B&K ref 50 vs NAD T163?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Chris L, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. Chris L

    Chris L Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My home theater room is almost complete and I need to buy a preamp. I used to own a B&K ref 10, but sold it since I wanted access to more surround sound formats. I can get both of these units for basically the same price, which would be a better unit? What are the pros and cons?

    Are there any receivers worth looking at with preamp outs? My dealer suggested a yamaha 2600?

    Chris
     
  2. Chris L

    Chris L Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Is this the wrong forum to post in? I am very surprised that I have no replys in a few days.

    Thanks

    Chris
     
  3. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2001
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The B&K Ref 50 is an awesome pre/pro. Receiver wise I personally am running a Yamaha RX V4600. It's great as a processor with excellent surround seperation and has firewire inputs and HDMI switching.
     
  4. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Greg
    I can't comment on the NAD, however I can comment on the B&K. I own the B&K AVR 507 which is of course very similiar to the REF 50 (with a built in amp of course).

    I really like the sound of the B&K and the build quality is excellent. Just out of curiosity, what amp will you be using? If I would have had the wifes approval I would have purchased the REF 50 and the B&K 200.7. I had the opportuntuy to hear this set-up at a hometheater store with Paradigm Reference speakers and was blown away. That 200.7 is one hell of an amp at that price point.

    Greg

    I should also add that as an alternative to the REF 50 I also highly recommend the 507. By far the best receiver I've ever owned! Great features, incredible sound, and very affordable.
     
  5. Chris L

    Chris L Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have an Adcom 5800 (2x250watt), Adcom 5503 (3x200watt), and an Adcom 535 (2x60watt) for amplification. I am not as into home theater as I once was, and sold my REF 10 1.5 years ago to recoup some of the cost. I am in the process of setting up my home theater again and need a preamp. The preamp is the only portion that I am missing. I can get a NAD T163 for $899 or a B&K REF 50 for $1199 and I am not sure if the B&K is worth $300 more. It seems that a decent Yamaha receiver will cost around $600 so I feel it is worth at least making the jump to the NAD.

    Chris
     
  6. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Greg
    In my opinion, since you already own some very nice amps it would be a waste of all that clean power if used with a mid to low end receiver. It's the old crap in get crap out theory. I definately agree that you owe it to yourself and your great amplifiers to atleast buy the NAD, as I'm sure it will out perform the Yamaha if used as a pre-amp. Good luck....


    I think you may be able to get the REF 50 for less than $1150.00 online somewhere. You may want to even give Ebay a shot.


    Greg
     
  7. greggor

    greggor Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Real Name:
    Greg


    I take it back. At $1199 I think the B&K is a steal. I just did a quick search online and I think the lowest price I found was 1399.00. Have you heard the NAD? You'll have to decide if the differences between the NAD and B&K are subtle enough to not spend the extra money on the Ref 50.

    Greg
     
  8. Chris L

    Chris L Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Unfortunately neither store is setup to demo the units properly. They are both on closeout. I will be able to try and buy the unit though. I have had the B&K ref 10 and a avp 3090 before so I am pretty confident that the ref 50 will be good. I am just wondering what peoples impression of the NAD product line is. Are they on the same level as B&K?

    Chris
     
  9. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2000
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Is the Ref 50 a Series II version? If it is then the REF 50 is a no brainer at that price, and I say that being a fan of NAD gear. But the B&K processor is a step up in class, IMO, and is well worth the extra $300.

    If it is a Series I Ref 50 I think the B&K is still the better unit, but it's not as clear-cut. FWIW, a Series I can be upgraded to Series II, but it will cost you around $400, IIRC.
     
  10. Chris L

    Chris L Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan:

    It is a demo unit Series 1 which I guess means I do not get PL IIx. I called B&K and the upgrade from the Series 1 to 2 is $899 IIRC. The NAD is new in the box and includes PL IIx.

    Chris
     
  11. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    At that price, the B&K is a very nice choice. The difference between PL2X & PL2 is a non factor in audio quality, but if you have some need for the expanded surround modes, then it could be.

    The series 2's main improvement IMO, is the extra filters (series 1 has only 1 filter) Both are fine Pres.

    Good Luck

    E
     
  12. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2000
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For a demo Series 1 that price is good, but not great. I'd call it a toss-up between the units. The B&K is still better, but a lot depends on how long it was used (or abused) as a demo. I would probably still lean towards the B&K, especially if it came with the full factory warranty. You also want to make sure all the accessories are there, especially the remote.

    BTW, what speakers do you have in your system?
     
  13. Leo

    Leo Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 1999
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well I can vouch that the NAD T163 pre-pro is excellent. I have it paired with the T973 7-channel power amp. I don't have HDMI or DVI gear, so no real problem for me. Plenty of options, plenty of surround flavors, clean and simple units, easy to use programmable remote. Supports triggering (both IR and 12V). Well built. A bit of fan noise is noticeable during very quiet passages, but not distracting. Plenty of inputs and ability to program pre-sets to your liking. I feel I'd have to pay twice their price if not more to go up a level in quality. Definitely try to audition the T163 if you can. I've had mine for almost 2 years now and love it. I'm not looking to upgrade for a while with this great combo in my theater room.
     
  14. Chris L

    Chris L Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan:

    I have B&W 804s for mains and the matching B&W for the center. For surround I have Cambridge Sound Works bi-pole/ mono-pole speakers (need to be upgraded).

    I am looking at the B&K tomorrow, it comes with the remote/ box/ processor/ and powercable. It will also come with the full factory warranty.

    Leo:

    Thanks for the vouch of the NAD, the problem is the place that has it really isn't setup to demo this type of gear accurately. For me poweramps speakers and the room vary so greatly the comparison is meaningless. I would be able to audition it at home and then return if I didn't like it.

    Thanks!

    Chris
     
  15. Chris L

    Chris L Auditioning

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 1999
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for everyones help, I picked up my B&K Ref 50 yesterday with MX-800 remote for $1198 plus 12 months same as cash. Can't argue with that! Now off to the cables forum to figure out which balanced cables to buy.

    Chris
     

Share This Page