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DannyE
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Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

I'm looking to make my first purchase of a high-end amp. After auditioning an NAD C372, and not being overly impressed, compared to what I have(Onkyo 100W reciever), I decided to take the next step up, and I've narrowed it down to the Krell KAV400xi, and the M.F. A5. One of my local dealers carries M.F. The Krell would be bought based on good reviews I've read. They both cost the same, so price is not an issue. I'm leaning more towards the Krell, because I would like to buy a product made in the USA. I'm not sure that will make it sound better, but....
Can you offer any help/suggestions as to why you think one is better than the other? I'm new to this, and want to make the best choice possible.

Thanks

smejias
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi


Quote:
Can you offer any help/suggestions as to why you think one is better than the other? I'm new to this, and want to make the best choice possible.

Hi DannyE.
It's important to read the reviews, but even more important to listen to the gear yourself. Is there any way for you to listen to the Krell before making a decision? Ultimately, the choice will be yours, and it may be that the product's country of origin is more important to you than other factors, but the best advice I think I can give here is to listen to an audio component before purchasing it.

I hope this helps.

DannyE
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

Stephen,

Thanks for your response. No, I don't have a Krell dealer here in New Orleans, so I'd be buying it based on Stereophile's high praise of the amp. If it rates that high on your list(class A), then surely it's good enough for me, right?

I will be in Ft. Lauderdale in a few weeks, so if there is a dealer there, I will try to listen to one, and maybe buy it while I'm there, and have them ship it to me in the mail.

Thanks Again!

DannyE
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

Stephen,

Well, I found out there IS a Krell dealer here after all! He is checking with Krell, to see if they will ship him one of these amps, so that I can hear it. I will find out something in the morning.

smejias
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

Cool! Good luck and have fun. Let us know how it goes. I'd also be interested to hear what you think about how the MF compares to the Krell.

bwright
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

My two cents... I listened to both as part of an extended quest to find an integrated amp.

I realize this is all subjective, but I liked the A5 better than the Krell - the Krell seemed dry, metallic and aggressive in the highs. The A5 seemed more balanced and easy on the ears, but it also seemed a bit flat overall. Some might call this "neutral," and to each their own, but if you like solid state I thought the Simaudio I-5 Limited and Marantz PM11S1 were the two best ones I heard. The Limited was a great all-arounder, with excellent depth and dimension. It seemed strong across the full spectrum - highs, mids & bass - without overpowering the listener with extremes. The only downside was that it probably needed just an extra bit of power. The Marantz was detailed, laid back and somewhat analytical, but would kick into high gear with the right recording, and provide an unbelievably full & musical rendering for a solid state component. The new Simaudio I-5.3 is said to be an improvement (with an incremental increase in power), and may trounce them both.

I still haven't heard the Jeff Rowland, Mark Levinson or Gryphon integrateds yet, but I did listen to pretty much everything else in between, and those two stood out as finalists.

Incidentally, I ended up selecting my first tube integrated, the Cayin A-88T. The detail/warmth sound balance of this unit was superb. Biasing the tubes will be a bit of a pain, but it is capable of absolutely unreal sound... it beat out the McIntosh MC2275 I was considering.

DannyE
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

Well, to make a long story short, I went with the Krell. The thing I noticed most, was the obvious increase in power, and the amount of bass response, that I've never heard from my speakers. Other than that, I can't offer you any of the 'audiophile lingo' that I read about in the reviews
My speakers are Axiom Audio, M22ti, rated for 200W, they are big bookshelf speakers, with two, 5.25" woofers. The Krell has allowed them to produce bass, I never thought possible. That being said, some of my cd's that were mixed with low bass, still sound kind of dull, but that's something I can't control.
Now that I have a quality amp, and a good cd player, I'm sure the addition of a $2500-3000 pair of speakers will make it sound even better.
My choices so far, are: B&W, Canton, JM Lab & Paradigm. Should be exhausting, trying to decide....but I really like the Canton, Karat 709DC.

smejias
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

Congrats, Danny. Enjoy the new additions to your system, and don't worry about that audiophile lingo.

ohfourohnine
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

You might want to put Triangle in your list of speakers to audition. Lots of good stuff in the budget area you're considering. Happy auditioning.

DannyE
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

Thanks guys! I spoke with the Canton Sales Mgr. today, and I may be able to arrange an in home audition of the Karat 609DC, that I'm interested in. He was very nice, and seemed very willing to try to accomidate my request. We'll see what happens. It won't be for a while, but I just wanted to feel them out. So far, it's all positive...

gyd63
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

i also just went for the Krell. set it up last night and LOVE it. I don't have golden ears, but I can sure hear the difference from my NAD. I also got a musical fidelity x10 to put between my ipod and the 400.
i may go for a musical fidelity a5 cd. My kids don't need to eat anyway.
Dave

cyclebrain
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Re: Musical Fidelity A5 or Krell KAV400xi

On the technical side of the issue, consider the load that your speakers present to the amplifier. While possibly not a real world issue, the Krell doesn't like speakers that have low impedance when driven at high levels.
May or may not be an issue for you.

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