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Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1

Mono subwoofer amplifier — 500 watts RMS x 1 at 1 ohm

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  • Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1

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  • Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1

  • Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1

  • Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1

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Our take on the Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1

by Buck Pomerantz
Rockford Fosgate

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.

Boosted Rail amp technology

You won't believe how small and powerful this amp is. Rockford Fosgate's PBR500X1 mono amp can drive up to 500 watts RMS into a 1-ohm load, allowing you to power multiple subs to get more bass. And this Punch Class BR amplifier generates this power from a very tiny case — literally the size of your hand.

Boosted Rail (BR) amp technology uses capacitors and high-speed circuitry to boost the amp's power supply voltage when needed, so it can handle massive musical peaks without missing a beat. Rockford Fosgate uses this new technology to create a remarkable amp that fits almost anywhere and delivers powerful sound.

PBR500X1 control panel

Convenience and reliability

Add Rockford Fosgate's PEQ wired remote, and you'll be able to control the subwoofer impact from your front seat. The amp also features speaker-level inputs with signal-sensing turn-on, allowing you to connect into almost any system without having to run a turn-on lead back to the receiver. An extruded aluminum heat sink combines with Rockford Fosgate's heat management technology to make sure your tunes keep rockin' — even when you're playing loud.

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Highlights:

  • mono subwoofer amplifier
  • 175 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (300 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms)
  • 500 watts RMS x 1 at 1 ohm
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • Boosted Rail amp technology
  • Dynamic Thermal Management cooling system
  • variable low-pass filter (35-250 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • differential-balanced inputs eliminate noise from your vehicle's electrical system
  • preamp and speaker-level inputs
  • optional wired remote bass boost (0-18 dB at 45 Hz)
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads and an 80-amp fuse recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • no onboard fuses — when installing multiple amps in a system, an additional 80-amp in-line fuse between the distribution block and the amplifier is recommended
  • 8-5/8"W x 1-9/16"H x 4-1/4"D
  • warranty: 1 year (extends to 2 years when purchased and used with Rockford Fosgate's RFK8 or RFK8i amp wiring kit)
  • 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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175 x 1
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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500 x 1
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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300 x 1
Minimum Impedance Unbridged
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1
Best Frequency Response
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20-250 Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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0.2%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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85 dB
Input Voltage
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14.4v
Features
Amplifier Class
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BR
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency
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35-250 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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12 dB/oct
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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N/A
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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N/A
Bass Boost
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Optional (0-18 dB)
Bass Boost Frequency
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45 Hz
Fan Cooled
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No
Fuse Rating
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80
Speaker Level Inputs
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Harness
Preamp Outputs
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No
Width (inches)
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8-5/8
Height (inches)
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1-9/16
Depth (inches)
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4-1/4
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

  • Mono amplifier
  • 12" Input harness (Molex plug on one end and female stereo RCA jacks on the other)
  • Installation & Operation manual (Eng/ Fren/ Span/ Ger/ Ita)
  • Amplifier Performance 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
Controls
Connections

Features

Boosted Rail Technology: The PBR500x1 uses Boosted Rail Technology (BRT), an efficient design that doesn't use a switching power supply. The PBR500x1's average efficiency is more than 75%, meaning it doesn't generate much heat and can maintain a small footprint.

Power Output: The power output increases as impedance is reduced:

  • 4Ω: 175 watts RMS
  • 2Ω: 300 watts RMS
  • 1Ω: 500 watts RMS

Signal Input: The PBR500x1 is compatible with either line-level (RCA) or speaker-level inputs. The included Molex-to-RCA is used in both cases; the RCA end is cut off for connection to speaker wires.

Auto Turn-on: When using speaker-level inputs the amp will automatically turn on when it senses an input signal (4 volt minimum). The threshold voltage (DC offset) for auto turn-on is adjustable from 4 volts to 6 volts. This circuit is only active when the Input Level switch is set to High (speaker-level).

Dynamic Thermal Management (DTM): DTM Evenly distributes excess heat across the entire extruded aluminum heatsink.

MEHSA³: MEHSA³ (Maximum Efficiency Heat Sink Application-Third Generation) is a Rockford Fosgate proprietary process that increases the heat transfer from the MOSFET devices to the heatsink. The multi-layer insulated metal MEHSA substrate operates with minimal thermal resistance, spreading heat both downward and outward to quickly dissipate heat from each device across the heatsink. This allows greater power output, enhanced thermal stability, and maximum reliability.

NOMAD: NOMAD (NOn-Multiplying Advanced Decision) is an intelligent protection circuit that uses an analog computer to make real time decisions regarding temperature, voltage, current and impedance. The unit is protected without limiting sound output unless needed.

DSM (Discrete Surface Mount): In the manufacturing process high speed robotics are used to place 1% tolerance parts and large board traces. DSM improves the efficiency of the circuit, decreases cross-talk from other discrete components and lowers operating temperature.

LEDs: The Power/Protect LED on the right side of the amp illuminates blue when the amp is turned on and operating normally; it illuminates red when one of the protection circuits has engaged (short circuit, impedance too low, or temperature too high). The BRT LED on the left side of the amp illuminates white when the boost mode is engaged.

Controls

Crossover: The amplifier's internal low-pass crossover is continuously variable from 35 Hz to 250 Hz; the slope is 12 dB/octave.

Gain: When using line-level inputs, the input gain is adjustable from 150mV to 4V, when using speaker-level inputs it's adjustable from 400mV to 11V.

Input Level: Use the 2-position switch to select the input voltage range; High (speaker-level) or Low (line-level).

DC Offset: The DC offset threshold voltage for the auto turn-on circuit is adjustable from 4 volts to 6 volts (feature only active when the Input Level switch is set to High).

Connections

Power Connections: The power, ground, and remote turn-on terminals are c-clamps on a removable plug. Each terminal will accommodate up to 8-gauge wire (Rockford recommends 8-gauge minimum for the power and ground wires). A flat blade screwdriver (not supplied) is required to tighten/loosen the terminals. There is no fuse on the body of the amp, so an external 80-amp fuse (not included) must be installed in the power wire. If a wiring kit is used that includes a different value fuse, the original should be replaced with a 80-amp fuse.

Signal Input: The included input harness has a Molex plug on one end (plugs into the amp) and female RCA plugs on the other. When using speaker-level inputs the RCA end is removed and the four individual wires are used.

Speaker Output: The speaker outputs are c-clamps on a removable plug. Each terminal will accommodate up to 8-gauge wire

Remote Punch EQ (PEQ): An RJ-45 jack is provided for connecting an optional remote PEQ control (575ROCKPEQ, sold separately). When connected the PEQ acts as a variable bass boost; 0-18 dB centered at 45 Hz.

Note: Older model (prior to 2007) Punch Bass and Para-Punch remotes will not work with this amp.
 
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Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1 Reviews

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4 out of 5

Great Amp for the size

Written By RTSM, San Francisco Bay Area on Friday, May 04, 2012
 
First let me say that the PBR500x1 is a great amp. I have a 2011 Lexus ES350 with ML and I needed a amp that I could install on the bulkhead support under the rear deck shelf. I was just looking to add bass to my ML system, I don't need for the sound to win db awards or astound pedestrians. I hooked this up to a Audio Control LC2i both installed on the bulk head support. I did this as I need space for all the things I need to carry with two kids and wanted a clean and small install to save space and not to be exposed to damage. The amp is very powerful, don't let the size fool you, the birth sheet that came with my amp showed 360 watts at 2ohms and it definetly feels like it. I have the gain only on 1/3 of the way and hooked up to a JL HO ported 10" box and the combo rocks the car, the amp can definetly push more power and larger subs then I am using. The sound is clean and there is no turn-on/off thumps. If I turn up the gain the power is unbelievable and even without the back seat passthrough open you can still feel the sound waves. I highly recomend this amp to those who need a stealth install without sacrificing sound quality. I would of rated it 5 stars but the controls are very small and hard to read/adjust but that is the price you pay for the small form factor, which is acceptable. Having said this, I would definetly by it again as the small controls are not a issue once you get everything dialed in. Buy this amp, you won't be disapointed.
Pros:
Small size, fits just about anywhere Powerful output Flexible design (high/low level with high level sensitivity adjustment) Clean sound Does not get hot No turn on/off thump
Cons:
Controls are small (small price to pay) High level connection is via a external RCA wire kit (small price to pay)
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Rockford Fosgate Punch PBR500X1, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_575PB500X1/Rockford-Fosgate-Punch-PBR500X1.html ).