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Crown amplifiers, how much is a name worth?

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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   James W. Johnson

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Posted January 28 2004 - 04:51 AM

I have been researching amps recently and really want a Crown Micro-Tech 1200 but the price per watt is expensive, alot more expensive than many amps with similar specs. It seems these amps get nothing but praise but how could Crown be the only one who is a compentant amplifier manufacturer? I just got off the phone with a tech guy @ QSC and asked him what QSC amplifer competes with the Macro/Micro tech amps, he told me the RMX series does. ?? What ..the RMX series amps are considerably less dough than the Crown amps I mentioned. I asked him the same question again, but I required that the QSC model is similarly priced. He told me price has nothing to do with it...the RMX series amps are as good as the most expensive ones they sell. The more expensive amps are more expensive mostly because of the design(size, power consumption etc) , not because they are more compentant amplifers. I told him I was looking for an amp that could run a 4ohm or less load in the bridged mono configuration and he recommended that I pick up an RMX1850HD ..he said this amp was designed for these kind of loads and I would have no problems. I tried to spend more money but he insisted that I would be wasting my money. Is Crown really 'all that'?

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   ThomasW



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Posted January 28 2004 - 05:10 AM


This is like asking if Mercedes Benz is worth the money? The answer is yes, ..... if you can afford it.

Crown in known for the quality of it's amps, the warranty ('no-fault'), and their exceptional customer service.

Will you hear an audible difference between relatively equal Crown and QSC amps playing your new subwoofer? Probably not. But in 5-10 yrs; you would certainly notice a difference in customer service if a time comes and it needs to be repaired..........

BTW it sounds like the QSC tech guy was doing a little extra 'marketing'. That should be expected given the nature of your questions to him .......Posted Image

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted January 28 2004 - 05:30 AM

James, It would be helpful to know what you intend to use the amp for. It would also be helpful to know where you’re seeing all the praise for the Micro-Tech. No, certainly Crown is not the only competent amplifier manufacture. However, it should be clear that not all amps are created equal. QSC, for instance, has numerous model lines, often based on different design architectures. Some are lightweight designs, others are more traditional with large, heavy transformers. Obviously not all designs are suitable for all applications; if they were, all amplifier-specialty companies would offer only a single line. If you were interested primarily in sound quality and wanted an amp to power some expensive high-end audiophile speakers, and if you were seeing the praises of the Micro-Tech come from like-minded audiophiles, then I’d say you should take their claims seriously. However, if you want an amp merely to power a sub – that’s another matter entirely. Since you mention that you want to run the amp in 4-ohm bridged mode, that tells me you aren’t interested in sound quality, or you will be using the amp to power a passive subwoofer. In the case of the latter, sound quality is not an issue at all. For powering a sub the criterion is relatively simple and straightforward: Getting the most power and reliability for the dollar. Obviously the Micro-Tech does not fit the bill for that. Regards, Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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#4 of 8 OFFLINE   JimPeitersen


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Posted January 28 2004 - 06:50 AM

James, I would hate to second-quess the QSC tech, but his assertion that the RMX series is roughly akin to the MicroTech series might be a stretch. Looking at the (prices, specs, build quality, stability into low ohm loads, etc.) I would argue that the Micro/Macro Tech lines would be equivalent to the MX or PLX series by QSC. He is basically comparing the low end QSC line to the mid-level Crown line. Now, don't misunderstand me (I own a MX-1500a) the QSC amps are solid. If you are looking for value, I would get a lower priced amp. The fact that you are going to run your amp into 2 ohm loads (4 ohm bridged) narrows your choices a little. Very few of the low priced amps are stable into these loads (the 1850HD being one of them, although not "cheap"). You are going to pay for the stability into the load you envision. Buy a quality amp, and you will enjoy it for many years (which is the ultimate value purchase.) JP

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Wendell R. Breland

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Posted January 28 2004 - 06:54 AM

Crown DC-300 for 31 years, Crown PS-400 for 20 years, Hafler 120's and 200 for 21 years. All still working fine. The DC-300 failed when it was 2 1/2 years old. Repaired for no-charge by Crown (including shipping both ways). At work we have 12 QSC's. Most have been in service for more than 12 years. Had two failures durring this period.
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#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Allen Ross

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Posted January 28 2004 - 10:38 AM

I think I have to agree with what everyone has said so far, in the long run the crown will out last and be a power house, expecially the Micro/Macro lines, the amps are designed for abuse, made to run at "11" 24/7 and Crown as a company will back that up with their customer support. Personally I am more of a vintage Crown Amp guy, non of this super light class A stuff, I want brute force, 25 pounds of laminated iron. With a capacitor bank as far as the eye can see.
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#7 of 8 OFFLINE   James W. Johnson

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Posted January 28 2004 - 10:54 AM

Ha ha ha! Posted Image Me too, I love a big fat power hog, I want my lights to dim to the bass notes. Posted Image

Here are my choices so far to power my Contrabass:

Micro-Tech 1200 41lbs , 1300 watts parallel bridged mono @ 4ohms , just under $700 shipped to my door, brand new.

QSC USA 1310 55lbs 655wpc @ 4ohms, not rated for 4ohm bridged mono but i'd do it anyways...1300-1800 watts.
Used but in 9/10 condition , $315 shipped

QSC RMX 1850HD , around $500 shipped

The way I see it is if I am going to spend $500 on an RMX then I may as well take the leap and spend the extra on the Micro-Tech, but the 1310 looks pretty tempting, I have owned a USA 900 in the past and it did a great job powering my Adire Kit281s.

I think if I go new then Crown is the way I will go but if I can find something decent for $300 used then I may go that route.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Tom Rosback

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Posted January 28 2004 - 04:53 PM

ThomasW's comments on service and support are well taken. Crown has awesome support. My IC 150 / DC 300A worked flawlessly for years. You know, we really don't run these pro amps very hard in subwoofer applications anyway, so even the lightweight jobs are probably overkill. I rolled the dice and bought a Beheringer 2500 to power my Tumult. Seems to be a well built amp, very stable into 4 ohm loads bridged, but the history just isn't there yet. Time will tell. Funny how my old Classe' Model 15 100wpc stereo amp weighs more and has bigger filter caps than any of the aforementioned pro amps that have 10x the power output.
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