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CD Players - Krell MD 10-R

Before you go further in the reading of this review, I should inform you that I am not a fan of the KRELL brand, except (of course) for its amplifiers, particularly the KSA and KRS series that made the reputation of the firm. The other KRELL devices, and particularly their preamplifiers, let me the impression to be too cold and not able to pass the emotion like the "state of the art" preamplifiers are able to. This is of course only my opinion and we all know a lot of people loving the KRELL preamplifiers...

Recently, a friend of mine leaving in the same area, came to my home and borrowed me his drive for a listening session. It is the top of the KRELL Transports of the 1995 years, I mean the MD-10 R Transport. This "R" version differs from the regular MD-10 version by the use of the CDM-4 pro mechanism, instead of a CDM-3.

Amongst the "State of the Art" CD Transports, I like very much the FORSELL (until this review) but this drive is technically too complex and its reliability is a serious concern: it is very loisy (because it uses a vaccum pump) and this is a major disagreement for those listening at a reasonnable distance from the drive. The excellent modern drives are rare, except of course the METRONOME TECHNOLOGIE drives.
Contrarily, this MD-10R is not only very very beautiful (the metacrylate top is absolutely wonderful with its slow descent mechanism), it is also built like a tank, does not generate the smallest noise.It is a luxury object !

Here is a photo of the MD10-R front plate:

Here is its rear face:

and finally a top view of this beautiful object:

Here are a few photographies of the inside, that we have recently added to the original article:



I initially believed that the MD10-R was a drive amongst the other, with nothing particular, and during this review we made a competition with the ONKYO Grand Integra DX-G10 (the U.S. reference is DX-6990) equipped with the costly SONY BU-1E mechanism and used as a drive only, as well as with a MARANTZ CD-94 equipped with a CDM-1 mechanism seriously upgraded.

The listening session and musical performance of the KRELL MD-10R have been simply... incredible ! After 10mn, it won against the two others by K.O. !

On my "touchy"
Reference System #2, I have been completely scotched by this Transport. The FORSELL is obviously a state of the art Transport, but this KRELL belongs to the same league without a doubt.

A proof of the manufacturing quality of this kind of devices, made when the Marketing and Finance had not yet killed the values of the companies, can easily be obained by opening the device: you discover the secret of the perfect, regular and smooth descent of the top: a very serious suspension, like the ones used for the cars' back door (just smaller) ! We wish you good luck to find the same building quality on a modern CD Transport (maybe on a Kalista ?) !

For the time being, this KRELL is simply the best drive I have listened to in my system (the METRONOME TECHNOLOGIE drives have not been listenned in my system for the time being). It willbe compared to a METRONOME TECHNOLOGIE T2A Signature if the future.

The pros:
  • The music carries a lot of emotion, and is really alive
  • The soundstage, the dynamics and the small details
  • Probably rivals with the 5 best drives worldwide
  • Ergonomy
  • Silence (particularly compared with the Forsell...)

The cons:
  • Spare parts are very difficult to find
  • The feet are difficult to trim
  • Price is high on the second hand market (> $2,000)
  • Almost impossible to find (very rare)
  • Should be associated to an excellent DAC
  • Delivers a lot of heat of its left side (the transformer is hosted at this place)

dedicated topic is opened on our Forum to discuss about this KRELL MD-10R

This article has been written by Florent (Provence13 on our Forum)

Creation date : 05/07/2010 @ 22:59
Last update : 07/11/2014 @ 23:32
Category : CD Players
Page read 1182 times

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Reactions to this article

Reaction #3 

by GERARD320 31/12/2011 @ 12:16

Tout d'abord bravo pour ce site très bien fait avec de vrais passionnés !
L'article sur le KRELL MD10 R  m'a fait réagir car je vends le mien en ce moment pour passer à autre chose ...
Je confirme que c'est engin de course comme il y en a peu...
Je l'utilise sur un TACT  avec un A60 et deux enceintes FREMONT ESCALANTE (que j'essaye d'upgrader ...) J'écoute aussi beaucoup  sur un boitier ZARDOZ  qui marche très bien.
Bien à vous Gérardk

Reaction #2 

by provence 16/11/2010 @ 11:20

Effectivement, nous ne sommes pas nombreux ... C'est comme vous le dites un drive de course dans un habit de princesse.

Reaction #1 

by LEON 15/11/2010 @ 17:18


Je crois que pas grand monde en France posséde ce genre d'engin.

Je suis l'heureux propriétaire d' un MD 10 et bien evidemment le Grand Intégra

que je posséde aussi ne peut rien contre cette fantastique machine.

Je le fais fonctionner avec une autre machine mythique:le Wadia Digimaster x 64*4 entiérement modifié par mes soins.

Un certain nombre d'amis ,venu avec leur materiel de course,sont repartis un peu ébranlés.


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