Review: Krell CD-DSP CD Player

Category: Digital

I have used my CD-DSP in my system since the start, and have had the opportunity to borrow my friend's Naim 3.5 with flatcap power supply to compare the two. If price is no object and you enjoy spending, i would honestly have to say to get the Naim. However the difference was slight at best and a used CD-DSP can be found for much less than the Naim; the sound difference took several rounds of switching back and forth to notice.
I enjoy listing to classical, and classic rock. I have never been dissappointed with the performance of my Krell. Vocals sound awesome, as well as cleaner bass when compared to other players i've used.
In addition, this player has 3 digital input and 3 digital outputs (1 optical for each), so you can use it as a transport, or as a DAC for other digital equipment.

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My name is Minh. I just bought a Krell system in audiogon. The owner does not have a manual for the same model (CD-DSP cdplayer) as yours. Would you do me a favor? If you don't mind, can you copy your owner's manual and mail it to me? Please let me know I'll compensate you. I really appreciate your time and effort even we have not met each other. Thank you very much.
I have recently picked up one of these after comparing it's
sound to my KAV-300cd in the same system and the KAV stood
no chance.

This is one sweet and musical sounding cd player. Many people say that some of the older models made by Krell is superior to the newer ones and this cdp is obviously one of them (at least compared to the KAV units).
I tried to upgrade my 15 years old CD DSP by adding a Musical Fidelity A3 24 DAC, but after 6 months of switching back and forth, I sold it because I could not hear any difference. The rest of my equipment is not to blame (Krell KRC3, Krell FPB 300, B&W N802, Cardas Golden Cross XLR and Terminator 2 bi-wired). The DAC was connected with MIT T2 digital, Accoustic Research optical and Audioquest Annaconda RCA.
I was told the transport was a built like a truck. but then, there has been improvements in the digital domain. My idea is to keep the DSP as a transport and get a newer DAC for a better sound.
Has any body tried anything else?
I have a CD-DSP, and love it; I haven't been able to try any other DAC's with it, but there are a couple of little tweaks that I'm trying.

I tried using an MSB Digital Director for it's jitter reduction function in between the Digital In & Out, but unfortunately, the Krell is set up so that if you select an Input other than CD (to receive the less jittery signal), it cuts out the CD output! I'm looking at possibly installing an aftermarket clock instead (LCAudio LClock3, or Audiocom Superclock 2, or possibly the Elso Kwak DIY module).

Another one is al la Eichmann 'Toppers'; I got some small cheap surplus heatsinks (reasonably heavy) and put them on the top of the unit, one on the cover & one on each side, to damp out cabinet resonances (take care not to block the vents). Tap the cabinet gently to hear where it's 'buzzy', and place the heatsinks there. It's not a bad idea to put a layer of masking tape on their bases so they don't scratch your Krell!

I did this for all my gear, even on top of the speakers, and I'm pretty sure I can hear an improvement in the soundstaging.

The last is to flood the underside of the CD with Blue (or even UV) light from LED's; apparently this make a difference too...

OK, so this was more of a DIY approach than sticking an aftermarket DAC on, but who isn't interested in better sound for less $$? : )

Have said all of that, I too would like to hear if anyone has tried a DAC that improved the sound of the Krell...
An update on the clock issue. I ran the Digital Director in between the Krell & a Meridian 206 Delta-Sigma player (acting as a transport) on Input 1; it worked, and worked a treat! There was a subtle improvement in bass tautness & cymbal shimmer; just that much more 'there'; lovely! Now it sounds even better ("It gets better?!!") fyi I was using some good (ie, $$$) Chord interconnects.

Now I just need to summon the guts to fit a clock, or perhaps I'll keep this set up how it is, although it IS pretty ugly...
Esiistono due versioni del cd dsp? esiste una versione MK2? il mio ha numero di serie 79109491. Che versione รจ?
I'm planning to get the Krell CD-DSP to use as a transport with the Meridian 565 processor (and 518 resolution enhancement processor in-between).

Can anyone share their experience as to the quality of this unit as a transport ? If you have a copy of the manual, that would be MUCH appreciated too !
I just fixed up a broke unit off ebay and the sound is the best I've heard. If anyone has any do it yourself diagrams or mods please email. Also If anyone has a pdf or copy of a owners manual I would be willing to pay for a photocopy.
I have an Krell CD-DSP and really is wonderfull, i have a expensive new Perreaux CD1 player USD$4700 and is really musical and detailled but my old Krell is very musical too with a little less of information but with a lot less of money. My Krell have other top more dark , why the CD-DSP in the picture has clear top, is other model?
I Have a CD-DSP. Best sounding player I've owned or heard. Was able to even better it's sound by connecting digital out(optical) to a Krell Studio processor. The other players I've owned have been Krell KAV 250cd,Nakamichi CDPlayer1 Nakamichi OMS7II and Nakamichi MB10.

Does anyone repair these? I have a broken one that gives me an error message when trying to play a CD.