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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeffrey Chin, Apr 12, 2002.
which would you prefer and why?
It's awfully hard to go wrong with any of these amps, but I will try to help a little. The Classe is well know to be a very smooth amp with slightly laid back midrange and top end. I own a CAV-150 myself. The Sunfire is also fairly smooth, has good bass control, lots of power, runs cool, is lighter, but looks "cheaper." Krell is very good, but users sometimes complain of tendency toward a brittle, hard midrange. Bryston is a neutral amp with good bass and a great warranty. Personally I think that Krell is a bit overpriced for what you get, and the other three are extremely good amps for more "reasonable" prices. The Sunfire Cinema Grand (200Wx5) is probably the bargain of the bunch at $2750, but used ones go on audiogon for about $1500. Good luck.
I would pick classe to take the edge off of an etched system, or bryston for a more neutral system. I consider Krell overpriced/overly bright, and I have never liked bob carver/sunfire gear.
While it depends upon the model you're considering, the Krell and Classe' are about equal in terms of quality, but Classe' offers far more value for the money. I think the Krell KAV amps are slightly inferior to Classe' amps, while the Krell FPB amps are slightly superior to the Classe' amps. Sonically, Classe' is warm, smooth, and laid back, while Krell is a bit bright, harsh, and forward. It really depends upon your speakers and what kind of sound you like.
Bryston is a step down from both, but they provide a lot of power for the money. Bryston lacks the refinement of the Classe' and Krell amps, however, and is rather bright and forward.
Sunfire is a step below Bryston. They are warm, but I personally think you can do better for the price (B&K, ATI, NAD, Rotel, Parasound, Aragon, etc.).
I did not compare to the others in this list, but I am listening to the Krell Home Theater Standard right now and I love love love it. It isn't bright, hard, "too accurate" or any such thing. And I'm not just saying that because I spent $$$$ for it . I'm currently listening to the Bjork Vespertine DVD-A and I promise, if I was going to hear a hard midrange it would manifest itself on this disk. It is close-mic'd, and that voice of hers...
The only amp in its class that I compared it to was the BAT 6200, which was also wonderful, but the bass was not quite as tight.
I wish I had compared the Classe, but only for knowledge's sake. I love this amp. No regrets at all.
I believe Krell's reputation for bright and hard sound must have come from the past. That's my theory.