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The KAV line in general, really doesn't do justice for Krell. I think they made a big mistake with it, because it sounds so inferior to their other product lines. The amps were harsh and didn't have the Krell authority, the pre-amps were noisy (grainy sounding) and the CD players just sounded like CD players of yesterday--not current technology. In my opinion they should have started a new label (like Proceed is to Levinson), but the KAV line does not measure up to Proceed equipment either. I think your hesitation to purchase the unit was probably a good one--even with bargain used prices, you could probably do better sonically for the same money.
My opinion is that the KAV-300CD wasn't particularly noteworthy in the first place, and time hasn't improved it's standing. I listened to one in my system for a couple weeks and was thoroughly unimpressed, especially given it's retail price. At $1000, it's nicely built and, especially if you like the look or have other Krell gear from the same line, looks nice as well, but I'm sure you can get at least as good performance and likely better for the same price.
I'd disagree with Abstract7's assessment of the complete KAV line on at least (and possibly only) one point - the KAV-250a is an excellent 2-channel amp, IMO, especially at the used price you can readily get it for right now. It's gotten many rave reviews. I'm certain that Krell's costlier amps exceed it in many ways (including price), but if you like the Krell sound and need the current, but don't want to deal with space heaters in your listening room, I wouldn't hesitate to go with it as an amp. I've been tempted to try one of the bigger pure class-A Krells, but I just think I'd hate all the heat generated, etc. Many of the other KAV series components have been, as Abstract7 indicates, reported to be less than exemplary, and most of the discontinued models can be had for a big discount, though they're still not particularly tempting. -Kirk
Never owned one but know a few people that did. They all made similar statements to what Abstract said about them: they sounded like the earliest cd players that suffered from WAY too much brightness, glare and digital grain. One guy went to MIT cables and said that it helped a bit, but still ended up selling in the long run. Sean
Krell KAV 300cd player is an excellent player,sound is great all across the board this player does it all, but like all great pieces it needs to be surrounded by great pieces to show what it's capable of. I have owned three of them. i sold the first two because I figured it was time to upgrade and every time I did it wasn't long before I would start to miss the sound and I'd find myself looking for another one now I'm on my third and likely my final one. i wouldn't listen to any nae sayers go audition one and make your own mind up. You will not regret it, but make sure it has been serviced by Krell and is operating properly they are getting on the older side.