I'm not sure what they sound like but I can tell you the 1500 has been selling new in the box for around $5000.00 the list is around $8500.00. Krell has stopped making this amp and dealers are dumping them cheep.
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I have owned different amps in the past (Aragon, Krell, Sunfire, Denon and McIntosh)
But I’m very happy with recent setup: B&W Nautilus 803 with Classe CA-300, sound is magical, warm and very dynamic (Harmonic Tech. Pro silway II interconnects and Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables)
If you listen to music more than home theater, recommend a pair mono Classe CAM-201 into your short list (new design)
The Krell KAV-1500 is a terrific amp. I have B&W Nautilus 801 as my front left/right speakers, HTM-1 as center and Matrix 801 Series 3 as left/right surround speakers. I currently have all my speakers bi-amped. I use the KAV-1500 (5 channel @ 300 watts/channel) to drive the Nautilus 801s, a Meridian 557 (2 channel @ 200 watts/channel) for the HTM-1 and a JBL Synthesis 650a (5 channel @ 130 watts/channel and made by Bryston) for the Matrix 801s. I have tested out all three the amps on all my speakers, and I can say that Krell is the best amp by far.
However, if your budget is tight, I would suggest that you consider a JBL Synthesis 650a amp on Audiogon or eBay. They can be had in mint condition at around $750 to $1,000. I have listened to both Bryston 9B-ST and this unit, and this is a much better amp than the 9B-ST. Even if you compare specs, this amp weighs 85 pounds, as compared to 9B-ST at 65 lbs, at comparable wattage output. (both are featured on their respective websites at www.jbl.com and www.bryston.ca) Good luck in your selection!!!