The only way to achieve bone-shaking, and tooth-rattling bass is with a competition subwoofer, but deciding to add a beefy sub to your car audio system is only the first step in a longer journey. All that power needed to feed your power-hungry sub(s) has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is an amplifier.
So, whether you are a serious SPL contestant, a seasoned warrior in the weekend SPL wars, or a serious audiophile who likes to turn it up and enjoy that loud, chest-pounding bass, competition amplifiers are definitely part of the picture. A powerful amplifier will breathe life into your music, bringing out all of its excitement and detail.
Although car amps are built to perform essentially the same function and operate under the same basic principles, they aren’t all created equal.
Competition car amplifiers are built to perform. They’re incorporated with high-grade and beefy components. This allows these amps to deliver outstanding performance and a produce outrageous amount of power on continuous basis without strain.
A great car audio system’s not a great system without a powerful car amplifier. And you’re not short of choice – so we’ve rounded up the best competition amplifiers money can buy. These amps represent different price points, designs, and capabilities. With any luck, you’ll find a competition amplifier that will transform your car into a mobile disco pumping out mirror shaking bass.
Do You Need a Competition Amplifier?
Well, the short answer is that everyone who wants a competition subwoofer in their car also needs a competition amplifier. As to whether you need a monoblock amp, multi-channel amp, or both, that depends on your budget and the car audio system that you’re trying to build. And since everyone wants something a bit different out of their car audio setup, there really aren’t any wrong answers. However, there probably is a best answer for every particular situation.
Best Competition Car Amps
When it comes to car amplifiers, Rockford Fosgate is probably one of the most legendary. They’ve been in business for a long time and have mastered the art of manufacturing quality car amplifiers at reasonable price.
Rockford fosgate offers a wide range of car amps of different types and configurations. Rockford Fosgate car amplifiers come in three main series labeled “Prime”, “Punch”, and “Power”. Amplifiers in the “Prime” series are the entry-level amps while those in the “Power” series are company’s high-end amps. More of a middle-of-the-road line of amplifiers, the “Punch” series which offer a great value for the buck.
Rockford Fosgate Punch P1000X1BD is one the best monoblock car amplifiers in the Rockford Fosgate Punch series. This amp was designed to assure maximum BOOM for your buck. It use class-BD circuit topology which is quite efficient.
This mono-channel amplifier can produce up to 1000 watts RMS at 1 ohm, giving you plenty of clean power for your rhythm track. It’s featured with low-pass filter that’s meant to keep the high notes away from your subwoofer, while its subsonic filter helps you rein in runaway boom. Futhermore, its variable PEQ2 bass boost lets you add some of that boom back into the mix whenever you feel like it.
As is the case with most Rockford Fosgate amps, the P1000X1BD uses Rockford Fosgate C.L.E.A.N. technology (Calibrated Level Eliminates Audible Noise) — which is meant to ensures that your music will sound as clean and powerful as possible. This technology will save you from the hassle of manually matching the amp to your receiver’s output. It works like this : play the setup tone on the included test tone CD, adjust the receiver volume until a red clip turns on the amp goes out, then turn the amp gain up until a blue light comes on, and voila !
For long lasting performance and reliability, you’ll find Rockford Fosgate’s Dynamic Thermal Management system at work here. This system relies on high-mass heatsink and uses forced air to dissipate and efficiently draw heat away from the amp’s internal components. Additionally, Rockford Fosgate’s proprietary MEHSA MOSFET cooling system maximizes the heat transfer from the MOSFET devices to the high-mass heatsink, allowing the heat to escape more readily, so the transistors stay cooler and work efficiently.
PDX car amps are designed to run so cool and produce much less heat. They feature an exclusive stacking system which allows them to be stacked together into a single unit so that their heatsinks couple together to share cooling duties and cool the entire stack. Combine that with their MOSFET power supplies, MOSFET final outputs, and a thermal management processor, and you get a car amplifier that will deliver outrageous amount of power without strain.
This car amp packs massive power in a compact size and stands as the most efficient Class “D” amplifier in this category. It can crank out a ton of power from its amazingly compact body.
The PDX-M12 is stable at low impedances and is capable of delivering up to 1200-watts x 1-channel from 2 to 4 ohms. This allows for excellent flexibility with multiple speaker and subwoofer loads.
In addition to its beefy internal components and clever engineering, This Alpine PDX amplifier comes with selectable subsonic filter, preamp-level inputs and outputs as well as adjustable low-pass filter to tailor the amp’s output to your specific system.
If you’re looking to scale up from the Punch P1000X1BD but you need something massive, Rockford Fosgate has plenty of other choices available. One of the more popular options available is the “Power” T2500-1bdCP.
This is what you can get if you’re willing to shell out some serious dough. This Rockford Fosgate amp is going to be the most expensive pick of the lot by far. If you believe in “you get what you pay for”, the Rockford Fosgate T2500-1bdCP amp proves that axiom right.
Rockford Fosgate “Power” Series amps sport proven reliability, and proprietary technologies that deliver stronger, more reliable performance than most other amplifiers on the market. These amplifiers are incorporated with heavy-duty, state-of-the-art components. They’re also featured with Rockford Fosgate’s Dynamic Thermal Management system which is designed to manages the temperature of the internal components by distributing heat evenly for higher efficiency and lower distortion. Additionally, these amp use unique heat sink to dissipate heat away of the internal component so the high-power output transistors stay cooler and last longer.
What sets Rockford Fosgate “Power” series amps from the competition is their ability to monitor their speakers’ performance using Rockford Fosgate’s Constant Power technology. The latter acts as you vehicle’s cruise control which increases the engine’s RPM to maintain your car’s speed uphill. Wwhat Rockford Fosgate’s Constant Power technology does is that it maintains the amp’s output by increasing its internal voltage and current when the speaker’s impedance rises. This allows for up to 25% more power (Watts) across all impedance loads.
This T2500-1bdCP amplifier can pump out up to 2,500 watts RMS, easily driving any array of woofers wired to a 1-ohm load.
The phrase “bigger is better” can be very hit or miss depending on what you’re talking about. When it comes to car amplifiers, it can become even more inconsistent. That said, the phrase rings true when it comes to the Orion HCCA5000.1DSPLX.
The HCCA5000.1DSPLX is one of the most powerful competition car amplifier that Orion has to offer. This powerhouse was designed to perform. It can pump out up to 5000 watts at 4 ohm, 3600 watts at 2 ohm, and up to 5400 watts at 1 Ohm.
This Orion competition amp sports level adjustments to allow for easy integration with any source unit. It also comes with adjustable bass boost which maximizes the performance of a subwoofer and allows for continuous adjustment of low frequency boost on the rear channels.
Furthermore, this Orion powerhouse is featured with subsonic filter which cuts off extremely low frequencies (below the range of human hearing) that many speakers cannot effectively reproduce.
This thing is s beast, all things considered. So, if you’re looking for an efficient amplifier with great performance and beautiful design, this Orion is a great option to consider. However, with great power output comes greater responsibility, and in this case you’ll need a major source of power – you’ll need to upgrade your alternator to a bigger one, and add one or two extra batteries for optimal performance.
Best Competition Car Amplifier Brands
There’s a car amplifier for just about every person, from those who want only the best sound, to audiophiles and serious bass heads. However, when it comes to competition car amps, and when you’re shelling out a serious amount of cash on a car amp, you want to make sure you’re getting the right one.
Finding a trustworthy brand that’s known for making quality and reliable competition amplifiers is the key. The are also many other factors that you shouldn’t under-estimate either when choosing a competition amp including amp’s power output, number of channels, and correctly matching the amp to your subwoofer. Taking into account these three main factors will help account for differences between a good-sounding and a great-sounding car audio system.
Without any further adue, here are some of the best competition amplifier brands that you can rely on.
- Rockford Fosgate
- Jl Audio
Competition Amplifiers VS Standard Amplifiers
Car amplifiers come in various designs, sizes and configurations. Trying to pick up the right car amplifier for your vehicle can be a daunting task, but what’s the difference between standard car amp and competition amplifier?
Well, they are more or less the same. Competition grade is not a “real” classification. It generally refers to the amp’s high grade components and high power output. Unlike regular amps, competition amps are built from the ground up to be able to deliver a ton of power on continuous basis without giving out, which makes them best suited for feeding power-hungry competition subwoofers.
Additionally, these amps are quite pricey. While you can get a decent car amplifier for around $200, sometimes even less, competition grade amplifiers are priced at over $500, easily.