Krell Readies Second Of Four New Components

By Joseph Palenchar On Jul 16 2012 - 4:01am




ORANGE, CONN. – A new stereo preamp that Krell is shipping this month is the second of four audio components that the company is launching in 2012.

The stereo preamp is the Phantom III, which is the company’s first stereo preamp with digital inputs when an optional input module is added. The preamp, which is also the company’s first stereo preamp with headphone output, retails for a suggested $5,500 without the digital-input module and $7,000 with the module.

The input module enables Internet streaming devices, PCs and other digital sources to take advantage of the preamp’s better DACs, said Bill McKiegan, president.

The company’s first product of the year was a new SACD player. The third new product will be a 2x275- watt integrated amp, which is targeted to ship in August to join a 2x150-watt model.

The fourth product, a preamp surround processor at a suggested $5,000, will bring the company into a price point that it hasn’t offered in surround processors in five or six years, McKiegan said. It’s targeted to ship in November and will join a current $10,000 model.

The newest Krell component, which ships this month, is the Phantom III stereo preamp, whose optional module adds AES/EBU, coaxial, and optical digital inputs. The Phantom III’s design philosophy is the same as the flagship Phantom preamplifier, including dual monaural design in which the left and right channel gets its own power supply and circuit boards, the company said. It likewise features no-negative-feedback design.

The preamp’s headphone circuitry is identical to the main circuitry to provide the same performance for speaker playback and for private listening, the company said.

The Phantom III is available in Krell’s diamond- cut silver or a black finish.

The next new product, targeted for August shipment, is the S-550i integrated amp, a 2x275-watt $5,500-suggested model that will join the 2x150-watt $2,500 S-300i integrated amp. Like the previous model, it connects to an iPod/ iPhone dock.

At September’s CEDIA Expo, Krell will show its fourth product of the year, a new preamp surround processor that will be the company’s first component with Internet radio streaming and ability to be controlled from an iPhone or iPad.

The $5,000 processor, called the Foundation, is targeted to ship in November and will return the company to a preamp/processor price point that the company hasn’t offered in five to six years, McKiegan said.

Among other things, the processor will feature Ethernet port for networking, 10 HDMI 1.4a inputs and two 1.4a outputs. The device uses vTuner software to access thousands of Internet radio stations.

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