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Rockford Demos 15K-Watt Amp, Palm Tech

Las Vegas — Rockford Fosgate is demonstrating two unique products and technologies at International CES:

3Sixty, an interactive digital signal processing system for installers works via Bluetooth-enabled Palm handhelds to allow aftermarket audio gear to be easily added to OEM systems. The Palm handhelds can be then tuned and optimized for peak performance.

Also being introduced is the T15kW, a super high-power four-channel statement amp that uses new high-capacity capacitor technology to deliver incredible amounts of power, in this case 15,000 watts, using minimal amounts of current.

Rockford Fosgate is offering two flavors of the 3Sixty processor, which essentially uses artificial intelligence, advanced equalization up to 153 bands and signal manipulation to overcome a car’s OEM sound inadequacies while maintaining factory features such as navigation and steering wheel controls: the 3Sixty.1 ($399.99), for OEM integration, and the step-up 3Sixty.2 ($699.99), with additional features, such as the ability for users with a Bluetooth-enabled Palm to tune the system in real time from anywhere in the car. Various individual settings can be saved as presets — such as when there’s just a driver in the car — and both units include an aux input for other entertainment devices, such as an iPod or game player.

The T15kW 15,000-watt amp — so loud that it couldn’t be demonstrated to full effect on the show floor — uses what Rockford calls Hybrid Technology to produce unprecedented power. One of the keys to the technology is the use of custom capacitors — originally developed for use in hybrid cars and large windmills — that can store huge reservoirs of power, which are released upon demand without straining the vehicle’s electrical system. Rockford media marketing manager Kevin Kuenzie says the amp can reduce current draw by as much as 500 percent.

Although the 150-pound, four-channel AB amp is really a statement piece — the company says its Hybrid Technology will eventually move into more conventionally powered amps in the future — a few units will be available in April at a price of $20,000.