Krell Introduces Two New Preamplifiers: The Illusion and Illusion II - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

 
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post #1 of 1 Old 03-18-14, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Krell Introduces Two New Preamplifiers: The Illusion and Illusion II

Thereís an old adage that rings painfully true: If you need to ask how much insurance costs for a Ferrari...then you shouldnít consider buying a Ferrari. Unfortunately, the essence of that logic can be applied to most high end audio products that enthusiasts see passing before their eyes. Several days ago Krell rolled-out two new dream worthy preamps at the Luxury Technology Show in New York City. Designated as the Illusion and Illusion II, the units are priced just out of the reach of budget buyers at $15,000 and $7,000 respectively. **wait for groans** Okay, so we arenít talking about the upper stratosphere of gear that hits the hundred grand mark, but any separate that costs four to tweleve times as much as a relatively expensive AVR combo definitely isn't cheap.

All joking aside, the Illusion and Illusion II look be great pieces of equipment, and are worth a preview (just to see what a few lucky buyers will introduce into their audio lives).


Itís Just an Illusion
The Illusion is the flagship model of this Krell line, featuring a dual dedicated chassis design that separates the power supply from the rest of the circuitry. The power supply, itself, is beefy, featuring a 290 VA transformer and 41,600ĶF of capacitance. Krell says the resulting energy can handle any kind of ďmusical event.Ē Nearly opposite of its mighty capacity, Krellís new eco-friendly design minimizes the Illusionís standby power draw to a mere 2 Watts.

The Illusionís second chassis holds the analog brains of this model in a dual monaural circuit design. Krellís proprietary CAST inputs and outputs highlight excellent connectivity options; CAST allows for interconnection between other Krell products (source, preamp, and amp) reducing the number of voltage gain stages to one. Krell says this allows the equipment to approach the technological theoretical limit of noise floor. The rear of the unit features two CAST inputs (in the form 4-pin bayonet connectors), of two balanced XLR inputs, three single-end RCA inputs, and one single-ended RCA tape input. On the output side, it has two CAST, one balanced XLR, one single-ended RCA, and one single-end RCA tape-out. It also features two available sub-outs with one balanced XLR connector and one single-ended RCA connector.


The Illusionís circuitry is designed to provide left and right channels with their own power supply regulation and separate ďfull chassis sizedĒ boards. To keep everything clean, Krell is making crossover boards a separate upgrade option (otherwise they arenít included). However, those boards might come in handy as they allow for independently assignable crossover frequencies (choices include 40Hz, 55Hz, 75Hz, and 100Hz) and filter types (12dB, 24dB, and 48dB Butterworth or 24dB Linkwitz-Riley style filters).

Use Your Illusion II
The Illusion II is a single chassis unit that brings digital connectivity to the party (supporting up to 24 bit/192kHz LPCM) with an integrated ESS Sabre DAC, making it a good mate for streaming devices and other digital sources. Similar to the Illusion, this model is a dual monaural design that contains left and right channels on separate boards with separate power supply regulation. The backside of the unit finds CAST and Tape connections eliminated, replaced by one AES/EBU XLR, two co-ax RCA, and two Toslink connectors. The model also features a single headphone-out jack on the front face panel.


The Illusion IIís power supply is slightly smaller than the flagship modelís, featuring a 95 VA transformer and 40,000 ĶF of capacitance. It does, however, feature the same 2 Watt eco-friendly standby mode.


The Illusion and Illusion II will be available for purchase in late March 2014.



Image Credit: Krell

Last edited by Todd Anderson; 03-18-14 at 06:22 PM.
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