These days finding a good amp at an affordable price is not only possible, but you also have a decent number of models to choose from. Kenwood seems to be on top of their game lately, especially with their KAC line. What makes this family of amplifiers so interesting is the level of flexibility they bring to the table.
When you are going for a budget build, you definitely expect to make some compromises. With that said, Kenwood’s KAC line is one of the rare amp series that simplifies this process to a decent extent. Are these the best amps on the market? Definitely not, but they are among the best value for the buck options we have right now.
The particular model we are going to talk about today is the Kenwood KAC-8406. It’s a newer addition to the line-up, and it promises to be one of the best as well. Those looking for a good entry-level model that packs a punch should start their search with this amp right here.
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Kenwood KAC-8406 Review
One of the most common starting points for most new car audio enthusiasts is to boost their existing OEM system. For this, an affordable four channel amp is by most definitions a perfect choice. That type of system won’t win you any awards, but it is the perfect gateway build for more serious configurations.
Once your OEM speakers are not enough for you, next thing to get is some aftermarket transducers that pack a more serious performance. Kenwood KAC-8406 is the type of amp that will support both of these types of setup, and so much more.
If you are familiar with Kenwood’s KAC line, you probably recognize the design of this amp. The device’s slim but stylish form is definitely one of its defining features. The amp is not small by any definition, but it is slim enough to be stealthy if necessary.
We won’t go deep into the design of KAC line, but we are going to join the rest of the field in appreciating the stylish aesthetic solutions Kenwood implemented with these amps.
In terms of power, which is far more important than the looks, you are looking at a maximum of 900 Watts distributed across four different channels. To be more specific, you get 70 Watts RMS per channel at 4 Ohms, or 100 RMS Watts at 2 Ohms. This is a bridgeable model so you can push 200 Watts RMS into two channels at 4 Ohms. This type of performance and distribution is pretty standard, but it’s also one of the most reliable ones.
In terms of features, the ones you get with the Kenwood KAC-8406 can be found in the most of the KAC range. There is a low pass and a high pass filter, both variable. On top of that, you get speaker level inputs and signal sensing turn-on. All in all a great and well-rounded package.
For a Class AB amp, Kenwood KAC-8406 performs more than great. Once you get this amp prepared for installation, you will realize that its initially large size is not that hard to handle. While you are looking at it, chances are you will notice the large heat syncs. Heat isn’t really an issue with this model lest you push it really hard, but it does a great job at dissipating excess heat when necessary.
One surprising thing about the Kenwood KAC-8406 is its frequency response range. It goes from as low as 5 Hz and reaches up to 50 kHz. That is pretty impressive, especially for an affordable unit such as this one. The quality of sound is great although some of the most adamant audiophiles out there might have a thing or two to say about it.
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The only let down is the lack of line out, which means that you won’t be able to stack these or make them apart of a larger cluster. However, there’s only so much you can expect from an amp in this price range. JL and Rockford Fosgate are two amps worth looking at if stacking multiple amps is on your “to do” list.
Do We Love It?
Kenwood has definitely shown us once again why they are one of the leading authorities in the industry. Having such a capable amplifier in the affordable segment of the market is a true blessing for those operating on a tighter budget. Kenwood KAC-8406 won’t have anything on more expensive and powerful models, but it holds its own when it comes to bang for the buck group of amps.
Is this something we would recommend to those just starting out in this hobby? Absolutely. You will find that Kenwood KAC-8406 is perfectly capable of keeping up with your demands even when you begin working with more serious systems. ‘
It’s not without its own set of drawbacks, however putting everything down on paper shows a clear picture. This is one of those amps which are just too tempting to simply overlook.