Thinking about Krell...

Discussion in 'Infinity Loudspeakers' started by 7.62, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. 7.62

    7.62 Gearhead Subscriber

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    My 90's are sitting idle. I've been researching the hell out of amps the last few weeks. Everything is pushing towards purchasing and older Krell, KSA Or KMA.

    Yes I know the drill, buy one that's been serviced with paperwork, ok got that and there are a few around right now. I think the 80 or 100 class A might be the one. I know they run hot and I would probably be asking my good friend Jazzman how we could rig up something to run some quite type computer fans to keep the temperature down while listening.

    I've got a few extra bucks and everything I'm looking at is in reach, it would be paired with my Anthem Pre2L-SE which I absolutely adore.

    I know there's a few of you here that have these type amps, would you be willing to share any feeling you have on this subject, anyone here for that fact. I'm looking for something specifically for the 90's.

    Tube power is out FWIW, just not doable with my budget, say $3,500
     

     

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  2. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon Yawns and sets his couch on fire! Subscriber

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    I just pulled the trigger on one. It will be a week or so before I can give my impressions. I researched the hell out of this very topic before landing a KSA-250. Wasn't going to announce anything until I got the amp hooked up and running but your post is just timed right. I was looking at the KSA and FPB series. I ruled the KMA's out mostly due to age though they are all older amps at this point.
     
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  3. slimpikkins

    slimpikkins Super Member

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    Are the computer fans for you or the amp/s:)You can by a heck of a tube amp for $3500.00. Possibly Audio Research VT200, VTM200(maybe little more$$), D250... ARC made/makes some of the finest big power tube amps on the planet and services every piece of gear they ever made. Not it to change your mind just letting you know tube gear can be had for that $$.

    I've lusted at those Krells ever since I saw/heard one in person. It was a KSA250 powering some Accustat 2+2's at "Stereo Trading Outlet" years ago. Beautiful setup. Those amps are huge in sound and size. They would really do the business on any par of the big Infinities. I bet you find one local if you take your time. Often owners would far rather do a local deal for oblivious reasons.
    Jim
     
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  4. 7.62

    7.62 Gearhead Subscriber

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    Nice Sound Dragon...Congratulations ! Very well done a choice amp :beerchug:.

    This Thursday I'm stopping at our local shop to have a look, if nothing makes me smile then a decision will be made over the weekend. And the FPB is on the list of choices,

    slimpikkins, I've in the last 5 years only seen 2 krells, one at bobby's shop that was out of reach at the time and one on craigslist, the seller refused to answer me about any service history, had the cash too. Everything AR that i've looked at is almost double my budjet, at least that I think would be or do the 90's justice, i really don't understand the difference and what it takes in tubes for these speakers. And you have to factor in tube maintenance. I'll take a look at VTL quickly.

    Really this is about the best i can give them, while Mcintosh is certainly a fine option, not sure why but meters our just not what i'm wanting.

    I will update soon, love to hear some more from current krell owners.
     
  5. Bahamayellow

    Bahamayellow Well-Known Member

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    Yeeesssss. :lurk:
     
  6. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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  7. 7.62

    7.62 Gearhead Subscriber

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    427 that's a beast of an amp no doubt but a strech for me on my budjet, and i like him he's a great guy. I'm talking with an owner of a low mileage KSA-250. I think it may be the one if my trip to Bobby's yields no results.
     
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  8. uvafan420

    uvafan420 LiKe It LoUd

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    I have had a few tube amps that sounded really great on the top end of my Infinities (CJ Premier One being one of those). But my KSA-250 sounds as good on the top, and also added the benefit of easily driving accurately the mid-bass and bottom end as well. Best purchase I ever made in audio. They are excellent amps. I did not mind at all sending mine back to Krell for some refreshment. I pick mine up this Saturday (I sent mine back to Krell through a local audio shop). It would cost a semi-large new car loan today to best the power they produce. I chose the particular KSA I did because cosmetically and internally it looked like new (kinda picky), and it had only ever been serviced by Krell over the years.

    A 20 amp dedicated circuit, using the XLR inputs (not the RCA inputs) and an excellent running A/C unit in the home is not recommended, but necessities really.
     
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  9. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon Yawns and sets his couch on fire! Subscriber

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    Well, I'll be dimming the lights until I choose a winning bid to run a dedicated line for mine. I hope it runs ok. I think it will be fine as the voltage in my home runs high at 130 from the wall. We shall see!
     
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  10. 7.62

    7.62 Gearhead Subscriber

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    uvafan, that's great and really looking forward to what your impressions are although you said it well in your post.

    Sound Dragon, i know right...Lol. I'm in the same boat stepping into this kind of power isn't just plug amd play, I would probably try it but a panel upgrade with a 20A line just for the beast is in order here too. That's going to be exspensive where my audio room will eventually be.

    Made 2 offers lastnight, one on the KSA-250 and the other on an MC500.
     
  11. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Is it Jazzmans that runs his Ren 90 on an $85 Lepai class D amp with excellent results?

    I know it sounds crazy, but I'd try that (or something similar), then take the family on a Hawaiian vacation with the leftover budget. No rewiring of the house, double sized air conditioner, and call to the local power plant every time you turn it on. Hell, it probably draws a half watt at idle. Leave it on all the time.

    I know big amps are fun, but I've been pleasantly surprised by much smaller, more efficient amps running tough loads. Last week I went over to listen to some RS-IIs. Guy was running a Krell KSA-100. They sounded very, very nice. Just for giggles I asked if I could plug in my 4 pound Bluesound Powenode 2 (preamp/amp/DAC/stream in one) that runs 60wpc into 8 and 4 ohms with its class D amp. The Powernode sounded probably 95% as good as the Krell, and had no problem bringing the RS-II to 90 db with plenty of headroom available. After a half hour of listening, it was cool as a cucumber.

    I run my Ohm F (3 ohm nominal, 86db) off the same amp with great results.

    Just a little different perspective.
     

     

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  12. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon Yawns and sets his couch on fire! Subscriber

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    Weird, I have seen my Yamaha Pro Amp cry uncle with my RSII's.
     
  13. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

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    yup. I'm driving my Ren 90's with a lepai 7498 chip amp, and it does sound amazingly fine!
     
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  14. Sound Dragon

    Sound Dragon Yawns and sets his couch on fire! Subscriber

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    Still a solid 200 watts or so right? How is it with the 2 or so ohm load?
     
  15. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Oh good, I was afraid I dreamt that!

    Actually, at normal THD levels, it's probably more like 80 watts into 4 ohms. These chip amps sound fantastic and handle tough loads well (including dips to 2 ohm), but THD jumps pretty high when they're pushed to their total power ratings. 80 watts is still plenty of power for normal listening levels.

    I encourage anyone who's the least bit curious to check these out. I guarantee they'll surprise you and your previous notions about amps and "beefiness" will likely change. I'm not saying there's no market for 150lb monster amps anymore. I just know for a fact that most speakers don't need anything close to them, and that amps that weigh 80 times less, use 80 times less energy, and cost 80 times less will do the job just fine.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018
  16. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

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    It sounds far, far, better then it should, and the only way I've been able to make the protection circuit kick in was driving two pairs of Maggies simultaniously ( 1.6 QR and 2.5R) without using autoformers, and even then it was at very loud levels, the amp just stops outputting signal for a second or two, then turns back on.

    I think that chip amp is one of the great secrets in audio, and everyone should own one (I mean, it's a hundred bucks, ffs, that's nothing)

    I've had one of those 7498's running for five years now, i(f I'm home it's on) driving anywhere from 2-8 pairs of speakers through a russound autoformer 12 way switcher, and it's never once hiccuped, except that one time water got into one of my 4 pairs of outdoor speaker connections. It's on right now, driving a pair of Infinity Crescendo 3009, a pair of M&K s 125's, a pair of KLH outdoor 3ways, and a pair of Canton Fonum 2000's simultaniously.
     
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  17. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wow, I'm a true believer in chip amps and even I didn't know they could pull that off. Shoot, running a pair of Ren 90s should be a walk in the park for it then.
     
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  18. 7.62

    7.62 Gearhead Subscriber

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    Because it's legacy type stuff for me, kids will get this stuff when I'm gone. Sure we could do a chip amp, nothing against something like that.

    If I were to put a new Volkswagon and a beautiful vintage 70's Corvette in front of you for a Sunday drive which one you gonna choose?

    Jazz is one with a very good ear and isn't going to hold back, when the amp arrives and I get everything set up of course he will get the first invite to come and critique.

    Things like contol, finesse, brute strength, You read about this and vintage Krells probably did it the best, and for $2,500 bucks or so it's really not to bad coin wise. And what the hell is wrong trying to burn the house down :bigok: anyway !
     
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  19. Rex81

    Rex81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Absolutely. Certainly not trying to discourage you from spending your money on what you want. And all your reasons for going this route are good. Just didn’t know if you’d seen the “other side”. :)

    Sorry to derail the thread. It did have “Krell” in the title after all...
     
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  20. SPEC2man

    SPEC2man Are we there yet? Subscriber

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    I ran a KSA-150 for a short while. I was flipping through amplifiers at the time and didn't have a way to keep it cool. It ran pretty hot and I had pretty tight space to fit it in so I ultimately let it go. I went with a Levinson 23.5 which is my all time favorite amp but when the caps failed and I found out the only shop Harmon sell parts to wanted blood up front. I sold the 23.5 and never looked back. The Krell was big and heavy which I really liked - I wish I would have had the room to let it breathe (amp stand). It really deserved to be front and center. I thought it was an incredibly accurate sound - some may say bright but I loved it. I was running Paradigm Signatures and switched to Klipsch LaScala ... it was a bad move at the time and I never did get a SS amp to line up the way I wanted. In hindsight, I should have never gone down that rabbit hole. The bass was the KSA's strongest trait, in my opinion; Class A at it's best. I'm running Threshold SA/6e monos now and I really like class A amplification. It won't mess around with woofers - it's the boss. I wouldn't try and push you away from the KSA Krell. A chance to own a Dan D'Agostino masterpiece. One more note - I now run Magnepan 3.5R and the fellow I bought them from was running a Krell FPB-300 in a large open room. I have to tell you, it was jaw-dropping for me. Those speakers, with that amp are a fantastic combination. I spent a good hour or two listening before I loaded them up. I kept asking him "are you sure?" he laughed and told me - it's time to let them go. I asked him about the Krell and he said the amp will never leave - it's his all-time favorite.

    At $3500 you have a hell of a lot to choose from. I know the Pass Labs 250 or 250.5 would also be a strong contender - I've never owned one but I had a friend with a Pass 350 and it ran a set of Dynaudio C4's with authority. It was a thrill to listen to his system. Then there is McIntosh ... I have owned tube macs but have always longed to a big SS McIntosh monster. Way too many good reviews to ignore. I wish I was in your predicament ... call Krell if you have a specific amp picked out. You can probably talk to a technician that can look up the serial number and tell you if it's been sent in for service. They will also tell you about the amp and I would be surprised if Krell didn't still offer full service on all the KSA amps. I called Krell a few years back on a CD player and I was amazed at their customer service.
     
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