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Krell FPB 400cx
1 Reviews
rating  5 of 5
MSRP 
Description: <ul> <li>Frequency response 20 Hz to 20 kHz,+0 dB, -0.05 dB 0.1 Hz to 240 kHz, +0 dB, -3 dB Gain 26.4 db</li> <li>Input Impedance 100 kohms</li> <li>Input Sensitivity 2.71 Vrms</li> </ul>


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Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by tinear1 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 28, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Killer amp. Completely invalidates the old stereotypes about Krell amps sounding 'cold' or 'bright'. I had shopped this amp against the top tube amps among others, and the Krell was just as warm, without being in any way dark or veiled like the Mark Levinsons.

I had previously owned the well-reviewed 400wpc Classe CA-401 (very similar to their highly touted CAM 350 monoblocks), and the Krell BLEW IT AWAY. I ran the 2 amps back-to-back in my living room, and the Classe sounded small, pinched and anemic compared to the Krell. I'd enjoyed the warmth of the Classe, but Dianna Krall through the Krell was just as pleasingly absent any solid-state hardness, and was even smoother and more full-bodied. The difference was surprisingly dramatic given that I was starting with such a natural sounding amp in the Classe, but it was like I'd made a switch upstream from a hard-sounding, cheap solid-state pre-amp to a world-class tube pre-amp. And the bass - Oh My God - that's the part about the Krell stereotype that is 100% true. Immense, powerful, super deep yet absolutely controlled. My Aerial Acoustics 10T's had always sounded a little bit bloated and undefined in the low mid-bass (many reviewers cite this as their one shortcoming). Added the Krell - problem gone. No one does it better.

Here's another thing to consider when shopping for one of these massive power amps that I didn't think about when I bought my Classe: reliability and service. My bought-new Classe stopped working twice in the 2 years I had it. I had to pack and ship that 120 lb. monster to Canada for repair. Since it had to go out of the country there were long delays at the US border. On one occasion it was damaged in shipping and neither UPS or Classe would take responsibility, so I was out $400 for a new faceplate. And dealing with a foreign boutique audio manufacturer was terrible - the first time I got my amp back there were screws rattling around loose in the box from the bottom plate - they hadn't even screwed it back on fully! So sticking with an established, reputable US-based firm with a long reputation for rock-solid reliability (i.e. “built like a Krell”) turns out to be an important factor!

What amazes me is that the European audio press does rave reviews about the new Krell FPB cx series - calling it the new benchmark in amplification, and the American press seems to pass over it. And worse, there are people out there (I had been one) still chanting the old mantra about Krell amps being cold and bright. I used to sell high-end gear, and believe me, the new cx series is as smooth and warm as any tube gear. Makes listening for hours a complete pleasure.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $8500.00

Purchased At:   Bay Area Audio




Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)

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