Is Krell's Papa Dock Politically Incorrect?
Krell is well known as a hardcore audiophile manufacturer. Their amplifiers in particular are the stuff of legend. With the introduction of the Papa Dock, they push the audiophile envelope, and possibly step over the line. The Papa Dock is essentially a megadock, designed to accept the Krell KID dock, which in turn accepts an iPod as its source.
The Papa provides 150 watts of power, houses a massive Krell-quality power supply, twelve high-current output devices, and isolated stereo output channels. For your listening pleasure, the Papa Dock autosenses and powers up when an iPod is docked into the KID. The KID (Krell Interface Dock) is a standalone iPod/iPhone dock with Class A amplification and balanced XLR output (neither useful when using the Papa). That's all great, but what I first noticed about the Papa Dock was its amazingly politically incorrect name.
Dr. Francois Duvalier was the Present of Haiti from 1957 and later dictator (President for Life) from 1964 until his death in 1971. His reign was characterized by autocracy, corruption, and the aggressive use of his private army, the Tonton Macoute. Duvalier brutally used both political murder and expulsion to suppress his opponents; estimates of those killed are as high as 30,000. Duvalier was also known as "Papa Doc."
I am not sure why you would name a piece of audiophile gear after a Haitian dictator. Also, frankly, I am a bit disturbed about a KID that mates with the Papa. It all just seems wrong to me.
As to the audio sense in using massively engineering components with an iPod as the source input, I'll let you decide. If you're listening to 96 kbps files, then the whole thing is a joke. Even with Apple lossless files, I'm not convinced that a iPod output has the chops needed to justify such extravagant downstream electronics.
If you have to ask, you can't afford it. But I'll tell you anyway. The KID sells for $1,500 and the Papa Dock is another $2,500. The Papa doesn't do anything without the KID, so, you're looking at $4,000 out the door. Audiophile dream or arrogant overkill? -Ken C. Pohlmann