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Does Anyone Have Experience with the Blue Circle BC26?

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A

Artar1

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I have four amps on my short list, and the BC26 is one of them.

Has anyone heard this amp with Martin Logan loudspeakers?

I am looking for a well-balanced sound with a slight amount of warmth and sweetness. Does this amp match that sonic description?

The reason for my asking is that I don't have a local dealer.

Thanks.
 

roberto

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Artar1 said:
I have four amps on my short list, and the BC26 is one of them.

Has anyone heard this amp with Martin Logan loudspeakers?

I am looking for a well-balanced sound with a slight amount of warmth and sweetness. Does this amp match that sonic description?

The reason for my asking is that I don't have a local dealer.

Thanks.
Hola Artar 1. You can be sure the quality of Blue Circle goods. One of the best in the industry today, and the company use only high qulity components. Most of the goods are hand made...but beautifully handcrafted!!! You will go for sure with these components, a lot care has taking here!!! When you use musical instruments and voclas as a reference for test and build design, not only how to reproduce bass, mids and highs without distortion...a lot of listening tests are involve with Blue Circle components...very musical with the best components on the industry today!
Happy listening,
Roberto.
 
D

Double D

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I have a lot of experience with the BC26, in both it's original, and mk2 forms.
I wrote the review on the original for Soundstage.com and it was a "Rosetta Stone" product for me.
I had been very much a Krell/Aragon kindof guy before I got acquainted with the BC product, and after spending time with the original BC26 and how it basically booted my KSA200S out the door for all the reasons that mattered, I knew I needed to hear more of the BC product. At the time, I had switched from my Aerius i's to a pair of B&W Nautilus 804's ... and had I heard my Aerius's with a BC amp, I probably would still have them ! :eek:
So... the original BC26 will definately give you a balanced sound, with enough drive and control but still with lots of harmonic correctness to let you enjoy your Logans. The mk2 improves on the original by adding a bit more focus and clarity to the mix.
Depending on which Logans you're going to partner your BC amp with, I might suggest going to one of the hybrid series, (The BC28 or the newer 202 or 204). They work brilliantly with the Logans. I run the big BC206 with my Ascents, and a friend runs a BC28 with his ReQuests.
Most of the BC amps form a synergistic match with the ML's, largely because BC uses Logans exhaustingly during the build and voicing phase of their amps.
Hope this helps a bit
 

Sky Saw

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I hate to chime in with a 'no, but my amp is a...' type of post, but I believe that you have Ascent-i's, as do I. Until very recently, I used a SS amp, which was very detailed, but lacked a certain human element. Based on what I have read about the BC26 and the BC28, without having heard either one, consensus seems to be that where the BC26 is more muscular, the BC28 is sweeter and more nuanced. Double D has considerable experience hearing both these amps, and I would love to hear his comments as well.

I was looking for an amp with the exact characteristics that you describe. I purchased a BC28 very recently, and can report that it delivers everything that the reviews and forum comments suggest. Turning up the volume, things just get bigger and fuller, not in any way harder. And yet, I am blown away by how great it sounds at lower volume levels as well. It's like the sense of presence is not volume dependent (things are 'there' at pretty much any volume level). Instruments are physically rounded (rather than 2-dimensional)and extremely life-like, and vocals are incredible. Listening to Daniel Lanois' most recent album, the first track starts with a very relaxed instrumental atmosphere. I was sitting there thinking how nice it sounded, and was actually startled by his voice coming in - it was so 'there' that for a moment I thought that someone must have come into the room.

Bass is every bit as good as my 4070SE, and I have not come anywhere near exploring the limits of the amplifier's output. My only reservation is that the details in the upper bass are maybe a bit softer than with my 4070SE, although I should warn that I have not put the spikes on my Ascent-i's since putting in the BC28, which might be the culprit.

Overall, I am so happy with this amplifier that I think I have finally reached the point of diminishing returns with my system where I will have to spend a lot more money to get a noticeably more musical experience. I can highly recommend the BC28 with the Ascents.
 
D

Double D

Guest
Sky Saw, your comments are bang on the money...
The newer BC20"X" series definately build on the strengths you mention, and solve that one quibble... but at a price... as you've noted, the BC28 is an extremely high value amp. My friend who uses a 28 to drive his ReQuests gets tremendous results.. his system is consistently listenable, and the music just flows.. making it easy to forget about the system, and just connect with the music.
I think that's gotta be one of the best things about the BC amps, is that almost elusive ability to convey the music at any volume level, whether it's late night with a good glass of vino, or a mid afternoon balls to the wall audiophile filabuster session. :cool:
Artar if you are using a pair of Ascent i's, I would definately recommend the BC28 over a BC26 unless ultimate loudness is your goal, or your room is very large. I think the 28's more beguiling nature in the upper midrange better suits the Ascent i'.
 
A

Artar1

Guest
Good to hear from you!

Hey Roberto!

It's nice to hear from you! I hope all is going well.

Thanks for the "two thumbs up" for Blue Circle products. I feel very similarly, and yes they seem to be well made and attractive too. I like the idea that Martin Logans are used to voice Blue Circle amps. That should make them a good match I hope.

:)
 
A

Artar1

Guest
Nice review of the BC26

Double D said:
I have a lot of experience with the BC26, in both it's original, and mk2 forms.
I wrote the review on the original for Soundstage.com and it was a "Rosetta Stone" product for me.
I had been very much a Krell/Aragon kindof guy before I got acquainted with the BC product, and after spending time with the original BC26 and how it basically booted my KSA200S out the door for all the reasons that mattered, I knew I needed to hear more of the BC product. At the time, I had switched from my Aerius i's to a pair of B&W Nautilus 804's ... and had I heard my Aerius's with a BC amp, I probably would still have them ! :eek:
So... the original BC26 will definately give you a balanced sound, with enough drive and control but still with lots of harmonic correctness to let you enjoy your Logans. The mk2 improves on the original by adding a bit more focus and clarity to the mix.
Depending on which Logans you're going to partner your BC amp with, I might suggest going to one of the hybrid series, (The BC28 or the newer 202 or 204). They work brilliantly with the Logans. I run the big BC206 with my Ascents, and a friend runs a BC28 with his ReQuests.
Most of the BC amps form a synergistic match with the ML's, largely because BC uses Logans exhaustingly during the build and voicing phase of their amps.
Hope this helps a bit
Hey Double D!

I must have read your review a dozen times! It's what got me interested in the BC26 in the first place.

If I go hybrid, I would consider the new BC202 for about $5,300. It's got to be a little more robust than the BC28 with a little more refinement. What do you think? Have you seen this new amp? Also, are there other colors? The BC202 amp on the Blue Circle web site is a bit bright if you know what I mean? My wife won't go for it. As for me, I would just wear some dark sunglasses and get over it, I think?

:D
 
A

Artar1

Guest
Hey Sky Saw!

Sky Saw said:
I hate to chime in with a 'no, but my amp is a...' type of post, but I believe that you have Ascent-i's, as do I. Until very recently, I used a SS amp, which was very detailed, but lacked a certain human element. Based on what I have read about the BC26 and the BC28, without having heard either one, consensus seems to be that where the BC26 is more muscular, the BC28 is sweeter and more nuanced. Double D has considerable experience hearing both these amps, and I would love to hear his comments as well.

I was looking for an amp with the exact characteristics that you describe. I purchased a BC28 very recently, and can report that it delivers everything that the reviews and forum comments suggest. Turning up the volume, things just get bigger and fuller, not in any way harder. And yet, I am blown away by how great it sounds at lower volume levels as well. It's like the sense of presence is not volume dependent (things are 'there' at pretty much any volume level). Instruments are physically rounded (rather than 2-dimensional)and extremely life-like, and vocals are incredible. Listening to Daniel Lanois' most recent album, the first track starts with a very relaxed instrumental atmosphere. I was sitting there thinking how nice it sounded, and was actually startled by his voice coming in - it was so 'there' that for a moment I thought that someone must have come into the room.

Bass is every bit as good as my 4070SE, and I have not come anywhere near exploring the limits of the amplifier's output. My only reservation is that the details in the upper bass are maybe a bit softer than with my 4070SE, although I should warn that I have not put the spikes on my Ascent-i's since putting in the BC28, which might be the culprit.

Overall, I am so happy with this amplifier that I think I have finally reached the point of diminishing returns with my system where I will have to spend a lot more money to get a noticeably more musical experience. I can highly recommend the BC28 with the Ascents.
Hi Sky Saw!

You're right: I do own the Ascent i loudspeakers. And you have described what I am looking for.

If I go hybrid, I am thinking of the BC202, which is similar to the BC28. The BC202 generates about 200 watts into 4 ohms, which is more than enough for my needs. In my listening room, my system should easily reproduce 106 dB peaks!

The other amps on my short list include the Theta Dreadnaught II, Sunfire Signature 600-Two, and Quicksiliver V4 Monos/Adcom GFA 5500. The last choice is a bi-amped system with the Quicksilivers on the panels and the Adcom pushing the woofers. I would use a passive attenuator to balance the gain of the two amps. This arrangement would require two sets of long interconnects, however.

I have heard the Sunfire; it's a really underrated product. It has the greatest clarity, detail, transparency, and openness of any amp I have heard, including the VTL MB-750. But it has three shortcomings, all minor of course: 1) While it has wonderful openness, I feel it lacks soul and nuance like a really good tubed design; 2) With the wrong set of components upstream, the sound can be a little bright through the Ascents; 3) The amp has no image among hardcore audiophiles. I know this last item is really shallow, but it's true. ;)
 

longhorn

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I would not have that of Blue Circle being a high current amp,interesting. How can a "tube" hybrid make enough current to not only play MLs but make them sing? I don't doubt the posts here at all,on the contrary I going to find a dealer somewhere in Texas and demo them.
 
D

davei

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artar1
i have a theta dreadnaught II which i love, but i would not buy it now without listening to the blue circle bc-202 or 204. email BC they hopefully have a dealer near, blue circle is great company to work with, but so is theta
good luck
davei
 
D

Double D

Guest
Lonnghorn, just to clarify something for you, the BC hybrid amps use a tube (6922) input stage, and then pass off to a solid state output stage. Gilbert is EXTREMELY fussy about ensuring the quality of the power supply that he puts into these amps, and as you progress up the line (28--> 202-->204 --> 206) you get more output stage modules, and larger toroids and more filtering and supplies.

Sky Saw, Indeed the 202 is a more refined amp than the 28 (which is no slouch btw). Also, to clarify, all the new 20"X" series are available in pretty much any colour combo you can dream up. They are all built to custom order.
Have a look at the bc site, www.bluecircle.com they have some nice other samples of the colour combo's .. .including a BC204 dressed up with a purpleheart/walnut faceplate and black chassis... very sweet !
:)
 
G

Gilbert Y

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Thanks TomDac

TomDac said:
Gilbert Yeung is a member here.. I'm sure he'll answer the next time he logs on. :D
Yes, I do hang around here from time to time. However, when it comes to these kind of questions in a public forum, I would rather let others chime in as they have already done a very good job. :eek:
 

roberto

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yes...one of the best in the market today!

Artar1 said:
Hey Roberto!

It's nice to hear from you! I hope all is going well.

Thanks for the "two thumbs up" for Blue Circle products. I feel very similarly, and yes they seem to be well made and attractive too. I like the idea that Martin Logans are used to voice Blue Circle amps. That should make them a good match I hope.

:)
Hola Artar1...thanks, everything is getting better...only missing a lot my laptop...

Blue Circle is one of the Brands that makes ML to shine...it is my liking, the way that are build and the way that sings with ML...I think that Mr. Gilbert has done his homework with these kind of goods...
Warm regards from Costa Rica,
Roberto.
 

longhorn

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This thread has shown me that specs do not tell the whole story,not even half. I read that ML need AMPS............Lots of it,yet amps such as Pass or Blue Circle do not have oogle of it as say..........Musical Fidelity which claims amp reading of 30-70. Not saying that MF is a bad component,its not, but apparently MLs do not need as many Amps as many have stated. An Urban myth?
 
G

Gilbert Y

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longhorn said:
This thread has shown me that specs do not tell the whole story,not even half. I read that ML need AMPS............Lots of it,yet amps such as Pass or Blue Circle do not have oogle of it as say..........Musical Fidelity which claims amp reading of 30-70. Not saying that MF is a bad component,its not, but apparently MLs do not need as many Amps as many have stated. An Urban myth?

Longhorn

I think that's more like "marketing myth". Confuse the public is what marketing want to do. Nelson Pass of Pass Labs is one of those rare designer who doesn't BS. I do respect him very much in that regard.
 

roberto

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specs are just a guide...

longhorn said:
This thread has shown me that specs do not tell the whole story,not even half. I read that ML need AMPS............Lots of it,yet amps such as Pass or Blue Circle do not have oogle of it as say..........Musical Fidelity which claims amp reading of 30-70. Not saying that MF is a bad component,its not, but apparently MLs do not need as many Amps as many have stated. An Urban myth?
Hola Longhorn...specs are just a guide to seak more or less what it is needed, but I rather trust in my ears than the specs. Many specs are for Electronic Engineers, and depends a lot of the way that they were measured. Slew rate, damping factor, IM distorition versus Harmonic distortion, to mention some. As I said before: trust in your ears, not in specs. I have listened some amplifiers that are more musical than others with more "humble" specs, in other words, with specs rated lower than others, and the result is as I said: better sounding than the the others. Yes, you are right when you say that the specs do not tell the whole story...my advise is again: trust your ears, not in specs, specs are meaning less...
Happy listening,
Roberto.
 
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