replacing Crown amplifiers

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by IIRs, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking of retiring a rack full of venerable Crown amps (VZ5000, 3600 & 2400) and replacing them with something a bit more modern, such as MC2:

    Any thoughts? They will be used roughly equally for live gigs and club nights, in a permanent install, driving EAW 850 boxes plus subs. Anyone here using MC2 amps in such a situation? How do they sound? They happy to run flat-out all night at 2 ohms...?
  2. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    they look pretty impressive... i'ld like to check them out myself... been looking for something more light weight for my keyboard rig... the only thing i might caution is switching power supply types can become unstable if there's different loads on each side... so ya might not want to put say a mid box and a top on one amp... YMMV...
  3. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    That's interesting. You know why that is?

    Wouldn't be a problem here though, with 14 boxes to drive altogether...
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    The "T" series amps from MC2-the models designed for fixed installations like you described- do NOT have switchmode power supplies. Only the "E" series, which are designed for lightweight touring applications, utilize that p/s design. So you don't buy the "E" series if that's an issue...
    ANYTHING thet Terry Clarke has been involved with over the years in the audio biz (and that's a LOT) has been FIRST RATE. Engineered and built with integrity and quality, no exceptions. We don't see the MC2 line much in the States because of their prices and the fact that this market is saturated with good power amps already. But I'll bet that their pricing in the UK is competitive with what Crowns must cost over there, and that alone would certainly entice me to give them a go...
  5. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    ijust remeber when they first started to be used over here that i had several in the shop and when i started asking the manufacturer serv dept about it i got responses about "i bet they were driving disparate loads" and the customers confermed it... never got what i consider to be a great answer but what i did get said something to the effect they had trouble "anticipating" the different signals as if they had to somehow compensate for different current requirements.... but then that's been awhile ago... and i'm sure it's a much more "mature" technology...
  6. I'm from the school of if it ain't broke don't fix it. Clean the dust out and leave them.

    Those Crowns are the best for rock. Although there are better choices for the horns that have a smother warmer sound, that really helps the tone of vocals. That is if your using an active crossover.

    Maybe you want to look into making the system more efficient and better controlled as opposed to replacing those great power amps.

    I'm not sold on running a power amp at 2 ohms. If you look at graphs the power does not increase in a linear way. Also impedance is not something that is static, it changes with the load if I'm not mistaken.

    If your running those Crowns at 2 ohms you might want to rethink your setup and go full active crossover and 4 ohms.

    I haven't been in the live sound business for about 8 years so I'm sure they have some really excellent stuff out there now. In terms of efficiency especially concerning the overall control of the system but for RAW power how could anything be better than those Crowns?
  7. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    When I first took over here they were indeed running some of their Crowns at 2 ohms, and these had a tendency to overheat or die as a result. Especially the subs.

    I am currently running the subs at 4 ohms with extra borrowed amps, and the rest at 2.66 ohms by virtue of unplugging one box on each stack... the outermost 850s are oriented all wrong anyway so they can stay unplugged until I can arrange for the stacks to be re-flown... so now I need to decide whether to buy a few second hand Crowns I have been offered, or whether to start afresh with all new amps.

    I asked about running MC2 amps at 2 ohms as that affects how many I would need to buy (the Crest CA18 that I borrowed for a while seemed happy to run down to 2 ohms with 4 subs plugged in.)

    Currently I am leaning towards the Crown amps as a temporary solution (so I can stop worrying about amps overheating) while arranging for a demo of the MC2s for a possible future upgrade...
  8. sheet

    sheet Well-Known Member

    I would not run any amp at 2 ohms. That is poor system design, makes the amps have higher distortion than necessary, and leaves no headroom for error.

    I vote to keep the Crowns. There is no reason sonically to retire an amp. It either works or it does not. Reliability should be your prime concern, not what is new.

    Good amps cost what they cost.
  9. Exactly......

    If it ain't broke don't fix it.

    Even if the newer power amps say 2 ohms I would never run them that way.

    As the frequency changes so does the impedance so you have no were to go but overload because of heat. That means shut down and possible damage.

    people and companies throw out numbers and it really makes me laugh.

    It's just like cars........people talk about horsepower but it's torque that is important too. Also what HP at what RPM? Were are you driving the car, race or street, that dictates were you HP and torque numbers have to be in terms of RPM.

    Sound systems are similar to race cars in many ways.
  10. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Yeah...finely tuned, highly liable to fail if some clueless person goes poking about at the more important parts of the system...

    Although, you can't get custom faders on a mixing oppposed to trims on a car. :D
  11. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    But they are broke. I lost two amps in the last two weeks (a 5000 and a 3600) both of which were running at 4 ohms. :(
  12. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member

    you popped two VZ's??? wow.. those are your basic audio arc-welders...
  13. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Three actually, if you count the other 5000 thats been off for repair for weeks. Its worrying me actually: I was hoping they would stop dying when I stopped running them at 2 ohms... they must have been really hammered before I took over.

  14. Arch welder....LOL. I have been told they theoretically can be used for that.

    I also have been told the Crest stuff was great if buy the one's made before PV took over.

    The best power amp I had was an old Crest, so clean and warm. I used it for my horns in an active 3 way system. I also had a Mackie that Mackie said was as good as a 2400, no way but it was actually better for monitors because they did not feedback as much and had a nice pleasant sound. But nothing has the shear violence of a Crown power amp, especially for subs in dance music and R&R. But I never considered crown amps as having tone. The older DC300 did though.

    For those crowns to stop working they really had to be abused. Poor things. People should show good equipment respect and treat stuff like that better. I can't count how many times the dust build up alone inside some of those power amps was unbelievable. Blow out the dust with canned air for PCs!!!

    I used a small paint brush to gently dust off the wiring inside when I serviced them. I also always cleaned any filters often. Dust and dirt is you enemy.
  15. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the 5000s have big screws on the back as opposed to binding posts(caution - tig welder inside)!

    Big amp!

    BigD - You'd hate my job!

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