By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The fact that JL Audio's 500/1 Class D mono amplifier has become the best-selling amplifier in dollar volume, according to The NPD Group, is notable in that this is the third year in the product's lifecycle.
Also of note, is that the 500/1 has a hefty price tag and that JL Audio, itself, has been in the amplifier market for less than three years.
The company successfully leveraged its reputation in subwoofers to take the No. 1 and No. 5 positions in amplifier sales this year, ahead of top names such as Rockford Fosgate and MTX. The 500/1 took the top slot at a suggested list price of $599, more than double the average selling amp price, said industry members.
Part of the 500/1's success, said retailers is the fact that it can drive two subwoofers as efficiently as two single amplifiers, which helps justify the price in multi-woofer installations. Other amplifiers able to do this cost $800 typically, said David Price, sales manager for Freeman's Car Stereo, Charlotte, NC.
Manville Smith, marketing VP, said the company set out to design its "Slash" series with practical features. One is the ability to work with a wide range of woofers. "Other amps are designed to operate into one impedance at optimum power and above that, they produce less than optimum power. Ours produces optimum power every time so the retailer doesn't have to worry about stocking multiple impedance woofers," he said.
It also has a tightly regulated power supply that allows you to get "full power in real world systems," said Smith. The 500/1's power supply detects the actual impedance being driven and adjusts output rail voltages accordingly, said the company.
Other feature "extras" include a built-in parametric equalizer and a pre-amp output with its own crossover filters said Smith.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.