Crown CE-1000

 

This is a fun little toy, it's rated at 275x2 @ 8ohm, 450x2 @ 4ohm, 560x2 @ 2ohm, 900x1 @ 8ohm bridged, and 1100x1 @ 4ohm bridged. It's running my towers so I have it at 8ohm stereo, it's definitely got some power. It actually has 85V rails per channel, which allow it to do just over 60Vrms per channel before clipping (measured). Bridged it will do right around 120Vrms with no load, same as an ordinary wall outlet. It runs my towers so effortlessly it's actually a little funny, it doesn't even have to try.

My only complaint with it is the fan noise. It's got a temperature sensor on the heatsink which sends a voltage to the fan that slowly rises with temperature. When the voltage passes the minimum operating voltage for the fan, it turns on, and it's normally only on for 2-3 seconds before it's cooled down the heatsinks enough to shut back off. The fan itself is actually very quiet, the problem is that it blows a lot of air, all of which must flow through that maze you can see in the heatsinks. This creates some wind noise whenever the fan is running, which is easily audible if watching tv or a movie at an ordinary volume. Unfortunately, putting in a resistor will not help the situation, as that will simply increase the amount of time before the fan kicks on, but when it finally gets enough voltage to turn on it will be just as loud as it is now. The only option that I can see is to get a fan that blows less air and turns on sooner, both of which are aspects of any ordinary 120mm computer fan. I've ordered one and it should be here in a couple of days, hopefully that will help with the problem, because other than that the amp is great.

Update: I installed the new fan (Silverstone 120mm computer case fan), and it has completely fixed the problem. This amp gives off no noise at all anymore, and still stays nice and cool. I recommend anybody using this amp for HT use to install one of these fans in place of the stocker, you will completely eliminate any and all fan noise.

Update 9/24/10: I finally broke down and decided to upgrade this amp. I decided that a pro-audio amp is really designed for bulletproof operation at high power in adverse environmental conditions...all good things, but at the expense of fidelity. I decided to replace it with a pair of Emotiva UPA-1 monoblock amps, with no small amount of reservation on my part. Afterall this Crown has served me well for how long, 5 years? Nevertheless I bit the bullet and bought them. At $330 a piece they're each as expensive as this Crown was, for less than half the power each. Regardless, I installed them and was blown away. I don't want to go into it too much (go to the UPA-1 page for that), but for anybody out there running a budget pro-audio amp in your HT setup, be aware that you can do MUCH better for not much money if you just take the chance. I was planning on moving the CE-1000 to subwoofer duty, but after hearing the Emotiva monoblocks on my towers, I might just have to sell this Crown and go with something else for the sub (Emotiva XPA-1 maybe?).

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