Crown Studio Reference One Amplifiers

4.58/5 (12 Reviews) MSRP : $3950.00


Product Description

780 watts


Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lila a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 4, 2011

Bottom Line:   
This amplifier is one of the very best I've ever heard. It's very unique in that it is not the least bit bright. Fact is, it's actually slightly dark, even compared to some very high end tube amps. Comparing to my extremely low distortion class A amplifier (less than .00024%) which is totally grain free, the Studio Reference 1 sounds even a little darker. Comparing to the Krell KSA-300S I had also owned, the Studio Reference 1 is more airy, warmer, and the bass is tighter, more prominent and powerful. The sound doesn't tend to shout easily as the volume is turned up. The volume can be turned up more so than on most other amplifiers before your ears would have enough. It is so warm there are times when it can bottom the speakers before it starts to sound loud. Very musical grain free amplifier.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1999



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ampsarus a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
After using and destroying amplifiers from Jeff Rowland (Model 7 monoblocks) and Krell (KSA-300s) I was frustrated, discusted and generally pretty sick of high-end amplifiers. Sure, the Rowlands were the best sounding amplifiers I have ever owned. Then one of them FAILED (burned up!) one night, and I traded them off as-is for a new Meridian 588 CD player.

I brought home a Krell KSA-200s to see if the thing could satisfy me the way the Rowlands did. Well, the bass was good, with decent slam and weight, and the rest of the presentation was pretty good. I wasn't really suprised the mids and treble were darker sounding and somwhat more "etched" compared to the Rowlands.
It just didn't have enough power to satisfy me, and boy, did it get hot! So, back to the store it went, and I brought it's bigger brother home, the KSA-300s. This one was better, more of the bass and power I expected from Krell, with wider and bigger dynamics. It didn't get nearly as hot driving load either. All of the other shortcomings in the '200s were evident here as well, but I was starting to forgive them for the things it was doing very well. I was thinking I might have found a keeper. Then one night, late into the wee hours, the thing went south! The breaker in the load center poped, and would continue to everytime the amp was turned on. I later came to find a MOV in the AC side of the power supply burned up. Luckily, the store I brought it home from was reasonable with the fact that "I broke that which could NOT be broken" Yeah, whatever. Now more discusted with "champagne and caviar" amplifiers than ever, I decided my needs may be too much for even the most battleship-built high-enders. The realm of pro-audio amps got my attention. I figured that if they can stand up to the riggors of road and studio use by drugged and drunken techs, maybe they will work and continue to work for me. I did some research into Crown's flagship series. Initially interested in getting an original Macro Reference, a knowlegeable and FRIENDLY product specialist at Crown told me that the new Studio Reference 1 amplifiers were exactly the same audio circuit, but that the meter section was new and supplied from another manufacturer. Apparently, the meter circuit in the original Macro Reference amps burned out after a few years. So, armed with a new sence of confidence in high powered SS amps, I called Audio Classics in New York and ordered a used Crown Studio Reference 1. Having multiple runs of 8 gauge copper from multiple breakers in my load center feeding multiple outlets in my room, accomodating the power hungry Crown wasn't too much of a problem. I just uprated a 20A breaker in the LS to a 30A one, and changed a 5-15 duplex outlet out for a single 30A one. Later, I purchased a 30A 240 VAC in, 260-0 VAC out variac frrom PowerStat, and now run everything off of 1 240 VAC line into the variac, which I step down to 120 VAC to feed all outlets.

I have been using the Crown in "plain potatoes" stereo mode with balannow for about 7 months, and while it does NOT have the midrange clarity or sweetness that my Rowland's possesed, and doesn't quite have the same earthquake bass the '300s had, it is very good. Open clarity, speed, and versatility is the amps strongest points. Yes, it is a LITTLE bright, but not to the point of being an iritant. I like this amp, and despite not being the sweetest thing in the world, I am confident it will CONTINUE TO WORK.

The high power rating in the Studio Reference 1 comes from having a high voltage B+ supply. The Rowlands I owned and the Krells I tried use a lower B+ voltage, but have enormous current capability. (each Rowland, rated at 350W into 8 ohms, has [6] 22,000 uF caps) The crown has a relativly small B+ supply, and claims it's whopping 800WPC due to it's high voltage. The crown is NOT as powerful as those Rowlands were, despite double the rating. More to the point, there is less headroom with the Crown.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   Audio Classics (used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rich long a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2001

Bottom Line:   
remarkable amp at any price unmatched power if you have the reserve to give it what it needs..bass,midrange,treble----ALL FLAWLESS--even at extremely high volume and not once have i had the protection coe on the fan is a bit noisy aut it does need cooling---but is not that loud

great amp,get one before i buy tghem all up

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $4000.00

Purchased At:   quad audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by brian finley a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 27, 2001

Bottom Line:   
i would recomend this amp if you have the correct house wiring..if not youll need to do it your self or pay a pro like i did!! thats a big hassle as im concerned. but for the sound. im in heaven right now the sound is so effortless as with my other amps they would get extremely ghot and i had alot of problems with my other amps due to the heat problem..this amp has a built in fan which comes on and cools the amp down with vents in the front they must be cleaned once a year as i do not smoke in my house and the smoke makeds dust which gets into the filters of the amp!there are many features of the amp which is great..bal inputs and reg rca inputs high quality binding posts as well as a huge power cord. the wall outlet is supplied with the amp in thre box the spec sheet is also supplied with the amp and tested before it leaves the factory and those specs are in the box when you get it and the amp is pretty heavy! i recomend this amp to whoever wants mega power and clarity from a very well known name in the hifi industry, as well as being super dependable my dad has an old crown amp since he was in the navy many moons ago. there warranty though not that long is pretty good, also has a extendable 3 years to the already three year warranty.the amo will show definate problems with bad recordings as well in your cd player or turntable depending what the refcording is!
i try to get only remastered cds and use alot of grams on my turntable for max sound quality. im sure youll be more than happy with this amp whoever you are as i am super pleased with the sound quality and functionability!! so all you audiophiles out there give this piece a try and be open minded..not just" must be expensive to be good" well this piece wont break your account and might just put you in audio heaven..as i am my speakers are ariel 10t which i believe have a 3.2 ohm load to the amp and its rated to only 4 in stereo and has been trouble free for about a year now..i also called crown and talked to one of the tech guys and he said "no problem with the speakers as the amp is only rated to 4 ohm because for studios and audiophiles are rarely buying anything that moight say otherwise..but he assured me that this monster was very capable of the speakers im driving! so go out and charge your crredit card with one and see 4 yourself!!!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $4400.00

Purchased At:   sam ash music



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by stephen rundle a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: June 26, 2001

Bottom Line:   
like i said i have two of them running in parrellel mono to one pair of 802's per amp and the sound pressure levels get pretty damn loud..even for b&w standards..these babies have been us4ed for a couple years now and would put them up against ANY AUDIOPHILE AMP OUT THERE ""ANY AMP OUT THERE"

....AND IM SURE THESE BABIES WOULD SCHOOL ANY BNRAND NAME OF HIFI AMP IN THE WORLD...MAYBEE FOR THE EXCEPTION OF THE NEW KING OF BEASTS"KRELL MASTERCLASS POWER AMPS"!!

BUT THEY COST A WHOPPOING $120,000!!
SO IF YOU WANT SUPER CLARITY OF BOTH MID AND HIGHS WITH THUNDEROUS BASS!!! this amp is a total man among boys when it comes to the complete package..so if you have the 8000 or so or just want one of them to run in stereo i highly recomend these amps! as im sure your ears will thank you...""""""""""""""""" YOU BE THE JUDGE, BUY ONE AND BRING IT DOWN TO ANY HIFI SHOP NEAR YOU AND SAY YOU WANT A SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON WITH THERE SO CALLED BAD BOY AMP AND SIT BACK AS THE SALESMAN WILL TRY TO BS HIS WAY AROUNG IT BUT YOULL DEFINATELY KNOW WHICH IS THE MAN AND WHICH IS THE BOY! CROWN WILL PREVAIL..MY DEALER SAID THE CROWN WAS A SHOCKER TO HIM AND THAT FOR THE MONEY AND POWER COMBO ALONG WITH THE GREAT DETAIL OF SOUNDS THAT CAME OUT OF THE MAGNEPANS HE IS NOW A BELIEVER!!

ROCK ON!!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $8000.00

Purchased At:   local hifi shop




Reviews 1 - 5 (12 Reviews Total) | Next 15

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating



Sennheiser:



60.0 WA BLACK: