An Affordable Home Theater Amplifier – The B and K ST2140 Amplifier – Stereo Home Theater Amplifier

I’ve now owned three of the B and K ST2140 amplifiers in the last 10 years.

I currently have two of them driving the midrange and tweeters of each of midrange and tweeters in one of my stereo systems. Using all active/digital crossovers these speakers sound really great driven by these amps.

Are there better amps available?

bk_st2140

Sure, but for the price you can get these on the used market they are hard to beat. I purchased mine used for right around $350.00 each about 3 years ago (in 2008).

The Odyssey Stratos Amps are better in my opinion. But those amps cost about twice as much on the used market. The Odyssey’s are a good alternative if you are looking for a stereo amp in the $750.00 range used.

What’s good about the B&K Reference ST2140 amplifiers?

They have a pretty good midrange, non-intrusive treble with plenty of air. Bass definition is pretty good for the 140 watts on tap. Higher quality amps will trump them in musicality, immediacy, speed, and delicacy. But that is not to say that these amps don’t deliver very well in these areas, they do…

It’s just that the B&K units do have some errors of omission. This is not an unmusical quality. In fact, I would rather have an amp just leave out some detail then to make the music sound threadbare and harsh.

The ST2140 is not threadbare or harsh. It just offers up music with no frills. It has a – “get the job done” attitude without adding its own flare to the mix. And it does all of this while also being pretty transparent to the source as well.

In short, the B and K ST2140 amplifier doesn’t do a whole lot wrong.

It does a whole lot right, especially for the price being asked for these now. If need inexpensive home theater audio equipment that is also well-built, this amp sounds really good.

Power Output B&K ST 2140 Amp

Output power into 4 ohms is 185 watts. Power into 8 ohms is 140 watts.

I have found this to be enough for most loudspeakers. It is certainly more than enough for my setup as each channel is only driving a midrange and a tweeter and there are no passive crossover components between the amp and the drivers.

In my system they are very dynamic and capable, without sounding harsh or unmusical. Imaging is spot on and the soundstage is wide enough to sound creepy at times. This amp really is capable of scarring you during movies and music when the dynamics come slamming in. It really keeps up with what is on the recording in excellent fashion.

Summary

You would have to spend more than twice as much to readily beat the performance of the B&K Reference ST2140 amplifier. I plan on keeping mine for a very long time.

In fact I’ve had these two amps for over 4 years now and I can’t find any good reason to get rid of them. They just do a great job day after day. They may not have sound that’s as good as an Odyssey Stratos Monos, but they’re very nice for the price.
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