Krell KBL-KPA Preamp/Phono Preamp Combo with Power Supply, Stereophile Class A Duo


Not only did this Krell combo receive a Stereophile Class A rating, but the reviewer stated they belong at the top of Stereophile's Class A rating scale for high-end audiophile grade HiFi equipment.

Take a look at our photos showing off the insides to get a clear picture for how well designed and executed this preamplifier combo truly is.

This preamp duo is clean with no signs of abuse inside or out.  There are no significant scratches, just the occasional scuff from moving around.  Both pieces were tested on our workbench and in our listening room without any hiccups.

The original 1990 KBL Brochure is linked here and contains all specifics on the special external power supply unit, as well as detailed info on the inputs and outputs within the preamplifier pieces.

From a review written by Lewis Lipnick for Stereophile:

"The KBL is undoubtedly the finest preamp ever to come from Krell. It's priced in the same league as the No.26 ($4500 for the Krell vs $4850/$5450 for the Levinson unbalanced/balanced), is a "line-level only" component which can be combined with a matching phono stage (Krell KPA vs Levinson No.25), and offers balanced operation (as does the No.26 with its optional input card). It can also be mated with another KBL for dual-mono operation.

...I feel the KBL belongs at the top of Stereophile's Class A. As did Krell's KSA-250 power amp, I feel the KBL to redefine the term "neutrality." Dynamic and transparent, this preamp is faithful to the musical material, revealing a recording's best and worst aspects."

Specifications - KBL Preamplifier:
Solid-state, class-A, DC-coupled, line-level, stereo preamplifier
S/N ratio: 100 dB (A-weighted)
Input impedance: 10k ohms
Output impedance: 0.5 ohms
Frequency range: 0.1Hz-250kHz
Voltage swing: 65V peak-peak (23V RMS)
Voltage gain: 3x (approximately 9 dB)
Dimensions: 2.25" H by 19" W by 12" D (preamplifier) and 2.5" H by 9" W by 12" D (power supply)
Weight: 27 lbs
Year: 1990

Specifications - KPA Phono Preamplifier:
Signal to Noise Ratio:  85db "A" weighted
Phono Input Impedance:  Adjustable from 5 ohms to 47,000 ohms
RIAA Tracking:  Less than .1 dB deviation from 20Hz to 20kHz
Phono Overload:  300mV @ 1kHz
Gain:  36 dB or 66 dB

Click here for a PDF copy of the Krell KBL & KPA Owners' Manual

Our Testing Process for Amplifiers (Solid State) at SkyFi Audio:

We start with a visual inspection of all internal components to make sure there are no signs of stress or aging. Capacitors are checked for telltale sings of bulging or leaking, resistors are checked for signs of overheating or cracking, and transistors are checked for signs of stress or damage.

We then power up the unit carefully and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise. Finally, we run the amplifier to its full rated power into the appropriate resistive load provided by our Sencore amplifier tester. If there is an issue, it will usually be noticeable at this point. If everything reads clean, we will often test for THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) measured by our Keithley distortion meter, and compare it against the original manufacturers specifications. The amplifier then remains powered on to "burn in" on our test bench for a few hours to make sure there are no heat related issues. If there are balanced inputs available they will be also be tested.

Final testing involves pushing actual music thorough the amplifier. We've learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage Kef speakers that we're very familiar with which quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some amplifiers will then move into our listening room where they are tested with our in-house reference speakers of choice.

Please click here for detailed specifics regarding our specialized packing process that separates us from the rest.



Original Boxes

Yes - KBL Only

Manual + Original Brochures





Yes - KBL Only

Physical Condition


Working Condition


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