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  1. #21
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Trask View Post
    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.
    I think the harshness is attributed largely to the higher noise floor which results in more audible hiss from tweeters and even some midrange drivers (this appears to be efficiency/driver dependent). After that I think their non-rolled off demenor is most likely the next culprit and the fact that you have to basically have their onboard volume at 11 to get them to play to meaningful levels with consumer gear due to the -10/+4 voltage swing. I believe those three factor are what truly cripple the Crown amps when viewing them through a consumer or home use lens. Obviously poor recordings don't help and it is possible to help the Crowns via the use of some high frequency attenuation but I have a feeling it has more to do with them having to be driven full tilt 100 percent of the time in order to achieve proper levels with consumer gear.

    I have returned the Crown amps for now, but am expecting a pair of Behringers (same price) as well as a limiter that will match the pro and consumer realms and plan on reporting back more when they arrive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Trask View Post
    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.
    I think, just like with speakers, many "audiophile" products are voiced via their creator's biases, if only just barely. I'm not wholly convinced there is such a thing as neutral per se for one man's neutral is another man's dark or even bright. I know there are amps that roll off the top as there are amps that over accentuate it too. I found the Crown amps -minus the high frequency harshness, which I explained above -to sound neutral to me but then again no one at Crown gives a rats ass what audiophiles think about their amps, which may be to their advantage.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    I also want to point out that the Crown purchase was aimed at being nothing more than a proof of concept/experiment, which it passed. I've now reached out to one of Harman's top guys in Kevin Voecks (Revel) to engage Crown in the conversation and take the learning/fun to new heights. Stay tuned...

  3. #23
    Senior Member Stephen Trask's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Robinson View Post
    I also want to point out that the Crown purchase was aimed at being nothing more than a proof of concept/experiment, which it passed. I've now reached out to one of Harman's top guys in Kevin Voecks (Revel) to engage Crown in the conversation and take the learning/fun to new heights. Stay tuned...
    Ooh, this does sound fun. Tuned I will stay.

  4. #24
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Crown is part of the Revel/Harmon/Lexicon.....group? I didn't know that.

    As far as Crown not caring what audiophiles think, I think that's true. Honestly, this amp was not made with home theater or serious music listening, at least in a controlled environment, in mind. These puppies are meant for solid sound reinforcement in commercial applications. No one in that setting is gong to be worried about the noise floor, fan noise or anything else we ponder over.

  5. #25
    Senior Member RayJr's Avatar
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    Harman owns more audio companys then any other group.

    As for Crown not caring...I think you may be wrong there....i think some of the new crown amps would give a lot of the "AudioPhile" amp companys a run for a whole lot less money.

    RayJr...former Harman Company employee
    Last edited by RayJr; 03-30-2012 at 09:21 PM.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Stephen Trask's Avatar
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    Does Crown make a line that isn't as all purpose as the XLS series, which is used in all sorts of live performance situations and restaurants, but rather aimed more exclusively at a recording studio environment? In that setting, noise floor would be very important. Personally, I've never had passive monitors in my set-up but every studio I've mixed in has had at least one big pair of speakers for reference but I've never thought to wander into the equipment room to see what was powering them.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Stephen Trask's Avatar
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    One more thing: maybe I'm misunderstanding what is meant by noise floor but I was working under the assumption that a higher noise floor would be more likely to veil something like a high end harshness rather than reveal it.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Trask View Post
    One more thing: maybe I'm misunderstanding what is meant by noise floor but I was working under the assumption that a higher noise floor would be more likely to veil something like a high end harshness rather than reveal it.
    You are correct, when I talk of noise floor I'm speaking of the white noise that emanates from the tweeter when the amps are on but no signal is being sent. The harshness up top (when and if applicable) may have more to do with the differences between consumer and pro gear in terms of their input voltage. I have yet to test this however.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Andrew Robinson's Avatar
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    I miss the Crown amps already.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Stephen Trask's Avatar
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