Need advice on Crown amps

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Chauncey_G, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. Chauncey_G

    Chauncey_G Second Unit

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    A friend of mine works at a good local guitar shop which can order and/or stocks various models of Crown rack-mounted amps. He has offered to look into getting me a good deal on some amps if I'm interested. I've asked him to look into 2-channel amps at 120W/channel and at 150W/channel.

    Some background: I currently have a Denon AVR-4800 receiver powering a pair of B&W CDM 7NT's (mains), a pair of 1NT's (surrounds) and a CNT (center). I've always thought that my next audio upgrade would be to go to seperate amplification while maintaining the Denon as a pre-amp/processor.

    So, if the question can be answered without knowing specific amp model numbers, would these amps fit the bill? Is there any reason I wouldn't want to use them? Does anybody out there have any experience with Crown amps?

    I tried the search function for "Crown amps" and got nothing.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. AndersP

    AndersP Stunt Coordinator

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    Crown amps are PA - amps as far as I understand. I wouldn´t recommend it. This is because of no guaranteed success. More power OK - better sonics NO. The thing to go for would be a 5ch, a 3ch or 3 identical monoblocs.

    Keword for you lucky americans: eBay

    A Crown amp for a killer subwoofer is another matter.
     
  3. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    For B&Ws try Rotel, Parasound, Classe or B&K. Having said that I can almost hear someone coming in and saying that there is no difference between the sound of a Crown amp and a Mark Levinson. So my best suggestion is to audition as many amps as possible in your system before buying anything because the amp will most probably outlast every other component in your system.
     
  4. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Well, since I have owned Levinson and Krell amps in the past and currently own a Crown Macro Reference, E version (760 watts a side), I can confidently say that, yes, there is no - I repeat - no difference in sound quality between them. The Crown claims a higher SN ratio, for whatever that may be worth. Levinsons and Krells (and Classe and many others) are grossly overbuilt to no point; the Crown is excellently built but is far from fancy. Mine has performed flawlessly for the 8+ years I have owned, used and, sometimes, abused it (abused in the sense that I used it's full capabilities).

    Now, the above certainly doesn't mean all pro amps are wonderful and the equal of all others. There are clinkers, at least for home theater use. The Crown Macro and the QSC PLX series of pro amplifiers all would fit very well into any audio/home theater system. QSC amps normally would be the most cost effective, but you have a buddy who will get you deals on Crowns.

    I wish I could give you the lowdown on the various Crown models, but I simply am not familar with them. I highly recommend the Macro series, but these are also the more expensive models and I'm guessing that you don't want to spend that kind of bucks. Hopefully, someone will pipe in with opinions of the more common, or less costly, Crown amps.
     
  5. Jerry Parker

    Jerry Parker Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'll second the macro line. The others you may need to do something about that fan but people have put in quieter ones.
     
  7. Chauncey_G

    Chauncey_G Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info, guys! Everyone else - the more, the merrier, so keep any advice coming!

    Jerry, I'm actually unsure about my budget. I'd started out thinking that I wouldn't upgrade anything this year, but when this friend of mine started offering deals, I couldn't just say "no" to the possibility! [​IMG] I figured that I'd just see what kind of prices he could get me on the amps and match that up to whatever advice I got here.

    I am interested in hearing some details on replacing those noisy fans. Where do you get replacement fans for amps?

    Thanks again!

    -Kurt
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Unless things have changed, the Crowns come with a pretty decent warranty (3 years) and a printout of the specs on the actual unit you're buying. A nice touch I think and it'd be nice seeing this emulated by high end companies. Their ability to drive low impedance loads is a definite plus and they can run all day and night. Some people have issues with their appearance but they can be a great way for people to get decent and competent amplification while directing their monies to better places like speakers.
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    IMO, Crown is an exceptional choice for a neutral sounding amp. I have used a Crown K1 and K2 in my HT (to drive my Paradigm Studios) and both are easily the equal of other $2k amps (Rotel, Parasound, used Krell, Bryston, etc.). As mentioned above, I would also suggest performing a double-blind test and decide for yourself. Crown's K series have no fans and are totally silent (ideal for in-room audio equipment racks). Crown's Studio series sounds even better but have fans (although they are extremely quiet). QSC is another pro amp brand to check out.

    Pro amps are built to work and typically don't have pretty faceplates, ornate heatsinks or extensive brochures filled with marketing babble. What you do get is an excellent amp that is built for abuse (sitting in puddles of mud at an outdoor concert driving obscene loads, etc.).

    In terms of service, I am very pleased with my Crown experience. My K2 had its inputs drastically overloaded so I had to send the amp in for service. Even though it was a B-stock unit Crown fixed the problem, performed upgrades (two sheets of documented changes), and paid for shipping in both directions.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Not too shabby!
     
  11. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    My Crown Macro Reference came with 6 year warranty. Nice manual too, but this was required as the Crown Macros (maybe some others also) could be fitted with a variety of input boards, depending on usage.
     
  12. Brendan_Lewis

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    Parts express currently has some nice sale prices on crown amps. I'm sure it's not wholesale but they are priced pretty low. Check out their current flier.

    I have a Crown CE-2000. I use it primarily to melt subwoofers. That might be because it's too damn big for my application, or because my subwoofers are too small. OTOH, I have listened to it on my main speakers and it sounds very good. My brother has the CE-1000, it's little brother, and he runs his mains on it permanently.
     

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