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Crown XLS 1500

XLS DriveCore Series power amplifier — 300 watts RMS x 2 at 8 ohms (525W x 2 at 4 ohms)

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  • Crown XLS 1500

    The front panel offers gain controls for each channel, LED indicators, an LCD screen with three menu buttons, and the power switch.

  • Crown XLS 1500

    All four models of DriveCore XLS Series amps.

  • Crown XLS 1500

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Our take on the Crown XLS 1500

by Dominic Devito
Crown

Heavyweight performance from a surprisingly light amp

Crown's XLS DriveCore Series power amplifiers don't just pack a lot of juice into a chassis that'll make the suspension on your touring van happy — they deliver the reliability you'll need when laying down tracks in the studio, storming clubs, or rousing the congregation. DriveCore technology is highly efficient and complements your sonics nicely, so you'll notice reduced distortion, even when you're turned up to eleven. These amps integrate nicely into nearly any setup thanks to their wealth of connections, and the built-in crossover system gives you the flexibility to work with different speaker setups.

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DriveCore takes the worry out of every socket

Patented DriveCore technology from Crown allows their XLS amps to maintain Class D-like efficiency even when they're being powered by untrustworthy AC current. Unstable electrical loads typically introduce heavy noise into most Class D amps, but the DriveCore hybrid analog-digital integrated circuit keeps the distortion to practically zero, even when powered by the dirtiest of AC lines. So even if you've got to plug in near a lighting rig or other backline gear, XLS amps wipe away interference so your signal stays smooth as glass.

Simple yet effective

Crown's XLS 1500 amplifier dishes out 300 watts RMS per channel at 8 ohms, 525 watts per channel at 4 ohms, and up to 1550 watts in bridged mode — not bad for less than 9 pounds of gear. Because it's a highly efficient Class D amp, it relies on internal heat sinks with forced-air cooling to keep the internal temperature under control, with an automated rear fan that kicks in if you're pushing the amp hard. The amp's optimized switched-mode power supply keeps things humming smoothly from start to finish.

The amp's front panel offers independent level control knobs and LEDs, an on/off switch, LCD screen, and three menu control buttons. The LCD screen lets you configure the amp mode, clip compressor, and crossover configuration with ease.

The rear of the XLS 1500 is a veritable treasure trove of connections. You'll find balanced XLR inputs, 1/4" inputs, and RCA inputs, so you can get creative with your audio sources. The 1/4" connectors also serve as loop-thrus for adding more amps to the mix. You'll find binding posts and Neutrik Speakon® outputs for the speakers, plus a built-in circuit breaker to protect against overload.

Built-in PureBand Crossover System

Are you working with a subwoofer, multiple speakers, or floor monitors? Maximize the XLS 1500's energy by employing the integrated PureBand Crossover System. It lets you choose the crossover point just about anywhere between 50 and 3000 Hz, and gives you steep 24 dB/octave slopes for seamless transitions between different drivers. Your choice of four different crossover modes let you configure your system to nearly any situation or speaker setup, whether you need big-time boom or to hear the high notes above the fray. And the settings can all be adjusted right from the amp's front panel.

Peakx Limiters keep you out of sonic valleys

Crown's Peakx Limiters give you the confidence to push your system hard without shutting down the entire production. You'll be able to push the volume up safely without fear of sonic garbage littering the audience's ears or wrecking your speakers. Crown put the independent Peakx Limiters on each channel and they're defeatable right from the front panel.

Highlights:

    General information:
    • 2-channel power amplifier with built-in crossover
    • power output:
      • 300 watts RMS per channel at 8 ohms
      • 525 watts RMS per channel at 4 ohms
      • 775 watts RMS per channel at 2 ohms
      • 1050 watts RMS (mono) at 8 ohms in bridged mode
      • 1550 watts RMS (mono) at 4 ohms in bridged mode
    • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (-1 dB)
    • signal-to-noise ratio: 103 dB
    • total harmonic distortion: 0.5% (20-20,000 Hz)
    Features:
    • DriveCore circuitry maintains Class D high efficiency with low noise
    • independent right- and left-channel level controls
    • LCD screen with menu/prev/next buttons
    • rear panel circuit breaker/reset switch
    • defeatable Peakx Limiters for each channel
    • PureBand Crossover System:
      • Linkwitz-Riley 24dB/octave crossover filter
      • crossover frequency range: 50-3,000 Hz, with points every 1.5 octave centers
      • four crossover modes: crossover, low pass, high pass, and bridge
    • internal heat sinks with forced-air cooling
    • flow-through ventilation from front to back, plus automatic rear fan for critical temperatures
    • short circuit, thermal, and current limiting protection
    • front-panel LEDs indicate signal, -10dB and -20dB below clipping, clipping, and temperature
    • integrated rack mount ears
    Connections:
    • balanced XLR, 1/4", and RCA inputs
    • 1/4" outputs can be used to send signal to another amp
    • binding posts and Neutrik Speakon outputs
    Other information:

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    Number of Channels 2
    Power Class D
    Watts per channel 8 ohms 300
    Watts per channel 4 ohms 525
    Watts per channel 2 ohms 775
    Watts bridged 1050
    Fan cooled Y
    DSP N
    Filters LPF, HPF
    Rack spaces 2
    Height (inches) 3-1/2
    Depth (inches) 8-1/8
    Width (inches) 19
    Weight 8.6 lbs
    Inputs
    RCA 2
    1/4" 2
    XLR 2
    Outputs
    1/4" ---
    Binding post 2
    Spring post ---
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Power amp
    • AC power cord
    • Operation Manual

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Features

    DriveCore: DriveCore Technology seamlessly integrates the amplifier drive stage into the power output stage fusing everything into a chip the size of a dime. The foundational DriveCore circuitry is based on breakthroughs by Crown's own Gerald Stanley with five patents applying to the advanced feedback, modulation, and output stage technologies. DriveCore's front-end drive circuits leverage the inherent efficiency of Class D output stages while also maintaining superb sonic characteristics. The end result is an ultra-efficient one-piece audio amplifier circuit that exhibits the exemplary audio quality of a highly evolved Class AB design.

    Power Rating: Maximum average power in watts at 0.5% THD, 1 kHz.

    Impedance Load Dual Mode (stereo) Bridged Mode (mono)
    Wattage Wattage
    2 ohm 775 watts N/A
    4 ohm 525 watts 1,550 watts
    8 ohm 300 watts 1,050 watts

    PureBand Crossover System: The PureBand Crossover System in the XLS Series adds an enormous amount of flexibility and performance to any system. With this system, the crossover frequency is completely variable allowing the choice of any crossover point between 50Hz and 3kHz on 1/12 octave centers. The use of 4th order Linkwitz-Riley filters provides steep slopes for a seamless transition between high and low drivers. And with four crossover modes to choose from providing the ultimate in flexibility, all of your system needs are covered. All of the PureBand Crossover System settings can be fully configured quickly and easily from the front panel using the intuitive LCD interface.

    Peakx Limiters: Peakx Limiters provide the ultimate in performance and protection for your entire system. This advanced algorithm was specifically developed and tuned to work with this amplifier and power-supply to achieve higher SPL will less audible artifacts. This means less distortion, less shutdowns, and maximum safe power delivered to your speakers. The Peakx Limiters can be easily turned on or off by channel right from the front panel eliminating the need to be digging around in the back of the dark rack.

    Switched-Mode Power Supply: This advanced power supply is highly efficient and optimized for maximum power transfer from the AC line through the Class D output stage to the loudspeakers.

    Inputs: The XLS Series amplifiers provide XLR (one per channel), 1/4" (one per channel), and RCA (one per channel) for flexible connectivity. The 1/4" inputs can be used as a loop-thru to distribute signal to additional amplifiers.

    Outputs: The XLS Series amps feature two 4-Pole Speakon output connectors that will accept 2-pole or 4-pole Speakon connectors. The Channel 1 Speakon connector is wired for both channels so it can be used for bridged-mono wiring or for stereo wiring of two speakers to a single Speakon connector. There is also one pair of back-panel binding posts per channel that will accept banana plugs or bare wire.

    Note: The amplifier's two channel outputs are equipped with independent Gain (Level) control.

    LCD Screen: The amplifier's front-panel, back-lit LCD screen allows for crossover configuration, amplifier mode configuration, and limiter configuration.

    Flow-Through & Forced-Air Cooling: The XLS Series amplifiers employ flow-through, front-to-back ventilation and internal heat sinks with forced-air cooling for rapid, uniform heat dissipation.

    Protection Circuitry: XLS Series amplifiers provide extensive protection and diagnostic capabilities, including output current limiting, DC protection, circuit breaker, and thermal protection.

    LED Indicators: The power amplifier features ten LEDs (five for each output channel) to indicate status of amplifier.

    • Single Presence: Two green LED's, one for each channel, illuminate when the channel input signal exceeds -40dBu.
    • -10: Green LED flashes when output signal level exceeds -10dB below clip.
    • -20: Green LED flashes when output signal level exceeds -20dB below clip.
    • Clip: Two red LED's, one for each channel, illuminate when the channel's output is being overdriven.
    • Thermal: Two red LED's, one for each channel, illuminate when thermal compression begins.
     
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    Crown XLS 1500 Reviews

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    5 out of 5

    Great product

    Written By Rob S, Chicago, IL on Monday, July 21, 2014
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    Great amp so far... took a chance using this amp for powering my mains in a Home Theater set up. The inputs are plenty sensitive and works great with my Denon 3313. I even managed to get the input levels balanced out so there is virtually no speaker hum without adding a filter. GREAT clean power, really brought my speakers to life. Best of all is the fact that digital amps generate NO heat!! I have cranked 2 channel stereo at reference levels for extended periods of time and the internal fans have not even thought about turning on yet. Saved huge money going this route vs buying a traditional HT Amp.
    Pros:
    Great clean power. NO Heat.
    Cons:
    Manual on/off switch. Cannot dim front panel lights.
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    MINT!!

    Written By Spadea, Rumford, Me. on Thursday, April 10, 2014
     
    Outstanding, powerful, quiet /cool operating amplifier for driving subs!! Have no fear w/ integrating this amp w/ home audio. It works flawlessly!!
    Pros:
    POWERFUL, QUIET, EASILY INTEGRATES INTO HOME AUDIO
    Cons:
    NONE AT ALL!!
    7 out of 8 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     

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