Krell KPS 20il

The KPS 20il, is by now an old machine - how does it stand up to the newer midfi players?
Or pre and cd combo!
It's so much talk about SACD/DVD-A, 24/192khz, upsampling and better clocks aso.
But for those into pure cd playback, how does the 20il compair?
I have the kps 20i, it replaced a Sony XA777ES. The improvements over the Sony were not subtle. It projects a very wide and deep soundstage with no sign of grit or grain. The Sony is much more laid back compared to the more forward sounding Krell. I always thought the Sony was a good player but the Krell beats it in every way, even in SACD. However the benefits are only noticeable when running in balanced mode. When using the single ended output the Krell sounded similar to the Sony but with a touch more bass and less grain. I have listened to several current players the Levinson 390s, Classe cdp10, Mcintosh mvp851, Rega Jupiter, Sony XA9000es. And while all of them are good players with varying strengths, none sounded as real or exciting as the Krell. Interestingly the current Krell kav player sounded quite bad, very harsh and grainy. The built in preamp on the 20il may not be as good as a seperate pre. I havent heard the much more expensive players - Wadia, Audio Aero, Accuphase etc they are probably better but at a significantly higher price. Perhaps newer doesnt mean better.
I have a KPS 20il and according to Stereophile it sounds better than the 20i due to larger output FETs. I never heard a 20i so I can't say if that's true. Right now I'm doing a comparison between the Krell and a modified (Stan Warren) Sony 608ES which came out in 1988. To answer your question I brought the 608 into a high end dealer store and compared it to a new Musical Fidelity that was in a system they were demoing. The MF was a 24 bit etc........
The Sony blew the bits out of it. Right now the Sony is warmer with more bass than anything I have ever heard and clear. It's either a 16 or 18 bit player but I think I'm selling the Krell. The Sony is more fun and exciting to listen to.
Don't be swayed by rave reviews. Listen to the music and go with your instincts. Remember listening to music is all subjective. If your not enjoying it the hell with it.