Krell KAV400 VS Musical Fidelity A300 A 3.2 A3.5

I could not find any threads dedicated to this seemingly obvious comparison.
Both SS integrated amps. Both a easily available in US and from Audiogon.
Both have plenty of power.

However my question is : For Classical and Jazz which one would be your preference and why?
I listen only to LPs if it matters.
Thank you.
I appreciate your responses.
I would step up to the Musical Fidelity A5. I have recently downsized from some nice separates and have no regrets. These come onto Audiogon occasionally for about $1500. This unit is extremely musical but also very detailed with deep punchy bass and very nice imaging and soundstaging. Just my .02.
I can't believe I'm responding to you after I just slammed you over your ignorance about PC's and fuses. Anyway, the 400xi is potentialy one of the finest pieces ever made when set up properly. One has remained in my system despite more than a few high end systems coming and going over the years.
I just replaced my less than six months old Musical Fidelity A5 with a KAV400xi and am very glad I did.
Stevecham, try taking off the top casework of the 400xi. Also, mapleshade triplepoint heavyfeet into a wood (maples best) sub-platform does wonders. If you ever get a chance to buy a used Transparent MM PC it will astound you! Lastly, use HI FI 8amp large tuning fuses for maximum performance. The only expensive piece is the Transparent PC...and I wouldn't run mine with any other power cord:)
Curious where you get the tuning fuses?
Would like to try with my Krell.
I live in the woods.

The difference is clear if you listen to them. Both have their adherents. I would highly recommend listening to both to see which sound you like. Krell - forward, detailed, unforgiving. You'd better have a good source because the Krell will let you know every flaw. MF - warmer sounding but not exactly the tube warmth but it seems they're designed to have some sort of "presence." Rounder, somewhat fuller. The highs can be just as etchy as the Krell but are somewhat covered by the fuller lower end.
If you have a great, and I mean really good, digital source and don't listen to a lot of boosted, compressed music then I'd go with the Krell. Otherwise if you want something more forgiving the MF.
I listen to LPs exclusively. Dos it mean I better go with more forgiving MF?
Unforgiving is another of those words poorly used to describe audio. It means nothing. If it is intended to mean that it reveals nuances in the performance of components upstream in the system, then that is how it should be termed.

As I said earlier, I own both of these amps and have immediate and present experience with both, in my home, in my system. To me, the Krell presents a less colored version of the recorded performance than does the MF. The MF has what I hear as a mid bass bump that adds what some might term "warmth." My personal preference is to hear recordings the way they turned out, and to able to separate the "wheat from the chaff." Many recordings do not sound good primarily because they were poorly produced. The last thing I want is a system that artificially colors the music in a way that does not let me hear it as intended, for better or worse. Others may desire such artifical coloring to try and "hide" blemished production values and I respect that. To me, such an approach eventually becomes fatiguing. But the Krell is no more "forgiving" of music than the MF, which simply colors it more so as to provide what I perceive as artificial warmth in this quite audible portion of the frequency spectrum. Some may desire this.

By the way I listen to vinyl 50% of the time and have an EAR834P phono pre that "warms" up the vinyl presentation. Again the Krell provides an "auditory view" into this setup that is accurate; I wouldn't have it any other way.

Also I listen to jazz, rock, classical, electronica and I have always maintained that any system should be able to play back all styles equally well. Otherwise there is something askance and will eventually lead to disatisfaction.
To each his own. I spent a lot of time and money on "revealing", "nuanced", "accurate", "detailed", and the coda: a quote from The Matrix: "You know, I know this steak doesn't exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After nine years, you know what I realize? [Takes a bite of steak] Ignorance is bliss." I concluded I like what sounded good over what really was 8 days a week.
I have never owned either, but one Minor point.
The Krell runs pretty even. I listened for about an hour at the local emporium. The Krell was hooked to Magnepan 3.6r speakers, 4ohm and I don't know how bad an actual load. Within 20 minutes, the Krell was cookin'.

If you DO get the Krell make sure you have a Well Ventilated space.
Fuses were purchased from the cable Robert Stein and mention my name. He may even allow a trial..not sure:)
I decided to go with Krell KAV400. MF from what I gather is a smooth sounding amp. I hate smooth sounding amps, speakers and people.
No surprise I don't like YBA or Audio Refinement or Tubes (tubes lol).

What surprises me is that people who have 30% of their treble hearing gone due to natural aging prefer equipment that has all those high frequencies, they cannot hear in a first place, electronically limited (rolled off). That is one subject to ponder for physiologists.

I'll make sure to update this thread with my review of Krell KAV once I set it up (plug it in that is). did wake up afterall! Enjoy the unit and don't forget some of the tweaks mentioned.
My Krell is now 1.5 months old from new. I REALLY know I made the right choice. I was looking at a very different int. amp when I bought this. I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT.

I think it is great for the price. It saved me money.
I go by how musical it sounds. It is the most balanced int amp in this price range you can buy. I do not mean just the balanced output. It puts every part of the music in the right place, without excessive detail to one instrument and not hearing another. This is hard to find.
More cd's sound good, instead of this one is great and
well this one goes to the bottom of the pile until I get something different.

I just hooked up Krell and it is awful. I have to turn the volume dial to 75 to get the same volume as my 50W YBA gets in 1/5 of the dial.
Krell gets 57C in about 20 minutes. How is this electronic marvel designed that it heats up just from being plugged into AC?
I switched back to YBA and heard more information and more treble believe it or not. Krell was only good at bass.
BTW just to add there is no mid range some highs and tight bass. I highly recommend Krell KAV 400 if you have your ears growing out of your rear and if you have cold house . Oh yes that peace of US engineering will save you money on heating.
Where is the music ,well it is not coming from this amp.
I am selling it after 15 minutes of owning this junk.
DKzzzz, you are either a liar, a fool or an imbicile! Of course it is also possible that you are all three. Please post your system so I can make a determination for you...wouldn't want you to suffer any further disapointments. I care about you man:)
Dave, He must have bought the 400xi used and got a defective unit.
>>DKzzzz, you are either a liar, a fool or an imbicile<<

Why, because he doesn't agree with you?

Appears to be the pot calling the kettle black.

BTW, it's imbecile not imbicile.
I only regret the spelling error, FYI. As for the comments from DKzzzz, it's obvious from his remarks that he is either blowing smoke or is unable to properly setup his system. Until he posts his system we can only guess as to the reasons for his less than stellar results. I respect opinions of others who present themselves with intelligent and well thought out reasons for their likes and dislikes. Many manufacturers make quality components. I have enjoyed a wide range of products over the years...DKzzz's rantings sound suspicious and biased. Me thinks he might not have purchased a 400xi at all! If he did, it was most likely used.
Does the Krell double the output as the impedance halves? Do you find the 400 watts into 4 ohms sufficient to run your Resolutions 2's?
Properly set up my system? You mean with proper fuses and power cords? :)
Dave why are you stocking my thread? Please troll somewhere else.

P.S. Is Maple really the best for isolation platforms? lol

As I mentioned before Krell is a dream machine for people with Home-theater goals. For anyone interetsed in 2-channel audio this amp is useless.
Let me put it this way. If you think that Sonus Faber or B&W are great speakers then Krell is a great amp for you. Krell KAV400 is Bose of high end audio. Highs and lows and nothing in between.
Dkzzzz is right.

I talk to dozens of customers and potential customers every week and virtually nobody is interested in Krell anymore. With the influx of new and more innovative manufacturers and products, Krell has lost its's position as a premier brand. Nice home theater but dinosaur high end.


You can cry and piss and moan and whine all you want Dave but that's the reality of the situation.

Of course when all else fails and you have no substantive argument you can always start calling Dkzzzz names again.

Works for you.
Yes, the 400xi doubles it's power output into 4ohms. It's very odd when someone attacks a brand so feverishly. Especially when the attacks are broad baseless remarks. I like the 400xi at it's price point. Any number of other products exist that can generate great sound as well. What's the problem? Components are only as good as the system and environment allow...just as many people will line up to praise one component as another. Audiofeil is all about Audiofeil and whatever his inventory holds. FYI, several reviews of the 400xi have been done over the years...check them out and listen for yourself. If you don't like it then go elsewhere. DKzzzz seems suspicious to me based upon the lack of detail put forward in his rantings. Normal individuals who review something explain their results, mention how they used a component and even note what music helped them to make a decision. I believe DKzzzz owned or owns Sonus Faber speakers..funny he should bad mouth them. By the way, the Krell KAV400xi offers unprecedented power and control for it's class with a pure Class A pre-driver stage, Current Analog Signal Transfer, a massive toroidal power supply, fully balanced circuitry, surface mount circuit design and remote operation...gee, I geuss it isn't innovative at all is it! I'm sure some standard old fashioned, underpowered, conventional tube unit from some online hack would be far more innovative.
Dave I forgot to list the cables that I used with krell. They are copper 16AWG. Do you think that might be a problem? Do I need to use something like "Super braided anaconda triple jaguar cables"? Or "Viking Axe Armageddon transparent" power extension cord?
I would take Audio refinement Complete amp over Krell any time of the day. Krell KAV400 with all its useless power consumption and output has no meat in its sound. High pitch treble and happy bass cover everything in between. Listen to orchestral works on it you hear bass and soloist the orchestra is a moshpit. Well this is a typical Home-theater sound. Actually Krell states their application goals for Krell KAV400 right in the manual. While you running to read it please don't skip a big paragraph where Krell has a special message for you Dave about powercords. They should have put it in red block letters for audioprofessors like you.
One further note for the record...I have been one of the biggest critics of krell here on A'gon, but I am fair minded enough to give quarter when it is warranted.
Dave, your callous disregard of DKzzzz's findings and name calling are the issues here, not my inventory. That is totally irrelevant and not germane to the thread.

Your attempt to dismiss what he hears as folly only reflects the myopic and narrow minded view you have regarding high end audio.

As I stated earlier, audiophiles have wised up and moved away from the overpriced and overrated brand you coddle and find so interesting. If you had the opportunity to hear and audition as much gear as I do in a week's or month's time you'd understand more clearly.

Instead you sit back and continue to believe your Desoto is the only transportation on the road.

Go figure.
>>I have been one of the biggest critics of krell here on A'gon<<

Not true.

You've been one of the biggest cheerleaders.

Also with MIT and Transparent.

Check the posting history.
THe KAV400xi is a fine amp for two channel, has excellent mids and bass, and sounds fantastic. There is something wrong with the thread author's system. Krell is on top of their game and this whining is simply more of the same stuff I have been hearing for several years now. They make fine gear, enough said.

Something is wrong with your system, my friend Dkzzz. Either that or you have colored it to death over the years and now your ears require some recalibration, which is also called accuracy. I would not be so quick to judge the amp until you let it settle in, at least three weeks. Gosh the need for instant gratification in this day and age at all costs will be the death of us all. BE PATIENT!
I state my preferences, as do you, Audiofeil. Perhaps you missed the parts where I mentioned my lack of enthusiasm, and subsequent sale, of my Evo system. That's honesty, not chearleading. I talk about what I have found to be the best for ME...YOU pontificate about things audio as YOU see it. We ALL express bias: it is up to the reader to decide what information they should hold dear.
Hey Dkzzzz,

You mentioned that you listen to LP's almost exclusively? What type of Phono Pre-amp are you using? What are your other sources. I can't argue with a person not liking his/her purchase but it is strange that you mentioned highs and low's as I've almost had the opposite experience. I found the bass to be light in comparison to previous Krell models and house sound. I thought the mid-range was open and honest and I had to pick a side I'd almost lean towards a darker presentation then a lighter. I think others have agreed with me.

I can say the same for the source, if your source player is digital and is etched then it surely won't be hidden by the Krell. Some would argue the Krell house sound is simply gain, I always thought of that as the best compliant you could get from an amplifier manufacture.


While I agree Dave_B can be off the charts with his praise and suggestions I would also like to point out that much of what you've cited is inaccurate. Krell is doing quite well, it is easier to dismiss one brand when not pinpointing a name in comparison. Krell sucks in comparison to the rest of the industry is vague at best. I'd like to know what you think is 'cutting' edge. I suspect there will be 100's of bashers with regards to your brands. Surely you influence your customers. If you aren't a Krell dealer then it would be ideal for you to play off the Krell name. This has been done for years with McIntosh, Wilson Audio and B&W. The fact that there are so many Linn, Naim, Krell, Wilson Audio, B&W and MAC bashers only suggests their dominance in the market place.

I think when comparing price-points in relation to competition the Krell name will be up there save their source players.
I would love to hear the suggestions...
Which design in your opinion is better then most. Stock - not modded .....big difference.
My interest would be 250 to 500 watts for up to 3-4k used.
Personaly , I like Pass, Edge and BAT. Love the BAT but 6K used is a bit much.....
2chnlben, forgot to answer the question regarding the Res 2's and power...yes, the 400xi performs amazingly well with the speakers and I listen at concert level or above much of the time! The Res 2's have Amplifier Capable Crossovers which help the amplifier drive them...massive energy storage in the crossovers that is released as needed without having to wait for the current delay from the amp. My Oracle V2.2 spkr cables also operate on a similiar principle in that they have caps that store energy for immediate delivery to the speakers as needed.
The Res 2's have Amplifier Capable Crossovers which help the amplifier drive them...massive energy storage in the crossovers that is released as needed without having to wait for the current delay from the amp. My Oracle V2.2 spkr cables also operate on a similiar principle in that they have caps that store energy for immediate delivery to the speakers as needed.

Elberoth2, by WHAAAT? do you mean you do not grasp the concept or that you were not aware of the ACT patented crossovers in the Resolution speaker line from Krell. The crossovers were briefly mentioned in a krell promotional advertisement which can still be accessed under the krell archives on their website.

I'm not your next Krell basher. In fact, I have owned some of Krell gear in the past, and I still use KAV-400xi/280CD combo in my office system. But what you have said is simply not true. This is some marketing mumbo-jumbo. I have toured Krell factory last year, and have seen those crosovers. Apart from the fact that they use lots of oversize components (like inductors the size of a big grapefruit) there is no magic here. There is absolutely no way (from the technical point of view) to "store" any energy in there.

Same goes for MIT cables. I have not toured MIT factory, but have toured Transparent Audio (which uses similar technology) and have seen those boxes beeing made. Also no magic here. Only a simple LCR circuit.
You'll have to forgive him Elberoth.

He really has no clue.

Check his posting history for verification.
MIT Oracle cables are a completely different animal than Transparent. I've owned both myself. The Oracle speaker cables do have caps in them and do store energy for quick release per my discussion with one of their representatives. The Krell crossovers work with an amp to pass on the energy to the is called ACT and was/is a registered trademark. My dealer said they assist an amp by temporarily storing energy and reducing the load an amp experiences while driving the speaker. I'm not an engineer, but the ACT crossover design exists/existed in the resolution series speakers...I've seen the crossovers as well and they look like freakin amplifiers themselves.
Audiofeil continues his generalizations while not getting directly involved in the topic at hand. Call MIT or Krell and ask them yourself. Again, I state that Audiofeil is all about Audiofeil and what he has to sell. By the way, many excellent reviewers and audio industry veterans have had similiar experiences to mine. Audiofeil attempts to build a sort of "Guru" mystique for himself while standing on one, while listening on one pair of speakers, or do you have another brand to offer now. I embrace all things audio and keep an open mind. I talk about what I have experienced directly. Audiofeil's elitist and dismissive discourse speaks volumes toward the degree of merit one should place upon his remarks.
I promote none of my products here Davey boy. I go out of my way in not doing that. Please pay more attention.

What you have experienced directly is a very narrow slice of the audio world and that is quite evident.

One need only to do a posting history to understand this.

In closing please understand I've owned more components than you've heard.
Dave - you cannot "store" a musical signal in a cap. This, quite simply, is not possible from the technical point of view.

I know the concept behing Krell crossovers, since I have spoken about them with Dan-the-Man himself. My understanding is that they use over-sized components (like inductors wound with very thick wire) to make them "less-limiting", so to speak.
Elberoth2, I was told that they tended to store energy. Perhaps what my dealer meant was that they pass on the signal more efficiently thereby acting as if they were providing more energy on demand. I have noted that they seem to be easier to drive than most speakers and handle loud peaks on complex material extremely well with only my 400xi driving them. Below is a list of the components I have owned:

Levinson 332 and 336
ARC VT100, VT200, VS110 and HD220
Krell FPB600, 400cx, 350Mcx's and Evo 402
BAT VK75se and VK500
Mcintosh 501's

Levinson 380s, No.32 reference
ARC LS25, LS26, Ref2 and Ref3
Krell KCT and evo222
Mcintosh C46
BAT VK3i and VK5ise

Wilson Watt/Puppy 6's
B&W 801N
Dunlavy SC-V's
Martin Logan Odyssey's
Totem Wind, Forest and Hawk
Dynaudio C4's
Krell Resolution 2's

Transparent Ultra and Reference MM
MIT Magnum and Oracle V2.2
HT Truthlink and Magic cables
Mapleshade various on trial
Geortz Veracity
Synergistic Designers Reference
Tara The One
Signal Cable
Shunyata various on trial
memory fades on the rest!

Sony SACD-1 and 777es
Levinson 39 and 390s plus 37 and 360s combo
Wadia 860se
Musical Fidelity A5
Krell SACD Standard MKIII and Evo 505

Probably forgot something but should qualify me as more than a neophyte:)
I've heard the Krell integrated with Cambridge 840c source, decent audioquest cables and with both larger Focal Profile and Martin Logan speaks on several occasions.

Liked it a lot with the Focals. Not so much with the MLs. The sound was too dark and clinical for me, though the transparency imaging and soundstage were excellent with both.

I recall the gain had to be set to high values but it had no trouble driving either speaks to realistic volume.

I liked it enough from what I heard that I would give it serious consideration for my system at its price point, pending further listening.

Popular things often draw a lot of critique,both good and bad, just because they are popular.

Seems like Krell does have a lot of strong competition these days.
Also I was under the impression that all amps produce a lot of heat when operating in class a mode? Nothing surprising there.
I have found the krell to give you a garbage in garbage out effect...darkness is not endemic to the unit either. It IS rather dependant on the ancillaries and cabling. As for the volume control issue, I have always sought out a preamp/gain stage that utilizes 50% to 75% of it's range. This allows for maximum dynamics and transparency while rendering exceptional low level detail.
The music had a nice and I recall very distinctive energy to it regarding overall dynamics with the Krell on the Focals and even on the Martin Logans. Not sure I could equate it exactly to anything else I've heard...very unique. IS that the "Krell" Sound?

Would like to a/b it someday with some other amps in order to get a better handle on exactly what it was about it that sounded distinctive. I think it was resolution and good dynamics, but not certain.

Closest other system I've heard recently to compare was perhaps Avalon speakers with Boulder amplification, which also had a very unique and detailed sound to my ears.
Exactly, the Avalon/Boulder combo has a great sense of aliveness and dynamic contrasts not unlike what I've experienced with Krell components and many great speaker systems. I must admit i wish I still had my FPB600...that was glorious:)
Elberoth2, I did further investigation with krell and there are multiple oversized polypropelyne capacitors in the ACT crossovers of the Resolution series speakers for maximum current handling and power delivery...happens to lower inductance as well. Do not capacitors store energy?

Surprises me from your description of what you are looking for that you did not care for the Krell at all. Maybe just lack of not a good fit with the rest of your system? No blown tweeters or anything like that right?

This is a just speculation. As I mentioned in the other thread, I think a trip to Sound By Singer which I am familiar with and/or even Stereo Exchange from what I've heard in lower Manhattan is the best solution. There has to be something there that can fit the bill. You should plan to spend time listening to the recordings you are not happy with on a system similar to yours, hear what you hear, and then determine where to go from there.
Ayer Integrated > Krell KAV