Crown amplifiers are very hard, sterile and lifeless sounding. They are basically "pro sound" amps sold and marketed to the consumer. While they are built like tanks, they will only reproduce "sound" and not let you hear music. Sean >
Hi Classic: It's me again pushing the Phase Linear 400, it is not transistor sounding as suggested at the other site. It gained a bad reputation because a lot of people used it for PA's in the 70's and 80's and still do today. If you can listen to one you will hear that it has a very musical sound. Sean is right on in regard to the Crown equipment. The better sounding one of the series is the DC75 but it is still not very musical and would not be enough power for the Advents. The old stock Dynaco amps (the 120 and the 400) do not seem to have fared well with age, as the ones that I have listened to at the local pawn shops do not sound as they once did. A couple of other musical sounding SS amps are the Apt-Holman amp (I beleive that he only made one model) and the Hafler 500. Either should be available for $400.00 to $500.00 used. My personal preference would be the Hafler though once again it would depend on the condition of the amp. I did not care for the other Hafler amps, just this model. Citation and Marantz also made nice sounding 60 watt per channel power amps in the 70's but I cannot remember the model nos., I am pretty sure though that they were 60 watters which should narrow it down.
Actually the Advent 300 is very good as a pre-amp, and if the Large Advent tweeters and woofers are in good shape..or if the woofers have been re-coned...both are worth using a more modern power amp with. Check out various Bryston, Classe and others.....
I thought that the whole idea was "classic/vintage audio" which modern amps are not - yet. I am also under the impression that this is to remain a budget system. Are you interested in modern and pricy gear for this project or will it remain a classic reasonably priced system?
I had not mentioned above, that in the 70's I had used the Advent 300 with (Mr. THX himself) the Holman amp and the Large advents...and had also tried the Yamaha B-2 FET unit. Too long ago to say how good it was or wasn't.
Whatjd: I wonder if the Advents would sound better today without "shag" carpeting? Or do you think that they would have too much bass?
DeKay: good question....but if we start messing around with room acoustics.... Of course there is always double large Advents (do the Walnut ones sound better than the vinyl?), not to mention mounting a Heil driver, from an AMT-1, on the top.
The utility cabinets sounded better when stacked and the Walnut better when used as a pair. The Shag used in these listening tests was multiple hues of green. My ex-brother-in-law still has the AMT-1's but I sold all of the Advents years ago.
I would take an old Phase amp over a Crown ANY day. They offer much more of a platform to work from in terms of sonics. While they weren't bad amps in their day, they can be GREATLY improved with the implementation of simple upgrades and tweaks to the basic design that we have learned over the years. Besides all of this, they are cheap and offer plenty of power to drive those in-efficient sealed speakers like the Advents in question. Sean >
The DC300 was one of the first reliable high-quality ss amps available. While, comparatively speaking, this Crown amp is not as warm as just about any tube amp would be (This can be said about almost all ss amplification that is designed towards neutrality). The DC300 has been improved since its original version of some 3 decades ago. Interestingly, Crown was very much into the consumer market many years ago, even making pre-amps with outboard power supplies. The recent Macro Reference powerhouse amplifiers were very well reviewed by both subjective and objective oriented periodicals. But apparently they couldn't overcome the stigma of being a "pro" amp company. Be assured that Crown, or any of the other established pro amp companies can design an amplifier to meet so called audiophile objectives. And that many of their models through the years have probably easily met those criteria. How many have you read of if the buff magazines? There's no reason that a pro amp should not have the same sonic design objectives as any "ideal" amplifier would have. I.e., clean, quiet, dynamic and natural. In an appropriate system, a DC300 may well be all that some "audiophiles" would want. Try it for yourself.
Classic: You may want to check out Hawthornestereo.com. They are in Washington or Oregon and have tons of used vintage gear that they sell with a 30 day warrenty/return policy. If you call them they have a lot more stuff than is on the website. I ran across them on Ebay a while back and they are nice guys, I have talked to them.
I used the Advent 300 as a preamp in a second system several years ago with a Hafler DH 120. They looked great together because they are exactly the same size. They also sounded good considering the modest price. That said, the 120 is only 60 wpc and may not have enough power for large Advents. However, you may want to consider a Hafler DH 220, if you can find one.
I used to own a Crown DC300 and IC150 with large advents and a Dual turntable. The Crown power was hard sounding. It was very powerful and but contrary to what a lot of people are saying it could image. In fact, it imaged like a champ. I don't have it anymore but the guy that bought it is still using it with the smaller Maggies. The Crown got me through a flood, many parties and never ever failed. Try that with some of the esoterics or a Pioneer. You'l hate it if you ever buy an etched or bright speaker.
i had a psa-2 crown pwr amp which sounded great,built like a tank,move to the crown macro reference and in my opinion sounded much more musical than the $9500 KRELL ksa-300.