Bel Canto Design EVo 200.2 Amplifiers

EVo 200.2

120 watts/channel class "T" digital amplifier.

User Reviews (25)

Showing 1-10 of 25  
PerryC   AudioPhile [May 01, 2016]

So open, so clear, three dimensional sound, transparent, you name it. Very sensitive to preamp selection though. Driving a pair of highly efficient Wave Touch Grand Teton SE speakers from a VPI HW19 mkII, a vintage STANTON 500 cartridge, through my conrad-johnson PV7 preamps, every interconnect, cartridge, tube change will be audibly heard.
If you find a used one, don't even think twice, BUY IT! Highly recommended.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
bubbles   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 10, 2004]
Strength:

The speed the speed the speed !!! super clean,lovely liquid treble,grabs the bass by the balls,superb control.

Weakness:

Recessed midrange,thin and grey too.

I certainly recieved a sonic shock on wireing in this power amp,I'd read and heard so many good things about this amp,unfortunately it was unavailable in Spain,so I had to find one second hand from the States.Voltage conversion was a simple affair,after doing that I was ready to go. The amp itself was to replace a tubed Copland cta 401,I was to match the Bel-Canto to a Conrad Johnson PV10. Source was a Micromega Drive transport,matched to a CALAUDIO "Alpha" DAC,and B&W P6 speakers,cables were Audioquests,Diamonds and Midnight,P/C from Shunyata. Instantly I could hear that this amp was something really different,the first thing I really noticed was the crystaline clarity of the treble,it was just so unbelievably clean and extended,there was no hash or grain,it was as clean as a whistle,it picked up amazing amount of detail,it was like an open window,ablanket and veil had been removed it was so fast and clean. Bass definition also improved,any bloom or boom are removed as the amp gets to grips with the woofers,it grabs hold of them,and just controls them,it doesn't plumb to the depths of hades,but what it does do is add speed and a vice like grip on the bass,some would say and wonder where the bass has gone,this is no car boom box sound,this is just well controlled and fast. But I felt there was one major drawbank,the Copland really expressed vocals and the midrange,it put voices right in front of you,they had body and texture,feeling and emotion,in an instant of hearing the Bel-Canto the voices suddenly went back inside the speaker,it was quite noticeable,it was definately a recessed midrange,voices just didn't spring out enough,no realism or emotion,I was a tad dissapointed,the midrange was lacking body,and colour,i just felt it was a touch grey,and thin,was it just telling it how it was?,or was the Copland adding it's own colour?Whatever it was,the Bel-Canto was far better than the Copland,with it,s razor like speed,no pipe and slipper stuff here,just the speed and clarity,that will have you hearing inner details you never knew where there,it will show up poor recordings,and show how good your source really is. Build quality is exellent,it looks a bit of a plain Jane,and has a sexy bright blue LED,fit and finish are stunning,inside your greeted by a massive transfomer,the amp is laid out well,constuction is superb,a classy piece of kit,it doesn't run hot,and doesn't take up loads of space as it is slim and lean.

Similar Products Used: Copland.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
claud   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 21, 2002]
Strength:

smooth detail, tight quick bass, great soundstage. SET like sound without the tubes.

Weakness:

None anymore. Could be dry in midrange if mated with a SS preamp.

The previous reviewers have said it all. I bought this amp in August, and for three months used my Classe'' CAP 151 as a preamp. Not bad, but it had little or no gain as a pre. I did get a good pure idea of the EVo''s sound though. I knew what it needed to be as close to SET as possible. It needed a tube pre. Bought a Cary SLP 2002 in December. Lots of gain, but not quite the sound I was looking for. Mid January I began to tube roll the Cary. I needed to balance the lushness of the tubes without loosing the quickness and dynamics of the EVo. Final decision is Telfunken 6DJ8s and Amperex Bugle Boy 12AU7s. Speed, Detail,Dynamics with a touch of tube lush midrange. My system is: BelCanto EVo 200.2/TG Audio HSR i PC Cary SLP 2002 / Powersnake Sidewinder PC Arcam CD 92/ Powersnake Viper v2 PC HHb 850 CD recorder/ Silver Audio Powerburst PC Rega P25/Dynavector 20XH/Black Cube SE/TG Audio HSR A PC VanEvers Model 85 Reference power conditioner B&W N804 speakers biwired w/Analysis Plus Oval 9 All ICs are Silver Audio Hiacynth

Similar Products Used: Classe'' CAP 151, Cary Rocket 88 tube amp in this system. Lots of others, but in other systems.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jonbee   AudioPhile [Feb 20, 2002]
Strength:

Clarity, openness, lack of coloration.

Weakness:

Not as deep or strong in the bass as other top SS amps. Slightly reserved sounding. Doesn''t keep my room warm in winter.

This is a tough review, in a way, because this amp sounds unlike any other I''ve heard. I''ve read many reviews of it, and most of them are correct in their own way. The things I can say that are pretty clear: There is greater detail, opennness, and depth than anything I''ve heard. This detail is combined with a refreshing easiness to the sound. It also sounds more dynamically reserved than some other good SS amps, although I think that the EVO might be the more accurate in this regard. This reserve seems most noticeable in the mids, which seem more recessed, but this might just be because of a total lack of coloration and emphasis. It thus sounds a little lean and dry, but also as clear as pure water. The bottom end is not as powerful, dynamic and extended as my CJ 2300A, and could be a problem for some, but the midbass definition is amazing. I use a powered sub, so this is not an issue for me. Another perception: you don''t need to listen as loud with this amp. The detail is right there, at almost any volume. I''d like to hear two run as monoblocks; as it is, one of these is a clear look into the recordings, moreso than anything I''ve heard,(and I''ve heard plenty of good amps). I''m sure this amp won''t be everyone''s cup of tea, and system matching is very important. If you prize tonal accuracy over euphony, or just want to hear a different presentation of your recordings, give it a listen. You may want to adjust your expectations. A good after market power cord increases dimensionality and dynamics compared to the stock cord.

Similar Products Used: Dozens of amps. Most recent: CJ MF23000A.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Glreno   AudioPhile [Feb 05, 2002]
Strength:

Transparency, detail, rock solid imaging, very quiet.

Weakness:

A touch of grain in the mids and not quite as liquid when compared to the very best tube equipment, adequate but not crotch grabbing bass control.

I''m a tube guy, and I took it in trade for a Bel Canto Evo 200.4 I had that was driving some Maggies in my weight room system. My buddy bought the 200.2, owned it for 2 weeks, then discovered he needed more power to drive some 12 inch woofers he has in his system. He now uses the 200.4 bridged to drive them, and it does this very well. But the 200.4 is way too forward for most speakers when bridged. The 200.2 is a solid state amp I could live with. It has stunning transparency, excellent detail, and is always musical. Tube amps do have a slightly sweeter midrange and a touch less grain, but you would have to spend thousands more in a tube or solid state amp to get what the Bel Canto gives you in ambience and detail. I know, because I am comparing it to my $8000. tube amp in my main system. I absolutely would recommend it to tube lovers tired of the tube hassle. I never grew tired of listening to it. If your looking for an amp with real world ergonomics and great sound, this is it. Your kids can play around it, your dogs and cats can sleep on it, and your wife can dust it, all without getting burned. And if you want to sell it, you''ll have to beat the buyers back with a stick.

Similar Products Used: Too many tube and solid state amps to list.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Gary O.   Audiophile [Sep 26, 2000]
Strength:

Sounds very close to reality!

Weakness:

Slight recessed midrange.

I just listened to this amazing amp(at Audio Connection in Verona,N.J.)with various speaker systems,and on all tried,this amp is without question one of the best I have ever listened to.The high freq. are sweet,airy,and unreal in how clean,better than ANY amp I've heard,in those freq.,the midband has a very open and deep sounstage,though slightly recessed,but a tube lovers midrange,SWEET,now for the bass,which is tight and non-boomy,and when called upon goes way down.The thing I noticed the most is how one does not bother with listening to the SYSTEM,but listening to the music and listening to how the performers were at that concert.This is a very natural sounding amp.
I would recommend this amp to those on a budget and those looking for cost no object.
P.S. Bel Canto's D/A is also an amazing unit.CHECK IT OUT!

Similar Products Used: Every amp on the market,at all price ranges
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Marc   Audiophile [Dec 07, 2001]
Strength:

Combines the best of Tube and Solid State amps without the inherent weaknesses of each. Built very well but does not flaunt it - unassuming looks.

Weakness:

None. Except it may show up weaknesses in sub-par associated gear.

I have owned it all.....tubes, solid state, big amps, little amps, hi power, low power, you get the point. But I never owned that so-called perfect amp which does a lot of everything for you. Well, not until now and at this price!! It comes in a very well built but unassuming package, thick faceplate, but no garish flair, excellent binding posts, RCA's and XLR's. On/Off switch in the back -it's meant to be kept on at all times for best sonics since it only draws 30W at idle.

When I first began to listen, the first thing that struck me was how much air there was around instruments and performers! You can actually "see" each musicians space and the distances between the others. The sound was dynamic, extended (Read - Not Bright) just very real. The bass was different, however. Could I have found the weakness? No.....it was no weakness, just solid, well defined "real" bass, lacking the bloat and boom of most other amps. But what really shocked me was that this amp seemed faster and dare I say more agile than anything I had heard?! It was.....it reacted to the music a like a world-class athlete responds with his muscle! Fast, strong and agile. I bet your saying that it probably was limited to rock and metal. No. It kicked _ss with rock but it was very involving, lush and intimate with jazz vocals and classical (large and small scale). Just listen to Patricia Barber's CD "Nightclub". I have never heard such realistic sound in all my life. Emerson String Quartet, Dave Matthews, Pink Floyd, Carol King. However, it will not "mask" a bad recording. Bad is ugly, but great is magical! If you need more information, call on me!

Associated Gear:

Merlin VSM speakers w/BAM
Alchemist Product 8 24/192 CD Player
Adcom GFP-750 Preamp (passive mode)
Nordost Blue Heaven speaker cable
Alpha Core micro purl silver interconnects

Similar Products Used: Plinius, Krell, Cary, BAT, Aloia
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Kevin   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 19, 2000]
Strength:

Bass, detail, clarity, transparency, speed, warmth

Weakness:

none to speak of

This is a very special amp. You can't do better for 3x the price. The better your overall system the more you'll appreciate this amp. Fast, detailed bass, black background, smooth highs, no ss harshness. I auditioned it against several amps, along with the Bel Canto Pre1, their new ss pre-amp designed to match the EVo. Together the Pre1 and EVo were incredible. I heard details, harmonics within notes (like on Santana solos or YoYo Ma cello) that had been smeared over before. The only thing that got me, was after extensive listening I felt the detail on accoustical insturments was just a tad dry. Not as much life as the electronic music (I was listening to them with french Triangle speakers). I bought the amp, but ended up matching it with a First Sound Presence Audio Delux MkII pre-amp. What a match up, still all the detail, still all the quiet black background, but a touch of tube warmth now (but without the tube haze). Now I'm running them into a pair of Talon Audio Khite monitors which are giant slayers. They are taking all the bass power and detail that these electronics can give and making beautiful music. They do better bass than any tower speaker in their price range. I kid you not, there's some amazing electronics inside those speakers. The Talon Audio Khorus' are getting lots of attention as the great-leap forward in speaker design, but their little brother Khites give you great bass with the coherency of monitors at less than half the price. And they play real loud without distortion. The EVo and Presence and Khites, a world-class trio.

Similar Products Used: auditioned lots of tube and ss before buying this one.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Kristy   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 07, 2001]
Weakness:

may not suit the hifi cosmetics that most people seem to value

Wow. I am totally bowled over by this piece. It sounds better than any other amplifier that I have heard. I used to think that to get a good amplifier you needed to spend at least $7500 minimum. But this amplifier sounds better than anything else that I have heard. Now, I haven't heard all that is out there, but in my area many top brands are represented: Levinson, Krell, BAT, Classe, Bryston, VAC, Spectral, Proceed, McIntosh, Audio Research, VTL, etc. This little gem outshines them all! I was immediately struck by how unhifi it sounds. It is not in your face at all, but at the same time has the most detail I have ever heard in an amplifier. It has the best bass I have heard and it weighs as much as my CD transport. This unit elimanated a lot of misconceptions that I held about audio equipment. The most thrilling thing about it was the price, who would have thought it! Anyone who does not believe that there is state of the art sound available at a comparatively bargain price really needs to check out this amp. A special thanks needs to go out to David at Audio Encounters who was willing to bring the Bel Canto out to my home for an audition. It is so much easier to judge the merits of an unit in the context of your own system rather than a dealers.

Similar Products Used: none, but I have heard plenty of other amps
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Fredi Wiesner   Audiophile [Nov 26, 2001]
Strength:

breathtaking power as monoblocks

Weakness:

You hear every detail :):)

Thanks for all your postings at Audio-REVIW.com.
They indeed helped a lot.

I added yesterday an additional Bel-Canto amp, and I do not regret it.

I was looking for more power in order to “feel” the music – to feel the air coming out from all the horns, trumpets, saxes etc. (higher efficiency speakers will not do the work for me, as I am looking for natural, sweet and full sound).
I know, that it is reasonable to buy a new CDP first, but I intend to wait a little for the new developments (maby I”ll take the DAC from Bel-Canto for the meantime). But investing into an amp is a more future proof investment IMO. I did not want to buy new speakers either, as I’m very happy with my Sonus Faber Concerto + the REL sub; and I do not have the money to put down 12 grand for a pair of Von-Schweikert VR6 ;)
In addition I have very long runs to my speakers, so I use XLR’s from the Bel-Canto Pre1 to the amps, which are now close to each speaker.

My findings:
Out of the box the sound was awful harsh. I was ready to give up my trial, as I had the Idea to use the Densen Demagnetizing CD.
What a difference there was, even after the first 3 min run of the CD! The sound was immediately softer, as if I had let it run for 40 hours break-in (at least as soft as the Rotel RCD971 allows ;)). Now I’ll leave them working for the break-in, knowing that it will be only better.
Further, I was used to listen to my CD’s at 75 db (when my wife is not around), now 67 db is more appropriate. The sound is full, natural and with a lot of air, as if I added 10 REL subwoofers! (OK maybe only 5 :)). + The soundstage is wider more detailed and very exact.
As for the performance for HT: No words, but breathtaking full and detailed … and I had to recalibrate the SPL of all the channels with the SPL meter, resulting a decrease of the mains SPL for about 5db.

I think I found, what I was looking for. No new speakers could achieve this result for 2300 US$.

Now I cannot wait to upgrade my CDP …..

Another Remark: I feed all my units with a relatively cheap DNM power cord. It is unbelievable what they ad to the smoothness of the sound.

My setup: http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/291.html

Similar Products Used: One EVO2, audiolab 8000P, crimson
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 25  

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