!! Question of the day!!

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
I have been wondering this for some time and I have never really got a clear answer.
I was wondering why so called pro amps and looked down upon in these forums?
Why do most people look down on pro equipment? Why would these amps not be suitable for home theater application?

This has been bothering me for some time and I just would like a clear answer.

One reason is that alot of 'Pro' amps are meant for PA use that is making alot of noise not making sweet music. Also most of them use switching supplies and unless you like the sound of power supply switching hash coming from the speakers, stay clear of switching power supplies. Those are 2 generalisations, they dont apply to all such amps but they do apply to alot if not most of them.

Hope this helps.
Hi Slice, remember me ?.
Your presence here on DIY has much improved I am glad to say, and I welcome you to keep your happier tone.

Anyway, just as with domestic audio gear, it all depends what brand and model of pro amp we are talking about.
Some pro amps are bloody good, and some are ear bleeding turds !.

In my experience of Australian made pro amps, ARX and Jands are really good.
New Zealand made Perreaux FET with the right tweaks are magnificent.
Of other makes, IME Mackies are horrid - wrong lows, nasty mids and highs and profoundly fatigueing and plain just wrong.
Old Carver with SMPS are totally rotten - no bass balls, and M/H will drive you up the wall.

The by now getting older, Crown Macro Tech 600, 1200 and 2400 were really good.
These will drive low impedence loads, at full power all day long, sonically pleasingly and reliably.
The 1200 and 2400 have an interesting bass characteristic - they sort of push the bass big and clean, and damp really well at the same time, giving a neat bass dynamic range improvement, and the mids and highs are clean and never irritating if using star-quad speaker cable.

If you hunt you might find some second hand.
A couple of very educational reads, if you study them thoroughly are these owners manuals - http://www.crownaudio.com/pdf/amps/130252.pdf

A lot of pro amps trounce a lot of domestic amps if driven correctly, and loaded correctly in my experience.
If I am correct your application is home theatre, so because movie soundtracks are NOT pristine, clean, good, strong and ballsy sound is what is required, and not load dependance and idiosyncratic nervousness.
Try to audition some good pro amps at home if possible and you might be pleasantly surprised by the price/performance ratio.

Hope this fills you in some,
Regards, Eric.
::thanks mrfeedback::

Thanks a lot MRFEEDBACK,
You defiantly clarified some things. I have been considering BRYSTON amps, which basically every one says are excellent, but the price is a little steep ($30,000 USD) for 10 of their 7B SST mono blocks. I was wondering if the Crown audio Micro-Tech 2400 would be a good amp to consider for may application? If not that’s ok because I have already budgeted in the BRYSTONs.


Why are you still so preoccupied with highpowered amps? You can drive speakers to very high listening levels without huge amounts of power. Plus if you want a lot of power you would only need it for your front three channels and the subs. The rear channels produce very little bass, if any sound at all. Some preamps cut the rear frequency off at 100Hz, this would waste like 499watts of power.

I'm currently building right now, I have some crappy technics speakers running. They are inefficient but I can put all of 10 watts into them an thye still play loud. The only thing that will use the power up is the bass.

If you have the cash buy some 4bs, that way you can biwire the fronts. then buy some 3bs for the rears. That would give you the two channels you are looking for, for each of your rear channels. Then use all the money you save to buying some huge cushy leather recliners. So you can watch in style and comfort.

You've sia before you have a 35k budget, don't spend it all on amps, or you'll be lacking a lot in other areas. If the budget is just for speakers(then I think a :eek: :eek: :eek: is in order) then remember that you want 10 speakers(correct me if I'm worng), that is a lot of money in drivers.

Slice, I was thinking on the exact same lines as you two years ago. Except I am on about 1/1000th the budget. You'll be surprised how much you'll learn over then next couple years till you start building the theatre.

I'm not trying to be an a$$, just save you some money.


I do not think you are an a$$ in any way baby_huey0,
I want you to notice that I said nothing of power rating in any of
The posts in this thread, I just thought I would mention that.
I know that a good amp can play loud no matter the power rating.
The bottom line is that the budget has gone up due to a recent raze. The budget is now about $76,000 on the whole theater. This includes Every thing. And I think spending 30,000 on amps is not unreasonable. The resin I started this thread is because I thought it was interesting Why most people here slam on pro amps. It had nothing to do with Power rating I assure you. Anyway I am going to start a new thread In a few days to see what you guys think about what I have planed thus far. Just remember that nothing I say or have said in past posts in past threads is Set in stone. I am still learning every day and I would be stupid to set every thing in stone In my naïve state, I have tons to learn still. Thanks for keeping up with my situation though.

Easy Fix

Hey Slice,

You would avoid a many problems in Home Theater building if you just do one thing.

HIRE an Audio Consultant.

With a 75k budget that would save you money in spades from what it sounds like to me. Find a local Audio Expert that can work the bugs out for you. Like choosing drivers, amps, preamps, layouts, maintance etc...

You could still have a hands on role in the project and a more consistant product in the end.

Hope this helps.
$75k :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

Excuse me for a moment while I stare blankley in amazement......

As far as I know, for home theatre and music, you will get a much better sound from non-pro equipment.

Think about it, in a bar a lot of people a drunk so all they want is more volume. Thats what the pro amps are there for, they produce more sound. There is less care taken to less distortion, and general making better sound. I think I've pretty much repeated what eveyone else has said so you get the point..

Also what was said above is a good point. To get the most out of a home theatre its good to have someone who really knows how to do it help out.

Getting back on topic

Slice, in my experience I have found that many people with strong opinions for or against certain products have never even seen let alone heard many of the items they hold strong opinions about. When pushed the response is "No, I haven't actually heard it but this magazine said..." or "Yes, a friend of a friend had one of those and he said it sucked!"

You really can't take such unqualified statements at face value.
The exceptions are folks like mrfeedback who appear to have actually tried the pieces they comment on.

It should be no surpise then that the view towards pro-audio gear on this fourum tends to be, shall we say, less than complimentary. Strong opinions in either direction tend to gather momentum without need for factual, emperical data.

Now that I'm off my soap box! Pro amps do tend to be designed with durability and longevity as the prime concerns. If they happen to sound good also then so much the better. Keep in mind also that Pro amp companies usually have to satisfy a number of price points while keeping durability high. Notice a trend here?

Personally, all I feel qualified to comment on are the things that I've used and heard. I can confirm mffeedback's comments on Carver amps(mid/high that drives you up the wall) but even there I don't recall the exact model I was listening to.
I use Hafler P-3000 and P-1500 amplifiers at home and find them to be quite satisfactory for my needs, very well priced for the performance and they sound great to me.

After my long winded response, I will now climb my self-built pyre and await the inevitable flames that will come my way.
Joined 2002
Well said Timo!

I think you just reiterated one of my posts to Slice of several weeks ago, and I agree wholeheartedly.

Slice, you have to bear in mind this is a DIY audio site, and so everyone who is involved has their own opinion, right or wrong...

What it comes down to in the end is what you want, and if it sounds good to you, then go for it, but most people here just want to help you not to waste money and time.


I played with pro equipment years ago, missed almost 15 years and came back. Guess what? The stuff that sucked then, sucks now. The stuff that was good then, is still good. Crown and Crest are still good. I packed those f*ckers in dry ice in Florida summers and they played all day. (turn up the amp rack and just keep adding more).

But I must tell you for that your budget, you can think of really interesting ways to get what you want. Horn load the subs in a cavity under the room and you could drive them to the pain threshold with 200 watts. I heard a performance space a month ago - about $250K not counting the engineering cost. Simply stunning. So stunning that it really was close to the artist's playing in the same room. All horn loaded, all active speakers, pure digital - I fell in love.

But what made it work was some really bright engineers - folks who knew what worked by experiance. There is a lesson to be learned there.
Joined 2002
Do you guys get C audio amps over the pond, cos they are pretty good.

Other than that I heard some new Italian amps,(sorry can't remember the name), that had cool multicoloured anodised fronts and were seriously kicking for bass and mids, and were relatively inexpensive...

Other than that, it's got to be Crown/Amcron, big, heavy, but very clear sound.


slicemaster101 said:
Well said everyone.
I am now feeling much better.
I believe that valuable information
Was presented here these last few days.
: Please note: this thread has nothing Directly to do
with my project.


The Brystons are excellent. Hafler makes a series of TransNova amps you may be able to get where you live. They are also excellent and may save you some $$ to put into better loudspeakers or a better projector
Most people are generalizing Pro Audio gear, they think it's only made to play loud.

Why on earth is everyone saying that PA is a bad thing, that's the same as saying that Hifi sucks because I hear the Ghettoblaster of my ten year old neighbour all day long playing hip hop at highly distorted levels while this machine has a big tag on it wich says 'HIFI", so I can only come to the conclusion that all Hifi is bad.

PA is not bad in general as well as Hifi isn't. Well maybe the cheap crappy Mackie and Behringer amps (while a lot of people now seem to like the Behringer crossovers they are totally crap to the real pro audio engineer).

Pro Audio amps can be as good as any home hifi amp. Take the Crown K1 and K2 amps for example. they are one of the very best amps to use for your subwoofer (mids and highs are very good too at this pricepoint) . Puts all Krell's and Mark Levinsons to shame and they are originally intended for DJ monitoring use, not to power your PA rig.

It's hard to say wether a PA or a home hifi amp is better. In both worlds there are very good ones but also a lot of crap. I have tried a couple of them at home. I first tried a carver but it's crap, even for PA use. Later on I have tried the Crowns k2 , very very good bass, in fact the best I have tried so far. Mids and highs are as good as any good home hifi amp in this price range but I have to see one wich is capable of delivering so much bass impact and resolution, regardless of the price tag.
This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.