Hot: Like most Krell amps, this made-in-China unit is a powerhouse, but it delivers this in a more refined manner than its ancestors. There’s very little effort even with difficult speaker loads, and of course, there’s the bass, which is smoother and more cultured than previously but has no less impact. And it comes across as more musically involved than its similar-level predecessor. Never sounds harsh, plus a lucid treble. Excellent staging and spatial information are part of the deal. Flexible in usage.
Cold: These days, there are much more competition in the field, and cheaper amps are punching well into this territory.
Encore: Quite possibly one of the smoothest and silkiest sounding Krells at this end of the price spectrum. That it accommodates the iPod can only boost its cause. Those yearning for a Krell on a “budget” won’t feel shortchanged in any way.
Specs: Class A direct-coupled design / Fully balanced preamp circuit / Current mode volume control / 150 watts x 8 ohms, 300 watts into 4 ohms / 15A peak current delivery / 3 pairs of RCA inputs. 1 pair of XLR inputs, single-ended preamp output / Dedicated iPod input / “Theater Throughput” mode for AV uses / Remote control / Variable balance and trim levels for each input / Dimensions: 438 x 104 x 450 (w/h/d), 19kg / Finish: Silver