I ordered my Amphion Krypton3 speaker-pair after hearing them in the home of Mike Kirkham, owner of Magenta Audio – Amphion’s Australian distributor. He had almost exactly the same setup as I have (plus more), so that gave me the confidence that what I was hearing at his home would reasonably translate into my home.
My audio system is my oasis, a place of calm in an otherwise very hectic life. It has dual roles. Primarily it’s a 2-channel system for listening to music, but I can activate rear (in ceiling) channels and convert it into a home cinema. A screen drops down from the ceiling for the projector. The system is in a large rectangular, open-plan 15m x 8m lounge, dining & kitchen area. The lounge’s feature limestone block wall has a section extending forward, housing a fireplace. It creates challenges in terms of how far apart my speakers need to be as they must straddle it, and also how far I am permitted by my wife to bring them forward! The surfaces probably don’t help either. Floors are tiles over a concrete slab, so it’s very solid, but have added rugs and soft furnishings to dampen the sound. One side-wall has extensive windows.
For many years, I have been working on my audio components and gradually replacing and upgrading parts. I am a great fan of PS Audio, which makes superb gear that sounds really natural. I have their P10 power regenerator, Directstream DAC, BHK pre-amp (autographed), and BHK300 monoblocks. I have a carry-over CD player (Vincent CD-S6 Mk II) which I plan to replace with the PS Audio Directstream Memory Player at some stage and also have a SuperNova active subwoofer. I stream TIDAL to the Directstream DAC, either directly via Bridge II using the M-connect app (so that I can access MQA files), or via Roon on my network. I also own a NAS drive (Synology) which plays to the Directstream.
The large size of the room does, however, allow for an enormous soundstage, whether sitting on the sofa nearby or standing in the kitchen at the other end of the room. The reputation of the Amphion Krypton3 speakers as being forgiving of difficult rooms certainly played a part in my selection of them, and their performance has been breath-taking and revelatory. What I discovered after playing around with my system is that they will give what they receive. My latest two tweaks were separating my components, which had been previously stacked one above the other, into an interiorly reinforced (with MDF board) piece of antique furniture. This cut the microphonics and brought out more detail and ‘air’. Secondly, I was blown away by the difference made by simply replacing the 2-year-old valves in my monoblock amplifiers. The Krypton3’s revealed so much more of the music and brought an immediacy and almost palpable texture to the instruments. Stunning!
My previous speakers were clearly the weak link in my set-up (JM Lab 926), and I did some listening around the price-point that I was considering to upgrade to. I hold Mike’s opinions in high regard and knew that he had ordered a pair of Amphion Krypton3 speakers for himself. I had also read some great reviews on the speakers. The opportunity arose for me to travel interstate and meet up with him, and listen to the speakers. He hadn’t had any significant time to burn them in, having unpacked them the day I arrived. Straight out of the box, I was concerned that the bass was “boomy” and unfocused, but it was remarkable how quickly this dissipated. Within hours, the sound had quite transformed. I listened to some DSD (SACD) recordings on the Directstream Memory Player and saw the true potential of these speakers. They have a detailed and natural sound, yet the bass is also really well presented – powerful, focused, and controlled. They are speakers which you can listen to for hours without fatigue. They are also very revealing, and poor recordings tended to get left behind. I have a fairly eclectic mix of music, but my favourite would be jazz fusion and vocals. Voices are beautifully rendered.
After over 25 years together, my wife has come to tolerate my incessant drive to improve on my audio gear. It took some persuading for her to agree to this latest indulgence. But my line was that she would love them too. Interestingly, she has been really complimentary of the speakers – not only because the colours match our limestone wall and black fireplace – but also because “they sound lovely!”. And they do!