Krell Packs Amp and Preamp into Vanguard
The integrated amp has a 200-watt-per-channel amp and a Class A preamp.
May 20, 2014 by Rachel Cericola

Krell is combining two of the most important home theater products under one chassis—and they’re making the end result pretty affordable, considering that it’s a Krell. The company just introduced the Vanguard.

The Vanguard packs a 200-watt-per channel amplifier and a Class A preamplifier into one component that resembles the new Krell Foundation preamp/processor, the Connect stream player, the Illusion preamp, and the iBias amplifier.

The 2-channel amp has a power supply with a 750 VA toroidal transformer and 80,000 microfarads of storage capacitance. All of that energy promises 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms, doubling to 400 watts at 4 ohms. To keep things cool on the inside, Krell has given the Vanguard two quiet, thermostatically controlled fans.

On the preamp side, there are Class A circuit concepts borrowed from Krell’s Illusion line, as well as Current Mode technology to handle PCM and DSD audio sources.

Other features include a machined aluminum volume control and a front-panel menu with options for input naming, input trim, balance control and muting level. There’s also a home theater bypass mode for pairing this component with your surround-sound system, all without sacrificing two-channel sound quality. It also has three stereo RCA inputs, one stereo balanced XLR, WBT speaker cable terminals, 3.5mm jacks, a 12-volt trigger input and output, and more.

Also worth noting is that Krell will make an optional field-installable digital module, which has a USB input, Ethernet audio streaming and apt-X Bluetooth support.

“We’ve created a lot of landmark products in our 34-year history, but we expect the Vanguard to be one of the most popular and influential audio components we’ve ever designed,” said Krell president Bill McKiegan. “We’ve packed it with many of our most musical-sounding technologies. We’ve kept the chassis small and the design elegant to make it living-room-friendly. Yet it has enough power to achieve incredible, lifelike dynamics with any speaker.”

Krell will start shipping the Vanguard in July, with an MSRP of $3,500. There’s no word on pricing for the optional digital module just yet.

Also Check Out:
Krell Puts a Bit of Magic into Illusion Preamps
Krell Cranks Out iBias Class A Amplifiers
14 Speakers, 2 Subwoofers Double This Theater’s Audio Pleasure

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Rachel Cericola - Contributing Writer
Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at

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