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  1. #1
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    Krell Foundation

    Krell Announces Foundation 7.1 AV Processor
    By: HomeTheaterReview.com, January 11, 2013

    Krell just announced Foundation, the latest in a long line of A/V processors. From decoding the latest lossless audio formats, extensive digital switching, 3DTV pass-through, and more, the Foundation is fully compliant with the digital age. Yet the 7.1-channel processor also features balanced audio outputs, automatic setup and room EQ. A slim new form factor exudes the Krell aesthetic, while allowing placement in smaller equipment racks.

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    In addition to 10 HDMI 1.4a inputs, the Foundation has 2 HDMI outputs, both of which feature Audio Return Channel. With ARC, a display device is able to send audio back down the HDMI cable to the processor. This is beneficial for those with televisions with built-in web streaming capability like Netflix or Pandora, so the streaming audio can use the full home theater system instead of just the TV's speakers.

    The Foundation passes video signals directly without any video processing, in and effort to provide bit-for-bit accuracy of the signal, up to 1080p/60. However, to simplify cabling, setup, and use, there is full transcoding of the 2 composite and 3 component analog video inputs to the HDMI outputs.

    The Foundation includes a new Krell development - Intelligent HDMI switching. Intelligent HDMI switching is a combination of circuitry and software designed to optimize HDMI operation. Various parameters including the monitor's electronic ID and source video resolution are stored in non-volatile memory. All 10 source inputs are always active so source, channel, video resolution, and audio format changes are reportedly instantaneous.

    Krell designed the Foundation with flexibility and ease-of-use in mind, with extensive routing capability of the audio inputs to the various outputs. During setup, the specific paths will be chosen based on how the user intends to use each source, displays, and audio output channels.

    The Foundation will allow owners to take full advantage of Dolby Digital, Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-ES Discrete, Matrix, and DTS-HD Master Audio. In addition, a full suite of post-processing modes are included, including Dolby Pro Logic IIx and DTS Neo 6. Krell's proprietary surround modes, Party, General Admission, Front Row, and On Stage, offer a different way to listen to tracks.

    The Foundation also features Krell's Automatic Room Equalization System (ARES). ARES analyzes all the speakers in the system, their location, phase, and distance from each other, to determine the best crossover frequency, delay, and more. In addition, ARES incorporates the acoustics of the room to determine unique EQ curves for each of the 7.1 output channels. ARES can also be programmed to only adjust the low frequencies, leaving high frequencies unaltered.

    The Foundation has Ethernet control, RS-232, 4 12v triggers (2@0.5A and 2@60mA), and RC-5.

    The Foundation will be available at Krell authorized dealers in February 2013 for $6,500 MSRP.


    Jerry any chance of us getting a review of this "BIG BOY".

    Andrew in their implementation of EQ. Looks like they heard you. And took a page from your book "Thoughts on EQ". In that ARES allows you to EQ the bass. But leave the highs alone. And you said you had no influence.....lol.

    Comments and Thoughts Gentlemen and Ladies.
    Last edited by LanGood; 01-12-2013 at 11:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Owner-Publisher Jerry Del Colliano's Avatar
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    I saw it at CES and its one of the single most promising products out there.

    As much as some like to bash high end companies for ALWAYS going more high-end - this new preamp comes in priced UNDER the likes of Classe and Anthem by a large margin.

    Note: the Krell isn't going to offer silver AND black options which will cut costs for them (and you). The unit has room correction, balanced connections and pretty much every other trick.

    We will get the first review unit. That is confirmed.

    I have dealer friends emailing me about it already as its a pretty exciting unit. High end but not STUPID expensive.

    Did anybody else like their media server box? It looked pretty damn cool to me. Remember Bill McKiegan, President of Krell, left Krell to run Request for a while and then returned. He knows media servers. Most media servers have crappy DACs and analog sections. The Krell at $2,500 to $3,500 will not. Imagine if it has a var out - you would run it right into your amp and be done for a 2-channel system.

  3. #3
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Name:  krell-foundation.jpg
Views: 2253
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    Nice looking piece; with ten HDMI inputs there's no way you are going to run out of inputs. The dual HDMI outputs with ARC are a nice feature as well.

    Just an observation; this is the second pre/pro announced by a big name manufacturer, that doesn't appear to have 4K passthrough. Very interesting.

  4. #4
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    I think the feature set and price point are pretty attractive in a world where there are too many five and six digit offerings...
    Joseph Zgymunt


  5. #5
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    Name:  krell-foundation.jpg
Views: 2253
Size:  14.5 KB

    Nice looking piece; with ten HDMI inputs there's no way you are going to run out of inputs. The dual HDMI outputs with ARC are a nice feature as well.

    Just an observation; this is the second pre/pro announced by a big name manufacturer, that doesn't appear to have 4K passthrough. Very interesting.
    It does/will have 4K pass through. Just aren't making a big deal of it as there is still a lot in the air surrounding the "format".

  6. #6
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    Andrew, will you be getting one of these in? My dealer is getting one shortly and I might take him up on it. The question for me would be how it compares to the Marantz 8801. Also future proofing, can a board be swapped out to insure it's not worthless in 2 years when HDMI 2.0 etc arrive.

  7. #7
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drmark View Post
    Andrew, will you be getting one of these in? My dealer is getting one shortly and I might take him up on it. The question for me would be how it compares to the Marantz 8801. Also future proofing, can a board be swapped out to insure it's not worthless in 2 years when HDMI 2.0 etc arrive.
    Jerry has one in for review now. Hopefully we'll see his review post soon.

    Looks to be a pretty stellar pre/pro, and reasonable, for Krell. I do hear that it has no on screen display, even for volume.

  8. #8
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.

    Krell Foundation - Just installed into my system - I am just wowed!!

    Installed my Krell Foundation about a week ago. Wow, what a difference from the sound of any pre-pro I have had in the past. Even the wife noticed an immediate difference. The sound field in surround modes completely envelops, versus the previous experiences of past pre-pros where it felt like you had a stereo pair in the front and a stereo pair in the back, with a sub and center added in. With the Krell you cannot locate any speakers, it is as if your whole room is one big headphone and you are sitting in the middle of it.

    My previous pre-pro used the Audyssey Pro package (I additionally purchased the Audyssey pro microphone kit and software). That calibration procedure took an hour minimum to complete, moving the microphone to at least a dozen different locations around the listening area. The Krell ARES calibration literally takes about 3-4 minutes (each tone burst is only 3-5 second long) and then saves the setting to the Krell's DSPs. The Krell calibration is multiple times more accurate than the previous 1 hour plus calibration with a multi-hundred dollar microphone / software kit.

    Adding the Krell to my system is the single biggest improvement upgrade I have ever experienced in my years of hi fi. The bass is more accurate and tighter. The detail in the mid ranged is the best I've heard (the midrange is quick - I know that may not make sense, but the mids just sound quicker, transients are sharper and more startling). The highs are detailed and liquid but not hot. I am running Focal Electras and they sound extremely detailed but not fatiguing in any way. Listening to Cat Stevens last night, music that I've heard for years, I heard details in songs that I've never heard before - ambience, low level background percussion fills, low level backup vocals and repeats, etc.

    I haven't seen it mentioned here in the thread, but The Krell foundation does have a web interface that one can access via a tablet or PC. Enter the IP address of the Krell /krell/index.html into your browser and the interface should be accessible (granted you have an active Ethernet connection plugged into the back of the Foundation). You can control the Krell and configure it from your chair.

    Again in summary, awesome, awesome piece of gear. Now to go for the matching Krell amplification!

  9. #9
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    HELLO Fellow Theater Buffs...I too am looking for as much feedback as possible on the new Krell. I am currently using a Marantz AV 8003 and have been wanting to upgrade for some time now. I have a separate 2 channel system so the analog pass through or dedicated preamp section is not a big concern for me. I am very interested to know how the new Foundation compares to the Krell s1200, classeSSp800...I would even say the Cary Cinema 12, however from the user reviews it appears the cary has some issues. Thanks in advance for any information...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kneptune View Post
    Installed my Krell Foundation about a week ago. Wow, what a difference from the sound of any pre-pro I have had in the past. Even the wife noticed an immediate difference. The sound field in surround modes completely envelops, versus the previous experiences of past pre-pros where it felt like you had a stereo pair in the front and a stereo pair in the back, with a sub and center added in. With the Krell you cannot locate any speakers, it is as if your whole room is one big headphone and you are sitting in the middle of it.

    My previous pre-pro used the Audyssey Pro package (I additionally purchased the Audyssey pro microphone kit and software). That calibration procedure took an hour minimum to complete, moving the microphone to at least a dozen different locations around the listening area. The Krell ARES calibration literally takes about 3-4 minutes (each tone burst is only 3-5 second long) and then saves the setting to the Krell's DSPs. The Krell calibration is multiple times more accurate than the previous 1 hour plus calibration with a multi-hundred dollar microphone / software kit.

    Adding the Krell to my system is the single biggest improvement upgrade I have ever experienced in my years of hi fi. The bass is more accurate and tighter. The detail in the mid ranged is the best I've heard (the midrange is quick - I know that may not make sense, but the mids just sound quicker, transients are sharper and more startling). The highs are detailed and liquid but not hot. I am running Focal Electras and they sound extremely detailed but not fatiguing in any way. Listening to Cat Stevens last night, music that I've heard for years, I heard details in songs that I've never heard before - ambience, low level background percussion fills, low level backup vocals and repeats, etc.

    I haven't seen it mentioned here in the thread, but The Krell foundation does have a web interface that one can access via a tablet or PC. Enter the IP address of the Krell /krell/index.html into your browser and the interface should be accessible (granted you have an active Ethernet connection plugged into the back of the Foundation). You can control the Krell and configure it from your chair.

    Again in summary, awesome, awesome piece of gear. Now to go for the matching Krell amplification!
    What processor you have been using before the Krell Foundation? I am contemplating to move from Integra 80.2 to Krell, but yet in the exploration mode.

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