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Thread: Crown clean enuf for HT?

  1. #1
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    Crown clean enuf for HT?

    These amps are powerful and reasonably priced.

    However, their THD ratings (.5%) are dismal (??) compared with some of the more popular multi-channel HT systems rated at (.05%).

    I have several pairs of JBLs in my main HT system. I'm considering an extermal power amp for the front pair which are 15s with compression drivers. This power amp would run from a new Onkyo muilti channel rated at 130 watts x 7.

    Anyway, is the Crown 802 suitible for this purpose or is the THD too high?

    Thx...

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbartsch View Post
    These amps are powerful and reasonably priced.
    Usually a sign that the gear in question is questionable. Think about it, if a company makes two amps with similar specs and one is half the cost of the other... you need to ask why. I don't know anything about these amps, but it is likely that they are not as robust as Crown's more expensive amps... a feature that may not matter in your HT application. I would also expect that they don't sound quite as good, but you would really have to do a comparison. It is possible that the budget Crowns sound stellar...

    Quote Originally Posted by robertbartsch View Post
    However, their THD ratings (.5%) are dismal (??) compared with some of the more popular multi-channel HT systems rated at (.05%).
    The THD rating of an amp is essentially meaningless... 40 years ago it was a measurement of quality, but with modern amps it has almost no value... except as a hint as to the amount of negative feedback used to reduced distortion. For example an amp that has the specification of 0.0001% THD very likely sounds terrible as the designer probably used far too much negative feedback in an attempt to get stellar bench measurements.


    Back to the focus of your post, will the Crown sound and perform better than the amplifiers in your Onkyo receiver? Very likely. Today's amplifier sections in these contemporary HT receivers are generally quite compromised. They certainly won't keep up with a stand alone similar wattage power amp or even a vintage two channel stereo receiver... how could they? They have minimal power supplies and pack 5 to 10 channels of amplification into a rather compact package. They certainly won't pass the FTC power rating system of yore.



    Widget

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    Back to the focus of your post, will the Crown sound and perform better than the amplifiers in your Onkyo receiver? Very likely. Today's amplifier sections in these contemporary HT receivers are generally quite compromised. They certainly won't keep up with a stand alone similar wattage power amp or even a vintage two channel stereo receiver... how could they? They have minimal power supplies and pack 5 to 10 channels of amplification into a rather compact package. They certainly won't pass the FTC power rating system of yore.

    Widget

    Especially if you think about how much power supply that could fit in the box.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    We started to answer your similar question here: http://www.audioheritage.org/vbullet...890#post214890



    Quote Originally Posted by chas
    Especially if you think about how much power supply that could fit in the box.
    Yeah, I wonder about that every time I see a Crown I-tech 8000 putting out 8,000 watts, bridged, at only 26 pounds! But at over $7,000 I figure they probably know what they're doing. The XLS-802, however, is 1,600 watts for about $500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    Yeah, I wonder about that every time I see a Crown I-tech 8000 putting out 8,000 watts, bridged, at only 26 pounds! But at over $7,000 I figure they probably know what they're doing. The XLS-802, however, is 1,600 watts for about $500.
    Well, I think that they are different kettle of fish and technology. Run of the mill A/V receivers use standard EI core transformers and basic rectifiction and smoothing. The laws of Physics have to pevail here. Good iron and capacitors take up space, no matter how you slice it.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    I'm certainly not disagreeing with you, but after years owning Fisher SA-1000 and Crown DC300A-II amps, the power and size of the I-techs just amazes me. But then they are 3.5" tall! I believe you must be paying for the suspension of the laws of physics, or the flux capacitor. Or maybe both? I didn't assume it was the same technology as a 7.1 Durabrand surround-sound receiver.

    I guess the real question would be why Crown would even make a line of inferior amps and possibly hurt their reputation. Part of the answer is DJs and another must be Harman. The label on the back panel looks oddly Olympian today though: "Made in China". And, yes, the I-techs say: "Made in USA".

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    I'm certainly not disagreeing with you, but after years owning Fisher SA-1000 and Crown DC300A-II amps, the power and size of the I-techs just amazes me. But then they are 3.5" tall! I believe you must be paying for the suspension of the laws of physics, or the flux capacitor. Or maybe both? I didn't assume it was the same technology as a 7.1 Durabrand surround-sound receiver.

    I guess the real question would be why Crown would even make a line of inferior amps and possibly hurt their reputation. Part of the answer is DJs and another must be Harman. The label on the back panel looks oddly Olympian today though: "Made in China". And, yes, the I-techs say: "Made in USA".
    The KA/SA-1000 was an amazing achievement, it's too bad there were so few made. The DC-300 genre was another milestone, for sure, but it's not (IMHO) in the same league as modern high end stuff. Crown provides product for a wide range of applications, from airport paging to whatever....

    I think that Crown, like many others in audio and elsewhere (hello - JBL?), make products that cater to many markets. Buyer beware, is the rule of the day.

    Two channel, high quality recordings are virtually dead. Of course this encompasses vinyl, CD and SACD.

    We just have to get used to that fact and move forward. It sucks for most of us here, for sure. But, at least, there's plenty of used vinyl and CD's worth pillaging....
    Charles.

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    Senior Member just4kinks's Avatar
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    I would not even consider it for home theater, for the simple reason that it is fan-cooled. Fan noise really gets on my nerves when I'm trying to enjoy music / theater.

    I am using some older Crown amps: D series and PS series. I'm very pleased with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget
    The THD rating of an amp is essentially meaningless... 40 years ago it was a measurement of quality, but with modern amps it has almost no value... except as a hint as to the amount of negative feedback used to reduced distortion. For example an amp that has the specification of 0.0001% THD very likely sounds terrible as the designer probably used far too much negative feedback in an attempt to get stellar bench measurements.
    There are lots of folks who disagree with you about that...

    I respect your opinion, but it was phrased as a statement of fact.

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    Two channel, high quality recordings are virtually dead. Of course this encompasses vinyl, CD and SACD.
    I feel sorry for you since you're obviously not listening to anything Donal Fagen has worked on recently or the latest Nora Jones CD, or the first two Lizz Wright CDs. Or even the Beatles/Circque du Soleil "Love" album. There's lots of good 2-channel stuff out there. It just isn't being done by many new artists though I'll tell you the whacky dude Jason Webley's latest album "Cost of Living" and a South African named Yoav's "Charmed & Strange" are two nice boutique recordings that make me happy currently. I do agree that the selection is limited and makes it hard to enjoy or justify our systems if we had to rely on new recordings. But who needs new stuff when Showbiz Kids lasts over two hours by itself?

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    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by just4kinks View Post
    There are lots of folks who disagree with you about that...

    I respect your opinion, but it was phrased as a statement of fact.
    Very good point.

    I may be wrong, but I believe that the opinion I stated which I fully agree with is held by the vast majority of seasoned audiophiles and audio professionals. Beyond that, I am unaware of any study where a correlation between better sounding amps and lower THD has been made. Then again, I can think of one prominent "expert" who claimed to his death that he couldn't hear a difference between properly functioning high quality power amps.


    Widget

    PS: Thanks for keeping me honest. It is so easy to confuse broadly held beliefs and facts. For many years any poll of respected listeners would have come back that all horn loudspeakers are not Hi-Fi. Today that simply is no longer the case.

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    ...so there are different models of Crown amps?

    All I see on the web is 400, 600, 800 series...

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robertbartsch View Post
    ...so there are different models of Crown amps?

    All I see on the web is 400, 600, 800 series...
    You have to look beyond the music stores selling to DJs and local bands. They call those PA amps. Try Crown's own site for a start: http://crownaudio.com/amps.htm

    And this isn't a bad background article, either: http://www.stereotimes.com/amp031302.shtml

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    Quote Originally Posted by BMWCCA View Post
    I feel sorry for you since you're obviously not listening to anything Donal Fagen has worked on recently or the latest Nora Jones CD, or the first two Lizz Wright CDs. Or even the Beatles/Circque du Soleil "Love" album.

    Actually I did buy the Beatles and also have Steely Dan's "Everthing must go".

    Mainly, I like to buy used 50's and 60's jazz stuff these days. I just don't find much of the new music (and the recording quality) all that appealing. Maybe I am just becoming an old fart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    I just don't find much of the new music (and the recording quality) all that appealing. Maybe I am just becoming an old fart.
    I don't think so. Most people don't like it, even the kids don't like it, but they are bored and want something to call their own so there you have it. They'd love nothing more than to have the ultra cool music we listened to when we were their age, but alas, they're screwed. It sucks to be them...

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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    Actually I did buy the Beatles and also have Steely Dan's "Everthing must go".

    Mainly, I like to buy used 50's and 60's jazz stuff these days. I just don't find much of the new music (and the recording quality) all that appealing. Maybe I am just becoming an old fart.
    Everything Must Go isn't too bad. If you're looking for quality of recording, anything from Fagen is usually superb but I'd also heartily recommend his solo work, or Two Against Nature. There are few rock recordings that can equal the quality and care taken by Fagen. Regardless fo how you feel about the music, Fagen's The Nightfly (1982), Kamakiriad (1993), and Morph the Cat (2006) are fine recordings. I recommend Showbiz Kids for excellent coverage of some of Steely Dan's best work that could be fit into the two-CD format.

    Some time ago in this forum someone linked to an article quoting Fagen about the current state of recording. Let me see if I can find it. Ah, yes; luckily I sent the link to my daughter so I still have it. http://www.rollingstone.com/news/sto..._high_fidelity

    Cheers.

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