Monday, May 7, 2018

Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1 Subwoofer Amp Review

I love car audio. And one of the best things about it, is that it keeps getting better. If you like a lot of bass, you know bass takes a lot of power. The large amounts of power used to require a huge amp to generate it. But now you can get large amounts of power from smaller sized amps. A perfect example of this is the Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1.

Features and specs:
  • Extreme Power in a Mini Compact Footprint
  • Conformal Coated PC Board to Resist Moisture, Dust and Extreme Heat
  • 1 Ohm Stable Design (BL1, BL3, BL4)
  • 4 Layers PCB design with SMD parts
  • Built-in Noise Reduction Circuitry
  • Full MOSFET with High Grade Switching Devices
  • Bluetooth Audio Streaming with (Optional) UBT1 Dongle (BLX2, BLX44, BLX48, BLX5)
  • Built-in Auto Sensing Turn On Function (Hi-Inputs)
  • 12V Remote Output for External Devices (Hi-Inputs)
  • -3 ~ + 12DB Variable Bass Boost 40 Hz - 100 Hz (BL1, BL3, BL4)
  • -6 ~ + 12DB Variable Bass Boost 40 Hz - 200 Hz (BLx5)
  • Advanced 5 Way Protection Circuitry
  • RCLX ~ Railcap Booster (Optional)
  • World Wide Standards Compliant (RoHS, E-Mark, CTA-2006, CE)
Peak Output Power @ 14.4V:  1600W Max Power
1600W Max Mono
1 Ohm RMS:  800W x 1
800w X 1
2 Ohm RMS:  400W x 1
400W x 1
4 Ohm RMS:  N/A

4 Ohm Bridged:  N/A
Input Level:  0.2-9.0v
Freq. Response:  10Hz-150KHz

THD at 4 Ohm Load 30% Rated Power: <0 .03="" font="">

S/N Ratio:  >85dB

BassBoost:  40Hz~100Hz

Minimum Load:  1 Ohm Mono

Gain Remote:  UR1 (Optional)

Dimension:  1.6"H x 4.25"W x 6.75"L

The Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1 came in an elegant looking black box. Opening the box revealed a well protected amp held in place with custom molded foam. Materials used in the construction was mostly metal, and appeared to be aluminum. Quality of materials used was excellent, as was the fit and finish. But don’t let the size fool you. Sure it’s small, but it also feels really solid in hand. Also included was the wiring harness, mounting screws, owners manual, warranty card, inspection card and Massive Audio sticker.

I was blown away by the design of the Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1. It is so small! Getting 800 watts out of an amp this small is mind boggling. And yet, it’s also built like a tank! You can say it’s typical Massive Audio quality.

The Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1 can be a real game changer, with subwoofer amps. The key is the size. Sure it is extremely well made. And 800 watts to your subs would be enough to satisfy the majority of consumers, possibly as high as 90% of consumers. But even more important is the size. It is so small, it could be mounted almost anywhere. So no matter how small your car is, there’s a place for the Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1.

In addition to it’s small size, the Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1 is also designed for marine use. That means it’s safe to be used out doors. Doing so opens up other vehicles that it can be used in, such as boats, or UTV. Given it’s small size and coated PC board, make it perfect for use in a boat or UTV,

Massive Audio has also included the features that you have came to expect in a subwoofer amp. One side of the amp has the wiring ins and outs for the power, ground remote turn on and speaker outs. On the opposite side is the RCA inputs, and controls. Those controls include the gain, crossover controls for filters, boost level, and boost frequency. It all sounds good, but how does the amp actually sound? Let’s hook it up and find out.

Installing an amp should be done by someone who knows how to do it. If you wire it wrong, you could fry your equipment. For those do it yourself guys, the manual is well written and easy to follow. But as the manual says, in order to get the full 1 year warranty, it needs to be installed by an authorized dealer. Wiring the amp was simple enough. The wiring harness was much different than expected for the outputs to the subs, but it worked well enough. And don't forget to include an in-line fuse.  The one thing I didn't like about the design was the lack of a built-in fuse.  It's like insurance to help protect your amp, so just don't forget to include one.  Setting the gain and crossover was also fairly simple to do. Now it’s time to hear how it performs.

I initially had high expectations, as the Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1 is a Massive Audio amp after all. But with it being so small, my expectations significantly diminished as I was wiring it. I was hoping it would perform as I initially expected, but I wasn’t expecting it. I was so happy to be proven wrong. I had nothing to be concerned about. Sure it’s really small, but I was blown away by the output of this mini juggernaut. It’s the real deal!

Lady Gaga – Love Game, Bass beets were very full, extremely deep, and while very clean, it hit like a sledgehammer to the chest. Justin Timberlake – Sexyback, had the exact same results. Bass was very deep and full sounding, and hit seriously hard. There was also a lot of resolution. In Also Sprach ZaraThustru, the motor was very well controlled, with a constant full and very deep rumble, and when the tympani kicked in, there was good resolution to be able to hear the impact of the mallet on the pad. To test max output I turned to an old bass disc. Bass Trek – Wrath of Bass. I was expecting when pushed really hard things might get a little muddy from such a small amp, but that wasn’t the case. It hit really hard, sounded really deep with excellent low end extension, and did so cleanly. When the fast beats kicked in, the motor was very well controlled, and didn’t miss a beat. That was impressive for a 12. I was equally impressed with how musical and transparent the amp was. All of my music sounded exactly as I’m used to hearing.

I must admit that I’m surprised at my reaction to the Massive Audio Nano Blu BL1. For me, bigger is typically better. But I couldn’t help falling for the Nano Blu BL1. The application with the number of vehicles it would work in, combined with the large 800 watt RMS output, it’s the most versatile sub amp I’ve seen in a while. Given it’s aggressive price of only $389 MSRP, the bang for the buck is off the charts. Especially with it’s impressive performance. Based on it’s design, features, quality and performance, the Massive Audio Nano Blu BLI 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-893S Receiver, AudioControl  DM-810 Digital Signal Processor, JL Audio NexD 600/6 amplifier, Infinity Kappa Perfect 900 and Perfect 600 component speakers, and Diamond Audio D6 12 inch subwoofer.