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#317381 - 08/02/10 10:31 PM Cheaping out using "Live Sound" amplifiers?
Henry66 Offline

Registered: 07/05/10
Posts: 233
Loc: New Hampshire, USA
I am sure some of you know that there are powerful amplifiers out there that are off the audiophile radar because they typically have fans for cooling.

I spotted this one for example, which I can get for $200 shipped.
The product page for the amp is here: Crown XLS Series.

Any idea what the sound quality is like compared to, say, an Emotiva XPA-2?
(I want to get Axiom M80s, and the XPA-2 problems have been pointed out to me.)

In my case I can hide the fan noise by putting the amp on the other side of the wall (in the laundry room) and feed the cables through the wall to keep them short.
Axiom M80s + QS8s + VP180 <-- Pioneer VSX-1120-K <-- Squeezebox Touch / XBox360 / Oppo BDP-93

#317383 - 08/02/10 10:44 PM Re: Cheaping out using "Live Sound" amplifiers? [Re: Henry66]
tomtuttle Offline

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Seems like lots of people have had good luck with those types of amps, which are sometimes referred to as "Pro sound" amps. In addition to the Crown, folks seem to like QSC and Behringer.

I have no experience with them and don't play my system at levels that would require more than the ~130 watts generated by my receiver or similar models.

It looks like that Crown you linked to only has XLR inputs, which certainly makes me wonder what sort of processor you might use with it.

Not much risk at that price - if you go for it, please post your experience.

Good luck. Enjoy the journey.
bibere usque ad hilaritatem

#317388 - 08/02/10 11:48 PM Re: Cheaping out using "Live Sound" amplifiers? [Re: Henry66]
fredk Offline

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Pro amps get a lot of use with the DIY subwoofer crowd, but some also use them for outboard amplification of mains.

The two disadvantages are the looks (to some) and internal fans for cooling that can get noisy.

There are a few people over at avsforums that know the various brands quite well and can give you good advice. Post in the DIY Speakers and Subs forum

Edited by fredk (08/03/10 12:26 AM)

Blujays1: Spending Fred's money one bottle at a time, no two... Oh crap!

#317398 - 08/03/10 01:50 AM Re: Cheaping out using "Live Sound" amplifiers? [Re: tomtuttle]
ClubNeon Offline

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
Originally Posted By: tomtuttle
It looks like that Crown you linked to only has XLR inputs, which certainly makes me wonder what sort of processor you might use with it.

Most pre-amp/processor separates have XLR outs, it's just integrated receivers (if they have line outs at all) that don't have room for XLRs in addition to the speaker binding posts.
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs

#317399 - 08/03/10 02:23 AM Re: Cheaping out using "Live Sound" amplifiers? [Re: ClubNeon]
2x6spds Offline

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3115
Loc: CA, USA
Our local, former and fondly remembered Tower Record Store had a bunch of Crown amps. They sounded terrific.
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

#317706 - 08/06/10 12:49 AM I'm using a Pro-Amp [Re: 2x6spds]
chunkYE Offline

Registered: 06/27/04
Posts: 31
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I'm using a QSC GX5 to power my M80's.

I went for this model because it had RCA inputs which I just run straight from of the preouts of my AVR.
Some of the Pro-Amps need some type of converter box to up the signal level from consumer to pro level.

The fan inside was pretty noisy, not noticeable when the volume was up, but during quiet scenes it was very noisy. So I swapped it out for a quieter model (One of these) and now it's silent unless I put my ear right up to it.
Another disadvantage is the lack of remote control, so I have to switch it on and off by hand every time. Of course you cold get around it by using those energy saving power-strips that switch off the other points when your main appliance is in standby, or some people have even rigged up the 12V triggers from AVRs to turn Pro-Amps on, but this involves a bit of electronic knowledge and of course; voiding your warranty. But that will happen when you change the fan over anyway.

I've never heard anything that would be classified high-end, but it sounds great to my ears.
Axiom M80's
Axiom VP180
Yamaha NS-333's
Emotiva XPA-3
Yamaha RX-A1010
Panasonic TH-P60ST30A


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