Reference Caliber CD Player with DAC Functionality
The name Krell evokes visions of stratospherically performing audio gear with price tags to match. But the new S-350a manages to combine Krell quality with a remarkably affordable price. The S-350a CD player is a modular design featuring reference caliber CD playback. It establishes a new high standard of performance and value among high-end compact disc players. You can pay far more than the Krell and not get anywhere near the performance that the S-350a offers.
"Drives a Disc to the Limits of the Format"
"The player's ability to bring off testing recordings like this without sounding excessively dense or congested, yet without loss of weight or impact, marks the S-350a out as special," notes Alvin Gold in his January 2011 review for England's Hi-fi Choice magazine. "By comparison, many other broadly comparable players tend to sound flat and are difficult to become involved in, but lack of involvement was not a factor with the Krell." Gold's conclusion: "This is a practical player that supports balanced audio and is well-enough endowed to drive compact disc a long way towards the limits of the format."
Incorporating an advanced TEAC slot load disc transport mechanism, premium digital circuitry, 'Class A' analog circuitry, a Krell designed anti-jitter master clock, and sophisticated high-linearity power supply, the S-350a delivers performance unequaled by many more expensive players. It is the ideal CD player for the serious music lover.
Matched Burr-Brown DSD 1793 24-bit, 192 kHz digital-to-analog converters for each channel provide fully balanced operation with exceptional reproduction quality. The analog stage features Krell Current Mode, discrete 'Class A,' direct coupled, fully complementary circuitry.
The 'Entry Level' CD Player That Isn't
"I must stress once again that this unit is in no way reflective of an 'entry level' product; it's really only an 'entry level' component by Krell's standards," reports Edgar Kramer in Australian Hi-fi magazine's January/February 2011 issue. "Most companies would be proud to offer the S-350a as their flagship CD player."
"The Krell S-350a is absolutely a worthy upgrade from any midrange CD player. In fact, I would go out on a limb and suggest that anyone who is looking for a high end CD player to include this Krell in your audition. You may find few reasons to spend more," remarks OdioSleuth in his Hi-Fi Unlimited blog post for June 7, 2011.
A True Heavyweight Player
The S-350a is impressively heavy for a CD player. As you might expect from Krell, the S-350a uses a massive torroidal transformer with size and capacity more appropriate to a power amplifier than a CD player. It pays huge dividends in ultra-quiet sound and stability. Speaking of stability, the heavy casework contributes to the heft of this player and helps eliminate resonance.
Excels As An Outboard DAC, Too
The Krell includes coaxial digital and optical digital inputs with up to 96 kHz resolution. These inputs extends the S-350a's advanced digital-to-analog conversion circuitry to two additional audio sources. You'll love the upgrade in sound quality when you run the stereo digital audio signal from your large-screen TV, Blue-ray player, or other gear into the Krell.
Outputs consist of coaxial digital and optical digital inputs with up to 96 kHz resolution plus differential current-mode gain stage, discrete, DC coupled analog audio outputs. The analog outputs include one pair of balance XLRs and one pair of unbalanced RCAs.
12VDC trigger input/output ports enable connections for remote power on/off. An RC-5 interface is provided for remote control system integration. A metal handheld remote control is included.
The S-350a complements Krell's S-300i integrated amplifier both in industrial design and sonic performance, which makes the Krell a treat for the eyes as well as a feast for the ears.