Vintage Krell Amp... Which would you choose?

I am in the market for a new amp, and I was thinking instead of purchasing something new, why not purchase a preowned amp. I always admired the krell sound, but it was just way to expensive. I would like to know if there was "ONE" krell amp either class A or SS that you can go back in time and purchase, which one would it be? It will be paired with Martin Logan's.


I'm not sure if you really want to buy used amp that runs VERY HOT. Units that run on high temperatures usually dry out caps and  fail faster in general as well. Repair of the high end unit may run into high dollar bill if you don't know specialists that won't rip your arm and leg. Believe me ones advertised here or even recommended by community either money-no-option types or so far away from you that shipping of such heavy unit as Krell will run also onto the high dollar bill. DIY refurbishing requires some knowledge of electronic circuits -- especially testing elements. 

If I were you, I'd look for powerful class D amp such as Bel Canto Ref1000 monos and bypass vintage or older Krells.

KMA 400's
Fpb 400 Cx
FYI...ClassD sucks!
700cx or 750mcx krell 

Assuming that I had the money and a pair of Duntech Sovereigns, the Krell I would have wanted would be the original KRS monoblocs.  That was the best combination I ever heard with that loudspeaker.  However, that monster amp also melted the drivers on my dealer's Thiel CS5 speakers when something went wrong with it, so it came with its perils.  I would echo Cz's warning, while I prefer the older Krells that ran in class A, they would at this point in time need to be refurbished, not a cheap proposition.  If you want a used Krell, the more recent FPB series would be my choice.

KSA-250. Back when it was pure class A, none of this sliding class A BS!

Whatever amp you get, make sure all the caps get replaced, or have been replaced recently, with documentation.
Is this a trick question? NONE. Krell class A amps run hottt! And burnout over the years. So, IMO I would go with a tried and true brand like McIntosh for a pre owned amp. Someone on this site is selling a MC352, a beautiful amp to drive those ML's.

Matt M
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jmcgrogan2, FYI:

I had a KSA-50, and used it for a few years.  It's still my favorite Krell.  Don't let the 50 watts fool you, it will drive anything with plenty of volume.  
It will also need servicing every few years, just too much heat and eventually electronics fail. Wonderful sound however, truly magic..

I'd get a vintage Crown over a Krell.  May not have the 'panache' of a Krell, but they tended to be more 'bomb-proof'.

And as for heat, get a clue.  I run 'puter fans on my amps.  Quiet, efficient insurance for peace of mind, and cheap.  Maybe not 'pretty', but it beats repair costs replacing fried parts. might give a thought as to why things are getting heated up so.
"Pushing the envelope" in any pursuit tends to push anything to their limits... cars, aircraft, relationships, audio equipment....
You bought it, you broke it.  I'll buy you a beer and listen to you complain.
I won't take you seriously.  And a limit to my sympathy. ;)
Of course, bomb proof is the most important aspect of audio after all! We don't need to consider sound quality all that long as you can crank that bad boy!  NOT
The older I get the more I appreciate timbre and nuances rather than loud.

So what do you all think about the Krell KSA 200S? There is recapped one for sale that I saw on HiFiShark.

Look for a used Pass amp 250.5 maybe.
I'd listen to a Chorus before I bought a Krell vintage amp unless vintage is desired. The Chorus is very good and I'm just using the multi channel amp(5200)

Dsper, with most any other speaker, the 200S would be plenty enough. With your Thiel CS5's with all those drivers, huge cross-over and most demanding load, it's good enough,  but if budget permits, those demanding speakers could benefit with even more power. It's not loudness so much as stress free ease. Remember, doubling the power is just a nudge of extra volume.
Dsper:  I admit to not being a fan of the "S" series of Krell amps, which were the first to use the sustained plateau biasing technology.  I feel the earlier KSA 250 was far better sounding than any of the S series, and that the FPB series were also far better.  And FWIW, I don't think the 200s would be able to get the best out of Thiel CS5s--a KSA 250, MDA 300 or FPB 400 would be better able to handle the low impedances in the Thiels.
Krell FPB 300cx. Sweet, powerful, durable and reliable. What else could you want? Mine is 14 years old and going strong, never even a hiccup.

Hey RCPrince, There is also a recapped 300S for sale out of NY - think that may be enough oomph?
That might be enough, but I still prefer models other than the "S" series.  They might have been more neutral than the KSA250/MDA 300 amps, but to me they sounded almost sterile, lifeless in comparison.  Guess I'm a fan of distortion.
I have a pair of krell MDA 300 seating around, one amp's led light is out. Everything else works perfectly. recaps 10 years ago, i hardly use it. keep it for backup only. any interest let me know..  comes with original boxes too.

happy listening.