Question Crown XLS 1502/2002 used in High End Hifi system?


I'm wondering if anyone is using one of these D-Class amps for their main amplification in their stereo hifi system?

I'm looking to upgrade my amps and am waiting to have a demo of a Bryston 4B SST2, but if these Crown amps are excellent for stereo I might buy one (maybe even two) and see what they are like.


Distinguished Member
People are using Digital (Class D) Amps by the thousands, if not by the millions, but they are mostly in AV Receivers.

Most, with a few exceptions, Stereo Amps are Class-A/B or some proprietary version of Class-A/B.

Crown is very well recognized as a maker of quality PA Amps. But there are some characteristics that are unique to PA Amps that might not be ideal for Home Stereo. Though that is a decision only you can make.

For one, the rated power is typically grossly over-rated. The XLS-1502 claims, 525w/ch, but to a common Power Rating Standard, it is more like 300w/ch, and while that is plenty of power, it is probably still slightly over-rated.

Second these are still very hot amps and in their small cases, they require a FAN. Cool - all puns intended - but Fans make noise. Not a problem in a club or stadium venue, but perhaps not so good in a home.

Crown XLS 1502

Crown XLS 2002

As to Class-D amps, they have been improving by leaps and bounds over the last several years, but it is still questionable if they are the equal of Class-A/B. Though NAD Master Amps, which are their top of the line Stereo Amps, are Class-D. But the cost more than 10 TIMES the cost of the Crown.

So, those Crown amps are Rugged, Tremendously Powerful, and very Low Cost. But, you don't get something for nothing. The amps power is NOT rated to the FTC Hi-Fi Standard, which implies that these are not being sold as Hi-Fi amps. By that I mean, if they were sold as Hi-Fi Amps, they would be forced to conform to the Federal Trade Commission (USA) Standard for Power Rating or the UK/EU equivalent. But, I would only give that limited credence. The Amps are PA amps not Hi-Fi Amps, but they are amps and they do what amplifiers do.

Many people use amps like this and similar on both Home Stereo and Home Cinema systems. But they understand what they are getting, and understand the drawbacks, and feel they are in a situation where the potential drawbacks don't really matter. That is not a judgement I can make for you.

You need to ask yourself, realistically, how much power do you need? 250w/ch to 300w/ch to 375w/ch is a lot of power, and I don't think anyone is going to recommend this path without more details about your circumstances. Yes, I see listed your equipment, but we would need a few more details especially about the dimension and purpose of the room.

Also, if you are considering the very good Byston Amps, which are also more than 10 TIMES the cost of the Crown, that implies you can afford Bryston Amps, in which case one wonders why you are cheaping out on the Crown.

So ... how much power do you really need?

And ... how much money can you realistically spend?

300w/ch seems like a lot or power, though if you manage it well, it should be fine. But that is a lot of power to control.

Assuming you are in the UK, another high power amp that would be worthy of consideration, would be the -

Parasound Halo A21, 250w/ch Stereo Power Amp - £2600 each -

Parasound HALO A21 2 Channel Power Amplifier

That is about Half the cost of the Bryston, and more that Five Times the cost of the Crown.

You indicate you have ROKSAN Monoblocks, but you don't identify which one, so we have no idea how much of an upgrade or downgrade this represents.

The Roksan Caspian M2 are rated at 85w/ch. The price on these run between £1700 and £2000. Though modest in power, that's a pretty good amp.

You need to set clear goals relative to Budget, Quality, and Power.

From what I can determine, the - Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Baby Grand - sold for about £2200/pr. Though I was not able to find full specs on the speakers.



Distinguished Member
It should be noted that many people (relatively speaking) use the Berhinger A500 Studio Amp in both Home Cinema and Stereo. This is a Class-A/B with convection cooling (no fan), and at a very modest cost.

Behringer A500 Studio Power Amp - 125w/ch to 8 ohms - £175 -

Behringer A500 Amplifier - Power Amplifiers - Studio Gear - Studiospares

These amps can be Bridged into a single MONO 375w Power Amp.

Again, how much do you realistically have to spend, and how much power do you really need?


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