Before we make any suggestions, you may want to tell us the rest of your system, including brands/models of source, current preamplifier, amplifier(s), and speakers. . . what genres of music you enjoy listening, what sound your system is producing, and in what direction you would like the sound to change from here. . . I have certain definite preferences in pres within the KX-R pricepoint, but they may or may not match the sound you are looking for.
I have a krell amp. Currently using a Meridian 861 as a preamp. My digital front end is either a puccini or playback designs havent decided yet. I listen to all genre's of music.
Agree w/ Guido, but that aside, consider a Nagra PL-L.
Yet, you must have a sonic goal. . . KX-R is a revealing balanced design with a sound that is somewhat forward and a little too trebly for my prefs. I prefer very controlled sound with strong harmonic development and without traces of intermodulation on sostenuto multipart treble and complex transients. I heard KX-R twice in a row at RMAF in the AYRE suite, and can't claim it is my cup of Tea. Of course, the effect may have been of the whole system. G.
i do not understand the question. if you have a krell amp and are happy with it, it is a no brainer, 202 with cast interconectors. now if you are considering an amp change different story.
the krell amp i have is not cast ready. It was the last model before they came out with before the cast interconnects. Not changing the amp now because it is part of the home theater setup. Would like to start with putting in a new preamp and digital front end. The preamp would need to have theater pass thru.
I do not find the KX-R to be to forward or trebly but i have not heard it with Krell amps. I have not auditioned the Nagra PL-L but I have heard good things. I plan on auditioning in the future.
I really think you need to listen for yourself with your amp and speakers.
This is an off the wall suggestion. I'm not a fan of many tube electronics but I auditioned an Asthetix Janus last week and I was left almost rethinking preamplifiers. My favorite feature was the ability to invert phase via a remote control. One of the most frustrating audio issues I find is an almost complete lack of concern by recording many engineers to have phase continuity. Another very nice feature is cartridge loading via remote. Again, another trick that can improve some LP playback.
"part of a home theater setup"? Are you familiar with the Conrad Johnson MET1?
no not familiar at all with CJ electronics.
If you want the new preamp to be part of your home theater system and integrate with your Meridian, you might want to consider a Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS which has a home theater bypass feature. I have used mine in a combined home theater/2-channel setup and it has been great.
CJ does make excellent tube gear. However, it is single ended which probably won't agree with your Krell amp as well as a fully differentially balanced preamp design.
BTW - I use an Ayre K-1xe preamp with my Krell FPB-600C amp and the pairing produces excellent sound. If the KX-R is a bit forward (not sure that I agree with that assessment though), it should offset the slightly dark character of your Krell amp (assuming it is an FPB since you describe it as the last gen before the cast connections) and result in a very nice tonal balance.
Well I finally got the kx-r in my system for a trial. (The krell arrives next week.)Unbelievable sound. Width,soundstage a very real life presence of the vocal qualities,have to say it is probably the best sounding preamp I have had in my system. Now to audition the Krell.
Did you wind up keeping the KX-R? I've been looking at one as well.
Guildocorona, could you describe what combination when you hear KX-R, I have KX-R and MX-R in my system, paired with Tidal speakers, nothing I find they are forward and trebly, in fact, they are quite understated.
Even with my previous W/P 8, Ayre make them the most musical presentation I have ever heard. The sound satge is dead accurate and no sway around, my previous pre was Pass XP-20, one of the highly prised pre, can't generate so evenly sounding satge, and is more trebly than Ayre.
At least I can be sure one thing, KX-R has sweet but understated treble.
I own the Ayre KX-R and can highly recommend it . I heard many other preamps ,Krell , Levinson , A.R.C, B.A.T. , Marantz , Meridian , ect in my system and the Ayre just brought me closer to the music .