Although I really love Cary Tube gear I even own some. I think Krell has the better experience in SS HT type stuff however. I am not sure if there is a significant price differential with the Cary representing a large saving over the Krell. If so that may weigh heavily but most important experience larger sales or what not it always comes down to the sound . The best favor you can do for yourself in this question is to go and audition them. I have heard the Krell which is very good, but in all honesty, I am not a home theater type listener.
I replaced a Proceed PAV/PDSD with a Cinema 11a, based on Michael Fremer's glowing review of its sonics, and his conclusion that a separate pre-amp would be superfluous. From reviews, I gathered that the sonics of the Cary were superior to those of the Krell. The Cinema 11a and 12 are buggy, but the sonics are indeed superb, and the bugs mostly haven't bothered me. The one bug that does, the 11a and 12 treat LPCM as DSD and thus provide no bass management, is not an issue if you are using analog out from the BDP-95, because the Oppo passes bass management to the Cary.
I've owned both the Cary 6 and the original Krell HTS 5.1, so you may extrapolate from from my experience, but hands down the Cary was the more musical of the two in 2ch, and a slight edge to the Krell in HT. In fact, Cary makes some of the most musical 2channel processors you can buy.
DB - If the Oppo passes bass management to the Cary, then is the Cary converting the analog to digital first, and then back to analog? If so, wouldn't it be better to go digital out from the Oppo?
My post wasn't clear. The Oppo can pass 7.1 analog to the Cary. If the Cary is set to bypass, the 7.1 is output from the Cary without further processing other than RCA being converted to XLR. What I should have written was that the Oppo does the bass management and can process lossless codecs.
In retrospect, I needn't have replaced the PAV/PDSD, because the PDSD has 5.1 analog pass-through and the Oppo can output lossless codecs. The PDSD also converts RCA to XLR.
I've using the Krell HTS 7.1 with an Oppo BDP-95 right now. It does sound amazing.
When I purchased my pre/pro a few years ago, I did listen to the Cary 11a and although it's a very nice sounding pre, I always felt more "engaged" by the Krell. It really comes down to a matter of taste, they are both very good.
Thanks for all the feed back, I decided to go with the Krell.
The Cary seems to have a lot of issues and I'm familar with the Krell. Thanks again Charlie
I was faced with the same decision 2 years ago and I went with HTS 7.1. The HTS 7.1 is the best processor in 2-chan mode. It's very closed to the Krell KCT in music. Of all the processors that i perosnally owned including the CAL SSP2500, Theta Casanova, Classe ssp25, it's the most musical processor. Though I don't own the Cary but I did audition the Cary 11b with HDMI option at 2011 CES and I was not impressed.
Although I have not hook up the 7.1 yet I feel alot better now that I,v read your post.
You're welcomed. Make sure you adjust the signal levels as they often set very low on all channels so you won't get a full clean sound. I didn't know this until my buddy who also owned one himself told me about it.
What signals are you talking? I'm gone to run all analog bypass including 2 channel. Any info you can pass onto me would be greatly appreciated.
I'm away from my system but if I remember correctly, inside the audio menu, you can adjust the input sensitivity. Typically, it's default to 50% but I found it best to 100%. It has options for all 7 output channels.
OK sweet, thanks a bunch, I'll check it out.