Mem­phis Car Au­dio VIV900.5

Am­pli­fier Re­view

Pasmag (Canada) - - Test Report - BY GARRY SPRINGGAY

Brand-new from the folks at Mem­phis Car Au­dio comes a line of DSP-pow­ered am­pli­fiers, with all-new looks and lead­ing edge tech­nol­ogy. The new series is known as the Six Five Series, and is Mem­phis' first real foray into the DSP world. There are seven dif­fer­ent mod­els in the series with one-, two-, four- and fivechan­nel vari­a­tions.

All of the am­pli­fiers have a cool new cos­metic treat­ment and have the con­trols hid­den be­hind a mag­net­i­cally-latched cover panel. For the pur­poses of this re­view, they sent us a pre-pro­duc­tion pro­to­type of the five-chan­nel ver­sion, called the VIV (Six Five, get it?) 900.5.

The new look from Mem­phis also comes with a few un­usual fea­tures, such as the abil­ity to se­lect from one of seven pos­si­ble il­lu­mi­na­tion col­ors for the power-on in­di­ca­tion. The con­trol for the LED color is found along with all of the rest of the con­trols, un­der the hinged front cover of the am­pli­fier, just above the con­nec­tions. In ad­di­tion to the vari­able LED color, the amp is equipped with 24-dBper-oc­tave crossovers, which pro­vide band­pass con­fig­u­ra­tions in ad­di­tion to the typ­i­cal high- and low-pass fil­ters.

The VIV900.5 is rated at 50x4+300x1 into four ohms, or 75x4+500x1 at two ohms. Should the need arise, the sub chan­nel can also drive a one-ohm load. Also, in the in­ter­est of max­i­miz­ing sys­tem de­sign flex­i­bil­ity and in­stal­la­tion friend­li­ness, the VIV900.5 has three dif­fer­ent ways to turn it on, with sens­ing for DC off­set as found on most head units, sig­nal sens­ing with mu­si­cal in­put, and the con­ven­tional 12-volt trig­ger. To make sig­nal rout­ing sim­pler for in­stall­ers, there is also a switch that al­lows you to drive the am­pli­fier with just a sin­gle pair of in­puts, or four in­puts to al­low fad­ing with con­stant bass out­put.

The heatsink is sized ap­pro­pri­ately for this pow­er­ful an am­pli­fier, and be­cause of that and the high ef­fi­ciency Class-D topol­ogy, the am­pli­fier has ex­cel­lent ther­mal per­for­mance, which is a sore spot for a lot of multi-chan­nel car amps. The power and speaker con­nec­tions will take gen­er­ously sized ca­bles (four- and 10-gauge, re­spec­tively) and the ter­mi­nals are well-in­su­lated and pro­tected.

When it comes to tun­ing the sys­tem, to com­ple­ment the ac­cu­rate DSP-con­trolled cross­over fil­ters, there is also a vari­able bass boost con­troller that can pro­vide up to 18-dB of bass boost at 45 Hz. This fil­ter is also de­signed to have a high Q fac­tor, which means its band­width is nar­row so as to not have a detri­men­tal ef­fect on ad­ja­cent fre­quen­cies. This makes it more ef­fec­tive as a tun­ing tool, and re­sults in a deeper, tighter bot­tom end.

I con­nected the amp in my sound room's ref­er­ence sys­tem, us­ing a two-ohm 12 in a sealed en­clo­sure as my woofer sys­tem, and then two pairs of four-ohm com­po­nent speak­ers were con­nected for the full-range sound. After set­ting the sub­woofer cross­over

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