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Crown XTI Amp Problems?

Rons

I play in a fairly busy classic rock band and two years ago we purchased 2 XTI 2000 amps and JBL mains and sub for live sound.
About a year after purchasing both amps intermittently had channel 1 cut out or simply not work during set up and then magically start working. It represented a real diagnostic nightmare and it took a while before we were sure that both amps had a problem! Subsequently the amps were returned for maintenance and were told that the controller board flat cables were defective and they were replaced. Service was great and both worked when they were returned.
Almost one year later to the day we started to experience a similar channel one failure on one amp. I called for service and because of our tight schedule they sent me another controller board which I replaced (very simple). Great service once again! It worked fine for a little while (30 days) and now channel 1 is not working reliably again.
In addition the other amp (we use for monitors only) has a different diagnostic but channel one is not working (intermittently). I’ve spent at least 8-10 hours determining that it is the amps. Both amps will be sent in for service tomorrow.
Crown has great service but my question is - are they reliable? These kind of maintenance issues are a real pain! If it happens to us again these amps will up for sale no matter how good their service department is!!! Is anyone else having problems out there???
June 29, 2008 @01:39pm
JeffBarnett

This is more question than it is review, really. So I think you'll have better luck if I move this to the Front Of House forum.
I have had a few customers with issues on XTI series amps, particularly early on, but Crown has always been good about resolving things when they come up. According to the last update I heard from Crown, they had made some changes under the hood to the XTI line recently which, according to them, should resolve the problems.
I don't have any specific details about what the issues were, or what they did to resolve them. But the official word from Crown is that it's fixed.
June 30, 2008 @03:21pm
Great Eastern

Our Audio design/hire company in the UK have had a Crown XTi 4000 since Dec 2007. Whilst we normally use QSC, MC2 (squared) and Lab Grubben we were persuaded by a trade show guy to try the Crown XTi as we were looking for alternate cost effective light weight solutions. It has had several problems to do with the ribbon cabling over the last year but just this weekend on a Church hire it developed a problem that has been highlighted elsewhere... it is switched on, goes through the boot up process and then switches itself off, even leaving for awhile did not change the outcome... luckily we had a spare RAIPEC amp that was on the van.
Upon calling the people that sold it to us the engineer knew of this problem and is sending out a replacement though we have to pay carriage which as it is a known problem seems to be asking the poor customer to pay for something that is not their fault.
My thoughts are that I have not been able to get a definitive response from the UK seller nor the distributor (as of March 17 2009 12.45 pm UK time) on this and if the newer versions have rectified this as it appears to be a time based fault as I know of other users in my area that have had their XTi's exhibit the same problem after about a year of use. Certainly with the large amount of surface mount construction with switch mode devices such as the XTi that are taken on the road there will be problems unless the design is top notch, problems that may not readily manifest on a static installation... but then one uses tradition amps where weight is not a factor...
Certainly the service (apart from paying for the return shipping) is useful but I have to say that QSC, MC2 and Lab Gruppen were as good if not better within this aspect, certainly never had to pay for a shipping return...
I just would want assurances that it is not still an on going problem and that steps have been taken to meet this issue with success.
It would be interesting to know from what serial numbers this was dealt with if it has been.
March 17, 2009 @12:50pm
heather

I play in a fairly busy classic rock band and two years ago we purchased 2 XTI 2000 amps and JBL mains and sub for live sound.
About a year after purchasing both amps intermittently had channel 1 cut out or simply not work during set up and then magically start working. It represented a real diagnostic nightmare and it took a while before we were sure that both amps had a problem! Subsequently the amps were returned for maintenance and were told that the controller board flat cables were defective and they were replaced. Service was great and both worked when they were returned.
Almost one year later to the day we started to experience a similar channel one failure on one amp. I called for service and because of our tight schedule they sent me another controller board which I replaced (very simple). Great service once again! It worked fine for a little while (30 days) and now channel 1 is not working reliably again.
In addition the other amp (we use for monitors only) has a different diagnostic but channel one is not working (intermittently). I’ve spent at least 8-10 hours determining that it is the amps. Both amps will be sent in for service tomorrow.
Crown has great service but my question is - are they reliable? These kind of maintenance issues are a real pain! If it happens to us again these amps will up for sale no matter how good their service department is!!! Is anyone else having problems out there???
We had the same problem! We bought a super expensive boss system and our local supplier/dealer told us to go with a crown xti 2000. The first crown xti 2000 cut out one of our boss speakers during a wedding and then came back on. We immediately took it back to our dealer and the crown rep was there and said it was bad. Then they gave us another one. Through-out the year of 2008 we dealt with the same things happening with the replacement, one speaker coming on and off. At times we were actually playing the music (DJ Company) and playing around with the channels, while the music was on! One time the system completely went out and I had to run back to our office for a back up. It was sooooooo bad. I spent over $4000 for a sound system and because of this crown xti 2000 it took it completely down. The worst is that we paid over 600.00 for this. I am so happy I found this post because I just realized it's not bose, it's not the settings on the crown, it's the actual crown product. I am calling boss tomorrow and getting a recommendation of a product that has been successful with this sound system. I'm done with this. Thanks Ron for posting your problems with this crown product.
April 7, 2009 @10:33pm
sabianq

HI!
Crown seems to have two tiers of amplifiers like Mackie has two tiers of mixers (mackie and tapco) but Crown keeps their name on both.
The Macro-tech, Micro-tech and Com-Tech are the primere amplifiers from Crown. (the Micro-tech and Com-tech are no longer in production.)
They are used in systems that need the best reliability and the most power.
I have also worked with the CDi series amplifiers and was impredd by the fuctionality of the amplifier. it uses 24 bit digital converters for adding onboard digital compression, delay and pass filters.
while the amplifiers sound great, i do not know about the reliblity factor of them.
The bottom tier of the Crown family does not IMO seem to be of the same quality as the higher end models, almost as a different company built them altogether.
on the otherhand, QSC bottom end amplifiers still have the same QSC quality as their top end amplifiers.
Ther RMX series and the PL series by QSC share the same quality build.
so it is my professional opinion that if a person is looking for high quality inexpesive amplifiers, QSC would be that way to go as their bottom end amplifiers are better than crowns bottom end amplifiers.
April 8, 2009 @12:36pm
jeffsw6

I don't agree with you, sabianq. The Crown XTi series is intended for installed applications or light touring duty (mobile DJ) and while they aren't the powerful workhorse Macro-Techs, they are excellent amps. I have read that Crown made some design changes to address some early quality problems with the XTi. I suspect heather got burned by those.
When doing a wedding, in my opinion, you should always try to have backups on-site for equipment you can't live without, whether they are in the trailer or actually sitting in your rack ready to be used just in case. And don't forget to test the spares regularly, too. I do weddings with two XTi 2000 amps and have a third one in my amp rack just in case.
As far as the QSC comparison goes, I agree that the PowerLight is a better power amp than XTi; but XTi is more than just an amp, too. The DSP features include a ton of remote management features, cross-over, EQ, delay, output limiter, etc. If you don't need all that, you should probably be buying the XLS, which I believe is also a good amp and comparable to the QSC RMX.
Also, I am a little surprised you made no mention of the QSC GX3/GX5. These are common amps for DJs, but for live sound their uses are limited by output power, lack of a bridge mode, and operation limited to 4 - 8 ohms / channel.
Everyone has an opinion based on their own experience, I suppose. I recently heard someone describing the Behringer amps as the most reliable they had used. *shrug*
April 8, 2009 @02:37pm
Harmony

I have been using XTi2000 and I have been losing volume kind of hiccups you can say. It goes smooth for couple hours but again it starts the same thing. Any suggestions?
April 9, 2009 @06:40pm
GZsound

I don't agree with you, sabianq. The Crown XTi series is intended for installed applications or light touring duty (mobile DJ) and while they aren't the powerful workhorse Macro-Techs, they are excellent amps. I have read that Crown made some design changes to address some early quality problems with the XTi. I suspect heather got burned by those.
When doing a wedding, in my opinion, you should always try to have backups on-site for equipment you can't live without, whether they are in the trailer or actually sitting in your rack ready to be used just in case. And don't forget to test the spares regularly, too. I do weddings with two XTi 2000 amps and have a third one in my amp rack just in case.
As far as the QSC comparison goes, I agree that the PowerLight is a better power amp than XTi; but XTi is more than just an amp, too. The DSP features include a ton of remote management features, cross-over, EQ, delay, output limiter, etc. If you don't need all that, you should probably be buying the XLS, which I believe is also a good amp and comparable to the QSC RMX.
Also, I am a little surprised you made no mention of the QSC GX3/GX5. These are common amps for DJs, but for live sound their uses are limited by output power, lack of a bridge mode, and operation limited to 4 - 8 ohms / channel.
Everyone has an opinion based on their own experience, I suppose. I recently heard someone describing the Behringer amps as the most reliable they had used. *shrug*

That was an interesting statement.
I have a friend that is using three QSC GX5 amps for live sound reinforcement and finds them to be great amps with tons of power..so I am a little surprised at your "limited by output power" comment.
The GX series have more output power for the money than any major brand amplifier. And I have never found 4 and 8 ohm load capability to be a limiting factor either...
April 10, 2009 @05:18am
jeffsw6

That was an interesting statement. The GX series have more output power for the money than any major brand amplifier. And I have never found 4 and 8 ohm load capability to be a limiting factor either...

This is true in stereo mode. As I recall, the GX3/GX5 either doesn't have a bridge mode at all, or doesn't provide a significant power advantage when doing so.
April 10, 2009 @04:02pm
KMullins

Not to revive an old thread, but . . .
I currently own 4 - XTI 4000's and 2 - XTI 1000's. They are about 2 years old. We use them for light touring (about 15 shows per year).
About 1 year into service one side of a 4000 went out, sent back to crown and they replaced it very quickly, great service. About 3 weeks ago, one side of a 1000 went out. Both instances gave no warning, just didn't work. I called crown again to see if this was a documented problem or if something I should know about was happening. I was told that these amps have less than a 2% failure rate, although I've had 2 out of 6 fail. I've got less than a year left on the warranty, so I asked about an extended warranty. They do offer them at approx. $140 per amp. (6 amps = $840, damn). So, for me personally I think I'm going to dump the amps in a year and look at some different options. Any one want to offer suggestions?
January 9, 2010 @04:04am
sabianq

hi there!
i have always had fantastic luck with the QSC PL (powerlight) series amplifiers.
they are super reliable and are under-spec'd
the PLX and RMX are their lower end professional amplifiers and have a great service history.
January 9, 2010 @04:59am
rfuller

I have been installing Crown amps since 1993. I have worked with Crowns in existing systems since 1988. I have seen Crowns subjected to ridiculous treatment. They always came back, usually by just turning them off, removing the offending condition, and then turning them back on. They stopped working only from user error, and then only until the offending/destroyed load was disconnected. I worked for a theme park in NE Ohio that used only MA's and MT's in large venue live show areas, and other Crowns in special applications(such as under water transducers and wide area paging). These amps worked everyday, all day long, even when air conditioners in their booths failed. In that time, only one MA2400 needed service, and this was due to the fact that it was the FIRST(oldest) MA in the park, and had been in and out of service in so many different areas that it had sustained handling damage up to and including broken handles, broken binding posts, dents and dings, and a filter that had never been cleaned once in over a decade of use(at least I guess that long...when my tenure began I was shocked. This amp was actually greasy to the touch! Fog juice over the years?) The poor thing looked and smelled like an ashtray from a strip bar(I know about this because I have serviced strip bar audio systems and found similar conditions. I have been to numerous venues that gave up on the foam strips altogether, and just chucked 'em. Had to pull off the top and vacuum...). And it powered up and functioned normally. It was sent in for a "tune up", before it was used to drive, in parallel mono at a < 2 Ohm load of two double 15 subs in an outdoor application, for an entire summer. Which it did, even when the sub cabinets flooded and it was driving a swamp(a short!). It did it. And no matter how awful it was treated, it came back for more. Always.
My point: this amplifier worked before I showed up, and continued to work in it's final application of driving half the mids (six JBL 2206s) in an outdoor stadium(5000+). I left nine years later and this amp was still doing it's thing.
This kind of testimony wasn't unusual for Crown ; it was the norm.
I have never heard of this kind of thing happening before with Crowns.
SO. What has changed?
(H)mm...
August 11, 2010 @04:26am
sTEEVEE

China is where the new XTI appear to be made, at least some of them. I suspect that the Chinese QC is simply just not up to your typical Crown standards.
The scary thing is that they will master QC. Then, we're all dead.
September 1, 2010 @05:09pm
gds@orlando

I just had the same problem last Sunday in church! Our XTi-4000, which is connected to a Mackie soundboard and JBL Pro 4138 MRX500 series subs/speakers, stopped working within 5 minutes after power on. The unit was purchased in July 2010 and has only been in operation for 5 months. We were plying music at very low volume and it simply died. We immediately knew it was the XTi-4000 because its nice blue LED display went dark. We unplugged it and then plugged it into a different outlet but it would not power on -- Dead! Upon calling Mackie they told me I have the option to send it back to them for warranty repair or I could take it to their local authorized service vendor instead. I chose the latter yesterday afternoon and am waiting for the verdict. I was planning to buy a second amp (XTi-2000) as a backup not now I am not sure about the Crown amps. I have been told that Crown amps are very reliable but does anyone have suggestions on a comparably priced, spec'ed, more dependable amp (one that will not stop working after just 5 months of use less than 4 - 5 hours per week)?
December 28, 2010 @01:06pm
sabianq

QSC all the way..
the RMX series is their base professional unit..
the PLX series is their middle of the road
and the powerlight or PL is their signature line...
the RMS blows the doors off crowns budget in performance and durability with the PLX and the PL series amps just being true professional "made to be abused" work horses..
check them out.
http://www.qscaudio.com/products/products.htm
i use a lot of old crown amps at work and they always seem to fail in weird ways..
did you check the onboard fuse on your amp BTW? sometimes there is a "soldered in" 120v couple amp fuse near the power inverter on the main board..they can blow..
but it sounds like it is under warranty so you should have them fix it.. then you can sell it and buy QSC..
cheers and happy new year! 2011 already!
January 1, 2011 @07:14am