B&K Components AVP4090 A/V Preamplifier

AVP4090

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Richard   Audiophile [Nov 16, 1999]
Strength:

No need for an external DAC.

Mates well with just about any type of speaker. However, you might want to stay away from metal dome speakers because some of my friends think that the unit can sound a bit bright during movies

Amazing price if you can find one.

Weakness:

No optical input. You can add an optical input, but it will cost you!

Unit can get a bit hot with extended use.

This is an amazing unit, if you do not need optical inputs. Keep in mind that the industry seems to be moving toward optical outputs on most DVD players and HDTV decoders.

Sounds incredible.

Similar Products Used: Sony ES DD decoded
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Johnny 5   Audiophile [Sep 17, 2001]
Strength:

Ease of use, neutral sound, warmth looks

Just picked this unit up from my local dealer after having tried almost every pre-amp on the market foe the last 2 years. My conclusion is that for the money you will have a hard time beating the sound from this unit. It has not got all the bells an whistles or THX ratings but the important thing is that it sounds GREAT! For 2 channel stereo music I am using my sont DVD 7000s as a transport and the D/A in the B&K is wonderful, the detail is great and there is a warmth to it that seems to be lost with the Anthem AVM 2 . Surround is as good as any I have tried, the key being to set your speaker levels with a sound meter. Overall I feel that there are a few shortcommings as far as gadgets and toys go, but if you care more about sound and less about having a cool remote or the latest buzz word, then this is the pre-amp for you!

Similar Products Used: Classe ssp-25, Anthem, other b&k
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bill Wood   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 21, 1997]

My review of the B&K Avp 4090 unfortunately happens to be biased. I own it. As far as the caliber of product goes, it is excellent. I've listened to many different units over the last couple of years,and my choice of purchase was the B&K.I would list names but I do not wish to offend. The detail and imaging of the Avp 4090 is on par with units double the price. When I listened to a DTS playback of Jurassic Park, my first thought was how closely it sounded with the Meridian system I had recently heard. Now there are those who might dispute it, but it's my opinion. I gave this processor a 4, leaving the highest rating to units of ridiculously high price.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Bill Wood   an Audio Enthusiast [Feb 17, 1998]

I'd like to start off by saying that this unit, at $2500, is a steal. I've been sampling different systems now for about 3 years, ranging from receivers at $1500 to separates at $50,000.My choice after only 1 demo(in DTS)was made. I went with the AVP4090, and the AV5000 (5 channel amp). I've got one word for you, Detail. The 4090 has it, and in spades, channel separation, clarity, presence,all of these and more in all 3 formats, ie dpl,dd,and especially DTS. This system is getting a rating of 4, only due to the fact that I feel five stars should be left to the extremely high-end gear, ie. Mark levinson, Linn.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Sonny Tuazon   [Mar 08, 1999]

I have been using my B&K 4090 pre-amp/processor for a year and a half now and have found no problem with it. The associated equipment are a pair of the EX4420 monoblocks for my front speakers B&W 803 Series II, EX4420 stereo amp for my dual center speakers B&W HTM (top and bottom of the Toshiba D90F80 rear projection TV) and the ST3030 stereo amp. for the surrounds B&W 805. I also have a couple of the B&W ASW 800 active subs. This set-up has been perfectly doing its job of providing a "being there" experience and letting me hear how the maker of the film intended to be heard. The 4090 is a very quiet processor, sounds big and is very easy to operate (except that it does not have an "on sreen" display. The sound is clean, the bass management giving me several options and also capable of DTS and Dolby Digital. It is also factory upgradable for future formats. On two channel listening the 4090 sounds satisfactory although lacking a deep soundstage and pinpointed instrument locations. My acquisition of the PRO10 pre-amp solved this problem for me. Meanwhile, my son Jeco and his Mom Mary Ann will surely enjoy this weekend for a new collection of DVD movies encoded on AC-3 and a DTS encoded Lost World laser disc that we recently purchased from Image Video. Thanks to the B&K 4090.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Greg   Audiophile [Nov 15, 1999]
Strength:

It does everything!

Weakness:

No toslink digital outputs...but this is easily remedied with an MSB digital switcher.

I keep attempting to find reasons to upgrade this A/V preamp processor.....But I can't find any other preamp anywhere close to its price range that betters the performance of the AVP4090. I can't understand why anyone would spend thousands of dollars more for some of the exotic A/V preamps on todays market. The AVP4090 is simply the finest product of its kind below the $5000 price point. To think I've seen some of these for sale as low as $1200 is an incredible buy for some one. I wouldn't part with mine for twice that amount. What are you going to replace it with for that amount of money? Answer: NOTHING.

Similar Products Used: AVP1030, Lexicon DC-1.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Sonny Tuazon   an Audio Enthusiast [Mar 02, 1999]

I have been using the B&K 4090 pre-amp/processor for a year and a half now and had no problem with it. Together with the EX4420M monoblocks for my main speakers B&W 803 Series II, the EX4420 stereo amp for my two center speakers (top and bottom of my Toshiba Rear Projection TV) B&W HTM and the ST3030 for my surround speakers B&W 805 and two (2) B&W ASW800 active subwoofers I have been having all the excitement and pleasure you can think of in a home theater. The sound is clean,musical and the dialogue perfectly crisp. Think of a system at this price range that will outperform the B&K electronics. The space is huge,the soundstage wide and deep and the image very stable. I almost grab an umbrella hearing the rain fall on the DTS encoded Jurassic Park and then my son hiding under the sofa bed on howl of the T-Rex. I have enough power reserve with this system plus flexibility on future upgrades. This is what I call real value for your money. High end in sound but not in price. Having talked to Jerry of B&K a few times I could still recall one of his questions when he asked "Do you know of any detail in the recorded sound that you did not hear with your system?" I said " I'd call if I find one." I haven't called yet. Great! Ask my son Jeco if he would prefer any other thing to do other than watch his movie collection. He is six years old and had been with me in practically all of the home theater showrooms in Hongkong and Manila and will still prefer the B&K and B&W tandem.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Frank   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 16, 2000]
Strength:

AC3 & DTS, Very versatile, Upgradable

Weakness:

No svideo switching, no optical digital out, switching between AC3 and Dolby prologic on Satellite

When I was in the market for an AC3 surround sound processor, I wanted something upgradable, software and hardware. The B&K fits the bill. I had a Fosgate Model 4, and it was great for that time period. I was considering the Meridian AV box for twice the price.

I initially thought it was a good buy. However, it didn't even have the capabilities of S-Video switching that my Fosgate had. In addition, hooking it up to a digital SAT signal needed an extra coax to optical out.

It has problems moving from AC3 digital to regular pro logic. In addition, I had several problems with it not recoginizing inputs (digital or analog). I wished it was my fault, but it also acted up at the dealer. I sent it back and that problem was fixed, but not the 10 second switching delay between digital signals from a satellite feed.

After only owning it for 1.5 years, I think its my weak link in my ssystem. I've been very unhappy with its overall build quality and feature richness.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Kurt   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 17, 2001]
Strength:

Sounds great when it works

Weakness:

locks up regularly. Makes loud snapping sounds, occasionally.

I'm writing a few remarks as I prepare to ditch this unit.
I have had nothing but trouble with it from the outset. It often times locks up and takes multiple hard and soft resets in order to get it functioning, again. B&K's tech. dept. admits a problem. They said that it's caused by slight variations in current. They said that they have never been able to realize a fix for it and suggested that I add a UPC between my wall socket and the unit. I did this and it didn't help.

The retailer from whom I purchased it, discontinued carrying B&K products, allegedly because of these problems with other units. B&K's technician told me that that the problem seems to be more pronounced in the midwest (because of the power grid?).

B&K's "customer service" representative told me that the problem was mine, not the unit and the company has never acknowledged any of the correspondence from me or my lawyer.

Congratuations to those of you who have been lucky enough to have a faultless unit. It does sound great when it works. Mine is going into its box and up to the attic.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
John   an Audiophile [Feb 27, 1999]

I have had the 4090 now for almost two years have have really enjoyed the sound quality it provides. I was a little disappointed to learn that B&K had replaced it so quickly with the Reference 20, but after reading and listening to a number of early adopters on this product, I am glad that I was able to purchase a 4090.
The sound quality through both the analog and digital inputs is very high quality. I have a separate stereo only system and find myself completely happy with listening to music in our home theater on it. Very detailed and smooth with just a hint of brightness that could be attributed to the M&K S1's more than the electronics. With something like the Infinity Compositions I think they would be about perfect.

Although this unit does not have s-video switching or an on-screen display, I have not found this to be a problem at all. I prefer to have all video source switching done at the projector for the most direct path.

My only complaints have been with the delay and moderately loud snapping noise made when it locks on to an AC-3 or DTS signal. In addition to this, I have been unable to use the 12v remote trigger for the AV6000II amp that is hooked up to it. No matter what I have tried, I get a loud hum through the center speaker when using this feature. I even have separate dedicated lines to the projector, source components, and amplifiers that includes substantial grounding but to no avail.

All in all a very fine component. With the new Ref20 available the 4090 can be had for a very low price. I have heard of many selling new for $1600 to $1800 which is a very good deal.

Price independent 4 stars. Price dependent (especially with discounts) 5 stars.

Associated equipment:

B&K 4090
B&K AV6000II

M&K MX 200
M&K S1C's (LCR)
M&K SS500 Dipole Surrounds

Zenith 2000 DVD
Sony 785 VCR

Zenith Pro900 HDTV Projector
Draper AT1200 Accoustically Transparent Screen

PBJ Kimber Cable
XLO Video and S-Video
Kimber Cable 4pr

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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