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Alpine MRA-D550

5-channel Digital Theater car amplifier
60 watts RMS x 5

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  • Alpine MRA-D550

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Item #: 500MRAD550
 

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Our take on the Alpine MRA-D550

by Ken Nail
Alpine

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.

Alpine Authorized Online Dealer

Multi-channel DVD sound is an awesome experience in your home — now imagine how great it'll sound in the enclosed space of your car. Wonder no more — the MRA-D550 Digital Theater Amplifier, controlled by a compatible Alpine in-dash stereo, will anchor your multi-channel car audio/video system, delivering deep, realistic sound from your recordings that you have to hear to believe.

The amp's all-digital design delivers 60 watts to each of five channels, supplying the front, rear, and center channel speakers of your system with plenty of clean power. Two inputs allow you to hook up multiple digital sources (like a DVD player or a game system) while built-in processors convert the digital info into surround sound. Built-in Dolby Pro-Logic II processing does a great job of enhancing the sound of your standard CDs.

The MRA-D550's heavy-duty internal components produce rock-solid power, and extra-large capacitors deliver additional current when needed to fuel musical peaks. A unique circuit design greatly reduces internal noise, keeping the signal clean for better performance from your speakers. Alpine's Bass Engine tone adjustments allow you to fine-tune the sound to perfectly match your vehicle. You can control the MRA-D550 with an Alpine GlideTouch CD player, for touchscreen control right from the front seat.

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    Highlights:

    • 5-channel Digital Theater amplifier
    • 60 watts RMS x 5 at 4 ohms
    • Dolby Digital, DTS, and Dolby Pro Logic II processing built-in
    • two optical digital inputs
    • MOSFET power supply
    • CEA-2006 compliant
    • Ai-NET capable with compatible Alpine receivers
    • Bass Engine® features:
      • variable center-channel crossover (20-800 Hz in 1/3 octave steps, 12/18/24 dB per octave)
      • variable front, and rear high- and low-pass crossovers (20-400 Hz in 1/3 octave steps, 6/12/18/24 dB per octave)
      • variable subsonic filter (20-50 Hz in 1/6 octave steps)
      • subwoofer phase control (0/180 degrees)
      • time correction adjustment (0-10 mSec.)
      • 17-band parametric EQ (five bands for front, rear, and center, two bands for sub channel)
    • sub channel preamp output (20-200 Hz low-pass filter, 6, 12, 18, or 24 dB/octave)
    • STAR Topology (minimizes internal noise and prevents ground interference)
    • detachable front cover
    • blue power LED
    • fuse rating: 20A x 2
    • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
    • 13-11/16"W x 2-9/16"H x 10-5/8"D
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    Note: The MRA-D550 requires a compatible head unit for setup and control, it cannot be used without one. The current list of compatible head units includes (but is not limited to): IVA-D300, IVA-D310, IVA-D900, IVA-D901, DVA-9860, and DVA-9965.

    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 5
    Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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    N/A
    Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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    N/A
    Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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    N/A
    Minimum Impedance Bridged
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    N/A
    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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    80 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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    20-200 Hz
    Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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    6/12/18/24 dB
    High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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    20-800 Hz
    High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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    6/12/18/24 dB
    Bass Boost
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    No
    Bass Boost Frequency
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    N/A
    Fan Cooled
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    No
    Fuse Rating
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    20 x 2
    Speaker Level Inputs
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    No
    Preamp Outputs
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    1 pair
    Width (inches)
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    13-13/16
    Height (inches)
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    2-5/8
    Depth (inches)
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    10-11/16
    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

    • Five channel amplifier with two 20-amp blade fuses installed
    • Display panel cover (attached)
    • Terminal panel cover
    • 19.5' AI-Net cable
    • 8" Guide control cable
    • Four M4x20 self-tapping screws
    • 2.5mm Allen wrench
    • 2 M3x12 Allen bolts
    • Owners Manual (English/French/Spanish)
    • Manual corrections (English/French/Spanish)
    • Customer Care Registration/Survey
    • Output power Verification Certificate

    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
    Compatibility
    Inputs and Outputs

    Features

    Overview: The MRA-D550 is a five channel Car Theater (as opposed to Home Theater) amplifier designed to power your front (left and right), center, and rear (left and right) speakers, a preamp output feeds your subwoofer amp. Using this amp requires a compatible Alpine head unit for set up and control, by itself the amp offers no stand alone capability. Surround sound processors are built-in and also controlled by the head unit.

    Surround Processors: This amp has three surround sound processors built-in:

    • Dolby Digital: Plays Dolby Digital soundtracks in as many as six discrete channels (5.1)
    • DTS: Plays DTS soundtracks in as many as six discrete channels (5.1)
    • Dolby Pro Logic II: Simulates 5.1 channel playback from a stereo source (CD, FM Radio, etc)

    Crossovers: The MRA-D550 has four separate crossovers, all but the low pass (subwoofer output) can be turned off for full range operation:

    • Front left and right (channels 1&2): Variable high pass from 20-400 Hz in 1/3 octave steps, selectable slope of 6, 12, 18, or 24 dB/octave
    • Rear left and right (channels 3&4): Variable high pass from 20-400 Hz in 1/3 octave steps, selectable slope of 6, 12, 18, or 24 dB/octave
    • Center (channel 5): Variable high pass from 20-800 Hz in 1/3 octave steps, selectable slope of 6, 12, 18, or 24 dB/octave
    • Subwoofer (pre-amp out): Variable low pass from 20-200 Hz in 1/6 octave steps, selectable slope of 6, 12, 18, or 24 dB/octave

    Subsonic Filter: In addition to the low pass crossover, the subwoofer output also has a subsonic filter. The frequency is variable from 20-50 Hz in 1/6 octave steps with a selectable slope of 6, 12, 18, or 24 dB/octave.

    Subwoofer Output: The subwoofer output is a 4 volt line level signal (RCA) with a low pass crossover and subsonic filter. The phase of the sub output can be reversed; 0° or 180°.

    Time Alignment: The built-in surround processors offer time alignment for all six channels (5.1) to compensate for the less than perfect speaker positioning typical in a car. The delay range runs from 0-10 milliseconds in 0.1 ms increments.

    Equalizer: The MRA-D550 has a parametric equalizer with a total of 17 bands; five for the front, five for the rear, five for the center, and two for the sub. The center frequencies are adjustable from 20-20 kHz in 1/6 octave steps. The width of the EQ band (Q) is adjustable between 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. The adjustment level is +/-9 dB.

    Optical Inputs: The amp has two optical digital (standard Toslink) inputs for use with digital sources; DVD player, game system, etc.

    STAR Topology: Alpine's unique STAR (Signal Transit for Accurate Response) Circuit PCB design provides a single common ground for all amp sub-blocks, preventing ground interference and minimizing internal noise.

    Verification Certificate: The amplifier comes with a certificate that verifies the measured per channel RMS output of the particular amplifier. It lists the model number, serial number, test date, the test conditions (voltage, impedance), and the actual measured power output.

    Compatibility

    Head Unit: The MRA-D550 requires a compatible head unit for setup and control, it cannot be use without one. The current list of compatible head units includes (but is not limited to): IVA-D105, IVA-D106, IVA-D300, IVA-D310, IVA-D900, IVA-D901, IVA-W200, IVA-W203, IVA-W205, IVA-W505, DVA-9860, and DVA-9965.

    Speakers: Although the original manual lists bridging instructions, per Alpine: The amp is not bridgeable and is designed to power 4 ohm speakers.

    Inputs and Outputs

    Inputs:

    • AI-Net: Analog signals are input through an AI-Net cable, the amp has no standard RCA inputs
    • Changer: Since the amp is connected to the head unit's AI-Net port, a changer is connected to the AI-Net changer input on the amp
    • Power and Ground: Set screw terminals for power and ground will accept up to 8 gauge bare wire (8 gauge recommended)
    • Digital Inputs: Two Toslink optical digital inputs for digital sources (DVD, Game system, etc)
    • Guide Input and Guide Control: Control inputs from outboard controller
    • Controller: 7-pin Amplifier Link connection

    Outputs:

    • Subwoofer: Single RCA output
    • Speaker Outputs: Terminal strip outputs for all five speakers, 0.326" wide
     
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    Alpine MRA-D550 Reviews

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    5 out of 5

    if SQ is your goal, you've come the right place

    Written By ProjectPechkin, Denver, CO on Thursday, December 04, 2008
     
    I had this amplifier for quite sometime, but I think now that I have passed mine on, I can finally write a review on it.
    First of all I should warn you, for those looking to "add bump" ignore this and close the window. Your JL's won't be thumping and bumping from this.
    Secondly, this amplifier is really anal, it only works with certain Alpine H/U and DVD in dashes. So please be aware, that before buying this amplifier, your H/U has to be compatible. Solely due to the fact that one of the cable that connects from the H/U to the amp is only available on select models.
    Now for the review:
    The amplifier has very good power and heat sink, it was mounted under the seat, and never shut down during it's 13 month residence in my car. The SQ is phenomenal and is completely customizable. Digital EQ is a 32 bit, which makes your fine tuning virtually limitless.
    My amplifier benched between 68-71 RMS X 5 @ 4 ohm. and it is more then plenty of power for an SQ oriented setup.
    A pair of type X's comps and type X coaxial along with the alpine center channel dash speaker was powered by this amp.
    Sub stage consisted of a 12" type X in a 1.1 ft^3 sealed powered by a PDX 1000.1
    This amplifier was built with Alpines F1 line up, and it consists of the highest quality built Alpine assembles. I would definitely recommend this amp if you're into getting some serious 5.1 surround in your car, if you are used to it at home.
    Everything sounded crystal clear, and amazing.
    10 out of 11 people found this helpful
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