This is a marvelous amplifier capable of sound far beyond what you would expect from a brand that is not well known. BK Butler has custom made products for David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd is very concerned about sound quality, they hired Alan Parsons to master "The Dark Side of the Moon".
One of the great things about this amplifier is its massive power supply which is shared by the 5 channels. Each amplifier channel is its own separate channel and operates independently. BUT...what is great....., is when operated with say only.. 2 channels working (like your Main Left and Right Channels only) those channels benefit from having tons of power reserves, so much so that you can expect more than 200 w.p.c. into 8 ohms. Also when the impedance dips to say 4 ohms... you can expect more than the rated 225 watts into 4ohms with all 5 channels driven....my guess is some where around 300 into 4ohms.. real current ... which is why it works so magnificently with our giant Magneplanar Tympani's which I can assure you are some of the most current hungry speakers available.
This feature is what makes it so marvelous- because nothing is wasted. That huge current supply is available in EXCESS with 2 channels and is more than enough for movie chase scenes and explosions.
It takes a lot of current to make those giant Magneplanars pound- but when fed enough current (important...current is different from wattage, and generally requires better built amps with beefy power supplies) they can really do convincing wave launches.
One of the first nights with this amplifier we were watching "Wolverine"-a part of the X-men series. There is a scene where Wolverine storms out of the lab- and he gets to a heavy metal door and kicks it open violently. The door swings open- and the scene shows the door swinging towards you from the other side. We felt the rush of air from the door as if it was a real door kicked open into our face. I swear we played that scene at least 5 times in a row because we were literally "blown away" by it. It brings to mind the old Maxell ads. Mind you- that was not even in HT mode, that was just with ONLY 2 channels driven and the current hungry Maggies. Also we were not using fat speaker cable, but thinner networked MIT speaker cable- which can be current limiting at times. Yet even without things being optimized for HT it was an entirely convincing experience.
We have many of these type of experiences with each movie we watch... phones ringing off screen sending us scrambling for our iphones, cats fooling our dogs, thunderclaps we think are real and have us hopping up to close windows. It has been a great experience.
We HAD planned to add more channels, the Magneplanar center channel and the MC1's as rears, but we found the amp was capable of doing a convincing phantom center- even without a center channel, and even without a subwoofer for low bass ...we never felt wanting.
So our plans for multi channel changed..... instead of buying more speakers... we thought about buying more speaker cable and bi-amping out Magneplanar Tympanis because the HT experience was so good with just the 2 channels we felt if we improved those 2 channels by bi-amping that both HT and 2 channel listening would benefit.
That was the way we went. And we never looked back. Sure there are a few titles in 5 channel music surround that are great, but we felt for the majority of our music listening which is stereo, and for movies that sounded great in stereo and 5.1 ... we never missed a thing in stereo... which is not always the case for many loudspeakers.
Now had we owned say... ProAc Response 1SC's for our left and right channels..... we would have definitely gone for the center and surrounds, but for our uses it was great to be able to stereo bi-amp with a single amp.
Owners of the Revel Salons will find themselves in the same quandry ...to bi-amp OR to ADD speakers... life is so nice when you have choices that are win-win scenarios. In the end- the wife likes fewer boxes and speakers.... and the sound certainly did not suffer....instead it benefited from bi-amping and even having an additional channel left over..one that we considered as a center- or perhaps to run a mono outdoor speaker.
Recently we inherited several McIntosh amplifiers , we can not sell these as they are family pieces with extreme sentimental value. And while they are not a match for the Butler in terms of finesse ,detail, and slam, my wife is comforted from seeing the familiar green meters of her childhood (mind you these are her Dad's car amplifiers) and has decided to sell her Butler TDB 5150....yes she is an audiophile...she even has $1600 custom molded in ear monitors, and wants a $7000 car audio system to rival my car system, and beat it in some ways.
So after much hemming and hawing... she is selling her BK Butler amp and her Magneplanar Tympanis, and her MIT cable. My new Chapman T-9 flagship loudspeakers ($20,000) now beat out her system, causing her to commandeer my system at will..luckily we listen to the same music. So she finds she is not using her system as much and wants to dump all of her music system investment into her Escalade. Which... is fine by me since we drive her car the most.
We paid $2995 for the amp, but will let it go for $1995, shipping paid by buyer. Shipping weight is 58lbs. And will ship from 81621. The amp recently went to BK Butler himself just to see if it needed to get calibrated, it passed with flying colors. Price is not negotiable as for less she would just keep it. The Magneplanars are into Magnepan for a tweeter upgrade and can be bought with the amp and cable for $5800 and a warranty from Magnepan. The speakers would ship directly from Magnepan, and you would have your choice of brand new speaker grill cloth - either black or white at a slight up charge.
This is a no-brainer when it comes to the hunt for a music system as it is a nicely synergistically matched system that makes convincing MUSIC that stirs emotions like the real thing and sounds real most of the time.
As opposed to many other more expensive systems just amplifying sounds that only vaguely sound real 10% of the time.
A little bonus...
Butler Audio TDB 5150- COLORADO
Magneplanar Tympani 1'D's MINNESOTA
MIT Bruce Brisson DIY cable CALIFORNIA
The entire system is made in the USA and is serviceable here, all by reputable companies with seriously long track records for excellence.
All 100% made in the USA.