My experiance with a Crown XLS power amp

M

mikey d

Junior Audioholic
Hey all,

I rarely post but have been a long time reader and thought it may be useful to share my recent experience, particularly for folks on a budget.

My system is:
Yamaha rxv 2600
SVS pc13 ultra
Axiom m80, vp150 and qs8's
ps3

I recently was looking into purchasing an amp to drive the front channels as I have a desire to move to separates and was curious to see if an external amp would improve sound quality at all, this seemed like a good first step. I looked at a bunch of options that were pricey and I was willing to pay, but I ran across a few threads about using Crown XLS amps and I decided to give it a try.
I initially wanted two of the smallest amp, the 1002 and use each in bridged mode however the noise floor is better on the higher end models so I went with a single Crown xls 2502.

I did some testing this weekend, I'm going to listen to various things for another week or so then remove the amp, re-calibrate and listen to the same materials again. Ill follow up with my experiences when done but thought I would toss out a teaser and maybe start some discussion.

The wife went out of her way to let me know she thought it sounded better and gave me her approval for the upgrade if I like it.
 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
Buying an amp knowing beforehand that you're going to run it in the bridged mode is not a good idea. Generally, noise increases when you run an amp in the bridge mode. It's the nature of the beast.

If you know you're going to need more power, then get one that makes it in it's native mode.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
....
I did some testing this weekend, I'm going to listen to various things for another week or so then remove the amp, re-calibrate and listen to the same materials again. Ill follow up with my experiences when done but thought I would toss out a teaser and maybe start some discussion.

The wife went out of her way to let me know she thought it sounded better and gave me her approval for the upgrade if I like it.
Well, you achieved what you are after, some discussion. ;) :)
Your method for comparing is very poor at best.
As to the wife's comment, that is just as unreliable as your testing method.

There are a number of posts here to help you do a better test, if you are really after meaningful outcome.

Or, just leave it installed and be happy without comparing.
 
M

mikey d

Junior Audioholic
Well, you achieved what you are after, some discussion. ;) :)
Your method for comparing is very poor at best.
As to the wife's comment, that is just as unreliable as your testing method.

There are a number of posts here to help you do a better test, if you are really after meaningful outcome.

Or, just leave it installed and be happy without comparing.
Thanks for the unconstructive comments.

For those who are interested I'll still put up a writeup. I've only had the amp for a few days and need some time. If I'm not as professional as some of the other reviewers feel free to not return to this thread.
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Samurai
Pay close attention to MarkW's post. Amplifiers should never be bridged in a home audio system. Another point to is is that bridging causes the amplifier to see half of its nominal impedance. So while the potential voltage will increase so will the actual current draw at any volume level. No point in running things any hotter than they need to be for no meaningful advantage.
 
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
Bridging only gets you at most 3db gain in sound pressure. To me It's not worth the risk IMO to bridge amps especially with a pro amp driving home theater grade drivers. The observed increase in subjective performance is caused by not level matching the compared amplifier and not controlling for visual bias.
 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
If I read his post right he is not bridging but is using a single 2502.
Correct, but he wanted a discussion and, since he brought up bridging, I thought this was a good thing to point it's downfalls out since this subject comes up quite often and people think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread since it appears to be free power out of nowhere.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Overlord
Correct, but he wanted a discussion and, since he brought up bridging, I thought this was a good thing to point it's downfalls out since this subject comes up quite often and people think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread since it appears to be free power out of nowhere.
Okay, that makes sense, just want to be sure so the op knows that we know he is not actually doing it now. We all seem to agree he has made the right choice and have given him the reasons.:D
 
H

HipSonic

Audioholic Intern
Hey all,

I rarely post but have been a long time reader and thought it may be useful to share my recent experience, particularly for folks on a budget.

My system is:
Yamaha rxv 2600
SVS pc13 ultra
Axiom m80, vp150 and qs8's
ps3

I recently was looking into purchasing an amp to drive the front channels as I have a desire to move to separates and was curious to see if an external amp would improve sound quality at all, this seemed like a good first step. I looked at a bunch of options that were pricey and I was willing to pay, but I ran across a few threads about using Crown XLS amps and I decided to give it a try.
I initially wanted two of the smallest amp, the 1002 and use each in bridged mode however the noise floor is better on the higher end models so I went with a single Crown xls 2502.

I did some testing this weekend, I'm going to listen to various things for another week or so then remove the amp, re-calibrate and listen to the same materials again. Ill follow up with my experiences when done but thought I would toss out a teaser and maybe start some discussion.

The wife went out of her way to let me know she thought it sounded better and gave me her approval for the upgrade if I like it.
Hey all,

I rarely post but have been a long time reader and thought it may be useful to share my recent experience, particularly for folks on a budget.

My system is:
Yamaha rxv 2600
SVS pc13 ultra
Axiom m80, vp150 and qs8's
ps3

I recently was looking into purchasing an amp to drive the front channels as I have a desire to move to separates and was curious to see if an external amp would improve sound quality at all, this seemed like a good first step. I looked at a bunch of options that were pricey and I was willing to pay, but I ran across a few threads about using Crown XLS amps and I decided to give it a try.
I initially wanted two of the smallest amp, the 1002 and use each in bridged mode however the noise floor is better on the higher end models so I went with a single Crown xls 2502.

I did some testing this weekend, I'm going to listen to various things for another week or so then remove the amp, re-calibrate and listen to the same materials again. Ill follow up with my experiences when done but thought I would toss out a teaser and maybe start some discussion.

The wife went out of her way to let me know she thought it sounded better and gave me her approval for the upgrade if I like it.
I'm curious to see how it goes as I just posted a question about the same item
 
M

mikey d

Junior Audioholic
Okay, that makes sense, just want to be sure so the op knows that we know he is not actually doing it now. We all seem to agree he has made the right choice and have given him the reasons.:D
I didn't know that so it was good info and I'll do some reading on it, thanks. The info I originally found used the 1500 bridged and he claimed it was better. It was a pretty old thread by Andrew robinson. Does this also apply to amps like the xpa-2?
 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
What's been said here are common to all amps in the bridged mode. Basically, it boils own to two main things. When bridged they will:

1) See the speaker load as one half of what's rated at. I'e, it will "see" an 8 ohm speaker as 4 ohms, a 4 ohm speaker as 2 ohms and so forth. This can cause many amps to have schlitz fits.

2) Distortion increases somewhat.

Basically, it's not the preferred way to go if it can be avoided.
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks for the unconstructive comments.

For those who are interested I'll still put up a writeup. I've only had the amp for a few days and need some time. If I'm not as professional as some of the other reviewers feel free to not return to this thread.
You mean letting you know that the way you are comparing is not very meaningful is not constructive discussion? Then what is? Pat you on the back and agree? Really?
 
rojo

rojo

Audioholic Samurai
@mikey d: $0.02.

I've read that the Crown amps (because they're pro amps) expect a signal level equivalent to a balanced input, even when using their RCA inputs. Your tests will probably be lacking unless you use a balanced / unbalanced converter, something like the MCM Electronics converter or the Rolls MB15b to boost the signal from your AVR into your amp.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
@mikey d: $0.02.

I've read that the Crown amps (because they're pro amps) expect a signal level equivalent to a balanced input, even when using their RCA inputs. Your tests will probably be lacking unless you use a balanced / unbalanced converter, something like the MCM Electronics converter or the Rolls MB15b to boost the signal from your AVR into your amp.
Gen II XLS are designed for both Pro and Consumer level voltages. Gen I was only Pro.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
Bridging, like any other function that an amp may or may not have, is simply situational dependent.

I would find out from Crown first what the numbers look like THD and SNR wise for bridged mode.

Even audiophile consumer grade amps support bridging.

The best way to compare any amp is to pick an SPL point that you need to hit from seating position (you'll need at leas a mic or an SPL app for your phone).

Set for C weighted and get a test tone (1Khz will do) and make sure your AVR and Amp both are outputting the same SPL and then do your comparisons.
 
F

fmw

Audioholic Samurai
Thanks for the unconstructive comments.

For those who are interested I'll still put up a writeup. I've only had the amp for a few days and need some time. If I'm not as professional as some of the other reviewers feel free to not return to this thread.
You are welcome. Hopefully you will teach us something with your review.
 
H

HipSonic

Audioholic Intern
Please let me know what your experience with the Crown is. I just posted a question about the same item on a different thread.
 
C

ChicagoLR3

Audioholic
I'm interested too in hearing your perspective. My wife isn't a big fan of me spending additional money on audio equipment, so its easier all around to get a cheaper amp instead of an expensive one.
 

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