Heating up

B&K Reference 200.2 S2 Stereo Power Amplifier


Warm is a strange adjective to use to describe the way something looks, or the way it sounds.

Does “warmth” play a role in the highest caliber audio systems? Or does its implied deviation from neutral suggest that warmth doesn’t belong in the same conversation about the best sound?

Well the problem with that take is that audio excellence and music enjoyment are very subjective and personal experiences.

And how do you characterize warmth to someone else? Since warmth is a sound quality descriptor, and music is a wildly fluctuating mess of tones and harmonics, the amount of warmth must be variable from piece to piece and track to track. And person to person.

What if there’s an amp that is both mildly warm and impressively detailed? Would you believe this sound comes from a solid state amp? One audiophile may be impressed, and another might shrug.

That’s the conundrum I face when firing up this eminently enjoyable power amplifier from B&K AV: The B&K Reference 200.2 S2.

I’ve already witnessed it open up in the short time I’ve been playing music, but this detailed slight warmth just has me nodding my head and tapping my toes. I like hearing music this way.

This is one of those awesome elder amps that still shows well in a modern circuit landscape. Well-made is well-made. The B&K Reference 200.2 would be a great first step for a budding audiophile. Or, because of its “warm” qualities, it could be the perfect sound character to slot into a system that needs a little more weight from ~300Hz down.

I really like this one. My system at The Music Room is so revealing that cables and amps really show their colors when I slide them in. This one’s a Gearhead gem.

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