Category Power Amplifiers
Krell’s compact, narrow-profile, cool-running 150W monoblock is basically a scaled-down version of the Evolution Series amp with a tight, musically convincing bass and superb treble openness that place it on a par with Krell’s best. Further, it displays a dynamic liveliness and dexterity that verges on the uncanny. In the midrange, it was as grainless as any amp in SS’s experience. Perhaps faltering just a bit in terms of three-dimensionality and harmonic juiciness, for most applications it gives up little to the Big Boys. Reviewed by SS, Issue 205
Category Power Amplifiers
Krell Evolution One monoblock
While the Evolution One is not a radical sonic breakthrough, the best aspects of the original Krell sound-character and “voicing” have been preserved, but the original virtues of deep-bass power and rich natural timbre have been steadily enhanced, while air, life, microdynamics, soundstage depth and detail, and the upper octaves have improved to contenders for the state-ofthe-art. A true sonic benchmark you really need to listen to. Reviewed by AHC, Issue 158
Krell Evolution Two
The Krell Evolution series puts the third dimension back in music by providing exceptional depth. It also provides exceptional reproduction of hall sounds and musical mechanics—bowing sounds, score rustling, etc. This effect is enhanced by the imagingqualities of the Evolution Two. When the imaging on a recording is natural and detailed, the Evolution preserves the size, the place, the stability, and the layers of imaging. The result is a more open soundstage, better reproduction of life and air, and a greater ability to lose yourself in the music. Reviewed by AHC, Issue 158Welcome to the 2011 edition of The Absolute Sound’s Editors’ Choice Awards, our annual Recommended Products list. On the following pages we present the gear that our editors and writers have selected as most worthy of your consideration. These are the components we ourselves would buy—or recommend to friends and family. Each product category is divided into price ranges, with components listed in order of ascending cost (though a few items, like cables and accessories, are listed alphabetically for clarity’s sake). Each recommendation is also accompanied by a capsule review, the original reviewer’s name or initials, and the issue the review appeared in. Note that in a few cases a product may have been reviewed in one of our sister publications, Playback or AVguide.com, or the review may be pending publication, or the product may not have been formally reviewed but earns a recommendation based on one or more writer’s extensive experience with it. Given that this is the high end, where components generally have long lifespans, some of our recommendations look back several years. At the same time, in an effort to be as selective and up-to-date as possible, we have dropped some components that appeared on last year’s list, usually because they have been discontinued but sometimes because fresh competition has caused us to reconsider the choice. TAS founder Harry Pearson’s selections can be found in this issue’s HP’s Workshop.