|Krell Home Theater Standard 7.1 AV Preamplifier|
|Home Theater Preamplifiers AV Preamps|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Saturday, 01 June 2002|
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As great as the Home Theater Standard 7.1 is, it is not perfect. Strangely, my qualms with the HTS 7.1 are not with the sonic or video performance, or even the unit's reliability. In fact, I expected the HTS 7.1 to be more quirky that it was. I found it solid; it never required rebooting. I never needed to download fixes or software patches, which is often a necessity with Krell and other high-priced AV preamps.
One of my knocks on the HTS 7.1 is the remote, which is a thin, wafer-styled controller with membrane bubbles for buttons, which I feel is sub-par for an $8,000 AV preamp. The buttons are identical in size and feel, with no backlighting, which makes its use in the dark a bit difficult at times. Thankfully, the volume buttons are not too hard to find, and you should not need too much more during movie viewing, but if you do, you will need to turn on the lights. At $8,000, it is wrong for Krell to assume that all of their users will have Crestron and or AMX remotes and their remote just doesn’t get the job done. At a minimum, you should invest in a Philips Pronto to control your system if you get the HTS 7.1.
I may be one of the few remaining Laserdisc owners, but being near the top of the price class, I would have liked to seen a RF demodulator included, or at least available as an option. I would have also liked to see more physical connectors on the back. While the Krell has quite a few options for many systems, a feature on some processors that I enjoy is the ability to connect both composite and s-video for each source. Absent a processor/switcher’s ability to transcode signals, this can help ease connectivity and switching concerns, but of course it would also have raised the price a pretty penny.
The sound quality of the HTS 7.1 is of the highest caliber, and like most Krell components, the sound is present, high intensity and exciting. The modular construction of the HTS 7.1 and flash memory enable Krell to provide updates well into the foreseeable future. This is important with such an expensive piece of equipment and helps justify the investment.
The overall performance and stability of this unit is better than I expected, making it the best processor I have had the pleasure of having in my system for review. I would not hesitate to use this as the centerpiece of either my reference stereo or theater system. Is the Home Theater Standard 7.1 worth the big bucks? I’d say an enthusiastic yes!