Krell KAV-400xi Integrated Amplifier Reviewed

By |

Page 1 Page 2

krell-400xi.jpgKrell is well known for making what many consider to be among the finest amplifiers in the world.  Krell has, for several years, been making two lines of products, the comparatively large and expensive standard line and the relatively new KAV series, which is lower-priced. The KAV line contains the first units that embodies Krell's new aesthetically pleasing design, which moves away from the heavy slab designs of the past. The KAV-400xi is the latest integrated amplifier in the KAV line, replacing the KAV-300iL.

Read this review of the Krell FBI top-of-the-line Integrated amp.

At $2,500, the KAV-400xi is not an inexpensive piece, yet it offers great audiophile value. Your money buys you 200 watts per channel of real Krell amplification. This means a low negative feedback design, fully balanced signal path and pure class-A circuitry up to the driver stage. In addition to this, you also get a full-featured line-level preamplifier.  The preamplifier will even let you configure one of the inputs to a Theater Throughput mode, which bypasses the internal volume and balance control, so that the KAV-400xi can be used to drive the front pair of speakers in a home theater system.

The entire chassis is machined out of thick aluminum panels and built like a tank. The panels feature a brushed anodized finish, with the corners made out of separate pieces of highly polished and rounded metal. The front panel features, from left to right, a power button with an indicator light that glows the familiar Krell blue when on and red when in standby, four source selector buttons, tape, mute, an LED display for volume and balance and, finally, a knob for volume control.

The rear panel features a detachable power cord, four single-ended inputs (one marked tape), one balanced input, tape and pre-amp single-ended outputs, five-way binding posts, an RC-5 input and a 12-volt trigger input and output.

The 400xi, like its predecessor, comes with a thin, credit card-sized remote. The buttons are slightly raised and made out of some sort of plastic membrane material. I personally don't mind the remote's design, as it fits with the 400xi's contemporary aesthetic, but I have heard complaints about it. Admittedly, this design does not work well in darkened rooms, as it is not backlit and the buttons are hard to distinguish by feel alone.

The performance capabilities of the KAV-400xi are extremely good. Despite its small form factor, roughly 17 inches square and less than four inches high, it packs a wallop. The amplifier never ran out of steam or lost control. Sound quality was neutral and refined, without the glare and grain that plague so many solid state designs. This is an integrated amplifier that offers true audiophile performance.



  • Comment on this article

Post a Comment
comments powered by Disqus

HTR Product Rating for Krell KAV-400xi Integrated Amplifier

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

4

Overall

4

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


Latest Amplifier Reviews

Nov 05
Parasound JC 5 Stereo Amplifier Reviewed Myron Ho says that the Parasound JC5, like its big brother the original JC 1 is a stunning performer with great musicality and none of the sterility of more analytical amps.
Parasound JC 5 Stereo Amplifier Reviewed

Oct 31
Krell Theater 7 Seven Channel Amplifier Reviewed Looking for a great home theater amp that also delivers pure Class A performance up to 100 watts per channel? Myron Ho says the Krell Theater 7 sets a new standard at this price point.
Krell Theater 7 Seven Channel Amplifier Reviewed

Oct 24
Digital Amplifier Company MEGAschino Power Amplifier Reviewed If you're looking for an amp with a very distinctive sound, keep on looking. The Digital Amplifier Company's MEGAschino delivers music straight, no chaser.
Digital Amplifier Company MEGAschino Power Amplifier Reviewed

Aug 29
Aric Audio Transcend Push-Pull Tube Amplifier Reviewed Aric Audio has managed to combine the smooth, natural timbres of SET designs with the oomph you only get from a push-pull design.
Aric Audio Transcend Push-Pull Tube Amplifier Reviewed

Jul 23
Micromega M-150 Integrated Amplifier Reviewed How on earth Micromega managed to cram 2x 150 watts of Class AB amplification and dual power supplies into this slim little integrated amp is beyond us, but it sounds as delicious as it looks.
Micromega M-150 Integrated Amplifier Reviewed