Classe or Krell

Recently upgraded my speakers to B&W N802NC, powering them with a Jeff Rowland Model 2 amp. At low listening levels the Rowland is hard to beat Transparacy, air, 3-d. At higher listening levels when I'm playing classic rock or pop the amp doesn't have the control over the big Krells, Classe. Budget is a concern upgrade amps that I'm considering are FPB200C, FPB300c, Classe CA400,CA300,CA301. What should I do? Rest of system consist of BAT VK30se, Wadia 860x cd, transparent super speaker wires + xlr int, Cobra pc on the Wadia, 3 Richard G line conditioners, Quantun symphony Pro. PLease Help? cab
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Personally I like Classe, Krell changes models so often it's hard to keep up. I did compare Classe to Krell, I believe KSA series and thought Classe was better in about every department, even bottom end. Classe CA series delivers a more natural sound IMO than Krell and I've heard the FPB amps at dealers - they are better I think than the series I demoed but still have a slightly bright top end. I think Classe makes great amps - better than their current preamps and better than their digital endeavers. Hey, it's a tough choice and personal preference certainly plays a huge part - hope my opinion helps - good luck.
I only have experience with the Krell FPB600c driving Nautilus 801's so I will offer that most people do not have a clue as to the signature of the Krell amplifier. I have noticed them to be very sensitive to vibration and requires either air suspension like a Vibraplane(expensive) or the new Aurios bearings reviewed on by comparison). I personally isolate the 600c with a vibraplane and I also put a 30amp line and a 14ft. King Cobra on the amp. The sound with those two mods changed the unit radically "across the board" and for the better. I am consistently wowed at the improvements that vibration and proper a/c power delivery affect the sound of components. The N802's will demonstrate these effects very effectively and expose the lesser of set-ups! Spiking them is critcal and they should be obtained from your dealer if you don't have them already. I have not tried the Aurios bearings yet but I will be getting several sets in a few weeks to see how they do against the vibraplanes. I will also be trying them underneath the 801's instead of spiking. I currently use 3 vibraplanes in the system and Kind Cobras on all components. Every once in a while you can purchase a lightly used FPB600c for $9,000-$10,000 and it is sonically superior at all sorts of low level musically relevant information as compared to the 300c and it packs a much higher dynamic impact factor. I have experimented extensively in getting the most performance from my B&W N801's. If you are interested send me an e-mail.
Pops comment about model changes is actually a good thing. You can buy last year's models for 60% of new. The CAST technology has replaced a line (all the FPB without the C) line. I prefer the Krell over the Classe. Classe always sounds too soft to my ears and less dynamic. Some say Krell is to harsh but that went away on my system with good Alpha Core flat cables (Devinity).
I have owned both classe and krell, classe tech support is terrible and I think their quality has been slipping for quit awhile, krell quality and tech support are the far above that of classe, the new classe ssp 75 was virtually a clone of a parasound when I auditioned it and the ca series amps are not as good as they used to be. as I said , I have OWNED both, good luck
Tony, How where you able to modify the 600c to accept the King Cobra ? Who does that kind of work? Does this void the manufacturer's warranty? Isolation improved your amp in what areas? Is DH cones any good?
In my limited experience the Classe is more like Rowland than Krell. If you are looking for everything you get with your Rowland, just more of it, I think Classe might make you happier. The Krell to me is a different sound, awesome bass and kind of bright. If you want to change to sound more along these lines, Krell would be more to your liking. By the way, if you do like the Rowland, have you considered one of their newer, larger amps?
Sell the Transparent cables, and replace with used MIT, and get a used Krell FPB 300 (not the new "c"). Use some of the savings for a dedicated room and ASC traps. Invest what's left over in stocks or mutual funds...or booz and hookers, heh heh.
Krell is competent, but you'll need to decide if it works well in your system. I've heard the CA400 at length via Apogee Divas and I'd have to say it was one of the worst sounding high end amps I've heard...dull and hazy.
I think Tony's comments about the Krell are true, but if that is the Krell model you are looking at, then it is only fair to compare it to the Classe Omega. I use a CA-201 and have been very happy with it. One suggestion is I would make sure you get the newer of the models. The ones that end in 1 are the newest models but some of the late model 0's are identical internally. All those revised models are a better bet in the Classe department. I would say that if you want something warmer, go with the Classe, if you want hard sound (more solid-state sounding) go with the Krell.