Krell KCT vs other top preamps ?

Has anybody experience and an opinion to share re the Krell KCT as compared to other top preamps (e.g. Spectral DCM-20II, Cello Suite, Mark Levinson 380S etc.) ? Does it sound better than the older Krell KRCs ?
IMHO, I've never heard a Krell preamp that I liked, YMMV!
Before you buy any of the preamps you list I would suggest you take home a BAT VK50SE. I've yet to hear better in my system and I took home and demo'd quite a few, including the 380S and the Spectral on your list.

I would look at a tube pre amp.The BAT is a good suggestion.A Rogue 99 is also a good choice.
The first thing to consider is the equipment you have presently and whether it will mate well with the Krell. I love Paul's definitive objection to Krell...don't believe it. Listen with your own ears. I am very familiar with the Levinson preamps and have tried them in my system in years past. I also agree with the BAT tube preamp as I have listened to BAT equipment on many occasions and like it very much. However, I have owned Krell since I dumped my Rowland Consummate about 5 years ago(which by the way is also a great solid state pre)in favor of the original KRC-HR. Since I was using a FPB-300 at the time, the dynamics, bass detail and slam and soundstage were superior with the KRC-HR. I recently sold the KRC for the KPS-25SC playback system which is a preamp and cd player. It is by far the best digital front end I have heard next to the top Levinson equipment. I believe the preamp section is very close to Krell's KCT. I just bought CAST cables on this site and I am amazed at how outstanding they sound. I was using Transparent Reference which stomped everything I have listened to. I think Dan is on to something with this CAST system. You might be able to save yourself thousands in interconnects using the CAST. So at a user of Krell for ten years I can only say I could have bought anything and have always preferred their equipment. Having said that, demo it with your stuff to be sure you like what it does. Most people who bash Krell equipment probably have an inferior piece of equipment or cabling which the Krell will ruthlessly reveal and consequently reproduce less than excellent sonics. A system is only as good as its weakest link. Good luck and let me know how it goes.
If krell is so good why so much of it for sell? Sounds like s#$^ to me.
Buy Krell!!
I have been a tube preamp owner for over 12 years. Last summer I was fortunate to home audition the KCT preamp and Krell 300 amp, completing the CAST system. Driving Eidelons, these components performed like no other solid state audio playback I had ever heard. Granted, my solid state experience is limited (Gryphon, Rowland, CJ, earlier Levinson, Threshold, Classe, Krell), predominately heard in other's set-ups, but never has such a smooth grainless presentation been my experience. Had I not fallen head-over-heels for the CAT amps, befriending my Jadis JP80MC, I would have most likely been the proud owner of the CAST system. As others have posted, your taste and priorities must be the determining factor. A local dealer may allow a home demo. Accessibility to all that's out there is nearly impossible. Recently retired, a Wisconsin dealer offered his customers trials nation-wide. I am not sure of another shop with such liberal policies, although Galen Carol has been known to send out equipment for short periods (Don't hold me to that). Good luck and if you buy the CAST system let me know what you think.
There is so much Krell for sale because they sell more than most high end manufacturers, so they will also have more sales in the secondary market. Like me, many of those owners are probably upgrading to something newer or more powerful. So what are you running Mr. Peebody? Denon? Pioneer? Bryston (Brightston)?
Krell gear is very good. I used to own it.Then I heard Mark Levinson and that was it ..... it has a more natural sound much more layering and a wider and deeper sound stage with liquid mids. good luck try it out for your self. REMEMBER LEVINSON DRAWS YOU INTO THE PERFORMANCE AND KRELL SPITS IT IN YOUR FACE.. NOW YOU DECIDE. GOOD LUCK
Roger, Please listen to the BAT VK50se. You'll be doing yourself a BIG favor. All the best, Tom
Thanks everybody for your suggestions. I found some confirmation for my own experience of 20some years of Audio fun and some good new ideas, e.g. re the BAT VK50se. I never was fully comfortable with tube gear because of its changes with time and often lack of punch, but this may be different. Would the BAT fit between a Forsell/Audio Synthesis CD/DAC combo and a Krell KSA 300S?
Hello Roger:

I find my VK50SE fits very well between the BAT VKD5 CD player and my Levinson 33H's. I would recommend you find a loaner somewhere and try the 50SE before you decide on anything else. Most definitely worth your consideration, and a demo!

I believe it is all on your perception and hearing. I have owned Levinson and Krell, Aragon (amps) and numerous other "hi-end" makes. My current personal sonic taste runs to perceived accuracy...whats on the record or CD. I have auditioned electronics that was absolutely beautiful sonically and made everything sound 3-D and like a live performance. The problem for me is that I know that is not on every disk and they cannot all sound the same. My opinion is that properly matched and set up, Krell electronics are neutral and will reveal what you are playing. That is not everyones cup of tea.