Best Amps for Kicker CVR 12 Subwoofers [Reviews 2020]

Posted in Recording & Audio Equipment | Last Updated on May 1, 2020

One of the main stages in almost every audio system is an amplifier. Without it, you will not achieve the desired sound quality. And of course, the quality of the amplifier affects the quality of sound. If it’s made of cheap and inefficient components it can distort the output signal. Also, they would produce more heat than their high-end counterparts.

Bash - 300S

Check Price on Amazon

One of the lightest subwoofer amps, the Bash 300S provides you 300 watts of power. Its FET circuits consume less energy and produce less heat. Limiter circuits prevent audio clipping. If you want to get a bass boost, some of the resistors on the preamp plate can be easily switched. This amp is compatible with any 4-ohm subwoofer. Also it has great signal to noise ratio equals to 105 dB.

Dayton Audio - SPA250

Check Price on Amazon

The Dayton Audio SPA250 gives you 252 watts of pure bass into your 4-ohm speaker (156 into 8-ohm) but it’s not the lightest amp in our list. It can convert the stereo signal into mono giving you the sub bass. The bass boost now can be achieved without switching the resistors on the preamp section. Now it has an on/off switch on the upper side of the frame. Also, the internal low pass crossover is fully adjustable between 40 and 180 Hz. The large radiator on a front panel prevents overheating.

Yung - SD300

Check Price on Amazon

This Chinese D-class amp by Yung Engineering gives you 302 watts of rated 300 with a 4-ohm load. And in contrast to other amps in the list, the SD300 gives you full control over the phase. But the other controllable things are only level and cutoff. Some people may say that this is the main disadvantage of this lightweight amp. The others can notice its simplicity. In 8-ohm mode, the SD300 gives you 155 watts of pure power.

Seismic Audio - SA-APTM12

Check Price on Amazon

The Seismic Audio SA-APTM12 may seem to have the lowest output power in our list with just 200 watts RMS, but it provides you low distortion level with relatively low heat production thanks to its AB-class power amp section. Also, it gives you a wider frequency range. The other advantage is built-in balanced XLR input and output. The control panel is simple. There is polarity control switch, output level knob, and low pass filter knob. And like any other amplifier in the list, the APTM12 can work with either 115V or 230V power voltage.

Pioneer GM - A3702

Check Price on Amazon

The Pioneer GM-A3702 is an AB-class power amplifier and it gives you 2x170 watts of pure bass power with 4-ohm speakers (500 watts in bridged mode). Its signal to noise ratio is 95 dB. The low pass filter is set to 80 Hz.

BOSS Audio - PT1000 Phantom

Check Price on Amazon

The Boss PT1000 Phantom is twice as powerful as the Pioneer GM-A3702. It gives you full control over the sound. And it can serve as the main amp of your audio system with high and low pass filters and high and low-level controls. The AB-class MOSFET power amp circuit grants you low power consumption and low heating. This amp also can be remotely controlled via the included controller. And it can be also used as a stylish element in your car with its red LED backlighting.

Pioneer - GM-D8601

Check Price on Amazon

This amp gives you 600 watts of sound with 4-ohm speaker and 1600 watts with 1-ohm. Not as stylish as its Boss counterpart it gives you higher energy conversion efficiency in smaller body frame thanks to a D-class power amp circuit. In comparison with current Pioneer AB-class amps the D8601 is almost two times smaller. It also comes with a wired remote control unit with 19’ RJ-25 cable. This amp is compatible with almost any RCA speakers. But if you don’t have the RCA-compatible speakers, the D8601 has additional screw-equipped inputs.

Kicker - 43CXA3001

Check Price on Amazon

The Kicker 43CXA3001 is small but powerful. Don’t be afraid that this 150-watt little demon wouldn’t withstand your needs. The D-class power amp makes it very loud and a high signal to noise ratio provides you the crystal clear tone.

Kicker - CX1200.1

Check Price on Amazon

The CX1200 is “the older brother” of the 43CXA3001. It has the same features ­­­– including remote bass boost control via ¼’’ Jack cable – as its little counterpart but provides you four times more powerful output. Raising the power of its D-class amp caused the construction to get bigger. Unlike Pioneer or Boss amps, the Kicker cannot be used with 1-ohm speakers.

The Buyer’s Guide

First, you have to know how much power you need. The amp RMS should match or be lower than the subwoofer speaker RMS. With greater amp RMS you can just blow your speaker head off. Also, you can see the peak wattage. This is the maximum power your amp can withstand without damage in a short time. If you have several speakers, you should get the more powerful amp to avoid loudness and quality losses.

The next thing you have to know is the impedance. The greater the impedance the less power will transform into a sound. The most popular subwoofer speakers are 4-ohm. Of course, you can wire several speakers to one amp but they should have the same impedance. The different impedance of speakers can cause some being underpowered and others being overpowered and damaged.

Of course, every electrical circuit produces some noise. To keep you free from that buzzing choose the amplifier with the highest signal to noise ratio. If you choose an amp with a signal to noise ratio lower than 80 dB you won’t get the clear sound.

As you can see in the list, amps are divided into several classes based on circuit schematics. The main classes are A, B, AB, and D.

The A-class amplifiers provide the clearest tone. But they have a high quiescent current which causes the lowest energy conversion efficiency. And they produce much heat so they can be used only with a good cooling system. Their sound makes them extremely expensive and very popular between audiophiles.

The B-class amp has two different FETs, one for each half-wave of the signal. This schematic provides a much higher ECE. This can be a perfect solution but there is a disadvantage. Every FET is non-linear no matter the quality. So this will cause signal distortion.

This was the reason to invent the AB-class amplifiers. The AB schematics combine the advantages of A and B types of amplifiers. There are still two FET circuits for each half-wave but they have a little bias to get rid of the “ladder” at low signals.

There are also H-class amplifiers. These amplifiers are just low-power AB amps with capacitor-based power supply doubling circuit. When the signal peak comes through the circuit the capacitor doubles input power. This works on mid and high frequencies and doesn’t affect low frequencies signals.

The D-class amps are much different from other amps. On the input stage of the amp, the continuous signal is transformed into a series of impulses. The amplitude of these impulses is the same, but their length is a function of an amplitude of an original signal. The higher the original signal the longer the transformed impulse. Then this series is amplified by an amp and transformed back to the original analog form with an LC-filter. The energy conversion efficiency of D-class amps is extremely high but they are not efficient on high frequencies due to the limits of LC-filter.

So if you want perfect sound quality and high on a budget, take a look at A-class amps. If you don’t want your amp to be hotter than fire and ready to sacrifice the sound quality, the B-class amp is your choice.

If you don’t want to hear a highly distorted sound and want to save your amp from overheating – the AB-class or its derivative amp is for you. If you are extremely limited in space and power supply, do not need the amp to work with high frequencies and tight on a budget, choose the D-class amplifier.