Sunday, July 17, 2011

Krell Begins Production of Phantom and Phantom II Preamps

We are excited to announce the first production run of Phantom and Phantom II preamplifiers begin this week. Replacing the Evolution 202 and Evolution 222 preamplifiers, the new Phantom and Phantom II use similar chassis but are completely new inside. The Phantom preamplifier is the first Krell preamplifier to include an optional crossover. The crossover functionality offers the ability to use a subwoofer/satellite speaker arrangement and still maintain the highest quality sonic performance. Previous to the Phantom preamplifier, this system configuration would require signals to pass through a subwoofer’s lower quality crossover circuitry. In today’s world, solutions that recognize the movement towards physically smaller system profiles are proven winners. The Phantom preamplifier can be the centerpiece of world class audio system where space is at a premium. The Phantom preamplifier and smaller brother, the Phantom II are perfect companions to the Cipher SACD/CD player and any of the Evolution e Series amplifiers.

Crossover Highlights – A Phantom Preamplifier Exclusive

Owing to Krell’s work in the Modulari Duo Reference loudspeaker, the unique crossover feature is a highly sophisticated option. When the optional board is present, additional crossover menu items become available. Definable parameters include independently assignable crossover frequencies and filter types for the high and low pass sections. Choices include 40Hz, 55Hz, 75Hz, and 100Hz crossover points with 12dB, 24dB, and 48dB Butterworth or 24dB Linkwitz-Riley style filters. A major advantage to using the crossover section is the high pass section uses the full Phantom preamplifier circuitry for its output stage.

Circuitry Highlights – Reference Performance in Both Models

The Phantom and Phantom II preamplifiers are dual monaural circuit designs with the left and right channels afforded their own power supply regulation and individual full chassis sized boards. All signal gain is realized in surface mount topology using proprietary multiple-output current mirrors with nearly 500 times the open loop linearity of other designs 1.5 MHz open loop bandwidth in a zero feedback, balanced, Krell Current Mode design terminating in Krell CAST. A complete Krell system (source, preamp, and amplifier) system, Krell Phantom IIconnected using CAST interconnects reduces the number of voltage gain stages to the minimum, one. The resulting noise floor approaches the theoretical limit of technology. Negative feedback is not used anywhere in the preamp, nor is it necessary. Open-loop distortion is typically less than 0.003%. The volume control is realized with a balanced resistor ladder — bandwidth and transient response of the preamp circuitry are virtually unaffected by the volume setting.

Power Supply Highlights – Oversized in the Phantom II, Completely Isolated in the Phantom

The Phantom and Phantom II audio circuits receive power from a Krell Current Mode analog power supply housed in its own dedicated chassis. The power supply avoids the common integrated circuit topology used in many preamplifiers and instead mimics the design topology of Krell Evolution e Series amplifiers. The circuitry is completely discrete giving it the ability to respond quickly to current demands and also be unaffected by all but the most severe AC voltage power fluctuations. Located in its own chassis, for maximum isolation from electrical and magnetic interference, the Phantom preamplifier power supply features a 290 VA transformer and 41,600µF of capacitance. While located in the same chassis, the Phantom II power supply is oversized with a 140 VA transformer and 35,000µF of capacitance. 

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