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New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

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  • New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

    I've been looking for an amp (and preamp) to drive my ER18s (strictly music) for a bit now. I think I've narrowed it down to at least a Crown XLS 1500, and there's a GFA 5500 for sale that I can get for $300. What do you guys think? I don't have experience w/ either.
    "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
    "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

  • #2
    Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

    Wow, Class-D vs Class-AB.

    Personally, I've never heard the crown, but I've had adcom's in the past and would never say anything bad about them. They're clean, powerful beasts.

    Class-D is inheretly affected by the power supply (even the AC power supply from the wall), and thus special care must be taken to avoid audio artifacts when using class-D.

    Crown has supposedly done something to address this with their "hybrid-drive" but I don't know if that's just marketing hoo-ha or not.

    Pleanty of people speak positive about crowns, including Wolf.

    To me, I would ask "how much do I care about power consumption when the amp is idle?". The Adcom is going to consume SIGNIFICANTLY more power when sitting idle.

    If you've gone totally green in the home, then the class-D amp's efficiency would be an easy reason to push you to the crown.

    However, you're a die-hard audiophile who believes the best amps were made in the 60's, then go for the adcom.
    DARPA Jr - 2015 InDIYana Winner - RS180-8 + RS100P-8 + ND25FA
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    • #3
      Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

      One more thing - the crown has a built-in EQ, which "could" be helpful to mitigate any room acoustics, or to provide a bass filter if your speakers are bottoming out with heavy bass.
      DARPA Jr - 2015 InDIYana Winner - RS180-8 + RS100P-8 + ND25FA
      The Aria's - RS150-4 (or RS150-8) + XT25SC90
      The Mariposa's - TEBM65C20F-8 + ND16FA
      The Canzonetta's - RS100P-8 and ND16FA
      AudioSource AMP-100 Mods OR Pyle PAMP1000 Mods

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      • #4
        Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

        Owning both ADCOM gfa's and XLS drivecore amps, there is no question the ADCOM has the upper hand acoustically. Both will give you plenty of power, even more so for the crown but still I would buy another 20 year old adcom before another crown hands down. I know there are some magic eared people here that swear the XLS amps are awesome for full range duty for critical listening.... I feel strongly opposed. In the home environment, leave the XLS for sub duties where it belongs and excels.

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        • #5
          Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

          Thanks for the replies! Based on Rotech's advice, I think I might opt for the Adcom.

          As far as the power consumption goes, (total noob here) are you saying the Adcom will consume massive amounts of power even when it's not turned on (just plugged in)? I'm guessing wiring this through the preamp's switched power outlet is out of the question; just because of too much draw??

          Or is the power consumption only while it's powered on? If that's the case it doesn't matter much (if at all) to me.
          "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
          "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

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          • #6
            Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

            Are you thinking about the XLS1000? There is a significant difference in SNR between the XLS1000 and the others in the line. That difference does seem to translate to subjectively better sound.

            However, it's still probably a chocolate/vanilla/strawberry choice.


            Originally posted by ROTECH View Post
            Owning both ADCOM gfa's and XLS drivecore amps, there is no question the ADCOM has the upper hand acoustically. Both will give you plenty of power, even more so for the crown but still I would buy another 20 year old adcom before another crown hands down. I know there are some magic eared people here that swear the XLS amps are awesome for full range duty for critical listening.... I feel strongly opposed. In the home environment, leave the XLS for sub duties where it belongs and excels.
            I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now.
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            • #7
              Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

              I would not wire through the preamp. Though with the unit off I cannot see there being current draw. When switched on, but not in use they will surely draw because they get warm just being on with no signal. That shouldn't be any deal breaker for you unless you count pennies and are too lazy or stubborn to switch it off when your done.

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              • #8
                Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                Originally posted by fastbike1 View Post
                Are you thinking about the XLS1000? There is a significant difference in SNR between the XLS1000 and the others in the line. That difference does seem to translate to subjectively better sound.

                However, it's still probably a chocolate/vanilla/strawberry choice.
                You are correct I do have the 1000 with a slightly higher SNR but the minimal advantage to the 1500 I feel will surely not bring it into the adcom range of invisibility. Definitely not bashing the crown, it is a serious performer in many aspects but hey everybody likes what they like.

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                • #9
                  Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                  Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
                  One more thing - the crown has a built-in EQ, which "could" be helpful to mitigate any room acoustics, or to provide a bass filter if your speakers are bottoming out with heavy bass.
                  The XLS1500 has built-in EQ?
                  Brian Steele
                  www.diysubwoofers.org

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                  • #10
                    Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                    Originally posted by Brian Steele View Post
                    The XLS1500 has built-in EQ?
                    Sorry - I misspoke. It has selectable crossovers and limiters, but not EQ per se.

                    Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post
                    As far as the power consumption goes, (total noob here) are you saying the Adcom will consume massive amounts of power even when it's not turned on (just plugged in)? I'm guessing wiring this through the preamp's switched power outlet is out of the question; just because of too much draw??
                    The adcom GFA-550 is rated to draw 192VA in a quiescent mode. Basically, if you turn ON the amplifier, but don't play any audio - it's essentailly consuming the same amount of power as TWO 100W lightbulbs.

                    The crown does not specify, but because of the class D nature, it will inherenty be less. Perhaps as much as 50% or more, depending on how their power supplies work.

                    If you turn the amps OFF when not in use, it's a non issue.

                    Now, when you're playing audio - the crown will pull away even further. This is because class D topology is typically 90% efficient. This means that if you're putting 100W into the speakers, the amplifier itself (not including the power supply section) is only consuming 111W. Conversely, class-AB amplifiers like the ADCOM are ususally 65% efficient. This means that if you're putting 100W into the speakers, the amplifier itself (not including the power supply section) is typically consuming 154W.

                    I hope this helps.
                    DARPA Jr - 2015 InDIYana Winner - RS180-8 + RS100P-8 + ND25FA
                    The Aria's - RS150-4 (or RS150-8) + XT25SC90
                    The Mariposa's - TEBM65C20F-8 + ND16FA
                    The Canzonetta's - RS100P-8 and ND16FA
                    AudioSource AMP-100 Mods OR Pyle PAMP1000 Mods

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                      Being just able to get an Adcom 5800, Go Adcom.
                      The Crown XLS1500 is on my "someday" list, my only real issue is the need to buy a RCA to XLR converter like the ART CleanBox to increase the input sensitivity to work with most home-based vs. pro gear.
                      Just my 2 cents and food for thought
                      THOMAS BROWN aka "STINKY"

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                      • #12
                        Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                        Thomas, that's another issue all together. The ART cleanbox pro is great (and essential) for the drivecores. However, when used fullrange it (the ART) introduces all sorts of junk in the home atmosphere. I tried the ART+crown setup fullrange on 3 totally different systems and they all had a whiny tinny sound. Though when using the ART+crown for sub duties it was just fine.

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                        • #13
                          Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                          If you have a balanced XLR connection these issues are all moot.
                          Wolf
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                          • #14
                            Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                            Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
                            One more thing - the crown has a built-in EQ, which "could" be helpful to mitigate any room acoustics, or to provide a bass filter if your speakers are bottoming out with heavy bass.
                            Incorrect. The Crown has built-in X-Over. As a former Adcom 5503 owner I would say go with the Crown.

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                            • #15
                              Re: New Crown XLS 1500, or used Adcom GFA 5500??

                              Originally posted by ROTECH View Post
                              Owning both ADCOM gfa's and XLS drivecore amps, there is no question the ADCOM has the upper hand acoustically. Both will give you plenty of power, even more so for the crown but still I would buy another 20 year old adcom before another crown hands down. I know there are some magic eared people here that swear the XLS amps are awesome for full range duty for critical listening.... I feel strongly opposed. In the home environment, leave the XLS for sub duties where it belongs and excels.
                              Sorry but my experience with the 5503 and my XLS 402D are opposite. I thought the Adcom was a bit grainy (some would call that warm). The Crown was strictly neutral and transparent. I think better on the lowest octave.

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