|Krell Resolution 2 Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Thomas Garcia|
|Wednesday, 01 December 2004|
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Krell Industries, Inc. has been a mainstay in the high-end audio marketplace for over 25 years, originally gaining a reputation for designing and manufacturing accurate, high resolution two-channel preamplifiers and authoritative yet musical stereo power amplifiers. With the onslaught of digital music software, multi-channel music and surround-sound movie recordings, Krell successfully expanded into other electronics, such as DVD and CD players, Home Theater preamplifiers/processors and multi-channel amplifiers. In 2001, Krell crossed the threshold into designing and producing reference loudspeakers. Their first effort, the Lossless Acoustic Transducer (LAT) Series, was a full-on design and engineering assault, utilizing all aluminum enclosures, a complement of state-of-the-art drivers and sophisticated crossover networks. Originating with the no-holds-barred, $37,500 per pair LAT-1s, Krell forged on to create an equally impressive center channel, matching surrounds and a behemoth subwoofer, all adhering to the same exacting standards of the LAT-1s. Like other manufacturers in the field, Krell applied a trickle-down philosophy from their flagship line, utilizing similar technology and design criteria to create the Resolution Series. Resolution products offer a more affordable, real-world application, with many of the performance attributes of their much more expensive siblings. Situated near the top of this line is the three-way, floor-standing Resolution 2 full-range loudspeaker. Priced at $8,000 per pair, the Resolution 2s can be employed in a conventional two-channel configuration, or augmented with other Resolution Series speakers to assemble a multi-channel system.
The Resolution 2 is a floor-standing loudspeaker featuring one one-inch dual-concentric-ring tweeter with an integral waveguide (for enhanced high-frequency dispersion), one custom-designed six-and-a-half-inch midrange and dual eight-inch woofers. Separate one-eighth-inch epoxy glass circuit boards are optimized for impedance and resistance relative to each section of the three-way crossover (tweeter, midrange, woofer), with design rudiments of the LAT Series incorporated into it. The tweeter is positioned above the woofer but below the midrange driver, which is less conventional than most speakers, yet considered more desirable by many designers based on the driver’s interaction with the front baffle and the relative height of the tweeter to the listener. Dual ports augment the low-end response, with one near the top and the other approximately centered on of the rear cabinet face.
The Resolution 2s are a true exercise in craftsmanship, making an impressive aesthetic statement, which is accentuated by their impeccably finished woodwork, as one would expect from a Krell product. Although physically imposing at 140 pounds, with a height of 48 inches by 11.6 inches wide and 19.7 inches deep, the overall scale is minimized partly due to the curved cabinet corners and unique grille assembly. The rounded contour presents an attractive, relatively gentle, soft face to the listener while reducing diffraction. Enclosures for the Resolution 2s consist of one-inch thick medium density fiberboard (MDF), with the exception of the stout, two-inch-thick MDF front baffle. Additionally, asymmetrical internal bracing adds to the loudspeaker’s rigidity while minimizing any additional resonances from the cabinet. The cherry finish on the review samples was flawless, as noted by many who listened to the loudspeakers and were familiar with fine woodworking. Furthermore, the stretched rubber stranded grille cover added an element of elegance to the overall appearance.
Room set-up for the Resolution 2s was relatively straightforward. After voicing the Krells to my room, the best performance was achieved by placing the loudspeakers approximately eight feet apart, three feet out from the back wall and four feet from the side walls. I achieved the flattest frequency response and best system imaging with the speakers directly on-axis to the main listening area. During the evaluation, the main listening position was varied from eight feet to 12 feet from the face of the speakers, with a sweet spot just slightly over the eight-foot mark. With a nominal impedance of four ohms, the Resolution 2s should be able to be driven by any reasonably designed amplifier. Krell recommends 125 watts per channel, though greater performance will be realized by doubling this suggestion. Throughout most of this review, I utilized Krell’s two-channel KAV 280p Remote Controlled Line Preamplifier and KAV 2250 250 watts per channel (500 watts per channel into four ohms) stereo power amplifier, while employing a variety of source components. Additional, lower powered amplifiers were also used during this evaluation, with somewhat reduced performance. Extremely functional, high-quality WBT binding posts graced the Resolution 2, facilitating easy attachment of a variety of speaker cable terminations. For those so inclined, dual connections allow bi-amping or bi-wiring of the Resolution 2s by removing the substantial jumper strips provided with the loudspeaker.