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Kenwood KAC-M1814 Compact 4-channel amplifier — 45 watts RMS x 4

Item # 113KAM1814

Kenwood's super-compact KAC-M1814 will add new clarity and impact to the basic sound system of almost any kind...

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Kenwood's super-compact KAC-M1814 will add new clarity and impact to the basic sound system of almost any kind...

23 questions - 29 answers

Item # 113KAM1814

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About the Kenwood KAC-M1814

Buck Pomerantz

Power your speakers on land or sea

Kenwood's super-compact KAC-M1814 will add new clarity and impact to the basic sound system of almost any kind of vehicle on land or water, and it'll fit in a lot of places when space is tight. This marine-rated 4-channel amp will pump up your audio system with 45 watts RMS per channel — that's more than twice the power of most car stereos or marine receivers. The amp uses plastic covers to protect its connections and features a conformal-coated circuit board that keeps out moisture and salt, so the party won't stop just because of a little wetness.

Power your speakers on land or sea

Kenwood's super-compact KAC-M1814 will add new clarity and impact to the basic sound system of almost any kind of vehicle on land or water, and it'll fit in a lot of places when space is tight. This marine-rated 4-channel amp will pump up your audio system with 45 watts RMS per channel — that's more than twice the power of most car stereos or marine receivers. The amp uses plastic covers to protect its connections and features a conformal-coated circuit board that keeps out moisture and salt, so the party won't stop just because of a little wetness.

Works in almost any system

The KAC-M1814 will accept a signal from just about any source, whether you're using RCA cables from an aftermarket receiver or speaker wires from a factory radio. When you use the speaker-level inputs, the amplifier will sense the signal and turn itself on, so you won't need to run a separate remote turn-on lead to the receiver or fuse box. Kenwood goes to great lengths to ensure good sound quality, putting the preamp and output power amp stages on separate circuit boards for better, cleaner performance.

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Product highlights:

  • Featured in our article: Best 4-channel car amplifiers for 2024
  • compact 4-channel amplifier for car, motorcycle, and boat
    • 45 watts RMS x 4 at 2 to 4 ohms
    • 90 watts RMS x 2 bridged at 4 ohms
  • CTA-2006 compliant
  • Class D amp technology
  • variable high- and low-pass filters (50-200 Hz, 12 dB/octave)
  • conformal-coated circuit board — suitable for marine applications
More Info:
  • preamp and speaker-level inputs
  • signal-sensing turn-on on speaker-level inputs eliminate need for a separate remote lead
  • wiring and hardware not included with amplifier
    • 12-gauge power and ground leads recommended
  • fuse rating: 15A x 1
  • dimensions: 8-5/8"W x 1-13/16"H x 3-15/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • MFR # KAC-M1814

What's in the box:

  • 4-Channel amplifier
  • One 15-amp ATM mini-fuse (installed)
  • Two 38" RCA stereo patch cables
  • 5' Power and speaker output harness with plug cover
  • Four 5/8" Screws (4x16mm)
  • Two 14" Zip Ties
  • Two 4" Zip Ties
  • 2 Sets of clear self-adhesive control covers
  • Instruction manual (English/ French/ Spanish)
  • Warranty information

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More details on the Kenwood KAC-M1814

Mark G.

Product Research

Features
Connections

Features

Overview: The Kenwood KAC-M1814 4-channel amplifier is effectively two full range 2-channel amps built into one chassis, labeled A (front) and B (rear). Each section of the amp is bridgeable, so it can be wired as 4-channel, 3-channel, or 2-channel. The amp features a conformal coating on the circuit board to protect it from moisture. This allows you to use the amp for marine applications or on All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs).

CTA-2006 Compliant: CTA-2006 is a system of testing and measurement for mobile audio amplifiers. This voluntary standard advocates a uniform method for measuring an amplifier's RMS power output and signal-to-noise ratio. The criteria for measuring amplifier power uses a DC input voltage of 14.4 volts and the RMS power output is measured over a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz (for full range amplifiers), with 1% or less Total Harmonic Distortion plus noise (THD+N). Signal-to-Noise ratio is measured in weighted absolute decibels (dBA) at a reference of 1 watt into 4 ohms. CTA-2006 standards allow consumers to compare car amplifiers and receivers under the same conditions (apples to apples).

CTA-2006 Specifications:

  • Power Output: 45 watts RMS x 4 into 4Ω
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 82 dBA (measured at 1 watt into 4Ω)

Other Specifications:

  • Power Output:
    • 2Ω: 45 watts RMS x 4 (14.4 volts, ≤1.0% THD, measured at 1 kHz)
    • Bridged: 90 watts RMS x 2 (14.4 volts, ≤1.0% THD, measured at 1 kHz into 4Ω)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 98 dB (at rated power output)

Crossover: The front and rear sections of the amplifier have independent crossover controls. Each can be set to high-pass, low-pass, or off (full range). The crossover points are continuously variable from 50 to 200 Hz; the slope is 12dB/octave.

Protection Circuitry: The amplifier features protection circuitry for thermal overload, DC output, and short circuits. The amp stops operating when it goes into protection mode. (There are no LED indicators.)

Signal Sensing Turn-on: When the amplifier is connected using speaker level inputs, from a factory or aftermarket head unit, the amplifier's signal sensing turn-on feature will turn the amp on when a signal is detected on the input. This eliminates the need to connect a turn-on lead to the amp's Power Control wire.

Connections

Wiring: The amp is equipped with a 22-pin DC connector. The included 5' DC harness, which plugs into the connector, has wires for +12V battery power, ground, power control (turn-on lead), and four speakers.

Power/Ground: The power and ground are 16-gauge wires. The power wire can be connected to the car's fuse box or directly to the battery. The amp is protected by a 15-amp ATM mini blade fuse. If wiring directly to the battery, install an in-line fuse (15-amp minimum) no more than 18" from the battery terminal. The ground wire should be attached to a chassis ground close to the amplifier.

Power Control: The blue/white Power Control wire should be connected to the head unit's remote turn-on lead when an aftermarket unit is used. This wire does not need to be connected if you're using speaker level inputs. The signal sensing turn-on feature will turn on the amplifier when a speaker level input signal is detected.

Line Level Inputs: The amplifier is equipped with two pair of RCA inputs. Two 38" stereo RCA patch cables are included. If using a factory head unit, or a unit without preamp outputs, the RCA inputs will also accept a speaker level signal. Adding a speaker level to RCA adapter is recommended (sold separately) when using speaker level inputs.

  • Note: If bridging the amp, 2 RCA Y-adapters will be required (sold separately).

Speaker Outputs: The included DC harness has eight wires for connecting four speakers to the amp.

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Customer Q&A

23 questions already asked

Q
Can I run channel A regularly and bridge B ?
kenneth  Mar 25, 2024
1 answer
A
Greetings Kenneth. Thank you for your question. You can run this as a 3 channel amp with the fronts being left and right, and the rear bridged to mono for a small subwoofer.
hogan  Mar 25, 2024 (Staff)
Q
Would it be possible to use this to power one KICKER - CompC 8" Dual-Voice-Coil 4-Ohm Subwoofer model number 50CWCD84?
eli  Mar 08, 2024
1 answer
A
Greetings Eli. Thank you for your question. This would not be the best amplifier for running your subwoofer. If all you are needing the amplifier for is your one subwoofer. I would recommend the Kicker 46CXA400.1. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_20646CX41T/Kicker-46CXA400-1T.html?tp=35834
hogan  Mar 08, 2024 (Staff)
Q
I have a 2017 Yukon and I'm installing a jvc KW-Z1000W how do I connect this amplifier up with a bose system?
billy  Feb 20, 2024
1 answer
A
Hey Art, so that JVC headunit has 6 total channels worth of RCA outputs on the back so to integrate this into your Yukon, you would need 4 channels worth of RCA cables to run to this amp, an amp wire kit for power, and then you would run some 16-18AWG speaker wire from this amp, and you would run that to the output side of the Bose amp and tie into the speaker wires at that location. This allows you to bypass the Bose amp and provide a bit more power to those speakers in that Yukon.
red  Feb 29, 2024 (Staff)
Q
Can this be used with stock, non Bose speakers in a 2022 Silverado 2500HD?
ryan  Feb 05, 2024
1 answer
A
Greetings Ryan. Thank you for your question. Absolutely. One way or another it can. With nothing else you would have to get in back of your factory radio, and cut 8 speaker wires from the factory harness, and run those into the amp. Then come back out of the amp with 8 wires and run those back to the harness. If you wish not to cut any of the factory wiring, there are wire interfaces to avoid that. We have two, and the one you need depends on your radio RPO code. That can be found in the glove box, or door jam, and might be a scannable QR code. If that sounds like a better option, and it is, please contact one of our advisors at 800-324-9695 with your RPO code.
hogan  Feb 05, 2024 (Staff)
Q
How can I get a little bit more bass out of this Kenwood amp?
michael  Aug 14, 2023
1 answer
A
This Kenwood KAC-M1814 does not have any bass boost or EQ capability, Michael. You can use your source (radio head unit) to adjust the EQ and add bass. I would also consider adding a small, powered subwoofer to your setup if you are not using one currently. The Rockford Fosgate P300-8P in the link below would be a solid option to increase the bass in your setup, you would need to also add a separate wiring kit for power and ground for install. We are always here to help! https://www.crutchfield.com/p_575P3008P/Rockford-Fosgate-P300-8P.html
bo  Aug 15, 2023 (Staff)
Q
In a 2013 Frontier that had the RF premium system, can i just connect the power for this amp to the aftermarket head unit, or do i have to run something all the way to the battery? i know the alpine compact amps just needed a 15amp circuit and many cars could handle this, including mine.
scott  Jul 02, 2023
1 answer
A
This amp would need a separate power wiring kit, Scott. The Crutchfield CK10 in the link below would be an excellent choice! Alpine does state that you can power the KTP-445U in the second link below off a 15A fused radio circuit, but for best results we advise a separate power/ground kit for the Alpine as well. Either option can provide clear and crisp sound if you are bypassing/upgrading the Rockford Fosgate original audio in your Frontier! https://www.crutchfield.com/p_007CK10/Crutchfield-CK10.html https://www.crutchfield.com/p_500KTP445U/Alpine-KTP-445U-Power-Pack.html
bo  Jul 02, 2023 (Staff)
Q
Can the power wire connect to the unused 25 amp fuse slot in the cabin?
don  May 26, 2023
1 answer
A
Greetings Don, and thank you for your question. Not sure what vehicle this will be going into, but its best to pull power directly off the battery with in this case a 15 amp inline fuse.
hogan  May 27, 2023 (Staff)
Q
While I know Kenwood says this amp can be used by just connecting the wires coming directly off the factory head unit, would I be better off just getting a 4 channel LOC? For a 2017 Subaru Impreza if that helps.
john  Mar 26, 2023
1 answer
A
Depending on your performance goals and exact trim level, possibly John. Adding an amp is also affected by whether your Subaru has the Starlink module and front speakers routed through it. The advantage to adding a 4-channel LOC would be the processing, taking away any bad EQ applied by your factory radio for best sound performance. If you have a non-premium amplified stereo and no Starlink (like a 2017 Impreza hatchback with four speakers) you may be able to use the PAC harness and LOC in the two links below. This would allow you to have the best sound quality possible from your factory radio, a major win! Make sure to use our online Vehicle Guide in the handy third link to enter your Impreza's exact trim and we will show you which options are available. https://www.crutchfield.com/p_541LPHTY01/PAC-LPHTY01-LocPro-Advanced-T-Harness.html https://www.crutchfield.com/p_541LPAE4/PAC-LPA-E-4-LocPro-Advanced.html https://www.crutchfield.com/m_266150/Car-Stereos.html
bo  Mar 26, 2023 (Staff)
Q
Recently put this amp into my car, set the input sensitivity to the specified head unit pre amp output, both frequency filter switches turned off, tried fiddling with the setting on the head unit, ultimately producing very little bass. what am I missing?
dillon  Apr 17, 2021
3 answers
A
Make sure your speakers are in phase. Positive to Positive, negative to negative. How was the bass before you installed the amp? My works fine.
michael  Apr 18, 2021
A
Hi Dillon I have a crossfire w infinity sound and I change the factory amp and speakers at doors(2way) and a woofers in back It works fine w/bass at rear I used 4-channel system w filter B in LPF It depends of Ur equipment Hope it help Good luck Amp is a good one and small Crutchfield has a good tech
saturnino  Apr 17, 2021
A
I don't know what sorce your playing from, or what speakers you have. On my system I have an over abundance of bass with the amp set flat. I do have a difference between cds and bluetooth. Without knowing these things I can't give you an answer.
monty  Apr 17, 2021
Q
Will this work with Bazooka-MAC6510B ?
jason  Apr 08, 2021
1 answer
A
This Kenwood amp will work with those speakers!
jason  Apr 20, 2021 (Staff)
Q
Will this work with Bazooka-MAC6510B ?
jason  Apr 08, 2021
1 answer
A
Sure, it's not crazy powerful tho.
ryan  Apr 08, 2021
Q
Can this be used with a factory head unit ? If not, is there a 4 channel amp that can ?
john  Mar 22, 2021
1 answer
A
I'm using it with an aftermarket head unit that I also purchased at Crutchfield, along with the recommended wiring harness. It was plug & play with the new harness. Not sure if it is plug-play with factory unit, but I'm sure Crutchfield advisors can help
brett  Mar 22, 2021
Q
So I'm wondering if I can wire my rear speakers on one channel and front speakers one the other for a high level outputÃ?2 I have kicker ks 4 ohm 6.5" and 6x9s in the back. Does it make a difference in power or performance? Or is it better to wire each one separate
joseph  Jul 11, 2020
1 answer
A
Not sure I used an aftermarket radio so I connected input with the rca out from radio and spliced into 4 speakers switched on the crossover in the amp since the low was going to be handled by a self powered subwoofer rca wired directly from the head unit
manuel  Jul 13, 2020
Q
Will I need to run a head unit with this amp or is it Bluetooth? if it is not Bluetooth can you link me to a 4-channel amp similar to this on that is Bluetooth
matthew  Apr 13, 2020
2 answers
A
This amp needs to have a source. Enter
scott  Apr 23, 2020
A
To be honest, I'm not familiar with the term head unit. However, I have the Kenwood KAC-M1814 connected with an Alpine car receiver with bluetooth capability.
dorphus  Apr 21, 2020
Q
How do I wire this to a Kenwood DDX376BT head unit? It has RCA cables on one side and a harness on the other. I don't see a battery cable or ground wire hookup. Does it not need that? Will there be a master sheet with instructions that come with this amp? Will there be instructions on how to properly tune the amp?
bryan  Sep 14, 2019
2 answers
A
I installed this amp in my daily commuter together with new speakers and head unit. To get audio to the amp, you connect the RCA pre-outs on the back of your head unit to the amplifier's RCA inputs. The harness that comes with the amp has about 5' of wire and includes the Battery (+), Ground (-), and amplifier turn on wire, as well as outputs for 4 speakers. I ordered an amp installation kit to get some extra wire for my installation. The (+) and (-) wires in the included amp harness are smaller than what you'd expect for an amplifier. Once you connect all the car side wiring to the harness, you just plug it into the amp. No screw terminals. If you roll down to "What's in the box" for this amp, Crutchfield has a copy of Kenwood's installation guide you can look at. It shows you how to hook up the amp and what the controls are for, but it does not provide instructions for tuning. I dialed mine in by ear.
joel  Oct 10, 2019
A
I wired the ground and power from the amp directly to the battery and used RCA cables to connect to the receiver
brad  Oct 09, 2019
Q
can this be bridged to 2 channel? do I need a spliter for inputs
karl  May 06, 2019
2 answers
A
Yes the amp can be bridged to 90 watts at 4 ohms. You may or may not need RCA splitters depending on your application. You can chat with one of our friendly product advisors to make sure you have everything you need: https://bit.ly/2QNxGQB
casey  May 13, 2019 (Staff)
A
Yes it can be bridged into 2 channel. Yes you need two y splitters 1 female to 2 male
vince  May 13, 2019
Q
My stereo has 2 channel pre out puts , how do I wire with four channel amp ?
scotty  May 04, 2019
2 answers
A
IT is possible to utilize a splicer with one female head on one end and two male jacks on the other end from the 2 channel pre output
dorphus  Apr 21, 2020
A
There are a few ways to get your radio to work with various 4 channel amps. I recommend contacting an advisor on 1-800-324-9695 to discuss your goals and get a personal recommendation on the best way to connect them My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/bio/Paul
jason  May 14, 2019 (Staff)
Q
What wiring will I need to install this amp? I have a Kenwood Marine radio and wired remote that it will hookup with along with four 6.5" Bazooka speakers. Radio and speakers are installed and working already.
timothy  Apr 26, 2019
2 answers
A
I believe the harness supplied along with the amp should be enough wiring unless you are installing the amp further away from the car stereo then extra wire might be needed.
dorphus  Oct 09, 2019
A
I installed this amp in my car. I really appreciated that it comes with its own electrical connector. The connector has a 5 foot length of wiring attached to it. If you can reach power, ground, and all four speakers within 5 feet of this amp, then I don't think you need much more than maybe some power taps for power and ground. It also comes with two 3.3 foot RCA cables (Enough to connect four input channels to the amp). Otherwise, you'll probably need an amp wiring installation kit and some speaker wire.
joel  May 06, 2019
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