I have read that many owners think the build quality of this unit is not up to price level. Your bright sound does not fit in with any owner reviews I have read at Audio Asylum forum, you may want to do a search on that forum.
I was checking one out at my local dealer. I opened the drawer to check out the title of the disc being played,and I couldn't believe how flimsy/crappy the drawer operated. It was very comparable to a cheap Pioneer. Maybe I'm spoiled but I'm used to old Phillips players(cd-80/cd-880/cd-960)and my current player 963 SA- I know thats not the final line in CD performance,but it at least makes it seam alot better made.
I have owned a Krell SACD Standard for over 3 months and it does need at the VERY LEAST 100 hours to break in. Although the Krell may fall short on the build quality when compared to my Wadia 860x, it does however sound incredibly natural and open, never harsh or bright. Also, make sure you are running it balanced and not single ended. I believe the Martin Colloms ran the Krell single-ended for his review. Watch for the Krell SACD on the cover of the December Stereophile.
Krell seems to have a certain brightness to it. I agree with one person who said to wait until it is broken in to judge. I would also suggest you express the problem to your dealer and see if they will let try one that is broken in. Typically I noticed a more muddy sound in unbroken in equipment but I am no expert on that topic.
SoGood 51 - Dave, thanks, I will go there and take a look.
Drubin - Cary 308
Krelldog - I agree it could be made a bit better but sound quality is paramount here.
Theo - Sunfire TGIII, Sunfire Cinema Grand Sig, PSB Stratus Gold
Tony007 - Thanks, I will take a look
Raquel - I do not see how it can make a huge difference but I will try to give it time.
J1a - My pre-pro does not have balanced input, so I used an adapter since I did not have much choice.
Being the owner of an SCD-1,I can tell you that break-in is very real. It was my first decent player so I liked the sound right out of the box. At about 200 hrs it started to really open up, but it did'nt get great until about 400 hrs or so. I could'nt believe the day to day differences I was hearing. So give it a little time and enjoy. Gary.
I second the recommendation that "break-in" is REAL. To be fair you should give the player time to do what it can do. If after several hundred hours of break-in you are still displeased, atleast you will be confident that you just don't like the sound of this player, and those other players will still be out there.
I would love to see a journal of 500 hours of listening/breakin.
I'm sorry--if I spent 4k, it better sound good out of the box. It may get better, but if it doesn't sound good now, don't keep it.
The Cary 306/200 uses the same transport as the Krell as I recall (Philips) which most cdps in that price range use. I personally prefer the Wadia transports (Pioneer, Teac).
Even after the player is well broken in, be SURE you warm it up before each session, or just leave it on. Somebody above already mentioned this but its very important. The player will not operate optimally until the temperature of all working parts is stable.
If you still dont like it then its time to look into other options.
If someone hasnt said it already, i would suggest putting a cd or sacd disc in it and putting it on repeat for a few days. You dont have to have the system playing, just have it hooked up to a preamp. I did this with a Krell 280 cd a couple of years ago. Right out of the box, it sounded much much worse (hard and grating) than the inexpensive Denon dvd player i was using before. After letting it run on repeat for a few days, it was sounding much better.
I am a Krell user since their inception, however; did not buy their SACD, because of the build quality ie. the transport draw. That said, at least two of my audiophile friends own the unit and love it. As noted in the above posts, the krell must be run in (at least 200 hours), you must experiment with several interconnects and power cords and leave the unit on for at least an hour before listening to it. Also try software that originated in DSD stream, rather than the 40 year old remastered crap.