Crown DC-300 power amplifier Specifications

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Description: Solid-state stereo power amplifier. Rated power: 100Wpc into 16 ohms (23dBW), 150Wpc into 8 ohms (21.8dBW), 250Wpc into 4 ohms (21dBW), all at <0.1% IM distortion. Frequency response: DC–20kHz, ±0.1dB; DC–100kHz ±0.6dB. IM distortion: <0.1%, 10mW–150W into 8 ohms; typically below 0.05%. Input sensitivity: 1.75V in for rated power out.
Dimensions: 7" (178mm) H by 9¾" (229mm) D by 19" (483mm) W (standard rack-mount panel). Weight: 40 lbs (18.2kg).
Price: $795 (1970); no longer available (2017).
Manufacturer: Crown International, Elkhart, IN 46514 (1970); Crown Audio (a division of Harman), 1718 W. Mishawaka Road, Elkhart, IN 46517. Tel: (574) 294-8000. Web:

Crown Audio (a division of Harman)
1718 W. Mishawaka Road
Elkhart, IN 46517
(574) 294-8000

tonykaz's picture

Dear Mr.JA,

The latest version of this Amp costs only $350. Could you convince our lovely Whistler in Port Townsend to give it a quick review?, he owns a pair of Speakers that might just give this thing a run for its money.

I know that Tyll had a day or two at Harmon with their Big M2 set-up that uses these Crowns.

A review like this could be a real Eye-opener!

Of course, reviewing a Crown using Wilsons would be a brave thing to do considering it's an "Industrial" type of device with Zero Audiophile Creds. Betcha Harmon would jump at the chance. ( I certainly would ).

Besides, where else can we subscribers find "interesting and useful" journalism?, who else would dare.

All the Best,

Tony in Michigan

John Werner's picture

Boy how times have changed. It's nothing today to pick up a copy of Stereophile from the past decade and read about stereo and mono block amps in excess of $50,000. Even when adjusted for an arbitrary 15X price differential this review seems to hint at a kind of high value even as it apologizes that most folks can't afford it at the time. I think it snaps into focus how high-end audio has become, often, quite out of reach price-wise. When I read about amps in excess of 50K I wonder who, and how many who's, actually buy this stuff. I think that even in 1970 when a fine car sold for just under 5K this amp may have been something to aspire to that was actually reachable. I get tired of reading about so much gear in today's Stereophile that while interesting is totally irrelevant due to expense. That said I've enjoyed revisited this vintage review more than quite a few I've grown used to reading over the past decade in Stereophile. Here' wishing we get more great vintage reviews that warrant our attention along side of new reviews we can realistically aspire to not just reading about, but to actually owning.

dalethorn's picture

$700 then, and $4400 in today's money. For me, an average earner who would entertain about $2000 to $2500 for speakers, $4400 is a lot for just a power amp. Never mind the $15000 and up amps today, with the great cost reductions (adjusted for inflation) we've seen due to progress in electronics since 1970, you should be able to get a better power amp for less than $4000. So where are we at, after all?

mrkaic's picture

Benchmark AHB2 is in my view the best power amplifier currently available and costs $3000 (you can read the review in this magazine and judge it for yourself). This is still a lot of money, but in line with the price of the Crown (plus the downward adjustment for progress in electronics).

For much less money you can get a NAD amplifier. They make superb products and I am quite sure that so called audiophiles would not be able to hear the difference between a NAD and a boutique (snobbish) amplifier costing $15k or more.

So, that is progress, is it not?

dalethorn's picture

That all sounds great to me, although I've had a couple of NAD's and I wasn't too fond of their reliability in heavy use.

mrkaic's picture

Behringer A500 is dirt cheap and a great performer:

supamark's picture

is semi-pro junk, and the reason it's so cheap is because it is crap. They just make cheap knock-offs of much better semi-pro and pro equipment.

mrkaic's picture

What are some good brands that make semi-pro gear? I'm looking for an equalizer and would be really grateful for any info.

Thanks in advance,


supamark's picture

if you're looking for a 2 channel EQ for your home system I'd stay away from semi-pro gear (it's generally not very good - the powered Emotiva monitors would be an exception, really good value).

The Drawmer 1961 is a good tube stereo parametric EQ (~$2k), and I'd consider Drawmer a good value pro brand. Manley also makes a good stereo tube EQ for around $3k, as does API (solid state, class A operation, discrete components).

jmsent's picture

wasn't very good, even in its day. It used rugged, but slow output devices and huge amounts of negative feedback. It's claim to fame was stable power, power, and more power. It certainly had "authority" in the bass. But like most large solid state amps of the day sounded dry and hard in the top end. There was very little out there in the day that could drive the likes of a Dayton Wright, B & W DM70, or even a Dahlquist DQ 10. The best you could get from tubes (within the realm of sanity) was about 75 watts a channel. Not enough for those "super speakers". It's successor, the DC300A wasn't much better. The store I worked for sold Crown, but nobody that worked there would own it. The accompanying IC150 preamp was equally horrible. I stuck with tubes until the Sony and Yamaha V-fet stuff came along a couple years later. Now, that WAS good sounding solid state gear...finally.

dalethorn's picture

Rugged was the key word for Crown. Ads for their tape decks said " to survive a parachute drop" etc. And while Crown electronics didn't sound nearly as good as decent tube electronics, there were worse solid state items on the market than Crown back then.

EngineerRob's picture

In the early 1970s I spent time at Studio West/State of Mind working on concert sound. We had two dozen DC-300s and some D-150s. The DC-300s drove JBL D-120s in custom reflex cabinets, and the D-150s drove Altec horns for added power at the high end. Once we did a comparison test of our oldest DC-300 versus a much newer unit (they were a few years apart). Switching back and forth between the two amps, at older unit was "clearly" superior - the definition and realism of the sound of the old unit was apparent.
The biggest setup we did was an outdoor concert for Jefferson Airplane - used all of our equipment for 10 kW of power.