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Kenwood Excelon X501-1

Mono subwoofer amplifier — 500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms

Item # 113X5011

The Kenwood Excelon X501-1 mono amplifier can dish out up to 500 watts RMS to your sub, and it'll fit almost...

The Kenwood Excelon X501-1 mono amplifier can dish out up to 500 watts RMS to your sub, and it'll fit almost...

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Item # 113X5011

About the Kenwood Excelon X501-1

You'll get big bass out of this small box

The Kenwood Excelon X501-1 mono amplifier can dish out up to 500 watts RMS to your sub, and it'll fit almost anywhere in your vehicle. A precise low-pass filter lets you optimize the sound for your vehicle and sub, while the built-in bass boost lets you dial in just the right amount of thump. And Kenwood protects this little powerhouse with a 2-year warranty.

You'll get big bass out of this small box

The Kenwood Excelon X501-1 mono amplifier can dish out up to 500 watts RMS to your sub, and it'll fit almost anywhere in your vehicle. A precise low-pass filter lets you optimize the sound for your vehicle and sub, while the built-in bass boost lets you dial in just the right amount of thump. And Kenwood protects this little powerhouse with a 2-year warranty.

Convenient technology

This amplifier's Class-D design allows Kenwood to pack maximum power into its compact chassis, and to ensure that it will run cool and perform reliably. The X501-1 accepts input signals from the preamp outputs on an aftermarket receiver or from your vehicle's speaker wires, so it will work with almost any mobile audio system. If you do use the speaker-level inputs, the amp can sense the signal and turn itself on, so you won't need to run a separate remote turn-on lead to the receiver.

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


Product highlights:

  • mono subwoofer amplifier
  • 300 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (500 watts RMS x 1 at 2 ohms)
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • Class-D amplifier design
  • variable low-pass filter (50-200 Hz at 24 dB/octave)
  • bass boost (0-18 dB at 40 Hz)
  • frequency response: 20-200 Hz
  • preamp and speaker-level inputs
  • fuse rating: 30A x 2
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
  • 6-11/16"W x 2-3/16"H x 7-3/8"D
  • warranty: 2 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # X501-1

What's in the box:

  • Mono amplifier
  • Two 30A ATO fuses (installed)
  • 2.5mm Allen wrench
  • 4 Self-tapping screws (M4 x 16mm)
  • Instruction Manual
  • Warranty Card

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Kenwood Excelon X501-1 reviews

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4 reviews

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Best ever

Mark from Chester, VA on 2/28/2019

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I have a Kenwood Excelon 10" sub and this amp is perfectly matched. I can crank my bass with no distortion and the amp doesn't get hot at all. I've ran this amp for a couple weeks now and for about 30 minutes each way to and from work and I am absolutely loving it. I just hope my sealed box stays together because this amp and sub pounds!

Pros: Easy install Small Does not heat up when pushed

Cons: None so far

Crutchfield response on

0 of 0 found this helpful

Does rated power, and probably a little more

mauirixxx from Honolulu, HI on 3/21/2018

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I got this amp in December 2016 for Christmas. It does what it needs to do, pushing a Kicker VCompR12 (43VCWR122) to it's fullest potential and then some it seems. I don't use the built in low pass filter NOR the bass boost, as my head unit has both of those features built in as well. I appreciate the included end caps to hide the wire connectors. The amp is rated at 500 watts at 2O at 0.5% total harmonic distortion, compared to most amps that get rated at 1% distortion.

Pros: Small footprint, includes low pass filter & bass boost controls.

Cons: Low pass filter is not defeatable, no remote bass control.

Crutchfield response on

3 of 4 found this helpful

Kenwood Excelon X501-1

Jason from West Union, IL on 6/12/2017

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This amp is everything it claims to be. Never heard so much power from such a small amp. It is well worth the price.



Crutchfield response on

3 of 3 found this helpful

Best 500W Mono?

Chris from St Louis, MO on 10/31/2016

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For around a year and a half I ran a Rockford Fosgate Prime R500X1D as my mono amp. First had 2 12" P1 Punches and currently an Infinity Kappa 120.9W. R500 wasn't a bad amp and it gave the rated power or above. Went bad recently so I bought this Excelon. Swapping out this amp was not easy as I had first anticipated as I'm not car audio expert by any means. Still, it really wasn't bad. With the way this amp is setup you'd think you'd need spade connectors to to get your wiring to fit, not the case. Spade connectors will not work here. Your smaller wires should fit fine, but if you're using 4 Gauge wiring, your power and ground will need to be trimmed and split in front to get them where they need to go. Just make sure to wrap them well with electrical tape for a strong connection and to avoid the copper from touching the wrong things. Once hooked up, this amp was easy to set. Markings for LPF, bass boost, and Gain (input sensitivity) were much better marked compared to my other amp. Here's the most important part: sound. The difference in sound quality was substantial! This amp made my sub sound quite a bit cleaner compared to my last amp. My other amp made my sub sound in a way muddy compared to the Excelon. It gives you plenty of power, but gain my need to be set slightly higher compared to my last amp as this one doesn't deliver as much of that boom. Still, it gives plenty of power that sounds sooo clean. Overall I think Kenwood did a great jo

Pros: Sound Quality Price Ease of using controls Small in size Power

Cons: Wiring it up not necessarily as simple as other amps

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6 of 9 found this helpful

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Product Research


CEA-2006 Compliant: CEA-2006 is a system of testing and measurement methods for mobile audio amplifiers. This voluntary standard advocates a uniform method for determining an amplifier's RMS power output and signal-to-noise ratio. The criteria for measuring power uses a DC input voltage of 14.4 volts and the RMS power output is measured into a 4-ohm load, with 1% or less Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) plus noise, and over a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, when applicable (20-200 Hz for this subwoofer amp). Signal-to-Noise ratio is measured in weighted absolute decibels (dBA) at a reference of 1 watt into 4 ohms. CEA-2006 allows consumers to compare car amplifiers and receivers on an equal basis. Using CEA-2006 criteria, the Kenwood X501-1 is rated at 300 Watts RMS x 1 channel with an 85 dBA signal to noise ratio.

Specifications: The manual also lists these non CEA-2006 compliant specifications:

  • Power: 500 watts x 1 channel (into 2Ω, at 100 Hz, no more than 0.5% THD, 14.4 volts)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 100 dB (at rated power)

Mono-Power Amp Design: The Kenwood X501-1 is designed with specific features to power your subwoofers with a frequency range between 20 and 200 Hz. This amplifier is not designed to power a full-range speaker.

Class D Amplifier Design: The amplifier design is Class D, which uses digital switching power supplies. The result is the amplifier runs more efficiently, generating less heat than Class AB amps. The Class D design also allows the amplifier to be built on a small chassis, and installed where space is limited.

Signal Sensing: The amplifier has a signal-sensing turn-on circuit. When a signal is detected on the inputs, the amplifier will automatically power on. When the signal is no longer detected, the amp will shut off. This allows you to install the amplifier without a remote turn-on lead.

Low-Pass Filter: The X501-1 has a built-in 24 dB/octave low-pass filter, continuously variable from 50 to 200 Hz. The crossover is always engaged (it cannot be bypassed).

Bass Boost: The bass boost circuit is centered at 40 Hz; boost is variable from 0 to +18 dB.

Dual Sigma Drive: The X501-1 is equipped with Dual Sigma Drive technology. When a speaker plays a note, the speaker's mass and suspension wants to keep moving once it's in motion. This additional movement creates distortion that is not part of the original signal. A negative feedback circuit senses the unwanted movement and sends an opposite pulse to stop the speaker from moving. Dual Sigma Drive offers more control over the subwoofer (higher damping factor), increased accuracy, and better sound quality.


  • Input Sensitivity: The Input Sensitivity control lets you match the amplifier to the preamp output level of the source unit. The rotary control lets you adjust the sensitivity between 200mV (0.2V) and 5V, with markings at 0.2V, 0.3V, 0.5V, 1V, 2V, 3V, 4V, and 5V. (The input will also accept a speaker-level input signal between 4V and 12V.)
  • Low-Pass Frequency: The Low-Pass Filter sets the upper frequency limit of the amplifier's output. The rotary control lets you set the crossover frequency between 50Hz and 200 Hz. There are markings at 50Hz, 70Hz, 100Hz, 150Hz, 180Hz, and 200Hz.
  • Bass Boost: The Bass Boost increases the bass signal, centered at 40Hz. The rotary control lets you adjust the boost between 0dB and18 dB, with markings at 0dB, 1dB, 3dB, 5dB, 8dB, 12dB, and 18dB.


  • Line In: The X501-1 has one pair of RCA inputs for connecting the amp to the source unit via an RCA cable. The amp will accept a low-level signal between 200mV and 5V. It will also accept a speaker level input between 4V and 12V. For a speaker level input, the source unit's speaker wires will need to be spliced onto RCA plugs, or use a third-party speaker-to-RCA adapter.
  • Power/Ground/Remote Turn-on: The amplifier has screw-down terminals for the power, ground, and remote turn-on, and will accommodate spade connectors. The power and ground terminals are 0.55" wide, while the remote turn-on terminal is 0.33" wide.
  • Speaker Output: One pair of screw terminals is provided for connecting the speaker. The terminal is 0.33" wide, and accommodates spade connectors. The amplifier is designed for a 4Ω load, but can can handle a load impedance of 2Ω to 8Ω.
  • Fuses: Two 30A ATO fuses are installed in the amplifier. With the 60A fuse rating, an 8-gauge amplifier wiring kit is recommended with a 60A fuse installed within 18" of the battery.

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Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?
It matches my subwoofer. [ Mark G.  Feb 14, 2019 ]
Good specs and great reviews. [ JOHN F  Dec 18, 2018 ]
Ohm ratings, wattage, and brand are what I wanted. This will replace my Kenwood 250W KAC-529 S that I bought in 2002 that went bad on me last month. I will be using it to power a Kenwood 12" KFC-W3005 I bought in 2004. I have used several brands since 1994. A few brands have a better or equal quality of sound, but none are as durable as Kenwood. [ Jason  May 27, 2017 ]
Compact yet it has some power to it! I'm using this for the 10" enclosed comp r/t kicker sub. [ Tyler  Jun 02, 2016 ]

3 questions already asked

I want to add this Kenwood Excelon X501-1 to my existing system but I'm a bit confused on how to install it. I currently have a 5 ch amp, how would I connect the new amp? I'm thinking of a power distribution block, but will I need another fuse between the new amp and the pdb? I do have a 40a fuse on the power line at the battery.
[ joe  Oct 05, 2017 ]
1 answer
Joe, I think that a power distribution block is correct next step, no you shouldn't have to add a fuse as long as you have one at the battery. The power distribution block should have fuses built-in to protect each amp so if you currently have 2 amps I would recommend getting a power distribution block that has two fused outlets. I hope that helps, Adriel
[ adriel  Oct 05, 2017 ]
I had a mtx 300 watt amp that went into protection mode while on a phone call. I got frustrated so I bought a new kenwood 300 watt x501-1 the led never turned green. Went straight to red and I have no idea what to check. Can you give me an idea of what could cause this? I don't play my music loud ever and I never even got to listen to my system with this amp. The led went straight to red after installing everything..
[ DeAndre  Mar 26, 2017 ]
1 answer
If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings/connections on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. You can also post your question in our forums: Or try our online support center:
[ Kenny  Mar 27, 2017 ]  Staff

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