Crown K-1 Amplifiers

K-1

  • Patented BCATM Circuit Design
  • Unmatched Thermal Efficiency
  • Superior Energy Efficiency
  • Sealed Chassis
  • Universal Power Supply
  • Superior Sound
  • Modular Design and Construction for Quick Service
  • TLC -Thermal Level Control Protection Subtly and Dynamically Reduces Gain As Needed
  • Automatic Turn-On Diagnostics
  • Significantly Less Component Degrading Heat Generated
  • Recessed, Detented Level Controls

User Reviews (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2  
Petergaryr   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 28, 2005]
Strength:

High power and solid construction.

Weakness:

Large, heavy and generates a considerable amount of heat.

The Crown K1 is a professional amplifier that was designed to be used for sound reinforcement in churches, auditoriums and clubs. It weighs in at 36 pounds and it’s dimensions of 19x3.5x16 are such that it will fit nicely into a standard mounting rack. However, its use has crept into some home theater installations. Because of its high damping factor, at least 1 subwoofer manufacturer (SVS) recommends this particular model to power its passive subs. It produces extremely tight, clean bass response. That begs the question, if it is good for subs, would it also be good as a full range amplifier in, say, a home theater installation? Why buy an external amplifier at all? Most of the time, the amplifiers of typical receivers are producing around 1 watt per channel during “normal” listening levels. The problem comes when there are sudden transients, or demanding passages in either music or movies. To produce undistorted sound, tens if not hundreds of watts are required. It is also true that you are more likely to destroy a loudspeaker by driving it with an underpowered amplifier. Overdriven amplifiers are notorious for killing voice coils. Some receiver manufactures may at times “overstate” the true power output of their units. That 100 watt per channel receiver many not be quite as powerful as you think under real world conditions. A number of people these days are using home receivers as a pre-amplifier/processor, or “pre/pro”, and buying separate amplifiers to increase the sonic impact in their home theaters. If you are such a person, here is what the Crown K1 offers: Back Panel The back panel consists of the input and output connectors: Input Connectors: Here is one area where you know you are dealing with a “professional” amplifier. The typical RCA connections found on amplifiers designed for the home are missing. Instead, there is one balanced ¼-inch (6.35-mm) phone jack and one 3-pin female XLR connector for each channel. If you are going to use this with a home receiver, a quick visit to Radio Shack will get you the type of cables you need. Output Connectors: Two sets of color-coded binding posts for banana plugs, spade lugs or bare wire (European models do not accept banana plugs.) There are also switches that allow you to change the input sensitivity, as well as set up the amplifier for bridged mode operation. Power output is as follows: 350W- 8 ohm 550W- 4 ohm 750W- 2 ohm 1100 – 8 ohm bridged mode 1500- 4 ohm bridged mode Front Panel The front panel consists of a number of LEDs that provide the following information: TLC: A TLC (thermal level control) LED for each channel which turns on with a dim glow shortly before the amplifier needs help dissipating heat. Clip: An orange LED for each channel which turns on when distortion of any type becomes audible in the amplifier output. IOC: A yellow LED for each channel which serves as a distortion indicator. The IOC indicators include a pulse-stretching feature that helps make them more noticeable even with rapid transient signals Signal: A green LED for each channel which flashes dimly when a very low-level signal (as low as 10 mW) is present in the output. They flash brightly when a louder signal (at least 1 watt) is present at the output. Enable: A green LED that turns on when the amplifier has been turned on and has power. When first turned on, there will be a brief 2 second delay while the amplifier performs a quick diagnostic. Then the Enable indicator will turn on to its full brightness. If no signal is present, the Enable indicator will switch to a dim level. There is a “Soft start” feature which prevents the K1 from drawing large currents when it is first turned on. This means you don’t need to delay power-on of the amp before turning on the rest of your equipment. The Crown K1 employs a proprietary Balanced Current Amplifier design that is said to provide great efficiency without the need for a fan. This makes installation in a home theater more appealing, since many professional amplifiers use somewhat noisy fans to keep them cool. The only precaution you will need to take is to ensure you have provided sufficient ventilation for the cabinet, since that is what the amplifier is using to dissipate the heat. The cabinet does get very hot to the touch. How does it Sound? So, having said all of that, how does the Crown K1 “sound”. In as few words as possible: it produces balanced, well defined sound at high volume. That, of course, should be the purpose of any amplifier. Ideally, an amplifier should be nothing more than a straight wire with gain. I could use some colorful phrases like “a sense of unrestrained openness”, “crystal clear highs” and “silky smooth mid-range”, but those are more the words of a marketing department trying to convince you to buy it.

Similar Products Used: Phase Linear 700 watt amplifer Dynaco 400 watt amplifier
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
hifidan   AudioPhile [Sep 02, 2004]
Strength:

Almost unlimited power, cool running, no fan noise, stable to below 1 ohm,very musical amp, high damping factor prevents cone motion.

Weakness:

Auto-shut feature is too quick and distortion can be heard at auto-on from demanding start notes.

I bought this amp to drive 2 pairs of passive DIY sub enclosures. Price is in CDN dollars.

Similar Products Used: Parasound HCA-1500A, Bryston 3BST
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-2 of 2  

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