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Kenwood KAC-7204

2-channel car amplifier
170 watts RMS x 2 (New Stock)

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  • Kenwood KAC-7204

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Item #: 113KAC7204
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood KAC-7204

by Buck Pomerantz
Kenwood

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.

Kenwood made their reputation building car amplifiers that offer no-nonsense reliability and superior sound quality. The compact KAC-7204 2-channel amplifier features a rugged cast-aluminum chassis 30% smaller than its predecessor, yet it'll still pump out 170 watts RMS to each of two speakers or up to 500 watts RMS to a subwoofer without straining your car's electrical system.

Built-in high- and low-pass filters adjust the amplifier output so you'll get the best sound possible from your speaker or subwoofer combo, while the variable bass boost lets you dial in up to 18 dB of bass boost, if you want to fatten up the sound.

The front-mounted controls allow you to tweak the sound easily, and the convenient front-side connections make setup a snap. Signal sensing turn-on and speaker-level inputs allow these amps to hook up to factory radios that don't have preamp outputs.

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Highlights:

  • 2-channel car amplifier
  • 170 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms (250 watts x 2 at 2 ohms)
  • 500 watts RMS x 1 bridged output at 4 ohms (4 ohm stable in bridged mode)
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • high-pass (12 dB per octave) and low-pass (24 dB per octave) filters variable from 50 to 200 Hz
  • variable bass boost (0-18 dB at 40 Hz)
  • cooling fan
  • MOSFET power supply
  • speaker-level inputs with signal sensing turn-on
  • preamp-level inputs and outputs
  • fuse rating: 40A x 1
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 13-3/4"W x 2-1/4"H x 9-3/8"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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170 x 2
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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500 x 2
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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250 x 2
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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500 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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5-50k Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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1%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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83 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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50-200 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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24 dB
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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50-200 Hz
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB
Bass Boost
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0-18 dB
Bass Boost Frequency
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40 Hz
Fan Cooled
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Yes
Fuse Rating
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40 x 1
Speaker Level Inputs
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Harness
Preamp Outputs
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1 pair
Width (inches)
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13-3/4
Height (inches)
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2-1/4
Depth (inches)
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9-3/8
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 with a 40A fuse inserted in chassis
  • 8" Speaker-level input harness
  • 4 Self-tapping screws (4mm diameter x 16mm)
  • Rubber terminal cover
  • Allen wrench
  • Instruction Manual
  • Warranty 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: The KAC-7204's power ratings are measured according to the strict standards dictated 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.

Speaker Level Input: The KAC-7204 comes with a two channel speaker level input harness. Once you splice the speaker wires from the receiver to the harness, you have plug-in convenience to the amplifier. This feature makes it easier to add an amplifier to a factory radio or to a receiver with no preamp outputs. The maximum power output from the source receiver can be no more than 40 watts.

Signal-sensing Turn-On Circuitry: When the speaker-level input is used, it is not necessary to connect the power control wire (turn-on lead). The amplifier senses the signal from the speaker-level input and turns the amplifier power on automatically. Shortly after no signal is detected, the amplifier will automatically shut itself off.

Crossover: The amplifier has a three-way filter switch, allowing you to choose low-pass (LPF), high-pass (HPF), or full-range (Filter Off) operation. There are rotary controls for both Low Pass and High Pass cutoff frequencies, allowing you to select them separately.

Bass Boost: You can apply a bass boost of up to +18dB at 40Hz. The rotary control is located on the front of the amplifier.

Protection circuitry: The amplifier features protection circuits that will turn the amp off in case of the following events:

  • Speaker output contacts ground
  • Speaker wire short-circuits
  • Unit malfunctions and DC is sent to speaker output
  • Internal temperature is too high
  • Loss of ground of head unit or amp

Fan Cooled: The KAC-7204 is equipped with two, rear panel-mounted cooling fans. One fan acts as an intake while the other serves as an exhaust to create a current of cooling air flowing through the inside of the amplifier.

Controls

Front Panel:

  • Bass Boost Rotary Control: 0-18dB
  • Input Sensitivity Rotary Control: 200 mV-5V
  • 3-Way Filter Switch: LPF-Off-HPF
  • LPF Frequency Rotary Control: 50-200 Hz
  • HPF Frequency Rotary Control: 50-200 Hz

Connections

Front Panel:

  • Fuse: 40 amps
  • Battery: Screw terminal (accepts up to 4 gauge wire)
  • Ground: Screw terminal (accepts up to 4 gauge wire)
  • Power Control (Remote Turn-on): Screw terminal (accepts up to 8 gauge wire)
  • Speaker Outputs: Screw terminals (accepts up to 8 gauge wire)
  • Line In: 1 pair RCA inputs
  • Line Out: 1 pair RCA outputs
  • Speaker-level input: Multi-pin input for use with included speaker level input harness
 
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Kenwood KAC-7204 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

7 people say:

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4 out of 5

Great power for the price

Written By c2s, Iowa on Thursday, June 30, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
For the amount of money has a good amount of power. Even though it's a rerfub it cosmetically it still looks very good.

Want to point out that Crutchfield states refurbished Kenwoods have a 90 days warranty. That is wrong the paper work that comes with the amp states all refurbished Kenwoods come with a 30 day warranty.

[Editor's Note: Crutchfield is the exception to the standard 30-day warranty on refurbished Kenwood products. Crutchfield customers receive a 90-warranty on these products. ]
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Plenty of power.

Written By Erik, Solomons, Maryland on Wednesday, April 15, 2009
 
I purchased a Kicker 10" in a truck box for my Dakota and wasn't sure which amp to get. I read the reviews for the subwoofer and someone used this amp, which when bridged provides the max RMS watts(500) the sub can handle. I have the amp underneath my rear seat with the cooling fans facing out for good air flow and I have never had any heat problems. I listen to the music pretty loud and take a lot of long trips and have never had the amp shutoff or overheat or anything. I would highly recommend this amp to anyone who is planning on running the amp bridged to a 4-ohm subwoofer only because that is my setup and I havent seen it perform in any other situation.
13 out of 13 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Kenwood DOMINATES

Written By Matt, Bristol, VA on Wednesday, April 01, 2009
 
Let me tell you, this amp will slam if you have it set up correctly. I have 2 Audiobahn 12's AW121T subs wired in 2-ohm stereo, roughly about 250rms watts to each, and I get out of my car just about deaf. The amp pushes the subs well, even though they could handle around 150rms more a piece. Word of advice though, even though the amp uses 40amps total, it can drain your electrical system pretty bad. My lights are still dimming out bad when the bass drops, and even the blue LED's dim out VERY badly, so get a Cap or you will be buying a new alternator soon. Aside from the power hungryness, the bass is filling and is good enough for any Rap/Techno/Rock/Whatever head you are. It powers subs very well, and no doubt you would have no ears if you had a pair of full range speakers on it. But definentally, if you are considering getting an amp that will be reliable and rather cheap, get this one. Kenwood didn't skimp on their quality and you would be making a great investment. WOOO!
5 out of 5 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great value

Written By Travis, Marinette,WI on Thursday, March 05, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought this amp to replace my old Sony amp that overheated because it didn't have a cooling fan. I love this amp because it draws much less power than my old one, but at the same time it puts out the same RMS power. The cooling fan works great, it is noticeable, but that's only until the brain liquidizing massive amounts of bass kick into my twin 15" JBLs, then you don't notice it at all. another cool thing is that when the amp turns on it has a blue LED strip and a red LED triangle, which fits perfectly along with my blue cathodes in my trunk. If you're thinking about getting this amp, stop thinking and get the dang thing. you can't ask for much more.
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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1 out of 5

Kenwood KAC-7204

Written By kevin, rupert, ID on Friday, February 13, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
this amp is ok, powerful but it gets hot! id play music not very long at a low volume and it would get hot, im just pushin 2 10"s and its not bridged. id recomnd puttin ur money on a different amp that dosnt need noisey fans and gest hot. i had the amp turnd way down and it still would get hot and stink til it turnd off. tradin it it for an alpine, had much luck wth them soundin good wthout over heatin.
8 out of 42 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Amp For Price!

Written By Michael, Illinois on Monday, December 22, 2008
 
I bought this to power two 12" Infinity Reference subs. I currently have the
levels set to about 3/5 of its max. When I turn my music up loud, I have to
turn down the bass on my head unit to 0 or the subs will dominate the
speakers. Plenty of power!

My only complaint is that its cooling fan is rather loud. I only hear it when
the speakers are off, but I'm certain they make zero noise fans... When the
music is on, it's unnoticeable.
16 out of 18 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

KAC 7204 in my '03 Audi A4 1.8Turbo

Written By Ti23, Irving, TX on Friday, March 28, 2008
 
Installed this amp to power my two Kicker CVR124 DVC subs in a slot
ported box via 4G wiring. Music genre I listen to are as follows: Christian,
Adult Contemporary, Pop, Rock, R/B and some Techno. Having "Been There,
Done That" and from previous competition +150db systems I've outgrown
flipping quarters and nickels on the roof of my cars. Since this system is in
my Audi I kept the factory BOSE indash 6 disc changer and just had a line
level convertor for easy connection and clean setup. For my musical tastes
this amp is more than enough. Bass output with "adult" music playing is
subtle and not muddy or boomy rather just fills in the lower hertz perfectly.
When I switch to Techno that has lots more bass in it a simle visit to +4 on
the Bass selector and that's more than enough to feel my clothes resonate
with bass while standing a few feet away from my car with the front doors
opened up. For the price of this amp you won't be getting
older generation bone breaking SPL but if your
just looking for some overall bass improvement you can't go wrong with
this unit. The amp looks nice and very clean, has quite a few features and
what I like best is that it has two built in fans. One pulls in the air while the
other pushes it out so you won't have to worry about it over heating and
shutting off due to the thermal protection built in. This Kenwood has my
approval! Thanks for reading...
106 out of 125 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Kenwood KAC-7204, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_113KAC7204/Kenwood-KAC-7204.html ).