Krell Foundation-XD 7.1 4K AV Preamp/Surround Sound Processor auto room EQ HDMI

KL 19 PR FOUND
NZ$ 15,500.00 ea (incl. GST)
Krell

The Leader in Audio Engineering

New
When we entered the home theatre market in 1996, we refused to compromise our standards. Our first surround-sound processor, the Krell Audio + Video Standard, elevated the expectations of home theatre aficionados around the world. No one else had attempted to create a surround processor that could compete with the finest two-channel preamps. And to this day, no one else has achieved the level of performance you get in Krell surround processors. Borrowing circuitry, power supply design, and construction techniques from our best two-channel preamps, we achieve a level of transparency and sonic purity never thought possible in multichannel sound. We always incorporate the latest technologies to get the best performance from the ever-evolving standards of the home theatre industry.

FOUNDATION 4K UHD SURROUND SOUND PROCESSOR
The Krell Foundation 4K UHD Surround Sound Processor couples award winning Krell preamplifier circuitry to the latest in HDMI technology to create the centrepiece of a high performance home theatre system

DESIGN
The Foundation 4K UHD adds HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 technology to the award winning Foundation processor. Designed to be upgradeable, existing Foundation processors can be upgraded to the Foundation 4K UHD platform at the Krell facility. 

The Foundation 4K UHD updates 4 of the 10 HDMI inputs to HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 capability. On screen display functionality adds status messages including volume, active source, video resolution and audio format. System setup is accomplished from the front panel, on screen menu, or a network tablet/computer.

Two HDMI video outputs are independent and can be configured to send different video signals to two individual displays. Both outputs support 4K signals being simultaneously displayed.

Both HMDI outputs feature Audio Return Channel (ARC). With ARC, a display device is able to send audio back down the HDMI cable to the Foundation 4K UHD. Televisions with built-in web streaming capability like Netflix or Pandora, can send the audio signal back to the Foundation 4K UHD use the full home theater system instead of just the TV's speakers.

Krell's Automatic Room Equalisation System (ARES) ensures the best possible performance from every theatre. ARES analyses the speakers in the system, their location, phase, and distance from each other, to determine the best crossover frequency, delay, and more. In addition, ARES analyses the room and creates unique EQ curves for each of the output channels. Unlike other room EQs, ARES can be programmed to only adjust the troublesome low frequencies, leaving high frequencies unaltered.

Intelligent HDMI switching is a combination of circuitry and innovative software that optimises HDMI switching. Parameters including the monitor's electronic ID and source video resolution are stored in memory. All 10 source inputs are always active so source, channel, video resolution, and audio format changes are instantaneous. The Intelligent HDMI design provides the fastest signal recognition possible.

The Foundation 4K UHD supports stereo and multichannel DSD decoding via any of the 10 HDMI inputs. 

Network connectivity brings convenience, setup, and operation from any smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Software updates are initiated from the menu and are downloaded from the Krell server. 

Specifications

Reviews

Specifications

10 HDMI 2.0 inputs - 4 with HDCP 2.2 
• 2 HDMI outputs with ARC 
• 7.1 - Single-ended RCA and Balanced XLR Outputs 
• 1ea RJ 45 Ethernet Port and RS-232 
• 1ea 12V Trigger input/output
• Comprehensive Dolby and DTS support including True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio 
• Stereo and Multi-Channel DSD Support 
• Optional Rack Mount Kit 
• 433W x 89H x 433D mm

Reviews

Krell's Foundation brings the listener closer to that ideal than any 7.1 AV processor I have heard to date."
Mark Henninger - imagic
More than anything else, the new Foundation amazed me with its fidelity, which has always been Krell's mission—to deliver the ultimate in sound quality.  The vast majority of audio equipment is ill equipped to extract the total fidelity found within these high-resolution yet ubiquitous soundtracks. Krell's Foundation brings the listener closer to that ideal than any 7.1 AV processor I have heard to date.
 
The fact it's priced at the same level as moderately expensive projectors and speakers makes Krell's AV processor a relative bargain for the sound it produces. The Foundation is a fantastic 7.1 AV processor from a company with a long record of accomplishment, producing some of the best solid-state electronics in the entire audio industry. The Foundation deserves an audition from anyone who is truly serious about home theater and considers it to be within his or her budget. 
The 2013 New York Audio Show, held at The New York Palace Hotel, was practically bursting with esoteric audio products; many rooms contained systems priced in the 6-figure range. The overwhelming majority of the show was about 2-channel audio, but Krell was there with the new Foundation AV processor, a moderately priced (by Krell standards) 7.1 surround-sound preamp/processor with a number of features that help differentiate it from rather stiff competition.
 
One of the more impressive aspects of the Krell HT demo system was the relatively mainstream components used to highlight the new processor's prowess. This system was not a "price no object" Krell showcase—it was more of a "high price is justified by superior engineering" system—yet engineering without compromise is the precise heritage it comes from. After a long talk with Krell President Bill McKiegan, I came away convinced that the new Foundation completely justifies its price tag.
 
I had the room essentially to myself, and I chose a seat in the second row, perhaps 11-12 feet back from the front stage, just in front of the side surrounds and perhaps 8-10 feet from the rear surrounds. I chose the helicopter attack on the ranch from Skyfall to serve as a reference scene, because I am very familiar with it.
 
What I heard was quite stunning—a rear soundstage that had the same depth and definition I am used to hearing from the front. I know that is the multichannel ideal, but up until that point it had not occurred to me that the soundfield could truly be seamless and three-dimensional around the full circumference of the system.
 
I asked McKiegan about the impressive performance of the Foundation, which resulted in a brief lesson about Krell's priorities—specifically, to treat each pair of adjacent channels as an engineering challenge, optimizing those preamps to match each other so they form a perfect envelope around the listener. When the balance between the channels approaches perfection, the audio illusion is seamless. Each "channel pair" in the system becomes its own discrete, high-end 2-channel system, with the same 2-channel qualities that audiophiles are always looking for—the sonic image from two speakers takes on a three-dimensional character, with each sound discretely rendered in its proper position.
 
Since a 7.1 surround system has seven channel pairs, there are seven stereo soundfields that ideally surround the listener seamlessly. That is exactly what I heard from the Foundation—a rendition of a key scene in Skyfall that was well beyond the capabilities of my Pioneer Elite SC-55 and 7.1 speaker system, which I used to re-watch the same scene later that day. The proof? Krell's Foundation-based system immediately triggered involuntary goosebumps—something that only happens to me when I listen to the very best high-fidelity systems.
 
I asked why someone would choose Krell for a surround preamp/processor in a world where there are many choices at every level of price and quality. The result was a lengthy discussion about the company's history, the state of 4K and HDMI, and why a Vizio E701i was used in the presentation.
 
Then there's the issue of room correction. Instead of using something like Audyssey or Trinnov, Krell designed its own algorithms from scratch for the Foundation. Why? As a rule, the company designs and engineers everything in-house, to its own extremely high standards. In this case, the result is called ARES—Automatic Room Equalization System. Here is what the company has to say about it:
Quote:
"ARES analyzes all the speakers in the system, their location, phase, and distance from each other, to determine the best crossover frequency, delay, and more. In addition, ARES incorporates the acoustics of the room to determine unique EQ curves for each of the 7.1 output channels. Unlike other room EQs, ARES can be programmed to only adjust the troublesome low frequencies, leaving high frequencies unaltered."
 
The Foundation is a decidedly premium product with a price to match: $6500. That is not quite unobtainium to a serious home-theater enthusiast, but at that price point, there is concern about the risk of becoming obsolete, especially since audio and video standards keep evolving. I asked McKiegan how Krell would deal with future changes in video technology, and I liked his answers.
 
I mentioned that the home-theater market is poised on the edge of a revolution in resolution. 4K is on the way, and HDMI standards will need to be updated to accommodate 4K at higher frame rates than 30p. What happens when that day comes? McKiegan assured me that Krell could upgrade the video components, prompting a discussion of the company's long history of updating and upgrading gear as technology progresses. Faced with evolving standards, buyers of the Foundation will likely have the option of upgrading the existing unit or trading it in toward a newer model that includes the updated components.
 
So what else sets the Foundation apart? First and foremost is an all-balanced output stage—7.1 channels of it, with two summed subwoofer outputs. Another very nice feature: All ten HDMI inputs are concurrently active, so switching between them is instantaneous. Two-channel audio aficionados can also take advantage of a stereo preamp mode, featuring a dedicated all-analog signal path. 
 
More than anything else, the new Foundation amazed me with its fidelity, which has always been Krell's mission—to deliver the ultimate in sound quality. In my conversation with McKiegan, he touched on the past and future of high-definition audio. SACD and DVD-Audio are simply not mainstream products, but Blu-ray discs with uncompressed high-resolution audio sell in every Wal-mart, Target and Best Buy across the nation. The vast majority of audio equipment is ill equipped to extract the total fidelity found within these high-resolution yet ubiquitous soundtracks. Krell's Foundation brings the listener closer to that ideal than any 7.1 AV processor I have heard to date.
 
The fact it's priced at the same level as moderately expensive projectors and speakers makes Krell's AV processor a relative bargain for the sound it produces. The Foundation is a fantastic 7.1 AV processor from a company with a long record of accomplishment, producing some of the best solid-state electronics in the entire audio industry. The Foundation deserves an audition from anyone who is truly serious about home theater and considers it to be within his or her budget. 
"Super fine and detailed, the Foundation made the instruments appear on a deeper stage and at the same time experience Al Jarreau's vocal artistry to the fullest."
Heimkino.- leading home theater magazine,
The first Foundation processor review has appeared in the June issue of Germany's leading home theater magazine, Heimkino. They awarded the Foundation their reference level rating of 1+. Below are some of the translated highlights -
 
"Super fine and detailed, the Foundation made the instruments appear on a deeper stage and at the same time experience Al Jarreau's vocal artistry to the fullest."
 
"The fine pins and needles on the skin where get even more intense, when the Foundation played the first scenes of "Battleship" and "Django Unchained" where it reveals all of its capability repertoire: ranging from extremely delicate to smashing, the processor was able to let the listener enjoy all aspects of home cinema in the finest sound quality."
 
"The Foundation offers Stereo and Multi Channel par excellence and absolute home cinema delicacy. I am convinced, if you listen to the Foundation for the very first time, you will experience that special tingling feeling, and realize, what is possible in your home cinema with the Foundation."