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Dual DPA250

2-channel car amplifier — 35 watts RMS x 2

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Item# 070DPA250
 

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Our take on the Dual DPA250

by Buck Pomerantz
Dual

My system has plenty of power. Who needs an amp?

You might think you don't need an amp because you have a 400-watt system in your car, or because your new stereo puts out 50 watts a channel. But those are peak wattage ratings, which may boil down to 15 or 20 watts per channel, using the more realistic RMS rating. An amp sends your speakers the power they need to deliver your music with clarity and impact, whether you're using factory speakers or high-performance components. And low-frequency reproduction requires lots of power, so an amp is an absolute must if you're adding a sub to your system.

Introduce yourself to amplified music

This little amp is perfect for someone who wants to add a little oomph to their 2-channel music system. Dual's DPA250 2-channel amplifier puts out 35 watts RMS each to two speakers, which will bring new clarity and some fresh impact to your music. That output may not seem like much, but it's about three times the power of most factory stereos, so you'll definitely notice the improvement. Or, you could put this amp into one-channel mode and drive a subwoofer with up to 100 watts RMS, plenty for a smaller sub.

DPA250 features

You can mount this compact amp just about anywhere, and its built-in cooling fan gets rid of heat when the amp's playing hard. The adjustable low-pass filter keeps high notes away when the amp's running a sub, and you'll find switchable bass and treble boosts that come in handy when you need to overcome road and wind noise while driving.

Highlights:

  • 2-channel car amplifier
  • 35 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms (50 watts RMS x 2 at 2 ohms)
  • 100 watts RMS x 1 bridged (4-ohm stable in bridged mode)
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • frequency response: 20-20k Hz
  • adjustable low-pass filter (50-300 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • switchable bass boost (0, 6, 12 dB at 45 Hz)
  • switchable treble boost (0, 6, 12 dB at 5k Hz)
  • cooling fan (on bottom of amp — use included mounting feet to ensure free airflow)
  • preamp inputs
  • fuse rating: 15A x 1
  • 10-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 8-5/16"W x 2"H x 7-1/8"D (mounting feet add 3/8" to height)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Performance
RMS Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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35 x 2
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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125 x 2
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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50 x 2
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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100 x 1
Minimum Impedance Bridged
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4
Minimum Impedance Unbridged
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2
Best Frequency Response
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20-20k Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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1%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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75 dB
Input Voltage
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14.4v
Features
Amplifier Class
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AB
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency
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50-300 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB/oct
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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N/A
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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N/A
Bass Boost
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0, 6, 12 dB
Bass Boost Frequency
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45 Hz
Fan Cooled
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Yes
Fuse Rating
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15
Speaker Level Inputs
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No
Preamp Outputs
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No
Width (inches)
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8-5/16
Height (inches)
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2
Depth (inches)
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7-1/8
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • 2-Channel amplifier
  • One 15-amp ATO fuse (installed)
  • 4 Plastic mounting feet outer collars
  • 4 Plastic mounting feet inner collars
  • 4 Self-tapping screws (length=1-1/8")
  • 4 Flat washers
  • 4 Split lock washers
  • Installation/Owner's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Overview: The Dual DPA250 is a 2-channel, Class AB amplifier, designed to drive a pair of full-range speakers, or a subwoofer. It produces 35 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms, 50 watts RMS x 2 at 2 ohms, and 100 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms bridged. The amp's extruded aluminum heatsink helps keep the amp running cool.

CEA 2006 Compliant: The DPA250's power ratings are measured according to standards provided by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA). These standards allow you to accurately compare the rated power output of all CEA 2006-compliant amplifiers, even if they come from different brands. Manufacturers who adhere to the standards can display the CEA 2006 logo on their products and packaging.

LED Indicators: The amplifier is equipped with two side-mounted LED indicators:

  • Power LED: illuminates green when the unit is turned on
  • Protect LED: illuminates red if a short circuit or thermal overload is detected. The amplifier will automatically shut down if this occurs. Once the amplifier becomes sufficiently cool, the amp will reset.

Low-pass Filter: The DPA250 is equipped with a variable low-pass filter that can be adjusted from 50Hz to 300Hz. It has a slope of 12dB/octave. A 2-way switch lets you set the amp for low-pass or full-range operation.

Bass Boost: Using the 3-way switch, you can apply a bass boost to the output of +6dB or +12dB. The bass boost is centered at 45Hz. If no bass boost is desired, the switch can be set to 0dB.

Treble Boost: In addition to the bass boost, the amp offers a 3-way switch for applying a treble boost to the output of +6dB or +12dB. The treble boost is centered at 5kHz. If no treble boost is desired, the switch can be set to 0dB.

Screw Terminals: The power, ground, remote turn-on, and speaker connections are terminal strips, which can be tightened or loosened using a Phillips or flat screwdriver. Spade lugs should be used on the wires, as the terminal openings are narrow slots. It is recommended that you use a 10AWG amplifier wiring kit. The remote turn-on lead and the speaker terminals can accept up to 12AWG wire.

 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Quick impressions from the Lab

Comment by Buck Pomerantz Staff Writer - Creative,

A plain, little black box

Written by Buck Pomerantz, Staff Writer - Creative, on 8/16/2012 10:43:00 AM

The amp seems small and light — only the front and rear sides are heatsinks. It's got a small fan on the bottom, which helps account for the small size and weight — it can keep cool with less metal-mass. Because the fan's on the bottom, it is absolutely necessary to use the mounting feet that comes with the amp. This ensures the fan has clearance to work properly. The mounting feet add about 3/8-inch to the height of the amp.

This amp sports a large "250 watts" on its cover, but it's really a 35 watts RMS per two channel amp, that can muster 100 watts RMS total when bridged to one channel. Its true CEA-2006-certified ratings are clearly marked on a label on the underside of the amp. Also, on the label, are caution warnings about safe wiring, which includes a misprint that says to replace the fuse with a 30-A replacement. The amplifier comes with a 15-A fuse, and that's all this Class AB amplifier needs. But you won't see these instructions after the amp's mounted anyway. Dual Electronics already plans to correct the misprint. The amp's owner's manual shows the correct information already.

The switches and knobs don't seem particularly robust, but they're not meant to be constantly adjusted. The amp has a switchable bass boost and also a switchable treble boost, which, together, help music overcome the masking effects of road noise.

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Dual DPA250 Reviews

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Filter by rating:
4 out of 5

budget amp

Written By Ernie J, Puerto Rico on Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
If you are looking for an amp on a budget this is it. Hooked up this amp to a single coil 10 inch sub and so far works perfect. It doesn't overheat and with 100 watts rms provide adecuate power to move the subwoofer. I have only used the amp bridged. So i don't now how will it perform in 2 channel mode
Pros:
Good price and good performance from this little amp in bridged mode
Cons:
none so far
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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