Man, that's a pretty recent post to be talking about a KPS 20i. Lol, I just bought one from Audiogon, and it should arrive Tuesday (1/30.) I replaced my Aragon 2004 with a KSA 200s two months ago, and the change was a revelation, much greater than I had expected. It sounded better in every way, so much so that it made me start resenting my cd player, a Cal Audio Labs Ikon mk 2. Basically, that amp shines a spotlight on almost every component of the music, but also shines a spotlight on my system's weaknesses. It's amazing how, in this hobby, a small improvement puts a smile on your face, but a huge improvement throws your system out of balance, and COMPELS you to upgrade something else.
13 responses Add your response
When I put the KSA 200s into the system, I could hear very quickly that the output stage on the CAL Icon was letting down the system. I came pretty close to buying a Krell KPB 32x DAC, but the more I read about the 20i, the more I coveted the thing. If the transport mechanism/laser breaks, I'm pretty sure I can find a replacement. In the meantime (if it did break,) I could still use it as a DAC. From what I've read, it's probably the best CD player that Krell ever made that didn't use CAST technology. The red LED readout, and the player in general, are stunningly beautiful. Perhaps most important, I'm now convinced that if you like Krell, your whole system (CD,pre,amp) should be Krell. You must complete the Krell machine, not mix and match with other brands. I see you have a Levinson preamp, from what I've read, Krell and Levinson don't work that well together. You might consider trying a Krell preamp, just to satisfy your curiosity, before you buy another Rega CD player.
barnegat666 Yes thats what i read also about the Krell KPS20i. Mine has the Delta 9 upgrade so my LED readouts are green. And yes i do love my Krells . My CD and my 600 FPB amp. But did also read somewhere that the Mark Levinson 38s preamp was a great match for the Krell FPB 600 from either the a Krell FPB 600 review or the Mark Levinson 38s review from Stereophile. To tell you the truth i was not curious about a Krell Preamp until now. What would you recommend for a Krell Preamp that compares to the ML 38s. I thought that was a an excellent preamp and match for my amp.
Jafant, no, Krell does not service any of their old CD players, as they don't have parts (usually laser/transport.) That should not scare you however, because you can usually find the parts online with a little diligence for a reasonable price, and there are plenty of technicians out there that can service Krell products.
Tatoo, considering your system, if I were you, I would look for a Krell KRC preamp. I may consider a KRC HR, but would probably pursue the original KRC. Your ML preamp is pretty awesome, and might be fine for your system. The KRC is equally awesome, will likely be more synergistic in your system, and matches your KPS 20i. Lol. You've obviously put a lot of effort into your system, aren't you curious to hear what an all Krell (excluding speakers and cables) system can do? A used KRC should be about $2000, try one for a few months and sell it if you prefer the 38s in your system. Or sell the 38s, either way, you should break even overall.
I have the ISIS valve cdp/DAC.
(1) the ISIS valve model fully sold me in terms of its performance: well worth the extra cash outlay over the non-valve model.
(2) the Saturn-R is a fine unit, but the ISIS valve cdp/DAC takes it to a whole new performance level.
(3) My matched OSIRIS integrated amp with its XLR interconnect inputs from the ISIS was the next intuitive performance link upgrade. The OSIRIS and ISIS as a matched set have a unique "je ne sais quoi" special symbiotic performance synergy, that is not subtle ...FWIW.
((4) If you do migrate up to the ISIS, do not scrimp on cheap ICs.... go invest in quality build XLR ICs. The RCA REGA Couple ICs that come with the ISIS spinner are good performers in their own right (I use them in my B system) ; BUT .... they can be improved upon significantly when you take the step up.
I did extensive A-B bake offs in my system with a plethora of contenders and pretenders. I settled on an all-NORDOST Frey XLR IC and matched FREY shotgunned speaker cable loom. They are a brilliant match to the REGA OSIRIS / ISIS valve system . Again, both the audio performance and satisfaction improvement quotient was not subtle.
Quality XLR ICs are a necessary and worthy step up IMO to max out its performance capabilities..... full stop.
(5) The ISIS considerable high-end audio performance and resolution strengths also have a noteworthy caution: it WILL definitely reveal all the warts in your system and it will graphically reveal all poor quality recordings.
Happy hunting .