"Best older Krell integrated amp that sounds good."
Jim, This is an oxymoron. If you want a good sounding Krell amplifier you will have to buy the type of amplifier they earned their reputation with and it was not an audio/video integrated.
If you buy a Pass, ARC or Rowland you system WILL be in that league.
Telling us what speakers you are going to use would be helpful.
TO Onhwy 61 They are Acoustic Zen Adagios
To Rrog: You are an excitable boy!! Relax. I can't afford even used ARC, Rowlands, PASS. And based on people who have owned a few of Krell's integrateds they provide outstanding sound. But, I appreciate your input.
How the three super major brands mentioned above determine their retail pricing is a mystery to me. Personally, I can't see how they can justify it. What the use of NASA or military grade parts or is it years of R&D?? Levinson can be also added to the bunch. Too often audiofiles refuse to consider that a particular product is overpriced.
Let me digress a minute about my visit to a super high end shop here in Honolulu. Both dealer and brand will remain anonymous. Suffice to say, I listened to an $18,000 floorstander that was a two way system driven by top of line BAT amp and pre-amp. Yes, the sound was marvelous( at least what I heard which was a vinyl recording of a female jazz vocalist and guitar acoustic accompaniment. The sound was compelling, engaging, spellbinding, riveting, startling, or any other freakin adjectives so often used by high end guru reviewers.
However, as "satisfying" the sound was to me and its richness and the increditable wall of sound it created, I said to myself (not to my dealer friend) that this speaker is grossly overpriced. What should it cost, I don't know or care, but I was NOT going to run to the bank and buy them even at $10,000. At times, they sounded peaky and leanED toward a bright sound.
About, ten years ago, I got into a real pissing contest with Allen Perkins when he was the Audio Physic rep as to why AP's speakers seemed above the price range of other high-end speakers. He responded with some "happy horseshit" about that like the Volvo he drove, value could only be appreciated by the how much pleasure a product the owner recevied from it. Nice theory but.... I have owned several speakers, none over $5000, and I usually brought used except when I myself worked as an audiosales person for 15 years, and got "comp" discount up to 50% percept offered by manufacturers to long term employees. I have to say when I made the jump from KEF 104ab and Apt Holman electronics to the B&W Matrix 3 MKII driven by Aragon 4004 MK2 amp and Conrad Johnson PV-8, the jump in sound quality brought tears to my eyes. I was so stunned by the sound across the board. Could I have afforded an $8500 rig without the salesman's comps,.... probably not. Though, I could have easily financed part of it, if I was jonesing for it.
In 1988 when I made this leap of faith, the Aragon amp sold for $1800; and, the CJ PV-8 also $1800. There was a TT and CD player in the mix and Monster Reference Garden hose speaker cable and reference ICs Did I think the retail price excessive or grossly inflated, not really. Expensive,yes, but not unreachable. A $10,000 PASS integrated, or Rowlands, or ARC or Boulder is for me, a retired cogger with maybe a decade before turning in my timecard and lunch bucket, excessive, and greedy on the part of the manfacturers who get away with inflated retails.
Sunnyjim, with all due respect, I have to agree with Rrog's initial point. IME, the Krell integrated amps and KAV offerings are not in the same league as their separates. Now if the your not interested in spending the money for Krell separates, I can understand that, but I believe Rrog was trying to offer you the advice not to confuse them even though they carry the same name. OTOH, a Krell integrated just might suit your needs and values.
@ sunnyjim,The krell 400xi sounds good,but the older 300I sounds great too,I would not concern myself alot with the age thing,some of the best equipment outthere was made years ago,Its the same as when alot of companys make a product and it gets a following,then sometimes they will attempt to make it cheaper,like made in china,and expect the same outcome,of course,the not made in china is alot better!,the 400xi and 300I are made in the u.s.a,but the newest offering is not,see my point?cheers!
To Unsound: I was not putting down Rrog's advice; he is usually right in his judgements about high end audio. The issue is: are buyers getting what they pay for??. After my short audition of the $18,000 floorstander, I thought how do I measure $5000 of audio satisfaction, where does the $10,000 level start, or will I be doing cartwheels nad running down the streets with sparklers in my hand yelling "Eureka" when I have reached the $18,000 plateau of aural satisfaction.
Buying audio is not like acquiring the services of a high end escort where you wake up the next morning and say "WOW" that really was worth the $5000. I think it might be easier to determine the level of one's satisfaction in those circumstances based on dollar per dollar ratio
My intention is not to make light of this issue of value in high end audio, but I think it is easier to find value both monetarily and personally in products that are overachievers, and intelligently engineered.
The same company that sells the $18,000 2 way floorstander, has just released a new model that is a cool $107,000 By the time a buyer outfits this product with comparible electronics and cables, he/she could be at $175,000. I don't know anyone who will make that type of investment in audio. Maybe in places like NYC, Dallas, Chicago or even Honolulu where there are incredibly rich people whose discretionary spending allows that type of purchase Today, high end audio suffers from an economy of scale. It produces audio products removed even from the shrinking pool of upper middle class buyers. In a declining economy, this strategy seems to be even more ridiculous and ironic. How many buyers out there are going to be interested in a $107,000 speaker system. And more importantly, what is the longevity of a company whose least expensive speaker is $18,000, or separates that begin at $15,000 and and top out at $85,000 or $95,000. How many "turns" that is, sales is that manufacturer going to have to make to keep the show going, and for that matter, the brick and mortar Audio shop whose got to sell these products just to pay the rent and utilities.
Maybe the Wyred4Sound STi-500 integrated amp would be to your liking as it uses similar class D technology. If you find one on the used market it would be in your price range.
second Krell kav500i.own for 5 years already,the cheapest way dip into audiophile waters:)
paid $2000 at that time, now i think will be around 1700-1800,not so many appears for sale ,means this quite a good amp.If you will be lucky may be you can get for 1500
Have you considered a vintage integrated? There are some really nice sounding amps out there designed by people like Nelson Pass and the same people that designed Accuphase. They sell for a very reasonable price.
There is always the hope of finding a diamond in the rough with older equipment, that is, under 10 years. Some reviews claimed the S300i was very good, but the volume control when remotely operated made noise when it was activated. I heard that complaint from other owners. Actually, of all the reviews I have read, KAV 400i got the highest praise for its sound quality of the Krell KAV series integrated amps. I have looked at other IA's like Sim Moon and 1-5 and 1-5.3, and the Creek Destiny 2. My intuition tells me, Krell is in another class than Creek, though I have owned Creek 5350SE Classic, which was excellent across the board, but had wimpy power at 75RMS
To Rrog, I'll check it out. I know Pass made an amp called Aleph 3 which was about 60 RMS, and is still held in high regard. I may be mistaken, but I never considered Accuphase in the running as a high end product. I may be a bit leary about vintage equipment because of the possibility that parts are no longer available. Conrad Johnson which makes excellent products, but never was a pioneer of integrated amps. They have a current piece which is ET-3, but it is about $4500, and used maybe, $2500-2700. Cheers!!!
@ sunnyjim, sounds like you should get the krell 400xi,I would!,I had a 300i and I loved it!,I have a krell 700cx now,but for my second system,based On what you said about the 400ix,I believe I will buy one!cheers!
Audiolabyrinth, I believe there may be a Krell KAV 400xi on AG now or there was. With any older product, proceed with caution, and also take a look at the reviews before you commit. I am just waiting for a silver 400xi to come around
@ sunnyjim, hi,there is a couple of them on E-bay!,tell me if you get one!,It may take me a couple of months to get mine,I am putting alot of money in the main system at present!,regardless,based on what you told me,I am going for the 400xi!cheers!
Audiolab... I will check out e-bay which is usually alot more expensive. Nevertheless, you should read one of the reviews. Keep in mind this is a 9 year old design and its sound tends toward leaner. Another suggestion to consider is the new Rogue integrated called "The Sphinx" It is a hybrid integrated with 100RMS. It has a phono stage for MM and high output MC, and supposedly sports a separate high quality head phone amp it will sell for $1295.00 One negative, the remote is an extra $100 which in my opinion is cheapskate stuff and the remote only does volume up/down. Good Luck!!
@ sunnyjim,Lean!,I do not think so,a high quality cable such as Taralabs the one,gave the krell 300I I had bass very deep and defined,the over all sound was stunning!with these krell intergrateds,cables make a huge difference!,never put cheap cables on these babys!,I do not care if the cables cost way more than the krell, well worth it,bigtime!,the bass literally vibrated the walls for crying out loud!,plenty of very deep bass!,excellent cable synergy with this krell,as a matter of fact,I still have those cables and thats what I will be useing on the 300I or 400xi, $5,000.00 1 i/c,1 pair of 6ft speaker cables,so far,,,cheers!
@ sunnyjim, hi,As a matter of fact,you loose bass when you buy cheap cables,the tara the one does not add bass at all,they are nuetral,very resolving,warm,transparent big time!,these cables allows the krell 300I or 400xI to do what they really do,I get fustrated when somone believes that if they spend $1,700.00 on a componet,then a $300.00 to $800.00 cables will work best,wrong!,the cables in this case are far and away the most important here!cheers!
@ sunnyjim, Where did you go?, I was not tring to come off like a xxxhole, apoligies,If I came on to strong,been doing audio a long time!, I am a firm believer in cables, to say the least! happy listening!