This review first appeared in the July issue of hi-end hifi magazine High Fidelity of Poland. You can also read this review of the Krell Si in its original . All: Any critiques or recommendations for the Krell Si Integrated? The thing apparently weighs a ton and delivers: Watts into 8 ohm The very first thing that impressed me about this ‘first from China’ Krell (origin unambiguously printed on the rear panel), was the sheer mass of the packed unit .
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It’s very easy to be impressed by a product like the Si. It starts off with having the Krell name.
Krell is arguably the king of high-end solid state amplification and has been there for a number of decades. Few of this integrated’s rivals have that kind of pedigree or historical performance. Next comes weight and solidity of build. The Si feels as solid as a brick and weighs as much as a pallet load of the things — OK, it weighs 20kg, which is mighty hefty for an amplifier of this price.
It’s human nature to equate quality with weight and most people will be impressed. Lastly, it really is a powerhouse. Take a look at the specs and you’ll notice it outputs watts into an 8 ohm speaker load. That’s a decent output for a product of this type, but nothing particularly special.
The special bit comes into play when you see that power output doubles to watts per channel as the load impedance drops. Technically, that is ideal amplifier behaviour and strongly suggests a highly specified power supply and a very robust output stage.
Rare control over speakers In use it means this amp will drive just about any price-compatible speaker properly.
This type of control over speakers is rare at any price, let alone at what is considered the starting point of high-end amplification. So the Si has scored a boatload of points before it’s even connected to a system. Let it warm up for the best part of a week from new, and two qualities take pride of place.
First of all, that power figure seems too modest.
This chunky integrated has enough grunt to rival our watt per channel reference power amplifier, and it is terrifically composed with it. No rival we’ve heard can deliver demanding bass-dominated tunes such as Kanye West’s Love Lock Down with such grip and control at floor-shaking volumes. Krlel hardening at high volumes Pleasingly, the amplifier doesn’t harden up or get aggressive when pushed really hard, so party levels are well and truly on the menu.
That’s not usually the case at this price level, where many of the Krell’s closest rivals krell sound pressure levels for some other sonic quality.
It’s worth noting that when pushed hard the Krell does get rather warm, so make sure it’s well ventilated. You’ll need a large shelf, too, as the amplifier is far deeper than the norm. We think the stereo imaging will please, too. The Si creates a massive krekl stage and populates it with jrell instruments and vocals. It’s stable and doesn’t collapse when huge dynamic swings come into play. If you’re a fan of large-scale, bombastic classical music such as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring or Holst’s Mars we think there’s much to like here.
You can add top-class speed and good clarity to the list of plus points, too.
TESTED: Krell Si Integrated Amplifier | The Absolute Sound
So far so good, and you should be in no doubt that the Si is a capable amplifier well worthy of consideration. Presentation lacks body and warmth However, we’re not totally convinced. The presentation from the midrange upwards lacks body, projection and natural warmth.
This means Jill Scott’s lush vocals on Golden don’t communicate as they should, with too much of her passion being traded for a mechanical feel. High frequencies are a little thin and brittle too, emphasising the sibilance in recordings. These shortcomings have more impact on intimate vocal-based material than they do large classical or hard-charging rock.
TESTED: Krell S-300i Integrated Amplifier
More so than most rivals, your musical taste will decide whether this Krell appeals or not. Features are an odd mix of the impressive iPod connection and control via a supplied leadthe expected a preamp output kell remote and the odd there’s no tape loop. While the solid build pleases, the quality of finish isn’t particularly good for the price: That said, at least the remote is a chunky all-metal affair krwll feels like quality and has basic iPod control keys.
Not consistent enough to recommend We thought long and hard about the Si’s star rating: We’ve decided to give it three stars, because we think an amp at this elevated price has to be a better musical all-rounder to gain a recommendation, particularly when its rivals include Plinius’ excellent and Moon’s highly capable i3.
Krell has made some great integrated amps — this isn’t one of them. For Massively powerful seemingly beyond the claimed figures impressive bass control and punch expansive and focussed imaging.
Against Not the most natural sounding of performers needs to be matched with care.
Physical Characteristics Width Interfaces-Ports iPod Supported Yes.