Audio Research Ref 5 and Krell amps


Just wondering if ARC Ref 5 preamp will mate well with Krell FPB 450 MCX monoblocks. My speakers are Revel Salon 2.
sfstereo's great to find a component that really works in your system

I will let the SE break-in some and then bring the AE over to compare. I won't be able to replicate your experience as I will use Ref 250 monos for the "cage match" and I think you use a 3 channel Evo. I use Transparent Ultra throughout... But speakers will be the same...Sasha right...wonderful speaker. I expect differences but not dramatic...much like the improvements the 250s provided over the 150...but will report what I hear.

Bottom line is you are happy regardless of whether 5SE is 95 or 99% of AE...all three of these preamps are great. And at this level we discuss relative changes...and the price people are willing to pay for those is highly dependent on individual preference...and there is no right answer...just some answers cost more than others. :)
Hi Tylercoupe:
I have Ref 150 and Sashas and am quite happy with the combo. But as you know the Sashas are difficult to drive in the mid- upper bass/low midrange between the impedance and negative phase angle. I'd like more thrust there but at reasonable cost.
When I had WP 7s and tried Ref 110s and 210s. I found, as you did with Ref 150 vs 250, that the lower powered model came close enough that I stuck with the Ref 110s. The biggest differences I found were a greater sense of dimension and ease with Ref 210s. I did not find the dynamics on the 210s to be more than 10% better than the 110s. Have you tried both amps with Sashas? Can you quantify the differences esp in the mid/upper bass?

Enjoy your system...I think our system structures are remarkably similiar. I have a hybrid system similiar to yours which does double duty as HT/2 channel system. I have an Ayre KX-R in between the Classe ST-SSP and the ARC Ref 250s...When the SSP turns on a HT source...the Ayre and 250s trigger on as well with Ayre in passthrough mode...Rest of HT is 2 JL212s, Wilson Center 3 and Surrounds 2 powered by DS450M(C3) and DS225(S2).The HT sounds wonderful using an Ayre DX5.

But when I want to listen to my Naim HDX server/DAC8 or LP12SE/Phono2SE...I just turn on the Ayre and 250s manually...and listen to a reasonably good 2 channel system. All three soucres flow balances through the Ayre

Easy for family to use and satisfies me for critical listening. I think you found a similiar solution with your setup.

here are some pics of how my setup turned out...also shows my study system based on Stax stats and Woo audio energizer...go to my gallery

I bought the Ref 150 in July at the same time as the Sashas and had them in the same system unitl November. The system is a hybrid 2Ch/HT system with Wilsons throughout. I love the 150 and at normal listening levels...I feel its very close to the 250s. The 250s are more defined and controlled in the lower registers...say Charles Mingus plucking the bass has more definition and speed...with just the right amount of reverb... and provide a slightly wider and more transparent soundstage at normal listening levels. Female vocals/violin/sax have a magic in this region on both amps that I have found SS amps just can't compete with. The 150s would play loud, the Sashas are faily efficient...but the 250's maintain composure at higher levels that the 150 can't compete with. At higher levels, the soundstage of the 150s start to compress and the bass articulation does start to muddy just a bit...this is all relative. I would take the 150s over almost any SS amp...and replaced a very good ML335 with them...but the 250s seem to be the best fit for this system. The 150 is moved to my cabin and will be mated with a Ref5SE and Wilson Duettes...I love this replaced a Ref2mk2 and VS 115...and is perfect for nearfield listening. I listen mainly to jazz and small scale classical.