The lighting in the Krell-Alta Audio room was bleak, gray, colorless. The only color in the room was the blue from the lights on Krell’s never-before-played-in-public K-300p phono preamplifier ($TBD), Krell Illusion line-level preamplifier ($7700), Krell Duo 300 XD amplifier, and Krell CEO Walter Schofield’s shiny blue jacket. Before lighting-induced dystopian melancholy took hold, I was greeted by the dual grins of Walter and the always fun story teller Michael Levy, CEO at Alta Audio.
As I sat down, Walter said, “Herb, did you ever think the old Krell sounded hard, gray, and transistor-y?” I said, “No Walter, I always thought the Krell KSA50 was one of the best amps ever.” He smiled (Schofield has a killer smile), and said, “The new Krell is organic and musical!” Now I smiled, “So show me.”
Then Michael Levy sprang up and said, “Herb, what do you think of my new speakers?” I said, “I can’t see them. What are they called? Do they have tweeters?” He said they were named “Alec” and cost “only” $10,000/pair and featured their signature DampHard sandwich cabinet material with some type of 1/8″-thick “polyurethane-glass” coating. He said the Alecs had fancy new tweeters that really image well. “They are not by RAAL like the Titanium Hestia,” he said, “but they are really good.” I said, “Michael, all I see are silhouettes. Your speakers are in the shadows. Don’t you want visitors to see this liquid glass and fancy tweeters?” Then he launched into a long tweeter story that was interrupted by Walter putting an LP on the VPI HW40 turntable ($15K). Walter was right, the sound was organic and musical.
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