B&K Components Reference 7250 Amplifiers

Reference 7250

5 Channel Power Amplifier - 200 Watts Per Channel @ 8 ohms / 375 @ 4 ohms - Class A Pre-Driver Improves Low-Level Detail For Smoother, More Musical Sound

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
FL_audio   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 05, 2004]
Strength:

Smooth Great detail Rock solid bass

Weakness:

There is a slight thud in all speakers shortly after powering it down even though I always shut it off before shutting down my pre-amp.

This review is for the Reference 200.5. I'm posting here because for some reason there is not yet a place to post on the Reference series amplifiers. Let's get caught up Audioreview! As I understand it this is basically the same amplifier as the 7250 plus balanced inputs (which I'm not using) and minus the channel level controls. I'm not an audiophile by any means, but as far as I'm concerned this is one great amp! Wonderful detail and rock solid bass. I'm using it with the McCormack MAP-1 and Klipsch Reference 7 speakers. Someone on the Klipsch Forum was giving me a hard time about B&K rating the power output at 1kHz vs 20Hz-20kHz like the Sherbourn. I've since run across tests run on The Secrets Of Home Theater site ( I think it was) for both the 7260 and Sherbourn 5/1500. The B&K actually bested the Sherbourn by a few watts at .01% and 1% distortion. Ofcourse that's all specsmanship and really means nothing. Suffice to say the B&K is a powerful and great sounding amp! I know it will be powering my HT for years to come!

Similar Products Used: Yamaha DSP-A1000 Cary HTA-2 NAD S250
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary   AudioPhile [Jan 26, 2003]
Strength:

WORTH FOUR TIMES THE PRICE: SOUND, FIT AND FINISH, COSMETICS. SMOOTH, DYNAMIC SOUND.

Weakness:

I DON'T KNOW OF ANY AS OF YET.

I RECENTLY PURCHASED TO BI-AMP A TWO CHANNEL "PURIST" SYSTEM. LINN CD PLAYER W/ KRELL KAV150 PAIRED AMPS. THE BK AMP CLEANS UP THE SYSTEM COSMETICALLY AND SPACE WISE... I WAS EXTREMELY PLEASED WITH THE B&K'S SOUND. SMOOTH (I MEAN SMOOTH!) SOUND WITH BASS SLAM TO PUT THE KRELLS TO SHAME. SOUNDSTAGE DEEP AND WIDE WITH GOOD AMBIENCE. FIT AND FINISH SUPERB. SOUND BLOWS AWAY ADCOM AND ARAGON AND KRELL KAV. TRUST ME, THE GIANT KILLER I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR FOR 20 YEARS OF AUDIOPHILEDOM.

Similar Products Used: KRELL, ARAGON, NAD, ADCOM
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rob   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 02, 2002]
Strength:

Heavy, very well constructed, simple yet intriguing design, very powerful(max 1,830 watt consumption!), my speakers can finally do what they were designed for with a relentless power supply making every detail unbelievable accurate. I can just grin in disbelief.

Weakness:

That more people will not get the opportunity to audition this amp

I just bought this amp a few days ago and I couldn't state it any better than the review below me! It really kicks butt and I have just started breaking it in along with the MIT T2 interconnects I used to link it to my yamaha RX-V995 receiver (which it now just a pre-amp). I must note it is the "series 2" 7250 which I believe came out in the spring. I will add to the review after I have had more time to get familiar with the product but I've been so breath-taken by it I had to write an early review. I showed it off to some friends of mine and I think we all just sat there with our mouths open!A real serious piece of equipment, more so than I expected. It completely tied my system together making it much more functional. This is my current system: B&K 7250 series 2 amp Yamaha RXV995 receiver (pre-amp now) Yamaha C-900 DVD changer Paradigm Reference Studio 60 V2's (veneer)mains Paradigm Reference Studio CC center Paradigm Reference Studio ADP's surrounds Paradigm PS1200 sub (soon to upgrade to PW 2200) MIT T2 biwire front cables MIT T3 center cable monster surround cable T2 interconnects pre-amp to amp MIT NT3 digital coaxial interconnect from dvd changer to pre-amp I am very happy with this whole system and it got twice as nice with the beautiful powerplant that now makes it sing!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Arjun   AudioPhile [Oct 31, 2002]
Strength:

Harmonically rich musical presentation that equally shine in HT

Weakness:

Absolutely none, soundwise.

After trying a variety of amps in my system this is what I liked the best. When listening to it only one thing comes to mind and that is SMOOTH. This thing has the warm, smooth signature of a tube amp with the punch of a solid state design. The top end is refined and lush and the midrange has a euphonic bloom to it and of course the bottom end is rock solid. What more can I say the amp does it all for me. Music is where this amp shines the most. The sound stage is phenomenal extending way beyond my Mahlers and really deep. With music each instrument has air around it and is precisely located in space. This amp a detail retrieval amp. With it I hear the subtle nuances of every performance that were not possible before with my Adcom separates. Right now its hooked to a ref 30 with Vienna acoustics all around. Mahlers for the mains and Haydn's for the rest. The other amps I tried before settling to this beast are, Adcom, ATI, Marantz, Parasound, Bryston, Rotel, and Outlaw. The only amp that even came close to this was the Bryston and the Parasound. The Bryston though having a tauter bass lacked in warmth and richness. The presentation with the Bryston was drier and leaner and lacked the body in the mid range that makes music lifelike. With Bryston it seemed like I was listening to electronics while with the B&K it seemed like listening to music. I am sure with the right kind of speakers the Bryston might have sounded better but for my setup the Bryston just didn't cut it. The other amps didnt even come close to the musicality of this beauty. If I were to summarize the performance of this amp in two words, I would say FINE CHAMPAGNE: It is smooth, rich in flavor, has body and the right amount of kick. What else can I say I am in love with this amp. It is a truly refined product from an established value leader in audio. Kudos to B&K on giving us another fine product.

Similar Products Used: Adcom, Rotel, Bryston, Parasound, ATI, Anthem etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
lv70smusic   AudioPhile [Feb 03, 2002]
Strength:

Power, clarity.

Weakness:

Not much to look at.

I have this coupled with a B&K Ref 30 pre/pro and Vandersteen 2ci speakers. What has impressed me most is the power this amp has. I can''t even approach driving it hard because my neighbors would probably come screaming if I tried. Bass is full and tight. While I don''t find this amp "bright", it definitely doesn''t add a euphonic softness either. Others may have a different experience with different speakers, since the Vandys are known to have a somewhat softened high frequency presentation.

Similar Products Used: Upgraded from Marantz SR8000 receiver.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Steve Herrala   Audio Enthusiast [May 10, 2000]
Strength:

Dynnamics, smoothness, Powerful.

If you are looking to purchase a home theater amplifier in the $2500 retail price range read-on as this REF 7250 by B&K is a must hear amplifier….

I find it very interesting that there are not many great performers in the $2500 retail category. Only a few higher-end manufactures make one at this price like ATI, Parasound, EAD and then you need to step up to the $4k price of the Bryston (announced price increase), Cinepro, Aragon, and Class'e (announced price increase). I am a dealer and have always been very fond of the Parasound HCA-2205A (again, announced price increase). (Seems to be a theme with price increases.) NO other manufacture came close to the Parasounds performance at $2500 list independent of watts per channel. Parasound and B&K have attempted to hit the "bargain" high-end price point and both have succeeded. Differences do exist between the two and they should both be on your short list.
I should mention that this REF7250 is NOT the AV5000 with more wattage. It has much more dynamics, punch, and openness and worth saving your dollars to get one. In fact, I had colorful conversations over dinner with B&K's National Sales Manager over a year ago while he visited Minnesota (pre-7250 design). We were discussing why I did not purchase any AV5000 with my REF20's like other dealers. I explained that the AV5000 is a good value but not as worthy of bolting it on to the REF20 (my favorite pre-pro) and I was using the Parasounds HCA-2205A to do this. I know he did not like this answer because the conversation continued on this topic for a half an hour. I told him make us dealers a 5 channel amp we would be proud of at 200 watts plus and I would recommend them to my customers. I know he was frustrated but I am sure I was not the only dealer he had heard this from. Well, B&K did.
I stumbled on the 7250 amp for the 1st time as it was being demonstrated with the Monitor Audio Silver 9i's at CEDIA 99 in Indianapolis. The 9i's never sounded so good as the grainy solid state sound dissolved as compared to the Parasound I was use to hearing. I sat back and watched as people in the industry shake there head in amazement while the 9i's/B&K combo outperformed most products costing several times more in two channel listening. If it sounds great in two channel it, will also sound incredible in home theater.
After I got my 1st 7250 amp I put it through the tests. Out of the box, it required about three days of continuous playing to get it to open-up. You will only be impressed with the sound initially if you are coming from a receiver or a midfi amp like a Carver or Adcom. Once you pay your dues and break-in the amp, you will notice the large difference. As a side note, you can cut down the volume a lot by putting the speakers driver-to-driver and as close as you can. Next, take one of the speakers and switch the polarities of the wire. Finally, put covers over the speakers and let it play! Don't forget about the rear and center channels as they also need break-in. I always test the performance of multichannel amps in two channel. This is a better test as your ears know what certain voices and instruments sound like. After all, the sound of rain or an explosion is difficult to pick-up the differences and which is correct according to the director? Two channel listening will tell you this.
So what makes this amp so special sounding? For starters, the dynamics will impress you the most as this is what also impressed me about the Parasound. Dynamics are more of a hurdle for brands like Cinepro, ATI, and Acurus. If they do not succeed, they sound compressed. It is analogous to the audio that comes off of your satellite as compared to CD's. We all know this compressed sound and it is lifeless. The bottom-end of the amp is also powerful and can drive any speaker that needs a little more punch like Dynaudio, Hales and others. Another quality of a good amp is listening to speakers at lower volume levels. Most amps only open-up when you play it loud like the powerful Sunfire. Well, It's not the power that gives low level dynamics, it is the current. Well controlled, FAST, plentiful current is what differentiates the good amplifier designs. If you listen to the Sunfire with a speaker that demands current (B&W, Dynaudio) you will see what I mean. You will need to crank it up to get them to sound good. The final thing that I was really fond of was the lack of grain in the sound. This is why the B&K worked so well with the Monitor Audio Silver 9i's. The 9i's are transparent, and let through the grainy and bright artifacts. Well, the 7250 is a great balance between detail and smoothness. Not laid back or not too forward sounding. I cannot honestly say it is a bad match to any speaker.
One quick note to mention is it is recommended to hook-up the 12 volt trigger to turn-on and off the power using your processor. The reason is that over time the front switch sees wear as the switch bounce creates mini arcs wearing on the plates. It won't be fun sending in your 74 pound unit in a few years if you ignore this statement.
So you have heard me brag about the sound. Is it the best amplifer on the market independent of ANY price? No. It is the one of the two best in the price category under $3500 range. This is what B&K aimed for and they succeeded.
If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me at 612-753-9349 (763 area code change coming) or email me at herra001@tc.umn.edu.
Steve of Sund Video (Owner)
************************************************************
Authorized Lines:
ATI, Acurus, Aerial Acoustics, Aragon, B&K, Bryston, Bel Canto Design, Class'e, Cinepro, Denon, DynAudio, EAD (Enlightend Audio Designs), Energy, Gallo Acoustics, Gershman Acoustics, Harmonic Technology, HSU Research, Kimber Kable, Lexicon, Marantz, M&K, Monitor Audio, NHT, Panamax, Parasound, Pioneer (Not Elite), Plinius, Runco, Sherwood NewCastle, Sim Audio, Stewart Filmscreen, Toshiba, & Velodyne.
************************************************************

Similar Products Used: Many
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 10, 2000]
Strength:

Fast, soundstage, rich and lithe bass, airy highs, punchy dynamics, good spatial queues

Weakness:

Deep and mid bass is not as well damped/controlled as I would like, it has a tuneful and lithe upper bass however, just a tad soft sounding for my tastes

I bought this amp primarily for HT since I have another system devoted to music. The first amp I had worked for a few hours, but then proceeded to blow two mains fuses, and no longer worked after replacing a 3rd fuse. I received a replacement a week later and this unit has worked fine since then. I think what most folks have said about this amp rings true. The 7250 is very dynamic with fast transients and has a punchy mid/upper bass. There is nothing edgy about the sound, it is totally smooth and airy sounding, with a hint of warmth in the upper bass/lower midrange. Overall these characteristics favor music. On HT soundtracks the 7250 is dynamic when the material demands it. On more subtle material the B&K's mellow nature slightly detracts from the HT experience. It doesn't quite create the same atmospheric effects that some other amps can. When people say they like to crank this amp up, and it will obey, it sounds better at louder volumes. I could probably live with this amp and be happy, however, I plan to take advantage of the dealer's 30 day return policy. I haven't quite gotten over the reliability issue. Secondly, I had a chance to listen to the Parasound 2205 today. It's bass is tighter and better conrolled, and over all the Parasound sounds more lively, robust, and detailed. I think these characteristics are well suited for HT.

I also have to agree that the ratings on this amp are overstated. The damping value or peak amperage didn't seem to translate into the bass control I had expected (my reference is a pr. of Bryston 7Bs in my music system).

Overall, a great amp for anyone looking to put together a satisfying music/HT system, especially if the emphasis is on music.

Similar Products Used: Bryston 5B/7B, Parasound 2205
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
todd   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 14, 2000]
Strength:

Great sound, great looks and build, good company behind it

Weakness:

B&K has done the underanded # fudging of the Japanese receiver! Where are the FTC specs?!?!?

I love this amp. No complaints about it's performance. It is warm, detailed, punchy and eminently listenable for hours on end -- IOW, a B&K. But, why oh why B&K have you lowered yourself to non FTC specs on this amp? It is rated at 200wpc @ 1KHz with 4 channels driven. Who in high end audio should need to stoop to such blatant marketing tripe? This amp needs to be rated like all good amps according to FTC standards of 20-20K all channels driven. I suspect this amp is actually about 175wpc. That is my only complaint with the amp. Come on B&K, don;t stoop. Your product is good enough to sell itself on it's sonic magnificence, without the fudged #s. A 5-star amp for sure, but only 4 due to the 1KHz rating.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Joseph   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 15, 2000]
Strength:

Dynamic, smooth, excelltn construction

Weakness:

MOSFET design generates a good bit of heat -- who cares?

This amp is on superb purchase. It is *perfectly* balanced in tone. Good bass snap and clear smooth detailed highs. Human voices sound wonderfully transpareant and uncolored. It never runs out of power in HT or 2-channel listening. It has a sweet, smooth sound which can be enjoyed for hours without fatigue. There are other big 5 channel amps out there, but I found none that are as well balanced and effortless for less than $5K. Very highly recommended. Great job B&K!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Todd Wozniak   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 19, 2000]
Strength:

Very strong, warm sounding

Weakness:

Keep it in an open place to cool

I bought this amp to hook it up to the Denon 3300. I should mention that I went with the six channel model which is the 7260. I did this for future formats like the additional center in the rear. I also thought that an even number of channels would be more versitle in the future. Formats may change but power stays pretty much the same.

This is a good product. Backed by good warranties and a company you can call at just about any time and talk to a tech person and get anwers.

I looked at McIntosh, Krell, ets and for the price I just couldn't justify the cash. Granted 2500-2800 for this amp is nothing to sneeze at either.

The amp is solid and heavy (70 lbs +) It, like all amps generates heat. Keep it ventilated, or out in the open. I heard the B & K amps at a store hooked up to Def Tech speakers. I compared and listened to this system and others and could not find one that sounded better to me. I also like the built in Sub woofers at 500 watts apiece in the speakers. But that's another story.

Bottom line on the amp is this: It is powerful. It doensn't sound bright or sharp. It gives you what you put into it. If you have a bogus CD recording it will let you know.

If you are watching ANY movie with a decent sound track with action, music, etc: Prepare to be very impressed. I bought all the hot DVD's: Eagles, Matrix, Das Boot, James Taylor at the Beacon(for my wife), Joeseph and the Techno Coat(for the kids), Super Speedway. They all sound Great. Things in DTS really sound good.

This amp has what I wanted - More power than I will ever need, solid build, and I didn't have the guilt that it cost more than my car (Levinson 33's)

Most importantly - I like the way it sounds with the speakers.

Denon 3300
B & K 7260
Sony CDP80 ES
Pioneer 525 DVD

Def Tech 2000tl
Def Tech clr 3000
Def Tech BPXV

Take care.

Todd W.

Similar Products Used: None
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
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