No, but at one time I thought about using good home audio gear for the band, instead of the "pro-gear", in an attempt to get halfway decent sound on stage. :^)
None of the stuff you mention there can even hold a candle to any reasonable "mid-fi" home stuff, in sound quality. Brute force and ruggedness for carrying are the only reasons to have amps like you mention above. The term "grainy" doesn't even begin to describe them. But then again, some people like "grainy" I guess.
Tom, how do you think the home gear would have worked out for PA application?
These days, I think the active loudspeaker systems from Meyer Sound represent the high end in sound reinforcement (I may be mistaken). Meyer also makes studio monitors. I would be very interested in an audiophile review of these. They sound pretty damn good in small clubs like Yoshi's in Oakland.
In the 70's i used some crown gear for my home system and it sounded pretty good...not high end but not high end priced and it always worked. Some of the new crown amps are great, as are the QSC. They are never going to rival a good tube amp but i bet they'd do OK against a lot of the solid state gear. As far as high end home gear driving a PA...the stuff would sound great for the day or two it lived then you'd be dragging out the crowns and QSCs to get you through the rest of the week. for speakers...EVs any day
Drubin, I've never used the Meyer Sound, but heard good things about them. I actually did use some home gear on the stage, and it worked out real well. We didn't have any roadies throwing it into the backs of trucks or anything, but we handled it fairly gently, and it sounded better.
I've used Crown, Hafler, and QSC in pro applications (both in clubs and home project studios). Each has its own sound. Relatively (and superficially) speaking I would describe the Crown as pristine, the Hafler as warm, and the QSC somewhere between. The ones I've used have been fine amps for their purposes but cannot touch the sound of my AES SE-1 300b amp for home stereo. I can only imagine what more expensive/refined tube amps might sound like. (I've resisted listening to any to protect my wallet.)
I've got an AB International amp that just came in for a customer that i'm building a PA system for. It is rated at 525 wpc @ 8 and 850 @ 4. I have not heard it yet, but i'm going to hook it up before it goes out the door. My guess is that it will sound like most "generic" SS amps i.e. relatively sterile, lacking air and blackness, a somewhat hard and smeary sounding top end, lack of liquidity in the midrange, etc...
As far as someone using hi-end gear in Pro use, someone here had posted a link to where a reviewer of Pro gear tried to use a Pass amp in a recording studio. The results ? The guy basically loved the amp and no longer thought that "all SS amps sound alike" if i remember correctly. Sean
Crown amps may be a good, and inexpensive, choice to drive a subwoofer, where ability to pump out many amps is useful, and where electronic distortion levels do not need to be as good as typical audiophile equipment. The sound characteristics that people describe as being inferior are all attributes of mid and high frequency components of the sound.
TWL is dead on, stay away from that list. A good used Krell for a $1000 will provide plenty slam and sound way better.In the long run you will save alot of money from not having to resell it at a significant loss.
I have read some favorable comments in online forums about Samson Servo amps and the new Carver Pro digital amps. These amps probably will sound close to or maybe even as good as some entry level home audio equipment. However, if you are after "warmth" and "bloom" I would be very surprised if you will find it from a pro audio amp. In fact, I have heard few ss amps that have these characteristics, and they all cost around $2k or more. Would your speakers be a suitable load for a tube amp? If yes, I would suggest you investigate some budget tube amps like ASL or the AMC CVT2100. The latter puts out 80wpc of tube sound and sells for around $700.
I have a pair of Infinity kappa 9's.I have tried at least 4 amps to power them till i hooked up a parasound HCA-2200 II ,never tried another since.Very tight highs and lows!!
After going through about 5 amps, I read reviews and I finally wound up using Sunfire Signature, current mode. Very good price, very good sound. Drive my 9s well, no problems