Tell me why NOT to use Crown Amplifiers in my Home Theater - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 140 Old 01-26-2008, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I am reading about these Crown amps. They seem to have a lot of power.

But why are they so inexpensive? What gives. It seems like they are more geared towards commercial applications. Are they not as "musical"?

So are they not as good in a home theater application?

Any feedback, opinions, advice would be great.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 140 Old 01-26-2008, 02:55 PM
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There are many users of Crown professional amplifiers in the home theaters and audio systems here. Their performance is excellent. The idea of properly-designed hi-fi amplifiers being "musical" or having "character" has been repeatedly debunked by double-blind testing...if (1)the frequency response is flat, (2)distortion (THD and IM) is below the threshold of audibility at all power levels short of clipping, (3) noise is below audibility, and (4) the unit has high input impedance and low output impedance (all properly-designed amplifiers meet all 4 of these criteria) the amplifiers will sound the same in a blind test provided levels are matched and neither amplifier is allowed to clip. Some receivers and integrateds, especially entry-level units, will clip easily or even shut down into difficult speaker loads (not enough current capacity.) Even the Behringer EP2500, which sells for incredibly low prices, works very well as a hi-fi amplifier according to those who actually use it in their systems (though I have reservations about some of their business practices, their power amplifiers are good units.)
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post #3 of 140 Old 01-26-2008, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT3 View Post

I am reading about these Crown amps. They seem to have a lot of power.

Opinions differ regarding musicality; a lot depends on subjective opinion in that area.

What is not subjective though is that many pro amps have significant fan noise. Be careful of that issue when you make a purchase decision.

Some of the lower price units like Behringer have build quality to match.

"Nature Abhors a Vacuum Tube" -  J. R. Pierce
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post #4 of 140 Old 01-26-2008, 03:22 PM
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I've got Ashly pro-amps in my setup. Sound is a somewhat subjective thing. I wouldn't necessarily say that all amplifiers sound the same, but there's definitely nothing wrong with using pro amps. I like my Ashlys because they have power to spare, and I feel like they give sound (especially bass) a bit more punch compared to powering the speakers from a receiver.

I also got them because I intend to build some DIY speakers at some point, which would likely be 4 ohm, and I needed amps that could drive that load.

As to why *not* to use a pro-amp - there are a few reasons I can think of offhand. The first is fan noise. Most pro-amps have cooling fans. If you value silence, then pro-amps may not be for you. In my case, there's a computer running in the living room 24/7 anyway, which makes just as much noise as the amps, so I don't really pay it much mind.

Some people disable/slow down/replace the fans in their pro-amps for home use. This is also an option - but does carry some measure of risk. So far mine haven't caused enough trouble to mess with.

Another thing to think about is signal levels. Pro gear is generally designed to work with a higher line level than consumer gear. I haven't actually found this to be a problem so far. My amps are hooked directly to the pre-outs on my receiver, and it sounds fine.

Lastly, most pro gear is designed to use XLR or 1/4" balanced connections, while home stuff generally uses RCA unbalanced connections. Again, get some RCA->XLR adapter cables and it ought to work fine. You could get something like an ART CleanBox that would do active conversion for you if you have problems. So far, I haven't seen a need.

Basically, when it comes down to it, the only potential showstopper is fan noise. You can decide if that bothers you or not.

Good Luck!
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post #5 of 140 Old 01-26-2008, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

The plan is to have a rack built into the wall with rear access. So maybe the fan noise won't be an issue.

Anyone else?
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post #6 of 140 Old 01-27-2008, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone else?
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post #7 of 140 Old 01-27-2008, 02:16 PM
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I just bought a crown xls 402D and could not be happier. Not only did it increase the dynamics of the two fronts that it's hooked up to, but let the receiver do more work on the center and surrounds. I did the mod to the fan, 2 dollars and very simple, it is whisper silent now.
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post #8 of 140 Old 01-27-2008, 02:16 PM
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Because you want to hand over more money to someone else that builds a supposed " HI-FI " amp...

Oh right, flash back to reality... if you want to spend typical "hi-fi" loot, buy a few I-tech 8000, run them on 220v and let us know if that is enough power.

Seriously, Crown, QSC, Crest and a few others make bargain amps that live in day in day out all out abusive conditions. As noted, some may have fan noise, but if you have a cabinet for all your gear elsewhere this is a non-issue.

"You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."
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post #9 of 140 Old 01-27-2008, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Just what I wanted to hear.

Thanks guys.

Anyone else?
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post #10 of 140 Old 01-27-2008, 05:58 PM
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There was thread something about 'new amp making me grin ear to ear' discussing this exact topic.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #11 of 140 Old 01-27-2008, 07:22 PM
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I am using some Nady amps in my setup. Wonderful after a fan mod using some Radio shack computer fans. Silent, powerful and trouble free. Check out musicians friend for the XA900 you might be very pleased. The XA900 will drive 2 ohms without breathing hard.

Jerry the HT Nut
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post #12 of 140 Old 01-27-2008, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks HT Nut.

Bump...
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post #13 of 140 Old 01-28-2008, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Anybody else care to chime in?
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post #14 of 140 Old 01-28-2008, 03:14 PM
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yes here you go . http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=418666


i run qsc amps . dynaudio 7.1 set up with a integra 9.8 . stunning

fan noise was a problem but thats a easy fix i just did the fan mod . new fans are 7.00 each and i cant hear them from 6 inches away
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post #15 of 140 Old 01-28-2008, 03:33 PM
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I run a Mackie 2500watt to my sub now and plan to change out my Sunfire 405x5 to all Crown XTI 2000 amps rack will be in next room.

Nate

www.NastyPerformance.com

10,000 Watts, custom built speakers, 10' CIH screen = Holy Crap
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post #16 of 140 Old 01-28-2008, 03:38 PM
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Hi PhilT3

Why NOT?

I am a Crown user. To be more specific.

An Integra DTC 9.4 (older model) feeding three Crown XLS 602 via XLR. Those Three amplifiers are then feeding a Klipsch Ultra 2 THX system.

Needless to say that it goes louder than i would ever listen at without even breaking a sweat. The XLS system have two fans though and they might be noisy. The XTi series has two fans also BUT they are thermally controlled. So unless you are feeding them a sine wave @ 80% white noise, those fans are inaudible. The nice thing. Like QSC and all the other top pro amp brands. Three year no fault warranty. And they mean it.

Cat "relieves" itself on the amp and shorts it out almost killing itself. Repaired.
Fall of the truck while unpacking for a gig. Repaired.
Fry amp section because it was shorting out thanks to loose stranding in the speaker wire. Repaired.

one more thing to add.

Be aware that most pro-amplifiers only have XLR or Phoenix connector. rarely do they have an RCA input.

Do NOT let the magic smoke out because it is impossible to put the magic smoke back in!!!!
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post #17 of 140 Old 01-28-2008, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasty N8 View Post

I run a Mackie 2500watt to my sub now and plan to change out my Sunfire 405x5 to all Crown XTI 2000 amps rack will be in next room.

Nate

Those XTi are NICE amps.

Do NOT let the magic smoke out because it is impossible to put the magic smoke back in!!!!
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post #18 of 140 Old 01-29-2008, 07:22 AM
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We do a lot of installs with XTIs, they are light, cheap, musical, and the onboard dsp is great. I have had a few bad ones, but it turns out that it was a bad batch ( all sequencial serial numbers ) all fixed under warranty same day. The 3 year now questions, drop it in the swiming pool, warranty is pretty sweet.

The on board dsp is very easy to program via system architect, available free from Harmon Group ( the owners of Crown ).

I expect to bring 7 xti1000 home for my next generation home theater. The 6main speakers will all be bi-amped ( the XTI's DSP will be used as the crossovers, and the 7th will be bridged for the sub.

The other cool thing is with system architect, you can have your preamp set to a volume that outputs .7746 Vrms and let the DSP in the amps control volume. This will improve the s/n of the amp as the adc will work much better with a reference level signal. Infact, I expect to completely bag the whole preamp thing and go direct from the 6 analog outputs of the fireball right into the amps.

Sailn...
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post #19 of 140 Old 07-20-2010, 04:32 PM
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The debate could be life long.

Pro amps apart from beeing rugged and low impedance balanced sould not differ from their home cousins.

Better imagine, finesse, microdynamics, noise floor????

So why a company like Bryston offer about the same amps in pro or home versions?

Same for speakers, why JBL offer to the home market some (not all) speakers derived from pro audio(horn loaded like K2 or Everest)? Is it so different ?
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post #20 of 140 Old 07-20-2010, 04:34 PM
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Holy resurrected thread, batman! 2008!
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"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #21 of 140 Old 07-20-2010, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Holy resurrected thread, batman! 2008!

OK.. OK..
Even if it is 2 years old..
Back to the thread title.
Crown amplifiers work great for home theater especially if one has an inside Harman connection for 70% off..

Just my $0.00..
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post #22 of 140 Old 07-20-2010, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nasty N8 View Post

I run a Mackie 2500watt to my sub now and plan to change out my Sunfire 405x5 to all Crown XTI 2000 amps rack will be in next room.

Nate

I'm curious, what do you gain going from the Sunfire to the Crown?


Edit: I see the Crowns have a speaker management system, is that the reason?

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post #23 of 140 Old 07-20-2010, 09:56 PM
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Yes the DSP is the big reason for the crowns that and the power. They sound alot like the Sunfire surprisingly. My custom high efficiency speakers are active and use the xover, level settings and dsp to tune them. I now run 5 xti2000's one for each main and one xti4000 for subs.

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post #24 of 140 Old 07-20-2010, 10:29 PM
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I use Crown amp because it helps cool my rack

Back to reality - I use it because I like to try it out, looking for that elusive dynamic range and musicality. It's for fun. For most people, an external amp would not make a difference if they don't use extraordinary loudspeakers.
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post #25 of 140 Old 07-21-2010, 05:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swwg View Post

I use Crown amp because it helps cool my rack

Back to reality - I use it because I like to try it out, looking for that elusive dynamic range and musicality. It's for fun. For most people, an external amp would not make a difference if they don't use extraordinary loudspeakers.

I agree. Most people whom I observed stating they hear no difference after adding an amp are using smaller speakers with a much lower power handling capacity. I too feel that large speakers and pro speakers with mulitple woofers and high power handling can benefit greatly from the increased power of external amps.
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post #26 of 140 Old 07-21-2010, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diamonddelts View Post

I agree. Most people whom I observed stating they hear no difference after adding an amp are using smaller speakers with a much lower power handling capacity. I too feel that large speakers and pro speakers with mulitple woofers and high power handling can benefit greatly from the increased power of external amps.

I can't understand why speaker size matters (much). Some small speakers are terribly inefficient, for example.

If you have a small speaker with 87 dB sensitivity it needs a fair amount of power. If it has 100 watts of continuous power handling, it can likely handle more than that on a temporary basis (providing you don't push the speakers drivers past their limits.)

A floorstander with 102 dB sensitivity should not need large amounts of power to play loud.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #27 of 140 Old 07-21-2010, 07:18 AM
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But it sure is fun... My drivers and ribbons are in the 105db efficient range and get about 800 watts per driver. Makes for incredible sound stage and dynamics.

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10,000 Watts, custom built speakers, 10' CIH screen = Holy Crap
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post #28 of 140 Old 07-21-2010, 07:31 AM
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Yes it's for fun. It is fun to note that some phenomena cannot be easily explained. For example how can I explain why those expensive systems in a high end store sound so good. Is it because of the nice showroom or is it because the showroom has perfectly engineered room acoustics with meticulously positioned speakers? I don't know.
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post #29 of 140 Old 07-21-2010, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT3 View Post

Anybody else care to chime in?

they're ugly

-T
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post #30 of 140 Old 07-21-2010, 09:03 AM
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Love mine they sound great and have tons of power. I'm running a macrotech 1200 on my sub and never have any issues with it. only drawback I see to them is they are noisy so you need to have an equipment room for them because the fan noise will drive you crazy otherwise.
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