Krell New Pre-amps?

Hi, has any one auditioned or own any of the new Krell pre-amps?, if so, How does the best from krell stack up against The krell KRC-HR and KCT, and anything else Krell has ever made for pre-amps?, also, what is the favorite Krell pre-amp of all time?, Thankyou to all, I thought this may be an interesting subject for everyone to chime in on, cheers.
Hi, This could be a great discussion here if there could be some replys, for the worse or best, a fan of krell or not, I am looking for the community's opinion here, thankyou.
My choice:

* KRELL 202 EVO.
Thankyou for your reply, have you listened to a KRC-HR unit?.
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Thankyou JMCgrogan2, what was the sound of the KRC-HR that you did not like?, I like tube equipment too, I am wanting to know what is the best all time favorite Krell pre-amps, did you try anything else by krell that was a pre-amp?
Has anyone out there listened or own any new Krell Pre-amp?, if so, what are your impressions?
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The pre-amp section in my Krell Evo 707 is fantastic, much better than the Krell KCT, my prior pre-amp. The comparison is not even close.
Thankyou for your reply JMCgrogan2, very interesting your post is to me, I have never listened to a Krell KRC-HR, so you was a great asset, with a good explaination.
Matjet, when was your evo 707 made?, is that a home theatre proccesor that is a pre-amp as well for two channel?, what was the sound that you did not like with the krell kct?, cheers.
all can chime in on this subject here, I know there is many that have had exsperience with krell pre-amps, new or old pre-amps, I look forward to your impressions, Thankyou.
I was not unhappy with the Krell KCT, thought it was a very good pre-amp. I purchased the EVO 707 when it was first released. I was one of the first to own this amazing processor. There were a lot of 'buggy' problems related to HDMI, all of which have been solved. The pre-amp section has always been stellar. It is better than the KCT in every way. Music emerges from a dead silent black back ground. It has deeper, tighter base. Better sound staging and better voice/instrument separation. The sound stage is more 3 dimensional. Everything sounds faster, more immediate, more vibrant. Music is clearer, more lifelike. I have been involved in high end audio and home theater since 1974. I have made many, many upgrades over the years. Replacing the Krell KCT with the EVO 707 was the single greatest upgrade I have ever made. The sound improvement was immediately, easily recognizable. I have Krell EVO 600E mono blocks for amps (R and L channels). I use Krell cast connections (except for my Esoteric K01 CD/SACD player). A great pre-amp can have an enormous impact on sound.
Matjet, You have a very good system, Krell told me that your EVO 707 retailed for around $30,000.00?, if that is in the ball park, I would expect the 707 to desamate the KCT for sure, do you use the 707 for two channel only, or do you run the 7.1 channels it offers?, your post was a great read BTW.
The 707 retailed for $30,000. The pre-amp section for all 7 channels in the EVO 707 are identical and very close to the Evo 2. The Evo 2 is an ultra high end pre-amp that retailed for $40,000 (maybe $50,000) for a 2 channel pre-amp. I only use the 2 channel pre-amp (stereo, in analog without processing) when listening to music. I use 5.1 channels for movies/TV. The Evo 707 is amazing with movies as well as music. If you talk to Patrick Bresnahan at Krell, he will tell you that there is nothing Krell makes today that will compare with the 707 for music or movies. There is currently nothing on the market that would motivate me to give up my Evo 707. The KCT cannot touch the EVO 707, it is not even close.
Matjet, I'm sold!, I believe all that you have said here, I just researched all the proccessors krell has ever made, including the new foundation, which takes me to the question, Is krell ever going to return to the type of high-end such as your Reference Evolution 707 proccessor?, as it turns out, the krell info states the same, that the 707 is right under the Evo 2 pre-amp, I bet this 707 would be a good fit for my modded Krell 700cx amp!, Matjet, what have you seen the used market bare for pricing for one of these 707 proccessors?
Matjet, Is your model 707 have the 3-D up-grade or did it come like that?, well, It seems that these are bringing $13,000.00 to $15,000.00 on the used market, I do not understand as to why krell is doing down market now?, if they can make a pre-amp like the EVO 2 and the pre-amp section of the 707 and just re-badge it under another model, how come they do not do it?, I also read the many reviews of your EVO 707 and the EVO 2, it's like they believe nothing is better by any other brand for pre-amps!, very impressive, so since I dis-like all pre-amps, this 707 should be the one to give a spinn, I have found nothing better than running direct to amps, all other pre-amps change the sound to their flavor of coloration, which is a bummer!
Krell is in business to make money. The enormous, heavy, high end products they used to make appeal to an extremely small group of consumers. The younger generations currently appear to be more interested in convenience and portable music than great sounding music.

Krell's current product line is still high end, but not as high end as in the past. Their new amps and processors are designed to fit into professionally installed rack systems. They are targeting a slightly different group of consumers for business reasons.

I have owned many Krell products over the years. My current system has 2 Krell Evo 600E mono blocks, one Evo 400E mono block (center channel), one Evo 302E stereo amp (rear channels), and the Evo 707 processor. All connected with Cast. I absolutely love the old Krell products. I love the sound and build quality.

Their new amplifiers have internal fans rather than large heavy heat sinks to dissipate heat, and the power output does not double as ohms are halved (very un-Krell). I don't like fans, moving parts create noise and vibrations and tend to break down. I have not auditioned any of their new products, so I cannot comment on the sound.

If you buy a used Evo 707, make sure it has been fully updated. The DSP chip used in the original 707 had trouble handling HDMI audio (all other audio sources were not a problem). This was resolved a few years after release by installing an different DSP chip at the fell factory at no charge.

I am a busy guy. Rather than FED-EX my unit in it's original box, I closed my office and drove to the Krell factory in Connecticut to personally deliver my Evo 707 for an update last spring (HDMI 1.4 compatible, new DSP chip, software update). I waited in town for several hours while they kindly did the update. I met with Patrick Bresnahan, who was very informative and generous with his time and attention. That demonstrates how much I adore the EVO 707.

I think the 707 was a bargain, even at $30,000. It has 7 channels all very close in quality to the $40,000, 2 channel Evo 2. It also has the digital processing for HDMI. My advice: use the pre-amp analog bypass for music, do not use the digital processing for music. Also, I only use 2 channel stereo for music, the digital processor surround sound messes up the sound stage and diminishes the sound quality (in my opinion). The processor does sound amazing with BluRay Discs movies in master audio.

The Krell 700CX amp is a fantastic amp. I have listened to it many times. I previously owned a couple of MCX mono blocks and loved them. The Evo 707 will work great with your amp. Use Krell Cast MMF cables (sold by Krell, made by Nordost). You will be blown away by the EVO 707. I think a pre-amp has much greater effect on sound quality than a power amp.

I did not upgrade my 707 to 3D because I don't care for 3D TV in it's current rendition. When I upgrade to 4000K TV (when it becomes mainstream), I will continue to use the Evo 707 even though it is not 4000K (HDMI 2.0) compatible. Patrick has told me it would be very difficult to make the EVO 707 HDMI 2.0 compatible (not sure why). It is unlikely that Krell will ever make HDMI 2.0 available for the EVO 707. I will have to connect the video signal directly into the TV. This is something you should consider if you plan to buy a 707. Personally, I would still buy it.

By the way, I think Krell still considers the EVO 707 a 'current' model. I don't think it has been officially archived like the rest of the 'Evolution' line. It is a very special, unique audio product. Unfortunately, I am sure it will be retired very soon.

The only way I would ever give up my EVO 707, is if a better sounding processor becomes available. I don't see that happening in the near future.

So, in all my years involved with the high end audio/home theater hobby (since 1974), if you asked my does one product stand out as being extra special and a favorite, it would be the Krell EVO 707.

One last piece of advice: Before buying a used Evo 707, call a few high end audio shops (also call Krell directly for audio shop referrals) and inquire if they have new 707's or demo, fully updated models. If it is officially discontinued, they will sell new at steep discounts.
Matjet, man, what a great response, Thankyou, that was informative, Thankyou for the kind words on my Krell 700cx, as a matter of fact, krell has it right now, be back by the end of next week, they are going to ship it back monday, they had to do some proccessor ajustments on the left side of the amp, before that, I put 225 hours on it, It's a brand new modded krell 700cx inside and out, me and the wife droped a huge amount of money into the amp, it has 2014 capacitors that was not available in 2005 when the amp was made, then krell changed all kinds of crazy parts inside other than just the caps, you should see the bag of parts they sent back, The amp sounds way,way, better than any stock krell 700cx I have listened to, the amp is essentially new inside and out,The treble is the most prolific grainless, non brittle treble I have ever had the pleasure of hearing, and the mid-range is uncanny, to sum it up, the amp sounds like we got alot more costly amp product than what it retailed for, we are Happy, estatic, dancing around like we are young again when playing the amp, sorry, I lost my self in the joy the amp has brought us, my bad, I have never listened to cast connections, I know quite abit about it though, however, I would be very amused if nordost cast cable connected to cast could out perform my interconnect that I am useing, likly, impossible!, cheers.
matjet, what do you use for digital?
Matjet, you do got my interest going to want the 707 unit, do you believe the krell 707 can compete with world class state of the art solid state pre-amps out there?, if so, I might can ride off into the sunset with such a product and not look back like you, what a system you have!
matjet, I forgot to tell you why krell had to do adjustments, you guessed it, the amp was way to hot on top of the amp on the left side, caused the bias to run wild!, they have tested the amp for 3 whole weeks, when they did all that they did to my amp, they put all new proccessors inside of it, I suppose the one on the left channel was not working correctly after 225 hours of use, I got to get to 500 hours before the amp is fully burned-in,I will get back to that by thursday of next week, cheers.
If you want a processor that sounds great with stereo music and with 5.1 or 7.1 master audio BluRay discs, buy an Evo 707. If you plan to use the unit for stereo music only, you don't need the Evo 707. If that is the case, you might want to try to find a Krell Evo 2. But, either unit would match up perfectly with your amp. I think you would be happy with either choice.

Are you looking for a 2 channel music only pre-amp or a music and home theater processor?

Yes, I do think the Krell Evo 707 will compete very well with the best pre-amps available today.

If you are not using Cast, make sure you are using a high end balanced connection for your audio. I felt Cast MMF made a subtle but perceptible improvement in sound, (faster, more immediate, more vibrant). My 707 is connected to all of my amps with Cast MMF cable. Some people have reported that they like balanced connections better than Cast. I prefer Cast. It's a matter of taste, I guess.

For digital I use an Esoteric K01 SACD/CD player. The K01 is my second most all time favorite piece of equipment. It is far superior to any other SACD/CD player I have ever owned or listened to. I use analog out and connect to the 707 with a Kimber Kable KS1136 (balanced). For BluRay player I have a Dennon 3800 connected with HDMI. An update on the Dennon is way over-due, but I will probably wait for the high end 4K units to hit the market before buying a new movie/disc player.

I would never say the Evo 707 is the last processor I would ever purchase. At this time, I am completely satisfied with the 707, but who knows what the future holds. Something is bound to show up some day that will compel me to update. Unfortunately, Krell has no current plan to out-do the audio section of the Evo 707. I doubt they ever will, unless they feel there is a market that justifies the development and production cost.

I Update components of my audio/home theater system when I find a compelling product and the mood strikes.

When building a great sounding music/home theater system everything is important (front end, cables, pre-amps, amps, speakers, subs., speaker placement, seating placement, set-up, shelving, room acoustics, dedicated lines, eliminating hum, 'dirty lines', RFI). But, I have found that pre-amps have a greater impact on sound quality than amps and cables. A great pre-amp can contribute to a huge improvement in sound.

By the way, your amp should be using dedicated lines (Krell recommends dedicated lines for the 700cx).

Here is another simple, inexpensive tip: Switching from Comcast cable to Verizon FIOS dramatically improved my entire system (music, movies, TV). It eliminated a very soft, barely perceptible but constant hum (mild RFI from the cable lines). I had to put my ear next to the speaker to hear it, but it was always present. Because the FIOS signal is light until it reaches my house, it does not carry RFI (or at least it is less susceptible to RFI). When I switched to FIOS my entire system become incredibly silent with respect to back ground hum or hiss. It improved sound staging, instrument separation and became more 3 dimensional. Any back ground noise will reduce the performance of a high end music system.
Hi Matjet, I do have dedicated lines for my audio system I installed my self, was not an easy job,I am in the proccess of going Furutech GTX-D Gold oulets, when I install the new outlet on the krell, I will be taking the 20 amp breaker out and installing a new 30 amp breaker, Patrick highly recommended the 30 amp, said the amp will sound slightly better with sound stage, importantly, Patrick said the amp will run smoother with more current and become effortless with it's performance, my dedicated lines I installed are 10 gauge 3/1, these lines should take what ever is thrown at them, interesting though, vh-audio carries cryo treated lines for dedicated applications, Matjet, are you saying the verizon has a t.v. cable service?, I have never heard of them having that service here where I live, that was some good info too, I do not believe I would need a EVO 2 pre-amp, the 707 for two channel is what I would want it for, If I did get one, I would go back and fourth between a second system that I will be building in the future that I have the cables for to get the home theatre potential out of the unit, maybe, may be a big under taking installing and reinstalling the unit?, I envy your system!, I believe you can get far more performance out of what you have with better cables, if you have questions on what I am getting at, just ask, I am not a dealer, nor do I work for any audio company, my interconnect is balanced, I am told the Esoteric K-01 takes a very long time to burn-in with because of all the settings, The K-01 is considered the one to beat here on the community forums, it's a world class unit, congrats on such a state of the art player, what are you useing for speaker cables?, how long are they?, what speakers do you have?
Interesting, check out, their 2.284 million dollar system uses the Krell Evo 707 processor. I guess they also feel this is currently the best processor available.
Matjet, you are full of suprises, I will look into your site you posted above, not sure of getting a good sound would warrant such a costly system, the dimishing returns are very small after $75,000.00 total investment in the entire system to me, I enjoy talking to you very much, you have taught me alot here, I will put the 707 on my bucket list for sure, a worthy target to grace my system, I will be getting one, how long it will take me all depends, currently, I am going after the new on the market, Tara labs Evolution Omega speaker cables 6ft pair, after that, I will get the matching new Evolution Zero interconnect, currently, I have the original Tara Labs Zero Gold Interconnect with HFX grounding station which was the latest version of this interconnect, mated with the Omega Gold speakers cables and the Tara Cobalt power cord with oyaide terminations done at the Tara factory that is on my digital temporary player, Even with the up-grade to the better cable, I will not sale what I have, there keepers, to profound to me on my Krell amp or in general, when I said I envey your system, I am serious, your system is Awsome!, this may be a bit of news to you, did you know that Esoteric is coming out with some new players?, The K-01x and the K-03zx, they are saying that the technology is trickled down from the flag ship digital top seperates,there may be up-grade availability to current K-01 players, I am not sure yet, worth looking into, cheers.
Hi Matjet,

Just wondering whether you heard the Krell 7.1 hts and whether it was a good product ? Have the chance to get one here in UK for very little.

Matjet, where are you, I appreciate your input, you know quite alot here, if you can find time to respond to both of us here, I would be gratefull, Thankyou.
How would a Krell Evo 202 pre-amp compair to a krell EVO refence 707 processor?, or the phantom?
I have never listened to the Krell 7.1 hts, so I can't comment on it's performance.

I never directly compared the Evo 707 to the Evo 202. I haven't listened to the Evo 202 in many years, and have limited memory and experience with this piece. I would expect the Evolution 202 to be a great pre-amp. It is probably the second best pre-amp ever built by Krell, the Evolution 2 is their best pre-amp to date. The two chassis Phantom is probably also a great pre-amp (it may be a repackaged Evo 202). I suspect the Evo 707 performance would fit someplace in between the Evo 2 and Evo 202, or possibly equivalent to the Evo 202.

Unfortunately these great products have been discontinued so it is difficult to find a store where you can compare them.

My discussions with Patrick Bresnahan have been very informative. He knows Krell equipment as well or better than anyone else. Try calling Patrick at Krell, he can elaborate on sound and technical comparison of these products.

When it comes to electronics, it seems most people prefer to discuss power amps over pre-amps. Great power amps are very important to sound reproduction, but it has been my experience that pre-amps can have a greater impact on sound than power amps. It is well worth spending time researching and auditioning pre-amps.

I am glad you enjoy my comments. I am out of town this week and have been pre-occupied with my daughter's wedding, scheduled this weekend.
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Matjet, yes, I agree with john, enjoy your daughters wedding, however, man Have I really enjoyed your talking to you, I have sincerly learned alot about newer Krell equipment, newer, meaning I know about the KRC-HR, KCT, etc..., please do not forget to get back to this thread, BTW, I talked to patrick this morning 8-27-14 about the EVO 202, The phantom, The 707, and The Evo 2 preamps and my amp's delivery in time for Tara Labs package of speaker cables for me to do a review on them, I am quite excited about it, Thankyou so much matjet.
I'm sorry Jmcgrogan2,welcome to the thread, I value your comments as well, you are about pre-amps, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with all pre-amps, you still use tube based pre-amps?
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I am curious, what did Patrick say about Evo 2, Evo 202, Phantom and Evo 707 pre-amps?
"I concur. I have found it much easier to find an amp or even speakers that I can live with than a preamplifier. When you find the right preamp your whole system comes to life. That is why I consider the preamp to be the heart and soul of the system."

I agree with you Jmcgrogan2! The pre-amp is the heart and soul of the system. A great pre-amp can make your music reproduction sound more vibrant, more 3 dimensional, more alive. For some reason, pre-amps do not seem to get as much attention as power amps, front end products or even cables and interconnects. I don't understand why that is the case.
All members, post your thoughts about some of the best Krell pre-amps you have owned or listened to, I appreciate your input if any of you can find the time, Thankyou.
Hi Mat, Patrick said, the Evo 2 was one thing, however, I could not believe why he said that EVO 202,Phantom, 707 sounded to close to matter to him for two channel, you do not think he gave up on caring about this stuff do you< he told me he has no system anymore, he also knows I'm a musician, so he told me of the 14 guitars and marshall tube stack amp and cabinets with 8 12"s!, hey, nothing wrong with that at all, he has the real deal.
I am sorry matjet, days later with all that i have going on, I realized I made a mistake here, My last post was about Ray mulchler the service manager there at krell, Not patrick, it's ray that is the musician with all the guitars that gave me his opinion on the krell pre-amps, opps!
"I believe you can get far more performance out of what you have with better cables, if you have questions on what I am getting at, just ask, I am not a dealer, nor do I work for any audio company, my interconnect is balanced,"

O.K. my friend, please make your cable recommendations (including interconnects, speaker cable, power cords). My speakers are B&W 802D (front R/L), B&W HTM2D (center), B&W Nautilus 805 SCM-1 (surround R/L). Two Paradigm Signature Sub 25's. The subs are used only for home theater (t.v./movies), not music. I only use front R/L speakers for music. All amps have their own 20 amp dedicated line with hospital grade outlets. You know the electronics.
Hi Matjet, What is you Budget?, You can go statement cables, Then above the middle of the range of the line up, or budget cables that with your esoteric system that would not be a good choice since your system is revolutionary!, do you think it is best to E-mail all this?, I am not a dealer, nor do I work for any audio company, I am just a musician that loves music and the means to hear it in my home, cheers.
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come on John!, You like Tara labs yourself,, Matjet has an incredible system and needs one of the top three models from Tara labs to be startled in a way he has never heard his system, I use krell as he does, Tara labs has Awsome synergy with krell, Esoteric, anything that is world class such as matjet's equipment!
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I agree John, But there is a great synergy between Tara Labs and Krell Equipment, even the model, The one, cable system sounds great on my krell amp when I was uesing it.
Hi Keith:
Give me two or 3 options:
Option 1: Unlimited budget.
Option 2: Best performance for the money.
Option 3: What would you do?
Krell KBL, KRC-2, KRC-HR and KRC-3 pre all sock to my ears. Bright, flat 2D sound stage and grainy so never owned one. Once I migrated to tube pre, never bothered with SS pre since.

Now Krell amps are a different story. Had KSA100s, FPB300 and FPB600 and they are excellent for its VINTAGE. I enjoyed my time with them and found MIT cables best match. Transparent IC also very good but not SC ... too dark.
Matjet, I am going to E-mail you through audiogon mail, cheers
Matjet, check your audiogon E-mail, cheers.
Thankyou Knghifi, Have you listened to the EVO 202, The Phantom, The reference 707 proccesor, or the Evo 2 pre-amps, These are said to be light years better than the pre-amps you have mentioned, that is funny you said that about the Transparent speaker cables on krell equipment, I have been told the same for years!
Speaking of cable for Krell equipment:
I never asked Patrick, or anyone else at Krell what speaker cable they recommend with Krell equipment. But, if you look at their cable choice at shows, that should be a good indication of what they think works best. They typically use (or have used in the past) high end Nordost speaker cable and Krell Cast MMF interconnects with their high end products. I would think they would choose the cable that makes their equipment sound it's best.