|Krell KCT Stereo Preamplifier|
|Home Theater Preamplifiers Stereo Preamps|
|Written by Augie Bettencourt|
|Thursday, 01 January 2004|
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At $8,500, the Krell KCT is simply priced out of reach of most people. However, in the world of excess, it is nowhere near the most expensive preamp on the market. It can be compared directly to the likes of the Mark Levinson No. 32 at going on twice its price. As the marketplace is clearly moving towards multi-channel entertainment, a consumer has to consider the alternative of purchasing Krell’s surround preamp, as it has much greater flexibility and product longevity. However, there is no mistaking the quality of this two-channel preamp when listening to stereo music recordings. Also Krell has allowed for a “theater throughput” feature that lets the user set unity gain for any input on the preamp. This allows you to synchronize a surround processor with such a no-compromised stereo preamp.
Although the remote control is a serious chunk of metal, it’s not backlit and cannot learn commands from other remotes.
If you’re looking for a soft, romantic sound, this preamplifier isn’t for you. It’s not bright by any means, it’s just very revealing and does what a good preamp should do – it gets out of the way and lets the music be heard transparently and neutrally, more so than any other preamplifier I’ve heard.
Krell built its reputation with big, powerful amplifiers with massive amounts of power reserves, tremendous transient response and bulletproof build quality, but one of their best-kept secrets is the Krell KCT preamplifier. As the result of the development of Krell’s best amplifier, the Master Reference Amplifier, the Krell KCT preamplifier defines the term “reference-quality.” Not only is it full-featured and easy to set up, the Krell CAST system also provides significant improvements in all performance areas, including dynamic range, transient impact, width and depth of soundstage and improved tonal quality. At $8,500, reference quality doesn’t come cheap, but believe it or not, the Krell KCT is equally priced or cheaper than other preamplifiers of its caliber.
Whether listening to the rocking sound of Sting or the soulful sound of Barry White, the Krell KCT preamplifier delivered some of the most open, effortless, musically honest sound my system has produced.
With insanely over-engineered build quality, a full-featured, state-of-the-art industrial design and functionality, the Krell KCT is a solid buy and a welcome addition to any over-the-top stereo music system.