In Barn for Review: A Bel Canto e.One Stack | Pre5 Preamplifier / REF501S Stereo Amplifier

The Bel Canto e.One Pre5/REF501S pre/power combo packs 6 line level inputs and 250 Watts  of output power into two boxes about the size of big book combined.

The complete Bel Canto e.One Series is comprised of the DAC2.1, PHONO, Stream 2, CD3t, REF601M, C6i, and the Pre5 and REF501S in Barn for review. I bet you know what each component is, more or less. just based on the model names. I do, and I like when that happens.

The e.One Pre5 is a fully balanced analog line level preamplifier. The included remote offers volume control and input selection along with access to a number of Programming Modes including Max Volume to limit the max output volume, Edit Input for renaming inputs and turning on/off the Balance control and Home Theater Bypass for each input, Balance, and a Program rest to return to factory defaults.

The Pre5 offers 2x XLR and 4x RCA Inputs paired with independently buffered XLR and RCA Outputs.

The REF501S Class D stereo amplifier features the company’s Impedance Optimized Input Stage, a DC-coupled signal path (look ma, no capacitors), an innovative 5th order loop filter, and 250 Watts of outpower (1% THD according to Bel Canto).

A pair of WBT NextGen speaker binding posts join the XRL and RCA input pairs and a switch for selecting between the two.

The e.One series components are wrapped in the same all-aluminum compact chassis, a mere 8.5″ wide, that comes with a silver or black chunky aluminum faceplate. I prefer the stealthy black. A remote is included with the Pre5 that controls other e.One components as well.

I’ve reviewed a number of products from Bel Canto including their e.One C6i DAC Integrated Amplifier & e.One Stream2 Network Bridge (review) as well as the more upscale E1X Integrated Amplifier (review) and I always walk away impressed. I am looking forward to hearing what their more affordable pre/power can do. Stay tuned!

Bel Canto e.One Pre5 Preamplifier
Price: $2495
Bel Canto REF501S Stereo Amplifier
Price: $2495
Company Website: Bel Canto Design

e.One Pre5 Preamplifier Specifications

Analog Inputs:

Balanced Input Impedance: 10k Ohms
Single-ended Line Input Impedance: 50k Ohms
Maximum Input Level Balanced: 5Vrms
Maximum Input Level Single Ended: 2.5Vrms
Maximum Output Level, RCA and XLR 5Vrms
Distortion at 1Vrms Output: <0.002% 1KHz
Dynamic Range: 125dB A-Weighted re: 5Vrms
Single-ended Line Out Impedance: 50 Ohms
Balanced Output Impedance: 100 Ohms


Output Connections: XLR and RCA Outputs
Power Usage On: 4W
Power Usage Off: 0.0W
Power Input: 100-120VAC, 220-240VAC 50/60 Hz
Fuse Littlefuse 214 Series, 3 ampere, time-lag, 250VAC, 5x20mm ceramic body fuse
Dimensions: 8.5″ W x 12″ D x 3.5″ H (216 mm x 305 mm x 88 mm)
Weight: 13lbs. (6.5 kg) REF501S Stereo Amplifier Specifications

Power Output 1% THD: 250W per channel
Minimum Load: 2 ohms per channel
Peak Output Current: 17.5 amperes per channel
Frequency Response: +/-3 dB 0Hz-50KHz, all loads
THD+N: 0.003% 1W, 1KHz, 4 ohms
IMD (CCIF): 0.0003%, 1W, 14:15KHz, 4 ohms
Output noise: 35uVRMS A-weighted 10Hz-20KHz
Voltage gain: 27dB
Damping factor: >1000
Output Impedance at 100Hz: <8 milliohms
Dynamic Range: 121dB
Input Voltage for Max Output: 1.4Vrms
Input connections: Single-ended RCA or balanced XLR
RCA input impedance: 47Kohms
Balanced input impedance: 95Kohms
Output connections: 2-sets WBT Nextgen 5-way binding posts
Power On usage: 12W
Power Off usage: 0.0W
Internally Set Operating Voltages: 100-120VAC or 230-240VAC 50/60 Hz
Size: 8.5 x 3.5 x 12[inches], 216 x 88 x 305[mm] (WxHxD)
Weight: 12 lbs, 5.5 Kg