• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

Review of Crown XLS 1502 Class D amp

Wharfedale Diamond 11.2 Speakers

rsjaurr

Active Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
139
Points
43
Location
Gurdaspur
Price of 2502 is always exaggerated on Amazon.
Mintoo Electronics in Bhagirath Palace, Delhi is authorized dealer of Crown and JBL amps. They retail it for 28300/-. Anyone looking for one can give them a call.
Prices do vary a lot on Amazon. When I was interested prices would vary from 28.5k to 33.5k.

Twice I bought from Amazon seller VMT for 28.5K and both amps were defective. Other seller were selling same amp for about 33.5 that time.

When I saw its price 29.5 listed by Paras Pro I had to buy it.

May be VMT is selling repaired pieces or he is a high volume seller.
 

DB1989

Active Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2020
Messages
171
Points
28
Location
new delhi
Prices do vary a lot on Amazon. When I was interested prices would vary from 28.5k to 33.5k.

Twice I bought from Amazon seller VMT for 28.5K and both amps were defective. Other seller were selling same amp for about 33.5 that time.

When I saw its price 29.5 listed by Paras Pro I had to buy it.

May be VMT is selling repaired pieces or he is a high volume seller.
I got it from VMT as well. so far so good.
 

aarmath

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
84
Points
18
Location
Mumbai, India
Just wanted to know if it has any affect on the sound itself apart form hiss or background noise.
In the XLS series of amps the setting of 1.4v or 775 mv is to ensure compatibility across a wide range of preamps. For instance my Yamaha C2 peamp. made in the late 70s specifies around 1.0v unbalanced audio signal out via RCAs. Now if the 1502 setting was at 1.4v, the overall audio sonics will sound wimpy. But at 775 mv setting, the sensitivity of the 1502 is lowered, thus ensuring it amplifies the full audio sonics of the C2 preamp. Which also means you DO NOT have to increase 1502's gain knobs drastically.

BUT.... Lowering the input sensitivity on the 1502 (& connecting via unbalanced RCAs) means getting closer to the inherent noise level of the 1502.
In a real world scenario, this is of no consequence, especially if you use speakers that are rated around 86 db SPL of efficiency. But what if you have speakers rated at 95 to 100+ db SPL efficiency? Chances are you MIGHT hear a bit of hiss when there is no audio playing. & you MIGHT hear this hiss only at higher levels of amplification/gain. Again NOT a killjoy at all by any yardstick of "Listening-In-The-Real World" measurement.

Which is why a complete balanced connection between the source & this amp would be ironclad, awesome. BUT not in all scenarios - Like my experience of sterile, flat sound between the direct connection of Oppo 105D & 1502 (balanced outs & ins) & playing with both gain settings of 775 mv (Very Loud) & 1.4v (In sync with gain). No hiss, no noise, nothing at all, black, silent. And yet the music in this setup chain was NOT engaging.
On a whim I also connected the Chromecast Audio directly into the RCA inputs of the 1502. Again, it was ok. Mind you, the CC Audio outputs a perfect analog line-out signal of around 1.2v & despite toggling between the 775 mv & 1.4 v setting, it was not engaging. Ergo, one has to treat the 1502's gain knobs as just that to control gain. It's assuredly not a preamp by any standard.

The fun will be to connect the 1502 using a preamp like the Schiit Freya that has balanced outputs & hear the audio sonics. I reckon they will be very good.
Hopefully someone will post that on HFV forum.

Are you planning to sell it?
Count me in...

@aarmath very good review ; I played dsd from Cxn v2 as digital preamp and streamer, also with AP preamp but never felt the discordance due to high bitrate files. What did you experience exactly?
The VFM appeal of crown XLS series overshadows its many drawbacks, it works great for HT.
I got my hands on additional 24-Bit/192 khz files. I heard the songs via direct XLR connection between the Oppo & 1502 as well as through the Yamaha C2 preamp via unbalanced RCAs. And unfortunately, the problem persists on three fronts -
- There's a VEERRY subtle change in the time domain.
- & from time to time theres this wee audio hiccup in the songs as if some buffer somewhere is not flowing the binary information in sync. They are not so frequent, BUT enough to killjoy the experience.
- Overall audio sonics are louder, borderline harsh.

The same songs on the Yamaha B2 are sheer bliss. Then again the question that begs to be asked is how many folks listen to 24-Bit/192 Khz on a regular basis?
 

jls001

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
6,147
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
The same songs on the Yamaha B2 are sheer bliss. Then again the question that begs to be asked is how many folks listen to 24-Bit/192 Khz on a regular basis?
When you said Oppo connected via XLR, is that analog balanced output from Oppo driving the Crown? Or is the XLR carrying AES/EBU digital signal?

If yes, by the time the Oppo sends out analog balanced signal, it is already in the analog domain and so 24/192 is no longer relevant.

How is the 24/192 file played in the Oppo? Can you play the same file on another player (like a laptop running foobar) and check whether it's playing alright or with stutters? Or can you listen to the Oppo with a headphone?
 

rsjaurr

Active Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
139
Points
43
Location
Gurdaspur
When you said Oppo connected via XLR, is that analog balanced output from Oppo driving the Crown? Or is the XLR carrying AES/EBU digital signal?
Crown xls amps do not have any digital in including AES etc.
Amps have analog in in the form of rca and xlr.
 

tuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
2,036
Points
113
Location
Thane
I have a question regarding this and hoping you or FM Tuff can kindly clarify. is there a difference between leaving input sensitivity at 1.4v and turning up the gain knobs on front vs 775mv with gain knobs lowered to match the sound level?
I have tried it both ways and kept it at .775v as i am using rca out. At 1.4v it sounds a bit wimpy.
I bought it at 33k when it was hot commodity from VMT and they would not budge from that price. Also it cam with 3 years warranty. @aarmath is given 6 years warranty which i am not sure he has mentioned. And almost 10k less from the price i got.
Sad to see that home audio companies have just 1 year limited warranty on their products even if the pricing is much higher than pro gear.
 

aarmath

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
84
Points
18
Location
Mumbai, India
When you said Oppo connected via XLR, is that analog balanced output from Oppo driving the Crown? Or is the XLR carrying AES/EBU digital signal?

If yes, by the time the Oppo sends out analog balanced signal, it is already in the analog domain and so 24/192 is no longer relevant.

How is the 24/192 file played in the Oppo? Can you play the same file on another player (like a laptop running foobar) and check whether it's playing alright or with stutters? Or can you listen to the Oppo with a headphone?
Yes, it is in analog domain and shouldnt be relevant. And yet, strangely it is. Like I pointed in my post, the Oppo playbacks 24/192 Khz music perfectly through the Yamaha B2 or the A-S2100.
Will check if I can get my hands on another source player for 24/192 & see if this anomaly pops up again.
 

shyamv

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
39
Points
18
Location
Bangalore
Yes, it is in analog domain and shouldnt be relevant. And yet, strangely it is. Like I pointed in my post, the Oppo playbacks 24/192 Khz music perfectly through the Yamaha B2 or the A-S2100.
Will check if I can get my hands on another source player for 24/192 & see if this anomaly pops up again.
Is the DSP filters (low-pass, high-pass or band-pass) on? After A-D conversion at 48Khz sampling in XLS drivecore 2 amps, the digital signal is processed by the DSP and selected filter is applied and then the processed signal is convered to analog maybe with a passive 2-pole reconstruction filter before amplification. This seems to be brickwalling the bandwidth to 48Khz. Does the Yamaha amp in resamples the analog signal in any way?
 

aarmath

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
84
Points
18
Location
Mumbai, India
Is the DSP filters (low-pass, high-pass or band-pass) on? After A-D conversion at 48Khz sampling in XLS drivecore 2 amps, the digital signal is processed by the DSP and selected filter is applied and then the processed signal is convered to analog maybe with a passive 2-pole reconstruction filter before amplification. This seems to be brickwalling the bandwidth to 48Khz. Does the Yamaha amp in resamples the analog signal in any way?
On the passive 2-pole reconstruction filter in the Crown, that could be an influencing factor.
Both the Yamaha amps - B2 & the A-S2100 - are pure analog stereo amps.
 
Top