Krell versus Levinson experience

As posted some time ago, its is difficult to get to have A-B comparisons between amplifiers in Europe, because dealers don´t like to provide home loans. I managed however to spend a whole morning comparing a Krell 200 FPBc, which was my initial first choice and a Levinson 335. Speakers were Martin Logan Prodigy, the front end was a Krell KAV 300CD(non cast) and cable was Transparent. I was astonished as how large the difference bteween the two was. The Levisnon sounded (i) much more controlled in the low and mid bass, (ii) similar in resolution but with a much more relaxed delivery , (iii) with wider soundstage. It may have been the Martin Logans and interconnects, but I had always thought that Krell FPBs matched Martin Logans quite nicely. Just tought I would metion it here as this was a most unexpected result (at least for me)
It is well known on this forum that Krell is the most overrated, overpriced "high end" equipment around. No surprise that it didn't sound like much.
I'm not surprised - the Levinson 334, 335 and 336 are perhaps the very best amplifiers available (at least in the under $10,000 range).
My experience (my own ears) with the FPB series amps is that they mate better with tube front-in equipment, (tube preamp, cd player, etc.) rather than solid state. I have found that not all equipment mates that well and by changing equipment, the sound of music also changes. What is good to hear Fchurtic is that you are taking the time to actually audition different equipment prior to making your decision, as you began by starting a thread a few days ago comparing FPB 200 to FPB 300. The joy and sometimes painful experiences as I have witnessed in obtaining "sonic nirvana". My opinion on Krell is by no means overrated nor overpriced as to me (my own ears) mated with the right equipment has brought "sonic nirvana" to my ears. Good Luck in your search, sounds like you are taking the right steps.
Way don't use see if you can audition some Pass Labs stuff, it well really give those Levinson and Krell boys a run.
I agree with Briweve. I loved my #331 until I heard the Pass Aleph 4. I put the ML up for sale the next week. It was the proverbial case of "lifting the veil" from the music. Much more real.
do yourself a favor go for either pass x series or jeff rowland.i have own both krell and levinson,i will never buy their products again.
before you rowland/pass guys dismiss levinson take a listen to the levinson #33 monoblocks. unless you have listened to these you can't know what levinson's can sound like.

having owned a levinson #332, #33h monos, and now the #33 monos i do understand that the "sound" of the medium range levinsons can be too "analytical" for some tastes. with the #33 monoblocks you get all the speed, resolution and transparency of the other levinsons and more; way deeper bass, harmonically rich and toneally correct midrange, and basically unlimited power in real world terms.

i haven't heard every amp out there but they are the best i have heard. what is really amazing is how similar to the smoothness and bloom of single ended triods they are.

i am not knocking pass or rowland here; in fact i like their sound and could happily live with either. i have not had any great krell experiences but i have not heard their latest stuff. but, the levinson #33 monoblocks do it all while retaining the intimacy and delicacy i only expect from the better tube amps.

if you can listen to these amps; they are really special IMHO.

happy listening.

mike lavigne
I would definitely go with the Levinson gear. I have given Krell an honest shot several times, as recent as last weekend. I have to admit, it SUCKS! It is very forward, in your face, brash and harsh. I know the associated equipment may have had something to do with it (thiel speakers which are also overpriced and overrated junk), but maybe because it was ALL Krell!!! Although it is very detailed, the presentation is obnoxious, and the equipment is 60% overpriced! The levinson gear is just as detailed, less in your face, throws a wider soundstage, images much better, controls deep base better, and is non-fatigueing.
I was at CES in Vegas last month. The ML and Krell booths were in the main convention hall with ALL the mid-fi gear. Most of the other High End companies were miles away at the Alexis Park Hotel. That fact alone makes a person wonder.
Oh yea, Levinson, a name allways associated with mid-fi.... Give me a break.
Hey jadis, nice exaggeration in your post - "sucks" and "junk". I guess those companies started with a great mission statement. Lets make products that suck, overprice them for the junk they are.
Hi Jadis, I guess there are quite a few audiophiles who like over priced, over rated, junk. Have you ever owned Thiels? I find it amazing that Thiel has been able to pull the wool over so many owners eyes (ears) for all these years. Please tell me what other SucKessful Junk makers are out there so we can all be better informed.
Hi all,

New to the forum, so here we go: ML and Krell at the mid fi
section? Surely you're joking! I DO agree that Krell is both overpriced and overrated, but that is ultimately a subjective decision each buyer has to make. Could live with Krell stuff (unless it's pushed hard - then it gets hard) if the prices were lower. Have always found Levinson to be far superior to it and just about anything else I've auditioned.

Speaking of overpriced... has anyone looked at the Rowland offerings? Excellent stuff, but, good grief, it is expensive!
I need to put an end to this.... My choice of words (sucks and junk)were overzealous and probably inappropriate. However, after just returning from the listen, I was probably a little salty at what I heard compared to what else is out there. And no, this was not my first listen of the gear mentioned. IMHO I do not see the value in the gear I slammed. I beleive their success is due to great marketing not great sound and not deserving of their reputations. Sure it is high end gear, and no it is not "really junk"! The point here is to give your opinion, no matter what, so people who have not heard the equipment know that there can be negative views on certain pieces. After all, it is not like I said it sucks, period. I continued to qualify my profanity. Yes my remarks were extreme, but not to be taken literally. Simply accept this and move on.