Crown Macro Reference power amplifier Lewis Lipnick's System

Sidebar 1: Lewis Lipnick's System

I received three Macro Reference amplifiers: one Studio and two Esoterics (for dual-mono application). Since I could detect no sonic difference between the Studio and Esoteric, I decided to stick with the latter, principally because it had four binding posts per channel; this made connecting my quad-wired B&W 800 speakers much easier. The rest of the system consisted of a Yamaha Pro DAT, Theta Data Generation II CD transport, Theta DS Pro Gen.III D/A processor, Krell PSB-32X D/A processor, Mark Levinson No.26S, Audio Research LS2B, and Krell KRC line-stage preamplifiers, Cello Audio Palette equalizer/line-stage, and Krell mono LF equalizers (for the B&W 800s). Acrotec, Monster, Cello, and AudioQuest interconnects were used during the six months it took to complete the review, plus AudioQuest speaker cables. A Krell KSA-250 (which was recently updated by the manufacturer and has been my reference since I sold my Mark Levinson No.23.5), an Audio Research D-400, and a pair of Boulder 500AE monoblock power amplifiers were regularly substituted for the Macro Reference for purposes of comparison.

Crown says that, in the dual-mono configuration, the parallel-mono mode should be used with speakers with less than 4 ohms and the bridged-mono mode with loads of 4 ohms or greater. I tried both, and found that the parallel-mono sounded marginally better with the B&W 800s, which present the amplifier with a nominal impedance of just over 4 ohms.—Lewis Lipnick

Crown International
P.O. Box 1000
1718 Mishawaka Road
Elkhart, IN 46515-1000
(574) 294-8000

el magnifico's picture

First, Sam and Lars found the Amp an excellent and powerful audio value and later the bassoon player says that "there's no music in it"? Ha! What a bunch of bullshit! I don't conceive how's that possible, but of course; this amp's price is not $30,000. That's why...At the end it all depends on your system, acoustics, ancillary equipment and your prejudices. No "high flying" audiophile would find a Crown worthy of anything,so, why bother? Ha,ha,ha!