Krell KCT versus Cary SLP-98

A series of events (my wife is fickle sometimes) have caused me to possess more gear than I need. So today I decided to listen to a Chromecast through a Bryston 4b^3 and Magnepan 1.7i speakers. I alternated between a Krell KCT and a Cary SLP-98.


I am floored at how different they sound. The Krell was better at *everything* (particularly percussion) except for reproducing female voices (CHVRCHES, Metric, Grimes, etc). There, the Krell was pathetic by comparison. 

I'm not a real audiophile or anything, so I'm hoping for an explanation of some sort, whether it's synergy or a characteristic of tubes or something else. Perhaps I need to join the cult of tube rolling. Perhaps I'm crazy. 


Anyone care to speculate?




As a SLP-98 owner, a few thoughts. First, there are least 3 different old and new versions of the 98 I’ve heard personally. Each build with/wo upgrades sounded different.  Some of this is due to different vintage or modern 6SN7 dual triode tubes used, different upgraded coupling caps inside, and different volume quality volume controls selected. Various upgrades were offered over a few decades. A colleague sold his very early 98 version for a new updated unit a few years ago, and likes it quite a bit. It displaced a well known $17k preamp he resold and kept the new 98..

Your Krell is a nice piece for sure, and was well regarded when it came out and many years later. A completely different design of course. Both are sensitive to good interconnect cables too, fwiw. It becomes a preference decision IMO.

Other may chime in with different experiences and recommendations. Good Luck.