I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when trying out the XLS1502 from Crown Audio but with an rrp of $399 I was very pleasantly surprised!
Crown Audio released their new XLS DriveCore 2 Series in August 2015 bringing out four new models the XLS 2502 (775W), XLS 2002 (650W), XLS 1502 (525W) and the XLS 1002 (350W). They all incorporate Crown’s Proprietary DriveCore™ Class D amplifier design, which is the size of a postage stamp yet combines the amplifier driver stage into the power output stage along with additional audio-signal functions to provide remarkably efficient, cool-running operation that conforms to HARMAN International’s GreenEdge™ environmental initiative.
Crown XLS DriveCore 2 amplifiers can power 8- 4- or 2-ohm loads and can be bridged for 8- or 4-ohm mono operation. Additional features include Peakx™ limiters that deliver maximum output while protecting the speakers; balanced XLR, 1/4-inch and RCA inputs; touchproof binding post and Speakon® outputs and more. All Crown XLS DriveCore 2 amps are covered by a three-year, no-fault fully transferrable warranty.
Crown XLS DriveCore 2 amplifiers now offer a bandpass filter on each channel in addition to the previous low and high pass filters, enabling more precise DSP crossover tuning, loudspeaker matching and system EQ capability. All models allow the front-panel LED indicators (except the clip and thermal indicators) to be turned off if desired, reducing distraction in dark venues. All the amplifiers have selectable input sensitivity of either 1.4 Vrms or .775 Vrms, facilitating their use in a wider variety of applications and enabling the amplifiers to be driven at full power.
XLS DriveCore 2 amplifiers now offer a sleep mode trigger function, to turn the amp on and off from a distance. The amplifiers also feature a display sleep mode that turns the display lighting off after a specified time. All models provide a security setting that disables the front-panel menu buttons; the menu is locked and unlocked by entering a simple button combination. In addition, a system reset function enables all factory settings to be restored.
The front panel is very sleek and simplistic and the LCD provides good interaction allowing you to easily navigate around the systems and it’s just 2U rack spaces high which is the same for each model. I ran this through my Denon Pre Amp and found the Bass range to be excellent handling Alice in Chains and Metallica very nicely, mid range was good too but I found the upper lacking at points. For the price of this I am very impressed and it certainly packs a punch, it took about 200 hours to really settle in for me and reach its peak sound. I keep going back to the price as I can’t believe how cheap it is, I have tested amps four times the price that haven’t been as good - hope to try out more Crown Audio equipment soon! RRP $399
4 out of 5
Very Good Price
Great Bass and Mid Range
Three Year Warranty
Upper Range Not Fantastic