Review: Krell KAV-300cd CD Player

Category: Digital

I like Jazz, Classical, Rock, Blues. Patricia Barber "Cafe Blue" is one of my favorite test discs. Diana Krall is another fine female vocal to test your system out.

Detail, smoothness, imaging, and sound stage are what I look for. Harshness in the upper end is the worst. Boomy bass in the second worst offense a system can make.

The Krell 300 CD has been in my system for about one year. It replaced a CAL Tercet MKIII player. The krell has better micro detail, more prominent upper end while at the same time being smoother. The bass was deeper with much better difinition. The midrange is so smooth. Female vocals sound very real. Piano even seems right which is a difficult instrument to get right. I can listen for many hours without listener fatigue. I was suprised that a CD player can make this much difference.

It seems to get every bit of info off of the CD. It's built like a tank. Smooth quiet operation. One of the best players I have heard. A great bargain on the used market!

No frills. The display is small so it is hard to read from accross the room. The remote is a little on the cheap side.

If money was no object, I'm not sure what I'd end up with. Maybe a higher-end Krell player. I'm not sure more money spent will get much improvement.

Associated gear
Kinergetics Chiro 802 pre/pro, Parasound HCA-3500 & HCA-2003 power amps, Art of Sound tower speakers and powered subwoofers.

Similar products
CAL, Arcam, Mark Levinson, Proceed, Wadia, etc
I picked up a Krell KAV-300cd on Ebay for a song. It was broke as stated but I called Krell and they fixed it for free! It's great! Like Art of sonud I LOVE Patricia Barber and her new CD Verse on the KAV-300 is 'To DIE For'. I've got a Classe CD-1 transport, MBS D/A and a Genesis lens that are really great but they don't touch the Krell runing balanced into a Krell KSL and a Krell KSA-150. My main speakers are Apogee Stages or Sound Lab A-4's and all interconnects, power cords, and speaker cables are Harmonic Technology. I don't know of a better CD player, any ideas? For the Music. Trollmuse
I've had Krell 250's and now have the 280CD. There's only one flaw. The 280 seems to give a near field experience that is less intense. having said that, "step back!" The Bass is deeper and clearer, mids are slightly more sweet, and the highs take th ceiling off. Not take the paint off, but they raise the height of your room's sound scape.
The sound is more forward, and goes back farther and also widens. My point, the player can make even more of a diff than you've noticed and you'll have to see the forest for the trees to observe this next step. I do alot of near field, and like the 280 in that, but when ever i am past the 6 foot mark I'm swimming in image.
I borrowed a KAV-300 for a week from a dealer to see if it would replace my new Rotel 1072. While the Krell was definately a better player, I was somewhat suprised in that it was not as superior as I thought it would have been. I think this speaks well for the Rotel and shows that digital playback continues to improve over the years. Now, I don't mean at all to say that the Krell is not a very good player, but I decided that it was not enough of an improvement for me, for now, for my system and my wallet etc. to keep. I think that for the same $$, a modern DAC just might outperform the now, what, 8 year old Krell. Just my experience. Did not try balanced, BTW.