Krell has introduced a digital-friendly verison of its Vanguard integrated amplifier–appropriately called the Digital Vanguard. This $6,000 integrated amp includes a 200-watt stereo amp; USB, HDMI, and coaxial/optical digital audio inputs; support for hi-res audio playback; Internet music streaming; and apt-X Bluetooth. It will be available in the first quarter of this year.
The Digital Vanguard is the first Krell integrated amp with the following: USB, HDMI inputs and output, 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 Digital Vanguard Integrated Amplifier will come with music streaming services Deezer and Vtuner and in early 2015, a software update will add Pandora and Spotify apps.
The Vanguard’s amplifier incorporates a massive power supply with a 750 VA toroidal transformer and 80,000 microfarads of storage capacitance. The tremendous amount of energy on tap allows the Vanguard to deliver 200 watts per channel into 8 ohms, doubling to 400 watts at 4 ohms. This is far more power than most other integrated amplifiers, at any price, can deliver. Two quiet, thermostatically controlled fans permit the use of a surprisingly compact chassis, especially considering how much power the Vanguard produces. The Vanguard also offers features that make it perfect for custom installation, such as 3.5mm jacks for IR input and 12-volt trigger input and output, as well as optional rack-mount ears. Additionally, the unit can be controlled with home automation systems through its Ethernet connection.
The Digital Vanguard Includes:
- Coaxial and HDMI inputs support PCM up to 24-bit/192-kHz
- Optical input supports up to 24-bit/96-kHz
- USB and network streaming support MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV (PCM), FLAC, ALAC up to 192 kHz
- Bluetooth streaming supports A2DP, AVRCP formats
Pricing and Availability SRP of the Digital Vanguard is $6,000 and shipping Q1 2015. The existing Vanguard will continue with a SRP of $4,500. Existing Vanguards will be field-upgradeable to the Digital Vanguard in Q1 2015 for a price $1,500. Via hometheaterreview.com