In B&K’s Reference series of AV preamps, the Reference 10 is the starting block of a range of AV preamps that has won many positive reviews across the different model offerings. At its launch, you had a choice between this and the Reference 20 which cost 25% more with added processing capability. All that is moot now with current AV preamps that offer newer processing softwares and HDMI inputs/outputs. But if you don’t need to have the latest software or HDMIs, the Reference 10 will still do admirably as a standalone stereo preamp or a basic HT AV preamp in a modest HT setup. Sonically, it is a fantastic preamp for under $200 now. It is sharp sounding with a tight soundstage that would rival any preamps in the sub-$500 category now. So if you are just looking for a simple but killer sounding preamp and don’t mind the aged software inside, the Reference 10 is a good choice.
Cosmetically, the unit looks really good. Just minor scuff marks here and there but nothing major. We don’t have the original remote but programmed a Logitech Harmony 650 remote that will operate it. Unit will be securely packed for safe shipping.