon. When I called and asked their support staff about this a few weeks ago, I was told that they don't chase every new hometheater specification. Now, this may have changed since in the meantime Denon anounced their upgrade to the 5800. But even if they were to offer an upgrade soon, what would be the cost. As it has been pointed out above, Denon is offering their upgrade for $800 and even with the upgrade, some features present in the new Denon 5803 such as video conversion would probably be missing.

    So an argument could be made that instead of counting on the manufacturer to upgrade an old integrated unit, the purchase of a new pre/pro might be a better solution.
     
  7. Jim Prillaman

    Jim Prillaman Stunt Coordinator

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    As far as what you would give up by going to the 950 in lieu of the 307, I don't know of any bass management features in the 307 that the 950 can't match or beat (although I am not real well versed on the 307's setup details, so I may be missing something). The 950 is not THX certified, but I don't think you lose anything as a result -- especially considering the beta testers' reactions.
     
  8. Jeffrey_S

    Jeffrey_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim,

    The B&K AVR307 has a built-in "notch filter" that lets you reduce accentuated bass. I took this from their online manual. I don't know how useful it is as I think its only available in THX listening mode.

    Jeff
     

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