Nobody got a view on the KRC-3????
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I used the Krell KRC-HR for about seven years. The HR is the "High Resolution" version of your preamp, so called because of the discrete resistor volume control, as opposed to the potentiometer used in the KRC. At the time, the KRC-HR was supposed to be one of the most resolving preamps made.
I recently tried a friend's Audio Research LS5 (similar age to the Krell) in my system, and was surprised to hear it resolve more detail than the Krell. Surprisingly, even the bass of the LS5 was better. I decided to change my preamp, and searching and auditioning a number of candidates, ended up buying the Audio Research LS26. Totally in a different league. So much of an improvement in every aspect. Shocking transparency.
I just sold my Krell FPB300 and bought the Audio Research Reference 110. Even more of the same improvements. The Krell system, which sounded great in it's own right, made all the right sounds, but never quite sounded like people playing. The ARC stuff does it effortlessly.
In short, I believe your KRC can be easily bested. Be aware though that well set up Krell gear is unbeatable in certain aspects: slam, and the ability to remain composed at tremendous volumes. Try to find a dealer who will let you audition at home.
Which part of the UK are you, and what is the rest of your setup?
I have owned a KRC-3 for many years. Different folks want different things, but at the time, after auditioning many preamps in my own system, the KRC-3 was easily the most transparent in the price range. Heck, it is one of the most transparent pre's I have heard. I have a Modright modded PS Audio GCPH phono amp and recently tried an experiment. I thought the preamp might be getting a little noisy, so I connected the phono directly to the amps using Grover Huffman ICs. After a couple of days I put the KRC-3 back in (same ICs) and concluded the sound was nearly identical, with the noticeable differences (transients, bass) being in favor of the Krell.
Along with hearing the KRC-3 and KRC/KRC-HR in a shop many times, I also compared them directly in my home. My impression was that the "sound" was very similar, but with the KRC being smoother with more precise imaging and a better soundstage.
KRELL was not to everybodys taste, but when paired up with a good front end and speakers (and set up well), it was the best I ever heard for my tastes. I can no longer afford KRELL, so if and when my KRC-3 goes, I will likely look into Ayre gear. Recently Charles has shown signs of jumping on the "rich-only" price bandwagon too, so who knows?
Firstly, thanks for your views guys I thought that people from the country of origin may know more about this pre.
I have a MC MCD201 front end and whilst superceded by the new 301 it still is a good sounding CD player. I have started to try and tune the sound using Transparent Audio cables and it is making progress. It may be possible that a little more tuning will do the trick. Mikey I live near Reading about 40 miles west of London.
Glenn, I love the pace and attack of the Krell which sits nicely with the Gamuts but was after a little more warmth.
I know what you mean about the Krell prices, they have a reasonable range aimed at home theatre and then a knee tremblingly expensive range with little in-between. The FBI integrated retails this side of the pond for the equivalent of $28,000 !!!