This review first appeared in the July issue of hi-end hifi magazine High Fidelity of Poland. You can also read this review of the Krell Si in its original . All: Any critiques or recommendations for the Krell Si Integrated? The thing apparently weighs a ton and delivers: Watts into 8 ohm The very first thing that impressed me about this ‘first from China’ Krell (origin unambiguously printed on the rear panel), was the sheer mass of the packed unit .
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I’ll never forget my fourteenth birthday, as my Dad got me a killer present from Bryn Mawr Stereo which was a complete audio system including a pair of Polk speakers, a Nakamichi Music Bank CD changer and a remote controlled NAD receiver. This system would start not just my 3000i for audio, but would lead to a career in specialty audio that included an early gig selling gear at Bryn Mawr Stereo en route to even more high end locales in Southern California like Christopher Hansen Ltd.
Of the products in my kgell that I got kre,l my birthday – the NAD integrated amp was one of the most notable components. It was basically a receiver with a nice remote and enough power to blast the artful music Yngwie J.
That NAD integrated amp lasted me for years and served as a gateway drug to a lot more audiophila. I never thought I would agree with Nancy Reagan on anything but that NAD receiver was the gateway drug to one hell of an addiction. Over the years and specifically as media servers got better and better, my Elan digital amp was cutting it to audiophile standards.
I mean no disrespect to the Elan as it still powers my PSB in-wall subwoofers today, but overall it didn’t ultimately have the audiophile chops to get me there, as I had moved to a fully uncompressed audio system using AppleTV with mbps files and on-screen menus via a Panasonic 50 Pro plasma calibrated by Kevin Miller.
The fact was I needed some more beef in the living room system and that is exactly where Krell kkrell in. The unit packs a real Watts per channel of power into eight Ohms including a stereotypically Krell major toroidal transformer that 300i this Krell – well, it’s Krell sound. The unit is remote controlled and has fully balanced operation for reportedly lower noise.
The Krell Si has one balanced input and three pairs of single ended RCA inputs as well as – get this – an iPod input. This is no stuck-in-thes audiophile company, as they know that the people buying this unit would likely be using a music server at some level or another. Additionally, the Krell Si has RS connection, which would be key for my installation.
The Hookup Installation of my Krell was a bit tricky as the unit sits in my gym’s cabinet, which backs up to the wall where the speakers are installed.
The wires come through the wall nicely but control of the Krell was somewhat of an issue. In the past I used an in-wall keypad from Crestron to kerll my ReQuest F-Series server in my theater, but the cost of upgrading my Crestron keypad even with some help from my dealer was cost prohibitive, so we decided to use AppleTV also installed in the gym and a Benchmark HD DAC into the Krell, which would be run via my recently repaired Panasonic 50 inch plasma using a handheld Crestron remote.
This required RS connections, which the Krell smartly had and all custom installers demand. IR is sketchy and RF control is clearly better, but having all kkrell your gear hard wired makes controlling a system installed in another room a lot easier and more reliable. The weight of the Krell Si is something to consider for many rooms. We first installed it on the top shelf in the gym room but the 42 pounds of Krell plus a few other components made us rethink that move; thus the unit got relocated to the bottom shelf.
Krell S-300i Integrated Amplifiers
Later during intense listening sessions with the unit – the Samsung Blu-ray player for the gym was removed from the top of the Krell, as I was able to get it to overheat and politely go into protection. Making sure you leave some breathing room for a Krell Si is a good idea when planning your installation. Performance I started by testing the Krell Si with my iPod attached, as I was compelled to see how this would work out despite the fact that I wasn’t going to likely use this option because of control issues based around the gear being in the other room.
I am sure the Crestron programmer could have come up with something to make the iPod work in the other room but I wanted to use AppleTV for a better interface, Internet radio and the ability to use an audiophile grade DAC. Things worked out nicely with my iPod test but sonically the limiting factor of the system was the iPod itself. I had to copy some lossless files including some tracks from Electric Ladyland and Pink Floyd’s The Wall onto my iPod, as I didn’t have a lot of uncompressed music on it since I have been using my iPad more and more lately for portable music.
The tracks sounded suitable but the internal DAC in the iPod is much better designed for ear buds or even higher end headphones than for playback in an audiophile grade system like this. Back in the living room with Crestron in hand, I got down to some serious music. While I will spare you from my Yngwie indulgences, as my axes have been in storage for years and I never really got those three octave, 64 note sweep-picked arpeggios to sound even close to the real thing.
Unlike some tracks on this groundbreaking and still highly relevant album, this track has a lot of space around the instruments yet has complexities with the background vocal overdubs. On the solo, I found myself jacking the volume higher and higher thankfully my wife wasn’t home as this type of audio insanity is generally reserved for the theater room and involves a fistful of Balvenie 21 portwood with a few drops of water. Inspired by my Electric Ladyland Experience, I got up from my living room seating position and headed 300o my Mac Pro to find the UK naked chick cover art for the album and returned back to see the ladies of Polydoor Records in London in all of their glory.
Jimi legendarily did really have a way with the women even in the late s. As the story is told 40 years later, Hendrix returned to the English label’s offices to promote the record along with a photographer and convinced all of the young women to undress for a photo for the UK album cover.
Warning – especially if you own your own company – do not try this at work today no matter how many Jimi Hendrix fans you have on your staff. On “Still Raining Still Dreaming” the bursts from the Crybaby wha-wha pedal on Hendrix’s Strat were wonderfully dynamic and engaging without ever being too bold, too strong or overwhelming.
They sounded powerfully controlled like you expect from bigger dollar Krell components.
The organ farther krepl in the mix is warm, rich, yet still detailed. On lesser amps, you can lose the detail of the organ on this track. On “Voodoo Chile Slight Return ” the first entry to the onslaught of the main musical theme held up with the grace that you expect from a true audiophile component with big inwall speakers singing at a level that I promise you most people wouldn’t believe.
My PSBs have never been happier then when powered with Krell. The acoustic intro speaks to the Van Halen tradition of always bringing some guitar acrobatics to all of the Diamond Dave era albums and this song delivers in spades.
Like the earlier Hendrix track – you could hear space around Eddie Van Halen’s acoustic guitar that had the krepl that you might expect from a Dr. Chesky demo disc but then segues into the luscious ” brown sound ” and big Van Halen, highly produced sound – the kind of sound that has you reaching for the volume control to get more and more of.
While somewhat dated today, the glossy sound of “Women In Love” with what I believe to be is an MXR Phase 90 analog pedal another staple of “the brown sound” in full effect on Eddie’s guitar – the track shows a little more finesse and space which the Krell’s vast power reserve delivers in spades.
In the first few notes you can almost hear the analog hiss of the effect pedal and the blur of the effect doesn’t sound blurry lrell listening to the Krell in my system. It just sounds authentically Van Halen and my friends Like throwing Albert Pujols an 82 MPH fastball in the ninth inning with runners in scoring position and a playoff spot on the line – I dialed in the guilty pleasure demo track of ” Hella Good ” by No Doubt.
Don’t make fun of me here until you buy the track or better yet buy the CD and rip krfll sucker onto your server. This electro-pop jam opens with a tight snare and quickly adds some sick low bass as the first verse develops.
Krell S i Integrated Amplifiers user reviews : out of 5 – 5 reviews –
Gwen Stefani’s raspy, retro vocals quickly suck you in as the catchy chorus layers enough Gwen until you have one massively compelling mix. With the Elan doing work on the two subwoofers and with the woofers dialed down a bit in the new configuration – I would play this track for anyone who wants to hear my system, including recently a former president of the Audio Engineering Society AES who noted that the system doesn’t sound like any in-walls that he’s ever heard.
While my system isn’t a 5. I think the uncompressed analog stereo outputs of most of ,rell best Blu-ray titles are vastly underrated in terms of audio quality. Trust me, with a little volume and well tuned subwoofers in your rig – you can get better sounding audio than you can on anything but the most cutting edge audiophile tracks from orell movies.
While the movie had some issues for me including Chevy Chase basically repeating his repairman role from Fletch – the movie was laugh-out-loud krll at times.
The in and out of the time machine swirling audio effects, while clearly studio manufactured, were believable, dynamic and resolute. While watching NHL hockey games like the rebroadcast of the tremendous comeback by my Philadelphia Flyers in Game 7 in this year’s Boston Bruin’s series NHL Network – the fan noise had jrell and the crunches into the boards which were well miced had impact and power.
The down three-goal comeback when down three games to zero in the series helped in my enjoyment too. Comparison and Competition In today’s market there are a lot of choices for an integrated amp including competition from pretty fantastic AV receivers that can also mrell off every trick in the book, from 7. At the reference level, it would be wrong not to mention the lust-worthy Krell Evolution e ampwhich is getting rave reviews everywhere.
Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating. Page 1 Page 2. Continue to Page 2. Latest Amplifier Reviews Nov Krell Theater 7 Seven Channel Amplifier Reviewed Looking for a great home theater amp that also delivers pure Class A performance up to watts 3000i channel? Myron Ho says the Krell Theater 7 sets a new standard at this price point. Micromega M Integrated Amplifier Reviewed How on earth Micromega managed to cram 2x watts of Class AB amplification and dual power supplies into this slim little integrated amp is beyond us, but it sounds as delicious as it looks.