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Help choosing Four Channel amp...

Old 10-06-2009, 02:12 AM
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Help choosing Four Channel amp...

I have 6.5" MBQ Reference series components in my front doors, Discus series 6x9's on the rear shelf.
Originally these were powered by a 5 channel Kenwood KAC-959. 40W x 4 @ 4 ohm. I was using it to power a 10" TypeS with 120W, as well. Yeah!
Eventually, I was after better bass. So I bought a Kicker ZX600.1. Which, at 4 ohms was giving my sub 300W, matching the RMS.
A buddy of mine had a Memphis Belle 16-St 1300d. I temporarily switched my Kicker Mono with that Memphis cause he didn't want to install the MB in his new Mustang. That was two years ago.

He's going to want that amp back soon.

So, I'll get my Kicker amp back. It will now run at 2 ohms, powering my new 10" Alpine TypeR.

What I need is an amp to replace my Kenwood. I'm looking for something that does around 100WRMS (+/- 20W)

Here's what I've come up with so far:
Kicker ZX650.4 <<< Link to manual. 120W x 4.

Clarion APX4361 <<< Link to Clarion site. 90W x 4.

Eclipse XA4200 <<< Link to Eclipse site. 100W x 4.

Kenwood Excelon X600F <<< Link to Kenwood site. Now, this site shows ratings for this amp at 100W x 4 AND 70W x 4...?

Excelon XR-4S <<< Link to Kenwood.

What's confusing me is the different Signal-to-Noise Ratio values I'm getting. In the XR-4S manual, it states that the STNR is 105dB, while on Crutchfield it states its 73dB. For the Kicker 605.4; manual states 95dB, Crutchfield state 91dB.

Perhaps Crutchfield does their own testing?

Anyway, the Eclipse and the Kenwood XR-4S are both full-range D-class amps. Are these still regarded as inferior to their AB kin? I'm wondering if this plays a part in their poorer signal-to-noise rating.

The Eclipse and the Clarion were the first two I considered. I've already gotten a little info from MR2NR on the Eclipse. But now I'm not too sure.

I'm hoping Sasha, and a few others can help steer me in the right direction. It'd be great if someone else could have a quick look at the manuals and tell me what you think. Right now I'm kinda leaning towards the Kicker. But what about Kicker's sound quality, will it be as good as the Eclipse?

I plan on replacing my Alpine CDA-9833 at some point too. Looking for USB connectivity. I read some reviews on the Eclipse CD5030, and they weren't the greatest. Might get the Alpine CDA-9886 instead. I won't have to buy a new XM adapter if I stick with Alpine...

Thanks for letting me bore you.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:23 AM
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If I plan on squeezing a fair bit of low-mids out of these four sets of speakers, should I be looking for a shallow 12dB slope or a steep 24dB slope on the HPF?
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:25 AM
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Hey buddy, long time,

I would use a starting point of HPF on 80hz/12db, and LPF 80hz/24db and tweak from there.

Tough call on the amps. Nothing really stands out. All probably have similar performance. Consider the prices, looks, and size. I dont have a fuzzy feeling about the Kenwoods. I like the idea of matching the two amps, so that puts Kicker first. That Clarion is Robert Zeff design and many people would buy it based on Zeff reputation alone, but it is way ugly, not that Kicker is better looking. Eclipse is newer design, may be a little more efficient, but it is not important at this power level, but it looks pretty sleek, and it seems to have a slightly better resume. I would not worry about class AB vs fullrange D.

Cant say much else on this...
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:05 AM
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I like the look of the Clarion the most. Aesthetics are such a subjective thing, though.
The Kicker's are ugly. But having them match wouldn't be so bad. Does it matter to me, not at all.

So far, the Kicker is the only amp with the 12dB slope.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:19 AM
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Out of the above listed I'd go betweent he CLarion and Eclipse. But as stated above..there's no standouts in your options
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:30 AM
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I realize these aren't mind blowing amplifiers.
I am very happy with the sound I'm getting from the borrowed Memphis amp. I figure if I have to spend the money, I should get something that sounds as good as possible.

Feel free to throw in some alternatives that will stay under the $500 price range.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:46 AM
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500$ !?!?! I personally love the Eclipse you have on your list. You could also look at possibly JL or Boston Acoustics at that price too.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:19 AM
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I have sold quite a few of the Eclipse and it's small size, low heat signature, low current draw (due to class D) has made it a clear favorite. As far as reviews go, there will always be good and bad reviews of every cd player, it is a personal preference. Short list Kenwood if the Eclipse cd player does not fit the bill due to what someone else has written.
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Old 10-06-2009, 02:59 PM
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Just pay your buddy for the Belle.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:37 PM
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I figure in order to get a decent 4 channel amp with the output I'm after, I'm looking at $400-$500. And I want one with a 12dB on the high-pass filter. That leaves me with the Kicker.
I know the name doesn't scream quality sound production - but I'm sure I've read a few times here, that having plenty of power for your speakers is a very necessary aspect of your system.
Going from 80W to 120W is a 50% increase. I'm hoping by having a shallow slope, and that much power, I'll be able to optimize the low-mid production of my speakers.
Perhaps someone can shed some light on a factor I'm not considering.

Short list Kenwood if the Eclipse cd player does not fit the bill due to what someone else has written.
MR2NR, there are more reasons than a few mediocre reviews for why I'm not sold on the CD5030. Firstly, I have zero experience with the brand. Switching to the Eclipse means an extra expense to keep my XM control at the head-unit. I own an Alpine, which has worked flawlessly for 7 years. Sticking with Alpine means no extra cost for an adapter. The only reason I'm looking for a new deck is so I can use a USB thumbdrive. So I'm not sure switching brands is necessary for just that one change.
I know you've recommended Eclispe. I appreciate your experience and expertise. Its the only reason why I considered it at all. I don't mean to offend you by not taking your advice.
There's just so much to digest.
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