Krell KAV-250P Preamplifiers

4.57/5 (7 Reviews) MSRP : $2000.00


Product Description

Line pre amp


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by ecclezia a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I have used the 250p with a KAV-150a for almost five years, switching to this solid-state pair from Graaf all-tube separates.

The 250p is utterly quiet in operation, projecting vocals and instruments from a lower noise floor than my former tubed pre-amp. The 250p / 150a combo produces a more forward and lively sound than the Graaf units. Tonal balance is fairly good across the frequency range, though at the highest frequency extremes, a touch of sibilance and harshness (especially at higher volumes) becomes noticeable. I am inclined to attribute this more to the 150a than the 250p, because I briefly used a KAV-300i integrated before plumping for the 250p / 150a separates and did not notice this top-end harshness. Instruments and vocals are relatively vivd and well defined, but the Krell pairing lacks the euphonic bloom typical of tubes. In their defence, the 250p and 150a handle mid and lower frequencies with aplomb, showing much better grip over the speakers than my former Graaf sparates. Imaging is acceptable but could be more precise, especially on densely orchestrated material. The 250p seems to throw a wider but slightly shallower soundstage than the Graaf.

I also wished the 250p's volume control was more finely graduated at the lower extremes -- the roll-off as you bring down the volume levels can be very abrupt.

Overall, the 250p is a thoroughly competent solid-state line stage. A very low noise floor, speed on transients and wide soundstage allow you to hear cleanly through the rest of your system without significant addition or subtraction. If at all, the potential of the 250p is probably limited to some extent by the KAV-150a with which it is often paired. It would be very interesting to hear the 250p feeding a tube amp ...

The rest of the system comprises: Krell KPS-20i CD player, Marantz SA8260 SACD player, Krell KAV-150a power amp, Sonus faber Cremona loudspeakers, Nordost Blue Heaven balanced interconnects and speaker cables, Audio Agile power conditioner and power cords.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $2600.00



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ecclezia a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I've used the 250p to drive a KAV-150a for nearly five years, after switching from tubed Graaf separates. Compared to my former tube pre-amp, the 250p projects a slightly more forward and transparent sound from a lower noise floor. Instruments and vocals sound more articulate and defined, and the overall presentation seems to be more vivid. Running both pre and power amps through their balanced connections provides a very lively and punchy sound, distinctly different from the more laid-back and fluid presentation of the Graaf setup. Imaging is acceptable but one could wish for more precision with placement of instruments and vocalists on dense material. This solid-state combo clearly betters my previous tube separates in speed and transient attack, but the Graafs seemed to provide more air around instruments generally. Soundstage projection was comparable to the Graafs - the Krells appear to project a slightly wider but shallower soundstage than the Graafs. The 250p/150a combo can sound harsh on some material, with slightly exaggerated sibilance, though I am inclined to attribute this more to the 150a than the 250p. I also find myself wishing for a more graduated (rotary) volume control, as the 250p's roll-off at lower extremes of the volume range can be quite abrupt.

Build quality is adequate but not exceptional at this price, but it has performed faultlessly from Day One.

Overall, the 250p is a thoroughly competent solid-state pre-amp, and I suspect its performance is somewhat limited by the 150a with which it is often paired. It is a quiet, refined and non-intrusive line stage that allows you to hear through the rest of the system cleanly. Ideal mid-level pre-amp if you are looking for one that interferes very little with the signal.

The rest of the system comprises: Krell KPS-20i and Marantz SA8260 CD players, Krelll KAV-150a power amp, Sonus faber Cremona speakers, Nordost Blue Heaven (Rev. II) balanced interconnects and speaker cables, Audio Agile power conditioner and power cords.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $2600.00



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Itch a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 25, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Very simply. . . it doesnt get in the way of the music. As I sit here and think of how to write this review; all I can think of is that it doesn't add or take away from the music! I was not using a Pre-Amp for some time and purchased this unit because I needed a better volumn control and the ability to add more source components. When I hooked this unit up, I did not here any difference in the music in ANY way! No added coloration or for that matter anything! My current system consists of:
Krell Kav150A Amp (Awesome!!)
Krell Kav250P Pre-Amp
Denon CD Player (Soon to be replaced)
Vienna Acoustic Bachs (Very Awesome!!!)
Adcom AC515 AC Line Enhancer
Monster Interconnects and MX Speaker Cable. I've read so many reviews of how a Pre-Amp adds to the music and I wonder. . . Should a Pre-Amp do this?? I'm of the opinion that a Pre-Amp should be nothing more than a switch box. Let the Amp, Speakers and CD player stand on there own merits!! The Kav250P will do this!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   E-Bay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by neil goldman a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: January 22, 2002

Bottom Line:   
this preamp is just what a good preamp is supposed to be - transparent.
this is a great preamp easily beating the NAD/Adcom/musical fidelity.
the bel canto also prooved to be a great preamp, though a bit on the soft side of natural.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Larry Martin a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 2, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I bought this baby from a friend who needed cash. I was astonished at the honey coated detail. This pre- gets up and boogies but without any annoying digital buzz. I listen more to my cd collection since getting it.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $1950.00

Purchased At:   Downtown Audio




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