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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lefisc's Avatar
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    A new center channel: Krell 400ie

    I am anxiously looking forward to a new addition to my system: A Krell 400i amp for my center channel. This will match my current 600i for the left and right and give the (center) Revel Voice II a closer sound to the left and right Salon IIs.

    As soon as it is set up I will give a review and a simple userís opinion, which I am very optimistic about. But I wanted to put my expectations on record and see if it works out.

    I am looking for things that will last several year. Itís not just the finances or the lack of a good back necessary to rotate products and rewire everything often, but I no longer have that pressing desire to keep looking for the next best thing. That used to be fun for me, but now there are so few hi fi stores and its so difficult to listen to or find what I want to hear. And what we all have these days is so damn good.

    Many reviewers have a direct or indirect financial interest in the products they are auditioning. They often can either get the component free or at a very low price and then sell them when they get something new. So it is in their personal interest to promote new products. I am looking for products that will last and be enjoyed for some time.

    Companies do have a specific sound. For 20 years I liked the warm, enveloping sound of the Mark Levenson line: preamps, CDs, and amps. There was a slight loss of detail in the upper edges, but a distinct midrange. For a lot of that time the Krell amps, for me, were very forward and powerful, but had a harsh high end, with a detailed, but almost hissing top. The sound was not warm, but very out front.

    Everything changed at the beginning of the millennium. ML was no longer made by Madrigal, but by Harmon Kardon. I donít think they have the intellectual capacity or the true desire to produce and maintain quality products. I dealt with their service on the consumer level, where they returned items broken, and several times AND often took 6 months to do it. They closed down their dedicated repair places, fired the people who were trained and put it into other HK service areas, which often didnít have the parts. If you can check it out, you can see they have almost none of the dealers they had in the year 2000, they gave up. When reviewers say that they have gotten good service from a company I realize:

    1. The company wants a good review and they treat him differently than me.
    2. He is dealing directly with an administrator, I have to deal with tech support.


    When I wanted to go from my stereo amp to two ML monos (I forget whether it was the 333 or 336) three or four of the ML arrived DOA. My dealer pretty much gave up on ML at that time and I began to listen, where I could, to other amps.

    How Krell had changed. Their amps were warm and detailed and had a great overall sound. I bought the 750 which I got for my left and rights, and the 450mcx which I still have for my center channel. A few years later my dealer let me try out the 600. I expected a step up, but not such a big one. These amps were so quiet they made the music and movies sound so much richer, more forward and real. To this day I am surprised at the difference.

    But there was a problem: These amps, even on standby, were red hot and they heated up my room by 10-15 degrees. It was unbearable in the summer. So I put some holes in the wall behind the preamp and moved them into the garage on a special stand. You have no idea how hot the garage got in the summer. And my Long Island electric bills went up nearly $1,500 a year!

    Four years later, I upgraded to the 600i, which are better but not by a giant step, but a pretty good step. Even quieter. They use roughly 2% of the power of the 600s on standby, so they are actually paying for themselves! And the room is not over heated.

    Krell service has been nothing short of responsive, complete and generous.

    I really think that the 600 will make a big difference in the Home Theatre part system and I canít wait. Of it works out I will connect the five channel outputs to my SACD.

    I hope to get it all set up by the end of next week.
    Barry
    Surround Pre-Amp
    : Krell 707 3D; Amp: (center) Krell 400e; Amp Fronts Krell 600e; SACD: Krell Cipher; FM: Day Sequerra FM Reference; Blu-Ray: Oppo BDP 205; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2; Center: Revel Voice 2; Rear/Back: Thiel Powerplanes/Krell S1500 amp; Subs: 2 SVS SB-13 Ultra; Turntable: VPI 19 Mk 4 w/Tonearm SME 309 & Audioquest 401i; HDTV: Verizon; Projector: JVC DLA-RS66U; Screen: Vue Tech 108; Internet Radio: Sonos; Remote: MX850; Pioneer Elite LDS-2 Laser Disc

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    That Proceed is nothing to sneeze at. It will be interesting to read your impressions of the Krell vs the Proceed. That would be a fairly difficult comparison to make with a center channel, I would think.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Lefisc's Avatar
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    Tracy,

    I had originally used my proceed HPA 3 for my two rears and center channel. I then used the Krell 450 and added a third (back channel) to make it a 6.1 system. I really can't have a 7.1 in that room.

    Wow, was the Krell 450 better. First it was just more powerful and more upfront. The dialogue was more distinct and the bass was deeper. However, the Proceed was (and is) still very good for smaller speakers and when it doesn't have to give a strong bass.

    With the Proceed aging, I am wondering what 3 channel amp I would have to get to replace it when the time comes.
    Barry
    Surround Pre-Amp
    : Krell 707 3D; Amp: (center) Krell 400e; Amp Fronts Krell 600e; SACD: Krell Cipher; FM: Day Sequerra FM Reference; Blu-Ray: Oppo BDP 205; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2; Center: Revel Voice 2; Rear/Back: Thiel Powerplanes/Krell S1500 amp; Subs: 2 SVS SB-13 Ultra; Turntable: VPI 19 Mk 4 w/Tonearm SME 309 & Audioquest 401i; HDTV: Verizon; Projector: JVC DLA-RS66U; Screen: Vue Tech 108; Internet Radio: Sonos; Remote: MX850; Pioneer Elite LDS-2 Laser Disc

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2011
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    Largo, Florida
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    1,434


    Barry,

    You mean the 600'e' and 400'e'? They are even better than the plain Evo amps.

    I was at Krell's press only expo at CES the year they came out and the entire room was floored by the improvements when they directly A-B'd them for us all! I think matching the front three will bring you a solid benefit in the front of your system and is worth while.

  5. #5
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefisc View Post
    With the Proceed aging, I am wondering what 3 channel amp I would have to get to replace it when the time comes.
    I would be looking at Parasound and Outlaw Audio.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lefisc's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
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    New York
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    Kenny,
    Seriously, I am almost embarrassed by my bad typing. And it is worse when I use the Ipad. I certainly meant the "e" series!!!! I agree the 600e is a great improvement and now that I have "updated" everything I am very anxious for all this to fall in place.

    Tracy, you are always a great help. I'll look into those asap.
    Barry
    Surround Pre-Amp
    : Krell 707 3D; Amp: (center) Krell 400e; Amp Fronts Krell 600e; SACD: Krell Cipher; FM: Day Sequerra FM Reference; Blu-Ray: Oppo BDP 205; Speakers: Revel Ultima Salon 2; Center: Revel Voice 2; Rear/Back: Thiel Powerplanes/Krell S1500 amp; Subs: 2 SVS SB-13 Ultra; Turntable: VPI 19 Mk 4 w/Tonearm SME 309 & Audioquest 401i; HDTV: Verizon; Projector: JVC DLA-RS66U; Screen: Vue Tech 108; Internet Radio: Sonos; Remote: MX850; Pioneer Elite LDS-2 Laser Disc

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