You are a continual asset to this community. I appreciate you digging that stuff up!
Except for I see Andrew Robinson's name in that first link and closed it nearly immediately. His reviews are the very definition of subjective fluff and audiophile snake oil, and I stopped giving his expert opinion any credibility after reading this review and subsequently owning the Sherbourn 7-350. (which was a good amp, at a good value in it's $1,000 close out price --- but not magical any more than any other functional pro amp I own).
My buddy scrappydue texted me about the crowns last night. I initially told him not interested at all because I have enough amps already ----- I have some of the X1000 amps which mtg90 noted had audible distortion to his ears, which bore out somewhat in my quick and dirty (no real clue what I'm doing) distortion testing.
I don't think I could tell an audible fault from my casual listening at that junction (non instant switch listening) - but IIRC those x1000 amps are just rebadged XLI800 amps (manufactured for Guitar Center and Musician's Friend stores only). Anyway, as I thought more about the price, I have a couple old school Crown XLS amps. The XLS 202 and the XLS 402 which I'm using for my mains right now on the Denon x7200wa for L/C/R. (only because I actually have to use external amps to drive my 7.1.4 speaker setup - otherwise I 'd just be using the built in 9 amplifiers)
I'm not one that thinks amps sound different (to my ears anyway) so I'm not even sure why this question is fluttering around in my head - but I'm curious what the distortion profile would be like on the new XLS 1000 or XLS 1500 as compared to the X1000 or XLS202 and XLS 402 I have?
Rhetorical question - Why the heck does Crown reuse naming schemes so confusingly? My class A/B XLS 202 and XLS 402 look nothing like the (completely different amp class and technology) newer class D XLS 1000, etc. The X1000 being a rebadged XLI 800 is weird. Muddy the waters much, Crown?
guess I'll stick with my Crown XLS 202 (bridged to center) and my Crown XLS 402 (stereo for l/r) - Post 90.