KRELL IS BACK ON THE NEW ZEALAND MAP
Finally, there's some good news coming out of Connecticut's Krell headquarters. Discerning audiophiles have embraced the iconic US brand in the world of high-end Hi-Fi since 1980 when Dan and wife, Rondi D'Agostino founded the company.
Since those early days, it's endured changes of ownership and direction, while Dan D'Agostino moved on leaving ex-wife Rondi at the helm.
More recently, a series of unfortunate events and circumstances may have created some doubt as to Krell's future, but we are now being reassured that Krell is back!
Industry veteran, Walter Schofield has joined the company as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Across his career, Schofield has worked for SVS, Meridian, Linn, Mark Levinson, and more recently, Emotiva in the role of Vice President of Global Strategy.
Schofield told StereoNET:
We have a busy season ahead of us, but our most important job is to ensure that every product bearing the Krell logo is unquestionably reliable and delivers ultimate performance, now, and for years to come. It’s our main, laser-like focus, and our commitment to our dealers and customers.
Schofield has been quick to communicate with dealers and distributors around the world, acknowledging the mistakes made in the past, but also promising that the future is positive for the Krell brand. The message from Krell is that its business as usual, and "they will be silent no more". Very encouraging!
And to back up those claims, Krell has announced a brand new product that will be available in New Zealand from December 2018 thanks to importer, Audio Reference.
The Krell K300i-XD is a 150w Class A Integrated Amplifier with DAC and streamer, packed with features and connectivity options.
Boasting a 770VA Transformer and 80,000 uF capacitance, Krell's Current Mode topology is used with fully differential circuitry that it says runs from the input stage through to the last output gain stage. This, according to Krell, "provides extremely linear and extended frequency response curve with smooth, effortless highs and extremely dynamic bass energy."
Available in two configurations, the 'Classic' and the 'Digital', the latter version includes an ESS Sabre Pro DAC and network streaming audio renderer supporting all major file formats and up to 192kHz/24bit resolution from UPnP servers and NAS devices.
Latest trends have not been overlooked with the XD Digital version also compatible with MQA and Roon Ready, along with provision for popular streaming platforms including Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz and vTuner Radio.
Krell has also realised the importance of HDMI in most user's applications today and has delivered with HDMI 2.0 inputs and outputs, supporting 4K UHD and HDR to allow for integration into Home Cinema systems.
A single USB port is available on the front panel with other USB ports on the rear, and there's also a Bluetooth aptX Receiver for streaming from your smartphone or tablet, while an internal web server offers a remote graphical user interface for control.
The K300i-XD features two pairs of balanced XLR inputs and three pairs of RCA inputs, digital inputs comprising coax, EIAJ optical, 2 x HDMI, and USB inputs.
StereoNET first wrote about the upcoming Krell K300i back in July this year. Since then, the reported price has increased not insignificantly. However, this reflects the company's renewed direction and commitment to quality and the ongoing Krell legacy.
The initial K300i prototypes utilised Chinese sourced mainboards, whereas, under Schofield's direction the new release now uses only US factory sourced mainboards, a decision he says was a necessary move.
Further revisions and developments have also been realised. David Goodman, Director of Product Development at Krell since 1987, said:
We discovered that with modifications to the output stage, we could vastly improve sound quality, across the board, to all of our amplifiers.
The result is a deeper, darker, blacker background that provided significantly better macro and micro dynamics, more silence between the notes. Vocals and midrange took on an organic, yet more vibrant tone, enabling us to hear much more body, and even though our amps were great before, there was a very significant improvement.
The Krell K300i-XD Integrated Amplifier will be available in December 2018, is available in either Black or Silver finish, and will sell in New Zealand for $16,250 RRP.
Welcome back, Krell!
Audio Reference in Devonport, Auckland has already landed stock of the Illusion-II Preamplifier ($12,995 RRP) and DUO300-XD Stereo Amplifier ($17,995 RRP) which are ready for audition.
For more information click here.
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers to headphones. Marc also founded Melbourne's International HiFi Show.
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