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Kenwood KAC-8401

60W x 4 Car Amp

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Item #: 113KAC8401
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Kenwood KAC-8401

by Erin Blanton
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.

Want more power? Maybe you've got a component speaker system or a power-hungry sub, or maybe you just like to crank the volume a little bit louder than your neighbor. Whatever the reason, Kenwood amplifiers have got your power needs covered.

Looking for a multichannel amp to drive your front and rear speakers? The KAC-8401 amp punches out 60 watts RMS by 4 channels of MOSFET-fueled power, complete with variable crossovers and bass boost. Need bass? Bridge this versatile Kenwood to 2-channel mode, and feed your subs big power.

A set of preamp outputs allow you to pass signal to a second amplifier without running another set of patch cables from your receiver. The cast-aluminum heat sink and built-in cooling fan ensure reliable operation.

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Highlights:

  • 60 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms (90 watts RMS x 4 at 2 ohms)
  • 180 watts RMS x 2 bridged output at 4 ohms (4-ohm stable in bridged mode)
  • 2-, 3-, or 4-channel output
  • variable high-/low-pass crossovers (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • Tri-way capable (Tri-Way crossover required)
  • bass boost on rear channels (0/6 dB at 90 Hz)
  • cooling fan
  • preamp- and speaker-level inputs
  • preamp outputs
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 12-1/2"W x 2-3/16"H x 11-1/4"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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60 x 4
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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320 x 2
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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90 x 4
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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180 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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5-50k Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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0.08%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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100 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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12 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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0/6 dB
Bass Boost Frequency
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90 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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12-1/2
Height (inches)
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2-3/16
Depth (inches)
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11-1/4
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

  • Four-channel amplifier
  • Speaker level input harness
  • Rubber terminal cover
  • 4 Self-tapping screws
  • 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
Inputs and Outputs
Additional Specifications

Features

Two Amplifiers In One: The KAC-8401 amplifier is a 4-channel amplifier, which includes 2 stereo amplifiers (called Amplifier A and Amplifier B) in one body.

Line Level Inputs: Amplifiers A and B each have a separate line-level input with gold-plated RCA jacks. The Input Sensitivity controls will accept an input signal of 200mV to 5.0 Volts. If you are using a receiver with only one pair of preamp outputs, the amp will allow you to feed both Amplifier A and B with a single stereo input. The Input Selector switch gives you a choice of using A + B inputs or A inputs only. Note: When the amplifier switch is in the A input only position, the fader control on the radio will no longer allow you to fade between Amplifier A and B.

Speaker Level Input: The KAC-8401 comes with a 4-channel speaker level input harness. Once you splice the front and rear 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 a receiver with no preamp outputs. The maximum power output from the source receiver can be no more than 40 watts.

Line Level Output: The amplifier has a line level output for feeding a full-range stereo signal to another amplifier. The jacks output the signals input input to Amplifiers A and B, and is always in stereo regardless of the position of the Operation (stereo/mono) switch.

Crossovers: The KAC-8401 has two built-in 12 dB/octave crossovers, one for Amplifier A and one for Amplifier B. Each crossover can be independently set to high-pass or low-pass operation or switched off for full-range operation. The crossover frequency is continuously variable from 50Hz to 200Hz.

Bass Boost: A fixed bass boost of 6dB at 90Hz can be engaged for Amplifier B only. There is no bass boost for Amplifier A.

Stereo/Mono Operation: You can independently switch Amplifier A and Amplifier B for Stereo or Mono operation. When switched to Mono operation, the signal from the left channel input only is used.

Protection circuitry: The amplifier features protection circuits that will shut the amp down 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-8401 has a cooling fan mounted to the top of the amplifier for better ventilation.

Inputs and Outputs

Left Side of the Amplifier

  • GND: Philips-head screw for RCA signal ground
  • Speaker-level input: multi-pin input for use with included speaker level input harness
  • "A" and "B" line-in jacks: two pairs of gold plated RCA inputs
  • Line out jacks: gold plated RCA outputs that provide a summed signal from the "A" and "B" sets of line inputs  

Right Side of the Amplifier

  • Fuse: 40 amp fuse
  • BATT (Power): gold plated screw terminal (0.55" wide)
  • GND (Ground): gold plated screw terminal (0.55" wide)
  • P.CON (remote turn-on): gold plated screw terminal (0.35" wide)
  • Speaker outputs: gold plated screw terminals (0.35" wide) for front and rear, left and right loudspeakers (bridged = Left+ and Right-) 

Additional Specifications

Specifications: 

  • Rated power output at 2 ohms: 90 watts x 4 (1 kHz, 0.8% THD)
  • Rated power output at 4 ohms, bridged: 180 watts x 2 (1 kHz, 0.8% THD)
  • Max power output at 4 ohms, bridged: 320 watts X 2
  • Input impedance: 10k ohms
  • Operating voltage: 14.4 V (11-16V allowable)
  • Current consumption (1 kHz, 10% THD): 39A
 
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Kenwood KAC-8401 Reviews

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4 out of 5

Kenwood KAC-8401 Amp

Written By Larry, Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, December 13, 2008
 
The Kenwood KAC-8401 is a great 4 channel amp

Pros: Great price/Good Looks/Blue On Light/ 60 Watts RMS @ 4 channel power at @ 4 Ohms. Easy to adjust/Easy on the eyes/and "CLEAN" Clean power. Bass/Midrange/Tweeters all work together making loud Clean Power Attractive/Easy Installation/Easy setup

Cons: Bass boast only on B channel and model has been updated by a 50 watt unit

I'm very happy with this model. Larry
6 out of 7 people found this helpful
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