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Who is using Pro power amps to drive their systems? Why?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gregg Loewen, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Im considering the options of using pro amps to power my system (beyond the typical pro amp to drive the subwoofer). Who else is using pro amps? How did you chose your amp models etc? What do you think about them? What have you compared them too? Feel free to add anything else that Im not asking about.
    Gregg
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  2. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Greg, I think I'd tread carefully. Some "pro" amps are geared more for durability than pure performance. Choose wisely....Best wishes!
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  3. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

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    Lots of people use PA amps to drive their system, mostly high power systems. These amps are designed for very large speakers (not just subs). Many of the good ones are very accurate and clean. They are a very good value too mostly. If you go with a QSC, Crown, or other good brand you won't be disapointed. You will have loads of headroom too unless you are driving 1000 Watt speaks. I guess it all depends on what you want to use them for. Beware the fan noise though. If you have them in the open, it might be a little loud in your HT room.
     
  4. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    In the strictest sense of the word, I am.
    Cinepro amplifiers are sold for the pro marketplace, and to consumers.
    My Bryston amp I'm using for subwoofers intermittently qualifies as well.
    Regards,
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  5. Henry W

    Henry W Stunt Coordinator

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    I thought pro amps had a different gain than home equipmnt and had to be carefully matched with your preamp. Is that correct?
    Best regards-Henry
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  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Gregg,
    Crown and QSC are respected professional brands, but they both have some “turkeys” in their line up.
    In my opinion you have to be careful when choosing any pro gear for HT use. I put a pro-model electronic crossover in my system a few years ago, and immediately noticed that it was not very clean or accurate—despite the excellent specs it had on paper.
    As it has been noted here, most pro amps are designed more for reliability than accuracy. Of course, any brute-force pro amp will do a great job for subs, but that amp might not do so well on the mains. For instance, I noted a Forum member who recently said he connected the Sampson amp he was using for his SVS sub to his mains, and complained it sounded “gritty.”
    Bottom line, the only pro amps you should consider for HT use are the ones designed for studio use. Crown, Bryston and Hafler all make some excellent studio amps. Vince Maskeeper, a Forum moderator here with a lot of pro experience, could probably recommend others.
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  7. John A. Gordon

    John A. Gordon Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay guys and gals,
    Let's clear a few things up. Just because an amp is "pro" does not mean it does not sound good. Period. I would like to know who started this rumor anyway. And as mentioned in other threads on this forum, you cannot judge pro amps from listening to them from at a night club, disco, or what-have-you. If a pro amp was built without accuracy for sound, then something is not right. I will take my pro amps and put them up against any consumer amp, audiophile or not, with the confidence my amps will win.
    As mentioned, one thing you usually do get from a pro amp vs. consumer is durability. You would think that consumer/audiophile amps would do this as well, especially for the money some of them cost. I will add though, some consumer amps are well built. If consumer audiophile amps are so great, then why don't you seem them in use in all studios, consorts, touring, etc.? Yes there are some consumer amps in these locations, but the mass majority are pro amps. And believe me, good sound engineers do want good sound. There is something to be said about durability.
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  8. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    John,
    I agree with you.....somewhat. I've got quite a bit of experience using pro amps in commercial applications, in fact I've got some older model Crown, QSC, and Symmetrix amps lying in my garage (and a really old Oxmoor). Prior to my becoming enlightened in the ways of planar technology (i.e. when I used to use box speakers), I did use some of these amps for home use. When I got my first set of planars, I tried them with some of the brands mentioned above, but no dice. Thats when I moved to Bryston. But hey, Bryston is also considered 'pro' gear, isn't it?
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  9. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    My concerns are with distortion levels, clipping, and fan noise. What has made some people choose one brand (or model) over another?? Where can you compare setups??
    Gregg
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    [Edited last by Gregg Loewen on October 24, 2001 at 08:46 AM]
     
  10. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Fan noise!!! That's the killer for me with most pro amps. I do however own a Crown K2(no fan) which I use for my SVS Ultra subwoofer, but I have never tried it for powering my primary speakers.
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  11. John A. Gordon

    John A. Gordon Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,
    I'm curious as to what you meant exactly by "no dice." Can you explain in more detail please.
    Gregg,
    You will not have to worry about distortion with your amps. They are very clean indeed. As for clipping, you will know if you clip the amp when see the red LED flash, or worse yet, light up steady--do not let this happen. It kind of makes you wonder why consumer amps do not have clip indicators.
     

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