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  1. #1
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    Anyone using Mackie or Corwn amps?

    I'm looking at the Mackie M800 and M1400i, and the the crown XLS 402 and XLS 602 as a sub amp to replace the plate amp I'm currently using. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on these amps.

  2. #2
    DIY Dude Registered Member poneal's Avatar
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    Both names are familiar but I've heard a lot of good things about crown amps. I don't own either one of them but if I were to buy one or the other today, I would go with the Crown.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grampi
    I'm looking at the Mackie M800 and M1400i, and the the crown XLS 402 and XLS 602 as a sub amp to replace the plate amp I'm currently using. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on these amps.

    The Mackies have better specs than the XLS line. I have heard they have reliability problems, but I don't have any personal experience with them, so this information is no better than second hand.

    Now, I have used Crown. Currently the PB-1(Powerbase, now discontinued) and Powertech(PT). Very good amps. However, since these are all for the pro market, they have internal cooling fans so they will add noise to your listening environment when all is quiet.

    If you want a power amp without a fan, you might want to look at a used DC300, or look at the Crown K series(K1), these not only have no fans, but are the most efficient amps in Crown's line-up because of their power supply techology. Of course, you'll pay twice as much, but it depends on what you think is worthwhile.

    -Bruce

  4. #4
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    You have heard the Mackies or the Crown XLS series amps have reliability problems?

  5. #5
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    nothing wrong with old Crown

    I can't speak for the new stuff but some of their old amps seem to be indestructable. I think they were either bought out by or merged with HK and I don't know what that would do for them.
    My son still uses my old Crown DC300 A which I bought new in 1975, it's been repaired once for $125 and works as good as new. This amp was claimed by some reviewers to be the finest amplifier ever made (back in the 70's) and it certainly had to be in the top few. I would think it would drive a subwoofer very well with a range from 0 to 100khz. It also has very low distortion which nobody seems to care about anymore. I have no idea how the new ones will hold up or how they sound but I don't think Crown makes any like they used to. The Studio Reference amp from Crown is around $3500 and might be similar to the old amp with even more power.
    Bill

  6. #6
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grampi
    You have heard the Mackies or the Crown XLS series amps have reliability problems?
    Mackies. Again, take it with a bag of salt. -Bruce

  7. #7
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    Even knowing little to nothing about either of these, they've certainly got to be a step up from this stinkin' plate amp.

  8. #8
    What, me worry? Registered Member piece-it pete's Avatar
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    The basshead in NYC I got my subs from..

    Rec'd Hafler DH-200.

    I've also "heard" good things about the Crown DC300.

    I've never heard either of them .

    I bet you're right, they'll be better then your plate amps.

    Pete
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
    DIY Dude Registered Member poneal's Avatar
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    Grampi, just found the XLS 202 on e-bay for $210. This amp can be bridged to provide 500 watts into 4ohms. Not bad at all. Looks like they are getting ready for the new year models so they are going at really good prices. Heres the link:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=23787

  10. #10
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    There's also the XLS 602 on ebay for $292, which is a much more powerful amp than the 202. It makes 370 X 2 in stereo into an 8 ohm load. I'd probably rather go with this amp as it would give me more flexibility for future applications.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by poneal
    Grampi, just found the XLS 202 on e-bay for $210. This amp can be bridged to provide 500 watts into 4ohms. Not bad at all. Looks like they are getting ready for the new year models so they are going at really good prices. Heres the link:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=23787

    The XLS series is a new model. They are for low-end installs. I don't think they are the best choice myself. If you look around, you'll find good deals on recently retired products such as the Power Base series, or Power Tech series. Again, just be aware that you'll have fan noise to contend with.

    Here is an example:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...EBWA%3AIT&rd=1

    If you want to have a look around, Crown's home website is:

    http://www.crownaudio.com/

    And be PATIENT when doing business on Ebay.

    -Bruce

  12. #12
    What, me worry? Registered Member piece-it pete's Avatar
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    A couple interesting units..

    This ones' manual warns against cones bursting into flames (and no fan):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=23787

    This Behringer looks interesting (450 wpc 8 ohms 20-20k hz .1% THD):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=23787

    Pete
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  13. #13
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    if you wanna send a little more money go with a crown ce over an xls... the xls makes an awful sound when it clips. i wouldn't go with the mackie.. if you didn't go with crown then look into qsc. just remember with crown amps that power rating is the true power so make sure you have a speaker that can handle it. If you could find one for really cheap go with a crown micro-tech 1200. if you chose to stick with the xls i would recommend going to the 402 just for the head room

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by piece-it pete
    This ones' manual warns against cones bursting into flames (and no fan):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=23787

    This Behringer looks interesting (450 wpc 8 ohms 20-20k hz .1% THD):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...category=23787

    Pete
    i would avoid behringer by any means... and you don't need a fan i wouldn't want one in a home enviroment anyways. i own the smaller version of the JBL Urie. I have the 6230 they are better sounding than most hifi amps you would spend over a 1000 for. The 6260 is a great amp, one of the best of all time but it always will be second to the crown d-150

  15. #15
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    What's wrong with Mackie amps? If an amp didn't need a fan for the home environment, why would these companies put them on their amps? Obviously, they think they're necessary. The reason I'm looking at the XLS series amps is because I can't afford paying $500-$1000 for an amp. If I could, I wouldn't be looking at the lower end amps.

  16. #16
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grampi
    What's wrong with Mackie amps? If an amp didn't need a fan for the home environment, why would these companies put them on their amps? Obviously, they think they're necessary. The reason I'm looking at the XLS series amps is because I can't afford paying $500-$1000 for an amp. If I could, I wouldn't be looking at the lower end amps.

    Couple reasons.

    1) They are more likely to be run near their maximum output.

    2) In order to save weight and make them more mechanically robust, finned heatsinks were reduced in size, or eliminated in favor of forced air cooling.

    Don't know about Mackie, but if you look into a crown(PB or PT series specifically) you'll see the output devices mounted on a flat plate near the air exhaust outlet.

    -Bruce

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLZapped
    Couple reasons.

    1) They are more likely to be run near their maximum output.

    2) In order to save weight and make them more mechanically robust, finned heatsinks were reduced in size, or eliminated in favor of forced air cooling.

    Don't know about Mackie, but if you look into a crown(PB or PT series specifically) you'll see the output devices mounted on a flat plate near the air exhaust outlet.

    -Bruce
    Maybe I don't quite understand your #1 statement. The XLS series amp I'm looking at is the 602, which would be connected in stereo, each channel being connected to one of the voice coils on my Tempest sub. The amp pushes 370watts X 2 into 8 ohms, which is the impedence of each voice coil. I seriously doubt the Tempest would ever see this amp's full power. You'd have to be pushing the system very hard to make the amp push full power. I never push my system that hard.

    As far as cooling goes, what's the difference if the amp is cooled by heatsinks or fans, as long as they're cooled properly?

  18. #18
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    Well, a fan will eventually wear out, heat sinks won't. Other than that, there should not be much difference. If you can still hear the fan when music is playing, you need to turn your music up or get a quieter fan.
    An old DC300A would be a great choice for your sub amp in my honest opinion. There are 3 of them currently on ebay and it does not appear that any of them will reach $200. This would give all the quality power that you could ever want to your sub and is likely to be 10 times better than the new Crown amp that you are looking at. These amps sold for around $1200 to $1300 in the mid 70's and the only thing that Crown makes today that would compare is over $3500, their Studio Reference. They have always had one or two expensive amps in their lineup and they were always world class amps. The old DC300A was considered by many to be the best amp of it's day and would be better than most amps that are being made today. Naturally, there are better amps but I would hope with the costs rising into many thousands of dollars and up to 100k or so, that they would indeed be alittle better. As I said before, my son is still using my DC300A that I bought new in 1975 and it works just fine. Still a very fine amplifier.
    Bill

  19. #19
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    What are the power ratings for the DC300A? Is it bridgeable? What impedences is it stable into?

  20. #20
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    More amp stuff. I noticed the DC300A is listed as having 150 Watts per channel. I don't think it's going to have enough power for what I need. I'm looking for a minimum of 250W per channel, or between 500W-800W in mono.

    Are the Crown CE series amps better than XLS series? What about the Samson F800? The only problem I see with this amp is there are no power ratings given for an 8 ohm load. It's rated at 400 X 2 into 4 ohms, or 800 X 1 into ohms. Are Carver amps any good? Don't know much about the Mackies, but I still say they look prety darn good. They've got some durn good specs.

  21. #21
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    grampi

    You won't find a more stable amp, able to drive one ohm loads. It is bridgeable but has to be done internally. I would probably have a tech do it but the owner's manual explains how to do it. The amp is very conservatively rated at 155wpc at 8 ohm. My son's tested on the bench to 188wpc, 8 ohm, last year. It is rated at 650w when bridged mono in 8 ohm and would be a very strong 650 as opposed to these newer lightweights. I have seen these amps (DC300A's) in use at rock concerts and many used them for PA and professional work. They seem to be indestructable.
    I don't know much about the newer Crown but I'm leery of them unless talking about the Studio Reference series. Most of them are fairly inexpensive professional equipment and are still considered durable but for home stereo use, the old DC300A and a very few of their others would outperform any of their new equipment.
    I have never heard of the Samson and that scares me. Carver made some good and some bad amps and I don't know which are which. If it's McIntosh that you are referring to as Mackie, this may have been the only amp to be as good or better than the old Crown in the 70's but it used to cost twice as much. Marantz also made some fine equipment back then. At $150 to $250 for an old Crown DC300A in good working order, I don't know that you could find more bang for the buck in a true quality amplifier.
    Bill

  22. #22
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    What kind of power does the DC300A make bridged into 4 ohms? Is it stable to bridge it into 4 ohms? My Tempest has two 8 ohm voice coils, so if I were to connect a bridged DC300A to the Tempest, the VC's would either have to be paralleled, presenting a 4 ohm load, or seriesed, presenting a 16 ohm load. If it makes 650 watts bridged into 8 ohms, I would guess it makes substantially more brideged into 4 ohms.

    Actually the Mackie amp I'm talking about is made by Mackie. The model number is M1400i, and it looks like a very impressive amp. I've seen the spec sheet for this amp and it has very impressive numbers. I'm surprise more people haven't heard of this amp.

  23. #23
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    Are Altec Lansing amps any good? There's a 9444B/SA listed on ebay with a high bid of less than $100. It say it makes 300W per cahnnel in stereo, 600W bridged.

  24. #24
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    I'm getting to where I can't stand ebay anymore. You used to be able to get good buys there, but lately it seems like too many people use it and by the time a particular item gets to the end of its time period, the bids on it are so stinkin' high its just not worth bidding on. I've been looking at amps in there and it seems like everyone knows which ones are the amps worth bidding on, so everybody keeps bidding on them until they drive the price through the roof! I guess there's just no place in the home audio world for poor guys like me!

  25. #25
    What, me worry? Registered Member piece-it pete's Avatar
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    Crown DC-300a specs.

    Quote Originally Posted by grampi
    What kind of power does the DC300A make bridged into 4 ohms? Is it stable to bridge it into 4 ohms? My Tempest has two 8 ohm voice coils, so if I were to connect a bridged DC300A to the Tempest, the VC's would either have to be paralleled, presenting a 4 ohm load, or seriesed, presenting a 16 ohm load. If it makes 650 watts bridged into 8 ohms, I would guess it makes substantially more brideged into 4 ohms.

    Actually the Mackie amp I'm talking about is made by Mackie. The model number is M1400i, and it looks like a very impressive amp. I've seen the spec sheet for this amp and it has very impressive numbers. I'm surprise more people haven't heard of this amp.
    Link to manual:

    http://www.crownaudio.com/pdf/amps/dc300aim.pdf

    It doesn't say what the 4 ohm rating is but I'll bet it's impressive. I'm sure the last time I checked out this amp it was 300 wpc. Some other things about the specs that impress me:

    1) Rated power bandwidth: 1hz to 20 khz. 1hz?! Sounds like a good sub amp to me, particularly considering +/- .1db (!!) freq. response from DC (again, !!) to 20khz, 1 db from DC to 100khz. I'll bet those low-end numbers put a lot of new dedicated sub amps to shame!

    2) "Load impedance: Rated for 8 ohms usage, safely drives any load including completely reactive loads." I'm not positive, but doesn't that last bit mean down to zero?

    3) >750 damping factor. Low IM distortion. The fact that they don't try to pad the specs with BS parameters (I've seen a LOT of this with the pro equip.).

    Well that does it. I'm buying 4!

    Though I realize they're getting old. But wow they're cheap. With better numbers than my Marantz 1152DC integrated, and not unattractive, and silver being "in" again. Hmmm.... - I'll take 4 :)!

    There is one 5 of 5 review for the Mackie - used as a sub amp - in AR reviews. I also noticed that the Halfer DH-500 (225 wpc into 8 ohms) has a 4.9 of 5 rating with 29 people checking in. It appears that around $300 +frt. will get you one on fleaBay.

    So, after your post, you've got a choice of lots instead of two. Round & round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows!

    Pete

    PS - let us know what you get & how you like it - I'll be picking up an amp for sub use myself this summer!
    I fear explanations explanatory of things explained.
    Abraham Lincoln

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