I might do the weird thing! Crown amp for my L/R speakers.

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spkrdctr

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Well, considering my social security income, I'm going to get a two channel Crown amp that delivers a lot of power. I'm looking at 300 watts at 8 ohms and 600 at 4 ohms. This will guarantee there is no lack of voltage or current. Many, many forums have guys running Crown amps and they really like them and keep them for many years as they are bulletproof. For me the price is right and the spec sheet says they are pretty high quality as far as specs go. So, I might take the plunge and then give my opinion of them. But, I am picky, if they do not improve my system I will say it. If I have buyers remorse I will say it. If it makes my system sing then I will be very happy. I'm on the audio rollercoaster. After I get the crown I need to upgrade my surround speakers and maybe my center channel. Center channel will be last as what I have is working fine at the moment. Now off I go to research the Crown site. I'm off on a mission!

Oh, and I know you guys probably think I'm crazy. I very well might be! Too much PTSD from my job has me one trip away from the nuthouse. Till then, I will keep listening.......
 

twich54

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Bravo, looking forward to your findings, impressions and anything else you wanna share with us !

Like you I have also heard from others using them saying, 'there no longer Grandpa's PA amps' anymore !
 

JonFo

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Nothing wrong with Crown amps, I have a couple driving the subs.
However, not so sure they are the best match for the ESL loads, even though they have wattage, they might not like the reactive nature of the ESL.

Another low-cost alternative is the QSC GX5 which is a class H amp (similar to the often recommended Sunfire amps), but it has a noisy as heck fan. If you look at the last page of my system thread, you can see the fan-swap I performed on mine, it's dead-quiet now.
 

spkrdctr

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I'm looking at the standard made for home audio and pro audio XLS 1500. I read a testing review of the XLS 1500 which everyone goes to normally for home audio, it performed very well compared to regular home audio amps of around the same power. That will be what I get. Now I have to order it this week with some connects to my L/R pre outs. Then I need new surrounds, but I will probably go fairly inexpensive on those as my music setting on my Yamaha has minimal output on the surrounds. It is mainly the front three that do the music.
 

JonFo

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I read a testing review of the XLS 1500 which everyone goes to normally for home audio, it performed very well compared to regular home audio amps of around the same power.
Yes, I've read those reviews and tests as well, and for dynamic speaker loads, they work very, very well. Tremendous value if you can deal with the aesthetics.
However, my point is that those tests assumed a resistive load, typical of a dynamic speaker. An ESL is quite reactive, looking more like a capacitor than a resistor. Some amps will go into nasty oscillation modes and fry themselves. Others will just distort like crazy. Yet those same amps are acclaimed when used with dynamic speakers.

Do make sure you follow the advice Crown gives regarding using them with consumer-level outputs:
"The INPUT SENSITIVITY feature enables the playback from sources with inherently low output levels to drive the amplifier to full power by selecting ".775 - HIGH." It is recommended that this remain set at the default NORMAL setting for all other audio sources to provide optimal system performance. The HIGH setting is often used with source devices that use RCA connections."
This reviewer on Amazon indicates they work fine with his ESL (no mention of model): Amazon.com
 

spkrdctr

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Jonfo, I'm an idiot. I gave the wrong model. It is the XLI 1500 that is not class D, also if I buy during Feb, I get a free 6 year extended warranty. The unit weighs around 25 lbs. I was looking at three different models all around the same power. The non-class D is cheaper and has decent specs. I will have so much power that it will probably barely warm up the transistors! I mainly am doing it to allow the receiver to have all of its power available for the center and surrounds. That will with one purchase give me unlimited power at the volumes that I listen too, approx 75 db with 85db peaks maximum. I can't make it real loud as I'm in an apartment. Although I do blast away at 80 db sometimes which is loud and my cats (2) get scared! I take it easy on their sensitive ears.......
 

Rob83

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The Crown XLS drive core 2 series are said to be very suitable for ESL’s. At least that’s what they say on YouTube. They are so cheap that you could even consider buying two. They can run in bridge setup or even bi-amp setup with build in Y input mode.
 

JonFo

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They can run in bridge setup or even bi-amp setup with build in Y input mode
Bridge mode in most amplifiers raises the minimum impedance allowed from the load, so not advisable with an ESL.
Using the built-in Y split and bi-amping (remember to remove the straps on the speaker) is totally the way to go if using two of them.
 

spkrdctr

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Ok, the amp was just ordered. So, by the end of this week I should have it in the system. Also, Harmon who owns Crown has implemented a 6 year warranty on all of the crown amps for all of 2021. 6 years is pretty good!
 

Rob83

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I’m very curious about your experience with it. Might even order one myself.
 

twich54

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Like Rob, looking forward to your impressions :)
 

spkrdctr

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Well, it seems I may have a problem getting the Crown. I ordered from a website called Reverb. It was an open box special. Well, I have not heard from them so I think it is not coming, also I looked for a number to call and they do not have a phone number to call only an email. I sent an email and no response. So, if I do not hear from them by tomorrow night I'm canceling the charge on my credit card and ordering from a regular seller. I NEVER buy anything online except for Amazon. I'm always afraid of extra hassles. So, the first time I do it, I get extra hassles! Sheesh!. I will overcome this crappy online seller, in fact I'm cancelling my charge now, I'm not going to wait as they have pissed me off and did not answer my email. Pox on them!
 

Rob83

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Glad that worked out. I've already found a local retailer here in The Netherlands so I'm looking forward to read about your adventures!
 

spkrdctr

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Well, I received my Crown XLI 1502 a day early. I bought the Class A/B amp (less expensive) as I knew it would have very good performance with high slew rate devices, unlimited power and headroom for my use and it didn't need any space for cooling. I will most likely never have the fan turn on as most others who have used this unit never got the fans on either. It is like the amps you guys have in your two channel setups, very heavy to me after dealing with light receivers! It is about a 30 pound monster and all it does is amplify. The transformer is massive. You can get the same power level in a Class D amp for a few hundred more dollars and about half the weight. I just have never played with a Class D amp and didn't want to risk not getting the best audio performance I could. I plugged it in and did my normal 30 minutes of troubleshooting getting the gains set right and all. Also, the input switch is set at .775 volts for consumer gear and not the 1.2 something for pro-audio. I had to manhandle the amp into my totally cost free rack. It sits on the carpet with my Yamaha receiver on top of it and my CD player on top of that. Not pretty but it gets the job done.

I have the amp gains at 100% and it mates perfectly with the Yamaha. I did a lot of work on getting the Yamaha sorted out the last week and I found the amazing "Pure Direct" button has a HUGE and I mean HUGE effect on the 2 channel music listening. It's like going from a hand held transistor radio from 30 years ago to WHAM! a real live honest to goodness freaking awesome studio live sound. It bypasses all of the Yamaha internal pre-amp sound shaping crap, I mean stuff and gives you your source info with zero adds or subtracts. It really works. So, I first noticed right off the bat that the volume level that I was using for 2 channel was now much less. I have the volume control set for 0-99 for the range and normally on two channel I'm up around 50. That dropped about 15 points. So I will have to go through the entire surround side of my Yamaha and fix the levels for movies. But on the 2 channel Pure Direct it is all set and works very, very well.

I knew that a lot of people would want to know if there is any hiss or other noise in the speakers from the new amp. I turned the receiver up to 50 which is around 90 db (very loud) and cut the bluetooth signal. Dead silent. There is no audible hiss or any other noise come from the ESL speakers, it is as if I turned everything off. Also people worry about the strong magnetic field that may affect the Yamaha from the Crown as it can supposedly cause ground loops hum and other issues. There is nothing at all. Just pure clean music. This is with it set up in the worst possible way. My Yamaha sitting right on top of the Crown with about a 1/8th of an inch gap. I'm using cheap Chinese $2.00 RCA connections for my interconnects. Everything should scream "problems". But luckily there is no problems and no noise/no issues.
So, I have to say it works fantastic and with my ultra cheap setup, there are no issues at all. I can easily recommend this for any need where someone wants unlimited power and unlimited headroom. My Yamaha now has unlimited power for my center and two surrounds (5.1). But, I don't listen at super loud levels as I like my hearing! I have nothing negative to say about this experiment. It was 100% successful and seems like an inexpensive way to get more power for those who need it.

Oh and I now have the power to safely push my ESL speakers to ridiculous levels on Edgar Winters Frankenstein music. I really pushed those panels fairly hard and it said, "hey! No problem, do you want more?" I then said "Heck NO I can't take it any louder without busting an eardrum!" I gave up before the speakers did. I would never push that hard with just the Yamaha as I would be afraid of clipping the hell out of it. I am not into having to repair my ESL's! Well, I hope I answered many of the questions that any of you may have had.
 
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Chops

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Pics or it didn't happen! LOL :p;)

Many moons ago, I had a couple of Crown amps, a new (at the time - early 2000's) XTi 1000 for my dual 15" push-pull sealed subs, and a D-75A for the Altec Voice of the Theater 511b horns I was running in my huge open baffle speakers. Both amps were excellent. The XTi 1000 had excellent slam and grip on the subs without issue, and the fan almost never came on. The D-75A was dead silent, and it was wired directly to the 105dB efficient Altec 908-8B compression drivers. The signal LED's on that amp never lit up because it just sat there at idle the entire time powering those Altec's. The LED meters on the XTi 1000 would peak out at times, but never a single issue, it never got hot, and when the fan ever came on, it was always on its lowest setting. 99.9% of the time, the fan was off.

And yes, that's SEVEN 15" drivers across the front of the room! LOL



 

spkrdctr

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I will work on my pics today. I will even include some pics of my extensive room treatments, I have to go do the Quest Diagnostics blood draw today so the pics will probably go up tonight.
 
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