Choose: Krell Showcase 7 or Conrad Johnson MF5600

M

Mesonto

Enthusiast
So here is my dilemma. I can now afford a used but wonderful amp, either a:

1. Krell Showcase 7
2. Conrad Johnson MF5600

Both are recapped and in fine working condition. In fact the Krell Showcase 7's caps have been significantly upgraded, and I believe much better sonically than the original and the CJ has new caps as well but similar to the original. Of course the Krell is a 7 channel while the CJ is only a 5 channel but that is okay. Both sound delicious. (don't care about 5 or 7 channel, price, cosmetics... just care about the sound)

My question is this:
For pure audio bliss (transparency, control and soundstage...) which would be the preferred unit to listen to?
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Ninja
So here is my dilemma. I can now afford a used but wonderful amp, either a:

1. Krell Showcase 7
2. Conrad Johnson MF5600

Both are recapped and in fine working condition. In fact the Krell Showcase 7's caps have been significantly upgraded, and I believe much better sonically than the original and the CJ has new caps as well but similar to the original. Of course the Krell is a 7 channel while the CJ is only a 5 channel but that is okay. Both sound delicious. (don't care about 5 or 7 channel, price, cosmetics... just care about the sound)

My question is this:
For pure audio bliss (transparency, control and soundstage...) which would be the preferred unit to listen to?
I'm not into flaming, but...
Both sound delicious.
This almost is too easy of a setup, friend. :p

Many here will be in the camp that most good quality amps will sound the same when used within their limits and tested double blind. Some have golden ears, and will say they hear things in their preferred amps.
I haven't had that experience.
If you have, kudos. Pick the one you like and enjoy. :)
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Already bought Wilson Audio Sophia's (Series 1) about 20 years ago. Not upgrading these for a long time.
I've auditioned WA's Maxx (over 100k/pair) with Krell separates and I can't say that I was floored. On the other hand, Salk's Soundscape 8 which I heard I was massively impressed. I'd even say that these are the best speakers I've ever heard at any price point.
I am not saying that Sophia's are good or bad - I have no idea. All I am saying that in order to improve the sound, it would be speakers, not electronics, which will be the biggest impact. Again, not saying that all amps sound the same, but the difference between Krell/Naim amp and Denon/Yamaha, both work within their limits isn't nearly as massive as between two speakers.

btw: found their measurement here:
 
M

Mesonto

Enthusiast
Many here will be in the camp that most good quality amps will sound the same when used within their limits and tested double blind. Some have golden ears, and will say they hear things in their preferred amps.
I haven't had that experience.
If you have, kudos. Pick the one you like and enjoy. :)
Unfortunately I am asking this because I cannot do a direct A/B blind comparison which I have done in the past with much of my equipment buys.

So far I think that the Krell is crisper and tighter, while the CJ is smoother and more liquidy sounding. More unfortunately for me, my descriptions and preferences don't help me much.
 
M

Mesonto

Enthusiast
I've auditioned WA's Maxx (over 100k/pair) with Krell separates and I can't say that I was floored. On the other hand, Salk's Soundscape 8 which I heard I was massively impressed. I'd even say that these are the best speakers I've ever heard at any price point.
I am not saying that Sophia's are good or bad - I have no idea. All I am saying that in order to improve the sound, it would be speakers, not electronics, which will be the biggest impact. Again, not saying that all amps sound the same, but the difference between Krell/Naim amp and Denon/Yamaha, both work within their limits isn't nearly as massive as between two speakers.

btw: found their measurement here:
Thanks for the Wilson link, I have saved it to my files.

And although you maybe correct, I still have my dilemma of amps.
 
C

CajunLB

Audioholic
So far I think that the Krell is crisper and tighter, while the CJ is smoother and more liquidy sounding. More unfortunately for me, my descriptions and preferences don't help me much.
[/QUOTE]
Since they are both delicious I would choose the CJ. I prefer the chocolatey midrange to be smooth and liquidity so it would be my choice.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
What amp is in use now? Why do you want to shop for amp as a way to change sound?
 
M

Mesonto

Enthusiast
What amp is in use now? Why do you want to shop for amp as a way to change sound?
I don't want to change the sound, I just want one of the amps mentioned because they are both sonically so much better than my Emotiva A-500. Both the CJ and the Krell are serious upgrades.
 
O

Out-Of-Phase

Audioholic Chief
Keep the Emotiva A-500 amp and enjoy.

It looks good, it works good, it's paid for.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Sonically acceptable? That's a new one I gotta admit. How did you compare the Emotiva with the other amps? I'd hope that an amp wouldn't have an identifiable "sound", but poor methods of comparison might easily yield one...
 
everettT

everettT

Audioholic Ninja
Speakers are the only thing really sonically acceptable to me. If an amp is linear and can drive the reactive load, I'm all good.
 
M

Mesonto

Enthusiast
Sonically acceptable? That's a new one I gotta admit. How did you compare the Emotiva with the other amps? I'd hope that an amp wouldn't have an identifiable "sound", but poor methods of comparison might easily yield one...
The little "Emotiva A-500 amp" I tested side-by-side with the Krell, but not the CJ. (I brought it with me) Sorry if you have lots of Emotiva equipment but this little 5 channel amp was definitely inferior to the larger Krell. Sonically it was very obvious.
 
M

Mesonto

Enthusiast
Sorry everyone I am reposting my original question because this conversation is way off track:

So here is my dilemma. I can now afford a used but wonderful amp, either a:

1. Krell Showcase 7
2. Conrad Johnson MF5600

Both are recapped and in fine working condition. In fact the Krell Showcase 7's caps have been significantly upgraded, and I believe much better sonically than the original and the CJ has new caps as well but similar to the original. Of course the Krell is a 7 channel while the CJ is only a 5 channel but that is okay. Both sound delicious. (don't care about 5 or 7 channel, price, cosmetics... just care about the sound)

My question is this:
For pure audio bliss (transparency, control and soundstage...) which would be the preferred unit to listen to?
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
The little "Emotiva A-500 amp" I tested side-by-side with the Krell, but not the CJ. (I brought it with me) Sorry if you have lots of Emotiva equipment but this little 5 channel amp was definitely inferior to the larger Krell. Sonically it was very obvious.
Sonically how? You did a blind level matched dbx comparison with your own speakers? Or it was just obvious in a sighted unmatched test with other speakers? Good luck with that. Most of us don't get too excited by amps....maybe @RichB or @Mikado463. Hard to know what either amp's performance is now that they've had "audiophile" cap tweaks performed now and may be out of spec.

....repeating the question won't change it.
 

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