IF, like many audiophiles, you’ve been wary of integrating your hi-fi and home theatre systems because you feel the plethora of AV amps out there just don’t cut it for you sonically, then here’s something that might change your mind. It’s a Krell – got your attention, right?
Krell Industries has just announced the Foundation, the latest in the high-end company’s line in cutting-edge AV processors – it goes without saying this one adheres to Krell’s esoteric standards in audio reproduction, even as it sports the latest in digital connectivity.
The Foundation, a 7.1-channel processor, will decode most current lossless audio formats. Intelligent HDMI switching is provided, as are outputs for analogue Zone 2 and dual subwoofers. The Foundation also has an auto room EQ system (ARES), and RS-232, Ethernet, RC-5 and four 12V trigger outputs.
On board are five pairs of analogue inputs (one balanced, four unbalanced), six digital audio inputs (three each coaxial and optical), 10 HDMI 1.4a inputs, two HDMI outputs (both with Audio Return Channel), six analogue video inputs (three component and composite sets each), and balanced and unbalanced outputs for connection to power amps.
The Foundation outputs video signals directly without any processing, thus ensuring bit-for-bit accuracy of the signal, up to 1080p/60. However, there is full transcoding of the analogue video inputs to the HDMI outputs.
A new Krell development is the intelligent HDMI switching, which optimises HDMI operation and provides the fastest signal recognition possible.
Compatible digital audio formats include Dolby Digital, Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-ES Discrete, Matrix, and DTS-HD Master Audio, along with a suite of post-processing modes, including Dolby Pro Logic IIx, DTS Neo 6 and Krell’s proprietary surround modes for those who want a different auditory experience.
The Foundation will be available in February 2013 at a retail price of US$6,500. Which, for a Krell, seems almost like a bargain …