Krell --- Are the Newer designs better?

After hearing all the Krell hatred for so many years, I never thought I would consider a Krell amp -- thin, steely highs -- recessed, distant midrange -- sterile, lifeless sound.............should I have believed what many said?

Then, after reading more recent reviews of the FPB series amps, I got the distinct impression that the sonics have improved to the point that the amps are now in the top class of solid state sound. Even the infamous Jonathan Scull thought it a great amplifier.

However, there are proponents of the older amps, saying they sounded the best. Krell, like Levinson, seems to have polarized audiophiles -- either they like it, or they hate it. What have your experiences been with the different Krells, and how do they measure up to the competition, such as Pass, Rowland, Gamut, Plinius? By the way, I should point out that I am a tube guy, so few solid state amps have floated my boat, the Boulder 1060 being one of them.
Be yourself !

You won't like Krell if you are tube guy.
I've owned many amps, including tubes from Audio Research and Fourier but, I love my Krell FPB 600c.
The new Krell's do not sound like tubes, If your a tube guy as you say then you must know that no SS amps could ever sound like a tube. They can however give that same smooth, glare free no-fatigue listening experience that the best tube amps can give, the Krell's can do this. Lets face it, theirs just a little to much tube ( bloat, noise, midrange exaggeration) in poor tube amps and way to much (sand) in a poor designed SS amp. Once a person learn's this through experience and listening to both types of amps. As a poster said yesterday, if people spent more time and money on their rooms they might just find that their choice's in audio gear has become much wider and more flexible.
I purchased a used KSA-250 earlier this year. What a revelation, even my wife and children commented on the immediate sonic improvement. I am very happy with my KSA-250; I may even try and buy a second one for bi-amping.
Yes, and I've owned many over the last 15 years.

I loved my old KSA 200S. Also liked the original KAV 300i, which I preferred over the 300iL.
I'm not totally convinced that SS can't do what tubes do, but I only say that after listening to the Boulder. The Boulder fleshed out instruments, separated musical strands with no congestion, & had no grain or texture whatsoever -- all traits similar to tubes. I'm just not interested in a $19,000 amplifier, so........

The Pass X350 also was extremely good, however, it became somewhat shrill on certain recordings that were less than ideal. I have come to believe that the shrillness and grit sometimes heard on lesser material on a SS amp is not always on the recording -- I believe it is due to some intermodulation distortion that transistors seem to be prone to. Others will say the tubes are rolling this off or obscuring it, but I don't believe that fully. Transistors tend to react to the musical signal in less than musical ways, and these are some of the things we hear and don't like about transistors.
My favorite Krells are post fans, pre plateau bias, and preferably balanced.
Kevziek, I guess my point was that it has been my listening experience that all well designed amps can sound very good and make you forget which type of design you are listening to. A lot of tube and SS do not sound very good to me. Bad tube to me is (noise,bloat,exaggerated mids, and mud for bass). Bad SS amp for me is (shrill,grain,dull and lifeless). That being said, as far as less than ideal recordings sounding bad with the Pass amp, They will sound just as bad with a Krell amp. I'm not a tube guy or SS guy but do tend to lean more towards SS amps in my systems for the same reason you lean towards tube amps, good tube amps cost more than I want to spend.
I love tubes also. I have a couple of systems and the Krell KSA 250 stayed with me for over 6 years. Prior to that I owned a 300s for a year and a fpb 300 for 6 weeks. I kind of worked backward from their line development, but the 250 is the one I loved. I think it has a darker and softer sound than the newer stuff and might be an easier transition for you.
if you are a tube guy, I agree you will not like
Krell,even Levinsons, unless if the amp sounds
closer to tubes,In my experience the Plinius
is a tube sounding amp,I have it for many years
now,In my system Krell FPB300 sounds very good, but
its not musical,who knows, for you to know audition
them,Also the FPB 300 I auditioned, does not allow
you to use tube preamp,but they say you need ajustment
on the amp.If I were you, if you plan to use it
tube preamp, I will check first.Good Luck
Had 3 ksa250's and a 300S loved them all id take the 300s for most demanding speakers and the 250 for brite speakers. These are nice amps. Not as dynamic in the highs as some which can be a godsend. The ksa amps are requiring cap replacements now as they get 10years+ Something to think about all will need this or amp will not opperate after caps get leakey. Once krell replaces the caps amp will sound better then new!! Pay around 2500 for a overhauled ksa250 you will not regret it. Can be converted into MDA 500 mono blocks for around 3000 a pair. God are those nice.
I have used my 600c with a tube amp for a couple of years with no problem. You have to watch out for the one's that leak DC like some of the BAT preamps. I have tried a BAT with my Krell without incident however. I have seen the BAT preamps shut down a McCormack though.
I am a tube guy but have owned 2 krell amps and a preamp .I found the fpb200c to sound better than the fpb300.Krells are wonderful amps great bass drive ,not much grain.Wish I still had the fpb200c It would make a great bass amp with my wavac running my horns .Still they dont have that majic sound my tube gear gives me .When I would listen to my krell system it would sounded amazing but after awhile it does not hold your atention like my SET and horns do.A least for me /JK
Some of you commented that the KSA250 is softer on the highs, or less dynamic on the highs. I don't know if I equate this with a 'tube sound'. I actually find my tube amp more lively sounding, and less 'dead' sounding than many SS amps. The SS amps can be brighter, but they can still sound less alive, less real sounding and more mechanical.

Even in this thread, I see a polarity of opinion on Krell. Some say I would not like the sound if I like tubes. Yet at least two others owned tubes and liked their Krells.

The Plinius was mentioned as more tube sounding. However, I again have heard that the Plinius is darker and less-alive sounding. I don't want that type of sound either. So, I guess I still have no clear idea as to what the Krells really sound like.
My 600 is dynamic when it needs to be but smooth. It has great bass control because it controls the woofer in both directions. It's a very refind sound. It will not turn a sow's ear into a silk purse however. Or vice-versa.
I'd take Krell amps over any of the amps you've mentioned except bigger Boulder, maybe.
How do they measure up? I'd say equally good. But different.
Krell is just a fun amp to listen to at least for me. That's what's lacking from
the rest on your list. I've never found Krell gear to be overly bright or
incissive as many suggest. ( at least in my rig and system context )
But, I have heard few demos that would give 'em that poor reputation.
Just like any gear, certain combinations with Krell never works for me either.
I've owned the FPB series amps before and I don't mind owening 700 CX
series monoblocks if i had a room or means.

I've ditched 'em for SET monoblocks, but overall system desposition didn't change
much. It's just the particular combination of tube amps/speakers offered
better finesse and agility on bass than the Krell combo I previously used.