|Krell KID and Papa Dock Amplifier|
|Home Theater Media Servers Music Servers|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Monday, 01 September 2008|
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While I think the Krell KID and Papa Dock combo is sheer magic, there are a few design flaws that I have to point out. For starters, while the KID can be used in a variety of systems, it sounds best when mated to its daddy. However, the Papa dock cannot be used with any other product, Krell or otherwise, which is something of a shame. Again, the dynamic duo is superb together, but I would love to know how the Papa Dock sounds with other gear, for it’s a phenomenal amplifier.
Second, I love the combo of the KID and Papa Dock so much that I don’t want to break them up, but that doesn’t leave much room for other components like a CD player. I can only imagine how untouchable the combo would be if it offered a few audio inputs as well, for the KID seems to have the chops to be a decent enough preamp.
Lastly, there’s the remote. I always seem to harp on remotes, but let’s face it, most of them are truly awful. That said, Krell could’ve used the KID as an opportunity to design and implement a remote that played more to the iPod’s design and interface then a leftover from their KAV-integrated amp.
For $4,000 ($1,500 for the KID and $2,500 for the Papa Dock) retail, the KID and Papa Dock combo from Krell will change the way you look at and listen to your iPod forever. In fact, it may change how you look at digital downloads on the whole. While 128kbps downloads are wildly unacceptable and should be upped to a more robust bit rate immediately, I applaud Krell for attacking the problem head-on, not only attacking crappy downloads but making lemonade from their face-puckering sound.
What I found most amazing about the KID and Papa dock combo wasn’t its sound, but just how much I loved coming home and listening to it, for it was so simple. It auto-powers on when an iPod is present and you’re one button away from musical nirvana. Seriously, it’s a good minute to five (depending on the system in my house) before music starts to flow out of the speakers. Not only did I have a good portion of my music always at my fingertips, but the simplicity of my two-channel system was unparalleled with the Krell combo. I’ve become so smitten that I have not yet brought myself to reconnect my reference two-channel rig and I’m not entirely convinced that I ever will. I really, truly love the Krell KID and Papa Dock.