Personally I'd be wary of the Krell that old as the caps should probably be replaced. The Krell's run very hot. A newer one or a Classe, Bryston or Plinius are all good. You can get a Classe 201 for under 2k and a Bryston 4BST for around 1200. Both are good choices. The Plinius is an excellent choice too and whether or not you need the extra power I don't know. Of the three the Plinius may be the best amp but it can vary due to system synergy.
I can vouch for Classe's service. I have a CA-200 that had a little problem. I sent it to Classe where they fixed it, made some updates, and replaced the RCA jacks because they showed signs of normal wear. They didn't charge me anything but I did have to pay for shipping. I think I made out considering I'm not the original owner and the amp was out of warranty. Plus, it came back sounding more glorious than ever!
I'll never buy a component who's company offers little or no customer service. It's simply not worth it, especially if you're buying used.
This is a very good question. I have some amps that are 40+ years old that work but required maintenance. On the other hand I am using a 30ish year old integrated in a second system that never needed any repairs and sounds great for what it is. I have found that an old ARC amp (solid state) from that period blows fuses once in a while and a Coda preamp from the same era- 1991 dropped a channel, I think I have a fat chance fixing that.
Krell I dare say is different. If you send them your amp they will refurb it for a price and you will have a sound that audio historians consider legendary. It might be worth buying with the full knowledge that your first move is sending it to Krell and you will have to invest a couple of hundred getting into excellent working condition, otherwise only buy old equipment you can afford to lose completely.
i have a p300 accuphase that is 35 years old and has never been serviced. it performs flawlessly. it is possible for a quality ss amp to go for decades without service.
Krell is ok if you like bright harsh highs.
Electronic equipment can always be restored to original condition, IF, (a big if) the needed parts are still available. The technology moves fast, and the available "new and better" devices may not be suitable for the original circuits. Custom switches and pots are the bigest headache.
Class A amps should probably be serviced every 15-20 years depending upon use. AB amps aren't as stressed and can probably go 20-30 years without any noticeable impact. Since the Krell is near that 15 year mark you should keep that in mind when negotiating a price. Once it's serviced it will probably be good for another 15 years. I'd imagine with proper maintainance an amp could last forever.
Something tells me your not very good at building stereo systems...HeHeHe
The Ksa-150/250's are around $400 for Krell to rebuild to spec..shipping another couple hundred. 15 years is a long life for these two amps...my Ksa-250 went out at 12 years. The Ksa-150 does not run as hot as the 250 so my last longer?
I too have been on the upgrade path as many magical units from the past have become available second-hand.
My latest foray has been with 2 ML-9's both of which have been serviced in the last 6 mo. Yes they do age and will require service,even if you hear only sonic nirvana. To those that heard it new it sounds like POOH-POOH .
When your spending those kind of bucks you have to keep that in mind. I also thought about that Krell,but think i'll be very happy with my RESTORED ML-9's biamped.
I am fond of quoting Nelson Pass from my Aleph 3 owner's manual. This oft excerpted comment might be of interest:
...single ended Class A operation is the least efficient operating mode. In fifteen years the electrolytic power supply capacitors will get old. Depending on usage, you will begin to have semiconductor and other failures between 10 and 50 years after date of manufacture. Later, the sun will cool to a white dwarf, and after that the universe will experience heat death.
As noted above, amps that run hot tend to fail sooner, due to the degradation of the capacitors, etc. I have no direct experience with Krell, but am familiar with Classe, and currently own Bryston gear. Bryston amps tend to operate at a moderately warm state, although like any amp they do heat up more when they are driven hard. However, my two Bryston amps have never gotten so hot they are uncomfortable to touch.
Bryston's 20-year unconditional and transferrable warranty sets the standard for the industry, and their customer service is outstanding. They even pay the return shipping charge after the repair is completed.
IMO, their current "SST" line of amps will compete with just about any amp costing up to twice as much, and they hold their resale value very well.
Hey, I am very good at it, First step dont buy overhyped crap, Nordost Krell. Then dont waste money on wire. Biggest rip off in history. Too many people on here have more money than brains. Secondly, let your ears decide not others .
Jameswei - LOL about the Sun - but it will actually expand into a red giant swallowing the first 4 planets about 5G years from now....but back to the subject....Electrolytics all dry out eventually - the first sign is Hum caused by inadequate filtering - old ones can also leak, causing a black residue around the bad capacitor.
the ksa 150 is a killer amp for sure,ive owned several of them & i thought they were one of the best amp's ive ever heard in my home easily competing with my other amp's costing ten time's the amount you can buy a used ksa 150 for.
try not to get too caught up in the hype you'll read here as everybody has their own idea of what good gear is, there will alway's be somebody posting that krell gear is too much of this or not enough of that,anytime somebody ask's about high powered high profile gear like krell,mcintosh or levinson there are guy's who hate the way it sounded to them but you have heard krell gear & you liked it so i'd say go for the krell.
there are a few thing's to look at when buying a ksa 150 & how hard the amp was ran & how much use it has seen will greatly affect it's life span,take a few minutes & look under the hood & check out the cans,look for any discoloration or cracks & look at the heat sink's too,heat sink's that have alot of blueing usually mean the amp has been ran hard or over heated several time's.
dave's run down on the cost to have krell rebuild the amp is spot on,let's say you pay $1500 for a ksa 150 then somewhere down the line you have it rebuilt from krell for a cost of $500 that bring's your cost up to 2k & there is not alot of amp's out there in the 2k range that can even come close to what a freshly rebuilt ksa 150 is capable of.