Amplifier Decision - Audio Research vs Krell

Hi all,

I wanted to ask all the experts out here at Audiogon for their opinion before I make a purchase.

I have the big task of deciding to buy one of two amps:

Audio Research Classic 120 (both monoblocks of course)

or the

Krell KSA-250

I am torn between the two! Both are the same price and both are working perfect.

I have a Paragon 12 pre-amp. My speakers are Acoustic Research AR-7, but will probably change in the future.

I'd appreciate opinions and suggestions.

The Krell is overkill as far as those speakers go (don't they measure around 91db. or so?)... so unless you are going to another set of speakers that need that kind of power...I would scratch the Krell.

BTW...I own a Ksa-250 and do like it.

I think it depends on how serious you are about chnanging speakers. If you are really considering it, I'd look at those first, and then decide on the amplifier.
I agree with S7horton; your speaker selection will play a big part in the amp you want. If you get Apogees or Theil CS5s you'll want the Krell, but otherwise you may prefer the tubes for a more efficient speaker.
I owned a Krell KSA 250. I thought it was wonderful. Very real - and believe it or not - nicely warm. It will also handle any speaker you throw at it, in the future.

Best of luck.
Speakers are more important than the amp.
A so-so amp can sound very good on excellent speakers, whereas so-so speakers will sound so-so on a excellent amp.
Speakers will probably change in the future...even though these have been surprisingly good while playing with a mediocre amp.

I basically want to get a high quality amp that will last a long time and have the dynamism to play with a variety of equipment.

I was told that the Classic 120s are an excellent choice in that they deliver flawless power for pretty much any application and are very modifiable. it true that the Krell would need its own breaker and serious heat circulation?
Never heard the Audio Research but I owned the KSA 250 for 5 yrs. I got it for my Duetta Sigs but when it was delivered I couldn't move it to them so I hooked it up to my Merlin VSM just to see if it survived the shipping. Wow. I didn't think it would be a good match, usually its Merlin/tubes. Bigger WOW on the Aps. I think it's a really special amp and you would certainly be future proof with any speakers. You may ultimately find a better synergy with another amp and that's just part of this hobby. I ran mine off a normal 15 amp circuit. It does run hot. It's problaby close to 15 yrs old and may need caps in the future. Good luck.
ARC will be your best bet if you have any reservations about listener fatigue, or if you value transparency and imaging. ARC can be gorgeous, which is not to knock Krell, but ARC done right (right model in the right system) is magical. Good luck
I am a very satsified Krell 400cx owner but in this particular case I agree the ARC will likely work best for you in this application. I am also a tube lover but I could not drive my Thiels with it. Happy listening.

In general, you want to match the amp to the speakers; not
the other way around.

I think you need to nail down what your new speakers will be,
and then match the amp to those. Your new speakers may turn
out to be current/power hungry - for which you would want
something more akin to the Krell.

Dr. Gregory Greenman