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Helix Blue B FIVE

5-channel car amplifier — 60 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 320 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms

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Our take on the Helix Blue B FIVE

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.

Clean lines and solid power

German engineering and craftsmanship combine to create a sleek amplifier that'll make your vehicle's sound system come alive. The Helix Blue B FIVE 5-channel amplifier fills your vehicle's interior with crystal-clear, powerful music, putting out 60 watts RMS to each of your full-range speakers, plus up to 320 watts RMS to a sub. Or, you can use the B FIVE in 3-channel mode to power a pair of component speakers with up to 180 watts RMS each, while you drive the sub with that 320 watts.

Made for high quality sound

The Helix Blue B FIVE amp starts with a noise-free input stage, then uses proprietary technology to achieve an incredible level of acoustic accuracy. The attention to detail extends down to the superior internal components, specially "surface-mounted" to double-sided, copper-plated circuit boards, all contributing to superb sound quality. A big, heavy wrap-around heatsink dissipates the heat for cool, reliable play.

B FIVE features

You'll find the tools you need to shape your sound. The high- and low-pass filters both cover an exceptionally wide freqency range, so you can adjust to get the best possible performance from many different types of speakers. A bass boost will add even more bang, if you want it to.

Amp for a Helix factory upgrade system

The B FIVE can also serve as an amp in a Helix Plug and Play factory upgrade system. You can use an EPC5 Easy Plug Cable and a Helix vehicle-specific adapter harness to plug your B FIVE directly into your vehicle's stereo to get its input signal, with no wire-cutting or splicing necessary.

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Highlights:

  • 5-channel car amplifier
  • 60 watts RMS x 4 + 250 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms
  • 90 watts RMS x 4 + 320 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • 180 watts RMS x 2 bridged output at 4 ohms + 320 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms
  • Class AB design on front and rear channels, Class D on sub channel
  • variable low-pass filter (15-4000 Hz)
  • variable high-pass filter (40-4000 Hz)
  • bass boost (0-18 dB at 45 Hz )
  • speaker-level inputs via 8-pin harness
  • preamp inputs and outputs
  • 4-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • fuse rating:305A x 3
  • 17-15/16"W x 2"H x 10-1/4"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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60 x 4
250 x 1
Peak Power Output (Watts x Channels)
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180 x 4
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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10-30000 Hz
THD at Rated RMS Power
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0.03%
Signal to Noise Ratio
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95 dB
Input Voltage
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---
Features
Amplifier Class
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AB/D
Low-Pass Crossover Frequency
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40-4000 Hz
Low-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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NA
High-Pass Crossover Frequency
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15-4000 Hz
High-Pass Slope (dB/octave)
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NA
Bass Boost
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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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90
Speaker Level Inputs
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Harness
Preamp Outputs
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No
Width (inches)
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17-15/16
Height (inches)
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2
Depth (inches)
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10-1/4
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

  • Five-channel amplifier
  • Three 30 amp ATO fuses (installed)
  • Four 3/4" Self-tapping screws
  • 8" Speaker-level input harness (Molex plug on one end)
  • 4mm Allen wrench
  • 2mm Allen wrench
  • Instruction manual (German/ English)

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

5-Channel Design: The B FIVE is designed to power four full-range speakers and a subwoofer, or two tweeters, two midranges, and a subwoofer simultaneously. The full-range section (4-channel) of the amp is Class-AB and the subwoofer section is Class-D. The amplifier's 1/2 channels and 3/4 channels (front and rear) are individually bridgeable, so the B FIVE can power 5, 4, or 3 channels.

2-Ohm Stable: In stereo mode (powering five speakers), all five channels are 2-ohm stable; at 2 ohms the power output is 90 watts RMS x 4 to the full range channels plus 320 watts RMS x 1 to the subwoofer channel.

Bridgeable: The full-range section (channels 1/2 and 3/4) of the B FIVE can be bridged to two channels, outputting 180 watts RMS x 2-channels into 4 ohms. You can also wire the B FIVE in four channel mode, bridging half the full-range section of the amp and running the other half in stereo (60 watts RMS x 2 channels, plus 180 watts RMS x 1 channel, plus 250 watts RMS x 1 subwoofer channel).

Protection Circuitry: The B FIVE offers four protection circuits: short circuit (or too low an impedance on the outputs), thermal overload, over voltage, and under voltage.

Fully Active 3-Channel: Because of the built-in crossover's flexibility, the B FIVE can provide power and the active crossover for a 3-way system. Channels 1/2 power two tweeters, with a high-pass crossover point as high as 4 kHz. Channels 3/4 power two midranges, with a band-pass crossover having a lower threshold as low as 15 Hz and an upper threshold as high as 4 kHz. Channel 5 powers a woofer (or mono woofers) with a low-pass crossover point between 40 Hz and 4 kHz.

Controls

5-Channel: The amplifier is divided into three sections, channels 1/2 (full-range), channels 3/4 (full-range), and the subwoofer channel. Each section has independent gain, bass boost, and crossover controls.

Input Mode:

  • 2-channel: all five amplifier channels receive signal from the channel 1/2 inputs; channels 3/4 receive the same signal as channels 1/2; channel 5 (subwoofer) is the summed signal from channels 1/2
  • 4-channel: channels 1/2 and channels 3/4 receive independent signals; channel 5 (subwoofer) is the summed signal from the other four
  • 5-channel: each amplifier channel has a discrete input

Crossovers: Each section of the amp has independent crossover controls, each slightly different from the others:

  • Channels 1/2: a two position switch specifies the crossover operation as high-pass or full-range; the high-pass crossover point is continuously variable from 15 Hz to 4 kHz
  • Channels 3/4: a three position switch specifies the crossover operation as high-pass, full-range, or low-pass; the high-pass crossover point is continuously variable from 15 Hz to 4 kHz and the low-pass crossover point is continuously variable from 40 Hz to 4 kHz; when the crossover switch is in the low-pass position, the high-pass frequency dial is also active, depending on the high-pass frequency setting, this creates either a subsonic filter or a band-pass crossover (with a lower limit from 15 Hz to 4 kHz, and an upper limit from 40 Hz to 4 kHz)
  • Subwoofer Channel: the subwoofer's low-pass crossover is always engaged; the low-pass crossover point is continuously variable from 40 Hz to 4 kHz

Gain: Each section of the B FIVE has its own gain control; the rotary gain controls are continuously variable from 0.2 volts to 6.0 volts to match the source signals.

Bass Boost: Each section of the amplifier also has an independent Bass Boost circuit; they are centered at 45 Hz and continuously variable from 0 dB to +18 dB.

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 supplied 4mm Allen wrench.

Remote: The remote turn-on input is a set screw terminal; it will accept bare wire up to 10-gauge and is tightened/loosened with the supplied 2mm Allen wrench.

Speaker Outputs: The speakers connect to five pair of set-screw terminals; they accept bare wire up to 10-gauge and are tightened/loosened with the supplied 2mm Allen wrench.

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

Speaker Level Input: Use the included harness when speaker level inputs are needed, or use the HELIX Easy Plug Cable and vehicle specific adapter harness (both sold separately, see explanation above).

Note: The included speaker level input harness doesn't use the standard aftermarket color codes, and there's no color key in the manual (although the pin positions are labeled on the side of the amp). The colors used are:
  • Black: channel 1 negative
  • Yellow: channel 1 positive
  • Gray: channel 2 negative
  • Red: channel 2 positive
  • White: channel 3 negative
  • Blue: channel 3 positive
  • Green: channel 4 negative
  • Orange: channel 4 positive

Fuse: The amp is protected by three 30-amp ATO-type fuses.

 
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Helix Blue B FIVE Reviews

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Blue Hugix 5

Written By Westsider, San Diego on Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
What can I say this thing sounds incredible. Took a really long time to tune it just right but I am a NOOB when it comes to car audio and tuning amplifiers. I basically turned Mad Scientist for a week and figured out how to tune the thing and it sounds incredible with my Focals. Huge shout out to the guys at Crutchfield for the recommendation.
Pros:
This thing says it is compact I thought...awesome I can fit it under my seat. LOL Yea right....I had to go all West Coast customs on this thing to get it installed nicely....but like I said I'm NOOB....Maybe it's compact for a five channel amp for a monster truck.
Cons:
I really wish the small vent wholes were not to flimsy. And I wish it had an on/off switch for the logo. Also and this is picky I wish the logo was Blue.
3 out of 4 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

AMAZING

Written By Rcouch, Castlewood, VA on Thursday, August 09, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Really one of the most amazing amps out there. The AB class for the 4 channels are superb (and under-rated). It truly packs tremendous power and gives the performance of an amp at double the price! A must buy for a 5-channel amp!
Pros:
Everything works perfectly. Tremendous power and a low price!
Cons:
Nothing, just too good to be true.
8 out of 9 people found this helpful
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Helix Blue B FIVE, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_975BFIVE/Helix-Blue-B-FIVE.html ).