"Home Theater" amps vs commercial amps

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by David Sailor, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. David Sailor

    David Sailor Agent

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    I'm curious for thoughts and opinions on the quality and sound of some of the commercial amps used by DJ's and nightclubs such as QSC and Crown vs amps more typically used in a home theater. I know that the Crown amps are used for the non amped SVS subs with good results. I currently have several Adcom amps and was deciding on getting another 555 II vs a QSC or Crown.
    Are there any benefits or disadvantages to using the commercial amps in home theater? I have been using 3 of the 555 II's for years now with absolutely no problems, very happy with the sound. I'm eventually moving over to a dedicated home theater that would include equipment racks so the size savings of the commercials amps would be beneficial along with the significant gain in output, if the specs are correct.

    David
     
  2. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    David,
    The "sound" of amplifiers is a very subjective thing. I recommend listening to the candidates if you can. I personally have been unimpressed with the sound of "lower end" commercial amps (Mackie/Tapco, QSC, Peavey, Behringer, etc) --in hi-fi applications. The QSC I owned, in particular, sounded extremely "grungy" with very "brittle" treble. It was an older (ca. 1986) model however. For subwoofer applications, they are probably fine. In fact, many "high-end" hi-fi snobs use commercial amps for subwoofer duty. One issue to consider is fan noise. Many commercial amps have noisy fans that can detract from the movie experience unless you have a dedicated equipment room.

    I have not heard any of the newer Crowns, but they are supposedly quite good. I would guess that their higher-end models are squarely in "hi-fi" category. I'm seriously considering a K2 for my next subwoofer project. Also take a look at Bryston. These amps offer the ruggedness of commercial products, fan-less quietness, and the high-end sound of a top-shelf hi-fi product. My mains are powered by Bryston.

    And hey, there's nothing wrong with Adcom. I have a 555 (currently doing subwoofer duty) that is rugged and decent-sounding.

    My $0.02: Avoid cheap commercial amps for mains and surrounds; use whatever gives you the best watts/dollar for subwoofers (if fan noise is not an issue).
     
  3. David Sailor

    David Sailor Agent

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    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the reply. I really don't have any complaints with the current amps, just trying to get input on future expansions.

    David
     
  4. Jake S

    Jake S Stunt Coordinator

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    commercial amps cheif concern is their ability to drive in clip with failing, but are not ussually known for finese.
     
  5. johnny..bon

    johnny..bon Second Unit

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    I power my mains (JBL S-310's) with a Crown XLS-402 (265 watts x 2)pro amp with amazing results. Crystal clear with unbelievable head room. IMHO it is better than any other HT amp at half the cost. It does have 2 built in fans to cool it but it runs ice cold. At low night time listening levels you will hear the fan. I highly recommend this amp.
     
  6. Kevin Alexander

    Kevin Alexander Screenwriter

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    I second the Crown 402. And, BTW, the fans can be silenced w/o compromising their intended results.
     

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