In Germany, at the High End Show in Munich, Krell introduced a new integrated amplifier – the Vanguard. The new Vanguard integrated mates a Class A preamplier to a 200-watt-per channel power amplifier section, within a chasis that has been derived from the new Krell Foundation preamp/processor, Connect stream player, Illusion preamp and iBias amplifiers. “The name Vanguard connotes leadership and innovation, which is what Krell is aiming at in terms of the technology and performance their new Vanguard delivers.
Within the Vanguard is a massive single power supply with a 750 VA toroidal transformer and 80,000 microfarads of storage capacitance that support 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms or 400 watts at 4 ohms. Two quiet, thermostatically controlled fans permit the use of a surprisingly compact chassis.
A fully discrete and balanced Class A circuit is used in the preamp section, trickle-down from Krell’s top-of-the-line Illusion preamps. Krell’s Current Mode technology is employed to assure significant signal bandwidth.
A machined aluminum volume control accesses a sophisticated front-panel menu system that controls the Vanguard, and also provides features such as input naming, input trim, balance control and muting level—luxuries not offered on integrated amplifiers controlled by traditional switches and knobs. A home theater bypass mode lets the Vanguard serve as the core of a surround-sound system without sacrificing two-channel sound quality in any way. Inputs include three stereo RCA and one stereo balanced XLR. High-quality WBT speaker cable terminals provide a secure, electrically ideal connection. There is also 3.5mm jacks for IR input and 12-volt trigger input and output, as well as optional rack-mount ears. The integrated can also be controlled via its Ethernet connection.
A key option for the Vanguard is the digital module, which can be added as an additional-cost option, at the factory/authorized dealer. The digital module includes USB, HDMI, coax and optical digital inputs; Ethernet music streaming controlled through dedicated iOS and Android apps; and apt-X Bluetooth wireless for convenient streaming from phones, tablets and computers.
The Vanguard will be shipping in July with a MSRP of $3,500 U.S. the price for the optional digital module has not yet been announced. For more information, please visit www.krellonline.com.
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