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Crutchfield

Helix Competition A2

2-channel car amplifier — 150 watts RMS x 2 (Black)

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  • Helix Competition A2

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  • Helix Competition A2

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  • Helix Competition A2

  • Helix Competition A2

  • Helix Competition A2

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Our take on the Helix Competition A2

by Buck Pomerantz
HELIX

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.

An amp that means business

Helix created the Competition A2 amplifier for those of you who want an amp with massive power and uncompromised sonic fidelity. This 2-channel workhorse can drive two 4-ohm speakers with 150 watts RMS each — but that's not all it can do. Because it's extremely stable, you can connect the A2 to a pair of 1-ohm subs, and pump 395 watts RMS to each of them. Bridge the amp to mono mode, and the mighty A2 can blast out 790 watts RMS to a 2-ohm sub.

Meant for display

An A2 amp isn't your typical modest amplifier, hiding under a seat or in a trim pocket, struggling to play music over road noise. The large chassis features a transparent cover that shows off the amp's internal technology and neat design. The A2 doesn't just power your sound system, it makes it stand up and shout. And you can choose an A2 amp in black or silver to match your system's decor.

Extraordinary features

Gold-plated connections won't tarnish or suffer any oxide buildup that could interfere with the signal flowing in or out of this amplifier. You can set the frequency filters for high-pass or low-pass/bandpass operation, ensuring that almost any speaker or subwoofer system can be tuned to sound its best. When bridging the amp into 1-channel mode, you can choose between using a single mono input or a Real Mixed Input, which uses preamp mixing to properly combine the stereo left and right channel signals, instead of the usual Y-cord-type wiring.

Highlights:

  • 2-channel car amplifier with black trim
  • 150 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms (270 watts x 2 at 2 ohms)
  • 395 watts RMS x 2 at 1 ohm
  • 540 watts RMS x 1 bridged output at 4 ohms (790 watts RMS x 1 bridged at 2 ohms)
  • Class A input stages, Class AB output
  • 24-karat gold-plated RCA input, power, and speaker connections
  • double-sided copper plated circuit boards
  • noise-free inputs (preamp)
  • stereo or mono capable with Real Mixed Input option
  • variable low-pass/bandpass filters (15-6000 Hz)
  • variable high-pass filter (15-6000 Hz)
  • tunable bass boost (0-9 dB from 30 to 120 Hz )
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • fuse rating: 20A x 4
  • 18-1/4"W x 1-7/16"H x 9-1/2"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • 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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150 x 2
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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1300 x 1
Power at 2 Ohms (Watts x Channels)
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270 x 2
Bridged Power (Watts x Channels)
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790 x 1
Minimum Impedance Bridged
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2
Minimum Impedance Unbridged
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1
Best Frequency Response
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15-20000 Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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0.009%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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100 dB
Input Voltage
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13.8v
Features
Amplifier Class
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AB
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency
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15-6000 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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N/A
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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15-6000 Hz
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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N/A
Bass Boost
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0-9 dB
Bass Boost Frequency
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30-120 Hz
Fan Cooled
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No
Fuse Rating
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80
Speaker Level Inputs
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No
Preamp Outputs
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No
Width (inches)
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18-1/4
Height (inches)
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1-7/16
Depth (inches)
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9-1/2
Parts Warranty
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2 Years
Labor Warranty
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2 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Two-channel amplifier
  • Four 20 amp mini-blade fuses (installed)
  • Four 1-1/4" Self-tapping screws
  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 2.5mm Allen wrench
  • 1.5mm Allen wrench
  • Instruction manual (German/ English)

Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.

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

1-Ohm Stable: In stereo mode the amplifier is stable down to 1-ohm. The 1-ohm output is 395 watts RMS x 2 channels; the 2-ohm output is 270 watts RMS x 2 channels.

Bridgeable: The A 2 can be bridged to one channel, outputting 540 watts RMS x 1-channel into 4 ohms and 790 watts RMS x 1-channel into 2 ohms.

Protection Circuitry: The amplifier offers three protection circuits: short circuit (or too low an impedance on the outputs), thermal overload (overheating), and incorrect voltage.

Temperature Controlled Power Supply: The amplifier's temperature controlled power supply reduces the output power at very high temperatures, protecting the amplifier from damage, as well as avoiding turning off completely due to overheating. This power reduction is not typically audible and happens only at power peaks when the amplifier gets very hot due to high ambient temperatures.

Controls

Gain: The amp's two channels have independent rotary gain controls, continuously variable from 0.5 volts to 8.0 volts to match the source signal.

Operating Mode:

  • Mono: two channels output a monaural signal; only the A input is used (the inputs are labeled A and B, not left and right)
  • Bridged: one channel output; both inputs are used and summed to a single speaker
  • Stereo: standard two channel stereo; both inputs are used

Crossover:

  • Crossover Mode: select High Pass, Full Range, or Low Pass/Band Pass (when the crossover mode switch is in the low pass/band pass position, both the high pass and low pass crossovers are active, creating a band-pass crossover with a lower limit as low as 15 Hz)
  • Frequency Range: the high pass and low pass crossovers have independent, three position range settings; select 15 to 80 Hz, 80 to 700 Hz, or 650 to 6000 Hz
  • Frequency Setting Adjustment: within the selected frequency range, the high pass and low pass crossovers have separate, continuously variable rotary dials to set the specific crossover frequency

Bass Boost: the bass boost circuit has adjustable gain and center frequency (frequency at which the bass adjustment is centered):

  • Gain: rotary dial; continuously variable from 0 to 9 dB
  • Frequency: rotary dial; continuously variable from 30 to 120 Hz

Connections

Power: The power and ground inputs are set-screw terminals; they will accept bare wire up to 4-gauge (HELIX recommends 4-gauge minimum) and are tightened/loosened with the included 4mm Allen wrench.

Remote: The remote turn-on input is a set screw terminal; it will accept bare wire up to 12-gauge and is tightened/loosened with the included 1.5mm Allen wrench.

Speaker Outputs: The speakers connect to two pair of set-screw terminals; they accept bare wire up to 10-gauge and are tightened/loosened with the included 2.5mm Allen wrench.

Line Input: A pair of gold plated stereo RCA jacks connect to the output signal from the head unit.

Fuse: The amp is protected by four 20-amp mini blade fuses mounted under the top cover.

 
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Helix Competition A2 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Great Audiophile Grade Amplifier

Written By Bumpinlex, SoCal on Sunday, November 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Amazing clarity, and power to spare. Cant beat German made car audio. I have used this amplifier to power my front stage speakers which include 8 speakers and couldn't be happier.
Pros:
Crystal clear power. Great German build quality, and absolutely NOT made in china !!!!!
Cons:
Alittle expensive, but you really do get what you pay for !!
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Helix Competition A2, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_975A2B/Helix-Competition-A2-Black.html ).