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

Jun 26
Benchmark HPA4 Headphone Amplifier and Analog Preamplifier Review I have, in past articles, expressed the point of view that in a nearfield system with short cable runs, a...
Benchmark HPA4 Headphone Amplifier and Analog Preamplifier Review

May 01
Audio Hungary Qualiton A50i Integrated Amplifier Integrated amplifiers are a great way to set up a high performing two-channel music system, often achieving most if not...
Audio Hungary Qualiton A50i Integrated Amplifier

Apr 15
Bricasti Design Professional Series M15 Amplifier Over the past few years of attending AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) in Chicago, I've found many of the rooms...
Bricasti Design Professional Series M15 Amplifier

Feb 12
Bluewave Get Wireless Headphone Amplifier-DAC I came across a unique component that caught my attention at the recent Los Angeles CanJam show. In a little...
Bluewave Get Wireless Headphone Amplifier-DAC

Feb 06
Bandwidth Audio 288 Monaural Power Amplifier Reviewed One of my favorite things about my job is discovering up and coming talent in the specialty AV industry. While...
Bandwidth Audio 288 Monaural Power Amplifier Reviewed