Belles Aria or Krell S-3001

Discussion in 'New Gear - Performance' started by 2channel*, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I heard the Belles Aria integrated (not with my speakers) and really liked it. Like is not equal to love; but close and I bet it sounds better with my speakers. I'm seriously considering buying it from a brick & mortar; although it's about twice my original budget at $1,900 (+7% in NJ). No returns but I bet that's negotiable.

    I see a Krell S-300i posted for $1,200, no tax, probably $75 shipping. It has balance control. My left ear sometimes goes dim.

    Large room, 3-way towers (Canton), my taste is neutral to bright with lotsa nuance (microdynamics?) and a big, distinct stage. Digital and vinyl. I don't really believe it matters what kind of music I listen to; but the answer is everything anyway.

    Your informed opinion is welcome. You have no liability. No lectures about 'whatever sounds better to you', please. ;^)

    PS. I'm really impatient.
     
  2. thymanst

    thymanst Minnesota morning Subscriber

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    I've heard the Krell several times and it punches above sts weight class - great Krell bass and will drive most any speaker
     
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  3. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks, thymanst!
    That's Krell 1; Belles 0 so far. Keep 'em coming.
     
  4. ilusndweller

    ilusndweller Super Member

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    My friend who I got into stereos (sold him his first system, an adcom 535 and psb alphas 20 years ago) really likes his 300i.
     
  5. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Active Member

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    long island NY
    go the with krell, they drive all speakers effortlessly
     
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  6. crouse

    crouse Poorly known member Subscriber

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    I haven't heard your two choices, but I have the same issue with my left ear. I find that I often use the balance control to even out the sound. In fact, I would not buy a pre-amp or integrated without a balance control.
     
  7. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's Krell 4, Belles 0!
    Has anyone heard the Belles?
     
  8. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I fear you are right. I tried headphones tonight and the left ear was really off.
     
  9. JohnMichael

    JohnMichael Super Member

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    I have enjoyed my Krell S-300i for about 7 years. It drives any speaker I own. Not bright but detailed and good soundstaging. I have never tired of this integrated amp as I have lesser amps in the past. I bought this as my last int. amp and it will be. Currently driving Mobile Fidelity OML 1's which can be tough for lesser amps.
     
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  10. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    455
    Location:
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    Thanks, JM. That's Krell 5; Belles 0 - but no one who's heard the Belles.
    I've eliminated it because of the no balance/bad ear issue.
    I asked if I could audition a Krell KAV-300 on sale nearby. No reply.
    So how about Krell S-300i vs. Primare I32?
     
  11. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So, the gentleman selling the KAV-300 did reply after a while, but by that time I had succumbed to the allure of the Primare. Holy Schiit! I am so happy and so are my Canton Ergo 1002DCs. It's hard to describe what I'm hearing. The best I can do is that it's like going from a painting to a diorama. I am also hearing subtle bass lines that I didn't know were even there. I can't play my recordings fast enough.
     
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  12. WhiteSE

    WhiteSE Is Lute Gluten Free?? Subscriber

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    Primare makes good Schiit!
     
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  13. 2channel*

    2channel* AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Can there be such a thing as too vivid? Or more realistic than the real thing?
     
  14. MarZutra

    MarZutra Super Member

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    If I'm not mistaken Ds suggested a pair of the Belles MA500 monos to me a while back. I've heard the Belles and they are very nice amps. If I'm not mistaken, I believe they aren't quite as known or have the same regard as the Krell however I'd put them on solid footing. If I'm not mistaken you can get a nice Belles amp for under 5 bills. Of course the more power the more money. I've never heard their integrateds....
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017

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