To Jeff Fritz,
Those are four really good questions ["Can Someone Please Answer These Questions?!"] and, unfortunately, not being privy to any inside information, I can only speculate and then only as regards the first and last ones. It seems rather apparent that both Krell and Mark Levinson are producing significantly gutted designs as regards parts quality and casework, etc., and hoping to continue to trade on the names alone and what those used to imply. As the saying goes, they are simply “shells” of their former selves. I’m sure the audio savant will run from them in the opposite direction in droves, leaving just a few high-end newbs who have only heard the names but not followed the descent of these brands in the last several years.
Your comments on the FM Acoustics brand took me by surprise. Is there any marque in the high end more shrouded in mystery and reverence? I know no one who’s ever owned, seen, or heard any of their gear. The casework seems to be crammed full of all manner of parts like Vitus, Soulution, Boulder, and the like, but as far as I know it’s just another another solid-state class-AB design with maybe one rather unique implementation they refer to as Feed Forward (I guess in contrast to negative feedback). However, none of these things would, ipso facto, prevent their gear from delivering the Holy Grail of musical messages. At least you’ve been able to dip your toes in the water of that which is FM Acoustics. Which brings us to Devialet.
Another brand that begs the question “What is it that’s so special about its design/build as to place it in the firmament of the best out there?”. Again, no exposure to these ears but I’m willing to allow that all that’s been said isn’t just smoke. Based on your audio references, I’ll be very interested to hear your take once they’ve graced your audio portal.