I've got the Krell. My impressions. Clear and detailed, glasslike clarity. A little cold. Papery vocals. Solid, refined and taut bass. Will give you what's on the recording. GIGO.
Endless clean power. Never runs out of steam. Clips at 280 wpc. Rated at 200 wpc 8 ohms. Doubles down at 4 ohms.
So, very good but the antithesis of tubes. SS character all the way.
ok, thank you very much for your comments.
I'm not quite sure where a lot of people find the Krell KAV-400xi to be cold sounding. I never found that at all. Perhaps there are some people saying this without hearing it based on a supposed Krell reputation of being cold in the past or earlier versions such as the 300i being cold. I myself found it to be quite neutral or just ever so slightly leaning towards the warmer side. I lived with this piece for a number of months when I was a Krell dealer to evaluate it and was fairly impressed.
I found it interesting that "Soundstage!" also had the same finding in their recent review. "The KAV-400xi tends towards a slightly warm sound, never straying into a cool, sometimes clinical realm".
I've heard good things about the Moon I-5, but haven't listened to it myself, so sorry that I can't help you there.
I do however have another excellent option that you may want to consider. Feel free to email me if you're interested.
I owned the Moon I-5 on two occasions, 3 years apart. My first unit was somewhat dry, with good yet artificial bass, while the upper frequencies were a tad bright. I was a sucker for the design of the thing though, very nice.
Second I-5 was purchased on the supposed reputation that it was ''upgraded' and that is sounded better.
Finally, not much improvement was noticed. This integrated creates a spectacular, sparkling and lively sound. Great for short-term impressions. However, I found it to be dry, dark, unnatural and not very communicative of the music.
Great design still, but for sonics, the Moon sound just doesn't cut it for me.
More evidence, if any were needed, that different pairs of ears are tuned differently. I've heard both the Krell 400xi, and the SimAudio I-5 at home and elsewhere, albeit with different speakers and source.
I love the I-5, purchased used and without the upgrade now available. For me, the Krell was flat and lifeless, heard through some of the better JMlabs Speakers. But the dealer is a big fan, he sings in an excellent choral group, and I'd never diss his ears. One man's neutral is another man's flat.
For me, the I-5 has just the right balance of life, air, delicacy and agility with music enhanced by those qualities, to make an ideal match with many small-driver two-way speakers in modest sized rooms. No one can argue with the Krell build quality or power though.
Soory to hijack this thread..
what about Krell KAV400xi with Naim 202/200?
Soory to hijack this thread..
what about Krell KAV400xi with Naim 202/200?
A bit of a tangent maybe, hardly a hi-jack. I spent a bit of time with the current Naim 202/200 separates over several sessions at a dealer, and owned the Nait 5i for close to 2 years. The Naim separates are very fine, but very Naim; all of the Naim virtues of rhythmic drive, nice tonal balance, great mid-range, bass that has heft but good manners too. The separates are of a higher calibre overall than the integrateds under discussion here, as they should be for the price. Still, they have the Naim voice which you may or may not prefer; not the last word in soundstage, a sense of air and bloom, delicacy of decay of notes etc.
I think the little Nait 5i holds its own against the Krell 400 xi or the Simaudio 1-5, as long as it is used in a suitable application and set-up. Naim is pretty particular about partnering, from speaker cable and interconnect to equipment rack and speakers.
I might add that I may not have heard the Krell at its best; some devotees of Totem speakers, which I like too, say Krell is a great match with the somewhat forward or lively presentation of the Totems.
I have never known the Sim Audio products to be dry or dark sounding - at least in my side by side tests with Bryston, Ayre, Pass, and Cary (SS). All were separates though. I have never compared Krell to Moon in a meaningful and real test however.
I have listened to the I-5 a lot. The I-5 is the integrated that I would buy, the first I would think of -if I was buying an integrated. For some reason that I can't put my finger on, I like it better than the new I-7.
I am not in this industry at all, BTW.
The Moon should easily beat the Krell in every respect since it has a very refined sound.I've had a w-5 in my system that left a benchmark that has just been bettered by the Karan and that was no small feat.As to the previous posters experiences,the Moon gear is very sensitve to cabling and power requirements,if Sonic Beauty found it to be sparkle and bright,then i suspect that his cables may have been a poor choice.I have 2 friends who both have LE's and they love the Sim sound,while I also think very highly of the LE amp!As with all good amps,they only show you what is upstream and reflect it in the sound.The soundstage is as big as the starship enterprise and is extremely well layered and detailed.Dynamics are e and yet delicate when called on,this is probably the best Canadian amp currently in production.I would pick the SIM in a heart beat but only if I had a system that could support it!Good hunting-Dennis
I share your reaction to the I-7. While the I-7 showed greater dynamic range within a given note, from attack to decay, and an overall bigger sound, it seemed to me the I-5 had a more pleasing delicacy and subtlety. Good as the I-7 may be for certain applications, for simple 2 channel musical enjoyment in a moderate to small room, I prefer the I-5 so far.
Or, at least I couldn't see the VFM ratio favoring the I-7.
But considerations might be quite different for someone looking for a muscular integrated to support home theater surround as well as 2-channel. Perhaps its just a case of adjusting my preferences to fit my budget.
Cenline; I'd be pleased to hear more about your findings about suitable cable for Sim generally. I haven't experimented much yet; just using what I had on hand.
Hi Paul,the cable that I rec is the Master for first time users,this cable is one of the most musical well rounded cables.The Master has a rightness that once you hear it, you know that it isn't editoralising the signal coming from the system.If you have the cabbage to spend then I think that the Master LE is one of the best cables in existance.It is also a great value when you put it up against the rest of the VD line up.If you are willing to try a used cable then grab one from the agon classifieds ( there is a maste p/c for a great price,but, be sure to give it proper time to settle into your system 3-4 days min.).I hope this helps and please let us know what you think if you try it!Cheers Dennis
Glad to see mention of the Naim Nait 5. I my humble opinion and experience, the Sim Audio I-5 is not in the same league, sonically speaking, as the legendary Naim.
Heck, even a 20 year old original Naim Nait 1 (I've owned one from 1984 to 1994, still miss it) will smoke the Moon in some areas. Naim is expensive, yet it's no flavor or the month...
You may want to also have a look at the new Moon i5.3, which is considered as the replacement of the i-5. It has better bass, more dynamics, incredible layering and 3-dimensionality. Although I agree the new Krell 400 integrated is not cold, it is IMO nonetheless analytical and lacking in musicality compared to the i5.3. Perhaps this also explains why the Krell, although almost three times as powerful, is less expensive than the Moon. A look inside each machine shows the Moon has having more circuitry and a larger power supply, despite its lower power rating. However, in terms of power output on paper, the Krell wins, but you could barely tell that unless your speakers are very power hungry. I recommend you listen to the i5.3 before you make your final decision, but all these integrateds are good choices anyways.
Dspraglow ... just a small correction. I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with your assessment of the Moon i5.3 vs Krell KAV-400xi, but it is not true that the i5.3 has a larger tranformer than the Krell. The Moon i5.3 has a 500VA transformer whereas the Krell KAV-400xi has a 800VA transformer. In relation to their output power the Moon's transformer would be bigger, but your statement says that the Moon's transformer is larger "...despite its lower power rating". This is not incorrect, so I just thought that people should know the actual sizes if this in any way influences their possible purchase decision.
I agree that they both would be good pieces. It quite often comes down to purely personal preference and $$$.
If it was me, I'd definitely consider the Bel Canto S300i or S300iu (if you want the USB DAC option). But, of course, I'm biased being a Bel Canto dealer, so you can take that with a grain of salt. As another disclosure, I used to be a Krell dealer and am very familiar with the 400xi.
I am auditioning this integrated now, and I wouldn't characterize it as cold sounding at all. Typical modern day Krell if you ask me. Powerful, honest, big, and in regards to this particular piece a tremendous value.
It is however a typical solid state piece of equipment, and doesn't really have a dynamic personality as far as emotional depth and warmth. If I were going to knock it I would say slightly sterile, but a lot of SS could be described that way.
I personally think this thing is a nice piece, could easily be a $5000 integrated, and I think Krell knows this but....They strategically take a loss on this piece to own this segment (which they do) and to give the everyday apartment dweller a taste of their sound.