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Welshsox
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Pro audio amps

Ive had a desire for a while now to hook up a very high qulity pro audio amplifier with a good CD and speakers and see what the result is.

Well today I hooked up a Quad CDP with a Crown CTS 3000 and my VR3's, the result sounds absolutely fantastic. The soundstage is awesome and the bass is incredible, i need to do further listening to determine all facets of the sound but ive got no doubt that the Crown amp has woken up my system like no hifi amp ive ever heard.

For those who are not familiar the Crown CTS 3000 is a top of the range pro audio sound reinforcement amp, there is a feeling on the forum that it is not suitable for hifi as its not going to be musical enough. Its still a fairly expensive unit ( $2000 ) but im betting it has similar sound quality to a very expensive hifi unit and it definetly has more bass and drive than ay hifi amp at the same price.

Alan

Elk
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Re: Pro audio amps

Excellent! There is no better test than trying for one's self and finding what you like.

A great thing about Crown amp's is they are nigh bulletproof and well-supported. Depending on the amp there can also be lots of fun configuration options.

Welshsox
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Re: Pro audio amps

Hi

In the interests of being honest, three problems have emerged with the crowns.

1 - Alough extremely lively with great presence I have noticed a lack of detail resolution emerging, this was initially masked by the much more dynamic sound.

2 - They have internal fans which kick on when the amp is driven for a while, not a problem with 5000 watts of line array but a problem when listening to tubular bells !!. The only answer to this is that the amp needs to be either in a rack or another room.

3 - I just cant get over a sense or forboding that im about to fry my speakers at any time if im even a little excessive with the volume control.

So what I believe I have proven with this experiment is that the Crowns are very capeable amplifiers that definetly have better bass and energy than hifi amps, however they do indeed lack some of the subtle aspects needed. This leads to the same conclusion/solution as most of my experiments, money !!! im guessing a nice large pair of Krell,s, Brystons, Mac's etc would satisfy all my needs. All i need is the $10-$15k to buy them !!!

As Oscar Wilde said, " spend to much you waste a little, spend to little and you waste it all"

Alan

mrlowry
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Re: Pro audio amps

Yep, there are no free lunches. The Bryston 7BSST mono blocks are absolutely killer, I've heard them with Magnepan 3.6 and it was a killer system. The guy that owns it is over the moon.

Elk
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Re: Pro audio amps

Thanks, Alan. Interesting observations.

I am surprised that the fans are kicking in - you are barely using the amps. However, they do not have the kind of passive heat dissipation that HiFi amps have and apparently just rely on the fans.

I have typically found PA amps to have a certain brittle quality to them. Has this shown up in your listening?

Brystons are wonderful amps and have crossover appeal. There are many studios, etc. using Bryston as well as enthusiast types.

Buddha
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Re: Pro audio amps

I confess.

I have broken the Seventh Commandment, audio-style, and have adultered with a "professional."

A couple of months ago, there was an opportunity in that den of iniquity, Guitar Center, and I strayed.

Grabbed a couple of Crown XLS 802's and placed them into my Apogee system.

I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you, at how good they can sound!

I'm still getting used to them, and I reserve a final judgement thus far, but they are "fast" and dynamic, with seemingly gobs of detail.

However...It goes back to that old conundrum that I try to always keep in mind...different vs. "better," but I am definitely hearing some things it can do that are different from my reference amps.

It has been making me think more about "detail" and whether I like "romantic" detail vs. anatomic detail. Kind of like the difference between "erotic" vs. "gynecologic" detail.

But, I do think that with new pieces of gear there are two processes that take place that need to be kept in perspective:

1) A piece of gear getting broken in and "settling" into my system, and...

2) Me getting broken in by the new sound and settling in to what it does.

It's a two way street, no matter how neutral we think we are in our listening skills.

I've had some audio buddies come listen, not knowing what was new and different, and they thought the sound was still "of a kind" and in keeping with what they call my taste for 'natural/organic' sounding gear.

So far, so fun, so I encourage everyone here to go out and experiment.

I'll save criticisms of the amps for another time. I think I am getting a handle on them, but I want more time.

Elk
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Re: Pro audio amps

Excellent!

A great, open-minded experiment/test.

I bet the Apogees love the power.

And they amps are cheap!

Any problems with the fans?

Buddha
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Re: Pro audio amps


Quote:
Excellent!

A great, open-minded experiment/test.

I bet the Apogees love the power.

And they amps are cheap!

Any problems with the fans?

The fans have been "taken care of."

"Taken care of" as in, "when they neutered the dog, his testicles were 'taken care of.'"

Anything short of Matt Oreo at 120dB does not create a heat issue in my home environment.

Elk
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Re: Pro audio amps

Well done.

I think of the fans as having been "serviced", such as a farmer has his mare serviced.

KBK
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Re: Pro audio amps

I've run Apogee Duetta MKII's with over 1400w/pc before.

It's just enough to keep them happy,and they used it all.

Reggae music works well on the Apogees at that point.

LKJ's 'Forces of Vicktry' at near 3kw peak on the Duetta's was a real blast. You could see the panels moving from across the room. Those Apogees require amps with serious sized balls.

tony3d
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Re: Pro audio amps

I have a Crown XTI-2000, and am extremely impressed with it's excellent sound, especially in the bass region. The bass is tight well defined, and powerful. The mids , and high end are also excellent with smooth midrange, and silk smooth highs with no trace of a hard edge. If there is a difference in detail when compared to my Onkyo M504 power amp, I sure can't hear it, in fact to me the Crown opens up the extreme high end. These amps are bullet proof, very powerful ( mine puts out 436 watts per channel both channels driven into eight ohm loads according to my scope before clipping. That's a lot of clean solid power for $699.00!

dcstep
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Re: Pro audio amps

Crown's a great value for the money, particularly for speakers that need a lot of power.

Dave

Elk
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Re: Pro audio amps

It appears that you have found the perfect amp for your needs.

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