We’ve talked about the Blaupunkt Costa Mesa 900 head unit and the Rockford Fosgate Prime series speakers that make up the better part of our installation, and here’s the final piece of this high-fidelity puzzle – the amplifier and subwoofer.
Amplifiers are often misunderstood elements of an audio setup. You need them to drive the speakers efficiently; while it’s true that even a BMW 320d can move along smartly, you’d always want the power of an M3, wouldn’t you? That’s exactly what an amp does; it boosts the signal from the head unit so that you have exactly what you need at the other end – unstressed audio that can blow your eardrums mind should you choose to turn it up all the way. Sometimes you don’t have the option but to run an amplifier, like in the case of a subwoofer. The speaker is so large that you need the extra power to shift that much mass. However, we’ve got a pair of amplifiers that deliver the power without using up a lot of space.
Amp it up
First up, the Rockford Fosgate R400-4D. This is a Class D amplifier, which in simple terms means that it is really very efficient. This efficiency is also reflected in the design: it is a really compact unit. A few of the specs, now –
It is a 400 Watt full-range 4-channel amplifier. It has a 75 Watt RMS power rating for 4 Ohm speakers, and that goes up to 100 Watts for 2 Ohm speakers. There are a bunch of adjustments available on the amp that need to be set up before it is installed. Some of them are the ‘Punch eq’, crossover frequency and gain. What’s more, they can be set individually for the front and rear set of speakers, giving it a lot of flexibility.
There's no sub-stitute
The other half of the equation for the purpose of this article is the Blaupunkt XKf 8A active subwoofer. It isn’t your traditional boxy, big woofer cone, this; it isn’t even a bass tube. This is a slim, compact enclosure that is hardly bigger than most amps, and it has its own amp packaged in it as well! It weighs 4.3kg and is slim enough to be mounted under the front seat, for maximum effect. It has an 8” aluminium cone, and has a frequency response spanning 20-150Hz. The controls on the XLf 8A are relatively simple – there are three dials for gain, crossover frequency, and phase. You can choose to give it input via regular RCA jacks or loudspeaker-level inputs as well.
In our next article, we’ll have a look at how much time, effort and difficulty was involved in installing the entire setup in (the appropriately named) Jazz.
The Rockford Fosgate R400 can be purchased here. Price: ₹27,890.
The Blaupunkt XLf 8A can be purchased here. Price: ₹ 17,490.
Images: Kaustubh Gandhi