Karan Acoustics KAS 600 Stereo Amplifier and KAL Reference MK3 Preamplifier $28,000 Review

April 17, 2021 § Leave a comment


I love being able to revisit a manufacturer after years between products. In the case of Karan, it’s clear the advancements made to the KAS 600 amplifier and the KAL REF MK3 preamplifier have been more evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The essential character of the combo definitely harkens back to its lineage. I like that. Why mess with the secret sauce? The areas of improvement heard by these ears while wracking my failing memory are to be found in transparency and speed from top to bottom. They seem more efficient and effortless at passing the signal than their ancestors. It strikes me it would be very difficult to find precisely what the Karan duo offers in other products. At least that’s how I hear it. The Karan sound remains unmistakable, yet very difficult to pin an overt coloration too.

As I always do with any component I review, I let my fangs out and try to come up with a reason for someone who can afford the asking price not to add the components to their system. In this case, I simply can’t come up with anything. The lack of remote input switching? The lack balance control? No, those are not not game changers when such wonderful sound is provided by the Karan KAS 600 amplifier and KAL REF MK3 preamplifier. I cannot imagine a scenario where this combo would need to be replaced for years  to come if enjoying music, all genres of music at the highest level of fidelity, not obsessing about gear, is the priority. 

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