Upgrade Krell KSA 250 to what?


Here's the situation:

My 30 year old Krell KSA 250 (upgraded/hot rodded at the factory 20 yrs ago) is showing signs of age.  I'm having trouble turning it on/off and I'm afraid it needs service.  While I've enjoyed it tremendously I'm naturally wondering about replacement in lieu of spending significant sums on updating it.  Furthermore, not sure if the Krell factory is willing or capable of servicing an amp of this vintage.

So I've been toying with replacing it with a new or nearly new piece.  Options I'm considering are Pass labs (possibly X250.8 or 350.8), ARC Ref 75 SE or possibly a Ref 150 SE (used), or similar.  D'Agostino dealer is nearby as well along with a VAC dealer but both those brands are too rich ($$$$) for my blood.  Trying to stay below $10K, preferably less than $8K.

The system for this change is composed mostly of older gear, as follows:

Wilson Watt/Puppy 7

Sota Star III/ SME V/ Benz Ruby Z analog front end

Oppo 105 digital player

ARC Ref 2 Mk II line stage

ARC PH3 SE phono

Straightwire/ Cogelco/ Purist Audio cables


Thanks in advance for the input!




bobbydd
I’d just have Krell service it.  Good amp, you’re happy with it in your system, etc.  

A different amp might undo everything you’ve put together.
Biggest mistake of my HiFi journey, selling a fully refurbished KSA-250 several years ago. Missed it ever since, even tried to buy it back on more than one occasion. Keep the Krell, have it refurbished by Krell or an independent service technician. Sound quality is still up there with the very best IMHO. Plus, nothing beats a KSA-250 for bass control and extension. Steven Leckrone is the  technician who serviced my amp at Krell. He now works as an independent Krell service specialist. Contact Steven at; [email protected] (203-331-0671).
Wow!  Thanks much for the contact!
You could ask KrellFan1 over here what his journey has been.
+1 to mgatt

In the mean time
My fav amp was a Kinergetic KBA 75, but I killed it swapping out power cords before the caps drained. Since then I have owned tube amps, and many class Ds. None of them compared, BUT...


About 7 months ago I bought Ric Schultz's EVS 1200 (dual mono XLR only class D using newest IcePower 1200AS2 modules, which he then mods

MSRP ~ $2300

I use it direct from my Oppo 105 with upgraded Linear Power Module and upgraded IEC with Furutech rhodium and heavy gauge pure silver wire (both from Ebay(. He offers a 30 day money back

You might keep it as a backup, and to listen to shhould you spend the $$$ to repair the Krell

hth
SS has come a LONG LONG .... way so I would move to something current. 
bobbydd OP
Upgrade Krell KSA 250 to what?
The Krell was a Bi-polar output classic, able to "almost" keep doubling it’s wattage down to 2ohms, they had a bit of Class-A bias on them as well about 12w. You obviously like what this sort of amp does grunt wise.

Go even better with the new John Curl designed Parasound Holo JC1+ monoblocks, they do the Krell balls to the wall thing and will sound great even better than the older JC1’s did.
https://parasound.com/jc1+.php

And your Wilson 7’s (best watt/puppy made) will love the JC1+ current ability and drive, also you can switch them into high Class-A bias for even sweeter more transparent upper/mids and highs. And your on the money with them

Cheers George
The plot thickens ....estimate for repairs/restoration in the $2500 range.  The whole amp is worth about that much.

A real dilemma on my hands ....
A real dilemma on my hands ....
You could trade it in on the new JC1+’s
Just say sometimes it doesn’t turn on so your not hiding anything it’s not blown up, If you pick the right retailer they’ve got their own repair that’ll fix it and they’ll get their money.
Looking at Audio Shark the going price is between $2-$3k, I would ask for $1500 trade in as it’s not blown and they can fix it and make 100% on it
Cheers George


$2,500 to refurbish, is that from Krell or an independent service technician? 

Independent: Steve Leckrone mentioned above.  Former head of service for the "old" Krell - when D'Agostino was around.  Has his own shop where he services/restores the classic Krell amps like mine to supposedly new or better than new condition.

Still expensive though ... it's kinda like spending $12K to service an old Mercedes S class worth $12K.  Not sure it makes sense ...

You've got a truly great amp (and I say that as a non-Krell person - I've done the Linn/Naim/Exposure route). 

I think you'd be surprised at how much better it sounds after servicing.  I've not had a Krell serviced, but the difference in a Naim amp was night and day.  And a cursory search showed a number of people commenting on the positive impact of service on a Krell. 

And a service will be less expensive than trying to find something comparable - and you won't find anything demonstrably better without spending multiples of $2500. 
Yes, spending $2500 to service a present value $2500 amp does not make sense from a re-sale point of view, but if you factor in the utility and joy it will bring you for the many years to come, it can be easily justified.