Reference 3A and SS namely Krell

Can speakers like the new Veena or MM DeCapo mk II be used with SS gear and still sound musical? Everybody seems to have their hearts set on on valve gear. I wanted to pair them with a Krell intergrated (400xi) possibly.
I'm currently running my MM DeCapos with Channel Islands Audio VMB-1 monoblock solid state chip amps. Admittedly, the CI VMB-1s likely have a different sonic signature than the Krell, but they are solid state and sound great!

I've also played mine with a couple of different tube amps and I think I prefer the Channel Islands SS amps.


I used to use the de Capo with a KSA50s. The combo worked well and sounded musical, but...

The de Capo can sound a bit "dry" (TO ME) and the use of Krell doesn't diminish this effect although it doesn't particularly emphasize it, either.

The deep bass capabilities of the Krell are lost to the limited bandwidth of the de Capo.

If you like the basic nature of the de Capo, youll hear it (warts -or call them beauty marks- and all) with Krell amplification.

IMHO, the pairing ain't bad, but it ain't perfect either.
I am currently running DeCapos with an Electrocompaniet Ampliwire-75 (75 watts of laid back Norwegian SS) and they sound great. But this amp is not forward or aggressive tending to long term listening without fatigue and not calling much attention to itself. Great resolution that plays behind the speakers.

I have had two Krell amps (300i integrated & KAV-250) and found them cold and sterile sounding though many would call that neutral. The bass was uniformily excellent with highs and mids detailed but they never evoked any emotion. After a while I they just tired me out. The integrated was paired with ACI Sapphires and the KAV-250 with Von Schweikert VR-3's.

I do think I personally would care for a Krell/Ref3a pairing based on my personal preference for warm and involving music.

All that said the DeCapos are phenominal in all aspects with Atma-sphere M-60's but those amps are in another class.
Chip amps or op amps are recognized by the manufacturer as a good alternative to tubes for Reference 3a speakers. I've owned the Veenas for about a year now, previously the Dulcets. My SS experience with these speakers has been so-so, but they really launched with the humble ASL 1001 DT tube integrated. Very nice with the Shigaraki integrated op amp as well. The Krell, which I've heard (but not with Reference 3a) and respect, seems like an unlikely partner for these speakers to me, but by all means try if you can.

There are some Totem fans who find the Krell a great partner; putting it perhaps too simply, a dryer, but powerful integrated, with a more forward, lively speaker.
I'd be interested to hear about your findings...
Reference 3A speakers with SS gear and still sound musical?
...well I'm using the MM De Capo i's with a Simaudio W-3 SS amp and I think its sounds musical but you might also want to ask your question over at the Reference 3A owners circle,
Owner Circles > Reference 3A