Belles350 A Reference Stereo AmpusedBelles 350 A Reference Stereo AmpBelles 350A Reference Amplifier This my personal 350A and I have used it for about three years and am the second owner of this pristine (9/10 condition) and lovingly and reverentially maintained a...1550.00

Belles 350 A Reference Stereo Amp [Expired]


no longer for sale

Belles 350A Reference Amplifier

This my personal 350A and I have used it for about three years and am the second owner of this pristine (9/10 condition) and lovingly and reverentially maintained amplifier. It is one of the later 350A power amplifiers that soft start and feature a single balanced XLR output for use as a monoblock amplifier. Earlier models had two XLR output jacks and were accused of browning out neighborhoods on start up. But make no mistake this nearly softball sized frighteningly powerful toroidal power transfer is burly and accounts for the near inexhaustible power supply and formidable slew rate of the 350A. The 350A in stereo format makes 250 watts per channel into 8Ω and 500 watts per channel into 4Ω! In monoblock configuration it makes a mind blowing 1,000 watts into 8Ω! Truthfully this amp is seriously underrated as testing by the BHK Labs showed. BHK tested the 350A only in stereo mode, not monoblock, and obtained these figures for 8Ω and 4Ω loads at 1% and 10% THD:

Power output with 1kHz test signal

  • 8-ohm load at 1% THD: 413W (factory rated at 250W)
  • 8-ohm load at 10% THD: 506W
  • 4-ohm load at 1% THD: 658W (factory rated at 500W)
  • 4-ohm load at 10% THD: 821W

There is an excellent full summary of the testing performed by BHK Labs to be found at: http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/measurements/amplifiers/belles_350a_reference/ It truly is a wondrously powerful amplifier that is shockingly quiet across its entire performance spectrum. The power output figures were understated by over 50%, so much so BHK Labs contacted David Belles to verify them and he just said, “I like to be conservative.” Yeah, float like an F-15, sting like a nuclear warhead.

 

The original price was $4,000 (current blue book is over $1800 in average condition) and it was a bargain then being routinely compared favorably with amps, both tube and solid state, costing two to two and one-half times as much for its warm tube like sound and vast resources of clean pure power. It is built like a tank inside and out and doubles its power output every time impedance is halved. It weighs about 60 pounds itself and 65 pounds boxed up. I have used it to power my 3.6R Maggies and the Belles has never ever failed to deliver absolutely clean, clear, non-clipped signal amplification that neither adds nor subtracts from the source signal. The Maggies are 4Ω speakers but can go lower and this amp just shrugs that off, comes back for more and asks the power-hungry Magnepans, “Is that all you got for me?”  The binding posts are likewise stout, secure and gold plated. One of the best things about this amp is David Belles. His commitment to audio and quality reproduction of music is unmatched as he has been designing high end amplifiers and preamplifiers for over 30 years – and you call Belles and he answers the phone! I have spoken with him on several occasions and though crusty and suffering no fools he is very committed to his customers and his art.

Please read the reviews: "There is no easily identifiable character to the sound of this amp. Every recording sounds distinct -- more distinct than they sound with other amplifiers…. The 350A Reference doesn’t add, subtract, or alter anything." Still, "the 350A Reference’s bass extension, power, and control make lesser amps sound like 20-pound weaklings," and "there was no softening or roll-off," but rather "total clarity and honesty in the highs." "The midrange has got to be as close to perfection as you can get at this point in time -- assuming your definition of perfection is not altering the recording in any identifiable way."

Belles says: The Belles 350A Reference Power Amplifier sets an even higher standard of performance over the original Belles 350A power amplifier. Changes include a completely new amplifier circuit topology. The new circuit has a complementary differential input stage using bipolar transistors instead of JFET transistors. The output stage uses new mosfet transistors with two times the power and current capability of the original Belles 350A. These transistors offer 64 amperes of current capability enabling the Belles 350A to drive lower impedance loads. Also, the new output stage has no source resistors in the mosfets. This offers benefits such as less coloration, better reliability under heavy loads, and better control and dampening of the loudspeaker load. The capacitance in the power supply has been doubled to improve dynamics and noise reduction. The new Belles 350A Reference Amplifier has new wiring to improve its sonic performance.

The balanced stereo XLR inputs have been eliminated, but a single balanced XLR input has been added to allow the amplifier to be operated as a bridged monoblock. In this mode the amplifier can deliver 1 kilowatt into 8 ohms. The amplifier can be operated as a stereo amp with RCA jacks only for inputs. In this mode the Belles 350A Reference delivers 250 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

 

The factory specifications for the Belles 350A Reference power amplifier are as follows:

 

Stereo single channel power . . . . . . . . . . .20 to 20,000 Hz (250 watts per channel into

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 ohms, 500 watts per channel into 4 ohms)

Monoblock power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 to 20,000 Hz (1000 watts per channel into

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 ohms)

Distortion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .THD and IM less than 0.1% at rated power

Damping Factor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .over 2000

Peak Current . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 amperes

Stereo Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Unbalanced stereo only

Monoblock Inputs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Balanced only

Input Sensitivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1.98 for rated power

Input Impedance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50,000 ohms

Hum & Noise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .over 100 dB

Crosstalk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .over 60 dB

Frequency Response . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0.2 to 100,000 Hz

Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17" W x 5.25" H x 16.5" D

Shipping Weight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 pounds

Power Rating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120 VAC 10.0 A Fuse

 

The original power cord and a copy of the owner’s manual is included. It is currently securely double boxed in a Mark Levinson factory amplifier double box with foam inserts and will be shipped with a tracking number. The purchaser pays shipping of $100 plus Paypal fees of 3%. Thank you.

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