KR Enterprise VT8000 MK monoblock power amplifier More Manufacturer's Comments
Editor: I am taking up my pen again to respond...to Mr. Fremer's...additional commentary in his "Analog Corner" feature, where he says, "I was extremely disappointed and surprised to read the discrepancy between the KR's claimed power (75W) and measured power (40W and lower, depending on load impedance and distortion)." From this statement, it is evident from Stereophile's technical testing, [that] we are still in the horse-and-buggy age. Those may have ran very well on plowed fields, but if there is a Ferrari, it certainly cannot give the same performance. Naturally, when compared to the horse and buggy in tests designed for the horse and buggy, [the Ferrari] comes up unfavorably.
At this point, we must conclude that Stereophile tends to ignore new technology and progress made in the audio field.
This is understandable in that a magazine cannot quantify the value of new R&D, which in this sector (my 65 years bear witness to these facts) hasn't been done since 1952. I did try to explain to Mr. Fremer our patent, our industrial design philosophy and procedures, but, it seems, without success. It didn't get conveyed in the text.
The other point we feel should be taken up are the personal observations that our company believes were made accordingly about KR for no reason [than] to tarnish our products by inventing "fictionalizations" that manipulate public opinion against the company. If you could elaborate why these unprofessional comments were made about us, we would be more than happy to learn how they enhance our image.
Sidebar in November, "Mikey's Praguenosis": Mr. Fremer makes a few comments about the factory. His facts were not thoroughly checked out before writing up his notes. Yes, in the old days of tube manufacturing, there were great environmental problems. In traditional tube manufacturing today, using directly heated power triodes, thoriated tungsten is still being used as estrusion material, even though it has been prohibited under international convention due to its carcinogenic properties. Our research has led us to experiment with a new filament, and KR Enterprise has received a Health and Safety Certificate from the Czech government attesting to the fact that our manufacturing procedures are completely within the norms of current law and protect our more than 20 employees.
Mr. Fremer failed to mention that our factory has 10 large laboratories, and that even though it is not Silicon Valley the rooms are freshly painted and have many high windows for light and ventilation. KR Enterprise does not work in a run-down castle.
Personal Observations: After reading many product reviews in your pages, it is of great perplexity on our part to find so many derogatory snipes that other manufacturers have never had written on their account.
I was personally described as "gruff" twice in the first paragraphs. It certainly is a put-off and frightens people. If this isn't a deterrent to not working with us, I don't know of a better one.
This idea that my wife and I carry lots of baggage seems to imply that we...will create all kinds of problems for the prospective customer. Again, an image of freaky, unstable people running an eccentric company.
Most manufacturers who have their products reviewed are represented as geniuses, gods, and nothing short of designers of notable merit who almost began using a pencil for outlining schematic diagrams while still gestating in their mothers' wombs.
Another strange tactic is the depiction of the businesses of home builders who have only the space to make one or two amplifiers per week, in their free time, as "industries" by magazine reporters who artfully ignore the very modest circumstances where these products are assembled. Yet they have received better "press" than KR in that no one criticized their temperaments or moods, or made disparaging remarks about either them or the giants (meaning the big manufacturers). Please explain why my company and family and myself were set up for this particular treatmentdespite, again, the magnificent sound Mr. Fremer heard. I do not believe this is an example of the American sense of humor. No one here, nor the people I spoke to in the States, found it funny.
The two points under "Negatives" should be eliminated. Mr. Fremer has apologized for using the words "boat anchors." Spare parts exist and will continue to be produced. It would be much more amicable on Stereophile's part to change the term "boat anchors" (really unkind) to "power-device units." And, as I mentioned in my call, the price of $25,000 falls to the wayside with no official importer, along with Mr. Fremer's comments about what a unit should contain physically for $12,000. We can evaluate our R&D and compare it to any other manufacturer's high price. This comment is absolutely gratuitous and untoward. Why have our research costs been criticized, or, more aptly, ignored?
Of course, if you do decide to publish the above hurtful and untrue points about KR technology (remember, good journalism should come as reasonably close to the truth as possible), it will really be a case in which the degree of credence is inverse to the degree of knowledge. We will defend the KR name by other means...Dr. Riccardo Kron, KR Enterprise