Krell Foundation Owners Thread - Page 65 - AVS Forum
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post #1921 of 2654 Old 07-26-2014, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gulliBELL View Post

The Halcro makes my speakers dissolve, they just disappear from the room. The Foundation puts them back in the room. Time now to go back and unravel my cabling back to where it was. The Foundation does HT, the Halcro does music.

In closing just bear in mind the synergy the Halcro pre-amp/power amp combo has, the 2 pieces just have an uncanny capacity to yield an end result greater than the individual parts. Which is an unfair advantage the dm8 has over the Foundation when a dm88 is in the mix.
Not terribly surprising in a preamp showdown between the two. A top quality audio only preamp is a wonder to behold.

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I don't want to sound as if I'm rubbishing the Foundation 7.1, because I'm not. As a one-stop-shop piece it is outstanding value for the performance, and I'm very happy with mine. But it is clearly evident there is better stuff out there if your focus is 2ch, and you're prepared to drop $20k+ to get there. All the more reason to congratulate Krell for what they've delivered in the Foundation.
I feel you did a excellent job on the comparison/review with complete honesty. I also agree with your assessment that Krell has delivered on a great value with the Foundation.

It's funny that albums we may dislike are sometimes excellent for evaluating a system. One I used often was Yello, my wife hated it so much I believe she tossed it before I was able to get it on the server.

BTW, I love your tag line about annoying the wife!
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post #1922 of 2654 Old 07-27-2014, 12:10 AM
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BTW, I love your tag line about annoying the wife!
Ex-wife now

"My interest in home theater is not only that it annoys the wife, but if it was, then that would be enough"
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post #1923 of 2654 Old 07-27-2014, 04:40 PM
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I was surprised as well. I was expecting it to be a long night trying a wide variety of different content to try and differentiate only subtle nuances of difference. Much like when comparing different interconnects or speaker cables or power cables because they can be difficult to reliably tell apart (which is why I don't use insanely expensive cables in my setup), and in any event I really don't have much motivation for these sort of tests.

After I wrote that initial piece I went back to the Foundation in pre-amp mode and listened for another hour, because sometimes initial impressions can be off the mark. But the more I listened the more I had to accept the Foundation as a 2ch pre-amp flies at a noticeably lower altitude in the performance airspace than the Halcro. Which is a finding consistent with what Paul McGowan said a few months back in the PS Audio forums, even talking down the sonic attributes of his own products when compared to a quality 2ch dedicated pre-amp.

I don't want to sound as if I'm rubbishing the Foundation 7.1, because I'm not. As a one-stop-shop piece it is outstanding value for the performance, and I'm very happy with mine. But it is clearly evident there is better stuff out there if your focus is 2ch, and you're prepared to drop $20k+ to get there. All the more reason to congratulate Krell for what they've delivered in the Foundation.
Thank you very much for the time and effort you put into this comparison and review! It's really helpful to read a comparison like yours that was obviously executed in the proper manner.

Though I don't hear what you are describing in the Krell, it's all relative of course, and to me the results aren't shocking when you consider what you are using for comparison. I have always been a preamp kind of guy. I have still not heard a dedicated 2 channel system sound better than when I had my Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS tube preamp hooked up to the CJ MF2250 ss power amp. And the 17LS, while more expensive than the Krell (given that it was a preamp-only and was $4,200 back in 2000), was nowhere near the price of your Halcro even if adjusted for inflation. I'm not even sure that I consider speakers as central to a system's overall musicality as I do a preamp (or preamp stage in a processor or integrated amp).

What's interesting to me is that I hear much of what you describe in your Halcro when using the Foundation as a preamp. I agree with both you and rhale that the soundstage is not very deep (at least with the Oppo analog input), but I find it very wide and enveloping, with imaging that makes the speakers vanish, to the point that I often have to confirm that the center and rear speakers are not on. And, I find it very musically engaging with my CJ MF2250. With the HDMI input, I do find the soundstange deeper, but not particularly wide, and with the coax input, I get the depth of the HMDI input with a wider soundstage, but not quite as wide as the analog inputs. I also find that internal DACs in the Foundation produce a smoother, somewhat richer texture than with the Oppo. To a certain extent, I prefer one over the other based on the recording I have chosen to listen to.

Your Halcro must be wonderful indeed! I am immune from an audio-nervosa reaction for now, though, as I find the Foundation quite magical for 2 channel music, especially given it's price and synergies in my system. Also, it's relatively simple to add a preamp with a theater loop back into the system if I ever feel the "need" in the future . . . and my dear wife allows it! Oh, and 20 large for a preamp may be a bit out of reach for me even if my dear wife were to allow it.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this. It's this kind of interaction that makes the hobby interesting, beyond the sheer joy of listening to music that is.
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post #1924 of 2654 Old 07-27-2014, 05:50 PM
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Thank you very much for the time and effort you put into this comparison and review! It's really helpful to read a comparison like yours that was obviously executed in the proper manner.

Though I don't hear what you are describing in the Krell, it's all relative of course, and to me the results aren't shocking when you consider what you are using for comparison. I have always been a preamp kind of guy. I have still not heard a dedicated 2 channel system sound better than when I had my Conrad Johnson Premier 17LS tube preamp hooked up to the CJ MF2250 ss power amp. And the 17LS, while more expensive than the Krell (given that it was a preamp-only and was $4,200 back in 2000), was nowhere near the price of your Halcro even if adjusted for inflation. I'm not even sure that I consider speakers as central to a system's overall musicality as I do a preamp (or preamp stage in a processor or integrated amp).

What's interesting to me is that I hear much of what you describe in your Halcro when using the Foundation as a preamp. I agree with both you and rhale that the soundstage is not very deep (at least with the Oppo analog input), but I find it very wide and enveloping, with imaging that makes the speakers vanish, to the point that I often have to confirm that the center and rear speakers are not on. And, I find it very musically engaging with my CJ MF2250. With the HDMI input, I do find the soundstange deeper, but not particularly wide, and with the coax input, I get the depth of the HMDI input with a wider soundstage, but not quite as wide as the analog inputs. I also find that internal DACs in the Foundation produce a smoother, somewhat richer texture than with the Oppo. To a certain extent, I prefer one over the other based on the recording I have chosen to listen to.

Your Halcro must be wonderful indeed! I am immune from an audio-nervosa reaction for now, though, as I find the Foundation quite magical for 2 channel music, especially given it's price and synergies in my system. Also, it's relatively simple to add a preamp with a theater loop back into the system if I ever feel the "need" in the future . . . and my dear wife allows it! Oh, and 20 large for a preamp may be a bit out of reach for me even if my dear wife were to allow it.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this. It's this kind of interaction that makes the hobby interesting, beyond the sheer joy of listening to music that is.
I also wonder if the preamp amp synergy is just awesome with the two Halcro products.

I bought a Citation amp a while back and thought it was forward sounding to the point I sold it about 4 months later. I was talking on the Internet and if I remember correctly I was actually talking back and forth with the designer of both. He said on its own with other brand preamps it could sound forward. He said the amp and preamp were voiced to sound perfect together. This would be the Citation amp with the preamp that got all the great reviews. I believe it was the Citation 7.1 which was a four channel amp.

Not saying you didnt hear what you did at all. I would suspect you did. What I am saying is hopefully when I get the Foundation and Chorus that I may get that it might bring it a little closer. At least I would like to hope.
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post #1925 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bulgogi View Post

Your Halcro must be wonderful indeed!... Oh, and 20 large for a preamp may be a bit out of reach for me even if my dear wife were to allow it.
I wouldn't be surprised if Halcro, now under new management, might change direction away from the previous cost-no-object product models. They are no doubt working on new products, but what they are working on I have no idea. We might see a more affordable Halcro pre-amp in the future, I can't wait to see what they have in store!

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post #1926 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 06:34 AM
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Yeah I went to their website and saw they are back. And wait for updates in the future. Or something like that.

I never paid much attention to their products as they were out of my budget. I would see the name and pretty much move on.

This is the first time I paid attention because if it beats the Foundation that badly it must be special. Because I have listened to many many components in my many years of enjoying this hoppy. And never have I heard such sound as I had with the Foundation. It was not even close.
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post #1927 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gulliBELL View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if Halcro, now under new management, might change direction away from the previous cost-no-object product models. They are no doubt working on new products, but what they are working on I have no idea. We might see a more affordable Halcro pre-amp in the future, I can't wait to see what they have in store!
You keep saying Halcro, Halcro, Halcro. When you say Foundation, everyone knows that is a model from Krell. Which model of Halcro were you comparing with the Foundation.
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post #1928 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 08:44 AM
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He mentions it in his review. I forget the model numbers. He has both a Halcro amp and Preamp
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post #1929 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by rhale64L7 View Post
Yeah I went to their website and saw they are back. And wait for updates in the future. Or something like that.

I never paid much attention to their products as they were out of my budget. I would see the name and pretty much move on.

This is the first time I paid attention because if it beats the Foundation that badly it must be special. Because I have listened to many many components in my many years of enjoying this hoppy. And never have I heard such sound as I had with the Foundation. It was not even close.
Nice point, and an important one for people to remember.

Other than my CJ Premier 17LS, which was different, I have not either. The CJ had a certain magic that worked perfectly with jazz, which I mostly listen to, but the Krell is close on that and beats the 17LS otherwise, including on imaging and soundstage size as well as drive for Rock and orchestral works. Apples and oranges, but the Krell does not leave me wanting to reinsert a stand-alone preamp.

Bottom line for me is that I think the review was educational, and superbly executed, but it would be a shame if it made anyone question what they have been hearing for themselves! I've seen that happen before, and it's really sad.
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post #1930 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 10:56 AM
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You keep saying Halcro, Halcro, Halcro. When you say Foundation, everyone knows that is a model from Krell. Which model of Halcro were you comparing with the Foundation.
Here it is. As rhale says, it was mentioned in the review on the previous page:

http://www.halcro.com/productsDM8.php
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post #1931 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 10:57 AM
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I know what you mean. It has been a long time since I had my Foundation last. About 8 months.

I just hope I have a flawless unit this time around like the last time. I know they have updates that screw things up for a bit. But they fix them quickly.

I hope I am getting mine with the best firmware without any bugs that will cause problems in my particular system. I would think not. I know they have an oppo blueray player and my directv box worked flawlessly on my old Foundation. So until I get my new music streaming device I will hopefully be ok.

I know my older Foundation sounded wonderful. If they haven't done anything to screw that up I will be in heaven.
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post #1932 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 12:24 PM
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Here it is. As rhale says, it was mentioned in the review on the previous page:

http://www.halcro.com/productsDM8.php
Thanks as I do not remember reading the model number of the Halcro. I also have no reason to doubt the original's posters's claim of the Halcro's DM8 2 channel performance exceeding that of the Foundation. However, the Foundation provides double duty, 2 channel performace as well as 7.1 performance. I'll bet that if he compared a 2 channel SACD recording on the Halcro DM8 along with the same SACD in 5.1 on the Foundation, the Foundation will blow the 2 channel Halcro out the water.
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post #1933 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 05:09 PM
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You keep saying Halcro, Halcro, Halcro. When you say Foundation, everyone knows that is a model from Krell. Which model of Halcro were you comparing with the Foundation.
Just by way of background Halcro had 2 products ranges, Reference and Logic. Logic was their HT range comprising various multi-channel Class-D amps, SACD player, + Surround Sound processor.
The Reference series was 2ch specific and comprised a pre-amp (2 models, one with phono, one without), mono power amp, and stereo power amp. The pre-amps never changed throughout their production history, software or hardware, they got them right 1st go. The mono power amps evolved over time, increasing in power and decreasing in distortion over each variant dm58/68/78, all of similar design, then they did dm88 which was a fundamentally different design but in the same chassis as the others.

In the Australian market the Halcro dm8 pre-amp (no phono) was $26k, and the mono power amp was $72k/pair. Obviously way outside the price point of the Foundation, or any other Krell product that I know of.

All of the Halcro Reference products were built in Adelaide, Australia. Some of the Logic products were built in Adealaide, some were built in Ireland/EU.

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post #1934 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 05:21 PM
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However, the Foundation provides double duty, 2 channel performace as well as 7.1 performance.

I'll bet that if he compared a 2 channel SACD recording on the Halcro DM8 along with the same SACD in 5.1 on the Foundation, the Foundation will blow the 2 channel Halcro out the water
1. Yes, double duty, and at a third of the price. But as a pre-amp only, the better piece is blatantly obvious.

2. I have done that comparison and they can't be separated, yet. Limitation obviously being the quality of the DAC used with the Halcro pre-amp. Paul Simon (Live in New York, PCM stereo) actually performs right at home here in my Living Room, or you'd think, with the Foundation. It is a remarkable experience. Which is why I take my hat off to Krell.

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post #1935 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 05:27 PM
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Just by way of background Halcro had 2 products ranges, Reference and Logic. Logic was their HT range comprising various multi-channel Class-D amps, SACD player, + Surround Sound processor.
The Reference series was 2ch specific and comprised a pre-amp (2 models, one with phono, one without), mono power amp, and stereo power amp. The pre-amps never changed throughout their production history, software or hardware, they got them right 1st go. The mono power amps evolved over time, increasing in power and decreasing in distortion over each variant dm58/68/78, all of similar design, then they did dm88 which was a fundamentally different design but in the same chassis as the others.

In the Australian market the Halcro dm8 pre-amp (no phono) was $26k, and the mono power amp was $72k/pair. Obviously way outside the price point of the Foundation, or any other Krell product that I know of.

All of the Halcro Reference products were built in Adelaide, Australia. Some of the Logic products were built in Adealaide, some were built in Ireland/EU.
Hey, that's great. There's always something special about locally made products - Krell is about a 2.5 hour drive from my home.

By the way, my brother-in-law lives in Adelaide and loves Oz. He and his family are South Korean and moved there as part of an immigration program. As of now he's a Corrections Officer (i.e. Prison Guard) and he's applying to be a police officer. He's a big guy and speaks absolutely fluent English. Used to sound like an American and now totally sounds like a native born Australian - he's that gifted at languages and pronunciations. Salaries for C.O.s and cops are mighty solid in Oz - he has already bought a house - but he's unlikely to support Halcro, at least not their Reference Series stuff!
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post #1936 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 05:47 PM
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1. Yes, double duty, and at a third of the price. But as a pre-amp only, the better piece is blatantly obvious.

2. I have done that comparison and they can't be separated, yet. Limitation obviously being the quality of the DAC used with the Halcro pre-amp. Paul Simon (Live in New York, PCM stereo) actually performs right at home here in my Living Room, or you'd think, with the Foundation. It is a remarkable experience. Which is why I take my hat off to Krell.
I am convinced by the caliber of your review that the Halcro is great. However, the last time I remember hearing about Halcro was when they made processors (100 or 200 model number) and they could not get HDMI right. A forum member named "the Bland" use to rave about them. And, for the prices you quoted as the cost, if I owned it, evertime I turned it on, it would be giving me H___.
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post #1937 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 07:09 PM
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..A forum member named "the Bland" use to rave about them. And, for the prices you quoted as the cost, if I owned it, evertime I turned it on, it would be giving me H___.
Yes, and if I remember, every processor he's owned since then he's said "and it sounds almost as good as the Halcro".

The SSP80/100/180/200/220 was an OEM platform (Flextronics, from Finland, same platform as in the Parasound C1/C2) that Halcro tweaked and re-badged with their own analog bits and pieces. It was developed when HDMI was in its infancy, when many brands were struggling to cope with HDMI implementation. So much so that Parasound didn't put HDMI in their processor instead opting for an external switching box only. At least Halcro gave it a go, and as some found, there was a reliability issue with the HDMI on some SSP units.

I was an SSP owner and my unit worked fine. I can also confidently say, and I think I mentioned this somewhere here earlier, that the Foundation 7.1 sounds as good as the Halcro SSP for music, and almost as good for HT. But it is very close and I was happy with both.

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post #1938 of 2654 Old 07-28-2014, 07:15 PM
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..And, for the prices you quoted as the cost, if I owned it, evertime I turned it on, it would be giving me H___.
I don't think I mentioned the cost of the Halcro SSP processors. In this market they were:

SSP220 = $18k
SSP180 = $14k

Putting the Foundation up against the SSP180/220 is a far more relevant comparison than comparing the Foundation pre-amp against a dedicated Halcro pre-amp (although I was happy to test when asked). Having owned both, performance wise, the Foundation 7.1 sounds just as good as the Halcro SSP at a third of the price.

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post #1939 of 2654 Old 07-29-2014, 01:03 PM
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I just replaced my Parasound Halo C1 processor with the Foundation and I feel that the Foundation sounds better than the C1 did. I kept the Halo A21 and A51 power amps with the Foundation though. The Halo equipment was built like a tank though and the C1 came with a much better microphone.

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post #1940 of 2654 Old 07-29-2014, 01:53 PM
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I just replaced my Parasound Halo C1 processor with the Foundation and I feel that the Foundation sounds better than the C1 did.
I also owned the Parasound Halo processor, which I replaced with the Halcro SSP, which I replaced with the Integra DHC-80.3, which I replaced with the Foundation 7.1. You're right, the Krell Foundation does sound better than the Parasound Halo, by quite a bit.

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post #1941 of 2654 Old 07-29-2014, 02:41 PM
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Krell Foundation Owners Thread

My two cents... I used to be pure two channel for real listening and used a Harmon Kardon AVR 5000 which when I bought it was their top receiver. I own a lot of multichannel SACD's and when the second time it suddenly made a big noise left front channel and blew my diamond tweeter it had to go. Hence the Foundation which I love. For two channel I use a Krell 202 pre-amp which when I bought it I preferred over the Halcro (similar price at that time). If I remember correctly the Halcro sounded bright and cold in the system that I auditioned it. In contrast the 202 with Krell Evolution 600 mono blocks with my B&W 802 D's just sounded more natural to my ears. (Everyone hears differently). The Foundation compares very well with the 202 in my room with my system and makes my speakers disappear like the Halcro does in gulliBell's system. Soundstage is very wide and deep and I too sometimes have to check to see if it's playing stereo and not multichannel.
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post #1942 of 2654 Old 07-29-2014, 06:54 PM
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Very good indeed.
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post #1943 of 2654 Old 07-29-2014, 07:19 PM
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I just replaced my Parasound Halo C1 processor with the Foundation and I feel that the Foundation sounds better than the C1 did. I kept the Halo A21 and A51 power amps with the Foundation though. The Halo equipment was built like a tank though and the C1 came with a much better microphone.
Yeah it's not hard to get a better mic than the Foundation. But it is nice to know that the Foundation as a prepro is up there with the best of them.

I wonder how it compares to the Theta, and Bryston? Has anybody heard either of them? I guess the Meridian is pretty awesome also.
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post #1944 of 2654 Old 07-29-2014, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by vvuuren View Post
..For two channel I use a Krell 202 pre-amp which when I bought it I preferred over the Halcro (similar price at that time). If I remember correctly the Halcro sounded bright and cold in the system that I auditioned it. In contrast the 202 with Krell Evolution 600 mono blocks with my B&W 802 D's just sounded more natural to my ears...
I have read elsewhere others referring to the Halcro sound as "dry" and "sterile" which is interesting because, you'd think, the zero distortion design and ultra-flat frequency response would not alter the sonic characteristics of the music at all. Other designs which might be described as "warm" can be more subjectively appealing, but that is likely a sonic attribute being imparted by the component itself, sometimes attributable to 3rd order harmonics on the output stage (which the Halcro does not have, or is so low to be at or below the measurable noise floor). So the distortion characteristics make for a more pleasing sound (read: tube designs particularly), which is great for those who enjoy sonic "warmth". The Krell 202 pre-amp is obviously a quality piece, and I'd suspect it swings a synergy advantage when matched with a Krell Evolution power amp, much like the Halcro pre-amp does when matched with its power amp sibling.

I think we can read that the Krell 202 is your preferred 2ch piece over the Foundation, which if so comes as no surprise.

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post #1945 of 2654 Old 07-29-2014, 10:26 PM
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Yeah it's not hard to get a better mic than the Foundation. But it is nice to know that the Foundation as a prepro is up there with the best of them.

I wonder how it compares to the Theta, and Bryston? Has anybody heard either of them? I guess the Meridian is pretty awesome also.
Cant wait to hear about your Chorus! I am waiting paitently to hear reviews on it from real folks.
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post #1946 of 2654 Old 07-30-2014, 03:22 AM
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I cant wait either. I am trying to get the room ready after the water damage. I have only got one more day and it is blatantly obvious that the ceiling wont be fixed by then. So my room won't be optimal. This is bumming me out. I need to get a plumber out here to reroute this water line .
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post #1947 of 2654 Old 07-30-2014, 10:41 AM
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I am still not convinced that spending the 10K in a new amp will give me much more than I have in my Emotive MPS1 amp, which is 7 monoblocks really. Just not sure its going to be worth the 10K to do it.
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post #1948 of 2654 Old 07-31-2014, 10:58 AM
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I am not neither. That is why I am so anxious to get it to try it out.

I will let you know. I wish I had another audiophile buddy close by. I would have them over to listen too. I will give an honest assessment.

I will be compaing it to Parasound Halo amps. That I absolutely love. And I would save a bunch by keeping them.
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post #1949 of 2654 Old 07-31-2014, 04:02 PM
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I am still not convinced that spending the 10K in a new amp will give me much more than I have in my Emotive MPS1 amp, which is 7 monoblocks really. Just not sure its going to be worth the 10K to do it.
Its not if the rest of your system is mid fi and below.
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post #1950 of 2654 Old 07-31-2014, 05:12 PM
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Well here you folks go.
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