Sunday, April 9, 2023

Wāvtech Link500.1mini Car Subwoofer Amp Review By Jeff Roy

I admit, I’m a bit of a basshead. That means I like a lot of bass. When it comes to car audio, this means having a subwoofer system. But it’s not just about the subwoofer.  I need a good, high-quality amplifier for my subs. Just like subs, not all amps are created equal. Up for review today is a high-quality sub amp form Wāvtech, their Link500.1mini. MSRP is a fair $399.


Features and specs:

Link500.1mini Features

500 Watt Mono Amplifier

300 watts x 1 @ 4 ohms

500 watts x 1 @ 2 ohms

Small Footprint Only 9.05”x4.5”x1.65”

Fully Adjustable Parametric EQ

Variable Low-Pass Crossover (-24dB/oct)

Variable Subsonic Filter (-24dB/oct)

Remote Level Control (RLC) w/Optional linkRC

Start/Stop System Compatible

Differential Balanced Inputs

Variable Gain Adjustment w/Clip LED

Auto Turn-On via DC-Offset or Audio Signal Detect

OEM Load Detect Compatible

Locking Detachable Hi-Level Speaker Terminals

Professional Grade Panel Mount RCA’s

Compact Aluminum Chassis w/Detachable Mounting tabs

Link500.1mini Specifications

Input Sensitivity

SPK --------------------------- 1-20Vrms, 2-40Vrms

RCA --------------------------- 0.2V-5Vrms, 0.4V-10Vrms

Max Input Voltage (SPK) ------ 40Vrms

Frequency Response ----------- <10Hz to >500Hz (=0/-3dB)

THD+N ------------------------------- <1% at rated power

S/N ------------------------------------- >78dBA (1W, 4Ω)

The Wāvtech Link500.1mini came in a nice-looking color printed box, with images and specs of the amplifier. Opening the box revealed a well-protected amplifier, held in place by custom molded foam. Materials used in the construction was almost all metal. Quality of materials used as well as the fit and finish, was very good. Also included was the owner’s manual and mounting screws.

I absolutely love the design of the Wāvtech Link500.1mini. At first look, I see all metal housing is designed to act as a heatsink. The metal mounting feet on each corner are removable. On one end of the amp are the connectors for power, ground, remote turn on, and the speaker wire terminals, on the other end are the RCA inputs, hi-level inputs, and connector for the wired remote. Sadly, the wired remote was not included. If you want it, you’ll need to purchase it separately.

But what really impressed me was the pre-amp controls. They were on top of the amp. That’s not a common location, and I love it. I’ll admit that most of those setting are typically set once and done, when you are installing it and setting it up. Having the controls on top makes it much easier to access if you want to make any changes in the future. And it’s still easier for the initial set up as well.

Installation is easy. The mounting feet worked great. Connecting the power, ground, RCA, remote and speaker cables was easy. There’s a switch on top for input voltage, and the pre-amp controls on tap made set up really simple. I especially liked the clip LED indicator on top as well. It makes it so much simpler for a DIY person to do the install and set the gains.

What was also really cool, and really special, is the fact that it can handle a 40V input signal. The Wāvtech Link500.1mini will accept hi-level inputs. This makes it simple for factory systems. Many people may be happy with the factory radio and speakers, maybe just want more bass. This is where the Wāvtech Link500.1mini really shines. Being able to accept a 40V input, I can’t think of any factory systems the amp would not be able to work with. 40V is a lot of power, so you would be covered with whatever system you are integrating it with.

One thing that I also wanted to point out, is that this amp is designed for sound quality. If you have not noticed, this amp is rated to 2-ohm. That’s something that needs to be noticed. If you are wanting to run your amp at 1-ohm, this amp will not be for you. While you’ll get more power out of an amp at 1-ohm, it comes at a cost. You’ll get better sound quality at 2-ohms or even 4-ohms. Also, the lower the load, the harder the amp will have to work. This is why not all amps can handle a 1-ohm load, and/or have a hard time sustaining that load.  And this also creates more heat. All of this will also more than likely reduce the lifespan of the amp. So if an amp can handle a 1-ohm load, it still effect its lifespan, and the sound quality. The company, as stated, is more on sound quality. Hence the amp is designed for a 2-ohm minimum load. Now let’s see how it sounds.

Katy Perry – Dark Horse:  the bass was tight with really good punch, and was well controlled.  Sustained bass was also clean with good low-end extension, and played with a ton of authority. 

New Order-Blue Monday:  thanks to a motor structure provided a healthy 500 watts RMS, the cone was very well controlled.  Bass beats at the beginning were fast, well controlled, really tight, with very good punch.  The rest of the song had bass that was also very well controlled that played with very good low end extension with a ton of authority, hitting really hard.

Chamillionaire- Ridin’: again the beats were very well controlled by the motor structure, thanks to the amp.  Beats were tight, and hit really hard with great low-end extension and a ton of authority. And it was really clean doing so.

The Wāvtech Link500.1mini proved to be a great product. It’s a very well-made amp, designed to provide years of use. Not only is it designed to work with just about any vehicle, it’s also very easy to install and set up. Based on its design, features, quality and performance, it has earned our Highly Recommended Award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at  Reference gear used:  Kenwood DNX887XR reference series receiver, Nakamichi NSDT500A 12 channel DSP 10 channel amplifier, German Maestro M-Line 3-way component speakers, Alpine Type-X 2-way component speakers, Image Dynamic quad ID8 subwoofers.