A friend of mine moved from the 300cd (after 6-yrs.) to the SACD Standard and is very happy with the upgrade, it was a big improvement in all areas, plus it also plays SACDs. I've owned an SACD Standard since 2004, and have been very happy with it as well, to my ears it sounds very much like Krell's Evolution 505, which also makes it a great buy.
Lorn, The "new" mk111 Standard would be a good fit. It does not compete with the 505/525. Pricing is no comparison either, which helps the decision.
Another suggestion is to buy a used SACD Standard MK2 and have it upgraded (MK3) by Krell down the road. This will work-out much cheaper than buying a new MK3, which I believe retails for $6K.
Tusa, I don't get the math regarding your recomendation. 2 grand or so for a MK 11 that is guaranteed to fail, plus 3000 dollars for Krell to upgrade it to a model with virtually no resale value? Why not just get a deal on a new MK 111 that you can kick down a flight of stairs and still have work perfectly? 5 year warranty, huge savings on not shipping boxes back and forth, and alot more time spent listening to music. What am I missing?
Zieman: I recently purchased a used Standard MKII here on Audiogon for $1,800- and had it upgraded by Krell to the MKIII version for $700-, shipping to the Factory was $30- and Krell paid the return shipping. The whole process took approx. 3-weeks. I'm now in it for $2,500- which is a lot less than the 10% discount that my Krell Dealer offered me on a new MKIII, with sales tax, I saved approx. $3,300- plus Krell re-warrantied the Unit. I agree with you that the MKIII does seem quite robust, though I don't think it would survive a "kick down a flight of stairs" as you have suggested.
Li, This info is in stark contrast to another member who said he paid 3000 to upgrade his MKII. Guess I'll call Walter to get the real skinny. Krell gave me a 505 after I had so many problems with my Standard. I have a complete KAV stack, minus a Standard and I miss it. I too would acquire another if it can indeed be done for the figure you mention. My 505 is typical krell bulletproof, the flight of stairs thing was a figure of speach.
Li, Just got off the phone with the wonderful folks at Krell. Couldn't substantiate this 700 dollar figure... I stand by my original advice on this matter.
Zieman - Man I wish I had as much spare time on my hands as you do...
Flav, I found out early in life that ignorance is much more expensive than education. I went the education route. Might explain the spare time thing?
Zieman, I will trade you my brand new SACD Standard III for your Evo 505 anyday!!! My unit works perfectly... I will even pay for all the shipping. ;-)
Cool! Do you also have a Hyundai to swap for my Porsche? Tires ($2000.00) every 3 months and the related high dollar maintenance is killing me. BTW, the SACD III is the same inside excepting the transport and software to run it. It is light years below 505 performance. I still want one to complete my KAV stack, sound isn't everything... Should be a pretty good guest room system!
Has anyone had a chance to A/B the Evolution 505 vs. the SACD Standard MKIII? I would think that they would be sonically close in a balanced (non-cast) system...
The folks at Krell have heard and measured the differences.
The Dacs are different. Jitter reduction is WAY different. The 505 has TWO power supplies. The list goes on... Once again, the 505 is a huge upgrade from the MK III.
Zieman: The DACs are exactly the same> Three Burr-Brown PCM1738 DACs / The Transports are exactly the same / The 6 reconstruction Filters (4 for SACD & 2 for CD) are the same (though numbered differently) / Both use 2 Power Supplies> a switch mode supply to drive the transport mechanism and a toroidal transformer for the analog stages, with multiple stages of regulation / Both utilize a double box arrangement, and I believe that both use the same microprocessor. The measured specs are nearly identical, as per Stereophile Magazines's Dec. 2003 Review of the SACD Standard MKI and their Sept. 2008 review of the Evolution 505. I figured that the SACD Standard MKIII would compare closer still to the Evo. 505, since it was developed after the Evolution Player.
I would recommend that you spend more time on "the phone with the wonderful folks at Krell", before your next post regarding their products...
I agree with Elite, except that the 505 does use a new anti-jitter circuit and it may have made it into the newer SACD Standard III. They are pretty much the same.
I have also heard (from dealers and owners) that when used in balanced mode the Evolution 505 and Standard MK3 sound awfully similar, and that unless you own a full CAST system the E 505 is simply not worth the additional $4K (based on sonics alone the E 505 is a much nicer looking and better built Machine). Outside of the new anti-jitter circuit as Joeyboynj had mentioned, these 2 machines share many of the same components. The E 505 was built-up from the Standard, and is not a new ground-up design, but is rather a "tuned-up" CAST version of the Standard which as is reflected in Stereophiles recent review of the E 505, turns out to be a very good thing indeed, and bodes well for both of these Machines.
Well, Having had several SACD Standards, I can say that redbook performance on my 505 is an order of magnitude better than the Standard. Similarly with SACD performance. Same cables, preamp, amp etc. Night and day. They share very few parts. The Physical size difference should also be a clue these are very different machines. Is CAST a 4k retail upgrade? Products that cost 4k more tend to sound very similar to folks who don't have the scratch... I suggest YOU talk to Krell. They tried to talk me out of buying an SACD Standard MK III, knowing I already have a 505. Why do you suppose that is? 'Cause they are the same inside? Please.
I have read several reviews of the 505 where the writers say it is the "best" player they have heard. Can this be done with a new transport and a new clock? C'mon guys. Following this logic the OPs 300 is better than both! Perhaps I should search out some KSAs and ditch my FPBs?
My 505 has two toroidal transformers. A true upgrade for the new drive. Krell did much more than slap a new transport in the mountain of broken Standards piling up at the shop. Eliminating an upgrade path is not typical Krell either. Don't get me wrong, I miss my Standard and will acquire one, completing my KAV stack. For critical listening, I will fire up my EVO. If they sound the same, I'll GIVE you whichever one you want. How's that.
I recently had the opportunity to listen to the Evolution 505 in an all Krell Evolution System, and it is a beautiful sounding (and looking) Machine. Zieman is right "it is in a different league than the Standard" (which I have owned).
I also agree with the others that in a non-cast system the 505s prowess might be slightly diminished when directly compared to the very best one-box Players availabe but in regards to this thread - for the money a used SACD Standard (preferably a MKIII) is a great deal and as good as is reasonably needed for most non-cast reference systems.
Jimmy, I have tried all the cast cables one can try. Cast can be outperformed. I've done it. It may seem crazy to invest more on cables than the machine (Tara Zero) but the improvement is once again an order of magnitude better.