Listen carefully before you buy. I have not been as impressed with the larger FPB amps that I have heard, especially in the deep bass (something Krell was known for). The KSA 250 may still be a better amp and had a powerful bottom end. I'm not sure how they would compare in other ways, as I have never heard them in the same system. Hopefully someone with more current info will respond, but newer has not always been better in the Krell line.
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I own a KSA-250, have used it with many amps. As to it's sound, very refined and laid back in sound/nice soundstage and very, very beautiful on female vocals. This amp will drive the one ohm apogee's and is stable even under one ohm load (2000 [email protected] ohm per side}. The bottom end's limit is the limit of your speakers. I use mine with Bent audio passive transformer volume control for pre and Sony XA777 as source, speakers are Vmps super tower'r. Now the down side: 150lb's, must have 20 amp circut, takes a good half hour to sound it's best and runs very warm, sounds best run balanced. If you can put up with all that, you can't go wrong at it's used price as it will compete with any amp on the market and is bested by very few. I have full specs on Krell Ksa-150/250 models should you want them.
Keithr is correct, if your Thiel's are on the bright side the Krell Ksa-250 will not tame them down, it's just a little on the warm side of neutral. Sounds very good with my small apogee centaur minor's when I sometimes hook them up to it. I also have a pair of Vmps 626's which sound very good on this amp.
I have the FPB 200 amp and I have been very happy with it. The concerns about bass are (I believe) unfounded. I have not noticed any dropoff in bass signal as the lower octaves are reproduced on test equipment.
One of the biggest differences between the older amps and the newer FPB series is that they do not run as hot as the KMA and KSA's. Don't misunderstand though, they still run hotter than my old Aragon.
I have spent a fair amount of time listening older Krell amps and do not think the new FPB amps are of a lesser quality. Some owners of older Krell don't like the 'sustained plateau bias' claiming they did not play in class A long enough.
Brightness is more source or room related than amp and speaker related. Thiel's and Krell should not be a problem unless your source (or more likely your listening room) is overly bright. I have never noticed the FPB 200 to sound particularly bright. In my experience the amp is very well balanced.
The biggest mistake many 'audiophiles' make is attributing room characteristics to their equipment. Is your room sonically bright? If it is your system will be bright. Buying equipment that tends away from being bright will not tame this room characteristic.
Don't worry about this combination, unless the room is a problem. If it is, contact http://www.rivesaudio.com they can help with the room. Many audiophile would be better served to pay more attention to their room and less to upgrading equipment.
I used to have one, was happy with it but sold it when the upgradious made me try Parasound JC1. Guess what: going back to Krell when money permits.
I used to have Classe CAP150. If you find your CA200 too bright Krell will not help here because it is more neutral than warmish Classe.
In any case it would be a very good match for MLs and Maggies. I have never heard Thiels.
I have owned:
2 McIntosh 2105's
Each amp is better than the one that preceeded it. Possibly the biggest difference was with the FPB. I would go for the 300 over the 200 if you can spring for the extra bucks. I use them to drive the highly revealing B&W800's.
Thanks for all your opinions.
Re: platsolos comment, maybe it was the source component or material being played or perhaps the room was untreated (Nrchy may be on to something)because i heard my speaker(3.6) hooked up to an FPB-700(before i took it home from the dealer) and let me say that i'll have to put that in the top five combos(speaker+amp) that i've ever heard(all-time). sonic bliss. It certainly blew away my theory that Krells were cold and bright. Prior to that, if i had 3k to blow on an amp i would've only considered the Levinson 332 or 333.
I have a FPB-200 Krell amp using an ecd-1 dac as part of my digital front end.This combo is nothing short of sensational!!! Brightness is non-existent unless a badly recorded cd is the culprit.My speakers are B&W Nautilus 804.I am very happy with this combo.Any brightness issues are definitely source related.
I would echo Nrchy's comments - I own the FPB 200c and it runs very warm to hot, but I believe it runs cooler than previous Krells. It's definitely not bright in my system / room either - it drives a pair of Dynaudio Confidence 3's. My room is not bright in character to begin with (no windows, w2w carpeting), so it may be a case, as others have suggested, of it being more the room than the amp.
I upgraded from the Krell KAV-250a, so you'd expect it to be better, and it is. If you have difficult load to drive, it's a beautiful amp.
I came at this from the angle of looking for a good amp that would match my Thiel CS3.6's. My local Thiel dealer heavily recommends Krell (pretty much any model) with the CS3.6, and claims that Thiel themselves include Krell on their list of recommended amps for use with their speakers.
My short list of amps for my CS3.6's includes Krell and McCormack (easier on the pocketbook). What did you end up doing? I'd love to hear how things turned out.