Krell KSA-i400 Stereo Power Amplifier

I had originally planned on buying the KRELL KSA i400 amp to power KEF Blades 2 Meta. However, the Blades did not materialize (was not sure I could keep them safe). Since the KRELL was more money than I could afford at the time I bought a used CODA #16 amp. I had owned the CODA CSiB integrated and CODA #8 amp, so I knew what I was getting into with the #16. I love the CODA #16 amp.

I bought a Sound Anchor speaker stand custom built for the larger KRELL. Every time I look at the smaller CODA sitting on it, I wonder if I should get the KRELL as originally planned. I had owned the KRELL 300i and integrated Duo 175 XD amp so I am familiar with what the KSA -400 should sound like. The CODA $16 sounds better to me than the 300i and 175 XD. The lower watt CODA #16 sounds more powerful (power supply). I was also considering the Duo 300 XD but I think that maybe a sideways move.

My intention for my last audio buy was to buy a PlayBack Designs Dream DAC and call it a day (keeping the CODA #16). However, I have learned recently that I could trade-in the CODA #16 and buy the KSA i400 for a bit less than the price of a new PBD Dream DAC. I actually threw out all my audio gear shipping boxes (2 systems), except the CODA #16 box.

I will try to listen to the KRELL at the next Los Angeles show (I have a remote KRELL dealer all lined up). Until then, I was curious to know if anyone else owns the KRELL i400 or heard it. If so, how do you like it and what speakers are you using it with. Can you compare it to the lower KRELL XD models or the CODA #16?

My plan is to use either the Benchmark LA4 preamp or the Holo Serene preamp (I have both). Those choices have nothing to do with the price and everything to do with the sound. The LA4 preamp with the KRELL Dou 175 XD amp was great.

Krell KSA-i400 Stereo Power Amplifier - The Absolute Sound

Krell Illusion II/KSA-i400 Pre/Power Amplifiers | Hi-Fi News (

I guess a second question is what would be a better choice, a DAC or amp for similar cost? My current DAC for this system is the Schitt Yggg+ Less is More. I love this low-cost DAC. It is hard to get big improvements in DAC sonics these days, even at a lot more cost. Though the PBD is an FPGA design. A design I think is at the forefront of DAC designs. I feel a bit of the same with the new tech in the KRELL.

I also have the option of doing nothing, but I want to reward myself for surviving the past 12 months with my super crazy work schedule.



You chose to open this post titled "KRELL KSA i400 Stereo Power Amplifier" and posted it on the Amp-preamps forum. It seems that you have made up your mind!🙂

I do want to hear the amp before I make a decision even though I have prior experience with the lower model.

I am leaning towards the PlayBack Designs DAC. I should have mentioned that I have an optical streamer that ONLY works via optical on PBD DACs. That was not cheap either, so I like to leverage that. I use the streamer today via SPDIF on the Benchmark DAC3B.

In an ideal world I can hear both components on the same system, but that is not happening in the real world.