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Our take on the Pioneer GM-D8601

Pioneer's sharp-looking GM-D8601 mono amplifier can send up to 800 watts RMS to your sub setup, for powerful bass that'll get you and your car rockin'. Highly efficient Class D technology keeps this powerful amp running as cool as it looks, and allows for a compact chassis that fits in a lot of out-of-the-way spaces. And this little workhorse can handle a 1-ohm load without breaking a sweat, so you never have to worry about impedance matching when you add subs to your system down the road.

Cool power

Pioneer's sharp-looking GM-D8601 mono amplifier can send up to 800 watts RMS to your sub setup, for powerful bass that'll get you and your car rockin'. Highly efficient Class D technology keeps this powerful amp running as cool as it looks, and allows for a compact chassis that fits in a lot of out-of-the-way spaces. And this little workhorse can handle a 1-ohm load without breaking a sweat, so you never have to worry about impedance matching when you add subs to your system down the road.

Connecting and tuning made simple

If your car stereo doesn't have RCA outputs, you can use the speaker-level inputs to hook this amp into your system  — the amplifier switches its input mode automatically when it detects the high-level signal. The amp's got a low-pass filter that lets you quickly sharpen and focus the bass to suit your car's interior, and also includes a wired remote boost that lets you control the bass from the front seat.

Putting together a bass system with this amp? Check out this Crutchfield-approved amp/sub package.

Confused about impedance? Check out our article on matching subs and amps.


Eriv, Harrisonburg,va

What's in the Box:

  • Mono subwoofer amplifier
  • Remote bass boost control
  • 19' Remote cable (RJ-25 plug on both ends)
  • Two 40 amp ATO fuses (installed)
  • 8" Speaker-level input adapters
  • 3mm Allen wrench
  • Four 5/8" Self-tapping screws
  • Two 3/8" Self-tapping screws
  • Owner's manual (English/ French/ Spanish)
  • Warranty information

Product Highlights:

  • mono subwoofer amplifier
  • 300 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms)
  • 800 watts RMS x 1 at 1 ohm
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • Class D amp technology
  • variable low-pass filter (40-240 Hz, 12 dB per octave)
  • wired remote controls variable bass boost (0-18 dB at 50 Hz)
  • preamp inputs and outputs
  • speaker-level inputs via supplied RCA-type adapters
  • fuse rating: 40A x 2
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 11"W x 2-3/8"H x 7-7/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Pioneer GM-D8601

Average Customer Review(s):

(13 Reviews)

Pioneer GM-D8601

Eriv from Harrisonburg,va on 8/29/2016


Pros: Good

Cons: None


Emcd from Harrisonburg, VA on 7/17/2016

Great amp, lots of power, sounds awesome



Powerhouse !!!

Jon from Tyrone, PA on 7/4/2016

Have this hooked up to a single Pioneer Champion Pro TS-W3003D4 in a ported box and it is incredibly loud. Used an O-scope and multimeter to test it and set the gain. At a 2 ohm load it was putting out 588 watts before the first sign of any clipping. And that's just with a stock alternator and battery. I went with the Pioneer set-up because I was just looking to add some bottom end to my stereo for an affordable price. I never thought I would get this much. Now my windshield wipers are bouncing on my windshield and I'm afraid my truck is going to vibrate apart. My single 12" sub is louder than all my friends dual sub setups. I know you can buy bigger and better equipment than Pioneer, but you will be paying quadruple the price to do it.

Pros: Best bang for your buck. CEA-2006 compliant. Clean power that exceeds RMS rating. Barely gets a little warm after an hour of abuse.

Cons: Doesn't have a subsonic filter

Perfect amp to crush in a hatch

Steve 0 from Omaha, NE on 4/19/2016

Running a enclosed set of Fosgate PX-2X12, 800w RMS 1 ohm. I have to admit that I really cannot think of more perfect amp.

Pros: Powerful with awesome sound and a great price. Ideal for these enclosures.

Cons: It wasn't given to me for free. Also, it didn't come with a series of winning lotto tickets. Other than that, nothing.

This amp is a work horse. Great power

Larry from Cunningham, TN on 2/24/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This amp is by far the best I've ever owned. It has all the power you could ever want, and even after pushing it I have never felt any heat coming from it. It has never shut itself off or missed a beat. It took me a while to get the amp and stereo EQ's dialed it, but my system is as good as I have ever heard now. This bad boy is pushing two 12" subs with ease.

Pros: Fits under my passenger seat, so getting the settings dialed in was easy from the drivers seat, and the seat bolt worked as a good chassis grounding point. Also the base boost remote can be ran pretty much anywhere you want it, for adding or lowering bass for different types of music and recording levels/quality. Looks as good as it works too.

Cons: None that I have found. I used velcro to secure it in place under the passenger seat. It can't come out with the seat bolted in, so the brackets weren't an issue for me.

Pioneer GM-D8601

Easley from Oklahoma on 9/22/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very good amp worth every penny defiantly get the bang for not a whole lot the amp is great the brackets will crack if you drive down bad roads but other than that a nice amp


Cons: The brackets tend to break if you drive down bad roads

Worth the money

Paul from Maryland on 6/6/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to install, easy to use and plenty of power.

Pros: No turn on wire needed

Cons: Small writing on the amp controls, had to use a magnifying glass to see it.

This Guy Rocks!

DanG from Carleton, MI on 6/17/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Does what it's supposed to do and does it well

Pros: Attractive case, easy hookup, great power

Cons: None

Great Amp For The Money

S from Kennesaw, GA on 3/6/2014

Had my doubts about purchasing a pioneer amp because I've been loyal to alpine for all my audio needs, but for the price difference I figured I'd give it a shot. Wow. I have it running one 10" type r and its crazy how well it does. Wired at 2 ohms this amp puts out 500w rms which is exactly what the alpine needed.

Pros: Clean looking design, bass control knob, stays cool while under load, and most importantly the low price

Cons: None to be found yet!

Decent amp for the money

JC from Worcester MA on 1/24/2014

I bought this amplifier to power a JL 8W3V3-4. I had trouble finding a mono amplifier that was 200 watts RMS and listened to some bad advice where I was told that it's ok to overpower a subwoofer a little bit. Since the JL Audio 8W3V3-4 woofer is rated between 75-250 watts RMS I bought this Pioneer GM D8601 Mono amplifier because it looked good and was on sale and hey "it's ok to overpower a little". When I installed this amplifier I had nothing but trouble trying to tune it to my system. The bass was either not there or it was too much. It was very difficult to get a happy medium. The bass was also sloppy/ muddy and the lows were over powering and the upper bass missing. I kept thinking I did something wrong and the placement of the sub was bad. Then I found a 20 year old class AB 2 channel Alpine 3548 in my closet, which when bridged was rated 160 watts RMS into 4 ohms. Well let me tell you when I installed this amplifier in place of the Pioneer I was astonished at the difference in sound quality it made. The bass became accurate again and tight and it sounded just fantastic. I don't know for sure why the Pioneer didn't work well but if you go into JL Audios website and look at the 8W3V3-4 specifications it shows that 150 watts is the sweet spot for this subwoofer. Maybe this subwoofer doesn't like that much power or maybe it's the Pioneer class D type technology that can't control the woofer cone very well. I think it was a little of both.

Pros: Good power to price ratio, bass boost knob if you like that kind of thing.

Cons: This amplifier made an annoying hissing sound when it was cold. This isn't an issue if it's tucked out of the way in a sealed trunk but in an open hatch or SUV it's noticeable. The bass knob that comes with this amplifier is nice but I prefer a volume control over a bass boost control like this one. In fairness to Pioneer I still gave this amplifier 4 stars because I think it was mostly just too powerful for the JL Audio 8W3V3-4 woofer to handle.

Great Amp

Dxb105 from Lindale, AB on 6/18/2013

Currently have 3 subs hooked up to it and it works great. Have 2 12s and a 10 for 1.3333 ohms with no troubles sounds good doesn't heat up and most likely will be the cause of my cab falling apart.

Pros: Small, Cool, Easy to use and powerful

Cons: Bass performance without the remote is poor

Best amp for the price

Vic from Cibolo, Tx on 6/9/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This amp is the best amp I have owned and didn't have to spend so much money, it's always cool hasn't heated up or shut down on me since I bought it. The bass sounds clean and makes everything I put on sound good. I really recommend this amp.

Pros: Didn't have to mess with any settings I just installed it and the settings it came with were perfect.

Cons: Just be careful when screwing it on because flaps are not really strong.

Pioneer GM-D8601

Anonymous from Heyburn Id 833:6 on 3/19/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works well

Pros: Powered my 2 kicker 10's at a 1 ohm

Cons: None


Hands-on research

Product Research



CEA 2006 Compliant: The Pioneer GM-D8601 mono subwoofer amplifier power ratings are measured according to the Consumer Electronics Association's CEA-2006 standards. These standards allow you to accurately compare the rated power output of all CEA-2006 compliant amplifiers, even from different brands. Manufacturers who adhere to the standards can display the CEA-2006 logo on their products and packaging. CEA-2006 Specifications:

  • Power Output:
    • 300 watts x 1 at 4Ω with <1% THD+N
    • 500 watts x 1 at 2Ω with <1% THD+N
    • 800 watts x 1 at 1Ω with <1% THD+N
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 75 dBA

1Ω Stable: The GM-D8601 is capable of powering load impedances down to 1Ω.

Auto Turn-on: When using a high voltage speaker level input, a signal sensing circuit will automatically turn the amp on and off along with the source unit.


Gain Control: The gain control is continuously variable from 200 mV to 6.5 V.

Crossover: The low pass crossover is always engaged, and is continuously variable from 40 to 240 Hz.

Bass Boost: The bass boost circuit is variable from 0 to +18 dB, centered at 50 Hz. Adjustment is made using the included wired remote.

Wired Remote: The bass boost circuit is controlled using the included wired remote, which can be mounted within easy reach of the driver. The remote has integral flanges on both sides to mount the unit under the dash. The remote measures:

  • Width: 1.73" (2.63" including mounting tabs)
  • Height: 0.75"
  • Depth: 1.62" (2.2" including control knob and cable)


Power: The power and ground connections are set screw terminals that will accommodate up to 4-gauge wire. The included 3mm Allen wrench is used to tighten and loosen the terminals. Pioneer recommends different power and ground wire gauges based on the length of the wire:

  • 6-Gauge: up to 11' 10"
  • 4-Gauge: up to 21'

Remote Turn-on: The remote connection is a set screw terminal that will accommodate up to 8-gauge wire. The included 3mm Allen wrench is used to tighten and loosen the terminals.

Speaker Connections: There are two pair of speaker output set screw terminals, internally shorted together so it's easy to connect two subwoofers. The terminals will accommodate up to 8-gauge wire. The included 3mm Allen wrench is used to tighten and loosen the terminals.

Signal Input: The amplifier features one pair of stereo RCA inputs. If no line level signal is available, use the included speaker wire to RCA adapters.

RCA Output: One pair of preamp output jacks provide a convenient way to daisy-chain an additional amplifier without running another set of RCA cables from the front of the vehicle to the amplifier location. The output is not affected by the internal crossover.

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

Pioneer's versatile 2013 car amplifiers help you get needed power to your speakers. They're compact, powerful, and even 1-ohm stable so it's easy to match subs.

What are the Labs?
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Needed lots of power... and 1 ohm stability. This rocks both facets, perfectly! [ ANDREW  May 26, 2016 ]
This amp was recommended by my advisor Tim for the sub I choose. Tim's Bio: [ Larry  Feb 10, 2016 ]
I purchased this to replace my old Pioneer amp which had finally stopped working after almost 10 years, I tried to match the output wattage as close as possible so I wouldn't have to replace my old Pioneer subs, much to my surprise, this thing is about half the size and packs a lot more punch , my old amp was a 2 channel with hi and low pass filters but not a good sub amp, bass is much cleaner and louder now with this amp but I have a feeling I'll be replacing my subs before long [ Della  Dec 12, 2015 ]

12 questions already asked

I believe this amp will do just fine. I have 2 Jlaudio 0 W3v , 4ohm connected in mono configuration and no problems. Comes with remote and not very big so it go anywhere. Good luck. [ Paul  Sep 13, 2016 ]
i have it wired to two 15inch kicker free airs,not earth shattering but im pleased with what it does considering the price i paid [ Roy  Sep 12, 2016 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on selecting the best amp for your subs I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences between the amp models and help you make the best choice for your system. [ Kenny  Aug 19, 2016 ]  Staff
I'm using the an 8 ohm home amp and use a jumper wire for in series wiring between the two voice coils. I really don't know how to best wire the woofer for an auto system . [ Baron  Apr 01, 2016 ]
I wish I could help you but I know nothing about this suggested hookup.. The Crutchfield techs should though! [ DANIEL S  Mar 30, 2016 ]
single (mono) channel, but it does provide dual speaker terminals connected parallel to each other... if you're running 2 subs with each presenting a 4 ohm load, 1 sub connected to each output will present a 2 ohm load to the amp, another option is a single sub with dual 4 ohm voice coils to present a 2 ohm load, same concept with a dual 4 ohm voice coil sub.... with this particular amp, it is 1 ohm stable, meaning you can connect 2 subs, each with a 2 ohm voice coil or a single sub with dual 2 ohm voice coil sub to present a 1 ohm load and achieve 800 watts from this amp, it is a beast for such a small frame.... the dual speaker connections just makes it easier for wiring up your systems [ Della  Dec 27, 2015 ]
It's not about the sub - it's about the amp. It has an 8 gauge lead, but I personally don't think that is enough for the length of the run. I would use 4 gauge to a block and drop down to 8 gauge for the last 18" or so. Do the same with the ground. Don't forget to install a large fuse or circuit breaker on the lead off the battery. There is a pot load of power going through that wire and you do not want to mess it up. Depending on the car, you will need to run the wire to the battery directly. This will require going through the firewall. Pick your place well! The ground, again, depending on the car, should be able to ground near the amp. If you are doing this to a Corvette, you will almost certainly have to run the ground back to the battery area. If not to the battery directly, but to the battery ground point on the frame. Obviously, this is all moot if the battery is in the trunk, or, like a modern Corvette, has a jump lead in the trunk. Hope this helps. [ ANDREW  Jul 27, 2015 ]
I am not 100% informed on the layout of the Mach 460. Knowing how some of these systems are done, meaning, they are very proprietary, you may need to get an adaptor to convert the signal. I would ask this question on a Mustang forum, or see what the Pro's here at Crutchfield have to say. [ ANDREW  Jun 12, 2015 ]
You have the check the mounting depth and cutout diameter. If the match up then yes if not keep looking [ JAMES  Jun 10, 2015 ]
I believe the terminals are bridges internally, so it will not matter which set you wore them to. The extra terminals are simply there for convenience and adding wiring options for different series/parallel subwoofer voice coil configurations. [ ROSS  May 03, 2015 ]
I dont recommend this amp at all..the price is nice but thats it. Mine worked for about a week... Before it caused issues... I had it pushing two 12s... If you would like something solid and can handle multiple tyoes of bass get a rockford [ XAUNDRA  Apr 08, 2015 ]
Chris, You have given enough specific information for me to answer your question with any specific accuracy. So I will answer this way: Subs have power ranges... max power is the most they can handle. Period. Figure half that and they will run just fine. Too much power will never hurt a sub, but not enough can seriously overheat a sub. As a sub is asked to do more, the amp cannot provide the power to do it. As this point, something called "clipping" occurs and the amp has maxed out, and the sub keeps pulling more power, causing the voice coil in the sub to overheat. Boom goes the sub, and possibly the amp. With all of that said, if you are looking at the smaller Kicker L7s, the 8601 should be a-ok. If you are looking at the larger Kicker L7s (12" or more), then I would move up to the 9601 (1200 watts). Also, use 3/4" MDF, sealed, to build the sub box. Screw the sucker together! I use 1.5" countersunk drywall screws. Use RTV to seal the seams, then pickle the box in fibreglass resin. I like adding a layer of carpet on the inside back wall to act as a dampener; it makes the bass a little warmer. Then carpet the outside so it looks nice and cuts down on resonance. I hope this helps. [ ANDREW  Feb 11, 2015 ]
Chris I have this hooked up with 2 12" kenwoods and it sounds great. But if your sub could handle the 2400 you should do it. Hope this helps. [ VICTOR  Feb 11, 2015 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on selecting the best amp for your subs I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences between the amp models and help you make the best choice for your system. [ Krissy  Feb 06, 2015 ]  Staff
For a recommendation on the best subwoofer to match with this amp, please contact an Advisor by phone or chat. They'll be able to match a subwoofer to this amp and to your budget. [ Jeff  Dec 04, 2013 ]  Staff