BC 2K Series Amps

Ice Man
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BC 2K Series Amps

Post by Ice Man » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:44 pm

I was just browsing through the Products page and came across this:

http://bluecircle.com/page159.html

After reading through the well written information, I am left with a couple of questions. Would love to hear from Gilbert or those who have listened to the unit.

- Are 200 Series amps able to be upgraded to BC 2K Series amps?

- Around the $5000 range, what are the sonic differences-- mid-range and bottom end) between the BC 1022 and the BC 2K6? Does one give more of the "performers are right in front of you" presence?

We are excited for this new series of amps. Any feedback from those who have heard it and if possible, comparisons to other BC amps will be greatly appreciated.


Thank you for your time and thoughts.

IM

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bobneill
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New Amps

Post by bobneill » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:55 am

I've got a 2K4 on order, will report out when it gets here and has some time to settle in. Bought it on hearsay, mainly GY's. I need something from the new breed to drive my JMR Orfeos. Anyone who wants to make a lowball offer on my BC204/KQ is welcome to come after me.

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Gilbert Y
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Post by Gilbert Y » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:34 pm

No, the older 200 series are not upgradable to this 2K and 2Ksh series.

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Gilbert Y
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Post by Gilbert Y » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:36 pm

When it comes to how it sound, it is not something I usually comfortable to talk about. It's all personal choice and taste. I would rather have someone who has listened to this new 2K and 2Ksh series to talk about it.

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Gilbert Y
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Post by Gilbert Y » Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:53 pm

Ah, I forget I do have something I can post here. Here is one or our beta tester who lives in the USA experience after I gave him the 2K4 for a week. Bracket is my comment.


*******************
I got up at 6:00 AM Sunday morning and hooked up the 2K4 into my system and let it run for a while before I did any kind of listening. We exchanged emails early Sunday morning and it was around 11:00 AM when you let me know that you wanted me to give it more than a cursory listen and that you expected me to give it a serious evaluation. I let the amp run until around 1:00 PM before I gave it any kind of serious listen. At that point, it had only been playing about 7 hours and it sounded like it. Being kind, I mentioned the following:

(The 2K4 only had 72 hours of break in at this point)

The 2K4 has a nice top end, very natural sounding, though not as extended or airy as some warmer or tubey sounding units. While listening I did not get the feeling that I was lacking anything up top. The midrange is generally neutral and appears to be more a consequence of the recording than it is affected by the amplifier. It does have a decent stage in terms of height, depth and width are okay with performance about what you expect at this price point. Not bad at all, but nothing to get excited about. Very average. The bass is good with a fair amount of extension and ever so slightly warm enough to fill it out. It does not quite plumb the depths but should get better with more time on it. The bass is also has detail is definitely not of the one note variety. The 2K4 is very fast and has good detail and transient response as well. Instruments are separated very well and it is easy to follow the individual lines when the music gets a bit more complicated. At this stage in the amps "break-in" the dimensionality is only average but should get better. Dynamics are very good but the amp loses some of its naturalness and composure when it has to play loud. This is very subjective, of course and could be an artifact of driving the Sasha's. Tonality is very good, though not quite as warm as some of your other amps, this still sounds good, depending on what your pleasure is. The 2K4's timber is good also and should continue to improve. At the price point you're looking at selling the 2K4 at I feel it will compete with the First Watt M2 ($4000) and the Bel Canto REF 500S ($2800?) though it will clearly outperform the latter amp. I'll let it run continuously overnight and give it another run through before you and Walt get here tomorrow.

I hope you don't take my comments as being too critical as I had nothing to compare the amp to aside from my Bully Sound Company mono-amps as that I as all I have been listening to amp-wise for over a year and a half. The 2K4 taken as a whole sounds good in its own right and on its own merit.

What I was trying not to say was that at its price point, the 2K4 was aptly priced because it lacked a certain amount of refinement that you would find in amplifiers at the $10K price point that it aspires for.

That was in the 1:00 hour. Fast forward to 8:00 - 9:00 and the improvement in sound was noteworthy. I felt like I had given my evaluation much too soon and was hopeful there was a way I could take it all back. The extra 7-8 hours of run-time smoothed out a lot of my concerns. The bass was deeper and tighter and worthy of the "make things vibrate" in my room type of authority that the Sasha's possess. The dimensionality and air around the instruments became much more evident. Vocalists sounded natural and life-like while the dynamics were believable. The stage dimensions began to grow in width and depth. Any doubts as to just refined this amp was were tossed out of the window. The 2K4 is very much refined sounding, in fact, as refined as any amp has a right to be in that $8-10K price point, let alone anything less than that. By the time I turned in for the night, about 1:00 AM Sunday night, I was totally pleased with the 2K4's performance and could happily live
with its performance in my system and driving my Sasha's. By the time
You and your friend came by to take the 2K4 back home with you, it had been run a total of 30 hours by me and sounded outstanding right up until the time you turned it off and took it with you. Suffice it to say, the 2K4 in no way sounds like your typical Class D amp as it seemingly possesses a lot more life, warmth and the ability to make music sound natural, if the rest of your system is up to the task.


Anyhow, I hope this helps describe my last 24 hours with the 2K4 and its metamorphosis from a very ordinary sounding amplifier to one that sounds and performs like something special.

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Post by Ice Man » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:46 pm

Gilbert and Bob,

Thank you for taking the time to reply! I appreciate it!

IM

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wstagner
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Post by wstagner » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:26 pm

I am the "mysterious friend" referenced above.

Here are my comments about this amp:

"Warm/natural" only begins to describe the amp.
Detailed, imaged, spacious also come to mind.
I really think the quality of this amp is only limited by the quality of the source material pumped thru it.

I would never have expected a class D amp to sound as warm and full as good tube amp, but it DOES!

This amp very likely will give the audio business the "boost" it's been needing for quite a while.
TLP Audio<br>http://www.classicpumps.com/tlpmain.htm<br>Illinois Authorized Blue Circle Dealer

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What we all need to remember...

Post by bobneill » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:36 pm

What we all need to remember here is that Gilbert's newest amps, even going back a way, are like cats: they need a few DAYS to settle in to a new situation. I've found that just turned on for four days w/o playing improves them.

Gilbert may want to comment on this as I'm not sure it applies to all of his gear, maybe just the stuff with lots of caps. But my O22i wasn't really happy here for a few days, then burst into song. Same with the NSP.

Anyway, I'll add some more first hand experience to the pool later this fall.

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Post by Raven » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:33 pm

I have the 2K2 amplifier and it has over 400 hours of break in time on it. Walt's comments are very accurate and are virtually exact to what I gave as feedback to Gilbert and Toby.

What I would like to add, and this is very important, is the 2K series only hint at what they can do when new out of the box. It wasn't until 300 hours of playing that the balance kicked in and the 'wow factor' took over. At 400 hours it got even better. Any Blue Circle owner has experienced the break in process however the 2K2 breaks in differently and is very challenging at the beginning.

Gilbert has spent a great deal of time on this class D design and as usual, pushed well beyond the accepted boundaries and accepted design practices for this type of amplifier. The result is, in my opinion, a remarkable next step in the Blue Circle product line. This amplifier, at it's core, embodies the Blue Circle 'house sound' but adds improvements in definition of the vocals and instruments i.e. I feel like I can walk around each musician, there is that much clarity and separation.

The other significant addition is the lower end reproduction. I've always scratched my head at the number of expensive system manufacturers/retailers that claim that thin bass is good as it means the bass is not boomy and there is plenty of control from the amplifier. Live music doesn't sound like that at all. The 2K series does a heck of a job of allowing the lower end of recordings to have weight AND have definition. The added bonus is then 2K2 can deliver a balanced sound with this exceptional lower end sound reproduction at any volume.

When people hear BC gear for the first time I am always asked if there are tubes in the box. As I do not display tube gear, there is always a surprised look and a compliment on the warm and natural sound. This class D design does the same thing which is quite amazing actually. I had a consignment $25K retail class D amplifier in the showroom for a while. Great product. Not as warm and musical as the 2K series but it was a VERY good amp. The 2K2 is better on all accounts. The 2K2 is 1/5th the price so that should put it into perspective.

I'm sure the question that is on everyone's mind is how does it compare to the BC1022. I have both and I have tested both in various systems. Coffee and tea. That is the only way I can start the comparison. The BC1022 is like Tony Bennett. A veteran sound and as good as it gets in that class. The 2K series is the younger prodigy, full of energy and power. Which is my favourite? Bad question to ask me, I can't decide.

What I can say is the 2K2 may be one of the best values in audio not to mention how good the DAR replacement, the ELD is as well and it has the same technology in the amp section.

My ranked top 5 attributes for the 2K2:

1. Value
2. Clarity and separation of instruments/vocals
3. Bass and lower volume extension
4. Chassis size to output power ratio
5. Low heat at high volume

Special mention to the new binding posts that accept banana connectors.
Mystic Audio - Please visit us at www.mysticaudio.ca

Ice Man
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Post by Ice Man » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:45 am

Wonderful and very thoughtful review. It was a pleasure to read. Thanks, Raven.

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Questions

Post by masluck » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:20 pm

Gil But (or anyone),

One question I have with the 2K series amps has to do with digital noise insertion back into the preamp from the Class D amp. Based upon what you have done with noise filtering cancellation in other "cans and boxes" you make, I assume that that is handled? Other Class D designs have been infamous polluters of the system chain. Other questions: is RFI/EMI an issue? Is close proximity to other gear an issue? Thanks!

Mark

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Post by Raven » Wed Nov 18, 2015 3:09 pm

Hi Mark,

Modern Class D does not generate digital noise / switching power supply noise like the older generations of Class D. This is why Class D is so popular now. I have not experienced RFI/EMI with the class D gear from the ELD or 2K2 and I have been moving them around in the showroom in many configurations and with various preamps etc. with no negative effects. By design there should not be any issues at all. Gilbert has also tested his Class D design and there are no noise issues whatsoever so rest assured this technology is free from any of the issues you have mentioned. Hope this helps answer your questions!

Ren
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Post by masluck » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:06 pm

Thanks Rene - thought as much. I guess my only other question has to do with if you can stack 2K series monoblocks (given adequate ventilation as required) or if they have to be separated. If I do make the move over the the 2K series from where I am at now, it probably would be the 2K6 mono amps. Thanks!

Mark

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Post by Raven » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:33 pm

The 2K6 is not bridgeable to monoblock configuration if I'm not mistaken. If I recall you are running AAD 5 or 7's correct? If so, the 2K6 stereo amplifier will be sufficient to melt your walls! This way you don't have to stack anything. The 2K series run cool even when pushed hard but I don't think you need to go that route (2K4 mono blocks) since the 2K6 will be delivering 2000w into the AAD's.
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Post by Gilbert Y » Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:13 pm

I believe Rene has answered everything but I would like to add we have done scientific and non scientific tests that proved our Class D are cats and dogs proof beside human proof.

I can only say the above and back up with test results for our Class D amps. I do believe there are still some Class D amps and/or switching power supplies that still make noise loud and strong enough that can cause issues. It is still buyers aware.

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