Studio/Performance Amps for High-End Systems?

As a practicing (hobbyist) keyboard player and audiophile, I am familiar with why one would not use a guitar amplifier for a keyboard, for example. But, I notice that some of the finest brands of high-power power amplifiers for recording studios or live performances (QSC, Crest, Crown and more) cost hundred or thousands of dollars less than high-end "audiophile" power amplifiers of similar or fewer watts/channel. The specs of these musicians' amps, designed to play 20-20K full-range sound through very low impedances (often as low as 1 ohm) seem to equal those of, say, a McCormack, Classe, Krell amp.
Is there something I'm missing here? If one needs 500 wpc or more, why buy a McCormack DNA-500 for $7K when you can get a QSC with 800 wpc into 8 ohms, capable of driving a 1 ohm load, for $2500?
Is there something I'm missing here?

Amps for studios tend to be very precise.

Amps for high end audiophiles tend to be "softened".

Crown and Bryston are are simply excellent amps but the harshness you get with precision is not necessarily what domestic owners like. Some will claim it is distortion from SS high power designs and high amounts of negative feedback but I think it is more a factor of designs slightly tailored to cater to the tastes of the two camps. (Precise "you get what you get" versus a more relaxing laid back or "musical" sound)

Some audiophiles will complain that studio gear sounds like a PA. On the flip side, studio professionals will often complain about the coloration introduced by home consumer systems.

Audio engineers will often spend time listening to their mixes on "dumbed down" consumer systems rather than rely on just the studio sound. this is in order to see how the mix "translates" to the widest audience.

So what you get on most commercial recordings is dumbed down (especially dynamically) from the real thing anyway.

If your tastes run towards the precise approach then you are lucky because, indeed, some pro gear is good value compared to audiophile designs. However, teh converse is also true...some pro gear is stratospherically priced and many top studios are well over $1 million invested in gear/acoustics.
A lot of "stage" gear, not necessarily "studio" gear like Crown, QSC and Crest have higher distortion allowances. They are designed for volume and abuse more than quality. Also, the cooling fans in them are usually unbearable for a home system. I've got several at home for my whole house system and they are crude compared to my other gear. Even the connectors are not gold plated and usually are 1/4 jacks or balanced, not RCA.
I'd take my 20 SET tube amp against my 300 watt QSC any day!
I think it tends to be presentation. Every pro amp I have ever had in my systems has been forward and dynamic, but ultimately fatiguing.

With this said, in the right system pro amps do offer a heck of a lot of value.
More expensive amps are more expensive either because...

1) they use better parts/designs, thus cost to manufacture is higher
2) are produced in lower quantities, thus economy of production is a factor
3) are sold by companies that want more profit, so they sell them with higher margins (not a negative thing, nature of capitalism and allowing there to be products for everyone).

Your question is vague, though. When you say "pro" that is not an all encompassing defining label for all people that are "professionals" or make money in the production of music or sound for video/film. Some people would like to equate audiophile being equal to consumer, but that is simply not the case. There are audiophile professionals too.

There are many different factors to consider when quantifying an amplifier's performance, and absolute power output is just 1 factor amongst many. There are functions like THD, slew rate (very important in my mind), and as others have mentioned, heat / noise / efficiency considerations.

Audio equipment has many parallels to the watch. It is a synthesis of functionality and also as a piece of jewelry. Each person can make their own evaluation of what they need and how they will spend it. Some people might need the advanced functions of an aviators chronograph, while others like it just because it looks cool. There is nothing wrong with either viewpoint. Just realize that the line drawn between consumer and professional is more of a marketing demarcation than one of a technical division. Some consumers have become very good listeners and many professionals are much less concerned with accuracy than their target audience - just because of their expertise in engineering pleasant sounding pop/rock for the masses. To say that pro audio equipment is exempt from the "equipment as jewelry" effect is of course just not true.

At the end of the day, you have to make an informed decision as to what equipment to buy based upon its technical merits in your system. This might involve research and testing, or it might be based upon "word of mouth" or following in the footsteps of others... or maybe even based upon one being swayed by glossy advertisements. There are many multitudes of lemmings in both the consumer audio and professional audio markets that fall at all levels of the spectrum of informed / uninformed.
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