CES 2006: Krell Industries is showing 2 new Super Audio CD players that will become part of their “EVO” product line this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Krell display is in the South Hall area of the Las Vegas Convention Center and is part of the show’s main building – away from other high end audio exhibits over at the Alexis Park Resort.
Follow-Up to Krell’s SACD Standard Player
High Fidelity Review readers will recall that Krell introduced its first Super Audio CD player, the SACD Standard, at the 2003 CES show in Las Vegas. That unit is part of Krell’s entry level “KAV Series” of products and plays Surround Sound and Stereo Super Audio CD discs as well as Stereo CD discs.
It was originally based on a Philips transport that went out of production. This resulted in the model becoming out of stock for awhile while Krell came up with a new motherboard for a newer SACD drive that is used in the current edition of the SACD Standard player.
2 EVO Series SACD Players
The new EVO-525 and EVO-505 Krell Super Audio CD players are part of the company’s EVO Series product line. This product line is a step up from the KAV Series and uses technologies initially developed for the company’s top of the line Evolution Series.
The EVO-525 will be the first Krell Super Audio CD player to add DVD Video playback to the party along with Surround Sound Super Audio CD, Stereo Super Audio CD and Stereo CD playback. Krell officials note that the new player will feature high quality audio and video circuitry throughout including Krell designed DAC reconstructive filters, balanced circuitry, Stereo and Surround Sound outputs, RS-232 control, a 12 VDC trigger and the company’s CAST and Current Mode technologies.
Krell Evolution CAST, which stands for Current Audio Signal Transmission is described as “a proprietary Krell technology for connecting analog components that provides the most accurate signal transfer from one component to the next. It utilizes the sonic purity of current and eliminates signal degradation caused by cable interaction while transmitting signals in the voltage domain.”
Krell Current Mode is “a topology designed by Krell and used in amplifier, preamplifier and source component circuitry to ensure accurate signal reproduction. Realizing the entire design in the current domain eliminates the sonic degrading nature of circuit boards and increases overall bandwidth. All Krell components have a bandwidth greater than 300 KHz. The greater bandwidth results in the near flawless reproduction in the audible range.”
Turning to the EVO-525’s video section, Krell says that the EVO-525 is “the most advanced DVD player on the market. Utilizing National Semiconductor’s AVC 2510 Dual-Channel video format converter, the EVO-525 will be able to output 1080p (1920 x 1080p) via HDMI. As if that wasn’t enough, the 525 also features extensive noise reduction, adaptive contrast enhancement and intelligent color remapping, frame-rate conversion, horizontal luma and chroma edge enhancement and a configurable primary HD or SD output port.”
Availability and Pricing
I was told that the EVO-505 SACD/CD Player will be identical to the EVO-525 except for the video features of the EVO-525. The Krell EVO-505 will sell for $10,000 and is due out in March 2006 while the EVO-525 will follow on the market in June 2006 at a list price of $13,500.
Both units were on display at the show but not hooked up. So an audition was not possible. Too bad as they both sound promising.