Boulder 850 monos

Hi guys,

Has anyone heard or have experience with these monoblocks? I would be pairing them with a mcintosh c2300 pre.

I would be interested in any comments - particularly in relation to sonic signature, reliability, build quality.

I auditioned them a few years ago and was very underwhelmed. They were dull and lifeless, with less bass than the 50WPC Nagra tube amps I was using. I have been surprised by their positive reviews in the major stereo magazines. I've heard a lot of the big Boulders, and these did not share their sonic signature at all, in my opinion. I imagine that build quality and reliability are first rate.

I could not find anything I'd give up my Nagras for until I listened to a BAT VK-600SE.
Agree with Skreich. The Boulder 850s were quite unnotable to my ears as well. They are rather aesthetically pleasing though, if you're looking for 'cute' power. I heard them paired with Wilson & MBL speakers.

That said, Boulders 2xxx line is extremely impressive if you are looking for neutrality, transparency, and huge soundstaging.

In the 850s price range there are a lot of alternatives worth auditioning.
Anyone else here with experience on this power amps ? would appreciate some inputs. Reviews seems promising.
07-23-11: Skreich
I've heard a lot of the big Boulders, and these did not share their sonic signature at all, in my opinion.
Skreich, did you listen to the Boulder 1060? That amp is in another league to the 850's & is very organic, fast, quiet, dynamic & powerful to my ears and I would say dead neutral. In this way, the 1060 greatly benefits from a well matched tube preamp.
I've heard the Boulder 865 integrated & really like it's sound which is surprisingly powerful for an integrated, natural sounding & accurate. You can really hear the quality in these trace of distortion or noise, the Boulder just lets the music through and gets out of the way. This series gets a bad wrap for a couple of reasons; it is dead neutral and *does* need a good tube preamp upstream imho. Secondly, Boulder amps should be left on 24/7 and kept warm, or they don't sound good. If kept on standby, still allow a couple of hours before doing any critical listening. I would say of the 800 series, the 865 integrated is the standout.