how good is the Krell HTS 7.1 pre-amp for 2ch?

Doing mostly 2ch listening now. The system is a bit bright and could be the Wilson WP7 which maybe could be toned down with diff/good pre-amp. However just how good is HTS 7.1 2ch pre? I vaguely recall it may be very good or a dedicated pre could sound much better.

System is Krell 350mcx monos, Wilson WP7. I cannot go tube pre-amp without having the Amps modified which I do not want to do. Thanks all.
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I have never had a pre/pro that I liked for 2 channel, including a Krell. Pre/pro's are just that, what they are made for, giving basic 2 channel service. I am just the opposite. Whatever sound I get out of my 2.0 I could care less.
hi Hughp3, Well of course a dedicated two channel preamp is the ultimate to go. If you're interest in a krell kct preamp let me know i have one availible in a mint condition..
Why do you need to modify the amps if you use a tube preamp? If you are concerned about dc offset, the Krell has a jumper inside that will allow you to use a tube preamp. No modification is needed. I had the same amps.
I own both HTS7.1 and the KCT feeding the 650mcx via xlr and cast respectively. I'd also owned CAL SSP2500, Class SSP25, Citation and Theta casanova. In 2-chanel music, it's the best processor I ever owned. In comparison to the KCT, I would say it delivers 80% of the performance but i'm not sure if the difference is due to the cast or the internal dac itself. Hope this helps.

Thanks all for the responses.

Sfstereo - I have not cracked the case open, just going by the manual which says take the amps to a dealer for modification or bad things could happen. Do you have some instructions on how to do this? I woudl not know where to look.

Sacman, I was a little confused reading the post. Do you mean the 7.1 is about 80% of the KCT's performance?

Amazingly I actually have an Audio Reseach dealer in Atlanta who thinks a Ref5 pre may not require the amp mod and who is willing to let me audition at home. Will keep you posted
Yep. I personally feel that the HTS 7.1 delivers 80% of the KCT's performance. In 2-chan mode, I haven't heard better HT processor yet, including the Cary 11b and the Theta CBIII.
I have a HTS 7.1 feeding a FPB-600c and have put it against a:
Krell HTS 7.1($1800-used)
Krell KCT($3600-used)
Sim Audio P-8($6500-used)
Gryphon Mirage($13,000-used)
this was all in the same day on the same gear,only the preamps were changed out.

The result was in order of cost and so it should be but all were marginal differences except the Gryphon was an exceptional difference from the HTS
I found the KCT was a great bargan for $3600 sound wise,BUT"""HOT"""
Sim was very sheer and analytical sounding
the Mirage was ""NICE"" but $$$$$$
Allin all for 2ch the HTS is a winner and you can use it for SACD surround and 2ch+sub
Thanks McIsoind,

Audio Research says no issue with their Ref5 pre-amp and the Krell amps. I have found a store willing to let me audition the Ref5 at home. We will see if it makes much of a difference. I actually hope it does.

To get access to the jumper, you need to remove the cover. There is a small jumper on a small circuit board near the input connectors. Remove the jumper and the capacitor will be in the circuit to prevent dc voltage from getting into the amp.

As for the Audio Research Ref 5 preamp, it will work very well with Krell amps. I had the Ref 5se connected to a Krell 450 MCX and it sounded really good. You won't be going back to the HTS 7.1 for 2 channels once you hear the Ref 5
Update: purchased a pre-owned AR Ref5. Back to back comparison to the Krell HTS 7.1. Took some listening. The Wilson WP7 have had a hard, bright, edge to the high range. Ref 5 removed that edge. Some music was fatiguing and I could not put my finger on why. the highs now are humm buttery maybe, more musical, more organic less harsh. in any event the sound has improved although back to back was required. Bass however was a very pleasant surprise. The krell was muddy (dare I say that about krell) as compared. the Ref 5 brought a lot more punch and very good low hertz definition. Some tracks on Stanley Clark Bass Days no longer have a muddy thump but now have a very discernible pluck of the bass , not there before. Is the Ref5 a huge change, no, is it worth the dollar upgrade, to me yes ( my wife, no). However I can now listen without the fatigue and that makes it worth the investment to me. I agree with the previous post, a bought a 20 % improvement .
What about using two stereo pre-amplifier? I like ARC, what pre-amplifier, if one liked the surround effect of SACD, would it work to use ? I do not see the need for the centre channel and the LFE, I wonder, If I have the same as two pair of B&W 802 bass speakers in a bass tower, why would I need more bass? I also think it strange, related to music, to have speakers behind the listener; as when does a symphony play half its ensemble behind the audience? Why not place the surround closer, but further out and just a bit forward of the listener?