Krell KAV-500 vs S-1500 5 Channel & cables

Hi all,

Wondering if any of you have experience with both the older Krell KAV-500 5 and S-1500 7 channel amps? I read that the S-1500 had some problems (burn ups & hum) when first introduced.

I have a recently purchased/re-capped KAV-500 in my 7.2 HT. The rear surrounds are currently powered by 2 channels of the Marantz Cinema 60 processor.  Front speakers are B&W 804S Nautilus (L&R) and a HTM-1 Center.  Surrounds are 804 Nautilus (not S) and the rear surrounds are B&W SCM-1's on stands. There are 2 JL subs in front.  Cables & interconnects are a mix. Projector is a Sony vpl-5000es laser.

Rooms are combined open living room (13'x19' long, screen on the 19' wall) with "L" into 13'x'13' dining room with rear surrounds against back wall in DR 26' from front screen/electronics &. 20' cathedral ceiling over both.

Question: is it worth pursuing the more powerful used S-1500 or does it have the same sonic signature as the KAV-500? The KAV seems to have plenty of power but some dialog can sound "hollow" and slightly tipped up.  Also, there is some occasional HF distortion during musical passages on shows (not using it for 2 channel listening).

Cabling is single 25' run of Wireworld (not the top of the line can check model) to the surrounds and bi-wire (cables & interconnects we were going to manufacture) to the fronts & center. 14 gauge single long run generic wire to the rear surrounds.

Any input for sonic improvement would be appreciated. No room in cabinet for 2 amps (a 2 & a 3 channel). Won't go crazy$$ on cables/IC's if that's where to look. No dedicated lines yet and everything plugged into Richard Gray box except the amp.

Suggestions for sonic improvement appreciated.










Sorry this took me a little to get back to.  The B&W nautilus speakers need to be aligned on the midrange axis, not the tweeter.  This is an especially big deal with centers that are close to the floor.  Make sure it's tilted upwards so the tweeter "fires" at the top of your head.  This should help fill out the midrange for you.

Erik, thanks for jumping in.

The HTM-1 center on the equipment cabinet under the screen is currently tilted upward using a rubber door stopper.wedge.Center height of bird tweeter is ~ 34" and center of mid/woofers ~27".--do I need to tilt it higher?  The tweeter centers of all 4 front & surround 804's are ~40" high (above seated listeners' ears).

Due to room size and seating limitations the surrounds are close to an end chair and couch end seat respectively.  Last night during a show's dramatic music passage.with multiple HF sounds/instruments there was definite teeth-gnashing distortion (no clarity) at least from the surrounds (possibly from the center as well)..

Do you agree with soix that the culprits are most likely cables, with perhaps some re-cap amp burn-in still needed? There is only a single 25' run of WireWorld STREAM 16/2 Insta-Wire (ST-2) with jumpers to the surrounds (not too worried about the distant rear surrounds right now). .

I'd hate to have to go amp swapping again and not changing the speakers. Just want to enjoy nightly movie/series watching with good dialog clarity and nice music when it happens,without harshness.

Have at it!..





The main source of your issue is likely the tweeters in your older Nautilus speakers, but I suggested cables as a cheaper/easier way to help possibly mitigate the problem.  For the side surround speakers, if they’re aimed toward the listening positions I’d try angling them away and maybe also tilting them backward so the tweeters fire above ear level (you may need to rebalance their volume levels after doing this).  Just playing with positioning may help quite a bit, and by angling them more away from the listeners you can achieve a more diffuse surround effect that you may actually prefer (I did in my HT setup) so could be a win win if it helps.  If you’re using the jumper plates that came with the speakers, replacing them with more mellow sounding wire jumpers (Cardas would be a good brand to explore there) could also be a relatively cheap potential remedy.  Just some other thoughts FWIW.

Center height of bird tweeter is ~ 34" and center of mid/woofers ~27".--do I need to tilt it higher? 

I don't know, this is a trigonometry and angle problem. :)  If you put a laser on the top of the case, does it point to your ears?

This is a problem that is amenable to room correction somewhat if the measurement mics are placed correctly while measuring, but also somewhat alterable by reducing an overly reflective environment.

One way to test my theory is to sit on the floor and listen, see if the problems you are having go away, which would indicate this is an angle issue.

Lasers? "We don't need no stinking lasers" I'll just sit on the floor, but at my age might not be able to get back up. At which point I'll be remembering you and your suggestion ;-)

After this, I'll be experimenting with all copper interconnects and cabling (heavier gauge to the surrounds and possibly bi-wire as well), brands TBD including Cardas and even some low cost Monoprice, to see if in fact the silver is causing the nastiness.