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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Crown XLS vs Behringer iNuke - A mostly subjective comparison.

Last Spring I was building a sub comprised of one of Erich’s 3cuft flat packs and the newly released Dayton Audio UM15-22 and as part of the build I needed to buy an amplifier. I wanted a stand-alone amplifier, because I could also then use it drive a pair of PA speakers for entertaining (birthday and graduation parties) and as an amp for my son’s guitar. At the time, the three amplifiers under consideration were; Behringer NU1000dsp, Crown XLS1000 and the Carvin HD1000. The Behringer had limited connection options, although that could be remedied with adaptors, and had fan noise issues. The Carvin just had very limited information, reviews and resources available online therefore I was not comfortable going that route. I bought the Crown.

Upon receiving the Crown I was very impressed with how it drove the Ultimax, but the engineer in me wanted to know more. Using the only equipment on hand, a DVM, and 60Hz test tones I measured 69 Vrms. That measurement paired with the impedance from Dayton’s datasheet, 4.5ohms at 60Hz, resulted in 1058W. Keep in mind this measurement does not take distortion into consideration. I was quite happy with the overall results of the subwoofer/amplifier pairing and using REW could see the response extended to 12Hz (room gain), but I did have a significant bump in the 40Hz region. Of course this made me think of the Behringer iNuke again.

As many of you who regularly visit this forum know, rarely it is one project and done and now I’m thinking about building another subwoofer. Why……because it’s fun, it’s a sickness, bigger is better, I have more money than I know what to do with……..yes....except for the last one. Anyhow, the plan was not more than a thought really and then those nasty online retailers put the iNukes on sale and I bought one…….a Behringer nu3000dsp.

Well with the iNuke in place of the Crown I was able to totally eliminate the resonance at 40Hz and now I’m able to actually increase the volume without things vibrating all over the house like before. I was very impressed with the DSP capabilities of the iNuke and since one would have to step up to the Crown XTi 2 series at almost double the cost is something to consider. The iNuke should, if both manufacturers’ specifications are accurate and comparable, have almost twice the power of the Crown. Subjectively, the Behringer has more power, but I have no means to test it. The only load I have is the Dayton UM15-22 and I’m afraid of pushing it too hard with the iNuke as the Crown XLS1000 was already near the limits of the UM15 when driving with a constant test tone.

As mentioned earlier, I occasionally use these amplifiers to drive a pair of dual 12” PA speakers and both the Crown and the Behringer handle this task with ease. Again, the iNuke seems to have significantly more power. One thing to note though is that both of these amplifiers generate very noticeable high frequency noise (hiss) when used full range and, at least in my mind, would not be suitable in a high fidelity 2-channel or surround sound application. Looking at the specs, this makes sense as the S/N ratios are both 97-98dB as compared to my primary system’s amplifier which has an S/N ratio of 122dB. That said, I realize the amplifiers have different purposes.

I’m not sure I intended this post to get this long originally, so I’ll wrap it up with some pros and cons relative to each amplifier. One more note, I paid approximately the same price for both amplifiers, $255 for the Crown XLS1000 and $279 for the Behringer nu3000dsp, so I think it is fair to compare these two amplifiers. Well the Crown has more +’s, but it’s not that simple and in the end I’m not yet sure which I prefer……perhaps time will tell.

Behringer NU3000dsp
+DSP capabilities and software
+Easily configurable amplifier modes/configuration
+Configuration presets in amp and computer
+More power
-Silver color (why can’t they make these black)
-Limited input/output connectors
-Overly bright LEDs
-Subjective build quality
-Behringer reputation (reliability)
-Fan noise (although this can be remedied somewhat with a fan swap……but voids warranty)
-Tiny heatsinks (cause for louder fan?)

Crown XLS1000
+Build quality
+Crown reputation (reliability)
+Easily configurable amplifier modes/configuration
+Vast array of input/output connections
+LEDs preferred to above
+Absolutely no fan noise; most of the time it isn’t even spinning
+More substantial heatsinks
-Less power
-Relative price
-Color (as above)

My iNuke fan experiences:http://www.hometheatershack.com/for...plifier-fan-swap-how-w-pics-3.html#post678702

Premium Member
5,869 Posts
Inuke 3000 actual tested results:


I like Crown but the Inuke series is a great value. You nailed it on the cons and pros. :T

181 Posts
I've used the Crown XLS1500 and currently use the Berry nu3000. I have powered sealed subs and my current UXL ported sub with both amps. I really could not tell one from the other. I did the fan swap on the Berry 3000 and it is as quite as the Crown was. The only real reason I switched was to gain more sub 20hz with the Berry. The Crown has a factory HPF with a steep rolloff @ 20hz.
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