Rogue v B&K I have a headache

geppy1
geppy1 Posts: 3,013
edited February 2021 in 2 Channel Audio
I have owned a Rogue Cronus Magnum for about 6 months This particular unit had a cap and resistor upgrade at Rogue about 3 years to the tune of $400 by the previous owner. Recently it died so I sent it in . The Bridge Rectifier went out. While it was gone I picked up a Ref 50 and borrowed a Ref 4420. After listening to them (granted I am a B&K fan) I was little concerned about he Rogue coming back Now I am confused. The Rogue is slightly more transparent but the B&K is slightly more dimensional in the mid range with for lack of a better term more meat on the bone (slightly) Maybe a larger stage also? Does this make sense ? Kind of a wash. Both are great setups.
This matters because of the investment. Not to mention the Rogue has cross talk with the phono section .You also have to pull the speaker cables to listen to headphones. No mute on this version and limited inputs. Just thinking out loud here.

Comments

  • erniejade
    erniejade Posts: 5,772
    A lot of the house sound of B&K is more fleshed out, more meat on the bones. Not the last word in resolution but, very musical vs Rogue where the house sound has a bit more resolution but even though tube, not as much meat on the bones. both can be fantastic but, it also depends on room, speakers, source and personal preference.
    I have heard the Ref 4420 many times and I feel it is a solid sounding amp. I have not heard the Ref 50.

    It's a hard call.
    T+A PA 1530R,Wireworld Silver Eclipse SC, Tyler Highland H2, High Fidelity Reveal RCA, Innuos Zen MK3 W4S recovery, Border Patrol SE-I

    Have but haven't used in a while: Cayin SCD50T, Technics 1200, Denon DL160, Jolida D9
  • I had a 4420 and it certainly provided something different than the Rogue gear. It is a sound I remember fondly.

    I listen to a good amount of rock and realized for most (not all) of the music I listen too I would rather have things a bit crisper/ faster. Similarly found this was my guiding factor with my last speaker purchase as well.

    What do I listen to the most and what gear suits that best? No right answers as all gear has strengths and weaknesses and what is a strength for one listener might be a weakness for another.

    Norah Jones on B&K all day! Daft Punk or AC/DC, I’d take the Rogues.

    The rogue certainly gives up something in overall richness but I still think things are very palpable in my setup.

    Good luck!
    Analog Source: Rega P3-24 Exact 2 w/GT delrin platter & Neo TT-PSU
    Digital Source: Lumin T2 w/Roon (NUC)
    Phono Preamp: Rega Aria MK3
    Preamp: Rogue RP-7
    Amp: Pass X150.8
    Speakers: Audio Physic Tempo Plus
    Cables: Morrow M4 ICs & Audio Art SC-5 ePlus, Shunyata PCs
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  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,869
    For the coin, the Ref 50 with a B&K amp(s) are very musical. If my Ref 50 hadn't gone the way of the dodo, I'd still be rocking it.
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • billbillw
    billbillw Posts: 5,920
    Wait, I'm confused...isn't the B&K Ref 50 a multi-channel pre-pro? Isn't that blasphemy? Taking 2-ch and putting it through a digital processor? No way...uh-uh...fugetaboutit.
    For rig details, see my profile. Nothing here anymore...
  • geppy1
    geppy1 Posts: 3,013
    The 50 is set for direct NO processing The B&K seems more tube then the Rogue which has often been said about some Rogue gear The mid range on the B&K seems more dimensional for lack of a better term . Yes investment does matter Having say $600 into the B&K stuff when one could sell the Rogue and more then double that makes the bang for the buck thing really matter Have to keep listening
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,320
    I have REF30 with the REF 31 upgrade and it's a magical sounding Preamp.
    A Ref Amp is powerful fluid and transparent. I like B&k way more then Rouge Audio and my reasons aren't just sound quality but reliability. Rouge seem to have a high failure rate. I've been to the Rouge Factory and it's not what you think it would be. When you pull up to their door, it looks like some about to fall down building. Inside it looks like someones old shop they decided to build audio gear.
    Great guys , great people but higher then I'd like failure rate. We well Rouge and I shy away from it.
    I will say setting up the Bias is cake, they even give you the tool to do it .

    So for me this is an easy pick. Yes B&K is out of business and has been for many years which sickens me to no end BUT some of their pieces are timeless and I'm happy to still own a few of them. I sold many of them over the decades and I wish I kept them all.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,458
    billbillw wrote: »
    Wait, I'm confused...isn't the B&K Ref 50 a multi-channel pre-pro? Isn't that blasphemy? Taking 2-ch and putting it through a digital processor? No way...uh-uh...fugetaboutit.

    Eh, yes and no. Those older higher end multi channel pre/pro's were built well from the likes of B&k, Arcam,Proceed, Mark levinson, and a host of others. Not to mention connections up the ying yang and most had pretty darn good dacs in them as well. No shame in using them for 2 channel. Many would stomp lesser SS brands built for only 2 channel.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,320
    billbillw wrote: »
    Wait, I'm confused...isn't the B&K Ref 50 a multi-channel pre-pro? Isn't that blasphemy? Taking 2-ch and putting it through a digital processor? No way...uh-uh...fugetaboutit.
    Pick any preamp made for just 2 channel and put it up against the B&k Ref 50 or Ref 20 or Ref 30. They are pure clean and very good for 2 channel. Exceptional actually. B&K built everything for sound quality first. They have clean signal flow and exceptional audio reproduction.

    Now especially what you can pick one of these preamps up for now? Untouchable performance vs anything on the market especially for the money. I have a Ref 20, Ref 31 and a AVR507 S2 and all of them sound remarkable and would put them up against anything dedicated 2 channel. Then you also get Sub out , notch filters which you can really dial in a subwoofer , Frequency management is what most 2 channel preamps lack. I actually don't like dedicated 2 channel preamps, way to limited.
    What most 2 channel people don't realize is how much the room effects sound, having tools like what's in the Ref 50 is priceless for calibration.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 739
    Anything on the market, I know they sound good, but that is a bold statement.
  • Gerres26
    Gerres26 Posts: 803
    I will say for the money the B&K ref 30 & 50 pre/pros are hard to beat. I still own a 30 that I use to run movies through my 2.1 channel setup.

    As good as they are, they aren’t the last word in refinement to my ears at least. When you spend a little more money for a dedicated 2 channel pre from other companies like Musical Fidelity, Modwright, Belles, etc., you can really see hear the difference a great preamp can make... but we’re talking two to three times the price of the B&K units

    It is no knock on the the B&K pre/pros...like I said, for the money they command it would be hard to find better sound quality not to mention the flexibility of these units
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,320
    invalid wrote: »
    Anything on the market, I know they sound good, but that is a bold statement.
    But pretty damn true my friend.

    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • invalid
    invalid Posts: 739
    mantis wrote: »
    invalid wrote: »
    Anything on the market, I know they sound good, but that is a bold statement.
    But pretty damn true my friend.

    Is it on par with the adcom 750 blue board?
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 3,869
    edited February 2021
    Reference 50 IMHO bests the Parasound C1 and the Rotel RC 1070 I've had. Too bad they are boat anchors if the CPU fail. Not even sure if Stargate Electronics are fixing that any more due to unobtainium parts.
    Cambridge Audio 851N Streamer/DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Belles 350A Reference modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January.

    by Dr. Sardonicus
  • Gerres26
    Gerres26 Posts: 803
    invalid wrote: »
    mantis wrote: »
    invalid wrote: »
    Anything on the market, I know they sound good, but that is a bold statement.
    But pretty damn true my friend.

    Is it on par with the adcom 750 blue board?

    I own both, for 2 channel the 750 is superior...remember that is a well designed preamp by none other then Nelson Pass