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Krell 707 Evolution. Is this the Best Processor?

post #1 of 209
Thread Starter 
Hi
Is this the Best processor in High End Home Theater?
Where can i get it at a good price, but new in Europe? If i buy in USA i am afraid that i will loose some quality by using a power transformer...
Tank you
post #2 of 209
It seems to have all the "bells and whistles" you'd expect from a new design high end processor, but whether it can knock the Halcro SSP's off their mantle for best sounding processor remains to be seen.....errr....I mean heard!

Edit: All the International distributors are listed here
post #3 of 209
A very large cinema project I have been involved with used a Krell 707 plus a stack of Evo 403 as part of a bi-amped config and I found it to be decidedly underwhelming. The dealer and client had the sad face on when it was time for me to leave.

That one had many HDMI switching problems like long drop outs, black screen instead of image etc. It also has some problems with the high res codecs with DTS-MA seeming to be particularly tricky. It crashed twice in the two days I was onsite helping test the install.

I will say that the sound was never less than composed and solid but for me it had no excitement and the steering and soundstage were not what I expect from such a high end pre amp. There was no time for me to do the final calibration of the system though.

Full disclosure I am in Europe and I am not a Krell distributor!
post #4 of 209
Neil,
Was the Evolution 707 connected with the dual Evolution 403s through Krell cast cables? What was the speaker configuration and which ones in particular?

You do have very high quality and precision driven standard yourself so if you say you were underwhelmed maybe it translates to "very good but just not there" for a lot of the folks who simply can't fathom a product like you can.

I've always wanted to ask you this ... what's the reference system you have in your mind to date and have any of your dealers done such an install or something close to it?
post #5 of 209
You might want to check the brand new Meridian 861v6, 26k$ + optional cards (Sooloos integration, inputs/outputs) in the search of the best sounding HDMI audio processor.
post #6 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredrik Rasmussen View Post

You might want to check the brand new Meridian 861v6, 26k$ + optional cards (Sooloos integration, inputs/outputs) in the search of the best sounding HDMI audio processor.

A hearty second on that. The sonics are truly outstanding.
post #7 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMSMT View Post

Hi
Is this the Best processor in High End Home Theater?
Where can i get it at a good price, but new in Europe? If i buy in USA i am afraid that i will loose some quality by using a power transformer...
Tank you

I believed that KRELL EVO 707 with new ARES automatic room calibration , is the only one high end pre amp & pre-processor available today . I just replace my CBIII with EVO 707 .
post #8 of 209
Mark Levinson has a similar competing processor with a better video processor. I don't know if onboard VP is a concern or not.

I believe both ML and Krell are priced similarly.
post #9 of 209
Will the krell be available in hdmi 1.4 by the end of the year?
post #10 of 209
Not a bad looking piece of gear, but what is the big, ugly knob on the front for?
post #11 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonyarat View Post

I believed that KRELL EVO 707 with new ARES automatic room calibration , is the only one high end pre amp & pre-processor available today . I just replace my CBIII with EVO 707 .

Four thoughts:

1. I have compared my current Meridian 861v4 with prior Krell SSP offerings and much prefer the Meridian.
2. The 707 clearly is not the only hi-end offering, although how it compares with the 861v6 remains to be seen/heard.
3. Going with the Meridian also requires the HD621 HDMI audio processor, which adds around $3K to the price.
4. Given the current financial condition of Krell, I'd be nervous about dropping $$$ (but, I've been burned before) - caveat emptor!
post #12 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post

1. I have compared my current Meridian 861v4 with prior Krell SSP offerings and much prefer the Meridian.

Shhh, don't tell anyone but I'm with you on that one.
And since the v6 is lightyears ahead of the v4, there's quite some catching up to do for other manufacturers.

For HDMI a 621 has to be added as you have pointed out and maybe analogue output cards for those not using DSP speakers. The standard 861 does not have analogue outputs at all.
post #13 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan View Post

The standard 861 does not have analogue outputs at all.

I believe that is true in Europe, but here in the good old USofA you do get two OA18 balanced analog output cards for the bargain basement price of $26K!
post #14 of 209
http://www.twice.com/article/talkbac...layer_Amps.php

Krell Adds Auto Room EQ, Readies BD Player, Amps




By Joseph Palenchar -- TWICE, March 31, 2010

Orange, Conn. - High-end audio supplier Krell has begun offering automatic room equalization for the first time with the shipment of newly upgraded Evolution 707 surround preamp/processors.

The technology, called Krell Automatic Room Equalization System (ARES), is also available as a free upgrade to existing 707 owners.

The 707's $30,000 suggested retail did not change with the addition of ARES, which uses onscreen prompts to guide users through the automatic setup and equalization process. ARES analyzes the speakers' capabilities, position, phase and distances to determine crossover points, delay, and volume settings to compensate for room anomalies. The 707 also gives users the flexibility to optimize response for three selectable listening positions or for three playback modes: two-channel playback, movie playback, and casual all-speaker music listening, the company said.

The 12-output, 8.4-channel Evolution 707 decodes all authorized Blu-ray surround formats, features four HDMI 1.3 inputs, and uses Krell's proprietary Evolution Current Audio Signal Transfer (CAST) technology, which sends audio signals between components in the current domain to eliminate cable-induced distortion and lower the noise floor to its theoretical minimum.

Upgrades to existing 707 models can be performed by users if only a firmware upgrade is needed, but some units will also require a hardware upgrade that dealers or Krell will perform.

In other product developments, the company updated shipment plans for its new Evolution E series amps, its first Blu-ray player, and a new CD player, all shown at CES.

The Blu-ray player, the $15,000 Evolution 555, ships in July or August. It's a Profile 2.0 BD-Live model with CAST, 1GB of onboard memory, SD card for expanded memory, Ethernet port and optional 802.11b/g/n wireless card. The 555 also offers a vertical stretch feature for home theaters using 2.35:1 Constant Image Height display systems to eliminate black bars at the top and bottom of the image without adding distortion or artifacts. It comes with HDMI 1.3 ins/outs, but a plug-in card is planned to upgrade the device to HDMI 1.4 with full support for 3D, 4K x 2K resolution, and HDMI Ethernet Channel.

In mid-April, the company will ship an upgraded Evolution amplifier line called the Evolution E series, said to improve fidelity while reducing its carbon footprint. The Evolution E series includes the three mono amps priced from $24,000 to $50,000/pair, two stereo amps at $12,500 and $18,500, and a $25,000 three-channel amp.

In May, the company will ship the new modular $2,500 S-350a CD player and optional $2,000video stage, which is installable by dealers to turn the CD player into the $4,500 1080p-up-scaling DVD player, the S-350av.
post #15 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon Malik View Post

Neil,
Was the Evolution 707 connected with the dual Evolution 403s through Krell cast cables? What was the speaker configuration and which ones in particular?

The system was not connected using CAST cables as there is a external DSP/crossover in use. Speakers are all from Wisdom Audio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon Malik View Post

You do have very high quality and precision driven standard yourself so if you say you were underwhelmed maybe it translates to "very good but just not there" for a lot of the folks who simply can't fathom a product like you can.

I have been thinking a lot about this lately. The trouble with anything in high end AV is often what your own reference point is. I have been lucky enough to work with a large number of the reference products over the past few years and I am always surprised by the differences between them. For your average person though hearing the latest Onkyo or Denon processor is audio nirvana - not because they are cloth eared but because they don't know how something could sound. This is also true for high end video - if someone else talks to me about JVC 990s then I'll scream

I really believe that most people can easily appreciate the difference between components if they get to hear them.

For example the Denon A1 processor is one of the worst sounding pieces of garbage I ever had the misfortune to listen to but you will find the internet filled with reviews praising it's quality. You just need to put pretty much any other "high end" processor against it to realise how bad it is.

The Krell is certainly not a bad sounding piece but it just didn't meet my expectations of what a device of that price can do. For example HD decoding apart I liked the ML502 better and it is certainly a lot easier to work with. Just as an example and I would be happy to discuss many more combinations.

It is also important to note that I haven't heard everything that is avilable either of course! One of the things I would love to get my hands on is the new Tact unit. Would be very interested how it stacked up against the ADA Rhapsody plus Trinnov DSP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haroon Malik View Post

I've always wanted to ask you this ... what's the reference system you have in your mind to date and have any of your dealers done such an install or something close to it?

This is an interesting topic but probably ideal for a new thread? I will be happy to share my own thoughts.
post #16 of 209
I have had my 707 for about a year and a half now and it is an incredible piece. It's connected to Evo 600s in CAST and an EVO 403 for surround. The 707 is fed by blu-ray, cable tv, and an Evo 505. Krell has provided superb support upgrading my unit several times no questions asked. I recently received the Room Correction firmware update and it is very impressive. There are absolutely no comparisons between Krell ARES and Audyssey. Krell designed the ARES completely in house even though licensing Audyssey would have been MUCH easier. The microphone supplied with Receivers and Preamps that use Audyssey are cheap and made of plastic. The supplied microphone and balanced mic cable for the 707 are professional grade. Before my 707 I tinkered with the Integra 9.8 and I found the room correction to take too much away from the sound of my Wilson speakers. The Krell ARES is much for configurable and leaves the natural characteristics of my speakers intact, all while dialing in the EQ just right. If you have a high-end system and are hesitant about room correction, you should definitely check out the Krell ARES.
As for the 707 overall: the sound, video, and build quality are incredible. I highly recommend the product. You will not be disappointed.
post #17 of 209
As a final note, I have been to the Krell factory and have seen firsthand the production process. These products are absolutely BULLET PROOF. Bill McKiegan at Krell has taken care of me as I'm sure he does for all of his customers. The 707 truly is a showpiece. Give it a listen.
post #18 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by gulliBELL View Post

It seems to have all the "bells and whistles" you'd expect from a new design high end processor, but whether it can knock the Halcro SSP's off their mantle for best sounding processor remains to be seen.....errr....I mean heard!

Edit: All the International distributors are listed here

I do not know how it sounds but the Krell looks way way better built than the Halcro. I think Halcro is building a 20k higher-end processor? The Krell looks like a BEAST!
post #19 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boonyarat View Post

I believed that KRELL EVO 707 with new ARES automatic room calibration , is the only one high end pre amp & pre-processor available today . I just replace my CBIII with EVO 707 .

Boonyrat is the Krell better than the CBIII? If so how much?
post #20 of 209
I am another very satisfied Krell Evolution 707 owner. I fully agree with spearl8's opinion - the 707 is a specatcular piece of equiment (although it may have had a few initial glitches that have now been corrected) as are many of Krell products. I also had the pleasure of visiting Krell factory and meeting Bill McKiegan and a few engineers there. They are all very professional and dedicated to creating superb products and providing excellent customer service.
post #21 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by spearl8 View Post

As for the 707 overall: the sound, video, and build quality are incredible.

I am sure you are right, however, for $30K one should reasonably expect those things. But is the 707 'the best processor, going back to the original post? 'Best' is tough to measure once you get to a certain point, and proably says more about the owner rather than the kit. Certainly it sounds like the 707 should be on the short list, but so should the Meridian 861v6/HD621 and perhaps the Theta (if it ever gets HDMI).
post #22 of 209
Is it the best? I'm not sure as I've only directly compared it to a few others in my system. The 707 replaced a Krell HTS 7.1 for me. The 707 absolutely trounces the 7.1 in every regard. It really is about 3x better. Especially for 2 channel audio is the 707 on an entirely new level.

I also had an Integra 9.8 in my system when I first got the 707, and the two units aren't even comparable- I'll leave it at that.

If you have a Krell CAST system, or want one, the 707 is a no-brainer. The problem with comparing a 707 to say a Meridian is that it's tough to coordinate and get access to both units. When you buy a 707 you're also buying a piece of jewlery as it is a stunning unit. Whichever product you choose just make sure it's from a dealer who provides great support.
post #23 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by spearl8 View Post

The microphone supplied with Receivers and Preamps that use Audyssey are cheap and made of plastic.

The provided mic may look cheap, but it is within ±2 dB of the industry-standard B&K 1/4" per Audyssey. Regardless, you will get a better microphone with Audyssey Pro.


Quote:
Originally Posted by spearl8 View Post

As for the 707 overall: the sound, video, and build quality are incredible. I highly recommend the product. You will not be disappointed.

The part of your comment about the video scaling is definitely wrong. Krell doesn't even scale HDMI. Following is from page 11 of this product's user manual:

"Configure video output sets the analog video scaler to an appropriate video output resolution. Analog video can be up-scaled up to 1080P 60Hz allowing video parity for all video sources Once this has been set all analog video sources will be up-scaled and output to this resolution. HDMI inputs are NOT affected by this setting."

They refer to an "onboard scaler" without telling us which. Why not? Doesn't speak very highly for the quality of their video processor. From their own brochure:

"The Evolution 707 video circuitry is fully HDMI 1.3 compliant, supports 24 bit Deep Color content, and is equipped with an onboard video scaler. With stunning clarity, this scaler up-converts incoming analog video signals to a maximum of 1080p/60Hz over HDMI output or 1080p/30Hz via component video output. A second video zone enables viewing of another video source simultaneously."
post #24 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Boonyrat is the Krell better than the CBIII? If so how much?

I cannot tell you how many times it better than CBIII but after I use EVO707 with my system WILSON SASHA W/P , WATCH SERIES 2 CENTER & SURROUND, KRELL EVO 600 & 2X EVO302, 1X MARK 334, PIONEER LX91,........, I cannot go back to CBIII again.
post #25 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ct335d View Post

Please, don't even pay attention to hd_newbie troll..., he loves to nit pick, but has not even heard the gear he comments about.

deleted
post #26 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

"The Evolution 707 video circuitry is fully HDMI 1.3 compliant, supports 24 bit Deep Color content, and is equipped with an onboard video scaler. With stunning clarity, this scaler up-converts incoming analog video signals to a maximum of 1080p/60Hz over HDMI output or 1080p/30Hz via component video output. A second video zone enables viewing of another video source simultaneously."

I must say I prefer keeping the audio and video separate. As good as the scaler may or may not be in the 707, I cannot image it'd be able to keep up with a separate scaler such as the Lumagen Radiance.

I don't want to sound like a shill for Meridian, but I very much like their approach of having the 861 purely as an audio processor with the outboard HD621 as the HDMI hub for video and the interface with a separate scaler. Makes the set mongo expensive ($26K for the 861; $3K for the 621; $5K for the Radiance), but what the heck.

I suppose that is why I went the way I did.
post #27 of 209
The 707's inability to scale HDMI doesn't bother me. Blu-ray is already 1080p so there's nothing a scaler can do with it, and I just connect my cable box via component cables. The processor does a great job with the component 720p/1080i signal. The Krell video processing was designed completely in-house. I have no desire for an external scaler. For my needs and desires, I look at the video scaling as icing on the cake. The audio side of things is where the 707 shines.
post #28 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post

I must say I prefer keeping the audio and video separate. As good as the scaler may or may not be in the 707, I cannot image it'd be able to keep up with a separate scaler such as the Lumagen Radiance.

Fair enough. I am a strong believer of that philosophy myself. I doubt any pre/pro irrespective of their chip can keep up with Radiance.

I was only responding to the poster who argued Krell has magnificient video. Krell's video is no better than a $500 Onkyo receiver based on all the evidence. Do I know this definitively? No, because Krell hides the name of their chip, which awfully sounds like a Faroudja based on their description.

People have a right to know, so noone in need of prepro that scales DVDs will purchase this gear based on false information. For others like you who don't need scaling, they can make their own decision. I will repeat, I didn't comment on audio at all.
post #29 of 209
Quote:

hd_newbie, my apologies. I feel silly. I confuesed you with another member - Nascar_984, unfortunately. I will edit my post above to remove things I should not have said.

Yes, indeed we had our debate in the thread you are referencing and it was settled. No need to bring it back, you are correct. Bottom line was - Krell Evolution 707 processor has superior sonics, but does not alter HDMI video (which for me is just fine, as my source produces video signal I don't want altered) and I am not sure how good the upconverter of lower resolution video is on this unit (I don't really care about that either, as I feed the processor with hi-res. video).
post #30 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by spearl8 View Post

The 707's inability to scale HDMI doesn't bother me. Blu-ray is already 1080p so there's nothing a scaler can do with it, and I just connect my cable box via component cables. The processor does a great job with the component 720p/1080i signal. The Krell video processing was designed completely in-house. I have no desire for an external scaler. For my needs and desires, I look at the video scaling as icing on the cake. The audio side of things is where the 707 shines.

I have to disagree with the above perspective because while the 707 may not scale blu-ray there is still a lot that can be done to improve the display of the signal and this is where an outboard video processor such as the RadianceXE shines because it add gamma control, grayscale control, and gamut control far beyond those of any AVR that I have seen so, unless you have this capability elsewhere in your chain do not think that just because the video is running through the Krell as it is as good as it can be because the truth is, it likely is not...
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