Krell K-300i integrated amplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 3: Associated Equipment

Digital sources: dCS Rossini DAC & Rossini Clock; Mytek Brooklyn DAC+; Apple 2017 MacBook Pro computer with 2.8GHz Intel i7, SSD, 16GB RAM; Intel NUC7i7BNH with 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD running Roon; Linksys routers (2), Small Green Computer Systemoptique optical isolation bundle, TP-Link gigabit ethernet media converters plus multimode duplex fiber optic cable (2); Small Green Computer linear power supplies (4) & Small Green Computer 200W Linear Power Supply; external hard drives, SSD USB sticks, iPad Pro.
Power amplifiers: Dan D'Agostino Master Systems Progression monoblocks.
Loudspeakers: Wilson Audio Specialties Alexia 2.
Cables: Digital: Nordost Odin 1 & Odin 2 & Valhalla 2 (USB) & Frey 2 (USB adapter), Wireworld Platinum Starlight Cat8 and AudioQuest Diamond (Ethernet). Interconnect: Nordost Odin 2. Speaker: Nordost Odin 2. AC: Nordost Odin 2 & Valhalla, AudioQuest FireBird HC.
Accessories: Grand Prix Monza 8-shelf double rack & amp stands, 1.5" Formula platform, Apex footers; Nordost QB8, QX4 (2), QK1 & QV2 AC power accessories, QKore 1 & 6 with QKore Wires, Titanium and Bronze Sort Kones, Sort Lifts; PS Audio P20 power regenerator: AudioQuest Niagara 5000 power conditioner & NRG Edison outlets & Jitterbugs; GreenWave AC filter; Stein Music Super Naturals, Signature Harmonizers, Blue Suns/Diamonds, Quantum Organizer; Bybee Room Neutralizers; Absolare Stabilians; Resolution Acoustics room treatment; Stillpoints Aperture panels.
Room: 20' L by 16' W by 9' H.—Jason Victor Serinus

COMPANY INFO
Krell Industries, LLC
45 Connair Road
Orange, CT 96477-3650
USA
(203) 799-9954
ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
Ortofan's picture

not enough heatsink.

Suppose that the designer of the Krell amp was still working at Sikorsky.
Would their helicopters overheat and shut off in mid-flight after running at one-third power for 55 minutes?

For $7K one could have instead the Marantz PM-KI Ruby integrated amp and SA-KI Ruby SACD player/DAC combo.
https://audio.com.pl/testy/stereo/odtwarzacz-cd-wzmacniacz/3021-marantz-sa-pm-ki-ruby
https://www.musicdirect.com/integrated-amp/Marantz-KI-RUBY-Reference-Bundle

JRT's picture
ortofan wrote:

Suppose that the designer of the Krell amp was still working at Sikorsky.
Would their helicopters overheat and shut off in mid-flight after running at one-third power for 55 minutes?

The lubricant in a helicopter transmission is not only to address the tribology of friction, wear, and lubrication, but also serves to cool the working surfaces of the gear teeth and transport that heat to an oil cooler. With that in mind, read the brief article at the following link.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/aviation-international-news/2013-01-01/main-gearbox-remains-helicopters-achilles-heel%3famp

And more recently, "accelerated wear" has plagued the main rotor gearbox in the new CH-53K, the US Marine Corps new heavy lift helicopter, and has been one of the sources of delays in replacing old fatigued and worn CH-53E.

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/your-marine-corps/2019/02/04/the-marine-corps-new-ch-53k-is-a-mess-this-is-why-its-operational-date-could-face-delays/

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Even with all that grease applied, helicopter motors don't sound musical anyway :-) .......

Ortofan's picture

... in a product, such as a helicopter, where simply pulling over to the side of the road, so to speak, is not an option. Every attempt is made during the development process to design out such potential failures, and/or include redundant back-up systems, and then test prototypes to beyond the expected operating conditions and life.

The measurements performed by Stereophile, including the one-hour at one-third rated power preconditioning test for amplifiers, are not a secret. Thus, one might imagine that any company submitting an amp for review would confirm that it can pass that test - unless they would rather debate its usefulness.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

They forgot to add 'Prestone' before sending the review sample :-) .......

TJ's picture

... for your very fine and interesting review. Great to see Krell "back" again, kudos to Dave Goodman! Hope you get a chance to review one of their Duo XD amps.

dial's picture

Krell is a good brand and always will be. They keep quality going, see them at audio salons (only separates in fact).
A part of the hifi legend, at least in North America. It's good they still are in, in Europe a lot have ceased operation (UK, France and Germany come to mind). I hope they'll last forever.
Only minor complaints. The design could have been better without this bump in the middle. Looks like an old Naim, isn't it ?
I also miss a knob volume control, well you are not by 3D LABS, right ?
But the rear panel shows poor cinch and speakers sockets, a shame for price asked.
Measurements are good to very good, nothing surprising.
Thanks for your article.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Primare I35 Prisma integrated amp ($5,000, reviewed by Hi-Fi news) and Hegel H390 integrated amp ($6,000, reviewed by S&V magazine) are also in this price range :-) .......

Kursun's picture

First 90W in class A ?
With that heatsink?
Absolutely no way!

rwwear's picture

The iBias allows 90 watts class A.

tonykaz's picture

What perspective can describe this box of parts as "high value" ?

Certainly not the High Values of the Schiit designer types.

But then again...

If this device does a ton of Class A from that smallish chassis it's an engineering marvel.

Dubious claims aside...

Should we be comfortable with a Company using someone else's Name, isn't buying Krell also buying Dan ?

Spending serious money for Krell and not getting Dan D'Augistino seems a little empty. ( like buying Chinese ROLEX Watches )

Tony in Venice

dc_bruce's picture

I don't think that's very fair. Dan has been --ahem-- divorced from Krell for quite some time. Moreover, Dan was not the only guy responsible for Krell designs when he was there. I suspect that the lesser products, like the KAV-300i (which I owned back in the day) were not the recipients of a whole lot of the chief designer's time. The item under review is at least the third version of this product to bear the name KAV-300i.
It's good to see Krell trying to serve this end of the market; so many high-end companies have retreated "upstairs."

I believe Krell had its issues with its "SACD Standard" and subsequent generation of "ultimate" disc players. Through no fault of the company's, their optical drive supplier shipped them 2 generations of failure-prone drives. I'm sure customers were unhappy and warranty claims must hav been significant.

tonykaz's picture

You're probably right, I'm not being fair ( sort-of ) with my comparison.

Still,

I think of those superb Krell Amps that I could never seem to get my ( Esoteric Audio ) hands.

Of course...

I keep thinking of Dan & Krell in 1985 terms ( like an old geezer I am ) pining for those "good old days".

Krell had powerful magic. Dan still has powerful magic.

So, If we're gonna spend Big Bucks for a Brand Name there should be the Name accompanying the deal, shouldn't there ?

Anyway, I was hoping to read about something wonderful, something breakthrough, something having Krell-like spectacular performance and appearance, something that makes the reviewer feel like the singing artist is kissing him with pillowy embraces.

It's probably all Dan's fault, dammit, he set-us-up to expect new highs in everything.

Tony in Venice

ps. I was never one of Dan D'Augistio's Dealers, probably because I couldn't come up with the $$$$$ to stock the entire line with "one to show and two to go" Plus have the Apogee Loudspeaker Line. Phew !! I would've loved to have Dan prancing around my Store meeting Customers.

dc_bruce's picture

and dealers who sell this super-expensive stuff, like d'Agostino. Cash flow management is torture. I was a director of a small scientific instrument company that sold devices used to quality control silicon chips. Typically, these sold for about $1.5M each and the company would sell 2 to 4 of them a year. While that was not the company's only revenue source (it sold much smaller cryogenic devices and service/support contracts on the big stuff), missing an anticipated sale really screwed up the books for that year.

It's easy to rail at the stratospheric prices of this stuff, but when you figure in all of the costs other than materials and labor -- financing inventory (at either the dealer or manufacturer level), maintaining adequate working capital to deal with wide swings in cash flow -- they're not always so exorbitant. Whether they are a good value (as compared to less expensive products) is, of course, another matter about which I don't think one can generalize.

audiodoctornj's picture

Been following these comments so I have to chime in with a few points:

The mythos of Dan Dagastino is just silly, Dan was never a trained electrical engineer, Dan came up with a design that was over built and had the ability to drive a very low load to power the Apogee full range and that was the beginning of Krell and the KSA 50.

Dan's leadership of Krell was more strategic in running the company and overseeing the final designs of the product line which had grown quite a lot into amps, preamps, integrated amps, CD players, dacs, transports, and phono stages, and eventually speakers and even a subwoofer.

Most of Krell's modern designs for the last 20 years were designed by Dave Goodman who came up with the Ibias design and the new XD topology.

As an original Krell KSA 250 owner, as well as a FPB 450 MCX mono blocks and selling Krell for years, the new gear is by and far the best sounding Krell gear they have ever made.

The older Krell amps did have a more pronounced bass slam, than the newer XD amplifiers, the newer XD amplifiers have a far greater sense of involvement, midrange liquidity, and sense of space, than the original designs.

The K300i is a fantastic integrated amplifier which can easily stand aside any competitive integrated amplifier for the price range including the Hegel and the Primare.

Neither of these amplifies has the unique feature set of the K300i which includes Blue Tooth, HDMI inputs, and a great built in streamer along with a massive amount of Class A power, the Primare is a Class D design and the Hegel although excellent does not have the tube like liquidity that the XD circuitry provides.

All told the new Krell K300i is a fantastic performer, as per the gentleman who is decrying value lets look at that statement

Start with a good $5,000.00 integrated amplifier

add a good Dac $2,000.00

add a streamer $ 500.00

add a digital cable $ 200.00

add a set of interc $ 500.00

you would have $8,200.00 vs the $8,000.00 all in one K300i with dac

so the K300i is really quite reasonably priced for all it does and the superb sound quality it delivers.

Audio Doctor NJ

Bogolu Haranath's picture

It would be interesting to see a comparison review with the more expensive D'Agostino Progression integrated amp ($25,000) ......... May be JVS could do the comparison review :-) .........

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