5.0 out of 5 stars THE MOST AMAZING AWESOME POWER AMPS I'VE HEARD!!!
I've been an audiophile since I first listened to my Dad's Fisher tube amplifier and Bozak speaker (about the size of the Altec Lancing voice of the theater). In short the early 60's. I still go to High End appointment only stores and audition ridiculously expensive equipment amps etc. You get the idea. All I can say is, I have never ever heard any amp that sounds this good, certainly not for very conservatively ten times the price or more. The sound difference is just profound. I'm running two CROWN XLS 2000'S right now in bridged mode yielding about 1650 watts RMS @ 6 OHMS EACH into Newform Research R-45s along with a HSU subwoofer which plays 16 HZ effortlessly. I may add some TEKTON speakers some day. This ain't your Dad's Class AB amp, Class A amp, or Tube Amp. This is better. I discovered this Crown Drivecore series amp from the managing editor of home theater review. They have now become his reference amps for good reason. He has a blog on a forum I don't think they will let me link here, called the Crown XLS Drivecore the official thread. He also has under his name Andrew Robinson a review of it.
So aside from the "Blow your mind" sound what else is so good about this Crown XLS 2000? Here's what... It has it's own built in line conditioner, yes that's right this bad boy is designed from the ground up to handle bad and variable quality electrical power. It has its own DIGITAL crossover built in should you choose to use it if you can bi-amp your speakers. It runs as a stereo power amp as well. And after you hear this baby for a little while you will want to save up and get another one and then run them as dual mono-blocks. Does even more ridiculously higher wattage sound even better? YES. How can that be? Perhaps its just the wattage grabs hold of the speakers and never lets go. Who knows? All I know is I have NEVER had this kind of power to play with before. These amps never get more than a few degrees above ambient temperature either. Amazing. Crown claims they are 98% efficient and that's how. How come amps of this magnitude are so cheap? One reason is they have lost about 500 parts in making these compared to Class AB. How easy is it to configure this amp? Very, all settings are made by the buttons on the front below the LCD screen. How clear are the directions in the manual? Very, only a few pages for the whole manual. Go to Crown usa and check it out. Several Crown employees use these in Home Theater applications and/or home audio applications. Which model do they ALL use? This one. They said the two lower models are more stripped down and this one the 2000 or the 2500 should be chosen. How is their tech support? Excellent! I got in under a minute each time. These are built for pro use under often very demanding conditions and take a "lickin' and keep on tickin!" I read the transferable warranty to cover almost everything unless you drop it in a lake or throw it off a roof and is transferable and lasts 3 years under PRO use.
You should definitely pull the trigger on this one. But first you must be made aware of the differences between the world of pro audio & home audio. Pro audio equipment uses somewhat higher preamplifier voltage than SOME home stuff. Crown states the input voltage should be 1.4 VOLTS minimum, my preamp puts out 1.0 volts for example, and yes that DOES make a difference. Does it work? Yes just fine but I've got to turn my preamp volume control up to 3PM with a volume control range of 8AM to 5PM just before audible distortion. That helps a lot but you won't be able to blast out an auditorium for example like you could with the specified input voltages. I'm looking into a very basic gain control to deliver the specified voltage. After much searching I have found a simple elegant solution. HTD or home theater direct, has a "line level gain booster" which you can find from THEIR search box. It has the ability to reduce or increase line level (preamplifier) gain up to 12 DB. It is made in Taiwan, with quality similar to Japan. After 48 hours break-in, it adds no noise, nor does it introduce any sonic problems of its own. This little device solves any gain problem anyone might have thereby allowing ANY home theater or audiophile enthusiast to enjoy this incredible pro-audio amplifier. A musician friend of mine just told me about a similar one which uses a single 12AX7 tube per channel and loves it. We'll see.
The banana plug receptacles come plugged with a plastic insert which need to be pulled out. The easiest way to do this is to insert a screw into them just enough to grip them and pull them out by hand and they pop out easily. For audiophile purposes you should set the gain controls to 12:00 noon to plus 1 click MAXIMUM. Finally like most fine audio equipment you need to break it in for 72 TO 96 hours before it gets sweeter. You should run it 24/7 even at barely audible volume at night when sleeping. What's the bummer? It only comes with a 3ft power cord so you may need a 15 amp 3 prong extension cord
Go ahead and pull the trigger on this one and grin from ear to ear. That's what I'm doing. And yes these are now my reference amps and I'm done looking. I could NEVER get rid of these things.