Krell Restoration


Want to restore my FPB-200. Works fine, but must repair my 802s and thought I should have the Krell caps checked out and replaced as needed. It's been 15 years of hard use. Should I send it to Krell, or use a local, highly regarded specialist located near me on the West Coast? Got the Krell carton, but shipping could be deadly. Any experience with third party repair?
dderham1948
Hopefully, Audiolabrynth will see this post. He knows a lot about this very topic. I'm pretty sure he used Krell, but maybe not since Dan left the company.
I sent s KSA200 to Krell for repair from California and it was not good. I had the factory dbl box and FedX still damaged the unit enough to scrap it. I ended up with a new FBB300cx out of the deal but I had to kick down the money to make up for the difference.
If you do ship it, use Ocean Air. That's what Krell used to ship me the new unit. They treated it like a newborn and it came to me unscathed.
Also Steve Lakrone who used to work for them has his own business now called The Service Dept. He was their service mgr for close to 20 years. Good news is he's real good; bad news, he is also on the east coast.
Sorry I don't have his info here at home. Google should come up with it.
Good luck, John
To save a couple of bucks vs. trained personnel familiar with the unit seems like a bad trade off PLUS you will have a warranty from Krell that will mean something as opposed to one where the shop may be gone in six months!
Good luck!
azjake
Is there no Krell dealer in your area? Thier tech should be able to do this easily.
Not trying to save a couple of bucks, worried about FedEx or UPS dropping it too many times.
The local shop can use better caps than Krell? Replace the internal wiring to speaker and XLR connects. Other things Krell may and do.
Question is, will the local shop tear it down and find they can't complete the repair because of proprietary parts or some secret handshake known only to Krell. Will they be able to calibrate it, and is that necessary when simply replacing parts?
Thought the experts on this site would know if the good local tech would be a safe path.
I would suggest you ship these to Krell, even if you are not warm to the idea. They will replace your caps with most recent version available, check everything up and adjust power supply bias. A local tech can certainly replace the caps, not too sure if he would know how to adjust the PS bias which is important to keep everything running smooth. There could be some proprietary components to be replaced and would think that a local repair shop could not do much for you in this situation.

I have sent my FPB-350MCX monoblocks for recap to Krell and they replaced all caps and amp cover screws. The unit is now running much cooler than previously. You will have to wait 100-200 hrs before the caps are fully broken up and get the tremendous bass back from your Krell, once the job is completed.
Agree with posts above that major overhaul be done by the factory. I own ARC gear and use a local ARC authorized tech only for basic soldiering type repairs (e.g., replacing burned bias resisters). But ... if something was really wrong with any of my ARC units, I would have no hesitation in sending them back to the factory.

Don't know how Krell gear is boxed, but ARC uses double boxing with a 1" Styrofoam liner in between the boxes. When I bought or sold ARC gear, I shipped by FedEx. Been lucky. No problems. But I ship to and from a local FedEx office. That way FedEx can't deny shipping condition on the shipping "to" or "from."

Good luck.
Hi Dderham1948, yes, I sent my FPB 700cx to krell, look, you have to use a skidd, go to lowes and get rachet straps and strap that thing down to the skidd, the skidd protects your amp nicly because it is in the center of the skidd, put do not double stack and handle with care on printing paper with big bold black marker, work's great, make sure you request krell to send your personal skidd back on the return with the amp on the skidd, they will put your staps inside the box and use their fiberglass nylon normal shipping strap's on the return, I do not care if you ship from England, doing what I have specified here will increase your chances of no damage, and If I were you, I would not skimp out on the caps, replacing the ones needed, do the big ones, you have to request that, tell krell a complete cap job, specify that you want ALL of the cap's replaced, Steve Lacrone at the service dept home.com is a great alternative too, I know him personally, but I also have a personal relationship with krell, ask for Patrick Bresnahan, tell him Keith henry-Audiolabyrinth recommended you, Patrick is first class, very attenative at making the customer happy,I hope all this helps, reply back when you can.
BTW, Krell does not use oceanair anymore, they use Fedex frieght, this method has the best tracking out of all other method's, I recommend useing them to send your amp to who you desire.
Thank you all for your thoughtful help.
Hi Dderham1948 - I just saw your post. Just a few additional comments.

When you say "its been 15 years of hard use" it tells a lot.

Whether it goes back to Krell direct or not, may be dependent on the weight / distance / logistics. There is a crossover point when weight and distance can rule out sending to the manufacturer. In my case almost 200 lbs. I had no choice. A few friends and I are lucky as there is a certified past Krell tech in the Ontario L5B XXX postal code. This person has even worked on the $150K Krell Master Reference Amplifier. So when using local techs credentials are very important.

BTW - I could not confirm from your post.
When you say 802s do you mean two (plural) B&W matrix series or other series of B&W 802's ?

The FPB series has real synergy with the 800 series matrix line. My generation krell 600 was chosen due to the synergy with my reference matrix 800 speakers. The same ones used by Dan D'Agostino when his main system was FPB series with matrix 800. He liked the 800 series matrix line so much that he designed his own Krell built to B&W spec Bass Alignment Filters.

I just got off the phone with Dan recently and he gave me some more tweaks for my system if I ever get tired of listening to music. :^)
Very open and easy to talk with. I encourage you to call him at 480-575-3069 in Arizona. He may know someone qualified in your own backyard if sending the amp back to Patrick at Krell becomes a no go.

Cheers and Good Luck.
Hi ct0517, can you share some of the tweak's Dan D Agostino shared with you, I have talked to him myself on the phone over the last few month's, do tell please.
Yes, a FPB-200 with a pair of Matrix 802s S3.

Live is Nor Calif., know of no one Krell certified here.
Any experience with the KRC-3? also 15 years of hard use. Should I have the caps replaced on it?

Ct0517. Front of Matrix woofer is partially separated from the speaker. May only need to be glued, don't know yet.
Anyone know of a hidden stash of Matrix drivers? Willing to pay.

Is FedEx Freight different and safer than the FedEx that ruined Jsd52756's KSA-200 (above)?
Hi Dderham1948, your Krell Krc-3 does not need to be recaped as often as the class A amp's, you may be able to get 5 to 7 more year's out of the krc-3, however, it would cost alot less money than any krell amp to get recaped, smaller and alot fewer cap's is alot cheaper to do, I know a KAv-300I is about $600.00 to $700.00 to fully recap, so your pre-amp should be the same price or likly cheaper to recap, I believe it's worth doing if you enjoy the sound of the krc-3, after the 500 hrs of burn-in of a NEW recaped Kav-3, you will be impressed, it will sound better than new, cheers.
Dderham1948
Ct0517. Front of Matrix woofer is partially separated from the speaker. May only need to be glued, don't know yet.
Anyone know of a hidden stash of Matrix drivers?

Dderham1948 - this site lists parts and prices.

B&W Parts and Pricing

You can type in your model and series and it lets you know the availability of parts and their prices. They are showing out of stock on your woofers.
This is not a problem. Your woofer can be brought to any reputable speaker rehab shop in your area and repaired as new.

Loosen the bolts on the woofer slowly. When all are starting to move (not seized) cradle the bottom of the woofer and start taking the bolts out. The woofer will want to fall out from bottom toward you so cradle it. Once bolts are out the woofer may be stuck to the cabinet if its never been out. Slowly pry away with a pick. When it gives it will be all at once so keep cradling it. I put two small pieces of green painters tape on cabinet just above the woofer showing which wires blue / brown go where. For when you put it back. Bring woofer to the shop. They will repair it and inspect the spider for flabbiness. If it need replacing do all woofers same time. You will be back in business.

Your Krell preamp is not like the Amp. It doesn't go through the stress cycles of high heat/ cool down. I would have it inspected at same time. Its not a given that all capacitors wear out over XX years on a preamp. i.e. My Studer tape failed. My tech thought for sure it needed new power supply capacitors. When checked they were at new condition specs still. (knock on wood :^) .
It turned out to be another problem. let us know how u make out.

Cheers
Audiolabyrinth
can you share some of the tweak's Dan D Agostino shared with you, I have talked to him myself on the phone over the last few month's, do tell please.

Hi Audiolabyrinth

Sure, but first let me preface this. In all my conversations with amplifier (power) guys there has always been a common theme in the talks. They all want to discuss power and how to control more with the speakers. Whether they are trying to do this with as little power as possible, or with as much as can be made. Both extremes. You know what they say - power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. :^)

The tweaks Dan discussed revolved around his setup of his then Matrix 800 speaker system. How best to say this. These speakers are like zombies on steroids, a freak of nature kind of speaker system. A one time only offering from B&W under John Bowers regime - the (B) in B&W.

Dan talked about this total end user control of the speakers. The matrix 800 can be a sort of speaker brothel in this way. Let me explain. The driver system in each matrix 800 speaker (two woofer cabinets, 2 mids, 1 tweeter) are isolated in their own cabinets with their own easy to get at crossover. Unbolt the back plates - there are the crossovers for each driver. Naked and open access. You don't even need your wifes help to lay the speakers on their side or upside down. There are the crossovers staring at you in the face. These days some manufacturers epoxy up these areas so not to tamper with them. What were the British thinking. Very dangerous for a curious audiophile. Which is why for me in my current "music lover" happily listening to music phase, these easy to access speaker guts pose no threat. Sorry for digressing....

So four separate external crossovers per speaker allows for quad wiring (which I am doing), and bi, tri and quad amping if you really want to go crazy.
I am also using Dan's Krell Bass Alignment filters which I preferred to two other 3rd party ones I have used.

He discussed bringing in as many
Krell Crossovers as needed to do this bi, tri, quad amping and bypassing the internal crossovers.

Here is a

Pass Labs version as well for comparison.

With the above you can control the volume coming out of each driver separately. You can therefore based on your own ears and your room, make the speaker highly resolving, or sweet and warm. Switch back and forth with different genres maybe. Go crazy. It allows for dialing in your preferences with fewer room treatments, and a little lesser placement worries. This sounds all good especially if its a shared room with your wife. But .....she would probably never allow these matrix 800 in the house to begin with.
Now a problem I see is you are going from the matrix 800's unique high quality passive crossovers, to a much more complicated quality multi active crossover/s system. I've heard others say transparency takes a hit. I don't know the answer to this. It probably becomes a YMMV type of thing. You need to hear it in your own room.

As it is I have a dedicated space and these room friendly monsters were very easy to dial in. At 93db 4 ohm design the Krell 600 amp is barely cruising even on the high spls.

Cheers
Hi chris
Just curious as to what work you had done to your 600
Thankyou Ct0517, great post, informative, cheers.
Hey John.
I got curious upon first getting it. But due to the weight, and lack of help I had my local tech near me check it out. He gave it a clean bill of health so it was good to try out. It replaced 200 wpc monoblock OTL's. I had planned to use it for a period, and if I liked it to have it overhauled for the long run. The honeymoon with it became extended and its prime winter time listening for me right now. The Tech mentioned on this thread ended up with my other amp instead. Sorry for the confusion. When that amp returns from him, and good outside weather also returns, I will again attempt to bring it (with help) down to him to do his work on it. As mentioned here one of the speakers Dan D'A'gostino designed it around was the B&W 800 Matrix series. So I don't want to mess with synergies in play. Hearing is believing. The tech will therefore keep the design intact and change out capacitors and whatever else he feels will benefit.

An observation on running it and I would be interested in others experiences.
When I listen with digital it gets kind of warm only. Digital has a loudness factor. When I get serious and crank it with a low level vinyl signal it gets hot, but not so hot that I cannot keep my hand on it. I believe how hot it can get is based on the source type (digital versus vinyl), your listening habits, the speakers you use, and most important, the room volume in play. I haven't tried it yet, but I am pretty sure if I was using it with less friendly speakers like my Acoustat ESL's at 81db sensitivity and their 40 ohm bass requirements, versus the 800's 93db sensitivity and 4 ohms it would get much much hotter. So if anyone is looking at buying one of these Krell's I would be trying if possible to find out about the above factors. Gives you an indicator of how hard it was run.

Also. We always hear about doubling down for Solid State - well what about halving up above the 8 ohms ? If my amp does 600 wpc at 8 ohms and 2400 wpc at 2 ohms that's all fine and good. But how much power does it make at 32 or 64 ohms that Acoustat speakers need for the bass (which sucks the most power). Does the power curve go the other way, halving up based on 16, 32 ohms ? So at 16 ohms it would make half at 300 wpc, and again 150wpc at 32 ohms. I don't know the answer. Would have been a good question for Dan D'Agostino. I know the Acoustat are 40 ohms and up for their bass because my previous OTL's were designed by their manufacturer around them, and for their requirements. We had many conversations about it.
Appreciate the comments Audiolabyrinth

I don't like open questions so I asked Patrick at Krell about the impedance load wpc power ratings above 8 ohms.

Hi Chris,
This is a question I do not get asked too often so I am not quite as knowledgeable in this area. I do know that if the load of the speaker goes up then indeed the power output of the amplifier does indeed go down so your figures below are accurate (in this case 600wpc @ 8, 300wpc @ 16 etc).
Hope this helps.
Patrick
Ct0517, yes, If patrick does not know an answer, he will get it from from tech or engnr, patrick has been a joy to work with and talk to concerning my amp, cheers.