When you’re looking for an amp for a subwoofer like the Alpine Type-R, a Type-D or Monoblock amplifier will be your best bet. These amplifiers are more efficient and produce less heat, and the distortion produced by the rapid switching on and off of the transistors doesn’t affect the frequencies produced by a subwoofer.
The impedance and power handling are also factors you should consider. The Alpine Type-R (whether 12” or 10”) has an RMS of 250-1,000 watts, with an impedance of 4 ohms. The four amplifiers listed below all operate within these ranges, and are likely the best amps for Alpine Type-R 12 and 10 inch subwoofers period.
If you’re already a fan of Alpine audio equipment, the MRV-M500 amplifier will prove an excellent complement to your Alpine sub. It’s rated for 300 watts RMS at 4 ohms and is CEA compliant with a MOSFET power supply. The amp (see full specs) has both a variable low-pass filter and a variable bass boost to improve your low end sound and power. The really impressive thing about the MRV-M500 is its size. At just over 2” tall and with a footprint of just under 8” by 8” it fits comfortably even in compact cars, letting you get great bass even with limited space.
Polk Audio PA D1000
This high efficiency Monoblock amp from Polk can operate even at 1 ohm, and provides 500 watts RMS for the 4-ohm Alpine Type-R. It’s an upgrade over their previous PA D series amps, using digital amplification to make it more efficient and allow it to operate in a more compact package that’s less than two inches tall. It features a variable subsonic filter of up to 12 decibels at 20-38 Hz, with a low pass filter that operates from 40-220 Hz and a 12 decibel bass boost, giving you a host of sound shaping options for your low end. Bar none, this is one of the best amps for Alpine Type-R 12 and 10 subwoofers.
For the ultimate in subwoofer power, check out this Kicker amplifier, which has a range of specialized features to give you the maximum in power and sound quality. In addition to a variable low-pass filter it’s got a variable subsonic filter that operates between 10 and 80 Hz. The fail-safe integration technology (see full specs) eliminates any noise coming from your car’s electrical system, while the Kick EQ+ parametric bass boost lets you adjust the bandwidth to find your ideal sound, while the included wired remote lets you make these adjustments with ease.
Boss Audio PM 2500
This Monoblock amplifier from Boss gives you 563 watts of RMS at 4 ohms, plenty of power for your Alpine sub—and at $60, it’s an incredible value, letting you get powerful sound even when you’re on a budget. It features a variable bass boost of 18 decibels along with a low pass filter that operates from 50 to 250 Hz, letting you keep your bass sound clean. A wired remote control comes included so you can easily adjust your bass. With a heavy duty anodized heat-sink and three-way protection circuitry (overload, speaker short, and thermal) it’s designed not to overheat even when you push it. For the money, this is likely the best amp for Alpine Type-R 12 and 10 subwoofers.
With a home audio system you often have a whole room at your disposal; the size of the equipment is often less of a factor. When you’re talking about car stereo equipment, though, you have much less space to work with and the size and shape of the amplifier can determine whether or not it will work in your vehicle. The Amazon page for the Alpine product above has a space to enter your car’s information and see if the amplifier will fit; for the others, you’ll have to measure the old fashioned way.
You want to mount your amplifier somewhere that you can access it when you want to make adjustments, and somewhere that has decent ventilation—even amplifiers with an excellent heat dispersal system can overheat if you don’t give them enough airflow. Keep that in mind when you’re figuring out whether or not the unit will fit in your car. If your only option is a relatively restricted space, the efficiency of the heat dispersal system should be a primary consideration.
Why Get an Amplifier
Getting an amplifier isn’t always just about making your bass louder, though it will certainly help your subwoofer produce more power. An amplifier gives you your sound a noticeable upgrade at all dynamic levels. By using an amplifier, you give your subwoofer a power source to run off so its drivers don’t have to strain, meaning your music will have better definition and an overall cleaner sound. Amplifiers also give you more EQ control over your music, letting you make more adjustments to your bass sound than most receivers will.
If you want to add a subwoofer to a factory system, an amplifier is a necessity. Subwoofers require more power than most in-dash receivers are able to provide. Even if you’ve upgraded your head unit, trying to run a sub out of the same amp as your speakers means less power to go around and can make the signal sound weak, even if it doesn’t damage the subwoofer or the head unit.
Generally speaking, the higher the power, the louder your subs will be able to get. If you’re getting an the best amp for Alpine Type-R 12 and 10 subwoofers because you want to get more thump out of your bass, look for one on the higher end of your subwoofer’s RMS range. Both an amplifier with an RMS of 250 and one with an RMS of 1,000 will adequately power your Alpine sub, but the one that runs at 1,000 watts will give you a much higher volume capacity. Keeping the signal free of unwanted noise and distortion becomes increasingly more important the louder you like your music; finding a model with a subsonic filter as well as a low-pass filter will keep your signal clean even when you’re pushing your subwoofers to the max. Good luck!