McIntosh is one of the most dependable brand names when it comes to high-end audio systems. For years the brand has been recognized by audiophiles throughout the world as equipment that delivers clear and consistent quality in music. McIntosh is probably best known for its amplifiers and preamps, but the company produces many other components and parts for stereo and home theatre.
What are the specs for the Krell KAV 250a?
- Power output:
- 250 watts per channel into 8Ω (stereo), 1000 watts into 8Ω (mono)
- Frequency response:
- 0.4Hz to 170kHz
- Total harmonic distortion:
- 26.4 dB
- Input sensitivity:
- Signal to noise ratio:
- Speaker load impedance:
- 4Ω (minimum)
- 483 x 160 x 389mm
What else to know about the Krell KAV 250a?
"I used these amplifiers extensively over several weeks and tried them in several configurations. Since I received the two-channel amp first, I hooked it up in my high-end music system. The speakers I use most frequently are a pair of Quad Electrostatics. On paper, using these with the Krell looks a bit like a marriage between Kate Moss and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Quads are famous for their purity and transparency, yet they lack punch at the bottom end and can only go moderately loud before they self-destruct. On the other hand, the Krell's traditional strengths are power, dynamics, and true disdain for anything wimpy. Yet the combination worked surprisingly well—the amp was remarkably transparent, and it was able to coax a more-powerful bottom end and better dynamics from the delicate Quads without causing distress.
I also used the KAV-250a with the Snell Type As that form the left and right main speakers of my home theater, and this is where things really came to life. The Snell is a refrigerator-sized speaker capable of prodigious output and extended bass, and the Krell was able to really get a grip on it to generate waves of rock-solid bass with window-shattering dynamics. Authoritative was the word that kept coming to mind. I was amazed at how clean and pure the amp sounded—no trace of transistor hash here, and images were very well focused and positioned in space. I've heard some tube amps that have a touch more spaciousness and a richer sense of harmonics, but I'm sure Krell would argue that phase errors were responsible for the false sense of space and that excessive even-order harmonic distortion was responsible for the richness. They would argue that their amp is the more-accurate device.
Using both amps in combination for home theater really displayed the superiority of these products. Because they're so smooth, clean, and powerful, they're able to sail through extraordinarily difficult material without becoming raucous or difficult to listen to. Try chapter 32 of The Matrix, where the helicopter crashes into the building. The surround effects are breathtaking when using the Krells, and the music manages to remain clear and full in the face of severe competition from the sound effects. I also found that I was able to get tighter and faster LFE sounds by turning off the subwoofer and folding the bass into the main speakers.
At $7,500 for both amps, this package is undeniably expensive, yet it's one of Krell's most affordable setups. You expect excellence from Krell, but I was impressed that it can be found even in their more-affordable products. If you can swing the entry fee, this system will give you some of the best home theater performance available without compromising your two-channel stereo listening, which is truly a blessing for those dedicated to the so-called marriage of audio and video." - Sound & Vision, Trei
Brief History of McIntosh
Long mapped-to Binghamton New York – the current headquarters and manufacturing center for Krell Labs – not many people know the brand was originally launched outside of the Nation’s Capital in Silver Spring Maryland, in 1949. In 1956, the brand built their original facility in New York, according to the official brand website.
StereoBuyers has purchased tens of thousands worth Krell brand equipment since 2014, with individual buys ranging from $100 to well over $50,000. If you are moving, ready to upgrade, or have Krell equipment you do not or will not be using, why not contact us today to find out if it is worth good money?
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The following images show actual Krell equipment purchased by StereoBuyers.