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Krell Master Reference
4 Reviews
rating  4.75 of 5
MSRP  120000.00
Description: 1000 Wpc into 8 Ohms, 2000 Wpc into 4 Ohms, 4000 Wpc into 2 Ohms, 8000 Wpc into 1 Ohm.


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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by beretta a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 3, 2009

Bottom Line:   
SETUP: The MRAs come in wooden crates and weigh in at 683 pounds each not counting the crates. They are removed by unscrewing the top of the crate then unscrewing one side to allow easy removal of the upper section of the crate. The monoblocks sit on sturdy plastic like foam which rest on the heavy duty skid. You can move the MRAs by putting a sturdy four wheel dolly under the skid and rolling the skid to wherever you need the amp; however, it was NOT recommend using a floor lift on just the amps as you can bend the heat fin covers. It takes six strong men to life the MRA from the skid (one on each corner and one on each side) and be prepared for the operation to be difficult. One would assume with the men only having to lift approximately 115 pounds each the operations would be simple; however, the weight distribution combined with different height and strength people makes the task awkward and difficult. You want to ensure to have a sturdy and smooth base to sit the amps on and you do not want to put them directly onto carpet (air circulates upward from under the amps and they would not be able to cool properly when they sank into the carpet). My MRA sit on granite stands (3cm thick) so they do not rest directly on the carpet. The amps are really meant to be professionally set up, which is evident by the very minimalistic owner’s manual.

LISTENING: I have had the good fortune to own a number of high quality solid state amplifiers to include; the older Threshold S500 Series II, the Krell KSA-300S, the Classa’ Omega, the Pass X-600, and the Pass X-1000. I’ve also listened extensively to a number of other high quality solid state amplifiers. As my last amplifier before the MRA was the Pass X-1000, and the amp I’m most familiar with, I’ll use it as my rather succinct comparison. I’ve not gone into a longwinded dissertation of the MRAs sound, but more a brief description of the basic similarities and differences. The MRA are not supposed to have more power than the Pass X-1000s as both are rated at 1,000 watts RMS at 8 ohms and 2,000 watts RMS at 4 ohms; however, I do not need to go into the 2 or 1 ohm range where the MRAs would shine with extra power. However, I did get the impression when listening to the MRAs that they had more power than the Pass, which could have been somewhat psychosomatic due to the MRAs size. The MRAs reportedly can double in power down to .5 ohms (16 kilowatts) if you have the incoming electrical power commensurate with such an output. So stated, even if you had the amps built at 240 volts with a 40 amp setting you still would only obtain 9,600 watts and this does not take into consideration entropy within the system. Ergo, the 16 kilowatts figure is probably theoretical based on the transformers sizes (my opinion here). Imaging was excellent and both amps excelled at bringing out all the nuisances within the music. I was not able to hear more of anything (instruments or vocal) with the MRA over the Pass; however, the overall sonic difference was distinct. The MRAs are just smoother and more relaxing while the Pass, which is a very high quality amplifier, was brighter and more, for lack of a better statement “in your face” type of sound. No matter how long my listening secession were with the MRAs, I’ve never gotten fatigued or wanted to turn them off. The more you listen to the MRAs the more you enjoy/appreciate them and I would not even consider going back. I have never seen these amplifiers professionally reviewed, but will stand behind the statement that you won’t find a better sounding solid state amplifier on the market. For anyone who has just listened to them for a few minutes or a few hours, my suggestion is you spend more time with them at low power levels to really enjoy the quality of music they are fully capable of reproducing.

BACKGROUND: I was told by Krell representatives that only about 50 pairs of these where produced. They were made from 2000 into 2006, and originally cost $120,000 for a pair while at the end of the production the price increased to $150,000 a pair. Mine were dealer demos which were obtained at a substantial savings. The operating temperature of the MRAs is about as warm as the X-1000s; however, because of the greater surface area they end up putting off more heat.

COMMENTS: A number of my setup comments above were done to validate the veracity of my statements about the MRAs, which are not just trumped up hypothetical nonsense, hyperbolic rhetoric from a brief listening experience in a store, or suppositions from literature. Not to be obtuse, but I would suggest that unless you have spent a number of hours listening to these amps, and have some background owning and listening to other high quality solid state amplifiers, you refrain from making comments about a product you really know nothing about nor truly understand. With the new high quality switching amplifiers available and the trend to lighten electronics it is doubtful that anything like the MRAs will ever be produced again. We could discuss cost versus product/sound almost indefinitely with both sides of the argument having merit, but such banner would really be useless. Yes, they are expensive, but then so is a Ferrari compared to a KIA!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bill Reed a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: August 29, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I purchased the Krell Master Reference (KMR)used at Jim's Audio Bargoons. The unit had a long scratch on the faceplate and big hole in the side. It was the hole that originally attracted me to the KMR. It sounds very transparent and the highs shimmer crystal clear. I looked inside the hole and saw that some parts, perhaps capacitors or resistors (nothing major) were missing. I believe this is responsible for the unit's excellent transparency...less electronics to get in the way of the music.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $18.00

Purchased At:   Jim's Audio Bargoons



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:2
Submitted by RUSTY SCHULDT a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2001

Bottom Line:   
auditioned them in chicago about 2 weeks ago and oh my god they are huge and they powered a pair of mcintosh xrc 22 or something the whole building was shaking like an earthquake hit it! they are remarkable amps but the price is also way out there if dan ever lowered the price ohhhh to maybee 10,000 or so these things would be all over and they are awesome!...........................for the money i give 2 stars a lot expensive..overall rsating i give 5 stars as i have heard a pair of these puppies in action! wow..if i ever win the lottery or have a baseball player give me a million dollar donation..sure ill buy a pair but for now ill stick with my little amo for now

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $120000.00

Purchased At:   PAULHEATH AUDIO



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Joseph a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I heard these monos hooked up with the Wilson X-1s. They are truly incredible, I was blown away by the sheer power of the setup. Bass ripped through my chest. Massive transient attack etc. But it doesn't involve me musically. Wehn I listen the first thing I do is check the hairs on the back of my neck. I they are standing I know it is a good product. While the Wilson/Krell setup made me feel like I was in a Maxell commercial, alas, they did not move me the way much much cheaper electronics do. For me the reason to lissten to music is to be transported away. To be enveloped in the magic sound, transcend time and space. These amps never let that happen. True I did hear ever last drop of detail in the recording, but I don't care about that. I suppose this proves to me once and for all that transistors cannot touch tubes. I know that this opens up a whole can of worms but I'm sorry. If this is solid state at its finest (which it had better be damn close to for $125,000) I feel sorry for those who purchase it. Not because its a bad product, it very well might be state of the art, but because music can be so much more involving. And for those of you who think that I am just old man living in the past, I turn twenty-one in August and for my birthday I have an MC2000 waiting for me.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000




Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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