The 4 Best Amps for Kicker CVR 12 Subwoofers – Reviews 2016

best amp for kicker cvr 12

Photo by Mitchell Joyce / CC BY

Aside from the quality considerations you want to think about with any amplifier, when you’re shopping to pair an amplifier with a given subwoofer, there are other more specific details to keep in mind.

The Kicker CompVR 12” has an RMS (continuous power) of 400 watts. To get the best sound, you’ll want to match a subwoofer with an amplifier that can handle somewhere between 75% and 150% of the sub’s RMS—in this case, between 300 and 600 watts. The CompVR has also dual voice coils, which expands the impedance options of the amplifiers that can match it. If you have the 2-ohm version of the sub, you’ll need to find an amplifier with 2 ohms of impedance, but the 4-ohm version can work with either a 2-ohm or an 8-ohm amplifier.

The amplifiers on this list are all rated to match perfectly with this excellent subwoofer, and all of them will be guaranteed to give your bass the thump you’ve been missing. They’re the best amps for Kicker CVR 12 subwoofers on the market.

Alpine MRX-M50

Alpine’s amplifiers are designed to give you maximum power and audio quality without taking up too much space. It has onboard subsonic and low-pass filters to give you clean sound at any dynamic level, with an optional bass boost to give you even more power in the low end when you want it. The MOSFET power supply runs alongside a proprietary power management system that gives you optimized performance even after continuous high volume use so you never have to worry about your amplifier cutting out on you.

Rockford Punch P400X2

This amp from Rockford Fosgate’s Punch product line is an incredibly versatile unit. It functions in either two channel (125 watts RMS per channel) or mono mode (400 watts RMS), making it useful for either speakers or a subwoofer, depending on your needs. It also has an onboard EQ with both a treble and a bass boost, letting you make the sound as bright or booming as you want it. The MOSFET power and Dynamic Thermal Management cooling system keep it running smoothly and producing consistently high-quality sound no matter how hard you run it. This is, bar none, one of the best amps for Kicker CVR 12.

Kicker 12CX3001

Priced less than $150, this amplifier is an incredible value and a conveniently compact 7” by 8” chassis that can fit even in audio set-ups with limited available space. It has a variable bass boost and low-pass filter, along with a fixed subsonic filter, giving you nearly the same sound shaping capabilities as high-end amplifiers (without the high-end price tag). The oversized transformers and heavy-duty heat sink used in this amp’s construction mean you’ll be able to push your system to the max without worrying about whether it can handle the load.

Soundstream Picasso Nano PN1.450D

If your budget only leaves you about $100 for an amplifier, look no further than the Soundstream PN1. It’s rated for 450 watts at 2 ohms impedance, controlled by a MOSFET transistor that’s pulse width modulated and can handle even a heavy output. The remote for this one is dash-mounted, a nice touch to help you keep your hands free. The aluminum heatsink combined with the thermal protection circuitry means your amplifier won’t overheat even from continuous use. The Class D Monoblock technology is perfect for use with a powerful subwoofer like the CompVR and also has a variable bass boost feature that can pump your low end by up to 12 dB to give you that window-shaking thump. If you don’t want to shell out too much dough, this is likely the best amp for Kicker CVR 12 for the money.

Amplifier Classes

The letter designations given to car stereo amplifiers can be very confusing for the uninitiated. Unlike other letter classification systems, these letters are not grades or indicators of quality, but instead are descriptions of how the amplifier functions. Different classes of amplifier have their own strengths and weaknesses, and different letter designations are ideal for different tasks.

A lot of amplifiers that are ideal for running your car stereo’s speakers are class A or class A/B. These designs conduct all of the amplifier’s output devices through the full 360 degree waveform cycle. This cancels out some of the harmonics and gives these amplifiers an excellent signal to noise ratio, meaning you won’t get any humming or buzzing in the sound. They’re generally considered to be the best-sounding amplifiers by most audiophiles, but they’re also not very efficient—by conducting on all outputs all the time, a lot of power is wasted. This wasted power is converted to potentially damaging heat within the system.

Class D amplifiers, on the other hand, excel at efficiency. Whereas the real-world efficiency of a class A amplifier can be as low as 15-35%, a class D amplifier often uses over 90% of the power flowing through the amplifier, minimizing excess heat. They achieve this by switching the output devices on and off quickly during the operation. Because of the complexity of the circuits inside a class D amplifier, they are also extremely light-weight compared to other classes—even very high-powered class D amplifiers can weigh just a few pounds. The drawback of this circuitry is the reproduction of high frequencies because the pulse width modulators that run the circuitry generally run at low frequencies.

If you are looking for an amplifier to run your car’s entire audio system, a class A or class A/B multi-channel unit will give you the ultimate in sound recreation and will be the ideal choice. If you’re only using the amplifier to run a subwoofer, however, the loss of quality in high frequencies will have no impact on the sound.

For subs, the high efficiency of a class D amplifier will give you maximum power, which translates into maximum bass production and volume potential. Since it’s relatively rare to use two subwoofers in a car audio set-up, many of these designs are Monoblock or single-channel models. Again, while this may limit the versatility of your amplifier, it means all of the power runs straight into your sub. Hence, generally speaking, the best amp for Kicker CVR 12 subs would probably be a class-D amplifier.

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