The Concentra is a better overall performing amp (it's capable of letting more of the music through) than the Krell, however, either amp will work very well the Amator. It's very much a matter of personal preference. I have a Concentra, but a friend of mine uses the Krell w/ the Amator and he is very happy with no desire to replace it with the Rowland.
I will second the Concentra. I liked it much better than the Krell. As Onhwy61 stated though, this may be a matter of taste. Some find the Krell harsh and the Rowland musical. Others find the Krell detailed and the Rowland lifeless. Some of it will depend on your other components. If you get the Krell, I'd defintely recommend a tubed cd player and/or an analog rig w/ grado cartridge.
You're gonna kill me. Can't resist--'tis the nature of the audio beast in me. I own the YBA Passion Integre. Powerful, sweet, tubelike, fabulous bass extension-definition, and the usual host of other audio lingo. The JRDG is amazing, but the Passion, for me, was just as,-- and a lot less $$. Never heard the Krell. Listen to one. Whattaya got to lose? warren
I agree Warrenh, the Passion is in a league of it's own... You should try it 0ut before buying the Concentra. You will end up saving money and will probably be amazed by the output of this amp...
By the way, Sonus Faber and JM Lab use YBA prodduct to voice their speakers... YBA and Sonus Faber are a great match...
I posted a few notes about integrated amps earlier this year. Check in the archives, you will find them... I did audition about 7 or 8 integrated and separates before buying a Passion Integre...
Of course, this is only my humble opinion...
I bought a Krell 300i when I moved to the US. It seemed great when I demoed it, but the sound started to grate my ears after a while (driving Snell A3i). The good part was that it was easy to sell because of the Krell name.
I haven't heard the Rowland, but it must be better.
I own both. There is no comparison whatsoever. In fact I can't conceive of anyone being confused on this issue if viewing them side by side. The Rowland is an engineering marvel while the Krell looks like another piece of mass produced crap. Soundwise they have as much in common as Quad and Klipsch.
On the used market a Concentra II will cost you about 4 times as much as a KAV 300i, so the comparison seems ludicrous in that context and the performance disparity seems justifiable.
If you can buy the Rowland, don't hesitate.
All the more reason to check out the Passion. I liked it better than the Concentra. Also, marvelously built, with a world class remote. Let your tympanics guide you to nirvana. You won't be sorry with the Concentra or the Passion. But, I do agree, the Krell is just not happening. Couldn't go one round with either of these babies. FWIW. peace, warren
Hey, it's been a year. Give us an update. Don't be ashamed if you bought the Krell.
I wouldn't match Rowland with SF. Krell's a better match. In fact, Franco uses Krell monos...
Keith, I think we're talking Krell's integrated. At least I thought that was the deal. Mono blocks? Apples and oranges.
SFs can use a more aggressive sounding amp in my experience. The Krell 400i is probably a better bet true.
I still don't think the more laid back Concentra is a good match (and i owned one, so not prejudiced towards JRDG)
Hey Guys, thank for all the knowledgeable advice. I consider all your advise and finally made the decision after a year of shopping for my primary system, I already have a secondary system so……….too my time!
Well this is what I have tried, not in a store demo, a few but mostly took home and tried and have a few people around to assist with some personal opinions as well.
Well here goes. Best integrated out there that I had a chance to try:
Pathos Logos, Rowland Concentra 1 and mk2, Krell KAV300il, Balanced Technology, Plinus, YBA Passion, Audio Research 50, VAC Avatar (one of my favourites but not enough slam compared to some others!) Sim Audio Moon 5i, Brumster, Brinkman, Electrocompaniet ECI-4 , Edge G3. Hmmm I think that’s about it. I had around $5000 to spend or a little more.
And what did I go?
For those of you who will shake your head and say nah!
I only have to say this, many are not able to accept what Krell has achieved from this little box, I even tried the KRC and FPB 300 combo and you really have to question yourself. The 300il had all the control you need on many speakers including some larger Thiel’s as well. On the other had if you have something complicated like the Apogee DIVA’s which I once owned, well then not to forget this things are not speakers actually Jcause they can suck any current thrown to them and they strive on power, not in today’s industry so much compared to then. The 300i had the slam and smoothness I was looking for with the Sonus Faber Electa Amator with all the dynamics I need in a fair sized room and it was one of the cheapest on the list as well.US$3500 Of course this is my opinion. If you don’t believe me try it for your self and see. Been there done that! Happy listening!
P/s the Rowland is a more musical amp I believe with even better built than the already well built Krell, much softer sounding but the slam was not quite there compared to the Krell 300il.
You might want to look at the BAT 300X. I own the model with the super tube preamp section and have not regretted it one minute. I carefully compared the Rowland with the BAT one bought the BAT. Both are excellent. The BAT 300x is usually for sale used one audiogon.
That was listed on the above posting as well Balanced Technology, the 300x was great and I was lucky to have a loan of that for under a month or so....but I decided to go the other way