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 Showcase Surround Sound Processor?
- Processes DD, DPL-II, DTS, DTS Discrete 6.1, DTS Neo:6
- Video Inputs:
- 4 Composite Video, 4 S-Video, 3 Component Video
- Audio Inputs:
- 1 Pair XLR Analog, 7 Pair RCA Analog, 1 Set of 7, 1 RCA Analog, 4 Coaxial Digital, 4 Optical Digital
- Video Outputs:
- 2 Composite Video, 2 S-Video, 1 Component Video
- Audio Outputs:
- 8 XLR, 8 RCA, 1 Coaxial Digital, 1 Optical Digital
- 5.7" H x 17.3" W x 16.3" D
- 19.3 Pounds
What else to know about the Krell Showcase Surround Sound Processor?
"Without a doubt the Krell Showcase is the best processor I have had the pleasure of using in my system. It increased the depth of my soundstage quite a bit over others I have tested. When I listened to film soundtracks, the front soundstage had a great transparency and excellent dynamic range. Bass seemed tighter and more focused than before, and there wasn't a hard edge to any of the higher frequencies.
The Showcase employs two different DACs for its various channels. For the front mains, Texas Instruments (formerly Burr Brown) PCM 1737s are used. These are a delta sigma DAC that samples at 192 kHz with a 24 bit word depth. For all other channels, they use T.I.'s 1605 DAC. It is also a 192 kHz/ 24 bit converter, but it is made to handle more channels. Krell has focused its best quality on the front mains, since two-channel is their passion. It seems a good choice, since I never once thought any of the channels sounded off in any way. Like the DSPs mentioned before, these DACs are the same ones used in the more expensive Krell HTS 7.1 processor.
For music, I would categorize the Showcase as a very neutral piece. As with movies, the soundstage offered excellent dynamics. Most recordings seemed richer when I listened to them, especially in the lower end. It did especially well with precise notes like a rolling cymbal. Instead of the milky sound that blends into itself that I hear with a lot of audio pieces it seems, the Showcase offered a discernable distant sound with tiny details. Krell has definitely proved that it can still provide excellent audio performance at a reasonable price.
Okay, with all these nice things to say I guess I should complain about something, the remote. If there is a shortfall to the Showcase, this is it. Krell went with the same remote they use on their other equipment, and I cannot fathom why. Just barely larger than a credit card and extremely thin, this remote is just about impossible to use in a dark room. The buttons are all exactly the same shape and feel, and only a slight few (the menu navigation buttons) are laid out in a way that you can tell what they are by touch. I would strongly recommend the use of a separate remote for this unit. It will save you a lot of aggravation. Perhaps Krell assumes most people will use their own remote control anyway, so they just provide this one as a token.
If you have $4,000 to spend on an SSP, the Showcase should be on your short list to audition. Keep in mind that the Showcase has almost all the same internal parts as its big brother the Home Theater Standard 7.1. They both utilize the same DACs and DSP engines. The only differences I could find between the two were the HTS's second zone and its modular design. I was not able to directly compare the analog sections of the two as this would require the schematics for the two pieces and I am quite sure Krell would have issues with their release.
The Showcase offers a flexibility that is not found anywhere else at this price point, and sound quality that would please even the most discerning audiophile. I really can't find much to gripe about. If you are in the market for a processor, make sure and look into this one, because I think it will make your shopping very, very easy." - Secrets of Home theater and Audio Review, Deering
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.