I am a small dealer in Charlotte, and I would suggest searching out Dynaudio. I think the Contour series - S3.4 or S5.4 will be exactly what you are looking for. The 803D is good, but overpriced compared to what can be achieved at that level. You might even want to look at the Dynaudio C2 depending on budget and how you like the sound of the Confidence Esotar 2 tweeter.
I would also recommend trying MIT cables based on your comments.
I would be happy to help or offer great deals if you have no local dealer.
feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks and good luck
Thanks for the offer but i'm in the UK! So annoying being a Krell fan over here as most units are the same in £ as they are over your side in $.
Well, thats a pair of 803D's sourced for a decent price so think i'm going to run with them. Also got my hands on a kps20i so just need to decide on amps now. FPB600 with arc or FPB300cx with KCT.....
I run Thiel CS5i with my FPB-600C. Marriage made in heaven. Truly magical.
I would rethink the Cardas cabling thing though.
Doug... be aware the Phillips pickup laser in the Krell 20i is no longer in production and once it goes out that player is going to be relegated as one, large, pretty doorstop! Krell as well as any other supplier have no replacements. Find yourself something much newer & better sounding would be my sound advice.
I've got a brand new tested complete mech already so no probs there. Dlcockrum - what pre are you using? And i thought Cardas GC was meant to be spot on for running with Krells? Maybe MIT would be a better choice?
Here is my system:
There is no certain brand of cables that work best with a given piece of equipment, only cables that work well in a given SYSTEM. However, there are certainly cables that DO NOT work well with certain equipment or in certain systems.
I have always found the Cardas cables to be veiled and lifeless in top-flight systems. Ayre is very big on Cardas and I just don't get it, having been very dissapointed in the sound in their rooms at RMAF two years in a row. I know how the Ayre equipment sounds in my system and feel that the Cardas/Ayre cabling they use in their demos does their equipment absolutely no favors.
I also believe that it is ultimately best to stick with one manufacturer when cabling your system (with certain specific exceptions). Mixing cabling from different manufacturers may work to offset negatives of other products in an unbalanced system, but change one component or cable and the whole house of cards comes falling down.
Until you get more focused on the sound characteristics you are looking for in tuning your system with cabling, definitely don't buy any cables without a return policy and make sure to do enough due diligence to have narrowed it down to a couple of contenders and have their products on hand during the trial period.
If I were you I'd take the burden off the speakers as the means of taming a Krell. Krells are nothing if not forward and IME you'll need a careful selection of recordings, good room acoustics, great source, good cables to name of a few. Krell is very rough ("unforgiving") on newer rock recordings that are boosted and compressed which is most of them. Krell is like a Ferrari, it better have everything right are it's not going to be at its best. I would second Ron's suggestion on the Dynaudios though.
I would love to hear my Totem Mani-2's powered by your Krell amp. Seems like it would be a very nice sound for rock/etc. I wouldn't mind swapping my Bryston for a Krell, maybe someday. (The Bryston Mani-2 combo is outstanding though)
I bought my Krell FPB-600C new in 1999 and have NEVER experienced any issues to support your assertion that "Krells are nothing if not forward" or "rough". Perhaps some of the old KSA or KAV amps were guilty of this. Haven't heard them in so long I can't say.
My Krell FPB is what I would describe as "mellow yet truthful". I would assert that my Thiel CS5i speakers are not exactly "forgiving" of non-musical artifacts upstream and if the Krell was misbehaving I would certainly know it.
I would certainly agree that many modern (and old) rock recordings sound like crap. Attempting to contain this with amps that are colored is a slippery slope.
My take is that careful selection of CD players and cabling is a more effective way to avoid exacerbating these issues. I want my amp to precisely tell me what the front end is doing so I'm not playing "pin the tail on the donkey" with system matching.
As for the Krell FPB and the Thiels on rock, this combo can spank about anything out there. The cut that I use to demonstrate the best sound my system can provide is "Tin Pan Alley" from Stevie Ray Vaughn's "Couldn't Stand the Weather" on vinyl.
I had a Krell FPB 300, older non cast, and a Krell KRC-3 Preamp, very underated in my opinion, amplification system that totally rocked with a pair of Dali 800 MKII speakers. I changed the amplification to Parasound JC-1 monoblocks and JC-2 Preamp, excellent rock combination, but I still have the speakers. I personally found the B&W 803's to be too forward for my taste. The Dali's are not as laid back as the Sonus Fabers, but more so than the B&W's. I am sure that they are easy to audition on your side of the pond so if you get the chance take a listen.
The Cardas cables are very very good. I would suggest that you audition Kimber Cable in your system. I find them to be more open to the extreme highs and lows that a Krell amplification system can provide.
Find a pair of used B&W800's (matrix).
That is what I use with Krell electronics. Will blow you away and all you need is the FPB300 (or two if you can find a KBX and run them actively).
If your worried about brightness,I would try to stay away from metal tweeters.I'd go for something with a soft dome tweeter.Even if the hard dome itself isn't bright,it sure will
bring out more of those bright/hard offensive recordings flaws possibly ruining your listening time.
Consider larger Proacs.
I had Response 3.5s (briefly) in my city rental dwelling.
Gave them up, however, because they start to sing at louder volumes than I could manage.
They really sounded great.