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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, I am in the process of purchasing some new audio equipment and my buddy keeps telling me I am basically an idiot to even think of purchasing anything but emotiva.

My buddy has two monoblock Emotiva Amps powering his mains and they do sound good. I won't question that.... He is running some Acoustic Research Teledyne AR9's.

I have done quite a bit of research and I have been leaning towards the XLS-1500 Crown amp. I have very high sensitivity speakers (105db) if that helps. His response was "How can you get quality parts in an amp that they claim produces 1000w with only 20lbs of equipment?" He keeps stating that heavier amps equals better quality caps/parts etc. He states the XPA-2 is like 70lbs and that means it's better quality parts etc.

I am a computer guy, and weight to me means nothing. Look at solid state hard drives vs old SCSI hard drives etc. Technology has come a long way. He basically keeps telling me I am just pissing my money away if I buy the crown.

Does he have any validity? He has never heard any of the crown amps personally, he personally only has emotiva and one older refurbed Yamaha amp.

I relate a lot of my purchases by a cost/performance ratio. IE: spending $800 on a emotiva XPA-2 vs $350 on a Crown XLS 1500... What would I be gaining if anything?

This amp will be used for 2 main speakers that require 400w @ 4ohms.
 

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Require 400 watts @ 4ohms? Interesting. Are you going for party-like sound levels? As to your amp question, I was also considering a pro-style amp. The price to power ratio was tempting and I was close to pulling the trigger on a QSC unit. I called a local Hi-Fi shop and asked the owner's opinion on pro audio gear. He sounded a bit like your friend in that, although he had no firsthand experience with such equipment, he questioned how you could get 1000 watts for such a low price, and the thing only weighs like 20 lbs.? He told me of a nice amp he'd just taken in on a trade that he was asking a few hundred $$ more than the QSC. I stopped by on my way home from work to check it out. I decided to take a chance on the used piece and took it home. It has made a nice improvement in the system and I have not looked back. Now, in your case, if you can make a deal with the seller of the Crown to allow you to try it for a week with the option to return it, get it and take it to your friends and do an A-B with his Emotiva. If it impresses you against that then keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I imagine they require 400w because they have 15" woofers. I am currently using a cheap amp and it works fine but I do get a little noise from this amp. I also have such large speakers due to the air volume required to move.

But basically trying to determine if spending $900 on an amp is worth my money or are there cheaper alternatives much like the crown that will do what I want.
 

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Emotiva are nice but I agree, get the Crown. Very nice amps. Very good chance if you level matched the two, you would not hear a difference
 

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A 1,000 watt, 20LB amp is most likely a Class-D amplifier, uses digital methods to run the amp very efficiently. You will have to find folks who have listened to both blind and tell you what they hear. Your friend is obviously a classic-ally built hardware guy who questions modern technology. Bring one home for auditioning sounds like a great idea.
 

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Your friend is an idiot. That said, with extremely high sensitivity speakers, the only reason why you'd need novel amplification is if the speakers are 4 Ohm. What speakers are you talking about here?

Incidentally, all amplification below clipping sounds the same. Plenty of people waste money on amplification that they don't need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Cerwin Vega MX-400 speakers.

MX-400 Specifications

DESCRIPTION: 15” 3-WAY LOUDSPEAKER
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 30Hz – 20 kHz (+/- 3dB)
POWER HANDLING: 400 Watts RMS
SENSITIVITY: 107 dB (1 Watt @ 1 Meter)
NOMINAL IMPEDANCE: 4 Ohms
LF DRIVER: MXW15 15” Diecast Frame/2” Voice-coil
MF DRIVER: CM6 6” Cone
HF DRIVER: CS5 1” Voice-coil Horn Tweeter
PROTECTION: Self-resetting circuit breaker (tweeter)
DIMENSIONS: 36”(h) X 17.5”(w) X 19.5”(d)
CIRCA: 1992- 1997
WEIGHT: 90 lbs.

I tried running them on my denon 3312CI when i first bought it and it put the receiver into protection mode immediately.
 

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4 Ohm nominal impedance you do need a lot of amplification. That said, there's not a difference in sound in amps. Get what's cheapest or do the more simple thing and get speakers that aren't a pain in the ass to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
zgeneral: I agree getting new speakers would be easier... Not cost effective, but easier. The only speakers I have auditioned locally (granted I only have bestbuy and a Golden Ear shop) that I feel come close to the sound I get out of my current speakers are the Def Tech ST-L speakers. The ST-L obviously are better in almost every aspect but they also cost $5000/pair.

Again, I am using these speakers because I have a lot of open air space and the added umph helps. I have some klipsch and infinity 3 way speakers with 8" woofers and they just sound horrible in the large space.

Thanks for the input, but to keep on track it sounds like the Crown would do just fine for my current application.

Thanks for the reinforcement. I was doing a sanity check and also wondering if maybe there was something more to amps that I didn't understand... Maybe he knew way more than I do on this subject and that's why he was pushing the emotiva's so much. ***Deep down I kinda knew he was just an emotiva fanboy**** With the cost of emotiva's gear it would be hard to understand something half the price to 1/3 the price could be just as good. And if you spent as much as he does in DAC/pre processors monoblocks etc I doubt he want's to hear otherwise.

LoL.
 

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Emotiva fanbois can be a bit weird. It's nice stuff, the amps at least....they seem to have issues on prepros in terms of timely delivery and living up to promises.

I have two Crown XLS1500 amps. I was using them for mains but now on sub duties. One caution on very high sensitivity speakers, member blazar has some very high efficiency horn type speakers and he had noise floor issues (hissing) in a very quiet room using the Crown amps (and he has gone on to hi-end low noise floor amps for those speakers). I'd try the Crown over the Emotiva....I did but I don't have ultra high sensitivity speakers so no experience like blazar's....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
My current amp sucks compared to today's technology?... It's an old Kenwood 150wpc @8 ohms and i am guessing around 300w @ 4 ohms. Kenwood KM-991. It was made around 96? If you cant tell all my gear was from around the same era... I have had a good 20 years out of this system...? I had to re-foam the woofers once.

I have a guy local with a crown xls 402 that he is willing to sell for $100. Im debating on picking it up as it would save me a few hundred and let me dabble in the crown world and see if I like it or not. Says it does 400w @ 4 ohms.

Here are specs on my amp. Wasn't bad in its day.

http://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/kenwood/km-991.shtml
 

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My current amp sucks compared to today's technology?... It's an old Kenwood 150wpc @8 ohms and i am guessing around 300w @ 4 ohms. Kenwood KM-991. It was made around 96? If you cant tell all my gear was from around the same era... I have had a good 20 years out of this system...? I had to re-foam the woofers once.

I have a guy local with a crown xls 402 that he is willing to sell for $100. Im debating on picking it up as it would save me a few hundred and let me dabble in the crown world and see if I like it or not. Says it does 400w @ 4 ohms.

Here are specs on my amp. Wasn't bad in its day.

http://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/kenwood/km-991.shtml
I don't know anything about your current amp's technology let alone saying anything about it sucked. So what's wrong with your current amp? You're worried about the 1dB or so difference in output capabilities between 300 and 400w?

Wonder if the XLS402 fans are as quiet as the XLS1500's? You might like to read this http://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...amps-class-d-class-b-crown-xls-drivecore.html
 

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Thing about CV speakers is the sensitivity

107 dB! And I believe that's ballpark accurate

That means, with ONE watt, you get 107 dB at one meter. That is stupid loud. You could drive these with pretty much any amp to loud levels

As they are 4 ohm speakers, it might be tempting to get external amplification, because receivers are designed for 8 ohm speakers for the most part. But they can handle 4 ohm speakers up to a point. I bet I could drive your CV speakers to police showing up levels with the cheapest Yamaha receiver

Anyways, up to you. External amplification is probably not a bad thing if your setup allows for it
 

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I get hissing right now with my current amp but you can only hear it if the room is absolutely quite. I literally have to put my head a few inches from the speakers to it to hear it.
With sensitive speakers, some hiss is not unheard of.
 

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Ok, I am in the process of purchasing some new audio equipment and my buddy keeps telling me I am basically an idiot to even think of purchasing anything but emotiva.

My buddy has two monoblock Emotiva Amps powering his mains and they do sound good. I won't question that.... He is running some Acoustic Research Teledyne AR9's.

I have done quite a bit of research and I have been leaning towards the XLS-1500 Crown amp. I have very high sensitivity speakers (105db) if that helps. His response was "How can you get quality parts in an amp that they claim produces 1000w with only 20lbs of equipment?" He keeps stating that heavier amps equals better quality caps/parts etc. He states the XPA-2 is like 70lbs and that means it's better quality parts etc.

I am a computer guy, and weight to me means nothing. Look at solid state hard drives vs old SCSI hard drives etc. Technology has come a long way. He basically keeps telling me I am just pissing my money away if I buy the crown.

Does he have any validity? He has never heard any of the crown amps personally, he personally only has emotiva and one older refurbed Yamaha amp.

I relate a lot of my purchases by a cost/performance ratio. IE: spending $800 on a emotiva XPA-2 vs $350 on a Crown XLS 1500... What would I be gaining if anything?

This amp will be used for 2 main speakers that require 400w @ 4ohms.
Emotiva are nice but I agree, get the Crown. Very nice amps. Very good chance if you level matched the two, you would not hear a difference
I traded my Emotiva XPA-5 for Crown XLS2000's and couldn't be happier. I wouldn't say the difference is night and day, but I believe the Crowns are just as good, if not better in terms of dynamics. Your choice of the XLS1500 is a good one as you don't need more power and the XLS1000 has higher noise.

One word of caution, your results may depend pretty heavily on what is driving the amps. I originally had my Crowns driven by an Integra DHC-40.1 connected using RCA cables. I had noise issues. When I got my Emotiva XMC-1 and connected to the Crowns using XLR, dead quiet. So I would not recommend the Crown amp unless you are driving it with a pre/pro with appropriate connections. A receiver with pre outs is not recommended.

Here is a link to an article (in case you haven't already seen it) by a former Emotiva employee who enthusiastically recommends the Crown amps: Andrew Robinson Review

There are also a couple of very long threads out there on the topic of using the Crown XLS amps in home audio systems. most people are very happy.
 

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Thing about CV speakers is the sensitivity

107 dB! And I believe that's ballpark accurate

That means, with ONE watt, you get 107 dB at one meter. That is stupid loud. You could drive these with pretty much any amp to loud levels

As they are 4 ohm speakers, it might be tempting to get external amplification, because receivers are designed for 8 ohm speakers for the most part. But they can handle 4 ohm speakers up to a point. I bet I could drive your CV speakers to police showing up levels with the cheapest Yamaha receiver

Anyways, up to you. External amplification is probably not a bad thing if your setup allows for it
This. If your room is big as all outdoors and you sit 25 feet from the speakers you are going to need every bit of 15 watts to cleanly (from an amplification perspective) to exceed max levels for movie mixes. More power will simply take the inaudible levels of distortion and make them even less audible. If the hiss is inaudible from where you actually listen, a different amp is unnecessary. If hiss is a problem, chasing more power likely will make it worse. Go to a concert. If you had a ladder to get your ears within a few feet of the speakers, you surely would hear lots of noise, even with multikilobucks of amplification. But every ear is twenty feet to a thousand feet from the speakers and that noise is irrelevant. Inaudible. If hiss is a problem from your real listening position, congrats, your speakers are massively sensitive. To reduce the hiss will require a system with low self noise. Frankly, lower powered amps may be superior, assuming preamp noise is low enough, since you cannot use 50 Wpc without risking tinnitus, which, trust me, you do not want. Never goes away.
 

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Ok, I am in the process of purchasing some new audio equipment and my buddy keeps telling me I am basically an idiot to even think of purchasing anything but emotiva.

My buddy has two monoblock Emotiva Amps powering his mains and they do sound good. I won't question that.... He is running some Acoustic Research Teledyne AR9's.

I have done quite a bit of research and I have been leaning towards the XLS-1500 Crown amp. I have very high sensitivity speakers (105db) if that helps. His response was "How can you get quality parts in an amp that they claim produces 1000w with only 20lbs of equipment?" He keeps stating that heavier amps equals better quality caps/parts etc. He states the XPA-2 is like 70lbs and that means it's better quality parts etc.

I am a computer guy, and weight to me means nothing. Look at solid state hard drives vs old SCSI hard drives etc. Technology has come a long way. He basically keeps telling me I am just pissing my money away if I buy the crown.

Does he have any validity? He has never heard any of the crown amps personally, he personally only has emotiva and one older refurbed Yamaha amp.

I relate a lot of my purchases by a cost/performance ratio. IE: spending $800 on a emotiva XPA-2 vs $350 on a Crown XLS 1500... What would I be gaining if anything?

This amp will be used for 2 main speakers that require 400w @ 4ohms.
I don't think you can go wrong with the Crown xls1500. I have one driving my L/R tower speakers and it does an excellent job. I too struggled with whether to purchase an expensive consumer amplifier, like emotiva, or integrate pro amps in my home theater set up; I went pro amp and haven't had any regrets what so ever.
 
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