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Krell KSA50

Discussion in 'Audio Processors & Power Amps' started by Bogyoch, May 31, 2006.

  1. Bogyoch

    Bogyoch Member

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    I was wondering how well it stands up to the modern technology. Does it still possess that awe inspiring openness and bass control that it was always famous for compared to the latest, or has it now been superceded by others?

    Any comments and info would be most welcome.
  2. alexs2

    alexs2 Active Member

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    Thats an interesting question....it depends very much on what you compare it to.

    By that I mean if you compared it to a modern Krell FPB or similar(understanding of course that they no longer produce 50W amps),then you will obviously notice a degree of detail loss,and lack of power overall,but you would be comparing an amp that can now be had for under £1k with amps costing several times as much.

    I would say that the old KSA series are better than many of the later KSA-S series amps which superceded them,although the later FPBs are much better in many respects.
    These all should not be confused with the KAV series amps which are aimed squarely at the upper end of the AV market.

    The KSA-50 as you may know delivers somewhat in excess of its rated power into 8 ohms,and continues to double that into 4 ,2,and 1 ohm.
    Bass power and control have never been a problem with any of the Class A Krells,even the baby of the range.....so I'd say that in its current price range,it's better than most new offerings at the same price,and is also very reilable as long as the fans are kept clean(not a difficult job,but worth ensuring it's done).

    Anything else,please ask.
  3. Bogyoch

    Bogyoch Member

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    Many thanks for the info. If one came available for less than £1000, you would think this would still be good buy at that price? In your humble opinion, does the KSA50 possess a really clear and transparent sound at the top end, as well as being firm in the bass? I listen to mostly well recorded rock music, along with some folky sort of stuff. It is the cymbals that I have a problem with: either they are not clear or are weakly defined within the soundstage, particularly the hi-hat. How would the Krell perform at the top end of the frequency range?

    Incidentally, the system consists of Ortofon Kontrapunkt B on a silver wired magnesium SME309, Luxman PD131, Art Audio Vinyl One phono stage, Viva Solista (used purely as a pre-amp) and, wait for it, a Rotel RB850 power amp. Speakers are Lentek S4's, these are about to be converted to a Fostex ribbon tweeter and mid/bass combination.
  4. alexs2

    alexs2 Active Member

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    I think comparing the KSA with the Rotel is perhaps a bit unfair,and even age considered,the krell should easily outperform the Rotel.
    The top end is well extended and clear,but the bass power and control of a Krell is quite something if you havent heard one previously.

    IMHO a KSA50 should be available at under £1k,and if you could find a KSA80 at £1k,then you should go for that instead,as it is a better amp in all respects

    I've owned a few older Krells now,and have been very happy with them...a number of people question the smoothness of them,but given suitably good partnering equipment(and your Solista should be a very good match sonically)smoothness isnt a problem at all.

    You need to ensure a few things....make sure the fans work,and that te on/0ff switch is in good order.
    The speaker terminals are also prone to damage if the item isnt looked after well,but other than that they are pretty well bulletproof and the UK importer can still service them.
  5. Bogyoch

    Bogyoch Member

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    I wasn't suggesting that the Krell should be compared with the Rotel! Remember the Solista has on-board 845 SETs for its power, and the Rotel beats that for soundstage and instrument positioning. Of course, it doesn't have that naturalness, but it beats the Solista hands down on clarity. The plan is to have a really good solid state amp for rock, and when I'm old and grey, then I'll revert to the 845s for classical stuff.

    Many thanks for your insight and I'll let you know how I get on.
  6. alexs2

    alexs2 Active Member

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    I've heard a few of the Vivas including the 845s and am surprised that the Rotel beats it for soundstaging,although most SETS are also a bit speaker-sensitive,and that may partly be the cause...

    In any case,I'd be interested to hear how you get on....good luck!
  7. lovegroova

    lovegroova Member

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    For what it's worth, I'm a drummer, and an owner of a Krell KAV series amp, and I find the reproduction of cymbals and percussion to be wonderful, bright (in a good way) clear and crisp - dare I say realistic. I should also point out that I have good hearing for someone of my age (36) and can hear higher up the frequency range than I should.

    The good high ferquency response is also probably partly due to my front end of a TAG DVD player and Processor, which is, according to some, "bright". It's just the way I like it.
  8. Bogyoch

    Bogyoch Member

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    Would you know what the differences are (apart from the power output) of a KSA-50 and a KAV-150a?
  9. pinkmouse

    pinkmouse Guest

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    I have been involved in a diy project cloning the KSA50 mkII, with a few tweaks to incorporate more modern transistors, and I have to say, it is still one of the best amps out there, and few modern amps can compare. The KSA50 and 100 are the only ones that truly run in class A, (with the cooling issues involved), the other KSAs and KAVs have a sliding bias scheme that, in my opinion,slightly reduces the dynamics, but does mean less wasted heat and power.
  10. thedude

    thedude Active Member

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    i think this post has a lot to do with the seller on ebay of it
  11. Bogyoch

    Bogyoch Member

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    Yes, there are both the KSA50 and KAV150 on ebay, hence my questions about these two amps.
  12. Bogyoch

    Bogyoch Member

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    Well...in the end I didn't bid on either of the Krells on ebay, both going for a miserly sum. Instead, I plumped for a Rotel Michi RHB-05. Whether this was the right decision or not, who knows. As I am pleased with the modest RB850, then the Michi should be top notch. The Fostex drivers and crossovers are on order so should get them in a couple of weeks.

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