Replace my monitoring amp with an old Crown?

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Dubmaniac
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Replace my monitoring amp with an old Crown?

Post by Dubmaniac » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:51 am

I've got a chance to buy either a Crown DC300 or D150 power amp for not much money- $150 or $100 respectively. I'm thinking about replacing my monitoring amp with one of these. I'm currently using a QSC PLX1602- I know... it's designed for live use, and it has a fan, which adds background noise. That's the main reason I would replace it with one of these fanless Crowns. On the other hand, would I hear a huge difference, for better or worse, replacing my ten year old amp with a 40+ year old Crown? And what kind of possible repairs or service might it need? Are they known for certain part failures? If it matters, I'm using Tannoy Reveals as my main monitors.

One more thing- the guy selling these amps says they came out of Todd Rundgren's Bearsville studios, so I could be buying a piece of history... or he's full of crap. Is there any way to confirm or deny his claim? I would love to have a little piece of audio history if it's true. I did see some pictures of the Bearsville control room, and there was a DC300 in there, but that doesn't prove anything. (shrugs)

I'm familiar with Crown's reputation but I've never owned anything from them yet, so any input would be appreciated. If I buy one of these, it would be the oldest piece of gear in my studio, aside from me.
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Post by cgarges » Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:58 am

I'm not crazy about the sound of the Crown amps, but they're certainly built well, in terms of heftiness. A few years ago, I tried a BUNCH of amps when I got my B&W 805s and the Crowns that I tried were at the bottom of the list, in terms of sonics. That's just my own opinion, though.

Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly but I thought that Todd Rundgren's place was called something else. Bearsville was a studio in NY, different from Todd's place.

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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:14 am

I think Crowns sound great, but they of course usually need to be recapped if they arent sounding up to it.
I would NEVER buy a piece of gear merely because of its possible provnenance. It isnt going to sound better because some particular artist used it. Unless they had it modified from stock it really doesnt matter.
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Post by Dubmaniac » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:19 am

calaverasgrandes wrote:I think Crowns sound great, but they of course usually need to be recapped if they arent sounding up to it.
I would NEVER buy a piece of gear merely because of its possible provnenance. It isnt going to sound better because some particular artist used it. Unless they had it modified from stock it really doesnt matter.
I totally understand, but if it's true, it would be kind of a cool bonus. The main reason I'm considering these amps is because they don't have fans, and because of Crown's legendary reputation. But if it did come out of Bearsville, I wouldn't complain... I'm just sayin'.
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:34 am

The prices arent bad.
I have however, seen loads of stuff on ebay or cl that "used to belong to the Dead" or some metal band or the best, a "guitar signed by the drummer of...". It certainly seems some folks will do anything to milk the value.
I've always had good experiences with DC300's. I am curious what folks dont like about them?

PS.I do have a 4x12 bass cabinet that used to belong to one of the guitarist of Sleep/Asbestos Death. Any offers guys?
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by Dubmaniac » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:45 am

calaverasgrandes wrote:The prices arent bad.
I have however, seen loads of stuff on ebay or cl that "used to belong to the Dead" or some metal band or the best, a "guitar signed by the drummer of...". It certainly seems some folks will do anything to milk the value.
I've always had good experiences with DC300's. I am curious what folks dont like about them?

PS.I do have a 4x12 bass cabinet that used to belong to one of the guitarist of Sleep/Asbestos Death. Any offers guys?
The biggest drawbacks I can see so far are the physical size of the DC300 and the possibility that parts might be bad. Doesn't it take up something like four rack spaces? That and I'm wondering if, after all these years, the sound quality would be as good (or better or worse) than my QSC. I read online that it caused one guy's audio interface to hum. You know why it was humming, right? Because it didn't know the words! Har, har, har...
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:52 am

The DC300's I have used were all barrier strip terminals. So I wouldnt doubt that the guy with the humming DC300 had miswired. It is also likely that the filter caps in the PS were going bad.
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Post by dsw » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:52 pm

Don't do it. Amp technology has come a long ways. Crown amps were built for PA work. Hafler, Adcom, Parasound, would sound better and frankly the QSC is a fine sounding amp.

Todd Rungren did record at Bearsville but he didn't own it.
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Post by Dubmaniac » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:37 pm

dsw wrote:Don't do it. Amp technology has come a long ways. Crown amps were built for PA work. Hafler, Adcom, Parasound, would sound better and frankly the QSC is a fine sounding amp.
You know... the more I think about it, the more I think you're right. The fan noise isn't awful from my QSC (I turn off while I'm tracking), and I love the way the amp sounds. Plus now I won't have to justify spending $150 on myself to my wife just five days before Christmas!

And if I ever do get the itch to use an old amp with no fan, I could always drag out my two Ampex tube power amplifiers from the early sixties. I actually have four of them, but I only need two for stereo. Not a huge amount of power, but plenty of vintage point-to-point tube mojo in them!
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Post by analogcabin » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:03 pm

For the same loot (or a tad less) grab an Adcom 535. Best bang for buck amp I've used by far. Unbalanced in.... but so what? Keep your cable length short & use good cable.

It will be an eye/ear opener.

Rack ears are still available too.

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Post by Dubmaniac » Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:44 pm

analog-cabin wrote:For the same loot (or a tad less) grab an Adcom 535. Best bang for buck amp I've used by far. Unbalanced in.... but so what? Keep your cable length short & use good cable.

It will be an eye/ear opener.

Rack ears are still available too.
Wow... I'd never thought of Adcom! I just looked it up. It wouldn't have as much power as my QSC, but it still sounds like it's a great amp- probably perfect for a set of Auratones or something like that. The unbalanced in doesn't bother me at all. Does it use heat sinks or fans?
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:17 pm

heatsinks. Its a great amp. Loud as hell. It could easily crush an auratone.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by analogcabin » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:00 am

The 535 will power any 8" and down pair of nearfields to very loud levels. I've powered Tannoy system 8's with it and it was so nice. Now I use (1980's era) AR 18s speakers. Pow!

Plenty of power. Dead silent too.

The folks over at rec.audio.pro turned me on to the Adcom. Sage advice indeed.

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Post by vxboogie » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:21 am

analog-cabin wrote:For the same loot (or a tad less) grab an Adcom 535. Best bang for buck amp I've used by far. Unbalanced in.... but so what? Keep your cable length short & use good cable.

It will be an eye/ear opener.

Rack ears are still available too.
Been lovin my Adcom 545 for about 22 years now. Great amps and the used prices are reasonable.
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:04 pm

If you are a soldering hack I believe you can even bring it up to 545 specs b adding a few more components. The PCB is the same with both. I cant speak for the power transformer etc.
I forget exactly but the 535 s like 60 wpc and I think the 545 is 90 or 100? Might be a stretch. Anyway, yeah, they can be had for $100 or so. Got mine (with a blown fuse) for $60.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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