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 300i?
- Solid-state, remote-controlled, stereo integrated amplifier with five line-level inputs including one tape loop.
- Power output:
- 150Wpc into 8 ohms (21.8dBW), 300Wpc into 4 ohms (21.8dBW).
- less than 0.06%, midband, rising to 0.3% at 20kHz.
- Input impedance:
- 210k ohms.
- Input overload:
- 9V RMS.
- Maximum voltage gain:
- Input sensitivity:
- 55mV unbalanced, 28mV balanced, for full power, volume control maximum.
- Output impedance:
- 0.16 ohms.
- Power consumption at idle/standby:
- 19" W by 15.5" D by 3.7" H.
What else to know about the Krell KAV 300i?
"The KAV-300i delivered a very well-balanced sound, with no obvious errors of tone or timbre. The Krell's midrange sounded quite rich, and if not quite to the best tube standard, it didn't glare or shout even when operated flat-out. Overall, the midrange was relatively clear, low in grain, and fine-textured. It's not as liquid or as transparent as a Conrad-Johnson Premier 8, an Audio Research VT150, or a Krell KAS-2, but then, very little is! (Spend a little more on your system's cables and some of this difference can be made up.)
The soundstage had fine depth with surprisingly good transparency. The natural timbre and equally natural-sounding, well-layered perspectives were as convincing on classical music as they were on rock material. Focus was very good, stable over the entire dynamic range, and was allied to good image width. Reproduction of low-level detail and ambience were fine.
Like the mid, the KAV-300i's treble was neutral and self-effacing, with little grain evident. It sounded unforced, with clean vocal sibilants, while cymbals were rendered both open and unexaggerated.
In the bass, the little Krell went satisfactorily deep with fine control and above-average slam. While the all-or-nothing low-frequency grip of a big KSA wasn't present, the bass was entertaining—punchy, fast and articulate. Although it did sound slightly soft—though not tending to boominess—the amplifier's bass timed well. It was nicely rhythmic with a foot-tapping beat. Here, the littlest Krell amplifier may just have the measure of its bigger brothers.
While the '300i could kick the Wilson WATT/Puppy System 5 around pretty well, this speaker really needs to be driven by bigger amplifiers like the KSA-300S or, better, Krell's delightful KAS-2. However, you could have real fun with the '300i driving Wilson WITTs. Genuinely high sound levels were possible—the KAV-300i with the WITTs gave a performance which, in context, sounded surprisingly close to a KSA-200S partnering the System 5, a combination costing more than twice as much.
Dynamics were well-rendered and, in conjunction with the good rhythm and timing, gave good listener involvement. Aural fatigue was low even after prolonged listening sessions. Many times I forgot completely that my costly high-end amplification was out of the circuit! In fact, later on, when the review system was in a state of flux, it proved convenient and acceptable to throw in the '300i, so well did it perform in more expensive company.
I feel that Krell has a winner in the KAV-300i. At $2350, it may be designed to be cost-effective, but it's a Krell thoroughbred, nonetheless, able to punch way above its weight. Not least, there is its ability on music signal to dump well over 200W per channel into an 8 ohm speaker and 300W into "kinder" 4 ohm speakers.
The versatile input facilities, the satisfactorily high-resolution volume control, and the fine infra-red remote command system are all definite pluses. Remember also the preamp output terminals—if the '300i is a good-sounding integrated amplifier it must also be a pretty good-sounding preamplifier!
All in all, the Krell KAV-300i offers very good dollar value and is a seriously good amplifier into the bargain. For me, it is a likely Class B contender, knocking on the door of Class A in Stereophile's "Recommended Components" listing. I firmly recommend it." - Stereophile
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.