Krell 400xi or Musical Fidelity A5 for ML Summit?

I had been using a Krell 400xi with my Summits, but the top end bothered me. I have a chance to get the MF A5 as pretty much an even-up swap? Should I pull the trigger? I have an MF A5 CD player.
I have owned a number of Krell pieces, and while not owning the 400xi, I have heard it. Go for the Musical Fidelity. I'm generally not a fan of their gear, but this time it's better than the Krell. The Krell top end on some of their cheap gear was a little harsh, or as Albert Porter once said "it makes my %$#@ ears bleed..."

Nrchy, just because you don’t like Krell equipment does not mean you have to bash it in every post you can.

jlevine, I own Krell gear and its top end is not harsh at all. Please list the cabling you are using on your equipment and if you are using any power conditioning. Some cables do sound harsh.

You might want to try different configurations to see what the best sound is. Have you tried room treatments and making sure proper placement of your summits?

I found Krell equipment sounds best using the XLR connections, MF A5 only has RCA's. I would suggest selling the A5 and get a Krell SACD Standard. I had some MF gear and sold it for all Krell. But that is my preference.
As John Wright (modder of older Ed Meitner gear and soon to be released John Wright gear) once told me. The new Krell stuff is actually very good and passes through everything. Before pulling the trigger on the amp swap I'd consider looking at the source. I find that whatever you feed the Krell, it will spit out. My setup has a very analog sound, I attribute this entirely to my source and the Krell simply passes along the information it receives. If anything I think the Krell is on the warm side of neutral.
Joeyboynj either your post is stupid, or your are stupid. You decide... I have owned more and better Krell gear than you have and I have not bashed it. Read the reviews I wrote of several pieces.

Krell makes some great gear, but the 400xi is not a good piece. I don't know what Mr D was thinking when they decided this was good enough for the market. Maybe they figured that if people want HT gear they don't care about sound quality.

You are entitled to your opinion, but don't delude yourself into thinking that the 400 is good, or that you know what I have owned or heard...

Bring on your flame thrower!!!

Nrchy, maybe the Krell integrated that you've listened to was the KAV-300i and I can agree it's harsh. The 400XI is a different machine altogether and does not possess that similiar character.

jlevine, I would suggest that you reconsider your options. As others have pointed out, the MF doesn't have balanced connections and may not be a better integrated than the Krell. Personally I am a Krell fan and I would suggest looking at the source too as your MF A5 may be the culprit here. You can look at a used KPS-20i(someone selling here at a great price and nope it's not me). I own the KPS-30i and it's a lovely piece of equipment.
I owned the 300i and hear the new piece is better sounding and a better value.But really different sound.It's up to you.I think MF will be more fogiving and still have resolution .The Krell will have grip on bass that the MF can't touch but it is (as is all thier AB gear) a bit "etched" and metallic.Not sure if your open to other suggestions but why not the Sim integrated?More expensive is Ayre which is what I would want with the summits.The Krell in fact might not match with ML's.Krell sounds TERRIBLE with Maggies and your dealing with a (simmilar) very resolving speaker.So I'd go MF.But see iff used Sim and Ayre are arounf in shops to audition.Hear fantastic things about Edge gear but iut's nose bleed stuff price wise.But Sim Moon might be alternative to MF you'd like and if you could pony up for Ayre (knowing those who have had all Sim and went to Ayre and never looked back) if you hook up the Ayre stuff you'll find the budget and never look back.But each to his own.I know folks who loved Krell with Thiel when that for me is an ear splitting combo from hell.The Krell might be your ticket.I knoiw it's hard to A/B them or get the gear in same room with speakers but that is trully the best way because your tastes are your own.
I recently purchased the Krell SACD Standard+400xi combo. over the MF A5 combo. The Krell pieces sounded far more dynamic with deeper bass through a number of different Speakers. I agree with others that these Components must be run in balanced mode to sound their best. The 400xi is good on it's own, but really comes to life when paired with the Standard. Plus, in Black look far more impressive than the silver MF Components, plus you get the best Customer Support in the industry through Krell (CT).
No complaints here.

Hoo boy! Thanks everybody for your input, but there seems to be equal eloquence from both sides of the aisle. Hard to draw much of a clear conclusion. Just in case anybody is moved to chime in further, I use MIT cables--I forget which model but a pretty pricey one. I listen to just about everything, but a lot of big orchestral classical music as well as much solo piano and chamber music, plus a fair amount of small-group jazz. The set-up always seemed weakest on the symphonic stuff--somehow missing oomph.
I own a KW DM CDP and it is very very limpid in the top end; I believe that it may have the sonic signature like the A5, and similar to you I own a pair of Martin Logan SL3's. I've heard my SL3 drivven by KRELL KSA150 and the sound was very nice but failed to make me happy with the top end. A warmer pair of interconnects helped a lot (Van Den Hul the First)but I still decided to stick to my Primare A30.1 as it is more warmer overall. I think Krell gear in general have a dryer sonic print. I would consider the A5 pre-power, you can also bi-amp them when founds permit. Intersonnects DO make a difference so you may want to try VDH MC Gold interconnect.
Hope this help.
I sold my Evo rig for the's that good! I am currently running a MF A5CDP and will demo the sacd standard next week in my home for dealer will allow me full credit back for the A5 if I like the standard better. My cables are MIT Oracle V2.1's. Speakers are Resolution 2's. The 400xi is actually Krell's most musical piece.
My only input is that I did direct A/B tests between a 400xi and a MF TriVista 300(a bit of apples to oranges, I know, but the cost of a used TriVista is about the same as a new 400xi) - the Krell was very articulate, I would say, but with lows a little too extreme, highs a litle bright, but a ridiculously good soundstage (this was when coupled to the Krell 280 CDP) - when using any other CDP that did not have XLR's, the sound degraded FAST. Since you have an A5 CDP, who cares about XLR's? I talked with MF directly about this many times, they simply do not believe in using XLR inputs. The TriVista is utterly laid-back, some may not like this, not sure if the A5 is the same way, but as most consider the TriVista the pinnacle of MF's products, I would assume there is some sonic signature there. MF generally not colored at all, just gives you exactly what you take in.

And as far as service goes, as someone above stated, I found Krell's service HORRENDOUS, can't even talk with anyone on the phone, no return on emails. MF, however, I have talked with Signal Path (their US Dist.) and the factory itself in England about 10 times to ask questions, coudn't have been more responsive. I doubt I will ever sell the TriVista, again, this is my only experience with MF, but it made the 400xi, a Mac 6500, and my Carver Monoblock Silver 7t's in the dust. I sold everything except my old Scott's to keep the TriVista. Accurate. No fatigue. No coloration. The Absolute Sound, at least for me, for now!
Jodus, I am surprised at your comment above. I have dealt with Krell customer service a few times over the past year and it’s the best I ever had. They quickly answered my e-mail questions about their equipment. I had a CDP unit over the warranty period and they brought it up to spec and cleaned it for free! I had another unit that needed a simple repair and now it works perfect. Again, no cost to me. Just had to pay for shipping to their headquarters both times. They even picked up the shipping cost back and it came in a box better than what I sent it in. They are always there to answer my simple questions and help out in any way they can... Your experience maybe non-typical.
Patrick, service mgr at Krell voluntarily offered me a new replacement for my 400XI few months back. Therefore, I cannot say a bad thing abt Krell customer service. Sometimes, " it's not what you say it but how you say it" does matter to others. A little PR will help...
That is good to hear about Krell. Maybe I just caught them on a bad day. As I stated, I think the 400xi is one of the best deals on the market. I had a 400 paired with PSB Goldi's for a bit(they add some warmth back to the Krell), and for under $2500 used, for an amp and speakers, that is one heck of a combo.

Great board, great site, I haved learned (and continue to) so much through this site - very thankful.
Well, guess what guys? I can now say that both brands are first rate, here's why. The KCT/400cx/Thiel CS6 combo just keeps getting year after year and the key is feeding it a quality source. Recently we reconfigured our second listening room with the Vandersteen 2Ces that I was driving with either Rogue Cronus or CJ CAV50 integrateds. This new configuration now means the system fires down the long axis with a vaulted ceiling into a large open kitchen area, all of which translates into a need for more watts. So...

Home demoed a Musical Fidelity A5 integrated last weekend and man, what a difference! Very detailed and sweet like a tube amp, but also dynamic and really woke those Vandy's up. I had no idea how good and rockworthy those Vandys were. For a while I was afraid I might have to upgrade those speakers but now, no way. The A5 I ordered from my local dealer (Bradford Audio in Eugene, OR) arrived yesterday and is now providing excellent music, even after no break in period to speak of. I am not giving up anything by going from the tube integrateds here and in fact feel I am gaining so much more sonically. My wife agrees.

Musical Fidelity and Krell
Vandersteen and Thiel

Among the finest around and in my systems simply by choice because they sound so freaking fantastic.
Own the A5 and its an excellant value. The power is unreal.
After two weeks of breaking in the new A5 integrated it just keeps getting better and better. A solid bargain in integrateds and it has plenty of power with delicacy and dynamics. My Vandersteen 2Ces disappear now. Tremendous.
The A5 integrated is still improving sonically. Today listening to Nielson Symphonies 2 and 3 on London CD and the Vandy 2Ces completely disappear. Instruments float in air, tympanies roar and the horns....!

The MF is one of the best all around values in a modern, high power integrated.