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Old 1st November 2004, 11:57 AM   #1
Nicos is offline Nicos  United Kingdom
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Default Pro Amps v Kits, High end modules

Hi all,

Can any one of you wise solid state men, point me towards the right direction since I am being pestered by the dilemma of whether to use a couple of KIT modules from ampslab (at a detriment to my free time) or whether to buy a decent pro amp such as a crown or a QSC?
Is there any noticeable difference in sound even if I choose to have two independant supplies one for each module? mind you the QSC Crown avenue is a cheaper solution.

The purpose of the amp is home hi fi. I also have a bunch of tube amps but I am a bit fed up with their heat/biasing/delicate nature.

rs
N
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Old 1st November 2004, 12:42 PM   #2
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Crown & QSC are pro amps, there designed to be reliable, stable under any load, etc etc. they are NOT designed with high fidelity in mind!!!! therefore do NOT make good home amps!!!

I am unfamiler with the kit modules you mentioned. but im sure for the price of a Crown or QSC you could buy yourself a very nice high quality solid state HOME amplifier!!!!

Look at some Adcom, Hafler, Soundcraftsmen, Arcam, Ayre, etc etc etc.


Just me .02 Cents worth!



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Old 1st November 2004, 01:56 PM   #3
Did it Himself
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Personally, I'm a fan of pro amps. You get a heck of a lot for your money in comparison to high end/audiophile amps.

I worked for a small UK pro audio manufacturer for a year placement whilst at uni. One time I borrowed one of their mid range units and took it to my audiophile friends house, full of Naim and Linn stuff. My amp blew his stuff away and he readily admitted it

I'm not saying all pro amps are good, maybe I was just lucky. The problem with them is the fan noise.

With pro amps you have huge headroom, massive cap banks and tough output stages resulting in ability to drive any domestic load with ease.

If you are interested, the VTX 1200 is the closest thing they do now to the one I borrowed. The topology and philosophy is basically the same for the new range, so should be sonically pretty identical. I don't know if they do single private sales though.
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Old 1st November 2004, 02:10 PM   #4
Nicos is offline Nicos  United Kingdom
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Thanks guys for your time and shared knowledge...
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Old 1st November 2004, 04:54 PM   #5
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Crown & QSC are pro amps, there designed to be reliable, stable under any load, etc etc. they are NOT designed with high fidelity in mind!!!! therefore do NOT make good home amps!!!

Crown and QSC amps are high fidelity amplifiers and many many many people use them in their homes with awesome results.

The only complaint is the 'wind noise' when the fans are running.
Most people are adding a resistor or replacing the fans with
'quiet fans', others are not annoyed.

The AVS forum has a good fan base of Crown XLS amplifiers
users, they are paying 25 cents per watt for those amplifiers and
so far there is no sound quality complaints.

Where else can you get a kilowatt amplifier for $250 US average.



If you want to step up to the next higher level, it's cost $350
for the Crown CE series.

People that don't consider these are fooling themselves.
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Old 1st November 2004, 06:35 PM   #6
K-amps is offline K-amps  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by richie00boy
Personally, I'm a fan of pro amps. You get a heck of a lot for your money in comparison to high end/audiophile amps.

I worked for a small UK pro audio manufacturer for a year placement whilst at uni. One time I borrowed one of their mid range units and took it to my audiophile friends house, full of Naim and Linn stuff. My amp blew his stuff away and he readily admitted it

Hey Richie,

I heard a UK based pro-audio poweramp that was pretty good while in Asia once. Never saw that company market here in the US. It was a MOSFET based amp by a company called H&H. Any idea if they are still around or any schematics available for them?

Cheers!

K-
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Old 2nd November 2004, 07:10 AM   #7
Nicos is offline Nicos  United Kingdom
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One thing is for sure though, these amps are a very good value for what they offer.

If one should attempt to build them from scratch, the parts alone would cost a lot more, without counting the time one would spend, the error factor and the pain of fixing everything in a chassis ergonomically without having the wife nagging about the looks of it all...

As a counter-argument, I suppose if one were to choose the kit method, one could also use individual power supply for every module and better quality parts for better sound.

Has anyone compared bipolar with mosfets? is there a difference in sound?
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Old 2nd November 2004, 08:56 AM   #8
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k-amps,

I think I have seen a H&H amp listed in a sales brochure somewhere, but other than that I can't offer any more.

Nicos,

Big pro power amps are not simple. Unless you are a real wizard with PCB design then stick to buying a ready made unit (which will probably cost not much more anyway).

What you say about kits is right, but IMO to match a pro amp you need the same kind of massive design, and there's just hardly any kits out there to do that. The top two Ampslab bipolar and MOSFET ones should be OK. The other choice is the AV800 from AussieAmps, but from what I can see on here from builders, it may be a good idea to steer clear unless you know what you are doing or don't mind troubleshooting with no support.
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Old 2nd November 2004, 10:47 AM   #9
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I am a bit surprised to see the tone of this thread. I am doubtful that the ones who have favourably commented about the sonic qualities of pro-amps have actually done enough listening.

I currently own Dynacord and QSC amps for my pro set up. Prior to this I have also used Studiomaster amps but their sound quality was pathetic. In addition, I have checked Crest, Crown, EV, Yamaha and a couple of other amps. None of these can be called hi-fi, forget audiophile grade or hi-end.

If you look at the schematic of the Dynacord for example, it is the same topology as many hi-end amps; symmetrical differential for the input, Vas and triple darlington output, or very much like the Leach design. But you will also find many protection circuits. My overall guess is that they are biased way below hi-end amps. Most of these amps will have a very good low end punch, veiled mids and none too exciting highs.

Most of my hi-end amps outperform all of these amps in the mids and highs but to get the same low end performance is another issue. But wait a minute; you may not get the same punch in the low end but you do get better resolution with atleast some hi-end gear matching the punch as well. The AKSA and Stochino designs come to mind immediately.

Personally, I'd never use one of my many pro-amps in my home.
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Old 2nd November 2004, 01:11 PM   #10
Nicos is offline Nicos  United Kingdom
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we seem to have a dissenting judgment from Sam here. Anyone care to comment on it?

Logic seems to weigh towards Sam's point of view in light of the difference in mode of operation and design utility of these pro amps, however one never stops to wonder how to get away from paying $3000 for an amp when a pro amp of the same specs would cost $400!
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