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Thread: Krell

  1. #1
    Senior Member pyonc's Avatar
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    Krell

    Does anybody use Krell amps to power their JBL speakers? I'm looking to one for my 4343.
    I appreciate your sharing the listening experience, compared with its competitors such as Mcintosh and Mark Levinson, etc.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    I have been a fan of the big Krell amps for a number of years, having owned a KSA 100 and KSA 300s. Their most notable virtue is their tremendous bass slam. I am not particularly enamored with their behavior at higher frequencies, and for that reason, I recommend using them in bi-amped setups as dedicated sub amps. In my experience, 15" JBLs (as well as TADs) respond very well to the KSA 300s. I have not listened critically to the newer Krell amps, but (except for their top units) I am pretty certain they do not have the current capabilities of the older units (KSA 300s, FPB 600, FPB 700cx). However, they likely sound much better overall.

    As far as McIntosh or Levinson, each marque makes some truly massive amps that will likely match, or even exceed Krell in bass control. I would guess that a used Krell would offer the best value.

  3. #3
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyonc View Post
    Does anybody use Krell amps to power their JBL speakers? I'm looking to one for my 4343.
    I appreciate your sharing the listening experience, compared with its competitors such as Mcintosh and Mark Levinson, etc.
    Thanks.
    Between those three I'd go with a Pass Labs... oh, that wasn't the question was it?

    At a lower price point, I couldn't be happier with my Halo JC-1s... exceptional bass control and exquisite highs. At least in the high bias mode.

    As Jerry said, I think you could be happy with any of the above if you pick the right amps... they all make amps that are excellent and others that are merely good.


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    Senior Member christo's Avatar
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    KRELL Evolution and 4344s

    Iím currently tri-amping my K2 99s (bi-wire) and a recently finished DIY 4344 with a pair KRELL Evolution 600 mono blocks and a KRELL Evolution 302 (stereo) for the high pass duties.

    The woofers (2235s or 1500AL-1s) responded well to being powered by the 600 mono-blocks. I originally had only the pair of 600s powering the K2s with the addition of the 302 there was a noticeable improvement in the performance of the 1500AL-1 they became much more free sounding. It is incredible the control the 600s exert on the 2235s very little cone excursion but a tremendous amount of bass with huge slam.

    As mentioned some earlier versions of KRELL amplifiers were not well received but with the Evolution lineup this has all been put to rest. The 302 is outstanding when Iím using the 4344s (2123/2426H/2405) the overall system sound is seamless and every possible bit of performance is rung out of the 4344s. Modern electronics do make a difference with the 43xx monitors, they just get better!

    With amplifies in this range be they KRELL, McIntosh, Mark Levinson, PASS etc. they will highlight lesser components up stream.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pyonc's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for your nice comments and observations! It's a bit surprising nobody mentioned the 50-watt Krell KSA 50 (1982), which I'm getting very much interested. How does it compare with other Krells in the 1990s up to now? Do you think it's a good match with 4343 to back up its bass and mid-range weakness?

  6. #6
    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    On the KSA 50, my advice would be to pass on it (no pun intended). Unless it has been back to the factory in CT within the past 10 years, it likely has aging components and deteriorated sound. in any case, you will not enjoy the visceral experience one gets with the larger amps. Just my two cents.

  7. #7
    Senior Member martin2395's Avatar
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    I owned the KSA-80 and KSA-200B in the past. Mighty fine amps with that legendary bass slam.

    As Jerry_rig stated before - Krells run very hot and even if the amp is still working, it needs a check up and a (partial)recap.
    My KSA80 had an almost full recap, only the PS capacitors were left alone and it sounded much better than the KSA200B which still had all original electrolytics.
    The 80 was far better in every aspect - more dynamic and more open, while the 200B sounded quite distunguished and wooly.

    I know one more amp that comes close to Krell's power - it's a DBX BX1. Switchable between 4x100W or 2x400W, will do 0.16Ohm for an half an hour(because of temp.) with 100A of headroom.

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