I've not used / worked with Crown amps in a long time, but their older models sounded hard, bright and sterile. They were built quite well though and you could pound on them night and day, hence their popularity with the Pro Sound crowd. My guess is that they probably sound about the same ( give or take ) as they have to employ gobs of protection circuitry in order to keep from blowing up during less than optimal "pro" use conditions.
I've got a Pro amp here that i'll be hooking up this week. It is an AB International 1100A
, which is rated at 525 wpc @8, 850 wpc @ 4 and 1100 wpc @ 2 ohms. I bought it for my "cousin-in-law's" PA system. Nothing special about this model, so don't read too much into the fact that i bought this one. I snagged it because of what i was able to find it for on the used market. At $380 including shipping, i couldn't pass it up. The fact that AB International has been building Pro Sound gear for 25+ years tells me that they've got to be at least half-way reliable to stay in business that long.
Some of the other "Pro" amps that i've seen people raving about on the net are WAY under-designed from what i can tell. Then again, they may work fine for specific applications, but i really don't think that they are suitable for use in a "high end" system. That's just my opinion though based on the information available to me at the present time. Others obviously think differently. Sean