Originally Posted by coytee
Tony, where abouts do you live? I know the odds are small but if you are anywhere near me, I have an extra K2 laying around that you could borrow and give a listen to....or, perhaps hear them on a larger Klipsch speaker.
That's an awesome offer. Very nice of you. I'm over a 1,000 miles from Tennessee unfortunately. What is the exact model...I can't find it on Crown International anywhere?
Originally Posted by coytee
The K series are 2-channel. Might not fit your needs. I'm targeting a 5.1 (or 5.2) system. I also actively biamp. I will need as many as six K2's if I do what I envision. (one for left, right, center, sub, sub and one to split rear duty)
I might be able to work it where I'd need less. Point being, I understand why someone might want a 5,6,7 channel amp!!
6 amps means you will have 6 power cords to plug in as well, in addition to everything else in the room. That would be 11 for me...so not ideal.
Coming from the JBL community (of which I am still a huge fan, and always will be), I have heard a lot about Crown amps over the years. Still, I revisited the Crown website for a second time but I just don't see anything that is the right fit. I see they do have some highly rated amps and checked out the CTS4200 260W x 4 channels for $1,600, the CTS600 300W X 2 channels for $900 and the DriveCore XLS1500, etc. I did not see any models labeled K1 or K2 and I spent over an hour going through every single link on their site. Maybe K1/K2s are discontinued? Not sure.
The thing with Crown is, while they are highly affordable and highly rated by consumers, I need to filter out some brands that may provide a perfectly good solution simply because there are an overwhelming number of options out there. There is always going to be other brands that will sound awesome. I also believe that Crown specializes in commercial audio and while that could certainly work in my theater, I'm relying on both members of the Klipsch community, owners reviews on different sites around the web, and professional reviewerss to help narrow down the list. I haven't found any members of the high end home audio market award Crown amps with their recommendation as product of the year, etc. Does that mean I could get a bunch of those Crown amps I listed above and be super happy? No. It's just that I am building my dream theater and I need to find some criteria that I can collectively apply to all the choices. I have to come to a decision somehow. I'm also going to be talking to the technical experts for each of the manufacturers on my short list, etc etc
I've been sick the last two days and that has enabled me to kick-off my amp research. I've spent at least 16 hours so far and here is my current short list (and I have to thank a lot of the guys in this thread for recommending some of these brands to me - especially ATI!):
#1 (tied) ATI Amplifier Technologies Signature Series:
Owner is a legend for building amps since 1962. Class A/B amp. Located and built in California. Great looking product. Best of 2014 award from home theater reviews and 5 stars. AVS Forum editor best sounds of CES 2015. Reviews: http://www.ati-amp.com/reviews.php
$6,500 each retail for one AT6004 300W RMS X 4 channels - at 8 ohms, <0.03%THD+N, 20Hz-20kHz, all channels driven, Frequency response 5z-100kHz (ref. -3db), Input sensitivity 1.9V (ref. rated power), Amp voltage gain 28db, Signal to noise >128db at A-weighted ref 1 watt and > 120db A-weighted ref rated power, Crosstalk >100db from 20hz to 20kHz, Amp output impedence???, Damping factor > 400 (ref 8 ohms, 10hz to 100kHz), Slew rate 60V/usec, 2 channel weighs 96lbs. (but I am getting 4 channels so it will be even heavier) (to power both pair of RF7s) and $6,000 AT4007 200W RMS X 7 channels – at 8 ohms, <0.03%THD+N, 20Hz-20kHz, all channels driven, Frequency response 5z-100kHz (ref. -3db), Input sensitivity 1.9V (ref. rated power), Amp voltage gain 28db, Signal to noise >128db at A-weighted ref 1 watt and > 120db A-weighted ref rated power, Crosstalk >100db from 20hz to 20kHz, Amp output impedence???, Damping factor > 400 (ref 8 ohms, 10hz to 100kHz), Slew rate 60V/usec, weighs 105lbs.! (to power my center speaker and 6 surrounds). Order direct from manufacturer and have them recommend the correct options for under $10,000 total.
#1 (tied) NAD Masters Series:
Established in 1972. Class D technology – sometimes have a problem producing high frequencies like 20kHz with no distortion at full power (need to research if this is an issue for this model). Headquarters in Canada. They outsource manufacturing. Great looking product.
$6,000 ($3,000 each retail) for two Masters Series M22 >250W RMS x 2 channels – at 8 ohms, <0.003%THD+N, 20Hz-20kHz, both channels driven, Frequency response 3Hz-30KHz (ref. -3db), Input sensitivity 1.6V (ref. rated power), Amp voltage gain 29db, Signal to noise >100db at A-weighted ref 1 watt and > 120db A-weighted ref rated power, Crosstalk ???, Amp output impedence???, Damping factor > 800 (ref 8 ohms, 50hz and 1kHz), Slew rate ???, weighs 33lbs. (to power both pair of RF-7s) and $4,000 each retail for one Masters Series M27 >180W RMS x 7 channels – at 8 ohms, <0.005%THD+N, 20Hz-20kHz, all channels driven, Frequency response 3Hz-100kHz (ref. -2.5db), Input sensitivity 1.3V (ref. rated power), Amp voltage gain 29db, Signal to noise >98db at A-weighted ref 1 watt and > 120db A-weighted ref rated power, Crosstalk ???, Amp output impedence???, Damping factor > 750 (ref 8 ohms, 50hz and 1kHz), Slew rate ???, weighs 45lbs. (to power the center speaker and the 6 surround speakers).
#3 Emotiva XPA Series:
Class A/B amps. Gorgeous looks but not sure I will like the lights lit up when I am watching a movie...would need to see if they can be turned off. Both owners and manufacturer tech support confirm a known issue where the amp cause a buzzing noise.
$1,600 ($799 each retail) for two XPA-2 300W RMS X 2channels – at 8ohms, <0.07% THD, not sure if rating is 20Hz-20kHz, all channels driven, weighs 73lbs. (to power both pair of RF7s) and $1,300 each retail for one XPA-7 200W RMS x 7 channels – at 8ohms, <0.02% THD, not sure if rating is 20Hz-20kHz, all channels driven, weighs 96lbs. (to power my center speaker and 6 surround speakers). Their tech support said if these amps are paired with high efficiency speakers like my Reference Series II, there will be a buzzing noise heard up to 2 feet from the speakers. Another potential issue: I wouldn't want all these lights on the front of the amps when I watching movies.
These brands do not offer any amp/s solutions that are ideal to power my 11 speakers (ranked in order by best):
Parasound, Anthem, Wyred 4 Sound, Crown International, Outlaw, Optomo NuForce, Integra, Red Dragon.
These brands are out of my price range (no particular order):
McIntosh, Krell, Pass Labs, Mark Levinson, Class Audio, Audio Research and Cello.