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  1. #11
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    I keep waiting for the fans but can't get them to go yet. I've read online that some folks have never had the fans kick on while others say it sounds like a Dyson vacuum going off in the next room. Seriously, I want the fans to kick in so I can comment but either a) my Sanus rack does a really good job of venting heat and cooling my components or b) the Crown amps' efficiency makes it so that the amps don't kick in until drastic measures are needed and with the amount of power they're dishing out (I have them in bridged mono) that point may or may not be reachable in my room.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    When I first saw this post title, I was thinking you were using it as a sub amp. Apparently not.

    I experimented many years ago with an Audio Centron Pro amp, I forget the exact model. It belonged to a buddy of mine who DJ's weddings. While that amp was powerful, it was also noisy, and had a hum that I could not get rid of.

    Sounds like these Crown amps are much more refined.
    I won't deny that the noise floor is a little higher with the Crown amps, however it's not a deal breaker IMHO. I've had many $$$ amps with louder noise floors than the Crown amps -tube amps especially. For $299 each I must say, so far, I'm rather impressed with what I'm hearing.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Del Colliano View Post
    I'd love to hear how an amp that powers live shows compares to one like an Emotiva - but wait... they won't send one will they....

    Can we compare this to Outlaw, NAD others?
    Again, I won't comment on Emotiva sending or not sending review gear, but will say that on price it appears the Crown would do battle with Emotiva's UPA-1 mono amplifier for $349/each, however, on power the Crown amps seem a better match (on power) with Emotiva's larger, 500-Watt mono blocks, the XPA-1 at $999/each. So, a pair of Emotiva UPA-1s will run you $700 where as a pair of XPA-1s will set you back just under $2,000. In comparison, you can buy two Crowns for $600 which will power four speakers or two, but you're still under the cost of the cheaper Emotiva monoblock. Of course this is just an ON PAPER comparison.

    The Outlaw Model 2200 fares similar to the Emotiva UPA-1 in terms of price compared to the Crown. As for NAD, they don't make anything that I find to be comparable. Wyred 4 Sound and BelCanto may be worth competitors in the conversation too.

  4. #14
    Senior Member pbc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Robinson View Post
    I keep waiting for the fans but can't get them to go yet. I've read online that some folks have never had the fans kick on while others say it sounds like a Dyson vacuum going off in the next room. Seriously, I want the fans to kick in so I can comment but either a) my Sanus rack does a really good job of venting heat and cooling my components or b) the Crown amps' efficiency makes it so that the amps don't kick in until drastic measures are needed and with the amount of power they're dishing out (I have them in bridged mono) that point may or may not be reachable in my room.
    Not sure what you're crossing them at, but the Pendragon's are also 98db efficient speakers, so would use something like 4 times less power than say 92db speakers. If you were using more than a few watts per side, and by few, I really mean more than 10 to 20 (depending on the size of your room that would be a ton), I'd be surprised. Outside of the occasional split second scene that could spike that is.

    You could try crossing the Pendragon's lower to put more emphasis on say the 40 to 80hz region, but I doubt even that is going to cause much strain.

    Since you're on this new found crusade () ... any interest in building a 22" sealed wooden cube with some bracing and poly, and plopping in an 18" driver? That might give your XLS a bit more strain ... and the XLS already has the EQ capabilities to mimic a Linkwitz Transform sort of EQ (really all you'd need is a low shelf filter and possibly a high pass depending on the specs) that could drive the sealed subwoofer quite nicely. Plus it's a ton of fun...

  5. #15
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pbc View Post

    You could try crossing the Pendragon's lower to put more emphasis on say the 40 to 80hz region, but I doubt even that is going to cause much strain.
    The Pendragons unfortunately don't allow me to bi-amp or bi-wire for they are single wire only. They're crossed over at 40Hz with my JL Subs but that is about it. However, I just re-installed my Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamonds and bi-amped them using the Crown's internal cross over selection option, which I set at 350Hz give or take 5Hz (going off memory), which sent a true 220-Watts to the high pass inputs and 220-Watts to the low pass inputs. Since the 800's can dip as low as 3.1 Ohms this would be more of a workout for the Crown amps and after an hour of playing music back at levels between 78 and 102dB the amps are proving to be unflappable. No fans, no temperature increase even. More surprising still, they appear to be a decent sonic match for the 800s which I'll talk about more in another post.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Using Crown's Crossover Functionality to Bi-Amp My B&W 800 Diamonds

    I recently experimented with bi-amping my Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamonds using my Parasound 5250v2 five channel amplifier. The experiment proved eye opening but many of you and some of the readers at Audiophile Review were quick to point out that I wasn't truly bi-amping in that I was still sending full power to each the high and low inputs versus just to their respective frequency ranges. Well, thanks to the Crown's internal crossover settings I was able to truly bi-amp the 800s and the difference between how I had done it versus using an electronic crossover were slight but still noticeable. Here are a few observations I've gathered since applying the Crown amps to the 800s.

    1. The noise floor is still higher than with my Parasound though not too much so that it is a distraction or deal breaker.

    2. Because of the 800's "house sound" which includes a somewhat seductive top end the slight harshness of the Crown's high frequencies at loud volumes (105dB +) is pretty much eradicated. However, like with the Pendragons the Crown's high frequency performance is definitely recording based, in that it will vary album to album, track to track. The Crown's really don't have a sound of their own.

    3. The 800s somewhat over ripened bass at the lowest reaches of its frequency response is still present and accounted for and becomes a bit more present via the Crown. Yes the bass has more texture and control but there's no undoing the 800's natural low end tendency without additional EQ or crossing the subs higher than I want to.

    4. The 800s are unflappable at volumes with peaks that repeatedly hit 110dB, something I wouldn't say via the Parasound on certain recordings.

    5. Surprised at how well the Crown and 800 pairing works together. The two really do compliment each other well.

    6. Soundstage width and depth opened up even more and the detail, control and texture within also improved. Vocals have incredible presence and dynamics, both large and small, are exceptional and come off as completely natural versus forced.

    7. Vocals have real staying power in that they hang in space a bit longer and with more finesse that the Parasound.

    Now, if you prefer something a bit sweeter or warmer you're NOT going to find it with the Crown amps. They're not lean, nor cool but they don't add anything either. I'm continually impressed by these Guitar Center finds.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Stephen Trask's Avatar
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    Andrew, I'm curious about the link between the recording dependent high end harshness and the neutrality you describe. Do you think that the Crowns are revealing a touch of high end distortion, perhaps from sloppy mastering*, that is actually present on the recordings but somehow rounded off by the Parasound or do you think that the Crowns are adding the harshness? Is there any commonality between the recordings that exhibit this harshness?


    *Could be purposefully added in mastering. Could be sloppy engineering. Could be purposeful.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    I honestly don't believe the Crown amps are adding it in because with the recordings where I hear it (the high frequency grain/edge) I also hear it with other gear, just less so most of the time. It appears the Crown doesn't editorialize or smooth things over.

  9. #19
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Andrew, those amps are just begging to be used in an infinite baffle sub. Those amps powering two 18" drivers each sounds about right. See, I just helped you out with your next big editorial on HomeTheaterReview.com.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Stephen Trask's Avatar
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    OK, so I have a few more questions. First, is the harshness the same sound from track to track? Do you think it is a result of bad digital mastering or some other sort of digital compression? I wonder if it would go away with vinyl, obviously to be replaced by some other noise. Maybe this is a Steven Stone question. I know for me, having done a lot of work in the last few months to improve my set-up, which in many cases means lowering the noise floor, I have not only revealed some incredible sounds but also some annoying digital distortion. At least I assume it's digital.
    Which brings me to my next question. Do you think the best audiophile amps editorialize in ways that give the appearance of transparency but in fact color the sound in particularly pleasing ways, for instance, taking the edge of digital distortion. I know on the recording side of things, some gear is prized not for it's transparency but for the color it adds. Sometimes that color can be extreme, like with a good tube pre-amp, or subtle but pleasing.

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