Crown Amps? Pros Vs. conns????

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Steve Lucas, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    I am presently running a Marantz 6200 reciever in my home theater (dedicated room). I think my next upgrade will be a seperate pre/pro and amps. I have some experience in large systems, i.e. rock bands and large churches, and was wondering why I couldn't use Crown amps for my home theater?
    I have a friend who is a dealer and can let me have them at his cost so they should be somewhat affordable.
    Is there any reason I shouldn't use these? Or maybe reasons they would be even better than consumer electronic products?

    I'd love to hear any and all opinions on this.

    Here are links to a couple of models I am considering.

    cts600

    c2600

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    From what I've heard, the macro-tech line is excellent. The CE line is cheaper but not as highly rated. If you can get Crown at cost go for it!
     
  3. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    I don't understand the power rating of the cts600. Why would it produce more power into 8 ohms than 4, and more into 4 ohms than 2? Typo? Even if the impedances were just reversed, the numbers still wouldn't make sense.
     
  4. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    The CE series has a loud fan noise when it runs[not always on].I have a CE1000 to run one of my subs in bridged mode.
     
  5. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    Steve...Steve....Buddy!!!


    Forget Crown


    Go with QSC

    and not the shitty RMX line either....if your willing to put out the coin for pro amps...get the QSC mxa or DCA series.....

    wayyyy better amp

    they cost around the same as the crown ce series...the mxa that is.



    and what speakers do you have??
     
  6. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I've used a Crown Macro Reference (760 watts/channel) in my system for at least eight (probably more - I can't remember) years without a hitch. For a time I used a Sunfire Cinema Grand but when I got rid of my surround speakers (don't ask), I returned to the Crown. The first thing I noticed was that the Crown had much better bass than the Sunfire on my Legacy Focus speakers. It may be an impedance thing - I don't know. Anyway, I would not hesitate to recommend the Macro series. I know nothing about the amps you're referring to - sorry.

    That said, I'm with Ron - were I investing in new amps today, I would go QSC, in particular, the PLX3402 model (700 watts/channel) and others in the PLX line. The PLX3402 can be got online for about $1,000, a terrific value (Parts Express lists it for $1,050 and I've seen lower).

    But I'm quite happy with my Crown and until I build those ultimate speakers (which will be tri-amped) I've wanted to build for the last dozen years, or I finally get another surround system, it's the last amp I will own.
     
  7. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    Hmm...700 watts is a little much for my speakers, I think.
    I have Paradigm Monitor 9's for the Mains, CC-370 center and ADP 370 surrounds (all Paradigm). My rear center speaker is a Klipsch IW-250. Also a Paradigm SW-2200 sub, not that it matters in this discussion. Paradigm rates these speakers for use with amps up to 200 watts. Since I am running 6.1 channels, I was looking at 3 2-channel Crown amps. Probably either the CT or Macrotech series, depending on price. Fan noise won't be a problem since I can locate them in another room if needed. But they would look cool stacked in my equipment rack. :)
    I appreciate everyones advice. I had never heard of anyone using these pro amps in a home setting, so I wasn't sure if there was a reason why I shouldn't. As for QSC, I have some experience with these too. Nice amps, but my friend is a Crown dealer, so that's where the killer deals are.

    Steve

    PS. I'm building a website for my theater now. I'll post pictures when(and if) I get it finished.
     
  8. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    Steve you might want to install a new power source for those amps.

    2x 20A should do it. Just if you pop the breaker at an extreme level, your tweeters could melt.

    as for Crown....they are alright. You are getting a good deal with them and that's great. They will hold up nicely.

    how were you going to hook it up? 1 amp for 1 speaker? ( eg. Channel 1 [ Highs ] Channel 2 [ Lows ] ) or drive all your speakers off them?
     
  9. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    I hadn't even thought that far ahead yet. I was assuming that since I have 6 channels (not including the sub), I would run one channel/speaker. ie. LF, center, RF, LS, RC, RS. should I consider something else? Although not new to HT, I am new to seperates and could use any advice from those with more experience than me.

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  10. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    well....

    a really bitchin system would be bi-amped with a proper crossover ( such as a Rane ). Your speakers would have to be re-wired.....it's a big job...the sound would be awesome though.
     
  11. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    I agree with Ron_L.Steve if you followed this advice you would have a system that would totally blow alot of other systems out of the water. Awesome indeed...
     
  12. Steve Lucas

    Steve Lucas Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok,
    I'm trying to keep up here, but you need to go slowly...lol.
    First, if I bi-amped as Ron suggested, wouldn't I need twice as many amps?
    Second, if I understand correctcly, you suggest using one amp for the tweeters and another for the woofers, right? Wouldn't my tweeters melt at anything approaching the 225 watts that the amps are rated for? Does that mean I would need smaller amps for the tweeters? 225w/channel is the smallest that Crown makes in the Macrotech series.
    If I'm wrong, forgive me for asking stupid questions, but I don't quite see how the tweeters could possibly stand that kind of power.


    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  13. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Steve,

    In my experience you have to be really careful when using pro-equipment for a hi-fi system. Pro companies have different priorities when designing and building equipment compared to consumer hi-fi companies.

    With consumer manufacturers a high priority is typically placed on clean, accurate and distortion-free performance, and indeed most all hi-fi gear is, even lower priced stuff.

    With pro gear, a higher priority is place on ruggedness and durability, with efforts towards clean and accurate being secondary, as far as the budget allows for the target retail price.

    Even mid-line pro gear designed for sound reinforcement has proved unsatisfactory in my HT system. I’d say if you want a pro amp for home theater, look first at stuff designed for studio use. Generally, studio gear is as close to hi-fi as pro gear gets.

    Even then, you should give any amp you’re considering an in-home evaluation before finalizing the deal (or at least make sure you have a generous return policy). Compare it to the Marantz receiver you’ve been using; it should at least sound as good.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  14. JackS

    JackS Supporting Actor

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    As Wayne points out, I have visions of pro-amps powering huge JBL's ,Cerwin Vega's etc. I also envision large party rooms, ballrooms, gyms and outdoor venues. With no experience in using pro-amps in a home setting, I cannot say for sure that the results would be less than satisfactory but, the impression I hold now (right or wrong) is that pro-amps lack the finesse of standard audio grade equipment intended for in home use. Opinions of users who have used both would probably be the most useful.
     
  15. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    I disagree Wayne. Most Pro amps are very clean. The QSC PLX 2402 I have puts out 700W x 2 into 4 ohms at .05% THD. It sounds fantastic. If I was looking for a lot of power I'd get several more of them.
     
  16. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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  17. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Seth,

    With all due respect, I think Jack was pretty clear that he has not used a pro amp, and his impression was just that – an impression.

    Perhaps I’m being unrealistic, but it seems a real stretch to claim “most pro amps are very clean” if your QSC is the only one you’ve used.

     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The macrotech line is pretty capable and it has been chosen by various reviewers when auditioning speakers because of their capabilities, they're not the limiting source. That said, the QSC line bears consideration also, but seeing as you're getting a deal on Crown, that seems like it should be of interest.

    You'll find that Crown comes with a pretty good warranty and they've got several toll free numbers that you can call to discuss some of your concerns with them. Whether its power, fan noise, etc. someone should be able to give you answers that you could always bounce back over here or some other forum. If I'm not mistaken, Crown still comes with a performance printout of the individual amp you've chosen showing it meets or exceeds it's specs. Something I'd like to see in assorted high end products.
     
  19. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    A performance printout of the individual amp is a fantastic idea, you're right,not many other amplifier companies do this. Hats off to Crown!
     
  20. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    Steve,

    To bi-amp say your 3 fronts ( LCR ) you will need 3 amplifiers. One for each channel.

    As for melting your tweeters, don't max the gains out like you would in a pro rig. Calibrate the system using a test tone, set your receiver/preamp at a reference level and start dialing up the gains on the amp for that channel.


    In a bi-amp system, your dealing with 2 gains per speaker, it gets tricky but it's doable.


    If you got a few extra bucks kicking around, ask your friend to hook you up with some DBX eq's and compressors.

    You can setup the compressor so if it gets too intense for the speaker, it will limit the signal and lower the level.

    This is the ultimate in hardcore home theater and if do all the steps above Steve, hats off to you.
     

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