Krell HTS 7.1 for 2 channel or a new or used 2 channel pre?


I have an opportunity to purchase a used Krell HTS 7.1 for 700.00 I have Krell amps Tyler Acoustic Decade 2 speakers. I am currently using a Yamaha 3030 as a pre and it sucks. I switched to the Yamaha for ease of use with hdmi and all but I find it severely lacking in the audio department. So this brings me to the question do I get the Krell or keep searching for a 2 channel pre? Budget is 1000

We listen to cd's and stream via Spotify. I would like to eventually get into lp's

thanks
jfondell

I used the HTS 7.1 for many years before I upgraded to a Krell S1200.  I know others who have used the HTS 7.1 as well.  When used as a pure analog preamp, the HTS 7.1 is very nice, but I would probably put it somewhat on the soft side (due to its analog input section).  That being said, it's still much better than the earlier Krell preamps such as KRC-2 / KRC-3 / KAV-250p.  However, if you feed it a digital signal through COAX, the output of the HTS 7.1 is stunning!  There's nothing wrong with the analog output section and the sound on this HTS 7.1 will still beat many current home theater processors!  If you are streaming from spotify or CD using a bluray player (or other) as a transport, you'll get an excellent result through the digital input!!  I would just make sure that the seller is guaranteeing the digital COAX input works fine, as I have seen these digital inputs fail after 15 years on the HTS 7.1.  It would be too much money to get repaired based the $700 you are paying for this HTS.

If you want to get into LPs, you can still use the HTS as an analog preamp with a phono preamp for the turntable (HTS does not have built-in phono preamp).  The sound may be even more soft and laid back than you are expecting (unless you want this result).  You might be better off looking for a used Krell KAV-280p  (newer than the 250p).  The analog input and output sections on the 280p are awesome and it is definitely not soft / laid back like the HTS 7.1.

I got the HTS and all I can say is it's truly amazing! I have never heard these speakers sound so good I'm amazed! Everything works including the remote. I am streaming from a PS4 which I'm sure isn't the best source but it sounds wonderful 
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That's great!  uhmm, this is totally a shameless plug, but I have my old HTS 7.1 power supply board up for sale.  It's been re-capped and upgraded.  The larger caps gave me much stronger bass and smoother resolution over all.  I put it up for sale here on Audiogon (under my name), so the forum can't get mad at me. :)  Not trying to push to sell this, but it's there if you're interested.
Another thought.  If your using PS4 for transport and have a cheap toslink cable for digital, you could potentially significantly improve your audio by upgrading to a better toslink cable.  They aren't severely expensive.  An example would be a 3 foot Lifatec for $81 (or whatever length you need).  Alternatively, you could do a more expensive cable like the Wire World Super Nova, but I don't know that you would get any better than the Lifatec.
That board if nifty so you replace all of those caps? I have a monster toslink cable 10 years ago they were the top of the line ones, not sure if much has changed? I will say the speakers sound so amazing I don't have words to describe it. I've had these speakers since 2009 and I have never heard them sound the way they do now. I'll give some thought to your board once I replenish some funds

I remember when I first got my HTS 7.1.  I was coming from a Bryston SP2 and before that a Sunfire Theater Grand.  The HTS 7.1 just blew away the other two processors in sound quality.  I remember thinking that I was just amazed on how "strong" the sound was through the Krell and the music was just so much more "there".  Best I can describe it. 

I don't know what Monster was doing 10 years ago, but I do think the Monster brand is generally overpriced for what you get.  Like I said, I don't know, but many of the lower end toslink cables are just Monofilament conductors.  This is just a single solid plastic line that the light travels through.  The higher end cables use stands of pure glass to do the light transmission.

For example, the Lifatec at 3 feet for $81 has 470 strands of Silflex Glass in it's cable.

The more expensive Wire World Super Nova 7 at $200 for a meter (3 feet) has 338 strands of Borosilicate Glass.

The cheaper Wireworld Nova at $40 for 1 meter is just an Acrylic (plastic) Monofilament.

Believe it or not, there is a sound quality difference between these cables.  The sound can be looser/messier with the cheaper monofilament cables.

I always thought that they were all the same, maybe I'll try a new one as cables I think will be next just not sure where to go. I made all my own power cables from Neotech wire that I really like so I'll keep those. I'm running Lat International interconnects and speaker wire but I think I want to get away from the silver. When I turn the system up to say 15 it's way to bright the highs are ear piercing 

Yup, I totally know where you're coming from.  I used to run silver plated copper speaker cable (Audison wire) and solid-core OCC Silver interconnects until I determined that they really did not match well with very strong solid-state equipment.  Silver will charge and discharge faster than copper will.  What I have found is that silver will push the upper mids and highs more.  In addition, bass and mid-bass will be somewhat weak in comparison to copper and the ultra-high frequencies will be smoothed out.  When paired with very strong solid-state equipment like the Krell stuff we have, the sound may come across as too sterile / solid-state and may be a little harsh.  The sound may be a bit artificial as well.  This all comes down to system synergy.  Even putting a single Hi-Fi Tuning fuse (which contains a silver element) can introduce that "silver" sonic signature.  Silver may be a good component to compensate for a very warm or laid back system (maybe like tubes or McIntosh), but it's too much for strong solid-state.  You end up losing emotional attachment to the music.

I have recommended this next suggestion before, but a really cheap way to start transition to pure copper is to get some standard 12awg OFC (oxygen free copper) stranded speaker wire.  This can be obtained extremely cheap from Mono price ($15 for 50 feet) or any other source.  Just make sure it's OFC.  The Beldon stuff sold by Blue Jean Cable is actually inferior (I've tested it).  I don't think the Beldon is actually OFC at all, just standard cheap tinned copper.  I think you may be surprised on how natural (and neutral) the 12awg stranded OFC copper sounds in your system (once it is burned in).  You can run this in the mean time before you decide on spending a lot of money on speaker cable.  If your Tyler speakers are bi-wire, then I would do a double-run of 12awg speaker wire to your speakers and remove the bi-wire jumpers.   I don't know which Krell amp you have, but if the Krell binding posts are not big enough for 2 x 12awg wire (9awg), then you could pick up 4 Furutech FP-201 Rhodium spades from Sonic Craft for $14 each.  They accept up to 6awg wire.

I have converted all my power cords and interconnects over to hand-braided Neotech solid-core OCC 20awg chassis wire.  I use Furutech rhodium plated connectors everywhere (for XLR interconnect and power cord connectors).  The sound is actually amazing from this.  I use Furutech rhodium fuses everywhere.

In actuality, I am currently using 12awg Monoprice stranded OFC speaker wire throughout my system with some amazing results.  Speaker wire upgrade is on my list, but it may be a little while before I get to it.  right now, I'm working on acoustic room treatments.

Ok so now I want to try to build the interconnects you have, could you maybe send me directions or build me some and I'll pay you? I have been reading all day while listening to music and I really need to tame the tweeters in my system so out with the silver. I did make a center channel speaker cable using the Neotech 3002 wire its massive in size but manageable wide bends needs room. 

Thanks

Funny thing about the speaker cable. The Neotech NES-3002 is the exact cable I want to implement into my own system. I just haven't gotten to that point yet.  I will most likely look at putting some Furutech rhodium binding posts on my speakers, if possible.  Otherwise, I'll just use Furutech rhodium spades.

@jfondell - I sent you a PM.  I don't know if you got it.
Oh, I just had another thought.  You may want to work on taming those tweeters first before thinking about changing toslink cables.  In my experience, the higher end toslink cables will make your mids/highs stronger, which could be worse in your current situation.
Ok, I have been so sick the past few days sorry for the late response, I think ill wait a while for the interconnects as they are a lot more than i was thinking...I may do the speaker cables 1st and see if that helps my tweeters settle down. What do you think?
Like I said earlier, putting in some 12awg stranded OFC copper speaker wire will really back off on the tweeter/highs.  It's so cheap and it's an excellent sounding interim solution.  Don't look at buying speaker cable in the $100-200 range.  They are not always great and the terminations (spades/bananas) can sometimes take away sound quality.  You can eventually upgrade to something like Neotech NES-3002.
I just got my HTS 7.1 back from Krell for a few replacement caps.  They also updated the firmware from 2.0 to 3.7 for free (they didn't even tell me they were doing it!).  After having it for a few months, then losing it for 6 weeks, I can say it's a beast of a unit!  It's perfect for my needs.  I listen to a ton of records still.  And this unit is so clean, it sounds like I upgraded my phono preamp.  All video source components run directly into my Samsung 4k LED and then out to the Krell via a TosLink cable.  And everything works in either DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1 (assuming it's being broadcast of course).  I have an Oppo 205 for all of my music and for Blu-Ray movies.  I use the Oppo's DAC out the 5.1 analog outs, into Krell's 7.1 channel input. For 2 channel music, the Oppo's balanced outs into the Krell's "Pre(amp)" mode.  I have used a Marantz AV7005 since it came out (4-5 years ago?).  And even though it's a decent unit for sound quality, the Krell trounces all over it in every way.  Those DACs are pretty solid, like the above user said.  But they still can't compete with Oppo's brand new DACs.  I did a lot of A/B'ing this weekend and I was hoping the Krell would win.  It's just too weak in bass and more shrill in the highs when cranked up (very livable if I didn't know any differently).  But the only time I use the Krell DACs are for my Sat Box, TV Apps and Xbox One S.  I always calibrate manually.  I don't care for what auto-EQ's do for the sound.  It's always jacked up and unnatural sounding.  My room is well treated with sound panels anyway.  The only tricky part I had was getting the OSD to work with a brank new 4k TV.  I had to buy an analog to digital video converter (coax to HDMI).  It was pretty cheap and does the job.  Anyway, the HTS is still a relevant unit even after all these years.

Thought I'd chime in, as I have extensive and recent experience with most of the Krell equipment mentioned.

Purely as stereo preamps, the sounds of the KRC3 and HTS 7.1 are actually quite close in 'genre'. Both are softer-sounding with quite a lot of flowing (and less detailed) bass. The KRC3 has better detail and a higher-quality sound overal, though (really a significant step up to my ears). It does have Theatre Bypass (only on the S3 input, has to be set with switch inside the chassis), so could nicely be integrated in the system you envisage.

The 280p is a lot sharper, detailed and realistic sounding; less tube-like. Some may say 'digital glare' but that depends on your perspective. To me, between KRC3 and 280p you trade pleasantness with realism. KRC3 is very nice for pop and rock, but has too much, slightly muddy bass with orchestral music. 280p is less pleasant and rounded than the KRC3, but voices are very realistic, orchestra is balanced (if a bit sharp), and bass is very tight. 280p has Theatre Bypass on all channels. I was very much on the bridge between which of these to keep, but in the end have decided to sell the KRC3 and keep the 280p (admittedly partly because it's a nice visual match with my other Krell gear of that line).

As to the HTS 7.1 for surround: After going to 7.1 with top-of-the-line integrated Marantz and Yamaha receivers, with HDMI, HD format decoding etc, it's clear that none of these can compete with the power and clarity of the sound the HTS 7.1. (Fronts/center were amplified with Krell 3250 in all cases, so the difference was really down to the preamp.) Of course the HTS is aging and its internal DAC (and lack of HDMI) can only do lossy 5.1. An Oppo into the analog inputs is an option (the 203 can decode lossless formats coming from a streamer like the nVidia Shield as well; 103 can't, lossy only), but may not be the most user-friendly deal... For the time being, I'm going to just stick with 5.1 and standard DD/DTS 5.1 and use the HTS's internal DACs to get there; sound quality and experience will be better than through any AVR with support for lossless, is my current feeling. (Although it may very well be the Oppo's DACs are indeed superior to the old Krell's, which are an early delta-sigma implementation.)

If you, like me, want to put stereo first, you can get the KRC3 (or 280p) and hook up as per normal stereo. I'd rely on a good CD player's DAC, or dedicated stereo DAC; the HTS's is OK but not super for stereo. For HT, you could get the HTS 7.1 plus poweramp for center/surrounds. You would connect the front L/R outs of the HTS to the S3 input on the KRC3. When that input is selected, the KRC3 bypasses its volume control, and all volume is controlled by the HTS.

Hope that helps - good luck!