HTS 7.1 sounds about 150% better or more for one. That's the important part really.
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The newest HTS 7.1's biggest difference is in the stereo pre-amp portion. The preamp in the newest 7.1 is based on the KST preamp and is very good.
The older HTS 7.1 units had some little annoying attributes to their operation. The newest 7.1 does not have these that I have been able to identify.
My only real complaint about the newest 7.1 is the video switching incapabilities. My wife actually convinced me to hook up a karaoke player to the main system for a party we were having. I couldn't run the component (or is it composite - the single yellow video cable) into the krell and use the S-video output to the TV. Maybe I just don't know how to program it, but found it faster/easier to just run the yellow cable directly to the TV.
Other than this, I have found the newest 7.1 to be excellent, better than I suspected for its direct, analog only preamp that is comparable with anything else I have ever run (as a direct 2-channel only preamp).
To be honest, I had avoided buying Krell based on so many people's comments that they are purely ego components and not high performance. I couldn't agree less. So far, I have loved all the Krell gear that has recently been installed (temporarily until my room gets finished).