Krell Releases Two High-End Surround Sound Preamp/Processors

Krell Releases Two High-End Surround Sound Preamp/Processors

Orange, CT-based Krell Industries announced that initial shipments have begun for its new S-1200 surround sound preamp/processor ($10,000), which according to a Krell press release is intended as “an ideal centerpiece for any high performance music and home theater system.”  A companion model, called the S-1200U ($12,000) is similar to the S-1200, but adds advanced, videophile-grade upscaling features.

As expected from Krell, the primary emphasis in the S-1200/S-1200U is on achieving audiophile purist-grade sound quality, and to this end the S-1200 analog audio output stages “feature balanced and single-ended cable connections” and use “discrete current based Class A, direct coupled circuitry for the greatest signal purity and highest bandwidth” (no op amps or integrated circuits are used in the S-1200’s audio signal path). 

According to Krell CEO and Chief Designer Dan D’Agostino, The audio signal path is a direct descendant of our $30,000 Evolution 707 Reference Surround preamp/processor. The S-1200 also uses the same DSP engine and 1080p video stage from the Evolution 707.” Specifically, the S-1200 incorporates a pair of dual core 32-bit Crystal CS497004 DSP engines, which handle all digital signal-processing tasks and are capable of performing 1.8 giga operations per second. Digital signals are, in turn, routed to 24-bit ESS Sabre DACs.

Equal attention has been given to video processing, as the Krell press release emphasizes the following highlights for the S-1200/S-1200U:

  • Discrete video circuitry takes advantage of Deep Color HDMI 1.3 specifications.
  • Maximum color depth increased from 24 bits to 48 bits
  •  Video bandwidth increased from 165Mhz to 340MHz
  • “Full video transcoding converts composite, S-Video, or component inputs to HDMI signals.”
  • “The S-1200U model includes upconversion to a maximum of 1080p resolution.”

 Demonstrating its commitment to its customers, Krell also announced “a ‘full-value’ trade up program” for existing Krell S-1000 customers. Under the terms of the program, customer who purchased their S-1000 units new may have them updated to S-1200 or S-1200U “for the retail price difference plus freight.”

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