Krell, better known for their amplifier and preamplifier designs, have been building loudspeakers for many years now to varying degrees of success. Previous designs like Krell's LAT series of loudspeakers were a hit in the press, garnering many favorable reviews for not only their sonics but their looks as well. Another Krell loudspeaker offering, the Resolution series seemed to garner mixed reviews. Personally I always preferred the LAT series myself, though for the price I'm not sure they would be my go-to pick. That being said Krell has two new loudspeakers on the market, the Modulari Primo reviewed here and the Modulari Duo. Regardless of which speaker you choose be it the Modulari Primo monitor or the floor standing Duo these new speakers from Krell take no prisoners.
The Modulari Primo is a two-way monitor loudspeaker retailing for $20,000 a pair. The Modulari Primo is the most solid speaker I've ever encountered thanks to its three quarter inch all aluminum enclosure. A rap of the knuckles is met with the deadest thud one can imagine, not to mention throbbing knuckles. The Modulari Primo can be had in either silver or black and have a sort of guitar string like grill which do little to cover the drivers or protect them. Stands are sold separately, though the Modulari Primo can be placed on a shelf or in an entertainment center, just be sure your furniture is strong enough to handle each speaker's weight, which is a hefty 85 pounds per speaker. The solid enclosure houses a single one-inch ScanSpeak sourced ring tweeter mated to a single ScanSpeak sourced seven-inch aluminum mid-bass driver. The Modulari Primo can play surprisingly deep, deeper than its reported bass response of 48Hz would have you believe. The Modulari Primo is also relatively easy to drive with a sensitivity rating of 89dB into a nominal four Ohm load, though lets be honest, customers capable of purchasing a $20,000 pair of monitor speakers are not going to be connecting them to home theater receivers or the like. While the Modulari Primos can be driven by most anything, they still prefer the finer things in life; think a Krell integrated amplifier or even Krell separates.
So how do the Modulari Primos sound? The Modulari Primo sound unlike any monitor loudspeaker I've heard. They are so fast, so pure, so effortlessly musical and enjoyable they don't sound like a speaker at all. At no point during my audition did it feel like I was listening to a pair of drivers being powered by a stack of capacitors and circuit boards, instead the Modulari Primo proved to be transparent allowing the music and the artists to do the talking-ahem-singing. The midrange was supple and oh so sweet while not being syrupy or overly warm, which is more than I can say for a lot of other speakers. The treble performance was airy and nimble with incredible speed, dynamics and detail. As for the bass, the Modulari Primo play lower, with more authority than any monitor speaker has a right to. I've heard floor-standing loudspeakers with less impact and heft than the Modulari Primo. In terms of dynamics and soundstage, the Modulari Primo has no rival as far as I'm concerned. They image better than any bookshelf or monitor speaker I've encountered and can start and stop like no other, oh and they can handle insane amounts of power and energize a room without breaking a sweat.
Read about the high points and the low points of the Modulari Primo on Page 2.