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Massive Audio Nano Bit BX4 review

Old 11-26-2012, 09:08 PM
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Massive Audio Nano Bit BX4 review

Let's try this again!

Well, I haven't reviewed anything in a while. One of the things I have reviewed the most for those who have kept track (yeah no one has) is definitely small foot print 4 channels. This time around It's the smallest I have had the pleasure to handle yet.

Let’s get to it.

About the Nano bits. These are no longer made at the same build house that massive has used before (SoundMagus) and these particular models are said to be massive exclusives. These are not a replacement for the similarly named nano's that are more traditional class AB, they are a whole new line that is smaller still and more efficient because it is full range class D.

The difference with the nano bits vs other class D's as you will see is how small they are. These are tiny. Really tiny. Smaller still than the much talked about class GH arc mini clones that have made the rounds these past few years. When I saw these I had to give them a try being the small foot print amp hoarder that I am.

The dimensions are as follow:

Height
1.6"

Width
5.0"

Length
8.3"


Power ratings are

2 Ohm RMS
240W x 4

4 Ohm RMS
120W x 4

4 Ohm Bridged
480W x 2

It's safe to say that the 2ohm and bridged ratings can be seen as "peak" power. Massive rates their amps using a speaker instead of the more traditional resistor. This is allowed within the CEA rating system. Nothing wrong with it as long as we know what we are getting. My guestimate on actual total output should be around 400 to 500 watts RMS. That's certainly nothing to sneeze at especially when looking at its size. I am trying to arrange a benching of it but no guarantees. Check back often

Moving on

Unboxing

First off the usual massive audio box that opens like a treasure chest. The amp is snug and held well in place by Styrofoam ends just like the massive nano's.





Once opened we can see the contents where we get everything that one would expect plus a few goodies

4 x mountings screws
4 xadhesive mounting pads
1 x40 amp replacement fuse
2 xhexa bits
2 x high level input connector wires



First thoughts is that it looks much better in person (as is often the case) than in the pictures form the massive web site. The finish isn't identical to the previous nano's but similar brushed aluminium look. Here we see a traditional rectangle with smooth surfaces as is the usual style from massive. It's definitely a safe look that doesn't go out of style and is probably the best in terms of packaging to keep it as small as possible. Good news for us small foot print lovers


Below we see the input area; everything is well laid out and close together since it is so small. Selectable xovers that go from 55 to 275. It is certainly a big step up over the fixed one I had on the sony XM4S however I would like to see them ideally be able to go up to tweeter levels (4 or 5K) for ultimate flexibility. Minor gripe that most people wouldn't care about anyways. My other complaint is that gone are the "detents" that were on the nano's for xover and gain, it's a small thing that I haven't come accross often but I certainly enjoyed. No biggy though as playing with those ***** is certainly not a daily occurrence.... more of a set it and forget it.



Next up power and wire inputs. We can't see it so well from the pic but that is a 40amp fuse giving an idea of what kind of output we can see from it. Definitely like the angled terminals.




Now let’s have a look at just how small it is, I used what I had on hand but for many it could help give a good idea how small it really is.

Here it is next to the Nx5 from massive



It’s very thin, I could see myself hiding this pretty much anywhere... or hiding many of them in various locations throughout the vehicle. As someone who like installing all his own stuff and hiding them… I also usually use multiple amplifiers for complex multichannel systems; I love the flexibility these amps offer. I am sure you might be like me thinking about where you could hide them. Forget about “under the seat”, you could fit multiple of these under the seat… but now you can think about hiding them behind panels, in useless openings.... they are so light, maybe even inside door panels. The mind goes on and on.



Here it is next to a JBL MSA amp. Foot print is similar but...



The JBL is almost twice as thick and a lot heavier.



edit
I was requested to remove the gut pics since they are so new. Will post them back after they have been out for a little while.


Check back for my thoughts on its performance once I have put it through its paces.


product page
Massive Audio BX4 - 4 Channel Digital » Massive Audio

PDF
http://www.massiveaudio.com/wp-conte...ual-120714.pdf
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:10 PM
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I have now been using the nano bit bx4 4 channel full range amplifier for about a week now and I have to say that I like everything about it.

Install:

There is something to be said about ease of installation. Not that installing an amplifier is hard but it is so tiny that it will fit anywhere. It takes up just a tad more space than a pair of regular sized crossovers. The other interesting aspect is its weight. It’s not just small, it’s the lightest amp I have used and this makes it super easy to fit anywhere… one might pull off just using double sided tape to mount it vertical to conceal it somewhere that no other amplifier could ever go. No doubt a great amplifier for stealthy installs and tight spaces.
It has the usual input outputs including high level speaker inputs with automatic turn on. It works wonderfully. It is strange seeing the amp turn on without RCA’s and a remote wire. There is a button to press when using this option as the remote input becomes an output for other devices. Great feature. It would have been even better if there was an rca output to also pass the signal along to other amplifiers.
Also it’s interesting to note that even in this tiny size you still get all of the usual features one would expect such as being able to bridge the amp, full HP LP All Pass xovers, high level inputs and the usual protection feature set. I have often seen with small amps the inability to bridge but luckily this isn’t a problem for the nano bits. Lastly it also has a bass boost; how often do we see that on a multi-channel amplifier, especially one this size?

Use:

It’s almost winter here and it’s certainly not very hot but I had at least a couple of days of +12 degrees Celcius. I wanted to see how hot it would get so I bridged the amp to my components and listened to music during my 30 to 40 minute commute as loud as I my ears could handle. Just before leaving the amplifier would be cool to the touch and by the time I got home it would only be luke warm. Impressive, seriously. I love full range class D’s.
As has been the case for me with the other massive amps I have used I find it to be quite, no alternator whine and no hiss (ok very very low and one has to be close to the tweeters to hear it). The amp itself makes no noise as it doesn’t use or need a fan. I definitely could hear the fans coming from my sony xm-4s when they got hot. Using the speaker inputs I need the gains to be at their minimum in this case (when the amp is bridged) and the volume from my deck makes it too loud at about 1\3 the way up. Using it bridged is definitely too much in this case and will be going back to stereo leaving the rear channels ripe to drive a moderate sub or for going active.
Sound wise, I have never been one to talk about SQ in amplifiers in any of my reviews and this one will be no different. The amplifier adds and removes nothing to the sound; everything sounds as it should. I definitely feel like it has ample power for anything I would want including using it as a sub amp!

In conclusion, I love everything about this amp. Sure I am somewhat biased as a self-proclaimed small amp lover, but I know there are many like me that beleive having a lot of power in a small easy to use package is ideal. I can see myself using just one and putting it where no one could ever find it or buying a bunch to have many channels for a complex system that won’t take up all of my trunk as it would before.

Highly recommended

PROS:
-Not just small, TINY
-Surprising amount of power
-Full feature set (bridge, xovers, highlevel inputs)
-No noisy fan
-Stays very cool
-Lightweight
-Low noise floor
-Great classic looks
-Easy installation
-Bass boost… on a 4 channel amp?
-High WAF (Wife acceptance factor)

CONS:
-tiny speaker terminals make it hard to screw\unscrew



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Old 11-27-2012, 02:16 PM
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...the remote input becomes an output for other devices. Great feature. It would have been even better if there was an rca output to also pass the signal along to other amplifiers.
That is a great feature. And are you sure about the RCAs? Sometimes the high level inputs and RCA inputs are tied together.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:19 PM
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I really want to try one of these!

I agree with you that full range class D's sound pretty good to my ears and for 90% of the audio world will be equal to most amps out there.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dukk View Post
That is a great feature. And are you sure about the RCAs? Sometimes the high level inputs and RCA inputs are tied together.
The documentation says nothing about RCA's being a pass through but... I will try as if it does that would be damn sweet.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:26 PM
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Nice review.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:32 PM
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sweet new goodie. sux being poor lol i miss my CW-12
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