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Krell KAV-300iL and DENON A1SE

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by zcaps57, Oct 18, 2001.

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  1. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Hello, everyone.

    I'm planning to improve my stereo audio quality.

    My system is....

    AMP : DENON AVC-A1SE (AVR-5800)
    CDP : Arcam DiVA CD92
    DVDP: SONY DVDP-S9000ES
    Main SP : B&W CDM 7NT
    Center SP : B&W CDM CNT
    Surround SP : B&W CM4
    Surround Back : B&W CM2.

    I am planing to add a Krell KAV-300iL integraed amp.
    [Krell 300iL can be used as a integrated amp with my CDP for serious stereo listening, and for movies, 300iL can be used as a power amp for front speakers, hence the A1SE will be used as a processor(pre amp) for movies.]

    How much "improvement" would I able to get, going from DENON A1SE to Krell 300iL for stereo music quality ?

    Has anybody experienced those two amps. ?

    Or can anyone recommend a amp in similar price rage with Krell 300iL? (good matching amp with B&W CDM 7NT)

    Any comments, info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. AV Geeza

    AV Geeza
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    There is no comparison! The Krell is in another league! I auditioned the 300iL against the old 300i and the difference was clear. The 300iL is probably the best intergrated amp at the moment, although Levinson does have something to say on the matter. Just a word of caution though, if you use the Denon for rears & centre speakers you will notice the difference in sound quality & it may sound un-balanced.
     
  3. Lowrider

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    You don´t need an integrated amp, just an amp. It´s better if you can get a 3 channel amp, for the center channel as well, the surrounds won´t make that much difference.
     
  4. Lowrider

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    If you play direct mode, I don´t believe you can hear any difference caused by the Denon, unless you use a turntable...
     
  5. slingshot

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    I'd be very surprised if you can't tell the difference between a Krell preamp section and a Denon preamp.

    Even comparing an Arcam preamp with a Yamaha AV amp (using the same power amps) was a huge difference, and yes that was with effects turned off.
     
  6. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    "Effect off" feature of Yamaha AV amplifier is completely different concept from DENON A1SE's "Pure Direct" mode.
    (I had owned Yamaha DSP-AX1 for about 2 weeks, basically "effect off" feature in the AX1 means.... DSP simulation effect off. that's it really.)

    But... still using a Krell KAV-300iL's preamp stage must be "better" than DENON's.

    Or am I missing something out here ?

    [ 19-10-2001: Message edited by: Amaris ]
     
  7. AV Geeza

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    Amaris, the pre amp on the Krell is much better than the Denon. The Denon is an excellent AV amp, where as the Krell is an amazing hi-fi amp. If you want more info, please post your e-mail & I'll get back to you.
     
  8. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Thanks for the reply guys.

    The reasone I want a inte amp rather than power amp is that, I dont want to use a1se as a preamp for 2ch music.
    I believe this limits the 2ch music performance due to the preamp stage in a1se.

    Can anyone tell me any dealer who stocks Krell amps in London?

    I found out that noone in Tottenham Court Road stocks them. :(

    Thanks.
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Many people don't agree with this, myself included. The Denon has supreme processing capabilities in this particular amp. I agree another amp may be beneficial but I am with Antonio on this. A high quality three channel power amp is the best way forward. I wouldn't choose Krell, there are much better amps for much less money that will improve things.
     
  10. GOLDIE

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    What budget were you looking at?
    I would say that I agree with Antonio. The processing on the AVC-A1SE is very good, and if you are looking to improve the front end you could look at something like the Tag 100x3R. I think that the price is something like £2000ish, but damn good!! ;)
     
  11. AV Geeza

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    Nic, my comments regrding the Krell & Denon are based on having demo'd the two in a stereo set up for music only. Im not sure why you & others? disagree but I hope this is based on your ears and not on spec! As you know the only way to judge equipment is to listen to them.
     
  12. Noel

    Noel
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    Nic,

    Off topic, but have your twins arrived yet?
     
  13. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    such as ?
     
  14. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    AV Geeza
    Well I think if you do a search of my posts you will find I have championed many devices here purely on performance and not on 'spec'. This board is littered with posts by me making people think about what they do. I have extensive experience in this field, even though I am an amateur I design amps and advise on similar privately, just for the love of it. I am a valve fan for joy but use both valve and transistors amps. I also write on some components.

    A few amps performing out of their price bracket for the record:

    Tag multi channel amp (even for stereo much better than the highly regarded 125M)
    Lavardin integrated
    Border Patrol 300B
    Audio Synthesis Desire
    Tekni Fi 300b SE
    Croft
    ATC 150
    Chord big one
    Croft (any)
    Veritas
    Trichord / Mitchell monoblock
    Weird German thingy at StereoStereo

    The Arcam 85, Musical Fidelity Nuvistors (with CR supplies) can also have their moments.

    Re multi channel Tag, Chord and Bryston are the best I have heard. Rotel for value.

    Re 2 channel then Audio Synthesis and Lavardin are mighty good 'big' amps at much cheaper prices than the Krell and I would much prefer to have them. Tricord / Mitchell are also great. It all depends what you want and what you want to drive. A single 300b can sound stunning with the right speaker. Blanket recommendations are not appropriate here.

    Quality engineering doesn't cost a fortune, certainly not Krell typical UK prices. Have you heard about all the reviewers who switched from Krell power amps to Pioneer A400 intergrate'ds? Ever wondered why? Ever heard a quiet Krell? Well most people haven't and this is the single biggest argument I have heard against Krell amps. Just about every other big amplifier manufacturer can manage it now days, why not Krell, especially at these prices. Mains transformer design isn't that difficult.

    Krells have loads of metal, but that doesn't make a great amp. This is not what is important for a good amp.

    I am not a fan of Krell in general though they do some good products, I think they offer poor value for money. Ask if any one has any stories about Krell integrated's blowing themselves up at a demo. You will find at least one dealer on this board who has told me a story. In fact I think it was this integrated that was left smoldering on the steps of an audio dealer ‘up north' after an average demo session.

    I advise people to be smart with their money.

    One final anecdote. The top technical review of the top UK Hifi magazine was visited by a friend recently, re an up and coming article on black gates capacitors. My friend told me with some joy that the top reviewer has just sold his Wilson speaker (hooray, horrible things with an artificial low mid / upper bass hump). He is currently using the new dual concentric Tannoys (very good IMHO). He is / was reviewing the metal Krell speaker at silly money. They hated them, they were remove and a 1970s pair of LS3/5A were put on. Preferred by all. LS3/5A £600, Krell >£15,000 (can't remember exact price could be MUCH more).

    [ 21-10-2001: Message edited by: Nic Rhodes ]
     
  15. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Amaris,

    I noticed that you don't have a sub in your equipment list, do you not have one?

    Jeff
     
  16. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Oops, I do have a sub. :)
    Yamaha YST-205. :(
    This will be my next upgrade, I hope. :)

    Recently, I see a lot of people commenting that Krell is not value for money at all. :(

    I still am deadlocked between Krell, Bryston, and Chord. :(
    (Maybe Musical Fidelity as well, since a lot of ppl commenting it as "crystal clear sound" on A3CR amp.)

    I'm planning to audition them in this week. :)

    Anyway... Thank you guys for advice. :)

    [ 22-10-2001: Message edited by: Amaris ]
     
  17. Jeff

    Jeff
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    I just bought a B&W ASW2500 sub to go with my A1SE and Celestion C speakers and the improvement over my cheapo Pioneer sub is huge. Don't wait to long before upgradeing your sub. It's not until you try a great sub that you realise the diffence it makes.

    Jeff
     
  18. Guest

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    KRELL. Extinct race of intelligent beings in Forbidden Planet.

    KRELL. Dogs Bo11ocks name, load of bo11ocks prices.

    KRELL. A triumph of packaging over content.

    At the end of the day you buy what sounds good to you, but don't make the mistake of assuming that a high profile name equates to high quality sound. Ain't no one spent this kind of money on Krell gear and admitted to being disappointed with the sound quality, who would? Luckily, plenty of savvy listeners have seen through the hype with their ears before parting with any money. Don't be a victim.
     
  19. AV Geeza

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    Nic,
    Ive obviously rubbed you up the wrong way mate! It wasnt my intention! I respect your opinions, just wanted to know what they were based on. I dont have time to check the posts of every member that makes a comment, so thats why I dont know much about you. As you can see from my number of posts, Im new. Some of your recommendations are excellent & although I dont make amps I do know a good amp when I hear one. As for VFM well, I dont think that is an issue here. Krell dont make affordable amps, they make amps! They maybe overpriced, but then so are most products, its just by how much!
    I was interested in your comments about the TAG Bryston combo and the TAG Rotel combo. The Bryston amp is amazing but which Rotel are you refering to? Is it the 1095 or 1075?
    How does the 1095 compare to the TAG 100x5R?
    I just bought a AV32R and am in the process of auditioning power amps, but dont want the list to get too big!
     
  20. GaryG

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    Amaris

    As a happy Krell owner I look forward to hearing the outcome of your auditions!

    BTW, I still think you should check out the JLH amps before you make a final decision.

    As a final thought, you may want to try connecting your CD player directly to your eventual power amp via a passive volume control such as the Audio Synthesis Passion which can be picked up secondhand in the hi-fi mags for quite reasonable prices, check out their website for details.
    www.audiosynthesis.co.uk/passion.htm

    The Passion will far exceed the quality of the 'direct' paths on any of the aformentioned processors.
     
  21. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Thanks guys for the advice.

    I'm going to audition couple of different amps in this week, and I'll let you know which one I like the most. :)
     
  22. Couch Potato

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    Amaris,

    Bryston have just released a 3 chanel amp the 6B Info here there's only 1 in the UK at the moment but if you talk to PMC (UK ditributors) I'm sure they could deliver to your local dealer or arrange a home dem.

    Nic Rhodes, I posted this in the Amp forum a couple of days ago, how about this to drive your Ref 4.2's :D Have you opened the boxes yet?

    Steve
     
  23. Guest

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    Nic

    The Krell LAT-2s recently reviewed in That audio mag retail for £11,500 :eek:

    On the subject of amps performing outside their price range, what do you think of the OTL designs by Atma-Sphere and Nelson Pass' Aleph series (the two gain stage models)? I've finally got my ESL-989's :D (heaven) but need to think about suitable amplification. Any suggestions?

    reg
     
  24. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    AV Geeza, you didn't wind me up the wrong way, I just like promote a bigger discussion. I wrote my answer when my young niece and nephew were with me, probably not a good idea!

    I am not anti Krell in any way, I just want to make people think about what they do.

    Re Rotel, I like both the amps. 1095 better. The Tag is much better IMHO and very well matched to the AV32R. The Bryston is an awesome amp that anyone would be happy to own, personally I went for the Tag amp. This one is down to personal preference. The bigger Parasound is good as well. The Tag has the added features of working via the Tagtronics bus. I was very anti this before I bought the amp but now I think it great! My decisions were made on quality of amp, not features / spec. The Tag performs way out of it's class.

    If you want to save some money buy the Rotel, else the Tag! I have received several emails from Rotel owners who want to upgrade to the Tag, often after short periods of time.

    Steve

    They are still in the boxes! Yet more visitors this weekend and then we are turning everyone else away! I saw your post earlier and took note of it. I have a hot list of two at the moment. The ‘mythical' new three channel amp from Tag and the Audio Synthesis Desire (2 channel) which I heard again a couple of times recently (now with a black gate mod!). I have never just listened to two things in my life so I expect the list to grow substantially!

    Reg

    I love OTL amps ever since I heard a flutterman in the 80's, they do some things soooo well. I have read and studied the Atma-Sphere amps mentioned in Glass Audio, even considered the making the kit but just don't have the time. Circuit looks great, always like the 6AS7G valve but this is just because I know it. The three nippled 33 Russian bottle I have never used (yet). Only read about about Nelson Pass' Aleph amps and never heard them. I do rate the Croft and the spin off from old employees. Prefer the Croft however. They are not the easiest amp to live with however, they need some user input. Magic valve sound, so transparent making you WANT to listen to music. That's really good in my book.

    Lieutenant Pigeon, I know what you are saying but…. I guess you aren't a diplomat then?

    Amaris
    GaryG makes a good point about passive pre amps, I have used the Audio Synthesis Passion V for years. It is only retired because I use the Audio Synthesis DAX Decade to drive the power amps directly. I now also have a matching Analogue to Digital converter, ADX, from Audio Synthesis feeding analogue to the DAX Decade. An awesome arrangement with no pre amp (in the analogue sense). There is allot of sense to this. This whole pre amp thing is something I have never really been comfortable with but some people pay silly money for boxes that switch inputs and vary volume. I always thought this a poor use of funds. I remain open minded on this one. The Denon works very well at this, see if it upto the level you want.

    Noel

    Twins due Christmas / new year time but wife is the size of a full term pregnancy already! How did things go, you have been quiet recently?
     
  25. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Thank you again guys for the inputs.

    I really do appreciate it. :)

    I will indeed try to buy a best sounding amp to me and try to save money.

    Thanks. :)
     
  26. Noel

    Noel
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    Nic,

    Yes, had my head down (just not sleeping!). We had a little girl on 3rd October, 9 pounds 2 ounces, called her Mia.

    I now have 10 unwatched DVD's and counting....

    Enjoy your last few months of freedom!

    Noel
     
  27. Guest

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    Nic,

    You read me straight. I've been ripped off a few times on the long and winding A/V road therefore I cannot afford the luxury of diplomacy. I've stood in front of plenty of talentless salesmen from well regarded audio outlets who spout bull**** in the mistaken knowledge they are dealing with a novice. No one spends this kind of money without knowing what they want and what they like. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination but I know when I'm being spun a yarn by a bull****ter. Problem is there's too many of them, they're not confined to Curries and Dixons.

    A few years back I was investigating an S-VHS VCR in a city centre Dixons (just so happened it was a limited stock item and came with a good price) and saw a couple, probably in their late fifties, who were interested in taking the technology leap and wanted to buy a one-make stack system with cd. They appeared to be mostly interested in the cd player but asked what the benefits of Dolby noise reduction on cassettes were. The adolescent strip of p1ss who was serving them visibly shuddered and mumbled his way through a barrowload of horse****. Thank God they decided to take time to go home and think about it otherwise I would have been sorely tempted to point out to the manager that he had mistakenly employed a w@nker as a salesman.

    I vowed I would never be a victim so, like most people, I do my homework and audition the stuff BUT maybe I have a lower bo11ocks threshold than most people. There are no exceptions to this except for maybe Mitchell's turntables. Yesterdays technology I know but what works of art. Don't worry though, I haven't bought one. Yet. Maybe when I'm a bit older and I've mellowed ever so slightly.

    Its not Krells fault, if their stuff was half the price it is then the value for money arguement would kick in and you would have to seriously consider it, but as it stands, no way Jose. Krell are my pet hate, it seems there is some size/weight thing going on that is directly proportional to the selling price but "Hey guys. What about the sound eh?"
     
  28. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I agree with all you have said, that is why I am an 'active' contributor to these discussions to make people think. I am sadened at the poor level of knowledge by people who should know more. Occasionally my posts might ruffle the odd feather but on balance I think they do more good than anything else. I hope so.

    It is refreshing however to meet someone like Gordon who knows his stuff and spends much of his own time passing that on to others. If only there were more like him.
     
  29. Guest

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    Nic,

    I cannot fault your comments about Gordon. I'm always interested to hear what he has to say whatever the subject is. In my experience he is a rare breed, I'm glad he's on our side.
     

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