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

$6,499

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 Preamplifiers at SkyFi:

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. Special attention is paid to the power supply which is the most common source of failure for preamps. We then power up the unit and run a simple 1k sine wave while monitoring the low voltage output on an oscilloscope for signs of distortion or noise to get a baseline.

At this point we will lubricate and clean all switches and potentiometers (that are not sealed) with a high quality contact cleaner, and then re-test all functions for any signs of noise or scratching.

Final testing involves putting actual music through the preamplifier We have learned over time that some issues are only noticeable to a trained ear while listening to a familiar source material. Our test bench has reference vintage Kef speakers that we are super familiar with which will quickly reveal any discrepancies. Some preamps will then move into the listening room where they will be tested with our in-house reference system.

 

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

Item

Included

Original Boxes

Yes - KBL Only

Manual + Original Brochures

Online

Remote

No

Cables

Yes - KBL Only

Physical Condition

8

Working Condition

10

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