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Sean is right. I have also read in consumer feedback (please check Audioreview on these two models) that current Krell HTS has bugs.
Another model you should consider is the Lexicon MC-1. I have auditioned all three previously and chose the MC-1. Some people are concerned that its two channel capability may not be as good. Personally I didn't think that was the case and really liked its home theater surround sound much better.
In any case, all three models are coming out with new versions - the new Proceed AVP2, the new Krell Home Theater Standard (in sleek metallic silver) and the new MC-12 (with a much better looking outer shell versus the current cheap-looking shell of the MC-1). Krell suppposedly has fixed the bugs on its new HTS. All three new models are now heavily touting their 2-channel analog by-pass and balanced connections as well as home theater.
For myself, I initially tried to go with the same brand on AV preamp and amp, but finally settled on matching the MC-1 with the Krell KAV-1500, a 5-channel, 300 watts/channel amp along with B&W Nautilus 801, HTM-1 and 805 speaker system, with which I am very happy with both 2-channel and home theater sounds.
This one is easy. I wrote the articles on Audio Review, so I should know. All of the major bugs have been removed from the original HTS and the HTS 2 has analog bypass. You can remove the MC-1 from this equasion. Not only does it sound horrible in 2 channel stereo, it has no analog bypass or balanced inputs. Both Krells and the Proceed have balanced connections but, only the HTS2 and the proceed have analog bypass. The Krell is an all around hands down winner. The proceed was built 5 years ago and hasn't changed much since. It only has 3 balanced channels, F,C,R to all 6 balanced by Krell. Krell has also announced 7.1 balanced. The new Krell is unquestionably the better piece. Whether or not the "proceed 2" will be better is yet to be seen/heard.
Of course, you can pick up an MC-1 or an AVP for less than $3K used now, with new models coming out, and the HTS2 is $6500 retail without many on the used market yet. Right now, without extensive auditioning, I'd want the HTS2 too, but you have to factor in the cost.
I also have to balance out the notion that the MC-1 sounds "horrible" in two channel stereo. I own one and I certainly wouldn't describe it as "horrible" - in fact I think it sounds pretty darn good. Coupled with the fact that I really love HT and it's equal to the best in sound for movies, I think it's a fabulous piece. Anthony Cordesman, when reviewing it for Audio magazine, found it to be a fairly excellent stereo preamp, and I have as much respect for his reviewing as any reviewer going. Is it the best? I seriously doubt it. But for < $3K used and all it's versatility, it should certainly be a contender for somebody wanting a pre/pro. -Kirk
I have demoed all the above units as well..Here are my thoughts...
The Krell is full of bugs like the previous posters have noted. I really wasn't all that impressed with its sound quality either. Krell's name alone makes people tend to lean towards it by reputation only, but it actuality, their digital pieces of equipment really lack a lot compared to the Classe/Citation/Proceed/Levinson, etc. Now, what Krell does DO well and always have is their amplifiers. You will be hard pressed to find an amplifier than can match both the bass slam and the detail that the krell can bring out.
Overall, I think that HTS is about a 3/5 rating *audiophile level rating system*
The Proceed is my favorite...It is rock solid, very quiet, tons of inputs and sounds great in both 2 channel and movies. It also has broadbast quality S-video switching. In my opinion, this is a far superior pre-amp than the HTS is. 5/5 stars
The Lexicon I would stay away from...Sound is always interpreted differently by each listener, but the two-channel stereo sound really didn't impress me. In fact, I thought my old HK receiver sounded just as good and maybe better..Now for home theater, that is a different story..The MC-1 is awesome. Quite possibly the best home theater processor under 10k. Since I am more concerned with stereo sound, I give it a 2.5/5 rating.
The Citation is really the surprise here...I demoed all the above and settled on the Citation 5.0. I got one for a really good price and decided to get it. It is made by madrigal (same as proceed/levinson). For 2 channel stereo, it is better than ANY unit above. The only unit that I have listened to that sounded better in my system was the EAD Signature for two channel. For home theater use, it lags slightly behind the proceed and the lexicon, but not by much. 5/5 rating.
Anyway, just my two sense.. Feel free to email me with any questions..I have demoed nearly ever pre-amp in my system known to man...
I've heard that Sunfire has a new Theater Grand model coming out soon. I know this is not as expensive as Krell or Proceed (sorry) but I have the Theater Grand 2 and its very nice. It also has 6ch balanced outputs, and sounds great in 2ch stereo. Just thought you should know.
p.s- TGP2 owners will be able to upgrade to the new unit when it's available. This is Bob Carvers way of making his product "future prooof".
AggieBob: Would you please list a few of the bugs you found with the HTS2. I own one and reviewed 3 already and know of no such bugs that are present on the current line of HTS units. If you know of ANY please list them, otherwise please do not comment on matters you know nothing about. It simply confuses peoples decisions based on incorrect information.
EricBee: Like I said earlier, it was the HTS1 which was what he was asking about and was about 1.5 years or so ago.
I have no experience with the HTS2, but the HTS1 had a notoriously bad rep in this area so several well known audio dealers (audioinsight/hillcrest) quit carrying them due to all the returns. Krell amps are first rate, but (maybe this changed with the HTS2) their digital units with the exception of the -25c CD player (20k unit) do not have a good rep.
A couple of bugs I saw first hand (again this is 1.5 years ago)
1) popping noise (loud) in the speakers when you adjust volume control
2) would have a lot of trouble automatically detecting a digital signal and in turn switching to the correct mode.
Although, those items are minor in details, I do remember my dealer stating there were others and reliability was in question at the time. I would appreciate it if you kept this discussion to a professional level as well instead of stating "you do not know what you are talking about." This is a free and opinionated thread and that is exactly what I was sharing.