Jump to content


XLS DriveCore for home audio applications?


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 24 February 2012 - 04:37 PM

Is something like XLS 1500 DriveCore suitable for regular home audio duty?  I've got a stereo receiver (HK 3490) and 4 speakers in the basement (Jamo C603 and Polk Audio M40).  That receiver is struggling a little with all 4 speakers at good volume.  I was thinking of adding an XLS 1500 amp to drive two of these speakers.  The XLS appears to have abundance of power at 8 Ohm giving me lots of headroom, but I'm not sure what it's like from sound quality perspective.  Anyone know how the sound quality would compare to a traditional amp but with half the power, such as AudioSource AMP310?

My only experience with Class D amps in home audio is with a Panasonic A/V receiver that I've had since about 2007.  This one's actually sounding pretty good.

Thanks!

#2 dakos

dakos

    Admin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:29 PM

QUOTE(Pete7874 @ Feb 24 2012, 04:37 PM) View Post
Is something like XLS 1500 DriveCore suitable for regular home audio duty?  I've got a stereo receiver (HK 3490) and 4 speakers in the basement (Jamo C603 and Polk Audio M40).  That receiver is struggling a little with all 4 speakers at good volume.  I was thinking of adding an XLS 1500 amp to drive two of these speakers.  The XLS appears to have abundance of power at 8 Ohm giving me lots of headroom, but I'm not sure what it's like from sound quality perspective.  Anyone know how the sound quality would compare to a traditional amp but with half the power, such as AudioSource AMP310?

My only experience with Class D amps in home audio is with a Panasonic A/V receiver that I've had since about 2007.  This one's actually sounding pretty good.

Thanks!

How will you be feeding the sound to the XLS? do you have a pro audio preamp\mixer?

Generally speaking the sound quality of pro audio is great and if I'm reading between the lines, you need allot of volume and that's where pro audio really excel.

#3 Deromax

Deromax

    Power User

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 99 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:03 PM

I have tested the XLS 1500 in my home theater and I see no problem with them in a home system.  Great sound and great power.  Class D runs cool.  In use, the fan will toggle between extremely slow and stopped, and it is actually less noisy than my Blu-ray player, so no issue here.  However, I think the LCD display throws too much light for a light-controlled room and if I were to use one, I'd block out the display, once set.

These days, any amps with less than 0.5% distorsion and more than 100 dB of signal to noise ratio is perfectly OK in a home system, IMHO.

#4 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

QUOTE(dakos @ Feb 25 2012, 02:29 PM) View Post
How will you be feeding the sound to the XLS? do you have a pro audio preamp\mixer?

The feed will come directly from my stereo receiver's pre-outs (HK 3490).  I was doing some measuring the other day and at full volume, it outputs 8.5V.  Figure about 4V realistically, before distortion starts kicking in.  I was hoping this would be enough to feed the XLS and still get reasonable volume.


#5 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:43 PM

QUOTE(Deromax @ Feb 25 2012, 03:03 PM) View Post
I have tested the XLS 1500 in my home theater and I see no problem with them in a home system.  Great sound and great power.  Class D runs cool.  In use, the fan will toggle between extremely slow and stopped, and it is actually less noisy than my Blu-ray player, so no issue here.  However, I think the LCD display throws too much light for a light-controlled room and if I were to use one, I'd block out the display, once set.

These days, any amps with less than 0.5% distorsion and more than 100 dB of signal to noise ratio is perfectly OK in a home system, IMHO.

Thanks!  What pre-amp/receiver were you using to feed the XLS?

As far as the bright display, it really will not be an issue in this particular setup.  But I remember in my previous setup I used to have a Behringer Feedback Destroyer with very bright orange display.  I slapped on a couple of layers of dark window tint on it and that tamed it nicely. smile.gif



#6 dakos

dakos

    Admin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE(Pete7874 @ Feb 25 2012, 04:40 PM) View Post
The feed will come directly from my stereo receiver's pre-outs (HK 3490).  I was doing some measuring the other day and at full volume, it outputs 8.5V.  Figure about 4V realistically, before distortion starts kicking in.  I was hoping this would be enough to feed the XLS and still get reasonable volume.

Well, I just checked the manual for that unit and it says the pre amp output is only 1V and that's not enough for full power... better get a pro audio pre amp or mixer to drive the amp.

#7 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 04:55 PM

QUOTE(dakos @ Feb 25 2012, 03:48 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Pete7874 @ Feb 25 2012, 04:40 PM) View Post
The feed will come directly from my stereo receiver's pre-outs (HK 3490).  I was doing some measuring the other day and at full volume, it outputs 8.5V.  Figure about 4V realistically, before distortion starts kicking in.  I was hoping this would be enough to feed the XLS and still get reasonable volume.

Well, I just checked the manual for that unit and it says the pre amp output is only 1V and that's not enough for full power... better get a pro audio pre amp or mixer to drive the amp.

After reading this and doing my own measurements, I'm not too worried.  I won't really require anywhere close to this amp's full power anyway.  The speakers that I have may not be able to handle it either.

By the way, I'm pretty sure that 1V output level that you found is for video pass-through signal.  HK doesn't actually provide this value for the audio pre-outs, or at least I have not been able to find it.


#8 dakos

dakos

    Admin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 765 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:14 PM

Did you measure the voltage with a True RMS voltmeter? otherwise your mesurments could be way off.

You are correct about the second part about you're speakers being able to handle the full power of this amp.

If you are sure everything is good to go then just update us on how everything plays

Good luck

#9 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 05:29 PM

QUOTE(dakos @ Feb 25 2012, 04:14 PM) View Post
Did you measure the voltage with a True RMS voltmeter? otherwise your mesurments could be way off.

No, it was just a regular multimeter.  Worst case scenario, I'll have to pick up one of these balanced/unbalanced converters to boost the signal.

Thanks!


#10 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 25 February 2012 - 06:24 PM

One other question though:  After I send the signal from HK to the XLS, I will need to bring that signal back to the HK to close the loop and allow the HK to power some speakers, too.   I was thinking of doing this by utilizing the unused 1/4" connectors on the back of the XLS and using a 1/4"-to-RCA cable to bring the signal back to the HK.  This will only work if the XLS just passes the signal "as is".  But if it amplifies that signal to pro-audio levels before sending it out the 1/4" jacks, then this signal will be too strong for my HK.

Alas, as far as I know, these 1/4" connectors on the back of XLS are just pass through.  There is no amplification going on there.  Am I right?

#11 Deromax

Deromax

    Power User

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 99 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:04 PM

Hello.  My pre/pro in an Outlaw Audio 990.  It does have XLR pre outs, but I was able to use the RCA outs without problem to feed the XLS amp.  This preamp will output 9 volts (+22dBu) per specs sheet.

The typical 1 volts specs may be the nominal output, the level at which the manufacturer did its test.  Frankly, in this day and age, I cannot imagine a pre-amp with an output not going higher than this dysmal output level.  I mean, it's not running of a set of AA batteries!  Even a CD player will output 2 volts!

All three inputs on the XLS are in parallel, no alteration of the signal.  However, I wonder why you want to bring back the signal to its source.  If you connect the XLS to some pre-out on your receiver, the internal amp in your receiver should continue to get the same signal at the same time, internally.

#12 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 04:10 PM

QUOTE(Deromax @ Feb 26 2012, 12:04 PM) View Post
However, I wonder why you want to bring back the signal to its source.  If you connect the XLS to some pre-out on your receiver, the internal amp in your receiver should continue to get the same signal at the same time, internally.

Yeah, this HK receiver is a bit different.  In normal operation (no external amp connected), its pre-out and main-in connections are linked together with two jumpers (see pic).  In order to be able to connect an external amp, I have to take the jumpers out.  When you take the jumpers out, the HK's own internal amp will not be receiving any signal anymore unless you close the loop again and bring the signal back to its main-in connections.



#13 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:24 PM

QUOTE(Pete7874 @ Feb 26 2012, 03:10 PM) View Post
When you take the jumpers out, the HK's own internal amp will not be receiving any signal anymore unless you close the loop again and bring the signal back to its main-in connections.

On a second thought, I could just forget about the HK's internal amp and power both sets of speakers with the XLS I guess.

#14 Deromax

Deromax

    Power User

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 99 posts

Posted 26 February 2012 - 10:57 PM

QUOTE(Pete7874 @ Feb 26 2012, 10:24 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Pete7874 @ Feb 26 2012, 03:10 PM) View Post
When you take the jumpers out, the HK's own internal amp will not be receiving any signal anymore unless you close the loop again and bring the signal back to its main-in connections.

On a second thought, I could just forget about the HK's internal amp and power both sets of speakers with the XLS I guess.


I see.

You can power up to 4 pairs of speakers (8 ohms each) with the XLS.

#15 Pete7874

Pete7874
  • Members
  • 12 posts

Posted 27 February 2012 - 10:14 PM

Is it a big "no no" to connect in parallel two speakers that are of different nominal impedance?  One is 8 ohm while the other is 6 ohm?