THE new Krell Phantom III preamplifier is now shipping with the optional DAC module announced earlier, adding a balanced, two coaxial and two optical digital inputs (no mention of USB) to the already well-specified unit.
These inputs accept PCM signals of up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, the digital signals routed to an ESS Sabre ES 9018 DAC. The analogue signal is kept in native current domain, rather than voltage, and fed into Krell’s Current Mode balanced circuitry.
The Phantom III, a dual monaural design, is the first Krell preamp to offer an optional onboard DAC module, and an output for headphones. The Krell literature describes it thus:
“The Phantom preamplifier is a dual monaural design with the left and right channels afforded their own power supply regulation and individual circuit boards. All signal gain is executed with surface mount technology using proprietary multiple-output current mirrors with nearly 500 times the open loop linearity of other designs.
“Featuring 700kHz bandwidth in a zero feedback, balanced, Krell Current Mode design, the Phantom III shares the same design philosophy as its bigger brother, the flagship Phantom preamplifier.
“Negative feedback is not used anywhere in the preamp, nor is it necessary. Open-loop distortion is typically less than 0.003%. The volume control is realised with a balanced resistor ladder – bandwidth and transient response of the preamp circuitry are virtually unaffected by the volume setting. The headphone circuitry is identical to the main circuitry, offering private listening with the same performance as speaker playback.”
The power supply features a 95 VA transformer and 40,000µF of capacitance, allowing it to respond speedily to transient signals, improving noise rejection and rendering the preamp impervious to most AC voltage power fluctuations.
Your choice of finish – silver or black. And isn’t the blue LCD display rather fab?