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Polk Audio PA1100.5

5-channel car amplifier — 80 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 600 watts RMS x 1 at 1 ohm

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Item #: 107PA11005
 

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Original price $499.99
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Our take on the Polk Audio PA1100.5

by Buck Pomerantz
Polk Audio

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.

Polk Audio built their reputation by making some of the best speakers in the world. Now, they've extended their engineering expertise to their PA Series car amplifiers. These amps offer outstanding sound quality, high power, and a distinctive, stylish look.

The PA1100.5 5-channel amp delivers 80 watts RMS each to four speakers, plus up to 600 watts RMS to a subwoofer — an all-in-one solution for powering your entire system. You'll find the variable high- and low-pass filters useful for tuning your system for maximum efficiency and sound quality, while the bass boosts on all 5 channels add an incredible amount of low-end punch when you need it.

The monoblock amp section of the PA1100.5 handles loads down to 1 ohm, giving you more flexibility in powering your subwoofer setup. The sub section also includes its own separate gain control, variable low-pass filter, selectable bass boost, and subsonic filter for ultimate low-frequency control.

An optional wired remote control lets you adjust your amp volume from the driver's seat. If you're into the show, a connector provides power for an optional external LED light array and fan, so your amp will run and look cool.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 5-channel car amplifier
  • 80 watts RMS x 4 + 280 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms
  • 125 watts RMS x 4 + 400 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • 250 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms + 600 watts RMS x 1 at 1 ohm
  • 3-, 4-, or 5-channel output
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • variable high- and low-pass filters (50-500 Hz, 12 dB/octave) on 4-channel section
  • variable low-pass filter (30-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave) on mono section
  • selectable bass boost on front, rear, and subwoofer channels (8 dB at 40 Hz)
  • subsonic filter on mono section (30Hz, 24 db/octave)
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
  • MOSFET outputs and power supply
  • optional wired remote volume control
  • LED/fan connector powers optional external fan and LEDs
  • fuse rating: 40A x 3
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 26-5/16"W x 2-9/16"H x 10-5/16"D
  • 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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80 x 4
280 x 1
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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200 x 4
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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125 x 4
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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250 x 2
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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98 dB
Input Voltage
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14.4v
Features
Amplifier Class
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D
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency
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50-500 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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50-500 Hz
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB
Bass Boost
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8 dB
Bass Boost Frequency
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40 Hz
Fan Cooled
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Optional
Fuse Rating
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40 x 3
Speaker Level Inputs
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No
Preamp Outputs
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No
Width (inches)
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10-5/16
Height (inches)
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2-9/16
Depth (inches)
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26-5/16
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

  • 5-Channel amplifier with three 40 amp fuses inserted into chassis
  • 2 Spare 40-amp fuses
  • Remote gain knob
  • 16' Remote knob cable
  • LED/Fan harness
  • 4 Large mounting screws
  • 2 Small mounting screws
  • 4 Lock-washers
  • 4 Flat-washers
  • 4 Self-adhesive foam grommets
  • Owner's Manual
  • On-line Product Registration card

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
Controls
Connections

Features

CEA-2006 Compliant: CEA-2006 is a new system of testing and measurement methods for mobile audio amplifiers. This voluntary standard advocates a uniform method for determining an amplifier's RMS power output and signal-to-noise ratio. The criteria for measuring power uses a DC input voltage of 14.4 volts and the RMS power output is measured into a 4-ohm load, with 1% or less Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) plus noise, and at a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz when applicable. Signal-to-Noise ratio is measured in weighted absolute decibels (dBA) at a reference of 1 watt into 4 ohms. CEA-2006 allows consumers to compare car amplifiers and receivers on an equal basis. The Polk Audio PA1100.5 under CEA-2006 regulations is rated at 80 Watts RMS x 4 channel and 280 watts x 1 channel with a 80dBA signal to noise ratio.

Tri-Way: The amplifier's 4-channels can be bridged down to 2-channels at 4-ohm. The amplifier is rated at 250 watts RMS x 2-channel at 4-ohms when bridged. The subwoofer channel remains 280 watts x 1.

1 and 2-Ohm Stable: The PA1100.5 features 2-ohm stable 4-channel operation and is capable of driving virtually almost any automotive speaker. The amplifier is rated at 125 watts RMS x 4-channel or 200 watts Peak x 4-channel with a 2-ohm load. The mono-subwoofer channel is 1-ohm stable and provides 600 watts of RMS power at 1-ohm.

Class D Amplifier: The Polk Audio PA1100.5 employs a super efficient Class D pulse-width modulation amplifier design. This type of amplifier design draws less power and runs cooler so you won't heat up the inside of your vehicle or make the headlights dim.

MOSFET Power Supply: The amplifier's high-speed MOSFET switching power supply and high current Bipolar Output Transistors pump maximum voltage and high current to your speakers or subwoofers.

Double Layer Fiberglass Epoxy Printed Circuit Boards: The amplifier employs double layer fiberglass epoxy printed circuit boards for more rigidity and less shrinkage, with plated through-holes instead of jumpers, for twice the amount of component contact area. This efficient layout packs more circuitry, with tighter component tolerances, into a smaller circuit board for a smaller overall amp footprint.

6-Way Smart System Protection (SSP) Circuits: Power and Ground-Reversal Protection, Thermal and Short Protection, Current Overdraw and Low Impedance Protection circuits with auto-Standby Mode ensure safety, reliability and durability.

Status LED: The amplifier features a Status LED which will illuminate Green to indicate the amplifier is on and operating normally, and will be illuminated Red if the amplifier shuts down due to short circuit, DC offset, or overheating detected by onboard protection circuitry.

Aluminum Construction: The amplifier features an anodized extruded brushed-aluminum cover and textured end caps for maximum heat dissipation. The cast aluminum textured end caps optimize heat dissipation and hide and protect the amplifier's connections and controls. The end caps are removable to access the amplifier's connections. The amplifier also features a solid aluminum logo and model number panel which is back lit in cobalt blue.

Controls

Line Out Mode: The Line Out Mode allows you to configure the amplifier's mono-subwoofer channel as an input or line-output. When set to line-output mode, you can choose how the amplifier produces the line-output.

  • SUM L/R: left front and rear and right front and rear channels are summed to produce the line-output
  • Sub L+R: for use with an additional Polk Audio PA600.1 amplifier connected in Parallel mode
  • Sub 180: for use when using an additional Polk Audio PA600.1 amplifier connected in External Bridge mode

Gain Control: The PA1100.5 features an independent gain control for the amplifier's Front, Rear and Subwoofer channels. The Gain Controls operate the amplifier's sensitivity for the front and rear channels and are used to match the input level of the amplifier to the output level of your signal source (headunit).

Crossovers: The amplifier features built-in 12 db/octave crossovers which can be set to High-pass, Low-pass or Flat for the Front and Rear channels. The mono-subwoofer channel is always set to Low-pass. The High-pass filter attenuates low frequencies and is used with mid-range speakers and tweeters. The Flat setting does not attenuate any frequencies and is for full range speaker systems. The Low-pass filter attenuates high frequencies  and is used for subwoofers.

Crossover Frequency: The front and rear crossovers can be individually set between 50 to 500 Hz, while the mono-subwoofer Low-pass crossover can be set between 30-250Hz to fine tune your car audio system.

Bass EQs: The amplifier employs an independent 8 dB bass boost at 40Hz for added bass response for the Front, Rear and Subwoofer channels.

Subsonic Filter: The PA1100.5 utilizes a defeatable 24 dB/octave subsonic filter for the amplifier's subwoofer channels to eliminate very low frequencies below 30Hz that are difficult to reproduce, rob amplifier power, increase distortion and can damage speakers.

Remote Gain Knob: The PA1100.5 amplifier comes supplied with a wired remote gain knob which allows you to control the amplifier gain for the subwoofer channels only from a remote location in your vehicle for ease of adjustment during listening. The remote gain knob comes with a 16' cord which plugs into the back of the remote gain knob and the amplifier. The remote gain knob features integrated flanges and comes supplied with two philips-head screws for mounting the device. The remote gain knob measures 2.645" wide x 0.745" tall x 1.965" deep.

Connections

Power: The amplifier is equipped with a chrome-plated set-screw terminal for the power lead to connect through a fuse or circuit breaker to the positive terminal of the vehicle battery or the positive terminal of an isolated audio system battery using a 8-gauge power wire (minimum). The power terminal will accept up to a 4-gauge power wire.

Ground: The amplifier is equipped with a chrome-plated set-screw terminal for the ground lead which connects directly to the sheet metal chassis of the vehicle using the shortest 8-gauge wire (minimum) necessary to make the connection. The ground terminal will accept up to a 4-gauge ground wire.

Remote Turn-On: The amplifier features a chrome-plated set-screw terminal for the remote turn-on lead which turns on the amplifier when 12-volt is applied to it. This terminal should be connected to the remote turn-on lead of your headunit or signal source. The remote turn-on terminal can accommodate up to an 8-gauge wire.

Speaker Terminals: Ten 0.3125" chrome-plated screw-terminals for connection to your full-range speakers and subwoofers using 16 to 12-gauge speaker wire.

Fuses: The amplifier features three 40-amp fuses to protect the amplifier against internal electrical damage. The amplifier comes with three inserted fuses and three spare fuses.

RCA Input Jacks: 3 pair of chrome-plated stereo RCA jacks which accepts the line-level output from your headunit or signal processor at voltages between 250mV and 8 Volts.

Note: One set of preamp inputs (subwoofer) can be used as an RCA output which allows you to  send the input signal to a second amplifier in your system.

Remote: Remote input for supplied wired Remote Gain Knob.

LED/Fan Input: This input allows connection of an optional LED light bar or optional cooling fan for the amplifier using the supplied Power/Remote/Ground harness.

 
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Polk Audio PA1100.5 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Beautiful Piece

Written By Michael, Dayton, OH on Friday, March 05, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I put this amp in my 95 Camaro paired up with two sets of db6501's and two db1040's in
separate sealed stealth boxes. The amp runs it all and is the center piece of the whole
system. It is strongly built and is a very attractive looking amp. I usually try to hide my amps,
but not this one. It is setup so everyone can see it and drool over it. My only complaint is
that the side covers should be completely closed so all the wires would be hidden. I am
going to make some pieces and stick in there to hide the wires from being seen. Other
than that I cannot wait for car shows to show it off.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Installed in 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Written By Mynameismethoz, Tampa,FL on Tuesday, February 16, 2010
 
Just had this amp installed in my 04 Grand Cherokee. Mounted to the back of the rear seats perfectly. The amp is excellently built, heavy, and powerful. Also, the plus is that it is 5-channels, so I only needed this amp and the wiring kit. It's an amazing improvement over the 180w amp that was in my jeep already. The remote for the amp is incredibly useful as well; was able to mount it under the steering wheel.

It is a really big amp though, just be aware of that.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Fantastic Amp

Written By Michael, NJ on Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Prior to purchasing the Polk 1100.5 I had the earlier version. I was very happy with the unit, but it met an untimely death (through no fault of its own, coffee).

The 1100.5 made my installation super clean and easy. One set of power wires, all the RCAs to a single location and all the speaker wiring bundled together. The power of the amp is way more than I need for my application, a 1997 Ram 1500 ext cab. The sound is clear. I found the crossovers to work well as I set them up by ear and then used a tone sweep to see if I had any spikes or drop outs.

I have it powering a set of Polk DB 6501 components and an Infinity Kappa 100.9 sub. All I can say is make sure you have speakers that can handle it. The sub channel is 600W RMS at 1 ohm and about 400W RMS at 2 ohm. Make sure your sub can handle it.

High quality in unit construction. I would buy this amp again and again.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Complete half your system with one amp!!

Written By J-Lane, Seattle, WA on Tuesday, December 29, 2009
 
I just received this amp for Christmas and it seems to have an unlimited amount of power. The nice thing about an amp like this is that you have so many features all you need is a deck and speakers and you have a complete system. This amp surprised me when I used it to run my whole system. I have never heard my 2 JL Audio 10's sound like this before. I even ran it on an hour and a half road trip at a fairly loud volume and the amp barely got warm. The sound quality is warm and natural and the remote sub volume makes it easy to balance the sub with the rest of the system and not have to navigate through any menus on your head unit. Highly recommend this amp for both quality AND quantity.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

rich g

Written By rich, naples fl on Friday, April 17, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
excellent amp!! sounds/looks great and runs cool.. even at a 2ohm load. being a 5-channel it really is the only amp youll need to complete your system.. which will save space .. it also has very cool led lights that backlight the polk audio logos. so far im liking the the adjustability of the amp.. and i really like the wired-remote subwoofer control.. works great even if you have a subwoofer control on your head unit and best of all it comes free with the amp.. youll love this amp.. and thats coming from a guy who used to compete in car audio competitions for many years...
94 out of 102 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Polk Audio PA1100.5, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_107PA11005/Polk-Audio-PA1100-5.html ).