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Crown XLS1500 vs. Carvin DCM1540L

Danny W.

Experienced
I bought a Crown XLS1500 for an application that didn't pan out. It's still within the return period, but before sending it back I tried it in my home Axe-Fx II system, where it's driving a pair of four-ohm extended-range cabinets. It actually works well doing this, but I've also considered trying a Carvin DCM1540L. I was going to test-drive one, but Carvin's return policy is only ten days and I would have to eat shipping costs both ways if I returned it.

Before I do that, I was wondering if anyone has compared the two using an Axe II and has any comments about them. I'm especially wondering about fan noise, since it's often on when I'm not playing loudly. The Crown fan either hasn't been running since I started using it or it's too quiet to hear at low speeds.

Aside from the aesthetics of it, the Crown has all the features and power I need, so I'm mostly interested if anyone could hear much difference between the two.

Danny W.
 

axel

Power User
I was not impressed with the Crown XLS1500 and returned it (tried one a couple of years ago). I prefer the DCM1540L.
 

tgorycki

Inspired
For what it's worth, the Crown XLS series is class D while the Carvin DCM1540L is class A/B (which Cliff has previously stated is preferable over class D).
 

Trainwreck1446

Experienced
As an update... I just got back from the studio where I was able to crank the DCM1540L through my new Port City 4x12 Wave OS, so I could adjust all my presets for it. And let me tell you... It sounds amazing. I really cranked it, and it was so easy to get great tones at hellishly loud volumes. And when I wasn't playing... It was whisper quiet.
 

t0aj15

Power User
As an update... I just got back from the studio where I was able to crank the DCM1540L through my new Port City 4x12 Wave OS, so I could adjust all my presets for it. And let me tell you... It sounds amazing. I really cranked it, and it was so easy to get great tones at hellishly loud volumes. And when I wasn't playing... It was whisper quiet.
I told you so... I told you so! 8)
 

Danny W.

Experienced
Unfortunately, I think that if you think the fan on the DCM1540L is quiet, it's time to see an audiologist. I'm not kidding--I can clearly hear the fan from fifteen feet away in my guitar room. I'm only about a foot away from it when I'm playing and it actually drowns out quieter passages even when the unit is first turned on. I'd hate to hear it when the fans rev up. It's certainly louder than the original fan on my Axe-II, which had to be replaced.

I'm going to call Carvin on Monday and see what they think, but as it stands, it's unusable for me.

Danny W.
 

axel

Power User
Unfortunately, I think that if you think the fan on the DCM1540L is quiet, it's time to see an audiologist. I'm not kidding--I can clearly hear the fan from fifteen feet away in my guitar room. I'm only about a foot away from it when I'm playing and it actually drowns out quieter passages even when the unit is first turned on. I'd hate to hear it when the fans rev up. It's certainly louder than the original fan on my Axe-II, which had to be replaced.

I'm going to call Carvin on Monday and see what they think, but as it stands, it's unusable for me.

Danny W.
Hmm, mine is not that loud. I can hear it when sitting next to it, but it's not as loud as the Axe Fx. Everyone has a different perception of what's "quiet".
 

t0aj15

Power User
Unfortunately, I think that if you think the fan on the DCM1540L is quiet, it's time to see an audiologist. I'm not kidding--I can clearly hear the fan from fifteen feet away in my guitar room. I'm only about a foot away from it when I'm playing and it actually drowns out quieter passages even when the unit is first turned on. I'd hate to hear it when the fans rev up. It's certainly louder than the original fan on my Axe-II, which had to be replaced. I'm going to call Carvin on Monday and see what they think, but as it stands, it's unusable for me. Danny W.
No audiologist needed, I've got two DCM-1540L's and both are dead quiet.
 

Trainwreck1446

Experienced
Back when people were ranting about Axe FX II fan noise, I wasn't getting that either... I can post a video of them both running if you want, but yeah. It's damn near impossible to hear it. You may have something lodged in there... Might be dirty idk
 

ari

Inspired
I would actually love this poweramp to work for the Axe II, because I need a light power amp for ceremonies for my PA system as well now, or for extra monitor duties, and If i can use the DCM 1540L for both the AXE and other monitors or PA, i'd be thrilled.....I would gig with a 1x12 cab with an EV speaker...
 

Danny W.

Experienced
I called Carvin and had three different sales persons told me that the fan noise I'm hearing is normal and to be expected. One of them suggested the DCM200L, which would be of more interest to me if it had speakon connectors and twice the power and another told me that for studio use he recommends putting the amps in a closed cabinet, closet or even another room. In addition I spoke with a service tech who told me that he fans need to run even at idle and that if they are disconnected the unit will soon shut down. The reason I spoke with three sale people is that while waiting in line for the tech I kept getting re-routed to sales. It took thirty minutes to get through to the tech and ten minutes after him to get back to sales for an return number.

I put up with the fan noise in the Axe II because it is a unique product and because I knew that a number of people had reported success replacing the fans with quieter models--in fact, I finally wound up with a quieter fan in mine, although it's still somewhat audible. If I had a compelling reason to keep the Carvin I might investigate finding quieter fans for it, but since it's just one amp of many and has only a ten-day return window the DCM1540L is heading back for a refund; it's just not something I want to deal with right now.

As for my suggestion about the audiologist, please understand I didn't mean this as an insult. I see mine on a regular basis and always wear custom-molded ear plugs when I rehearse or gig. It's certainly possible that you have fans that are much less loud than mine, but when the sales guys tell you that that amount of noise is normal, you have to wonder why you're not hearing it.

Danny W.
 
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