B&K Components Ref 20 A/V Preamplifier

4.32/5 (66 Reviews) MSRP : $2500.00


Product Description



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Reviews 1 - 5 (66 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Joshua hale a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 27, 2014

Bottom Line:   
This is my 7th preamp. I started with an Adcom GFP 400. Next was a B&K PT3. Then I tried a marantz avr600. Then I used a Kenwood C1 preamp. Then I had a Rotel RSP 1068. I finally quit playing around with used preamps costing under $200. Bought an Audio Research LS3B on EBay for $565 included shipping. The Audio research sounded the best. No surprise. However I discovered the balance dial doesn't works and the left input doesn't work. If you plug in just the right input it somehow plays both outputs for speakers. I'm sending back to seller for repair. In the meantime I bought a b&k reference 20 for $82 including shipping on EBay. Rated #1 to last goes as follows:
1 audio research
2 b&k reference 20
3 Rotel
4 b&k pt3
5 kenwood
6 adcom
7 marantz
For the money, you cannot beat the reference 20. Mostly they sell for around $150-200 range. I got lucky on no reserve auction. I love the fact that this preamp is made in the USA. It's sound is very close to the audio research in my opinion. It has many options such as digital inputs and subwoofer control that I love. This preamp will eventually make it's way to my garage but I probably will never sell it. Most the reviews on this product was written in the early 2000s and people speak quite favorably of it after spending $2000 and more. Needless to say with it being a home theatre preamp and no hdmi it's rather outdated but for two channel listening I don't think you can find a better preamp under $200.
Associated equipment:
Denon dvd5000
Sonos connect
Highly modified Adcom GFA 555 ii
Magnepan mmg
All audio quest interconnects and speaker cables

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by benlouie1372@hotmail.com a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: July 1, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I just got this on ebay for $150 no remote. Hooked it by with a avr6000series 2 . It blown by mind away. i was going to throw away my MB quart Domain 55. After 5 mins warm up, DTS comes to live. Dont waste you money to buy a Denon receiver with HD DTS. I had a 4308ci with all the features but B&k 20 with an amp will blow any receiver away. Seperates is always better that Receivers.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   1996



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Q-surf a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Primarily a 2 channel listener but wanted the ability to upgrade to 5.1 in the future. The Ref20 offers no-compromise 2 channle hi-fi, and the flexibility for HT needs. Very happy with the sound. Tamed vocals/horns, and reaches deeper than my previous Denon pre. Not sure if it's the last word on soundstaging but it isn't suffering either. I wish like hell they'd put some balanced outputs (on a $2600 pre?!),

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Rob a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 11, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Good pro/pre for the money. I think a warm sounding amp with very tight bass make this puppy sound pretty darn good. Good/great surround performance. Decent 2 channel. Good remote. Overall, good.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by kevineads a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I shopped a lot of pre amps before choosing the Ref 20. THe sound is uncompromising in HT mode and the Stereo mode is great also. The unit is upgradable to almost the same specs. as a Ref 30 for $900.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Used




Reviews 1 - 5 (66 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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