CD player for Mcintosh/Krell int amp

I currently use two different int amps for listening to music.......Krell KAV 400xi and also a Mcintosh MA6300.

I like both of them and they are not going anywhere...
however I am looking for a cd player.

*XLR outputs
*$2000-$3000 new or used
*detailed for redbook with good bass
*SACD is a not have to have it
*Tube player would work well with either

I currently have a Mcintosh MCD 201 which I really like
for SACD......I have a couple SACD'S. But I think I can do
better with redbook..which is 98% what I listen to.
I have had the Rega's and MF's. I really liked the A5 from not understand why they do NOT use balanced outputs.

Really looking at an AYRE(ax7e) or ESOTERIC(SA10) or used ACCUPHASE.

I am really not into the modded $800 cd player for $2000.

You should get different amps the 6300 should have been swapped for the 7000 and the "baby Krell" should be sent packing and get yourself a real Krell. The Epitome was the non plateau biased early models that knew what Class A meant. They hold nothing back the KSA 250 for example is worth buying and sending it to Krell for a good refurb.
Any Cd player will be much better with those amps. Perhaps the best CDP is a computer transport and server, they are so clean they just cant function if there is a bad clock and jitter is non existant. You will need a good DAC and interface but don't fret computers don't have balanced outputs and stand alone CDPs are dissapearing fast. The other option to consider is a universal player with a good uadio section.
AYRE(ax7e) with great XLR interconnects should give you the details. I auditioned the 7e with different sets of Audioquest interconnects and notice sonic difference when moving up to next level.
I do like both of my amps and would not trade them.
I am looking at the AYRE very closely.
The krell 400xi may be the best sounding component ever made for it's price...I like it more than the evo rig I sold last year. My SACD standard was upgraded for free by krell to V3 status (Evo505 internals). With Transparent power cords and MIT Oracle cabling, my Krell Res 2 speakers and subs put me in the club with all my jazz favorites. Too bad you can't get a new SACD standard for the old is a musical sex machine for CD's

the KAV 400xi is not a fully balanced design,so why would you want XLR ? If you use the XLR,in a non-balanced design unit ,the preamp section will get 'saturated'.So, unless both CDP and the AMp are trult balanced design ,it would be better sonically to use RCA, instead of balanced out[balanced out tend to have higher output,a lot of nonbalanced preamp/amp sound its best when the output from the CDP is less than 3mV]so this should be your primary consideration,or better still look for one with variable output,like METRONOME, WADIA
Fafafaffull of (insert explitive). The 400xi should only be run balanced, it is far less musical et al in rca mode. I've owned almost everything Krell has offered over the last decade. All reviews have confirmed this.
Both the Mac int amp and the Krell int amp
have their thing for sure they both SOUND
better with good XLR cables.

Never thought about the Krell CD player.
I see the SACD Standard on thi site.

By the way I think the Krell int amp I own is a steal
for the price.
In case I wasn't clear, the 400xi is fully balanced from input tp output...FYI:)
Dave_b.Got your point .There is absolutely no need to be rude and disrespectful.I am here to lend my support to our friend here.If you agree to disagree,you have to take the manufacturers claims very carefully.

1}The 400xi is not FULLY balanced.The FBI is .

2]the manufacturer also claim that it is a class A amp.Maybe you can tell our friend here ,how many % is actually biased in the class A ?I hope you will not think ALL 200 watts of it is in class A[and start insulting others that point out the fact that it isn't]

3]the reason why I highlighted it was because,I saw that klaudio mentioned that he wants a CDP with balance out.It is fine if you want balance out,just make sure it is a Fully balanced design and the intergrated amp preamp section will not get saturated.

4]I was looking for an intergrated amp last year and I have heard a LOT of int amps ,including the 2 KRELLS.I will reserve my judgment about them,suffice to say that the FBI is really one good amp.


I meant to say you are so full of information Fafafion:) I've owned the FBI...nice piece, but not 15K worth better. I know the design arguments from way back when balanced was pro only gear. My experience with the countless number of HiFi kit that have been in and out of my home is that one must experiment and work with a system over time for best results or even to begin to grasp an understanding of the potential encased within each units case work. Ears and experimentation alone will yield satisfaction...pretending to understand audio design and it's capabilities/shortcomings is a straw man argument. Reality is never what were told...experience alone will reveal the truth!!
Dave_b,I will accept your compliment graciously,thank you.

You see,when klaudio was wondering why MF didn't have a balanced out in their CDP,the answers to me are simple;

1]MF is a honest company.The CDP is not a balanced design unit,and they are not trying to fool the customers by putting a balance out[which a lot of companies do]

2.Balanced does not necessarily better,especially at the lower price point

As far as KRELL is concerned to my ears,The FBI is the best of all KRELL products.Is it worth the 15k difference?I know some friends who absolutely think it is .And KRELL likes KRELL.It is as simple as that isn't it?KRELL CDP with KRELL amp and cablings and KRELL/Wilson sp.That has been my experience ,at least.
It's never as simple as that I'm afraid..wish it were, would have saved many thousands of dollars over the years. Once one does their best choosing components based on thier preferences, the job has just begun. Cabling is something I am extremely strong about after owning most manufacturers brands over the years. Bottom line is that I have never found a balanced connection on a piece of kit that was not superior sounding. For musicality and any other HiFi quip one would care to conjur up, MIT and Transparent products have offered me the best results. My reference points are always live music, whether it be classical, jazz or rock!! Remember, the room your in counts for more than 50% of the results you will experience. Krell cast is a trick pony for installers..lossless but not very musical sounding. Wilson speakers I've owned responded well to many amp/preamp combinations be it tube or solid state. Krell gear has generally sounded good to great with any speaker system I have owned. Recently Krell has decided to cater to A/V installations while reducing parts quality as well as removing Class A from their amps. The Evo stuff is not better sounding than the older FPB fact it's a bit a-musical sounding..I owned a full kit a year ago and sold it!! The FBI is/was my favorite unit..sold it for a re-allocation of funds. After digging out my old 400xi, upgrading my Sacd standard to V3 and lashing it up with 20k plus of MIT Oracle V2.2 cables and Transparent MM PC's...well I was amazed at the purity of the upper registers in particular, along with a more natural flow to the music. I liked it so much that I banked all my cash and have enjoyed my music far more than in recent times. I could go on for hours, but suffice it to say, it's fun for us audiophiles to attempt to understand this hobby via reason, but the ghosts are still in the machines and it takes great skill and patience to harness them for our own pleasures. Enjoy!
Wow........I thought I would hear more comments
about the Mcintosh MA 6300 than the Krell.
I have owned more Mcintosh pieces than Krell,
so I am going to take all of your advice with the

I thought it looked (KRELL) and sounded great for the price.
I am very happy with it........the bottom line test
for my toe tapping.....and I did not have
to take out a loan to buy it. I may have to look at the Krell SACD.
Was thinking along the AYRE pathway...but that could change.

I am more into listening to the music than to try
to find some sound I have not heard on a recording
I have heard 4,000,000 times. This hobby is much
more fun that way for me......I used to be like that!

I know more about the Krell 400xi than when I bought it..
that's for sure!
Hello Klaudio,

It's an interesting hobby but don't take it too seriously, you'll find yourself searching for a truth that doesn't exist. Remember it's all about you. The Krell is a love hate relationship for most. Some hate (many haven't listened) and some love (many haven't listened). Trust your ears. There is a lot of marketing in this game. Krell mentions class "A" without the addition of biasing and Musical Fidelity suggests their amplifiers can handle peak currents at 75amp. Both are laughable and often meaningless statistics, both are in the business of selling and marketing general ideas. Each are successful and it happens in all consumer products. And most seem to forget these companies are in the business of selling electronics and not art.

I would recommend perhaps keeping your MAC and buying an external DAC. There are many more options and perhaps a cheaper alternative. If you are set too a one box solution then I would recommend an Ayon CD-1. For several years now I've tried (through casual listening on other systems) to find a digital product that beat my older Meitner gear and I think I have. The Ayon is a real gem. It has the same sonic analog virtues as my Meitner stuff but with much more detail. I haven't heard a better digital playback system. At least not in a home setup. I also believe the Ayon uses XLR outputs (I listened single ended) which would ease any concerns when connected to the Krell.
I am having more fun now with audio than ever and
I agree that you shouldn't kill yourself to
find a sound that is utopia for will not.

I like this Krell int amp. I like my little MAC int amp.
Ten years ago they would have been here for two months and on to the next newest, coolest, highly reviewed component.

I like the Ayon idea.....may be a little out of my budget.
I think $3000 may be tops.....if the stock market gets better.......just kidding.

Very good comments and regarded advice.
"Krell cast is a trick pony for installers..lossless but not very musical sounding."

You win the prize to date for greatest Krell bash statement I've heard in a long time.

Obviously you have no real or long term experience with this equipment, either that or you are severely misinformed as to the definition of "musicality."
No real or long term experience......cut me a break.
This is not a Jolida thread.
Stevecham, I have owned the following krell gear:

Evo202, 402 and 505

It is you who are mistaken my friend. That said, I still respect Krell alot and would prefer their gear over most others. My problem with krell is that they have moved in other directions since concentrating on 2ch/purist audio. The parts quality is way down, european standards have driven away the class A design from their Evo amps and cast does not serve the strips it of vitality and makes it sound very clean, neat and tidy. The only improvement noteworthy was from my 505 to the 202 preamp...the increased dyanmic range was nice.
So Dave, exactly what is "musical?"

Do you mean to say that via CAST, Krell does not provide music?

I'm truly happy to have found other Krellophiles but this use of the term "musicality" is such a turn off; it carries no reference, is meaningless and conveys no useful information.
Musical as a term conveys the impression that a system imparts the sonic hallmarks of a given recording relative to what it would sound like live. Live sound is dynamic, expressive and full of color...cast is not! Go to live concert, try cast on si balanced miliar material at home, replace cast with great cable and decide. Cast tends to constrict or thin the sound a bit and makes it sound harder. A great balanced cable can allow the music to flow and breathe!!
I would highly recommend pairing Krell's SACD Standard with your 400xi Int. Amp. I used this combo. for a few years with many different high-end speaker systems (B&W, Focal & Wilson), and was very happy with the results. I would also highly recommend running Balanced/XLR ICs between them, I tried quite a few mega-buck RCA-ICs and the sound-quality was never close to even the cheapest (quality) pair of XLR ICs. I also A/B'd the Standard to the McIntosh MCD201, and the Krell was far superior. I found the SACD Standard to be sonically close to the Esoteric SA-60 and Wadia 861 players. The SACD Standard is the (much) better of these two Krell components, and still resides at the front of my $30K reference system.