This month’s top amp is… the Kenwood KSC XR400-4
Just because something’s not mahoosive doesn’t mean it can’t muster up plenty of grunt when needed. It’s fair to say though, to get to that level of perfection in something small, it takes time, dedication and development on an almost nuclear scale. Kenwood have been masters of innovation in this department over the past few years and much of their new range works on the principle that small audio has a massive future – quite obviously this flagship amplifier is no exception. Think something ickle can’t pack some serious explosive power? Turning on this amp gets a reaction not unlike kicking Bruce Lee square in the plums.
There’s skinny and there’s skinny and this amplifier dear reader makes an emo’s jeans look positively baggy! One of the thinnest (if not the thinnest) amplifiers on the planet, Kenwood have invested a massive amount of time and effort into miniaturising everything, without skimping on the performance or heat dissipating abilities. The result is a full-on 4-channel that’s only 22cm long, 17cm wide and a mind-boggling 3.5cm thick – so it’s smaller than a page in this very mag!
The two huge 30-amp fuses hiding in the side, hint at the muscle in the relatively modest black box. For its size, this puppy pumps out a ridiculous amount of power and that’s mainly due to its impeccably engineered Class D circuit. At 2-ohms you can run all 4-channels at 100-watts a piece, or bridge two for a hefty subwoofer pounding 200-watts. These are all genuine RMS figures too, proving that big doesn’t always mean mighty. When it comes to powering the bugger up, the good news is it’s been developed with connections that can take some pretty serious gauge wire, that’s pretty handy too, as you’ll certainly need it.
As you’d expect from the masters of all things audio, this amplifier is infinitely tweakable ensuring that even the most discerning audiophile will be able to set it up to fulfil their every desire. The tech-heads and physics teachers out there will be glad to know it has built in variable low and high-pass filters (with 50-200Hz and 2.5K-10KHz respectively) so, no matter what speakers you need to power, the frequency band will be spot on. Top scientific stuff!
For more info see Kenwood Electronics