Review of Amplifier: JL Audio HD900/5
After growing tired of dedicating 12.5” x 40” to three amplifiers over my rear axle hump, I decided that it was time to purchase a JL Audio HD900/5 and see if it would meet or exceed my expectations. I finally have the amplifier installed, and I must say that I was a little leery about giving up a little power here and there to run the 900/5. Well, now that it is in there, and tuned the way I liked it, I must say that my power deficit concerns were irrelevant. Just in case anyone wants to know, here are my system specifications: Alpine CDA-9887 source; Tang Band W4-1757SB (500 Hz on up); Mach5 Audio MLI-65 (80 to 500 Hz); Subwoofer – 13w6v2 Mustang Stealthbox (80 Hz on down).
Thus far, I performed more critical listening with the car NOT running than with any other setup I have owned since re-entering this hobby in 2007. I’ve been trying to expose those alleged full range class D flaws by trying to pick out something that does not sound right, and I just can’t do it. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon sounds GREAT and I really love Echoes off of Meddle. I also listened to a few tracks from Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile, and I was impressed. The imaging in Somewhat Damaged is spot on and the midbass in We’re In This Together is most certainly there. A Perfect Circle’s Thirteenth Step also sounds awesome and is on par with my old ab/gh setup. For kicks, I cranked up the volume on Killasound by Freestylers vs Wizard just to see if I would notice the 350 watt power deficit on my subwoofer. I must say, the theoretical 2.55 decibel loss in subwoofer output by going from 850 watts to 500 isn’t as noticeable as I thought it would be. If anything, the subwoofer appears to blend better at all volume levels versus being overpowering at times.
Any concerns I once had about full range class D are now moot. Granted, it was tough to get past the stigma of the Alpine PDX-5 that I tried in 2008, but this amplifier literally smokes it. My complaints about the Alpine were lack of midbass, lack of subwoofer output, and noise. I am happy to report that the JL Audio HD900/5 has NONE of these issues! If you are tired of dedicating a whole bunch of real estate to multiple amplifiers and are on the fence about purchasing a 900/5, my advice is to purchase it!
Lastly, other options I considered were the Kenwood XR4s with a XR1; Alpine PDX F4 with a PDX M6; the JL Audio 600/4 with a HD750/1; and the Audison LRX 5.1k. The reason the HD900/5 won out was due to the fact that I get everything in one amplifier with a small footprint!
Just to give you a size perspective, this is how big the amplifier is compared to a CD Jewel Case:
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