Krell or Classe?

Well everyone I have an age old question. I need your thoughts on whether I should go with the Krell KAV-300i or the Classe CAP-150 integrated amps........thanks!
I haven't heard the Classe but I've had the Krell for just over a year now with the B&W 804s. I think it's really a nice sounding system and handles everything from opera to techno unbelievably well. Physically, it also seems to be very well made - i.e. no mismatched edges or loose connections - just a solid piece of equipment. Hope this helps.
I would personally go for the Classe'. After auditioning the Krell lineup I ended up choosing to have the Classe' CA-400 amp with their DAC-1 and CP-50 preamp. Don't get me wrong, I really liked the Krell and it was a hard choice but the warmth of the Classe' is what won me over. Plus like the Krell, the Classe' products are also built like a tank!
Why pay twice as much for a Krell, when they are not twice as nice? Go with Classe!
I've auditioned both since I was trying to make the same choice. What I found was that the Krell sounded cleaner.
I own both a classe ca400 and a Krell FPB 300. I think you should make your decision depending upon which speaker you choose. I personally believe that the Classe is better built and has a little more flexibility because you have the option to bridge mono. Since you are comparing intergrated units, this won't be an issue. However, I have B&W speakers which sound tonally better when run with the Krell amplifier. Your best bet is to findout which speakers you will run and sample both amplifiers. Cost will also become a factor, I find the Classe products to be a better buy compared to the Krell.
I've owned the Krell for almost 3 years and have loved every minute of even though it leans toward the bright side because of my digital front end. Sony ES 85 with an Audio Alchemy DITB. The Krell has been criticized for being bright but I can assure you it is because of the source components. I very friendly dealer let me hook up a Mark Levinson 39 with it and the sound was awesome. Smooth in the highs with incredible Krell bass definition. The Classe is also an excellent product. I don't think you can go wrong with either choice. Let your ears decide for you.
obvious answer to an old question...get the krell....krell amp control the speakers better and 300i have much better preamp section..... I bet the krell co. rates the "watts" less favorably.
Both integrated units are extremely well designed products - even though the preamp sections are not quite up to par with the amp sections. RECIPE: find a generous high-end dealer that carries one or both models and take them home with you (leave a credit card deposit if need be) to audition in your own system at home for a couple of days. Which one do you like better?... You will know, your ears will tell the truth. Happy listening!
Im an owner of a krell fpb 300 and kav 250 krc pre go for the krell you will be able to sell it alot faster If you want to up grade I almost bought a classe 400 amp i owned ca100 good amp but the ca4oo doesnt come close to the krell although krell is way over priced If it sounds bright try dynaudio out or gershmanacoustics with a Naim 3.5 cd player you will be pleased dont for get naims up grade power supply its called a flat cap
Im an owner of a krell fpb 300 and kav 250 krc pre go for the krell you will be able to sell it alot faster If you want to up grade I almost bought a classe 400 amp i owned ca100 good amp but the ca4oo doesnt come close to the krell although krell is way over priced If it sounds bright try dynaudio out or gershmanacoustics speakers with a Naim 3.5 cd player you will be pleased dont for get naims up grade power supply its called a flat cap
buy the krell ive compared both try different speakers like GershmanAcoustics or dynaudio b&w and of course your cd player; try Naims cd player 3.5 with flat cap power supply then right me back youll hear the diff. If you play your music loud go for B&W or CELESTION another great speaker A3
In my opinion these are both extremely good units. I prefer the Krell for music which has a lot of material below 100hz. Bass and transiets are the krells stronghold. However, the highs can tend to be aggressive at times. It is very important how you match the system in terms of cables and interconnects. The classe has a much warmer presentation which some may find more favorable for music like string quartets. I think the classe does not have the bottom end of the Krell. It all boils down to what kind of music you favor. If you want the best of both worlds consider the Plinius 8150. Again, this just my opinion.
Try the Pilinius 8150. It will blow both the Krell & the Classé out of the water. But then again everything is on the rest of the system how each of the amplifiers will end up sounding. I was comparing the Krell, Classe and the YBA DT, I almost bought the YBA but when I listened to the Pilinius it was very clear what is the best integrated on the market.
I am a systems designer for a well regarded custom installer in the midwest (also hi-fi salon ie, sonic frontiers,classe,krell,anthem,mcintosh,genesis,hales audio,snell acoustics,etc)I have spent countless hours listening to both the CAP-150/151 and krell 300i with all manner of digital front ends through numerous speakers. I have found both to be fully satisfying entry level hi-fi integrated amps. However, they are also very different sounding. The classe is VERY smooth and detailed in the upper-mids and the highs,base slam on the other hand is decidedly lacking. The Krell has incredibly controlled base and what seems to be unlimited head-room, however, DO NOT use this integrated with a forward (aka.BRIGHT)sounding speaker. The krell's mids and highs are very clean with a tendency toward being a bit analytical,(neutral). I would personally suggest the choice be made using musical preferences, Classe if most listened music is light jazz to string or piano classical, Krell if most listened music is orchestral,rock,blues,etc. I hope this helps,if any questions please e-mail me at:
See the very positive review of the new Krell receiver in this month's Absolute Sound. The amp/preamp section is the same as the KAV-300i. Unless you have something else in the system with a harsh top end (CD player, speakers), go with the Krell. Consider buying a used unit, if you want to save money -- they're available for about $1500 - $1600.
I've heard the Krell KAV-300i and the Classe CAP 151 in different settings. The Krell sounded harsh and too bright for me, but it might have been the speakers and CD player. I listen to a wide variety of music and the Classe with the Classe CDP .3 and Joseph Audio speakers in a small room sounded much warmer and relaxing long term, no fatigue, as well as being duynamic and so musical. Of course, you see much more used Krell, noone seems as familiar with the Classe.
Classe' hands down over the Krell. On the other hand, you should be looking at the Plinius 8150i integrated.
Neither, get a Pass amp. I've heard the Krell and got a headache in 1 minute. It's bright with a big electronic haze over everything. Get a Pass and hear the music instead of your hi-fi. You won't be sorry.
You might also consider the Jeff Rowland Concentra Integrated amp ($5,600) and the new Mark Levinson #383 Integrated amp ($6,000) due out the end of November. I heard the Rowland Concentra and the ProAc 2.5 Speakers and it is very nice.
Hi all! I originally posted this question back in April and believe it or not I still haven't purchased an amp yet. I did do a direct A/B comparison between the Krell and the Classe and found I liked the sound of the Krell better. It definitely has more bottom-end slam than the Classe. Don't get me wrong. I think the Classe is a good amp but I preferred the Krell over it. Lately, however, I have been hearing really good things about the Plinius 8150 integrated amp. Any more thoughts on this amp besides the ones already posted? I really appreciate everyone's input in this matter. I am still looking for the "perfect" amp to complement my system which by the way, consists of NHT 2.5i's and a Sony ES cd player (which I am looking to upgrade also in the near future). I listen to a lot of jazz- both traditional and contemporary, and like my music somewhat aggresive with good, tight bass. Again, thanks for your thoughts and please give me any additional input about the Plinius amp!
Better try the Simaudio Moon I-5 before you buy either. Less rated power, but you get some premium quality high-end watts. Check out the rave owner reviews at
Both amps are nice but you must consider what type of speakers you are listening too that there is what will determine which amp to choose and sounds best too you. Wilson Audio Watt 5 is the finest loudspeaker to determine your best chioce of amps
Get a used Krell KAV-250a power amp, used 250p preamp, and used Dynaudio or ProAc speakers (perhaps the ones you mention). I'd consider used PBN Montana or Nova Audio speakers also.