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QSC vs Crown K 1 or K2

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tyjacks, Nov 4, 2003.


  1. tyjacks

    tyjacks Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Memphis, TN.
    Anyone have any experience with comparing these two lines of amps. Trying to find a good match for Demeter HBP-1 and Bergantino HT322.
     
  2. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    Im running a qsc plx 3402 into two 322's and could'nt be happier!!. 1100 watts at 4ohms per side. I had good luck using a 1602 bridged into one 322. Good stuff.
     
  3. TimmyP

    TimmyP

    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have compared the K1 and K2 on a bass rig. The source was a Cirrus 5 through a (I forget) preamp, the cabinet was an Acme LowB2 (killer box!). The K1 sounded much better - cleaner, rounder, deeper. (This did not surprise me, as it's a much better sounding amp for Hi-Fi use than the K2). If it's enough power, it's the much better choice. (The K1 sounds really good bridged too, so if your load is no less than 4 ohms, that's an option. That's what I'm running my PA's top boxes with.) It's not too hard to find a used K1 for $650 or so. Used K2s are plentiful.

    The bassist in question bought a PLX because he was able to get a killer accomodation deal. He's happy with it. I'd love to compare it to the K1.

    About a year ago I spoke to a manufacturer of very high end PA boxes who said that the QSC PL236 was the best sounding amp of the many they had tested. I doubt that test included a K1, as it's too small for any of their loudspeakers (unless used bridged). The PL236 is rather pricey, and nobody needs that much power anyway. (The bands with the smallest bass rigs always have the best bass sound out in the house, cause the rig does not screw up the sound from the PA. The two best bass sounds I have heard were from guys with NO bass rig - one used his vocal wedge and one used in-ears.)
     
  4. tyjacks

    tyjacks Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Memphis, TN.
    Do either of the amps color the tone any? I've read some info about each, both lines appear to be of good quality. Guess I'll have to try each. Is one line geared more towards PA systems versus just being bass oriented?
     
  5. TimmyP

    TimmyP

    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    I have listened to dozens of power amplifiers over the years, and they all have a sound of their own. Only a few of those I've auditioned have had enough juice for bass or PA use. Of those "big ones" that I have listened to under controlled, high power conditions I would rate the quality as follows:

    Hafler 500 (an oldie, and puny by todays standards)

    Crown K1 (not as good, but a lot more robust) (my amp of choice when it has enough power for the job - but then I have not compared it to any PLX)

    Crown K2 (the K1 is quite a bit better)

    Crown CE4000 (very close to the K2)

    Mackie (something) (not as good as the CE4000, and a lot less power - cheaper though)

    All power amps measure about the same (flat response, distortion very low), in other words unlike speaker cabinets they are not "voiced". Why do they sound different? Beats me. The engineers don't know either, otherwise they'd all sound good!
     
  6. inazone

    inazone

    Apr 20, 2003
    Colorado
    Just my thought, but when your comparing high end amps I dont think any of them are voiced and all sound real close to each other, if you can tell at all. But to compare them equelly you have to match gains and set them up right. etc. With that said, in my plug and play world I think crest amps sound best. I thought the difference was big. At the same time I dont think you will ever notice the difference at a gig. The room you play in will have more of a effect on your sound. The way I chose my amp was features, headroom, warranty and size. Good luck and if your in doubt, try them out.
     
  7. Nightbass

    Nightbass

    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I second all that has been said. Properly-designed power amps are not supposed to color your sound, but there are often slightly audible differences between one model and the next. Using source material, loudspeakers, and ears that are capable of resolving the differences, indeed, the K1 sounds better to me than the K2, and they both sound better to me than the PLX.

    Anyway, having owned a PLX-2402 and currently using a Crown K1, it often boils down to price and features. The PLX has Speakons, selectable filters, switch-mode power supply, and a noisy fan. The K1 has a conventional linear power supply, no fan, banana jacks, selectable input sensitivity, and weighs 10-20 lbs. more. The K Series also has a much higher damping factor than the PLX. And to me, the bottom end of the Crown is tighter, fuller and sweeter than the PLX.

    You can't go wrong with either one. The PLX-1602 or K1 would be a good match for a Berg 322. The PLX-2402 or K2 could be "better", but the laws of diminishing returns begin to kick in once you've met the basic power requirements of the cab.

    Nightbass
     
  8. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Not really. They're actually very close.
     
  9. tyjacks

    tyjacks Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Memphis, TN.
    Thanks to everyone for your information. I'm going to look at the Crest line of amps and decide afterwards.
     

  10. I disagree. The K1 and K2 have a Damping Factor: >3,000 from 10 to 400 Hz. The qsc plx series has a Damping Factor Greater than 500.
     
  11. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The QSC PLX damping factor spec is measured using the IHF standard, which extends up to 1 kHz instead of just 400 Hz. The real damping factors are actually very close.
     
  12. ...and both more than adequate enough to make damping factor a moot point in selecting one of them. :D
     
  13. TimmyP

    TimmyP

    Nov 4, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Once you add some speaker cable into the mix, any differences in damping factor become very small. Even if it didn't, the damping factory doesn't tell you anything about how the thing will perform. Take the K1 and K2. Their damping factor specs are the same, and the K2 has a lot more power. Better, right? Nope. The K1 sounds much better in every respect. But, it runs out of steam sooner. Great for bass rigs, monitors, highs, and in some systems maybe mids.

    Even among amps that have the same power specs, often one will run out of poop before the other, depending upon how it handles real-world loads (speakers and long cables, which have inductance and capacitance) as opposed to bench loads (low inductance and short cables). In the hi-fi world, where most of my amp listening comparisons have been, I've seen a dinky 55 wpc amp play louder and cleaner than a hernia-inducing 150wpc. In the PA realm, it's harder to manage comparisons, but it's worth the trouble if you can manage it. If you cannot, read as much real-world comment as you can to help with your decision. From my experience and reading:

    Crest: reliability problems with some earlier models. Some of the new releases may be good competition for Crown and QSC.

    Crown K: K1 is a very good sounding amp (for PA and bass rig), but not a lot of power. (For hi-fi, it's a lot of power and sounds mediocre at best.) K2 is ok. (I use bridged K1s for lows and highs on my 2-way top boxes.)

    Crown CE: 4000 is ok, early 1000 and 2000 were problematic but likely ok now. (I use bridged CE4000s for subs.)

    QSC: RMX are THE value line, but be carefull when lifting! :) PLX are the ticket when size and weight are a concern. PL236 is the choice where quality sound and high power are needed. For monster needs, the PL9 is the ticket (but you'll have to sell your car to afford it). (I'd love to try PL236s in comparison to my bridged K1s.)

    Yorkville: not as easy to find in many areas, but users like them a lot and find that they compare to the "big names".
     
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Mark and Tim:

    Word.
     
  15. Nightbass

    Nightbass

    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Well, I'm glad that's settled - he's going to look at Crest! :)
     
  16. tyjacks

    tyjacks Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Memphis, TN.
    Hey everyone thanks for the help, decided to go with Crown K1. Tried it, and it made my ears BLEED!!! :):cool:
     
  17. I have a K2 and it sounds great. I never tried the K1 because I have an older EA VL210 cab which is inefficient and I wanted the power of the K2 which I bridge and run in mono.

    My old band's drummer who is very experience says I have the best sounding bass rig he's ever heard.
     
  18. i used to own a K2 and loved it. i had never listened to a K1, but the K2 sounded much better to my ears than the MA3600VZ, and a little better than the CE4000.

    it was a heavy beast, though. congratulations on choosing a K1. the K series is still my favorite crown amp.

    i have also used the crest pro 200 series, but not in a bass rig. i found them to be fairly nice, and very powerful and lightweight.

    robb.