Krell KID vs. Wadia i170.


Has anyone compared the two?
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The Wadia i170 allows the streaming of digital info from an ipod to an outboard DAC and the Krell doesn't. Using analog outs on the Wadia gives you what the Krell does (i.e., the pleasure of listening to music using the crap ipod DAC).
The Wadia. No contest.
How could a 350.00 dollar "dock" compare to the krell kid? I suppose you can make the same argument that the wadia's performance is as good as the dac you connect it to. I have heard the kid in a friends system and I can honestly say it makes a huge difference. He is using the quad 12l actives with the krell kid plugged into balanced interconnects. He has downloaded all his cd's onto his imac in apple lossless ( I think that's what you call it) and this little system cranks! It made a huge difference when he plugged the ipod in directly than he connected it with the kid and I was astonished. The build quality is awesome, top notch and after doing some research myself have found out that the ipod has a pretty good dac. I quess my point is that you would have to spend a lot more money on a dac and the wadia to outperform the krell as well as an amp and a preamp. The other thing I might mention is that the wadia is a cheap piece of plastic made in china, so I quess you get what you pay for. I have no ties with krell and I am not affiliated with them in any way but I have to give credit where credit is due. The kid is awesome
I was surprised when I discovered that the Wadia was plastic.
I have the krell kid and the wadia i 170. They are really good however the wadia i 170 is better. MY wadia was sent to steve at GNS co for mods. The wadia bypasses the i pods dac and the krell kid does not. The wadia sound depends on your dac that you are using. I had mine hooked up to ensemble hi dac and the sound is great it blows the krell away as is should. I really dont use a cd transport anymore the future is in ipod transport and music servers. I am now using the MSB ilink transport to my dac. Its cost 2300 however its worth every penny i cant tell the the difference between my ensemble transport which cost 4 times as much as the MSB ilink. I take that back the MSB has better mid and highs to me. I would not spend mega bucks on cd transports you will just be wasting your money.
So neither of these actually contains a DAC?? as in, you still need to spend additional cash on a good DAC to get any real improved sound? bourns to this mide as well buy a DAC/Amp combo and save yourself 400 bux.
Good to hear , I just heard the I170 ran into a Wadia 581 using its DAC. It was good. The music was compressed but still was good. I may look into one !
Hello,
i own both and they are connected with Krell KPS 25 sc 24/96 cast II.
The Wadia 170 has Acoustic Zen digital cable to Krell digital in.
The Krell Kid has symmetric Siltech cables to Krell analog in.

The Krell Kid sounds definitely better, more analog, soundstage is bigger the vocals are much better.Krell has as much detail than thru Wadia 170.The Wadia 170 in comparison to Krell KID is more digital sounding.I use only WAV files on my I POD Classic 160 GB.

I have not made the comaprison, but I just sold my Reimyo CDP777 for the Wadia 179 and an external Reinyo DAC. Really hard to tell the difference from both with the convenience of having all my music avaliable thru the iPOD.

My two cents here
How can an analog signal from a simple Ipod be better than the it's digital signal converted to analog through a high quality D/A converter? How good the Krell might be, the bottleneck is still the Ipod derived analog signal. The built in DAC inside the Ipod is quite good (Wolfson?), but of course an external high quality D/A converter is still better (better power supply, better internal parts, etc.).

Chris
I just added a Siltech digital cable to the Wadia/Reimyo set-up - just great! - the CDP777 is gone...
Wadia i170 just got a review from HiFi Critic (add-free mag from the UK run by Martin Colloms). A very, very bad one.
I just found a review for the Bose soundock, not the Wadia one - but in my search I found some other reviews (all positive) atother UK magazines.
12-12-08: Dazzdax
"How can an analog signal from a simple Ipod be better than the it's digital signal converted to analog through a high quality D/A converter?I How good the Krell might be, the bottleneck is still the Ipod derived analog signal. The built in DAC inside the Ipod is quite good (Wolfson?), but of course an external high quality D/A converter is still better (better power supply, better internal parts, etc.)."

I trust my ears !the Krell is still better against Wadia 170 after 2 months of listening.The Krell KID should be connected with XLR connection wich i prefer against RCA.The Krell KID DOES NOT SOUND GOOD if connected straight to amplifiers so it needs a very good preamp.LOCK the volume control of the KID.The worst connection is RCA straight to amps.I dont know exactly how Kid reads the Ipod signal,i tried to find technical papers but didnt succeed.Its not as simple as just reading the dac, the KID takes command over all iPOD functions.The result is by all audiophile criteria an overall better sound quality against Wadia.
KID +xlr+preamp= huge soundstage very colourfull(TUBELIKE)
very detailed 3 dimensional.I use MAC /I tunes/ Wav files /Apple Classic 160Gb.
(Krell Kid,Wadia 170i,Krell Kps25sc 24/96 ,CAST,Krell 350mc,
Audiophysik MedeaII)
>> 08-26-08: Optarchie
>> How could a 350.00 dollar "dock" compare to the krell
>> kid?
well, I think that it is nincompoop people like you who have run this audio industry into the ground by subscribing to the view that a $1200 Krell KID *has* to be better than a $379 Wadia iPod merely because it is more expensive!!!???

>> The other thing I might mention is that the wadia is a
>> cheap piece of plastic made in china, so I quess you
>> get what you pay for.
The only truth in this statement is that the Wadia i170 is made in China. The part about "cheap piece of plastic" is total BS!
Here is a snippet from Stereophile's review (S'phile might be accused of never writing a bad review for any component they audition but I do not think that Stereophile would call plastic cast aluminum!):-
"What hours of transport we shall spend
The 170iTransport is made in China. Its cast-aluminum body measures 8" W by 2.7" H by 8" D and sports a slot on top in which you dock an iPod. (The slot can be fitted with the ubiquitous Apple clamshell adaptors for all compatible iPod products.)"

And, Optarchie, after all the praise you have heaped on the Krell KID, why are you selling your unit????
http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls.pl?preatran&1235056836&/krell-kid-Ipod-dock-with-160-g

(maybe I should never have bitten & replied to Optarchie's post but idiot posts like this always get under my skin!

And, no I'm not biased against Krell gear. Most of the gear they made in the 1985-1989 time-frame was the best ever in the market & way ahead of its competition. I liked that sound. Their FPB-600, FPB-450 units were not as good, IMHO. I have not kept up w/ their other gear as today I think of them more of a HT company than a 2-ch company that they used to be & HT is not my primary focus).
Hey Bombaywalla,
First off I bought 2 krell kids if you must know. I am not implying that more expensive gear is better because it costs more but what I amsaying that if a 350.00 piece of gear which traditionally has a 30-40% dealer markup and also has profit for the company really doesn't have that much to it. Have you ever looked inside the wadia? I have and there is nothing to it. It does nothing to control jitter and is ony as good as the dac you attach it to. Since I own both and have spent numerous hours a/b ing both units I can honestly stand by my opinions. Why do you take this so personally? Are you a wadia dealer? This is a public forum so if you don't like someones opinion, keep it to yourself or buy both units like I did and do a comparison for yourself. If you go by reviews than you are dumber than you sound. If I told you sushi was the best food in the world and you hated fish would you still buy it? I would hope not. Open forums are meant for discussion, not to bash people because you have a different opinion. FYI mr. review lover, the wadia got panned in the HIFI plus issue so if you go by reviews your statement is useless!
Hey Optarchie,

>> I am not implying that more expensive gear is better
>> because it costs more but what I amsaying that if a
>> 350.00 piece of gear which traditionally has a 30-40%
>> dealer markup and also has profit for the company
>> really doesn't have that much to it.
Then, I wish that you had said it just so in your original post.
Please go back & read your original post dated 08-26-08 (3rd post) & see how it starts off. Many would think that you are implying more expensive gear sounds better due to its cost...

Yes, I have looked inside the Wadia. You are correct, there's a lot of air in it. Most of the cost of the unit (despite machining the metal in China is in the royalty costs Wadia has to pay Apple since it is a "Made for iPod" product. Apple started this "Made for iPod" program. You can thank Apple for the cost structure!).

>> Since I own both and have spent numerous hours a/b ing
>> both units I can honestly stand by my opinions.
And you should! I am *not* asking you to change them. I was objecting to the way you commenced you post insinuating expensive gear = better performance. Later in the post you incorrectly stated Wadia being cheap plastic made in China. How could you say that given that you claim to have owned both units. When you held the Wadia & opened the top lid, it was plastic to you????
IMHO you would have come across *far* more professional if you had praised the Krell KID *without* uncessarily bashing the Wadia.

>> Are you a wadia dealer?
Nope, not by a long shot.

>> This is a public forum so if you don't like someones
>> opinion, keep it to yourself
As I wrote a few line above, your opinions do not bother me. You are entitled to them & I seek no attempt to over-turn them.
Yes, this is a public forum so don't write crap about another product that is not true. That's my objection.

>> If you go by reviews than you are dumber than you sound.
No, I do not go by reviews. I have not in a long time. I do read them but take them w/ a grain of salt (size of grain depends on which magazine I'm reading). However, I pulled that snippet from Stereophile merely to show you that, as a matter of public record, the unit is made from metal. That's all.

>> the wadia got panned in the HIFI plus issue
yes! I saw the post from Elberoth2. I wonder why?? I might have to check out the review to see what upset the reviewer. From all that I have read & as you correctly stated, the i170 is a mere digital pass-thru. What could it botch up that would piss a reviewer off?
(I already know that the output digital jitter is unusually high probably due to a sloppy buffer stage hence performance is external DAC dependent. Wonder if this set off the reviewer who had his/her hopes high????)
I have both the krell kid and the wadia i170. My wadia i170 has been modded by steve at gns co. and it is hooked up to my wadia 521 dac gns mod also. I can tell you for a fact that the wadia i170 is better than my krell kid. You get what you put into the wadia i170 ie meaning it all depends on the dac you are using. I love my krell kid it a great unit, i have it hooked up to paradigm active 40v2. The jitter from the wadia can be lowered by using empirical audio new pace car 2. I plan on getting one in the next week to further better the sound from the wadia i170. The cost of pace car 2 is around 1,800 with all the opt. I think it great that we have a lot of options to choose from for making the ipod a good source.
As important as a DAC is in the chain thru the Wadia 170i, the coax cable election is also critical - I ended up spending more in this part than in the Wadia, but it paid for itself.

The custom coaxial cable that comes with the Wadia unit is crap, I tried at least a dozen from Audioquest to Kimber to SIltech, and found peace with an HT10 G5 Siltech. Using this combination (Wadia 170i-Siltech HT10 and Reimyo DAC) I do not miss my Reimyo CDP777 at all.

Hope this helps,
Has anyone heard any more on the Wadia 171i? Supposed to have shipped this summer. Heard Wadia was upgrading jitter and a few other internals to enhance digital output signal.

JCC
Unfortunately, Wadia couldn't hit an estimated ship date if their collective lives depended on it. Enjoy the holidays and worry about it in 2011.