Krell KAV-400xi Integrated Amplifiers

KAV-400xi

200W x 2 into 8 ohms, 400W x 2 into 4 ohms, 1 pair XLR inputs, 3 pair RCA inputs, 2 speaker outputs, preamp output, tape loop, 12V trigger, remote control.

User Reviews (14)

Showing 1-10 of 14  
dmitchell   AudioPhile [Oct 18, 2014]

The Krell house sound at an affordable price. If you really dig solid state sounding amps, or have ridiculous speaker loads, and don't want separates, this is a good place to start and finish.

http://audioreview.ca/default.aspx?pagename=review&reviewID=7509

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
AVMaster   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 18, 2011]

Great Krell sound at unbeatable price! The first noticeable difference you will find with this amp would be proper reproduction of bass details. Bass is simply tight and fastly detailed. Mids and Highs are also extremely detailed without harshness nor fatique, perfectly warm yet everything is there. Difference is subtle on the Mids and Highs, but Krell bass just fills up the whole sound spectrum which draws the listener to be more involved in depth. I listen to all music from opera (Katherleen Battle) to Electronic (Bonobo, Pendulum) and everything in the middle (Jazz, R&B, Classical, Ambience, Drum & Bass etc) and 400xi plays all of my favorites so smoothly and completely in full. It never sounds offensively hard on your ears at all casually moderate listening levels.

I have gone through a number of raved amps: Macormack DNA125, Proceed AMP2, Musical Fidelity, Krell 100S, Adcom, Nakamichi PA7. I say among all of these amps, my pick was Proceed AMP2 which was very detailed and sweet sounding (two seperate troidal power transformer per channel) at reasonable price, of course until I heard this baby Krell. KSA 100S offered thunderous bass and antique warm sound (Macormack was too warm in this aspect, had to let it go), but it was way too big and bulky (I would have kept it if it was smaller, and newer). Adcom was just too muddy, but powerfull, Nakamichi looked great and sounded very musical (but big size). Above all, this modern interpretation of Krell has the smallest footprint and best design with 100% sturdy aluminum finish (entire case), offering solid bass (evolved bass, it's not the good old thunder Krell, but I wouldnt say less) and full detail without attacking your ears. Also, power is always in reserve (I run Martin Logans, powerful enough to make them cry). You wont be disappointed.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ren9328   AudioPhile [Jul 10, 2009]

This review is based upon the 300iL the twin of the 400xi minus the selector knob. I have also posted a more extensive review under the 300iL link. Do not believe the Krell detractors. These units at the prices that you can get them for are a steal. They absolutely trounce 99% of the other integrateds that I have owned (Naim, Consonance, YBA, Bryston, etc.). It also bests all of the separates that I have been thus far able to afford (McCormack DNA .5, Bryston 2B, PS Audio 4.6 Preamp). I understand that these are not ultra high-end but they destroyed the NAD, Parasound, Rotel, Adcom, and B&K equipment that I have previously owned.

In summary the KAV 300iL is not a taste of the high-end, it is what I truly believe that the high-end is all about.... Pursuit of pure, sweet music.

ENJOY!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
dkzzzz   Casual Listener [Oct 26, 2008]
Strength:

Articulate fast bass.

Weakness:

No sound stage, no midrange ,no ability to to put each instrument in place and space, distorted treble that does not come close to actual instrument .

KAV stands for Krell Audio Video. So no audiophiles need to apply. This space heater sounds like his name implies. Great tight bass and artificial distorted treble that does not come even close to natural sound.
The best way to describe Krell KAV 400 sound would be: It sounds like Bose . There is no meat or middle between happy bass and miserable treble. On complex recordings you would be able to hear soloist and drums orchestra will sound like a moshpit . If you are planning to hook it up to big screen TV and watch Batman movies then it is ok . However no serious music lover should touch this electronic experiment.

Similar Products Used: Musical Fidelity A3 3.2, 3.5, A5, YBA integrated
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
naimfiend   AudioPhile [Sep 03, 2008]
Strength:

Clean and articulate bass
Wide soundstage
Good extension at both ends of freq extreme
Fit and finish

This is the second time I owned this beautiful amp. The first time I sold it because I did not understand what Krell was trying to do with this amp. I bought a 300i instead because it produces more bass. The 400xi is actually a much more refined amp and not as coarse as the 300i. The bass articulation is superb and the damping is very good with little overhang. High frequency extension is very good and produces a very airy sound. Last but not least, the design and finish is awesome.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
bertil   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 20, 2007]
Strength:

Silverfargad

Weakness:

Silverfargad

Jaaaaaaaaa... hjertligt vellkomna ska ni va til Bertil's forsterkaretips!!!
Krellen e en mykcet god forsterkare, men det e kanskje liiitet korta ledningar åt den balanserade inngången.

Similar Products Used: eeh.... jaaaaaaaaaa..... Hitami ock nad
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Bill Bufallo   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 19, 2007]
Strength:

Silverfargad

Weakness:

Mycket langa ledningar åt cd

Jaaaaaa..... hjertlight vellkomna ska' ni va til Bertil's førsterkare-tips.

Krellen e' mycket god, men akta.. den e' avhngighetsskapande, før helvette.

Similar Products Used: Sanyo, Hitami, Volvo Amazon
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Pedro Bico   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 23, 2007]
Strength:

Width and depth of soundtage Incredible detail Musicality Awesome dynamics Build quality

Weakness:

Could be annoying for people, don’t like the controlled sound…

I owned the famous 300i, (not the iL version) for about 4 years, and the last year I decided to change it for a 400xi (a good deal)… In first instance I found the 400i very “thin” compared to the 300i… a lack of impact maybe, you know… But after more hours of listening I noticed something… The 400xi is a step-forward compared to the 300i… Is more detailed and SUPER controlled… The bass is better, better control, and eliminates all boomines, the bass is there (please continue reading)… Is like when you change to a better speaker and amp… the first words that you say is “where did the bass go”… Exactly in this point is where the great 400xi is working on… Is a amp, extremely controlled, he “sucks” all boominess from your speakers…

Put the 300i and 400xi side-to-side, playing the same CD, and we will ear more detailed sound, more transparency and more depth from the 400xi, no doubts here…

The major people test this amp through the unbalanced terminals, connect this baby to a full balanced CD, and you will see, what this baby will give to you... You will discover a new amp, the truth about this amp is using the balanced topology.

I was in shock after connecting my cd player through the balanced inputs… Ohh my god!!, the 400xi show me the muscle that he have…

I realize 400xi is not for everyone, if you prefer the sound with more bass presence but less controlled go with the 300i, but the 400xi with the right speakers and associated equipment they can be simply amazing! Believe me. It is that good. I can't say that I will not "upgrade" in the future, but I can say that this amp is special and an oustanding value.

Similar Products Used: ML 383
MF 308
Bryston
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
sprbggr   AudioPhile [Aug 25, 2006]
Strength:

Price, what amp can perform like this at this price.
Mids and highs very good. Also dynamic and good controlled bass.

Weakness:

If you realy want to play very loud for long periods on speakers like B&w N800 then do not get this amp. The cooling is not enough then and it will heat up to much. But I never had a problem that it ran very hot.

Well the previous reviewer obviously has no idea what he is talking about. I have owned almost all amps from Krell, Mark Levinson and many other brands. I can basically buy any amp I want and do not care about the price but only about the performance. If you can not get this amp sounding good there is a mismatch with the rest of your components. The previous reviewer is however right about the Krell amps that they all have a similarity in the sound, which is a very detailed and controlled sound which is different from most amps.

I use the FPB700CX in my first system which is a world class amp. But I needed a cheaper and smaller system for my apartment in Belgium. I listened to the Krell KAV-400XI and was sold. This is a really fantastic amp. The highs and the mids are very clean. Also the bass is very controlled. But of course it is not an FPB amp. However like one of the previous reviewers said, it reaches 80% of the performance of the bigger systems. But this is true for all high end (not only hifi). Once you reach a very good level like this amp and you want better you have to pay 5-10 times more to get significant difference. But every time I connect this amp in my main system I wonder why I spent 10 times more for the other amps (Krell KCT + FPB700CX).

I owned the 500i and 300i also before and this one has a more balanced sound. The mids are very liquid like the new FPBCX amps. Everything is very detailed and the sound is very smooth. No harshness if matched with the right components and cables. However since the Krell sound is so clear and open it will show every mistake in the setup. Krell busters normally have something wrong in their setup and this amp is unforgiving to wrong matched components. If you use it together with the Krell KAV-280CD or SACD standard and use Transparent or MIT cables the sound is very liquid and balanced.

The KAV300IL which I also own is exactly the same amp but with buttons for the volume. If you want to buy second had you might as well buy the cheaper KAV300IL.

The amp is capable of driving most speakers without any problem. Since I drive it with Wilson Cub the match is perfect and I have more than enough power.

This amp does also have the good Krell sound like good dynamics, open, air, good voices, speed. Play Patricia Barber - Cafe Blue, song number 10 and most amps make a muddy contrabass. Not the Krell. Averything is well under control.

Peter

Customer Service

Very good. You can always ask the distributor or shop for questions. Also you can contact Krell directly and they will help you and give you an honest answer.
Krell is a company which is driven by truly hifi enthousiasts and they do care about the sound, unlike some other companies.

Similar Products Used: Almost all Krell producs, almost all Mark Levinson products, Wilson Audio, B&W
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rjack   AudioPhile [Jul 29, 2006]
Strength:

Clear, quality construction; I guess you can resell it and get half of your money back.

Weakness:

Well, I think I wrote about it on my summary review, but to summarize, it has a very FATIGUING sound, HARD to listen to for LONG PERIODS of time. It is NERVE WRECKING.

I have been listening this integrated amp for a couple of months and I'm not very impressed of it. I was looking for a second system for my bedroom for casual listening. I heard it before at a friend's house and it sounded good, clean, clear but I did not listen it for a long time. After owning it for a few months I'm ready to put it on sale just like a whole bunch of other people selling their Krells in Audiogon. I guess most people get to listen to them at the store and get impressed by their HI-FI sound. Maybe it sounds clean but after a while it just WEARS YOU OUT! It is hard to listen to their amps for a long time. It must be that their use of transistors which are famous for ODD harmonics distortions is causing a very FATIGUING and UNINVOLVING sound. I guess that is what audio reviewers call it CLINICAL? After a while I feel worn out and nervous. I think most people buy them because High End magazines rave them. Do they actually own them or listen to them for enjoyment? or maybe they use them as a REFERENCE to compare other equipment? but after testing them they just go back to their own amps that they can listen for enjoyment. Krells are famous for their bass slam sound, but this integrated does not have too much of it. If you can listen to KRELL amps for a LONG time, I congratulate you, you are able to handle their very hard, nerve wrecking sound. I've heard other bigger Krell amps; some of them of course sound bigger and more powerful, but they all have the same signature. This is the first and last time I ever buy a KRELL. I own other brands, but they are not that bad.

Similar Products Used: McIntosh Solid and Tubes, Audio Research, Cary, SONY SCD-777ES, Rega Apollo, CREEK.
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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