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Crown XLS 402 Power Amp for Subs

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by backtobass, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Rockville, MD
    Hi Everyone,

    Can a Crown XLS 402 900w (older 3u version) power a sub or two? It operates Stereo 4 ohms 450w/channel, Stereo 8 ohms 300w/channel, and Bridge Mono 8 ohms 900w. If it can, how would you set it up using, say 15" subs if two or a single 18" for one (probably no central location to put sub so likely a twofer).

    A little background:

    I'm rebuilding a portable PA. We are a rock band running everything direct meaning 2 Guitars, Bass, Kick Drum, Keyboards and 4 vocal mics. I want this to sound good without having to push volume, so I'm rounding up some PA ideas.

    One idea is to use subs where we didn't in the last band I was in. It was a hair band tribute that ran all the above direct through a yamaha mg166c board into Mackie Thump Mains. The sound was always lacking to me, surprise.

    This time I was thinking of using a Carvin XR1200R, with powered 15" mains (deciding brand but think in terms of Mackie Thumps), and subs. The subs have to be small and portable too. I have Crown amp sitting around unused and thought that for the price of one powered sub I could get 2 unpowered.

    Suggestions are welcome. Space and dollars are the deciding factors. So basically inexpensive, not cheap, and can fit in a hatchback.

    I appreciate the help, this forum has been a great resource, but this is the first time I've had to ask a direct question.
  2. My only concern is that you'd be underpowering your subs
  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    If your subs are 4ohm cabs, that amp should power them up just fine. Unless you're trying play a stadium or large venue of some sort. If you're doing bars, restaurants and clubs, that is enough especially if they are single speaker subs! 450w into a single 15 is plenty of power. Now if your cabs are 8ohms, you may want a bit more power. You could bridge the amp and get just about the same amount of wattage by daisy chaining the subs.

    If you have the money to buy a higher powered amp, go ahead and do so.
  4. dderatz

    dderatz Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Just redid a theatre sound system with XLS1000's. Used 1 channel to mains and one to subs. More than powerful enough.
  5. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
  6. I'm not talking about underpowering in the sense that the speakers will be damaged. I'm talking about getting enough air moving. But, then again, I'm used to driving 2x18" subs with no less than 800w per driver.

    I guess I need to keep that in mind...
  7. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    That's cool. I guess it depends on the subs. Subs always take a fair amount of watts to get loud, and if the amp is 'optimistic' in it's rating, and the subs aren't terribly efficient... well you'd better not be a dub group! :meh: :meh:
  8. modulusman

    modulusman Banned

    Jan 18, 2004
    Do you have a crossover? If you are starting from scratch I think you would be better off buying matching powered tops and subs. They would be designed to work together.
  9. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Rockville, MD
    Wow, Thanks for all the fast responses.

    The board I'm planning on using has a crossover built in. Also, the amp has a limiter and frequency selector. I can't find a manual for it since I think its either a first or second gen amp.

    Like Kedo said, I'm more worried about moving enough air for them to sound good, not that underpowering them will cause damage. The subs I was looking at were the Carvins which are 8 ohms, but it seems like most are.

    Guess I should have been clear about the venues. When we play bigger venues, there are usually house PAs. This PA will be for small to medium venues (ie less than 200 people). Occasionally it would be used for the odd outdoor party (very rare).

    Ultimately, since I'm only Mic-ing the kick, the volume will be based on the drummer. Everything else volume wise will try to blend to a mix consistent with that. I guess I just want the subs to round out the quality of what I think the audience is hearing (I can never tell since I can't run sound, play, and sing all at the same time).

    I think getting powered subs would be great, but cost starts to play a factor.
  10. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Seems legit, I love the idea of acoustic drum volume capping... means the guitarists and the rest don't bury the groove!:bassist:
  11. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Rockville, MD
    Exactly!!! And the guys in the band thought it was just because I'm a control freak (though true).
  12. PlungerModerno


    Apr 12, 2012
    Yeah well every sober person in the crowd will appreciate the the decent volume... and half the buzzed people. Ok maybe 90 - 40 %, but the point is most people like really loud, but only for a short while outside metal. Playing dynamically and allowing tension and relaxation to breathe and swell is a beast of a musical tool. Too much music takes the punk approach to everything but the occasional intro and break...

    I still like metal. :bassist:
  13. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    All good points, however, 450 watts is pretty anemic for a sub ain't it?

    You could get a good single 18" passive sub and bridge the Crown. 900 watts should do it.
  14. backtobass

    backtobass Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2010
    Rockville, MD
    Ended up talking with the guys at Crown. They said for my year XLS I would need to get a custom Y connector to Bridge Mono to 900w. Anybody know how to build this kind of cable?

    Attached Files:

  15. You're going to want a 2 conductor cable. On the amplifier end, you'll have 2 Neutrik connectors. Each conductor will wire to the hot pin of the amplifiers output. On the other end, you'll just wire a single connector (whichever connector your cabinet requires) up (pins 1 and 2). So you'll have (assuming pin 1 is hot at the amp) at the speaker end:

    Pin 1 connecting to Ch 1 pin 1

    Pin 2 connecting to Ch 2 pin 1

    Again, this assumes that pin 1 is hot at the amp.

    There is no soldering needed with Neutrik connectors, btw.
  16. Changchung


    Oct 18, 2012
    Hi guys, I just subscribe bacause I have in mind bought a xls402 to my sub, what I have is a car audio woofer, power bass 12ยจ I think is a M-124D rated 350rms by coil, mine is dual coil, my question is, it is a good match?

    I am thinking in build or use a vented box

    About the frequency, can I use a active crossover?


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