Anyone using professional amps?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tony Baker, Feb 6, 2003.

  1. Tony Baker

    Tony Baker Extra

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    A buddy suggested using amps that bands use such as crown or peavey. Does anyone know how well these work.
     
  2. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Hi Tony,

    I think you'll find quite a number of past threads regarding pro amps if you do a search using the "Slow" or "Slowest" function--they're are some guys around here who've used a lot of different gear and/or have been involved in pro audio for a long time who've made a bunch of comments.

    Crown and Crest are respected pretty well. Peavey. . . well. . . Not so sure. Most of these manufacturers offer quite a variety of models/lines, so it's important to note the specifics being discussed (Crown D150 vs. Crown Studio Reference, for example).

    Many use pro amps to drive subs (I'm shopping for a Crown K1 or K2 for such right now). They're less commonly used for mains, though a couple of folks here are, and they say, to good effect.

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  3. Brad Wood

    Brad Wood Stunt Coordinator

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    Tony,
    I don't know that I'd put Peavey into the professional category. Peavey is on the low end of the pro spectrum anyway. People buy them for their bands because they are cheap, and you can drop them off a building and they will still work. Admirable qualities for certain, but sound quality? Questionable.

    That being said, I'd also stay away from most professional amps in your system as well, with the exception of a few. Most pro amps are built for reliability, and the ability to pump out sheer wattage. While they work great in large concert systems, there is alot of processing and tweaking in those systems to get them sounding right.

    There are a few that I do like however. Like the previous post, the Crown K1 sounds pretty good. Crown Reference series amps are amazing...expensive, and amazing. Crest CA amps are wonderful, when they don't spontaneously catch fire, and there are a number of really good QSC amps.

    My ramble is done. Good luck in your amplifier search.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    I basically agree with Mike and Brad. Virtually any pro amp will work good for subs, but I’d be more careful selecting one for the mains. For that, the pro amp I’d look for would be a studio amp.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  5. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    One last thought--many (most?) pro amps have fans. Some of them really loud. Definitely good for amp longevity though (though not longevity in my system--I HATE FAN NOISE).
     
  6. Ted Kim

    Ted Kim Stunt Coordinator

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  7. John A. Gordon

    John A. Gordon Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, time for someone with experience with both consumer and pro to chime in. One of the biggest fallacies in the home audio arena is the belief “pro” amplifiers are built for reliability and power alone and not for sound quality. That is far from the truth. Whether consumer or pro, all good amplifiers are built for accurate sound reproduction. Meaning, an amp should have a flat frequency response. If an amp has an overly bright, dull, huge, or whatever description you would like to insert, then that amp is not designed with accurate sound in mind.
    I use three pro amps in my home theater/audio system and my system sounds great. And yes the pro amp is used for the mains as well as the subs. Several HTF’ers have been to my place and will attest to the great sound. I will gladly put my pro amps up against any amplifier.
    Whether you use “pro” or consumer amps is going to come down to what will make you happy. If consumer gear will make you happier, then please do use consumer. If pro gear will make you happy, then use pro. But as for can you use pro amplifiers in a home theater; the answer is a resounding YES.
     
  8. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    I agree with you, John. Being a "pro" amp does not automatically make it less accurate. Guitar amps are, of course, designed to be sound producers, not reproducers, but that's not the kind of pro amp being talked about.
     
  9. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    John,

    Lemme guess. QSC amps? [​IMG]
     
  10. Brian Johnson

    Brian Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Question: I have an SVS 25-31CS. Right now I am using a mono-block amp ([email protected]) to power the sub. I was thinking of getting the Samson S700. I just found out this was a pro-amp.
    Would this be worth the price ($240)
    The only thing I would be using it for would be to power the SVS & an pair of 100 watt shakers (since the amp is 2-channels). Any disadvantage to running a pro-amp for a .1 source? Should I be looking for another mono-block to power the sub? I guess a proamp wont accept a direct RCA input?
    Sorry for the stupid questions. But.... [​IMG]
    Brian
     
  11. John A. Gordon

    John A. Gordon Stunt Coordinator

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    Gabriel,
    How did you ever guess I had QSC amplifiers? [​IMG]
     
  12. Brad Wood

    Brad Wood Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    I didn't mean to say that all pro amps aren't made for HT. Many are. Like I said, the company you work for (QSC), and the company I used to work for (Crest) make a number of amps that sound great. I'd love to have some PL 6.0's in my system, or a rack full of 8001's, but it wouldn't really be that cost effective or practical. For the average HT'er to get into pro amps, he'd have to look at something on the lower end side of pro, and that's the amp that I was referring to. I've got a few years of concert sound under my belt, and I would agree with you that the best amps that Showco/Clair or Electrotech use would rival the performance of any HT amp. However, I wouldn't put the Peavey CS800 that Billy Bob's Blues Band uses in my HT.
     
  13. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I too would say that Pro Amps can be an excellent choice. Top brands like Crest, Crown and even some QSC (sorry John) will hold their own again more esoteric product lines for home use.

    I use Ashly in my HT- and would highly recommend them. Also, the older Carver PM series amps were very well suited for HT and Home Music reproduction. The top-of-the-line crest product are some of the best sounding amps I've ever heard, bar none.

    -Vince
     
  14. Benjamin.C

    Benjamin.C Agent

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    Brian, I am running a crown ce1000 into my dual svs 20-39cs at 450w @4 ohms, all is well. I would definitely suggest looking into pro amps for subs.
     
  15. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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  16. John A. Gordon

    John A. Gordon Stunt Coordinator

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    Brad,
    You want some PL6.0 II in your HT system eh? Wow! And how many? [​IMG] I hope you have several 30 amp outlets for each amp. So, would you run the PL6.0 II in stereo (8 ohm, 1150W per ch., 4 ohm 2050W per ch.) or bridge them (8 ohm 4400W, 4 ohm 7000W). Funny you mention the PL6.0 II, which btw is an amp intended for the touring market, because I sent out four of them along with two of our new custom home theater amplifiers, the SRA series (available soon), yesterday going to the CEDIA Regionals. The PL6.0 II will be used for the subs and the SRA for the mains. Should be pretty sweet.
    I know what you mean in regards to cost effective, but in the world of high-end audio, the PL6.0 II would be considered a bargain. But I do not believe HT’ers need to look at the low end of pro, my DCA series of amps are not low-end, yet they still fall in price with many of the good multi-channel amplifiers on the market today.
    With all that said, and your concert experience, do you have or use a pro amp(s) in your system?

    Vince,
    Good to hear from you again. It’s been awhile. You are going to have to come over to my place to have a listen, I will convert you yet. [​IMG]

    Gabriel,
    Being you will be in the neighborhood, give me a call ahead of time if you have time and I’ll give you a tour of the factory, no drooling required.
     
  17. Brad Wood

    Brad Wood Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    I'd actually get the PL 9.0, bridge it at 4 ohms and hook up 6 of them to a bank of SB1000 dual 18" subs. Then, when my mother in law came to visit, I'd pop in some hip-hop, and blow her right out the front door! I think I might need a new motion labs 100A distro before I can work that out though.

    In all seriousness, I have to agree with your assertion that the 6.0 would be a bargain. I haven't looked at my old dealer price sheets in a while, but now that you mention it, a PL6.0 or a Crest 8001 would be right around the cost of a Bryston 4B, or some of the more esoteric tube amps. Maybe even a little less. So I defer, I may have been a little hasty. I didn't actually mean to criticize pro amps, I just meant to criticize Peavey! Thank you...I'll be here all week.

    In my system at home, I used to use Crest CA6's with 4 Tannoy System 10DMT-II's and a System 800 for center channel. They sounded really great, until the in-rush limiter blew out on one of them and nearly started the coffee table on fire. Nothing like a little camp fire in the living room to make the wife say "Get rid of 'em!". Luckily, at the time, I was rep'ing M&K pro, so now my system is a fully powered system with 5 MPS-2510's and an MPS-5310 dual 350 watt sub.

    P.S.
    I don't know how much contact you have with your rep network, but say hi to Ken Simons at Excellence Marketing for me the next time you see him.
     
  18. John A. Gordon

    John A. Gordon Stunt Coordinator

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    Brad,
    Your hello has been passed onto Ken.
    Your system sounds pretty impressive. So, have your tried to blow out the inlaw with your current system? [​IMG]

    JohnG
     
  19. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I used a Crown K2 for my mains for a couple of months. I'd say the sound was equal (if not better) than Rotel and Parasound's better offerings.
     

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