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Crown XLS1002 Amplifier Teardown

dfuller

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If that is truly their attitude these days, in a so-called sustainable, woke world, they don't deserve customers.

Harman Kardon products used to be beautifully built, were backed up by great distributors, a stellar parts network and basically lasted forever. So did many of the big Japanese players' gear. Their products were not designed to fail, they were designed to do the polar opposite.
I don't mean that in a bad way, entirely. They're not designed to fail, they just have no reason to design something beyond what they need to cover.

The warranty is 3 years, which is not too too bad considering its price.
 

mhardy6647

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... Their products were not designed to fail, they were designed to do the polar opposite.
That was in a world where the population, and its affluence, was growing steadily -- there was always fresh meat to sell a new box to.
In that case, it was OK for the old boxes to keep working.
This is largely (I'd opine) no longer the case (except in, e.g., China and possibly India, absent COVID-19), so now companies either need:
1) constant replacement of products (i.e., well-calibrated lifetimes... e.g., modern refrigerators @ 7 years)
2) constant "innovation" (and its evil twin, perceived or enforced technological obsolesence)

One's smartphone may be bricked by its maker remotely (e.g.).

Guess I got up on the crotchety old man side of the bed today! ;)

My EICO HF-81 is as old as I. It is in better shape ;) and it's easier (and cheaper) to repair than am I at age (almost) 62. :)

P1020749.jpg
 
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EJ3

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That was in a world where the population, and its affluence, was growing steadily -- there was always fresh meat to sell a new box to.
In that case, it was OK for the old boxes to keep working.
This is largely (I'd opine) no longer the case (except in, e.g., China and possibly India, absent COVID-19), so now companies either need:
1) constant replacement of products (i.e., well-calibrated lifetimes... e.g., modern refrigerators @ 7 years)
2) constant "innovation" (and its evil twin, perceived or enforced technological obsolesence)

One's smartphone may be bricked by its maker remotely (e.g.).

Guess I got up on the crotchety old man side of the bed today! ;)

My EICO HF-81 is as old as I. It is in better shape ;) and it's easier (and cheaper) to repair than am I at age (almost) 62. :)

View attachment 85997

Yep, at 63 I'm right with you. Although most of my stuff is from 1975-1996. Running in use Vehicles: 1972 (300K mi.), 1976 (unknown), 1979 100K, 1996 (180K mi), 2007 (bought new 50K miles), 2012 (bought new 27K miles). Hot Rodder's refurbish, repurpose, repower. Same thing I do or have done to decent audio equipment. That is recycling. A high % of what is called recycling: is not.
 

digicidal

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And if you think that the consumerist society is bad in the USA, try living in Japan for a while.
I think I would quite like that actually. At this point I'll gladly accept some bigotry and be the "stupid gaijin" in exchange for cleaner streets, better cars, beautiful architecture, and more social propriety. ;) Plus way better sushi.
 

EJ3

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I think I would quite like that actually. At this point I'll gladly accept some bigotry and be the "stupid gaijin" in exchange for cleaner streets, better cars, beautiful architecture, and more social propriety. ;) Plus way better sushi.

For those that don't know: (gaijin [simply means]=foriegner {outside person})

Having been there 3 times a year for 3 weeks to 3 months at a time from 2004-2017, some observations: cars are replaced at 50K kilometers by the government substantially raising the taxes on the car every year after it reaches that. In order to posses a "classic" car (even their own brands) costs an incredible amount of money. Better cars? They tax the hell out of any imports to keep them out. No matter where they are from: Mercedes, Audi, Ferrari, Fiat US made, where ever. THAT IS HOW THEY KEEP THEIR DOMESTIC INDUSTRY GOING. FULLY LIMITING IMPORTS. The minimum legal compensational fine for causing a traffic death is on the order of 32,000,000 yen (about US$380,000). Better have very good insurance. If you are a gaijin, you are wrong. PERIOD! Motorcycle theft is not uncommon. To drive from (round trip 152.4 miles, $19 in fuel, $120 in tolls, 2 hours 58 min) from Sasebo to Fukoka to go to eat at the restaurant under the Opera House. By bus: $50, 4 hrs (& you'll need an expensive taxi ride), by train: $90, 4 hours (and you'll need a very expensive taxi ride). The meal was $890 for 5 people. Yes the streets are clean because all the plastic bags (and other debris) are in the water coming to shore with the tide and stuck in the bay's. (at least at the bay in Sasebo and on the other side of Japan at Hiro, it's pretty nasty too) around Japan. IF you are away from the bays, it's pretty clean. There are many places (usually higher class restaurants, bars, stores, etc) that, no matter how well you are dressed, you will not be allowed in because you are not Japanese. I was able to go to many of these places because I had a Japanese Dr. friend who would take me as his guest: to fine restaurants, piano bars, etc. Food: for me (I greatly like Chinese, Vietnamese & Thai food, Japanese food, not so much. Overall they collect and throw things away in a rapid cycle, creating massive amounts of waste. Stuffed things with any sort of connection to a character of some type (movie, Hentai, whatever) seem to be incredibly popular and a few years later are trashed for something new. Perhaps because the homes are so small they have no place to put things. But life seems to revolve around getting new stuff all the time, because not having the latest & greatest as promoted by the manufacturers, would be to lose face. If you are a gaijin male, the men are generally polite to your face. But that is not the reality. If someone wants you dead they simply make sure that you get hit by a truck, are bludgeoned to death or just disappear. The people I worked for banned us from the going to certain clubs in certain areas because these things happened to some gaijin's.
I can think of many places that are a better place to be: Singapore comes to mind because the cleanliness is much better than the Japanese, the transportation is much better & inexpensive, the cultural diversity of people and FOOD is huge, the people are genuinely friendly. Also, Thailand: same with people, food, not quite as much diversity (Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Cambodian & very good street food) while the big cities are definitely not as clean, great Jazz clubs (and other music rock, blues), low transportation costs, borders with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia & any climate you want (long as it doesn't involve snow): high mountains, a central plain, an upland plateau and from bottom to top, more than 2000 miles of coastline. In fact, that is where my wife (who is Chinese) and I will be moving to in the future. Having been in more than 20 countries many times, for at least 3 weeks at a time, sometimes for 4 months+, there's my take.
 
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digicidal

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Well, some of those aspects would be difficult for me... but many wouldn't bother me much at all. Not being able to eat in some restaurants would be the worst of them. No desire to go to clubs - music or otherwise. I could realistically live on Japanese food alone - I pretty much do now, but some authentic nabe (esp. sukiyaki and oden) augmented by a monthly sushi or steakhouse visit would be all I'd want.

On the cars - every car I've ever loved was already a JDM product - mostly versions enjoyed only after importing (with much difficulty) a front-clip from a 50K km cast-off. Other than a bucket-list requisite Hakone Turnpike run every 6 months or so I'd probably not be putting too many miles on my cars. Plus the most dangerous aspect of driving here are the people with unmaintained garbage piles that are always blowing tires or engines on the freeway (many of which are uninsured & unregistered) - which they then just walk away from in an accident or leave on the side of the road for the city to tow.

Most of the negatives you mention apply to the metro areas, but I'd be avoiding them anyway. Las Vegas has become way too large for me now (when I was growing up we had ~500K population... now pushing 3M) so I'd be more interested in the Kansai region or Fukoka (outside the metro areas in both cases of course)... so close enough to go to the city when absolutely necessary... but the rest of the time just walking, biking, reading and maybe helping a few old people with their gardening, errands, etc. - since it's likely everyone under 50 has moved to the city. I'm sure, given enough time, I could get "adopted" by a few grandmas and trade labor for some truly authentic meals every once in awhile. :p

Singapore definitely seems very nice... but far too developed for my taste. I enjoyed many places in Europe as well, but it would be the same there... with Salzburg being about the largest city I could stomach. I spent a month in Braunau many years ago and it was just about the perfect size.

I'll stop with the off-topic now, but figure it's OK especially on a teardown thread... can't see much further on topic happening by page 4.
 

EJ3

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I think I would quite like that actually. At this point I'll gladly accept some bigotry and be the "stupid gaijin" in exchange for cleaner streets, better cars, beautiful architecture, and more social propriety. ;) Plus way better sushi.

Another problem: more trash (plasic bags, etc) than I have ever seen in the bays. Okinawa is much more clean, warmer and a lot more fun to drive on.
 

EJ3

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Why can’t they just charge extra with more reliable parts...
Because that would take it out of the "cheap" market. Crown has known how to build good amps for a long time. And they also know how to build amps at a price point (making sure that most of them will life through the warranty period (+ a little bit) that will sell mass market so they stay in business.
 

Ron Texas

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My XLS 1502 is about 4 years old. It sat inches above flood waters and then for a week at high humidity as mold grew on the walls. The house was torn down. The amp is making music right now. It also has a handy high pass filter built in which makes subwoofer integration with small speakers a lot easier. Other amplifiers measure a lot better, but these are good enough with power to spare.
 

Ritz

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Sorry to resurrect an old thread. :)

I have the bigger brother XLS 2502. It served as the main L/R amp for my home theater system for a few years. It was OK. Not bad...not great...but serviceable. I eventually replaced it with a simpler big hunk of metal Schiit Vidar design which is at a similar price point and it sounds a lot better. The Vidar uses a lot more electrons, but sounds more pleasing to my ears driving a pair of Magnepans. The Crown is now dedicated to driving an old Outlaw Audio sub I have that blew its 2nd plate amplifier (two amps over a 15 year period). It is fabulous for that and the built-in filters make it fairly painless to configure.

I originally bought the Crown because I had experience with them at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center studio when I was a student a few decades ago. I don't recall the model, but they were built like the proverbial brick poop house and drove some fairly inefficient Dahlquist (DQ-20i???) speakers that we used as studio monitors. So you can imagine my surprise when I looked inside and saw what Amir shared above. Sigh....onward and upward.

Best,
 
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