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Review and Measurements of Crown XLS 1502 Amp

Ron Texas

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I am hesitant to say there is a digital signal processor inside the box based on the documentation. They only use the abbreviation "DSP" and it is shown as "DSP capabilities" or "DSP functionality". I personally think it is weasel worded as lawyers say. Amir has made an educated guess. The 24 khz brick wall filter is a fact. To me going from A to D and back again seems like a lot of complications. There is no digital input, but that could be a cost cutting measure. My uneducated guess, and it could be silly, is frequency response is being altered in the PWM process. Honestly, I don't know if there is a good way to set up band pass filters in the PWM process. It does not change the somewhat middling test results.
 

RayDunzl

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Ron Texas

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It's an interesting piece of hardware complete with PWM output. That kind of makes me (nonprofessionally) think the step of converting back to analog is skipped before driving the PWM. Is that chip inside an xls 1502? I don't see it in the photo although it's function could be integrated somewhere else. That product appears to be designed to implement powered speakers with modest amplifier power.
 

RayDunzl

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Is that chip inside an xls 1502?
Oops... That's the amp chip for the JBL 305/308... No idea what's in the 1502.

I think I'll disappear for a while.
 
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I’m currently using the XLS 1502 in mono mode to for a JBL B460 which is a ported sub using the JBL 2245H driver. Is this amp appropriate for a sub amplifier? Sub needs 600-800W. Any other ideas for alternatives?
 

amirm

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I’m currently using the XLS 1502 in mono mode to for a JBL B460 which is a ported sub using the JBL 2245H driver. Is this amp appropriate for a sub amplifier? Sub needs 600-800W. Any other ideas for alternatives?
You have at the low end of that scale in bridged mode. It all depends on how much you want to shake things. :)
 

DonH56

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What are you basing the power needs on? Curious - Don
 

RayDunzl

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The XLS1502 puts out 1050W in bridged mode but am wondering, considering how it didn’t test very well if I should look elsewhere for a sub amp. I have a McIntosh Integrated (MA7900) that power JBL 250ti. After seeing how it tested I’m not sure. Any better options?
 

Sal1950

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The XLS1502 puts out 1050W in bridged mode but am wondering, considering how it didn’t test very well if I should look elsewhere for a sub amp. I have a McIntosh Integrated (MA7900) that power JBL 250ti. After seeing how it tested I’m not sure. Any better options?
Read his conclusion again. IMO I don't think you could ask for more from a amp for you sub. 1K watts in a 94 db efficient speaker. o_O
 

Frank Dernie

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The XLS1502 puts out 1050W in bridged mode but am wondering, considering how it didn’t test very well if I should look elsewhere for a sub amp. I have a McIntosh Integrated (MA7900) that power JBL 250ti. After seeing how it tested I’m not sure. Any better options?
IMO the test results mean it is adequate rather than stellar.
For a sub it is plenty good enough.
Save your money, enjoy the massive bass and don’t worry.
 

jasonq997

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IMO the test results mean it is adequate rather than stellar.
For a sub it is plenty good enough.
Save your money, enjoy the massive bass and don’t worry.
And when we say adequate rather than stellar we are saying adequate for full range audiophile duties. It is very clean and powerful in the context of dedicated sub bass amplification, and it has some nice built in crossover functionality. The protection and cooling features are also nice if you are running it that hard.
 

Willem

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It is clearly fine for a sub amp. The more challenging question is whether its measured imperfections would be audible if used as a main amplifier. At the very least, it has one big and important advantage over and above many audiophile products: power, and lots of it. In my experience, power is one of the few characteristics of amplifiers that is actually audible in the right circumstances.
 
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Ron Texas

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While not stellar, it blows away anything else near it's price for full range use. Just look at some highly praised integrated amps which have been measured. The XLS 1502 beats or meets them on the distortion graphs while having gobs of power. For a passive sub, it's a no brainer and it has a built in low pass filter.
 

Frank Dernie

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It is clearly fine for a sub amp. The more challenging question is whether its measured imperfections would be audible if used as a main amplifier. At the very least, it has one big and important advantage over and above many audiophile products: power, and lots of it. In my experience, power is one of the few characteristics of amplifiers that is actually audible in the right circumstances.
I would not, personally, expect the measured imperfections to be audible listening to music
 

Ron Texas

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It is clearly fine for a sub amp. The more challenging question is whether its measured imperfections would be audible if used as a main amplifier. At the very least, it has one big and important advantage over and above many audiophile products: power, and lots of it. In my experience, power is one of the few characteristics of amplifiers that is actually audible in the right circumstances.
Clipping is a very gross and audible form of distortion capable of melting voice coil wires.
 

Willem

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Yes, more power is usually less dangerous than too little. And it sounds so much better. It is always surpising how much power is really needed on dynamic peaks. Alan Shaw (Harbeth) did a demo of his M40.1 flagship model in the Netherlands. On peaks, the amplifier that was used (and that had digital power meters) was puting out more than 500 watts per channel.
 

DDF

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I am hesitant to say there is a digital signal processor inside the box based on the documentation. They only use the abbreviation "DSP" and it is shown as "DSP capabilities" or "DSP functionality". I personally think it is weasel worded as lawyers say.
You may be right, the documentation lists that the filter is implemented as a state variable filter (analog op amps).
 

DonH56

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The "D" in DSP is Digital. If it were analog it should say ASP (and yes those exist). You can implement state-variable filters in a DSP (along with all the rest).

That said I have no idea what they are really doing.
 
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