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Discussion Starter #1
A general "run it up the flag pole and see who salutes.." kind of question...

I'm thinking of adding an infinite baffle sub to my hopefullysoontobemade listening room. In fact, that's what led me here in the first place, getting a BFD and calibrating it with REW. Anyway, still trying to find all the parts -- amp, bfd and drivers -- and have a question about two different pro audio amps I can get for a reasonable price.

The first is a Nady XA-1100 -- I can find it for about $210
The other is a Behringer EP1500 -- I can find that one for about $230-$240

Anyone have any thoughts on which one would end up working better?

The room will be small, and I'll PROBABLY be starting off with only two 15" drivers and MAYBE upgrading to four at some point.

JCD
 

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Ordinarily I’m leery of cheap pro amps; I’ve heard of some that died in home theater use, which is inexcusable since home use is a gravy-train application compared to what they’re supposed to be designed for.

However, the reviews from DJs, musicians and even sound system operators at Musician’s Friend show pretty much universal praise for both amps. Some of them have been using them for a number of years, so you’re probably fine with either one. The only complaint I saw registered that’s highly relevant to home theater users is noisy fans.

The factory power ratings are EIA (@ 1kHz), not the FTC (@ 20Hz-20kHz) ratings that most home amps use. EIA rating is a less difficult standard and as such can be up to 20% higher than FTC, so keep that in mind. Also, make sure the amp you pick will support all four of the drivers you’ve selected.

Here are links to the Musician’s Friend reviews:
Behringer
Nady

Regards,
Wayne
 

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I'm happy with my Mackie M1400 (now only avail used --- eBay around $300). I ended up with it because I like the linear adjustable high pass (rumble) filter 10Hz to 170 Hz. I'm using it now bridged into 4 ohms. It is supposed to be capable of 1400 watts in that mode (I only "need" 1000) :D


BTW most pro amps need help quieting down their fans. I put a 130 ohm 5W resistor in series with the Mackie's 24 Vdc Panaflo fan and that did the trick for me. A lot of people have done a similar modification (100 ohm 10 watt rating) to Crown XLS pro amps.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, after all the questions.. ok, just question.. turns out I found a used Crown XLS 602 for a couple of c-notes. Figured, I couldn't beat that deal. :T

Also found a BFD -- picked it up at a discount since it wasn't totally new. It's supposed to be "never used". Whether or not it's true, it LOOKS pretty darned new. :D

Now, that I've found my amp and my BFD, I now need to decide on the drivers for my IB setup. That and of course the whole construction of my "listening" room. :rolleyes:

JCD
 

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Congrats.

IB drivers are somewhat scarce right now, but hopefully there will be more of a selection in a few months.

I use a Crown 402 to drive my IB. A while back I had 6 or 7 guys over and we did a comparison of the Crown 402 and a Parasound Halo A51 ($4k) in 2 channel only. I'd read all the hoopla about how bad pro amps sound and since I had them sitting there....
It was definitly eye opening. There was very little difference in sound between the 2 amps. A few of my guests said they could tell no difference and the rest thought they could but admitted they probably couldn't in a blind test. All agreed they'd never fork over the money for the Halo.
If you can control the fans or locate the amp in a different room, pro amps can be a great bargain.
I still use the crown for my subs and a more expensive amp (ATI 3007) for my speakers but there is more to good sound than buying a pricey name brand amp.
In short, the crown will power an IB just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
bricor said:
Congrats.

IB drivers are somewhat scarce right now, but hopefully there will be more of a selection in a few months.

I use a Crown 402 to drive my IB. A while back I had 6 or 7 guys over and we did a comparison of the Crown 402 and a Parasound Halo A51 ($4k) in 2 channel only. I'd read all the hoopla about how bad pro amps sound and since I had them sitting there....
It was definitly eye opening. There was very little difference in sound between the 2 amps. A few of my guests said they could tell no difference and the rest thought they could but admitted they probably couldn't in a blind test. All agreed they'd never fork over the money for the Halo.
If you can control the fans or locate the amp in a different room, pro amps can be a great bargain.
I still use the crown for my subs and a more expensive amp (ATI 3007) for my speakers but there is more to good sound than buying a pricey name brand amp.
In short, the crown will power an IB just fine.
But that Halo is sure one sexy piece of equipment..;)

Seriously though, I agree, an amp can only sound as good as the drivers they're connected to.

I agree on the driver scarcity as well.. I may be in "luck" since I won't be able to install the IB for a while anyway. For a variety of reasons, the area where I plan to install is currently pack to the gills with stuff (my garage). I'm hoping to move forward with the project sometime in the coming month. By then, I'm hoping the drivers will become more available. I've also heard over on the IB forum that there may be some new affordable 18" drivers coming on the scene in the nearish future. I figure if I procrastinate long enough, I may get those.

How many drivers do you have in your IB? Which drivers did you go with? And how big is your space?

JCD
 

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When I built it, I used 4 of the Lambda IB15's that were $100 each.
I then sold them and put in 4 of the Ascendant Audio Arsenal 15's.
Room is 16'x17.5'x10.
 

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I've got four AE 15 IB powered by a pair 250w Parts Express plate amps. I'm going the pro amp direction soon though. The PE's are down 3 db @ 20Hz. As soon as I see the right Crown K2, it's mine :T

You're gonna love having an IB.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
bricor said:
When I built it, I used 4 of the Lambda IB15's that were $100 each.
I then sold them and put in 4 of the Ascendant Audio Arsenal 15's.
Room is 16'x17.5'x10.

Ahh, you must me a member of the Cult!

So, which do you like better and why? Enquiring minds want (need?) to know?

Due to buget constraints, I've been thinking about wimping out and getting two drivers instead of four until budgets permit. Did you try just two just for fun? And with 2 or 4, how did it fill your room?

JCD
 

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Discussion Starter #11
bricor said:
A while back I had 6 or 7 guys over and we did a comparison of the Crown 402 and a Parasound Halo A51 ($4k) in 2 channel only. I'd read all the hoopla about how bad pro amps sound and since I had them sitting there....
It was definitly eye opening. There was very little difference in sound between the 2 amps. A few of my guests said they could tell no difference and the rest thought they could but admitted they probably couldn't in a blind test. All agreed they'd never fork over the money for the Halo.
The guy that I bought the amp from said he did the same thing -- i.e., did an A/B comparison with a Halo he was using. Couldn't tell the difference so he sold the Halo and bought more of the crown amps.

JCD
 

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Derek said:
I've got four AE 15 IB powered by a pair 250w Parts Express plate amps. I'm going the pro amp direction soon though. The PE's are down 3 db @ 20Hz. As soon as I see the right Crown K2, it's mine :T

You're gonna love having an IB.
I've got one word for you.. Craigslist. That's where I ended up buying mine. You wait long enough, you'll find what you want at a good to great price. ESPECIALLY since you live in Campbell (I work in Campbell).

Also, how do you like you're AE 15 IB drivers? I'm looking for an inexpensive driver with tight bass, that's musical, etc.. basically, I'm looking for the perfect driver for $1.68/driver!:rolleyes:

JCD
 

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The Mackies are good stuff. I started out DIY bass in the 1990s and ended up with 3 M1200s, a Rane PE17, and a Phase Coupled Activator as my "subwoofer rack". You can see an old photo here...

http://hometown.aol.com/tvodhanel/myhomepage/LFE_rack.jpg

I don't use the M1200s much anymore, but they still all work great when needed. I think I paid $450 each(or there-abouts) back then(37.5 cents a watt).

Now, you can get the EP1500 for $250---18 cents a watt..:)

We've always had great luck with Samson amps too. We've sold hundreds of S700 and S1000s with our passive subs and reported problems have been VERY rare with our users. Thee had very quiet fans too.

There was just a review of the EP1500 on audiocritic.com He found it to be an amazing value for the price.

Tom V.
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JCD, Yep.. Been looking at Craigslist (and Audiogon). Thanks.

I love my IB. The AE 15's are about a year old now and they've never let me down. Although I did get nervous during WOW where ship comes out of the ground. Watching/Feeling four 15" drivers moving 1"-1.5" of excursion is scary on multiple levels :D This is one of the reasons I want an amp with a higher dampning factor and lower power range. There's always gonna be a movie to top the last one.

Since you work in Campbell, you're always welcome to stop by one evening after work for a demo. $400 for an IB will tromp any boxed sub I've heard.
 

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My first HK (avr235) will be arriving some time in the next two weeks and I am already looking at alternatives for an external amp to power just the L and R channels. Pro amps definitely are cheaper, almost too much cheaper to be true.

Earlier on PE I spotted an this amp (http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=302-605) for that price or cheaper you can get a Xls that will produce so much more power than the audiosource amp I linked at half the cost! It just confuses me...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Derek said:
Since you work in Campbell, you're always welcome to stop by one evening after work for a demo. $400 for an IB will tromp any boxed sub I've heard.
I will have to take you up on that sometime.. I've never heard one in real life, but have heard that they're the cat's meow!

JCD
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Exocer said:
My first HK (avr235) will be arriving some time in the next two weeks and I am already looking at alternatives for an external amp to power just the L and R channels. Pro amps definitely are cheaper, almost too much cheaper to be true.

Earlier on PE I spotted an this amp (http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=302-605) for that price or cheaper you can get a Xls that will produce so much more power than the audiosource amp I linked at half the cost! It just confuses me...
I think pro-audio amps are generally not as good as a regular home amp. Pro Audio equipment is designed to be loud, portable and rugged. Fidelity isn't as important for a pro-audio amp as it is for a home version. Also, Pro-Audio amps generally have loud fans, so for home use you'd have to disconnect the fan, slow down the fan or move the whole amp to another room.

I'm sure there are other more technical 'issues', but those are the ones I've heard mentioned.

JCD
 

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I once had a Thermal Take HSF that sounded like a vaccum cleaner. Sounded pretty cool :laugh: I may be the only person that doesn't have a problem with fan noise. I do see what you're saying about SQ. There are just so many different opinions with positive and negative experiences regarding home applications of pro-amps...It can easily get confusing.
 

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Lots of new drivers coming out in the near future from just about everyone it seems. Give it a little time, which it sounds like you have, and you'll find something good.
 
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