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scarpi
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Question on new B&K amp

Ok I just installed in my A/V system a new B&K Reference 200.5 five channel amp. This amp puts out 200 watts/ channel into 8 ohms and 375 into 4 ohms. Its specs state "current peak to peak is 75 amps". I don't have a dedicated AC line in my room for the amp. It shares a typical 15 amp household line with the rest of my gear. My question is B&K recommends in the owners manual to "use a dedicated line for the amp that is not shared with any other household component". Then they go on to say in caps "THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT". Does this mean I could damage the amp by using it in a typical 15 amp line that is shared with my tv, preamp, and dvd player? I understand the use of dedicated 20 amp lines for amplifiers but I don't have that option and isn't the amp designed to run properly on a 15 amp line connected to a home theater system? Has anybody had any experience with this amp? I just bought this amp and I don't want to damage it by using it inappropriately. I've never seen an owners manual state that so profoundly and it makes me kind of nervous when I use it for fear of damaging it. I've emailed B&K, but I have not gotten any response yet. So I thought I would ask the experts on this forum. Any info will help. Oh, and it seems to work fine and sounds great.
Thanks,
Don

Jan Vigne
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

A portion of your answer lies in the speakers you are using. If the speakers are a relatively easy load, the amplifier doesn't have to pass as much current. Wait for B&K to advise you according to their own perception of their product but there's a good chance you will be OK. Conditions for maximum peak to peak current delivery are rather difficult to meet and it's unlikely you'll have problems if you maintain sensible levels until you hear from B&K. Why don't you contact your dealer?

mrlowry
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

It'll work fine sharing a line. It would sound better on a dedicated line, but that's the case with ANY amp. You might want to call an electrician and get an estimate for a dedicated line. It's not as expensive as you'd think. Everyone that I know who has had it done reports that it's one of the best bangs for the buck in high performance audio.

scarpi
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

Thanks for the reply. My speakers are Paradigm Studio 100 version two.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

Sorry, that means nothing to me. I don't have the measurements for every speaker memorized. Find a measurement of those speakers where the impedance curve and the electrical phase angle are shown, it's possible Stereophile has run a test of them and can provide exactly the information you require. JA usually states whether a speaker will require high current or will be an easy load for the amplifier. Quite often the highest amount of current is required in the lowest few octaves of the bass response. If you are running a powered subwoofer and your Paradigm speakers are set to "small", the amp won't be driving the lowest bass that hard. That would resolve most of your issues. If you find a measurement but don't understand what it indicates, post a link to the site.

B&K must have a reason for the emphasis on the availability of current from the AC panel. Let us know if this is more than just a preference by B&K to have their amplifier sound as good as possible.

Did your dealer comment on this?

CharlyD
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

Congratulations on owning such a monster amp. Your speakers were measured in a JA review at 89.5dB/2.83V/1m with an impedance low of about 3 ohms at 90Hz; a load that should present no difficulties for your amp. The maximum current draw of that amp, however, is spec'd by B&K at 17.5 Amps. For this amp to drive its full power, you should have a 20A service. Given the efficiency of your speakers, driving that amp to full power would result in a painful level of SPL. For any sane listening, a 15A circuit should do fine. I'd agree, however, with the other suggestions you've received to look into a dedicated line for that amp.

scarpi
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

Thank you all for the replies. I'm learning as I go here. I knew that I would get some good advice on this forum! Much appreciated.

scarpi
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

Well I still haven't heard from B&K on this issue but I have my home theater gear plugged into a Panamax Max 5510 AC Regenerator and this unit has two meters on it. One shows incoming voltage and the other meter shows the current draw in amps by the gear plugged into it. And the whole home theater system only draws from three to five amps at the most while running. I also talked to a tech at Panamax and he said that the high current outlets on the Panamax 5510 do not restrict the current to the amp at all. Unless I'm missing the point, I don't see why you need a 20 amp line if the gear is only using 4 out of the 15 amps available even during loud passages on movies or music. Thanks all for your replies on this.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Question on new B&K amp


Quote:
Unless I'm missing the point, I don't see why you need a 20 amp line if the gear is only using 4 out of the 15 amps available even during loud passages on movies or music.

Then you apparently missed the point that the current draw from the amplifier is dependent upon the load attached to the amplifier. Different speakers will undoubtedly require a different amount of current for the same volume level.

CharlyD
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Re: Question on new B&K amp

It's very likely that B&K arrived at the 17.5A max rating by driving all five amplifiers in the box to full power (200W) and measuring the line current. Unless you're driving inefficient speakers in a large room to very loud levels, it's very doubtful that you could come close to a similar test in real life. Your speakers are fairly efficient and will drive high SPL's with only a fraction of that amp's output. It's easy to see how the meters on your Panamax are showing only 3 to 5 amps at most. I assume by "at most" you mean as loud as you wish to ever go. A 15A service will suit you just fine.

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