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  1. #1

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    Default Don't overlook the Crown XLS Series for powering big SDAs !

    First off, don't mean to offend anybody or stir the proverbial pot. This is just an account of me finally finding the perfect amp for powering my Polk's !

    I am not advocating using just any pro amp with Polk's, this review regards only the Crown Drivecore XLS series. The S/N ratio is a respectable 103db as long as you use the 1500, 2000, or 2500 version. The cheapest version the 1000 has the least power and a 97db S/N ratio.

    Harmon Intl. owns Crown and this drivecore tech has already trickled into Lexicon amps [another Harmon company].

    Was running two Nakamichi PA7s to power both pairs of my SDA SRS's, but they seemed like they were being held back.

    Switched then to Adcom GFA 5500s and even tried Adcom GFA 555s - still just sounded restrained. So then I tried two Carver TFM 55s - better, but still room for improvement.

    And yes, these amps had all been recapped and were in good working order.

    After searching around online, came across this thread - Very informative and explains most every question you might have about these amps used in a home setup.

    http://www.hometheaterequipment.com/...l-thread-1319/

    After reading it, I went out today and bought 1ea Crown 2500 amp from Guitar Center - the listed price was 599.00, but they will price match and indeed matched a 548.00 price from the internet.

    So what does 548.00 get you for a power amp ?

    1. 440 WPC X 2 into 8 ohms or 775 WPC X 2 into 4 ohms

    2. .5% THD & 2ohm stable

    3. RCA & XLR input connections with binding post outputs.

    4. They are common ground amps !

    5. 10.75lb weight per amp & rack mountable.

    BEST OF ALL - The sound quality and ability to drive these speakers the way MP intended. Will be buying several more of these amps soon.

    IMO - these are a steal and so far are the best sounding and most neutral amp I have ever heard.

    I ran mine tonight pretty hard, it never even got warm, the fan never cycled after almost two hours of use at above THX reference levels.

    Will post pics of my setup soon, just thought others here might realize how under appreciated these amps are for home use.

    Last edited by cobramatteo; 04-02-2013 at 01:34 AM.

  2. #2

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    This my home theater setup before with the Nakamichi's. The TV is a 65in Panasonic Plasma.

  3. #3

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    Interesting set up with the dual CRS's as your center. Do you feed them a stereo or mono signal?

    I notice that you have your amps on top of subs. That really is a big no-no.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  4. #4

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    I feed the two centers a mono signal. Sounds great and the dialog is very clear with movies.

    Why is it so bad to put the amps above the subs ? My subs do not get much use, [there is another pair of SDA SRS in the rear for my surrounds]

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobramatteo View Post
    I feed the two centers a mono signal. Sounds great and the dialog is very clear with movies.

    Why is it so bad to put the amps above the subs ? My subs do not get much use, [there is another pair of SDA SRS in the rear for my surrounds]
    Do you have the SDA cable connected on the CRS's? I would assume that you do not. I bet the CRS's make a great center channel.

    You don't want the amps on the subs because of the vibration.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  6. #6

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    What are you using for a preamp?

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    Those SDA's need to be spiked as well. I would also come up with a way to isolate the CRS's from the stand.

    There is a lot of little things that can be done for little cost to improve what your doing..
    No Way But The Hard Way, So Get Used To It!!!

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    How much for the Naks?

  9. #9

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    I do not have the interconnect hooked up on CRS's. They make a great center speaker, everybody that has heard this setup has been pretty impressed.

    Am using an Onkyo receiver TX-NR809 as my preamp.

    Anybody near Westland, Mi is welcome to come by and hear this setup. These Crown amps are really impressive !




    The Nakamichi's were sold along with the Adcoms on Ebay about 2 months ago.

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    I fully intend on doing all the tweeks, including getting the rings for all of them !

  11. #11

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    I'm not surprised that you're getting good sound quality out of the crown amps. I ran bridged mono crown XLS 602D's with a Sunfire theater Grand 3 and I thought it sounded pretty good. Then I hooked my 1.2 TL's to a 50 watt tube amplifier and it took those speakers to another level. A nice rich, full sound with no ear fatigue. Don't be fooled by the "it's only 50 watts WPC" spec as there's enough power to shake the walls.
    It would be interesting to revisit that brand and model hooked up to a nice tube preamp.

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    Thousands of years ago, Crown Macro Reference amps were a high-end darling.

    http://www.stereophile.com/solidpowe...own/index.html


    I read the "White Paper" detailing Crown's Grounded Bridge amp circuit design. Interesting--especially if you're a fan of Carver or other multi-rail-voltage amps--but utterly side-steps all the problems created by the signal-inverting circuitry. I'm not sure Crown is still using this topology.

    http://www.crownaudio.com/media/pdf/amps/grbgpapr.pdf

    I really like companies with a sense of humor:

    http://www.crownaudio.com/media/pdf/..._datasheet.pdf

    and many more tidbits:
    http://www.crownaudio.com/ampinfo.htm

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by michaeljhsda2 View Post
    I'm not surprised that you're getting good sound quality out of the crown amps. I ran bridged mono crown XLS 602D's with a Sunfire theater Grand 3 and I thought it sounded pretty good. Then I hooked my 1.2 TL's to a 50 watt tube amplifier and it took those speakers to another level. A nice rich, full sound with no ear fatigue. Don't be fooled by the "it's only 50 watts WPC" spec as there's enough power to shake the walls.
    It would be interesting to revisit that brand and model hooked up to a nice tube preamp.
    It's not just the high power rating that makes these amps so nice, but the sound from them is very transparent and effortless.

    I agree that 50 watts of quality power goes a long way with most any speaker.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toolfan66 View Post
    Those SDA's need to be spiked as well. I would also come up with a way to isolate the CRS's from the stand.

    There is a lot of little things that can be done for little cost to improve what your doing..
    I will be looking into floor spikes very soon.

  15. #15

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    Why is it so bad to put the amps above the subs ?
    You don't want the amps on the subs because of the vibration.
    ^This^
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    I'm just curious with no opinion so don't take this question wrong, what do you mean or how do you mean the sound quality is what Matt Polk would approve? I'm quite curious about this as I have the srs2 and they seem to sometimes be just slightly lacking. My CRS+ sprung to life once I put enough high current in them, and the SRS2 seem to be now about where my crs+ was before I properly amped them.

    To the op, the other tidbits are valid advice from folks that know, and I think none of us can help but point out a few quick cheap pointers. Spike your speakers, move the subs and you will be amazed. Also make sure your sda's are toed perfectly and the right distance from the walls etc.
    I got ridulous and use a laser to align mine, but it does make a difference. Some people just use a string or something, it does the same. But I can tell from your pictures that your speakers are varying in distance from the wall and the angle is ever so slightly off.

    Polk Audio SDA CRS+ (4.1TL by Trey, Larry's Rings)-
    SDA SRS2-Parasound HCA1500ax2/1000
    Yamaha xa1000-Celestion SL6S presence,- sl9 surround back
    NHTsuper1's surround
    Nad2700-sub, AdcomGFA-555 -Magnepan SMG
    Parasound 1500pre- Sofia "Baby" tube amp - Monitor Audio Silver RX2
    Marantz 2230/B&Kst140- outdoor B&W/Bose/Parasound/KefC75/c40/Polksub
    Technics 1200mk2
    Gamertag: IslandBerserker
    I am but a infinitesimally small point meeting the line of infinity in the SDA universe

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by evhudsons View Post
    I'm just curious with no opinion so don't take this question wrong, what do you mean or how do you mean the sound quality is what Matt Polk would approve? I'm quite curious about this as I have the srs2 and they seem to sometimes be just slightly lacking. My CRS+ sprung to life once I put enough high current in them, and the SRS2 seem to be now about where my crs+ was before I properly amped them.

    To the op, the other tidbits are valid advice from folks that know, and I think none of us can help but point out a few quick cheap pointers. Spike your speakers, move the subs and you will be amazed. Also make sure your sda's are toed perfectly and the right distance from the walls etc.
    I got ridulous and use a laser to align mine, but it does make a difference. Some people just use a string or something, it does the same. But I can tell from your pictures that your speakers are varying in distance from the wall and the angle is ever so slightly off.
    That's it exactly, the SDA's require IMO lots of high current power. I am even contemplating bia-amping each pair with two XLS 2500s.

    All I know is the amps really woke up once they got some Crown power. Unfortunately, my house is smaller than I would like and my listening room is only about 15ft by 18ft. My next home will have a theater room large enough to get the most out my big Polk's.

    Until then, I will update my speakers and continue improving the little things - positioning, spikes, etc. as much as my floor space will allow.

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    Sound like your room was the proble to begin with, so rather than solve this problem by getting the proper SDA's for the given space, you used a sledgehammer of sorts to force them into place. Good luck with that...

    My bet is that you start blowing tweeters and drivers in short order.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Monoblocks, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds, Dodd Audio MLP, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Peachtree I-DAC, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable, with Sumiko BPS EVOIII, Pioneer PDD 9MkII SACD Player, SimAudio moon 110lp phono preamplifier

    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    Sound like your room was the proble to begin with, so rather than solve this problem by getting the proper SDA's for the given space, you used a sledgehammer of sorts to force them into place. Good luck with that...

    My bet is that you start blowing tweeters and drivers in short order.
    That's funny, In my 25 years of being into home audio, I was always told its less strain on a speaker to use more power than less.

    Distortion blows speakers, not power. My SDA SRS's hold 1000 watts each at 4 ohms, they are only getting 775 watts with the Crowns.

    And if you read up on these amps you will see they come with very good protection circuitry that protects the speakers and amps.

  20. #20

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    It's not about watts, rather the quality of those watts. Your amp are working for your ear and that's cool. But they were also designed for concert arrays, not home use. I am not disparaging your choice, just saying that trying to encourage others to trod down your path is not going to be an easy task.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Monoblocks, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds, Dodd Audio MLP, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Peachtree I-DAC, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable, with Sumiko BPS EVOIII, Pioneer PDD 9MkII SACD Player, SimAudio moon 110lp phono preamplifier

    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

  21. #21

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    How will the Crown amp blow tweeters easier?
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    How will the Crown amp blow tweeters easier?
    I'd like to know too. My Carver PM-350, also a Pro Amp, does an amazing job with my 2As
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...ished...Almost
    Center: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...hannel-Project
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...rround-Project
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, H-Nuts, BH5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-350, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer


    www.dhsspeakerservice.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobramatteo View Post
    I am not advocating using just any pro amp with Polk's
    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    just saying that trying to encourage others to trod down your path is not going to be an easy task.

    John I think you should pull your stick out of the pot now.
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    My experience with amps not designed for the task at hand has been disappointing to say the least. I have tried using pro amps for driving speakers back in the day when I considered the CV D9's to be the pinnacle of quality. It did not end well.

    Not familiar with the amps at hand, but I associate these amps with arena grade stuff, and there is no way in hell I would run them for my rig. If that makes an audio-snob of me then so be it.

    For the op... Whatever works for you is fine by me, so don't consider my comments to be insulting, rather just a long winded way of saying your path is not for me.
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Monoblocks, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds, Dodd Audio MLP, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Peachtree I-DAC, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable, with Sumiko BPS EVOIII, Pioneer PDD 9MkII SACD Player, SimAudio moon 110lp phono preamplifier

    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

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    It doesn't make you a snob, just inexperienced, that's all.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    It doesn't make you a snob, just inexperienced, that's all.

    Thats not what the LADIES say!
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Monoblocks, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds, Dodd Audio MLP, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Peachtree I-DAC, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable, with Sumiko BPS EVOIII, Pioneer PDD 9MkII SACD Player, SimAudio moon 110lp phono preamplifier

    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    My experience with amps not designed for the task at hand has been disappointing to say the least. I have tried using pro amps for driving speakers back in the day when I considered the CV D9's to be the pinnacle of quality. It did not end well.

    Not familiar with the amps at hand, but I associate these amps with arena grade stuff, and there is no way in hell I would run them for my rig. If that makes an audio-snob of me then so be it.

    For the op... Whatever works for you is fine by me, so don't consider my comments to be insulting, rather just a long winded way of saying your path is not for me.
    You obviously never read the link to Andrew Robinson's thread on his website Home Theater Equipment, in that link you would have read that an industry professional with money to buy just about any amp - now uses Crown XLS amps for his reference standard.


    These amps are Class D, have Drivecore technology with special chips made by Texas Instruments. - They in fact have very little in common with older PA amps.


    Reading your equipment list, I can see you spent a lot of money on your amps - The thought a very powerful, much cheaper high quality amp with great sound would ruffle my feathers if I spent the money you did.

    While not being rich, I can afford to run anything from McIntosh to Krell, and bought this first amp on a whim.

    Don't you think you should do the research before deciding these amps are not worthy ?

    My thread here is not for you anyway, it's for other Polkies who are open to try or at least research other amplifier alternatives out there.
    Last edited by cobramatteo; 04-02-2013 at 08:36 PM.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobramatteo View Post
    You obviously never read the link to Andrew Robinson's thread on his website Home Theater Equipment, in that link you would have read that an industry professional with money to buy just about any amp - now uses Crown XLS amps for his reference standard.
    Again your path is not for many of us, not that we are snobs (you have more in your amps than I do more than likely).

    Pro audio gear isnt designed with home theater in mind, its more for being throw around and beat to hell and to keep on kicking. Also they aren't the best with heat hence why most of them have fans (that can be annoying when/if they kick on). Again another way in which a home theater minded amp is different. That doesnt mean you cant repurpose a pro audio amp, however as stated repurposing isnt for everyone.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

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    If you want to start trading insults and jabs back and forth, be my guest but you will do so alone. Do a bit of research yourself about my amps and you will discover they are hand-crafted works of art I built myself. As I said before, I respect your choice but I am not at all going to engage you in snarky comments back and forth.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why people are filled with such venom for those that choose to spend their money time or talent on quality over quantity. I see this thread turning Emo rather quickly...

    Peace-out...
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Monoblocks, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Polk audio AB700/800 "in-wall" surrounds, Dodd Audio MLP, Pioneer Elite SC-65, Peachtree I-DAC, Oppo BDP-93, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable, with Sumiko BPS EVOIII, Pioneer PDD 9MkII SACD Player, SimAudio moon 110lp phono preamplifier

    "The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett

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    I have owned the XLS and XTI amplifiers multitude of times and to call it a reference amplifier for anything other than a subwoofer is crazy talk...
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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