Crown XLS 1500 Power Amplifier
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- 300 watts per channel at 8 ohms, 525 watts per channel at 4 ohms, 1550 watts per channel at 4 ohms bridged
- High Performance, Lightweight Class-D amp weighs less than 11 lbs
- Integrated PureBand(TM) Crossover System for better performance and control
- PeakX(TM) Limiters provide maximum output while protecting your speakers
- XLS, 1/4", RCA Inputs provide outstanding flexibility
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Crown XLS1500 Power Amplifier with integrated PureBand Crossover System and PeakX Limiters
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Long version: I've been a "budget audiophile" for years, enjoying older, used amps and speakers for a fraction of the cost. I've owned all the big Yamaha iron, most of the Adcom lineup, some McIntosh, etc. and my speaker collection has been graced by everything from Vandersteen, Dahlquist, Snell, Polk reference, Magnepan, Martin Logan and the best of the AR Teledyne era, to name some of them.
Eventually the DIY bug bit me and after a few trials and tribulations I sold my last pair of Martin Logan SL3 to make room for a pair of ugly birch plywood boxes housing professional 18" woofers with 8" "full range" drivers mounted to another slab of plywood standing on top. Next to go were my vintage Yamaha M-80 and M-65 amps I had been using for a couple of years. I tried newer amps including an excellent 50wpc "T-Amp" that you can also find on Amazon. I stumbled across a very long thread on the XLS series of amps on an audiophile forum and the more I read, the more I got interested. When I found out that the XLS were being replaced by the new, "improved" XLS2, I really started shopping. The new version offers lights you can turn off, an input gain switch, a bit more flexibility on the crossover section, and a black face, which I really liked. THEN I saw the original XLS series were seeing some massive discounts as they were being phased out...
Careful shopping landed me a pair of XLS 1500 for $199 each. No, the lights aren't too bright, especially lower to the floor as I have them. Input gain troubled me a bit but after reading a good gain matching tutorial I got my Yamaha HT receiver to feed these amps just what they wanted, without messing about with XLR balanced/unbalanced conversion, etc. Tutorial linked below:
I LOVE these amps! Great signal to noise ratio (the 1500 and higher are slightly better than the 1000, for some reason) and way more clean power than I will ever need. Damping factor of 200+ means that my 18" woofers (H-frame open baffles) get the kind of control that is even silly to ask of an AVR or older, home stereo amp. Even at theater level volume the clipping light has never even lit up. Control, punch, weight, and dynamics that only a few years ago I would have been contemplating $1000+ worth of second hand amps to achieve... with a warranty and pro-use build quality!
Fan??? Oh yeah! There is one of those too! I had previously considered the Behringer iNUKE DSP amps but after reading how loud the fans in those were (most do a fan conversion to them for home use), I'm glad I went with the Crowns... These amps never even feel warm to the touch and I have yet to hear the fans. I imagine they DO come on, when I'm watching a movie or have the tunes jamming loudly, but *I've never heard them*.
Don't want them to be on all the time? Pick up the Tripp Lite Outlet Eco-Surge Protector Power Strip, plug your AVR (or preamp, or whatever) into the "master" outlet and the Crown(s) into the slave outlets. When the AVR comes on, by remote, the Crowns click to life too! Highly recommended.
surrounds and let my receiver only drive 2 Def Tech sr8040 backs. The receiver still wasn't able to drive those well enough. I thought about either a Emotiva UPA 200 (125 wpc) or XPA-2 (300wpc), but the upa is over $400 for only 125wpc and the XPA-2(300wpc) is $900 and weighs 83 LBS. same as my XPA-5. I didn't want anymore brutes so i picked the XLS1,500. I am glad i did I drive my RTI's with it and the other 5 channels on the XPA-5. I am in home theatre nirvana. I really like being able to adjust volume levels. I have them at 2 o'clock for movies and 3 o'clock listening to music. Music
is clean and dynamic. You have to get the Art clean box pro if connecting to home receiver.You would need 2 RCA
interconnects and 2 XLR interconnects and a recepticle to plug it in .RCA's from receiver to box , XLR's from box to XLS
It seemed weird to me to have an amp that weighed less than 9 lbs and took up half the space of the amp I was using, which weighed 70+ lbs and put out the same 300 watts per channel. I hooked up the Crown, listened, and... it sounded no different than the amp I had been using. Sound quality was excellent, and it handled dynamics with ease. There are LED warning indicators on the face of the amp. The first green one shows when the amp is receiving a signal; the second green one when it is at 20 db below clipping level; the third when 10 db below clipping, and then there is a red LED to show when it is clipping. I played music at as loud a volume as I would ever listen to it and the second LED never lit up. Loud or soft, the sound was clear and clean and no different from the amp I had been using.
I ended up buying four of these altogether, to use in a 5.1 system. Three of the amps are bridged to mono mode and power the left, center and right speakers, and the fourth amp is in stereo mode and powers the two surrounds. What I love is that they sound great yet I can lift all four amps at the same time with ease. All four together weigh about 35 lbs.
The drawbacks? Only one - the amps are sort of ugly. I've gotten used to the way they look now, but they definitely do not look as good as the hi-fi amps I was using. The construction quality is not as robust, either but then I don't move them around or abuse them, and they do the job they were intended for, very well. They stay very cool - lukewarm at the warmest. The fan has come on when in use but it is a variable-speed fan and the loudest I have heard it is just a very low whirring sound that I can hear only with my ear right up to the front grill. Otherwise it is inaudible. There is also some hiss from the tweeters when the amp is on with no source playing but that hiss is faint and becomes inaudible about 6-8" from the tweeter. Oh yes - another drawback is the lack of an input for a power trigger so I have to get up and manually turn these on. But then that's no different than what I used to do in the "old days" when I had a turntable.
As for the amp being ugly, the newer 1502 model remedies this with an attractive black faceplate but the price is a lot higher, too. I'll settle for the 1500. Excellent performance in a lightweight, compact package. I'm very pleased with these amps.