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Crown amplifiers for home audio?

I am considering the crown amplifiers: XLS 1502 DriveCore 2 series.
https://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/products/xls-1502

Has anyone used these for home audio use? Would like to hear experiences. From what I have read on forums they are good and sound neutral.

A few things I have questions about:

1. Fans. Wondering if anyone has used these and if this is a problem, if so can it be fixed?

2. Preamplifier:
What would be good recommendations? The sensitivity can be set to 1.4Vrms or .775Vrms (this will lower the S/N by 6 db). Do I need to consider impedance when  matching the preamp and power amp? features? Hoping to find something economical: there is a used shop I can check out, and online.

3. Power output: How Crown measures watts
"The test is simple: the amplifier is set up with the level controls turned to the maximum setting, and then a connected sine wave source is increased until   the specified total harmonic distortion is reached"

I'm not sure how this compares to other amps. What would be the equivalent measuring 20-20khz?

I thought this would be a more economical way to get a amp than a HiFi shop. It can do well into 4 ohms.

Joe

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #1
I am considering the crown amplifiers: XLS 1502 DriveCore 2 series.
https://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/products/xls-1502

Has anyone used these for home audio use? Would like to hear experiences. From what I have read on forums they are good and sound neutral.

A few things I have questions about:

1. Fans. Wondering if anyone has used these and if this is a problem, if so can it be fixed?

2. Preamplifier:
What would be good recommendations? The sensitivity can be set to 1.4Vrms or .775Vrms (this will lower the S/N by 6 db). Do I need to consider impedance when  matching the preamp and power amp? features? Hoping to find something economical: there is a used shop I can check out, and online.

3. Power output: How Crown measures watts
"The test is simple: the amplifier is set up with the level controls turned to the maximum setting, and then a connected sine wave source is increased until  the specified total harmonic distortion is reached"

I'm not sure how this compares to other amps. What would be the equivalent measuring 20-20khz?

I thought this would be a more economical way to get a amp than a HiFi shop. It can do well into 4 ohms.

Joe

The two most common problems with pro amps for home use is fan noise and interfacing balanced and unbalanced connections.  These are not insoluble problems, but its up to you to figure out how they may impact your plans.


Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #2
Why would you use a PA amplifier for hi-fi home use? These amps are not designed with home hifi use in mind. They are solid build amplifiers, but could lack the 'finesse' you would expect from a good hi-fi amplifier.
If you have one laying around you could try it out, but why BUY one new for this purpose?

I have used a PA amplifier myself when I was a teen and I remember is sounded very dull and lifeless, but was able to drive big speakers very loud, just what they are made for.

There are plenty other options that offer a lot more features, possibly better sound at a better pricepoint.

Depending on the speakers you want to drive and the size of the room, take a look at for example the NAD range, the C338, 368 or 388.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #3
Quote
3. Power output: How Crown measures watts
"The test is simple: the amplifier is set up with the level controls turned to the maximum setting, and then a connected sine wave source is increased until   the specified total harmonic distortion is reached"
I'd trust Crown's specs more than most manufacturers.  ;)

And, I'm pretty sure you'll have plenty of power to rattle your walls and damage your hearing... and blow your speakers :D (unless you also have pro/PA speakers).

Quote
2. Preamplifier:
What would be good recommendations? The sensitivity can be set to 1.4Vrms or .775Vrms (this will lower the S/N by 6 db). Do I need to consider impedance when  matching the preamp and power amp? features? Hoping to find something economical: there is a used shop I can check out, and online.
I don't have a preamp recommendation.   It depends on what features & inputs you want.

Hopefully you can find the output-voltage specs.    Consumer line level might not drive the amp to full power, but consumer equipment isn't necessarily line level anyway so the outputs might be a little hotter.

Impedance is NOT an issue.    You don't want to "match" the impedance.   You want the preamp's source impedance to be much lower than the power amp's input impedance.  The preamp/line output has relatively low source impedance (typically  1K  Ohm or less) and the power amp has relative high impedance (typically 10K - 100K).

...Preamps (and separates in general) are sort-of "outdated" in the age of digital inputs, home theater, and surround sound.    And unless you are using a turntable you don't actually need "preamplification", you just need a switching/control center.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #4
I am considering the crown amplifiers: XLS 1502 DriveCore 2 series.
https://www.crownaudio.com/en-US/products/xls-1502

Has anyone used these for home audio use? Would like to hear experiences. From what I have read on forums they are good and sound neutral.

A few things I have questions about:

1. Fans. Wondering if anyone has used these and if this is a problem, if so can it be fixed?

2. Preamplifier:
What would be good recommendations? The sensitivity can be set to 1.4Vrms or .775Vrms (this will lower the S/N by 6 db). Do I need to consider impedance when  matching the preamp and power amp? features? Hoping to find something economical: there is a used shop I can check out, and online.

3. Power output: How Crown measures watts
"The test is simple: the amplifier is set up with the level controls turned to the maximum setting, and then a connected sine wave source is increased until  the specified total harmonic distortion is reached"

I'm not sure how this compares to other amps. What would be the equivalent measuring 20-20khz?

I thought this would be a more economical way to get a amp than a HiFi shop. It can do well into 4 ohms.

Joe

The Crown XLS Series 2 amps are an excellent choice for home hifi use. I own the XLS 2502, it's quiet, stays cool and is green at the wall. There has been absolutely no fan noise in the background, ever. In fact, I don't think the fan has come on even once. You won't go wrong with one of these amps.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #5
As far as input sensitivity goes, for the XLS series it is 0.775 or 1.4 volts RMS for full output. Connecting an unbalanced input cuts that in half, so the 0.775 volt setting is the one to use, and it gives you an actual 1.5 volt sensitivity which is pretty common for consumer amps. IOW, no problems expected on this front.

https://www.crownaudio.com/en/products/xls-1002

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #6

The Crown XLS Series 2 amps are an excellent choice for home hifi use. I own the XLS 2502, it's quiet, stays cool and is green at the wall. There has been absolutely no fan noise in the background, ever. In fact, I don't think the fan has come on even once. You won't go wrong with one of these amps.

Agree. I use an XLS 1502 in a home hifi setup, sounds good to my ears. I have not heard the fan turn on once.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #7
Why would you use a PA amplifier for hi-fi home use? These amps are not designed with home hifi use in mind. They are solid build amplifiers, but could lack the 'finesse' you would expect from a good hi-fi amplifier.

This smells distinctly like audiophile BS.

Quote
I have used a PA amplifier myself when I was a teen and I remember is sounded very dull and lifeless, but was able to drive big speakers very loud, just what they are made for.

Yep, it's manure.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #8
I am using a Crown XLS 1502 to drive LS50's.  Instead of a preamp I have a Grace M9xx DAC which has a line out (RCA) with a volume control.  It can put out lots more than the 1.4v needed to drive the crowns.  I previously used an Audioengine D1 which also had enough output to drive the amp.     The amp has both balanced and RCA inputs.  I have only heard the fan run once in a year and that was with my head right next to the amp.  It draws 18w idle and not much more when playing.  I consider it suitable for home use and is a bargain for an amp with 300 WPC @ 8 ohms and stable into 2 ohm loads (per mfg).

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #9
For preamp, I'm checking this one out (or simmilar):
http://denonpro.com/products/view/dn-500av
I have active speakers, so I don't neet amplifier, but preamp. Considering I need HDMI inputs, too, I'd rather buy something like this, than something from those companies that sell gold-plated quantuum transformers in their equipment...

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #10
For preamp, I'm checking this one out (or simmilar):
http://denonpro.com/products/view/dn-500av
I have active speakers, so I don't neet amplifier, but preamp. Considering I need HDMI inputs, too, I'd rather buy something like this, than something from those companies that sell gold-plated quantuum transformers in their equipment...

According to
http://www.avc.hr/salesprogram/files/db_files/files/denon-um-dn500av.pdf

The relevant specs are:  Output (+4 mode) 318 mv or 0.318 volts.  IOW this device appears to be is in trouble with just about any industry standard power amp, consumer or professional. I'll bet that there is an amp from the vendor that works, though! :-)

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #11
I saw that low voltage spec.  Makes no sense to call it a preamp.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #12
Is it too low? How much volts should it be?

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #13
Is it too low? How much volts should it be?

How much signal should a general-purpose preamp put out?

The MPC PC standard is about 1 volt.

Pro standards would seem to demand at least +4 dBv or about 1.4 volts.

I'd think that a preamp would never deliver less than what most power amps need for full output, and that is typically 1.5-2 volts.

Digital players for home use typically put out 2-2.5 volts or more.

Some SS preamps put out 5-10 volts.

Some tubed preamps put out 20 volts or more.



Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #14
Is it too low? How much volts should it be?
If you do not intend to replace your active speakers, you could maybe check their specs?
Memento: this is Hydrogenaudio. Do not assume good faith.


Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #16
Quote
And, I'm pretty sure you'll have plenty of power to rattle your walls and damage your hearing... and blow your speakers :D (unless you also have pro/PA speakers).

I'm not sure what I will get for speakers at this point. The ones I have need to be replaced. Probably 100W would be enough, but I like the price and that it puts power into 4 ohms.

Why would home speakers be a problem?

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #17
As far as input sensitivity goes, for the XLS series it is 0.775 or 1.4 volts RMS for full output. Connecting an unbalanced input cuts that in half, so the 0.775 volt setting is the one to use, and it gives you an actual 1.5 volt sensitivity which is pretty common for consumer amps. IOW, no problems expected on this front.

https://www.crownaudio.com/en/products/xls-1002
Just want to confirm that I understand. Using the unbalanced connections with the .775 setting; will that lower the S/N ratio?; If this is so will it be a problem for hiss?

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #18
If you run it balanced, then it will generally have lower noise. Most home audio runs unbalanced, though. And it's not a problem. Who complains about the noise their AVR, say, puts out?

So, if you can run it balanced, great. If not, run it the way millions of humans do - unbalanced.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #19
Is it too low? How much volts should it be?
If you do not intend to replace your active speakers, you could maybe check their specs?

Active speakers tend to have -10 dBv inputs which is about 0.3 volts nputs, and that would work with the OP's processor.

I have Genelec 1031A speakers at home, and they have a bazzilion options behind them, right now they are connected to small and old Continental preamp, through cinch-xlr cables. I understand this is not ideal, but I am not running them loud, so far the loudness is acceptable. The preamp is analog only, and I need HDMI inputs - and cheap preamps with HDMI passthrough (and optional decoding) are non-existent - which is funny, as I could buy whole receiver for 200 euros which has all the connectors and electronics needed, but doesn't have line out, and I wouldn't need amplification anyway.
From the speakers specifications I can't read what they expect to be fed to input:
https://www.genelec.com/sites/default/files/media/Previous%20models/2-way%20loudspeakers/1031A/genelec_om_1031a.pdf
No voltage is mentioned there. I do have gain settings behind, right now they are set to middle.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #20
Is it too low? How much volts should it be?
If you do not intend to replace your active speakers, you could maybe check their specs?

Active speakers tend to have -10 dBv inputs which is about 0.3 volts nputs, and that would work with the OP's processor.

I have Genelec 1031A speakers at home, and they have a bazzilion options behind them,
...
From the speaker's specifications I can't read what they expect to be fed to input:
https://www.genelec.com/sites/default/files/media/Previous%20models/2-way%20loudspeakers/1031A/genelec_om_1031a.pdf
No voltage is mentioned there. I do have gain settings behind, right now they are set to middle.
It takes a little detective work and making some assumptions but...

From this spec, I presume that they clip, either electrically or acoustically @ 110 dB @ 1 meter:

"
Maximum short term sine wave acoustic output on
axis in half space, averaged from 100 Hz to 3 kHz:
@ 1m > 110 dB SPL
@ 0.5m > 116 dB SPL
"

and from this spec, I presume that with the volume control turned all the way up, +4 dB  or about 1.4 volts is the voltage that it takes to clip them:

"
Input level for maximum short term sine wave output
of 110 dB SPL @ 1m:
variable from +16 to +4 dBu
"

An adamantly pro product, the 1031A'S really want pro, not semi-pro or consumer source components.

Re: Crown amplifiers for home audio?

Reply #21
Quote
Why would home speakers be a problem?
There's NO PROBLEM!    You were concerned about the way they measured amplifier power and my point was that you'll have more power than you'll ever need.

...It could be a problem if you have teenagers, or someone drunk at a party turning-up the volume control.

 
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