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Krell Taps Into HD Video Sources

Krell Industries is acknowledging the potential of the HD DVD and Blu-ray disc formats with a new preamp/surround processor and a planned upgrade for another preamp/processor.

The $25,000 Evolution 707, due in the fourth quarter with all-aluminum chassis, is the company’s first preamp/surround processor with internal decoding of all HD DVD and Blu-ray surround formats, including Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD Master Audio and DTS HD High Resolution Audio. The 707 features HDMI 1.3 input to accept the surround formats in native form, and it incorporates two 1080p video up-scalers for two-zone use. The 707 is Krell’s highest priced preamp/surround processor, and the company’s first with 1080p video scaling, said assistant sales and marketing VP Jim Ludoviconi.

Also in the fourth quarter, the currently available $6,500 S-1000 pre/pro will get an upgrade to add HDMI 1.3 inputs and internal decoding of all HD DVD and Blu-ray surround formats at a cost of about $1,500. The 7.1-channel processor currently offers Dolby Digital EX and DTS ES decoding and 4×1 HDMI switching.

The 8.4-channel 707 features two center-channel outputs, four subwoofer outputs and nine proprietary Krell Music Surround modes. It’s Krell’s first preamp/surround processor with Current Audio Signal Transfer (CAST) outputs. CAST is a proprietary way to send audio signals between components in the current domain to eliminate cable-induced distortion and lower the noise floor to its theoretical minimum, the company said.

The 707’s video circuitry bandwidth is greater than 350 MHz for HD sources, up-scales any SD or HD video source to 1920 by 1080p at 60Hz, features Faroudja DCDi Cinema (Directional Correlational Deinterlacing) to eliminate staircasing or jagged edge artifacts and up-converts composite video to HDMI.

Other new products include an iPod dock, its second and most powerful fully balanced integrated stereo amp and a modular speaker system called Modulari Duo.

The KID (Krell iPod Dock), is targeted to retail for about $1,200, said Ludoviconi. Instead of using tubes to generate superior sound quality, the dock taps the differential output of the iPod’s DAC. The KID’s line stage is balanced, and KID’s outputs are balanced, he explained.

The $16,500 integrated amp, the FBI (fully balanced integrated), delivers 2×300 watts into 8 ohms, 2×600 watts into 4 ohms and 2×1,200 watts into 2 ohms. The CAST-equipped device just shipped.

The Modulari Duo speakers at $35,000 per pair consist of a two-way freestanding speaker, which can be purchased alone at $14,000-$15,000/pair, and a floorstanding three-driver woofer cabinet, which can be mated with the two-way speaker. The two-way enclosure houses the system’s high-current crossover network. By itself, the two-way pair runs flat to 45Hz, and the bass box’s 3dB-rolloff point is 26Hz. System impedance is 3 ohms. They ship in August in limited quantities.