Saturday, June 9, 2012

JL Audio NexD XD600/6 6 Channel Full Range Class D Amplifier Review

When it comes to car stereo, it's about the music. Want to upgrade your sound from being powered by your receiver? The best way is to get a dedicated amplifier. And if you want a subwoofer for more bass, more amplifier power is needed. Add space to the problem and your number of solutions are more limited. Enter the JL XD600/6 amplifier.
It's specs and features include:
Rated Continuous (RMS) Power @ 14.4 V: @ 4 Ω75 W RMS x 6,@ 2 Ω100 W RMS x 6, Bridged @ 4Ω200 W RMS x 3
Rated Continuous (RMS) Power @ 12.5 V: @ 4 Ω60 W RMS x 6, @ 2 Ω90 W RMS x 6, Bridged @ 4Ω180 W RMS x 3
Frequency Response: 12 Hz - 22 kHz (+0, -1dB)
S/N Ratio, referred to highest rated power: >104 dB below rated power (A-weighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz noise bandwidth)
S/N Ratio, referred to 1 W: >84 dB (A-weighted, 20 Hz - 20 kHz noise bandwidth)
Damping Factor @ 4 Ω: >150 / 50 Hz
Damping Factor @ 2 Ω: >75 / 50 Hz
THD+N @ Rated Power: <1% @ 2 Ω per Ch.
Input Voltage Range @ RCA Inputs: 100 mV - 4 V RMS
Min Copper Power / Ground Wire Gauge: 4 AWG wire
Fuse Rating: 50 A (AFS, AGU or MaxiFuse™)
Filter Modes: Low-Pass or High-Pass
Filter Slope (dB/Octave): 12dB
Filter Frequency Range: 50-500 Hz
Detented, Calibrated Filter Freq. Potentiometers: Yes
Filter Defeatable?: Yes
Remote Level Control: Optional (HD-RLC)
Remote Level Modes: 2 or 4 or All Channels
Channel Input Mode Switch: Yes (2/4/6 ch.)
Pass-Through Preamp Output Type: None
Source Channel Selection for PreOuts: N/A
Height (H): 2.05 in / 52 mm
Width (W): 10.23 in / 260 mm
Depth (D): 7.09 in / 180 mm
Net Weight: 5.8 lb / 2.63 kg
Often space for electronic gear, such as amps, can be really limited. Finding space for an amp for your door speakers and a subwoofer amp, can be difficult. There are multi-channel amps out there, like 5 and 6 channel amps that will work. And getting it in one amp can save space. But most still are rather large. The JL XD NexD amps are full range class D amps, and are very small in size.
The XD600/6 is a full system amp. With it's 6 channels of equal power, and built-in crossovers, there is a lot of flexibility. Channels 1-4 can power your door speakers, and channels 5-6 can be bridged to power a subwoofer. Or you can use all 6 channels to power front and rear door speakers, and maybe dedicating each channel to a dedicated driver in a component system. There are a lot of different configuration possibilities.
The amp came well packaged and double boxed. The box for the amp was printed with a good looking design. It featured pics of the amp, and some specs. And it was well packaged in the box with it's custom styrofoam pieces. Also included was a manual, and hex hey for taking off the front panel to gain access to the controls.
The quality is also very good. I would expect nothing less from JL Audio, and the XD600/6 does not disappoint. The amp is really small, especially for a 6 channel amp. And it has some really good heft to it. I like the styling with the black and natural aluminum colors. Fit and finish were very good, as was the quality of the components used. The crossovers and settings were well marked, but the gains not as much so. But after reading the manual, the gains were easy to get set. The built-in crossovers do not offer the most flexibility I have seen. But unless you are looking to run an active 3-way system, the range of the built-in crossovers should be sufficient.
As with other JL Audio products used, the JL Audio XD 600/6 performed very well. They are only rated at 75 watts per channel at 4 ohms at 14.4V (or 60 watts at 12.5V), but they seemed to provide more than that. The power was clean, and very transparent to the source material. The sound was also very full with detailed resolution. Using it to power an active system, the drivers sounded cleaner than previously heard. I was also pleased to see the amp ran fairly cool as well. It got warm, but not hot.
I was very pleased with the sound of some of the reference material I like to use. Fresh Aire I: Chocolate fudge had crisp percussion, clean drums, and the flute had good air. Justin Timberlake: Sexyback had good dynamics, and impactful bass. Boys II Men: Yesterday, was not only very smooth, they also had excellent timbre, resolution, and real depth to the vocals.
Performance of the JL Audio XD 600/6 was steller. I would have preferred a little more flexibility in the crossover section, but JL makes up for it in their extremely small size, and performance. Based on it's design, features, quality, and performance, the JL Audio XD600/6 has earned our Editor's Choice Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at Reference gear used included Kenwood Excelon DNX-9980HD Multimedia Receiver, German Maestro MS 654010 3-way component system, Alpine Type-X SPX-13PRO 2-way component system, Kicker 15" L7 subwoofer, AudioControl DQSX six channel digital crossover and equalizer, Zed Audio Leviathan III amplifier, Vibe Audio Black Death Bass 1 amplifier.