Buying Advice: Old Meridian or New Krell?

Hi All, I'm looking to set up a modest pre-amp/amp bedroom system for ~2 grand. I'm currently leaning towards picking up an old Meridian 502 and 557 combo, or just going for the Krell S-300i integrated system. Both will run around the same cost I figure; maybe the Meridian will cost a little extra.

I've demoed the Krell at my local shop and like what I heard but would also like to own some Meridian equipment at some point. Anyone favour one over the other? Want to push me in a good direction? :) I'm also willing to hear other purchasing advice.

One turnoff on the Krell is the lack of headphone output (remember it's for a bedroom) as it'll mean picking up a headphone amp (woo audio perhaps?), but it's not necessarily a deal breaker.

Personally I do not like the sound of Krell amplifiers. I know that is a generalization, but I have yet to hear one that really captured my imagination. The Krell S-300i has some very interesting features and seems to be a departure from the typical Krell design formula. I have not heard this integrated, but from what I've read about it, it wouldn't make my shortlist if I were shopping for a stereo or 2.1 system. It is also made in China, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I do wonder if this isn't the beginning of a more mass market approach to business for Krell, which would be.

Meridian makes phenominal components that almost justify their asking price. I have heard a 502 and 557 combo and it would definitely get my vote.

What are you planning on hooking either of them too? (Just curious)
Thanks for the advice Nthlyt2! The Krell being made in China was also bit of a turnoff to me too; I have mixed opinions on that front also. Alas I ended up grabbing a 502 today on Audiogon. I haven't chosen out some speakers yet but am thinking the Usher BE-718 tiny dancer may be a good match with a 502+557.... could be wrong though. Not much to demo in my area, so I more or less have to shoot in the dark and hope for the best.
You can pickup a new pair of Wharfedale Opus Vers.2 M1's from Wildwest Electronics for $749 shipped. Just a thought. Nthlyt2
Good choice going with the Meridian 502 and 557! I own the same combo but with two 557s. Krell (for me) its very very good, I had a KBL (great class A pre-amp) and a KRC after and the Meridian worked better for me, I listen to Jazz, classical and old rock like Pink Floyd, the 502-557 combo its better. I LOVE the balanced connectors of the 502! I had a naim cd5i, now I have the 508.24, all silver wire xlr connected... This is my main system, I dont think its modest, what do you have as your main system? a Kuzma turntable with a gryphon audio power amps and a Alexandria set of speakers from Wilson Audio? I guess if you do then its ok to call your new system MODEST :D
I have a Meridian 508 CD bought new in the day-no repairs ever. It is built like a tank. If it ever gives up the ghost I will buy another Meridian CD. The Krell amps and preamps are built like a tank. Go with your heart they both sound fine. It seems you lean toward the Meridian
I use a Meridian 502 with a Musical Fidelity A308 power amp. I've tried many high end preamps in my system including in the past few years Audio Research SP16, LS17 and Conrad Johnson LS18. None can compare with the 502 for its transparency, clarity and the ability to hear microdynamics. It is a very enjoyable preamp to listen to and, unlike with the CJ, I usually find my foot tapping along to the music so obviously it has timing too. It's a mystery why the 502 and the G02 (which a representative of Meridian virtually admitted to me is a re-boxing of the 502) are not better represented by reviewers. The 502 has been in my setup for 13 years and I can't see it being ousted for a good while.