Year / Model Reviewed: 2007 DC reference 360.1 and 500.1
Strengths: SQ and Power with easy DSP processing
Weaknesses: heat up pretty good
Summary: These amps are incredible, the output and clarity are just above and beyond any other none Zapco amps that I have used. Plus the DSP processing that is built in makes it really easy to tune the set up just right. I hooked my laptop up to the 360 and was able to tune both amps. The setting included, gain, eq, time delay, crossover setting, output level, input level and actually more than I can remember right now. The coolest part is that i could sit in the drivers seat with my laptop and adjust everything all at once. Instead of having to make countless trips to the trunk. The other great feature with the Zapco amp (not just the DC's) is they have a balance line output called symbilink that keeps radiated noise out of your sound and boost the pre outs up to 18 volts. Giving you a lower noise floor and a boosted signal to amps. If your into SQ these amps will absolutely fit the bill. But as a whole all the Zapco amps that I have used are on a different level than any other amps I have used. including JL Audio slash and e series, Rockford Power series, PPI power class old school( these were pretty close in SQ), xtant, Alpine and a couple others I cant think of right now. The only draw back to these amps are the sub amp is a class ab, while this is great for SQ, it is a bit less efficient than most d class's and heats up pretty quick and consumes quite a bit of power. If you have an questions about these amps I will be happy to try and answer them or Zapco has a really good forum that has actual technicians from there staff answering question. [url]www.zapco.com[/url] Hope this doesnt sound too much like a plug, I just really like the products and this company.
Similar Products Used: JL Audio, Rockford Fosgate, Alpine, Xtant, PPI,
Strengths: Clean Power
Makes subs pound
Sound quality is second to none
Weaknesses: More expensive than amps most other lesser amps but you get what you pay for. Other amps can't even come close to the power and clarity.
Summary: This is one sick amp. I have this running to 4 JL W3 in a ported box. The bass hits so hard with this amp and the best thing about this is amp is it's really clean power. I have the bass down to -4 and it still pounds like hell. And I still probably have enough power left to hook up 4 more W3's although I'd never do that. I've had a system in all my other cars but none of them come close to the system I have now.
I only have a set of Morel Integra components in the kick panel for the highs run by a Rockford 501x amp. I'm getting rid of this amp and replacing with a new Zapco amp because this amp cannot make these speakers sing. A Zapco amp should do the job. I'm going to try out some amps at the shop where I got the Studio 500, I can't wait. I would highly recommed these amps to anyone who likes lots of CLEAN power.
Similar Products Used: Sony X-Plod, Infinity Reference, Soundstream, JL, Rockford.
Strengths: Unbelievable Power
Very Clean Sound
Great Build Quality
Damping Factor of 900
Weaknesses: Can't really think of any.
Summary: I have always been impressed with the Studio line of amplifiers by Zapco. The build quality, flexibility, and small footprint make them a favorite of mine for SQ setups. I've owned the Studio 500, 300x, 150, 100, and the Z200C2-SL from the competition series of the same era. These amplifiers have never let me down! they sound clean, powerful, and always underrated. The amplifier that I'm reviewing here is the big boy... the Studio 500! This baby does 250x2 at 4ohm, 500x2 at 2ohm, and an underrated 1000x1 at 4ohm mono. The boys at Zapco say that the 500 will put out over 1350 watts with 14.4 going to it. I have my amp running a 12W7 in a sealed 1.7ft^2 enclosure. The amp drives that sub to gut wrenching levels! I have to turn the amp down to Zero... I just can't take it. This model has the "Signal Reference Ground" this provides a ground which will be ran from the chassis of the headunit to the special output on the amp... this is said to eliminate noise for a cleaner signal. I tell you, this amp is very clean! The damping factor is 900 at 4ohm which is very good for subwoofers. My 12W7 hits very tight and fast... and that's with the gain turned all the way down. This amp puts out some unbelievable power! I think that it could run 2 W7s with ease and that this is an incredible sub amp for sound quality setups. I traded off my JL Audio 1000/1 and got this amp, if that tells you how good this thing sounds. If you can get your hands on one of these amps, hold on to it... they're getting harder to find.
Similar Products Used: Zapco Studio, 300x, 150, 100. McIntosh MC420M, PPI Art Series, Arc Audio, PPI Powerclass.
Year / Model Reviewed: 1997 z100c/studio300x/studio300x
Strengths: Clear and heavy bass no mather how high it is. Nice looking amps. High quality parts and made in the USA.
Weaknesses: That ZAPCO dont make this amps anymore so they are rare if you find some for sale.
Summary: Ever since I was a kid I'VE heard of ZAPCO. Especially living in Turlock which is next to Modesto where ZAPCO is made. My brother paid $2,600 for them. Then he passed them down to me for $450.00. I had 2 12's Kcker comps and tried the 100 watt ZAPCO and the bass was hitting hard and clear so i decided to try the studio300x and that one blew my speakers. So what I did I bought 4 12's solobarics L5 and used my 2 studio300x for my subs and the z100c for my highs amd let me tell what my system sounds so clear and perfect and the bass let me tell you i have to have it on -6 on my stereo and it still hits hard. ZAPCO amps are the best but expensive thats why you dont see them around as much as other amps. I've had stereo systems in all the cars i owned from rockford fosgate to ppi to kenwood to alpine. And none of them come close to ZAPCO but ARC AUDIO which is designed by Robert Zeff the maker of ZAPCO, (Zeff Advanced Product Co). Once you go ZAPCO you will never try want any other amp. My next goal is to enter in a competition which everybody tells me to.
Similar Products Used: ARC AUDIO designed by Robert Zeff nothing else compares,
Strengths: sound quality, build quality, industry reputation, 3 year warranty, flexible configuration beyond 4x50 and 2x110
Summary: It's much easier to judge the sound of a deck or speakers which leave a strong signature on the sound. The amp just needs to cleanly amplify the deck signal with high current capability without overheating and with no detriment to the sound quality. Very few amps seem to be up to the job, however.
Zapco makes a quality amp, but they do it at a very reasonable price. Soundstream made quality amps before they went under and were bought out by some cheapo electronics conglomerate. Audison and McIntosh make great amps, but at a much higher price than the Zapco ref series.
I love the sound of my system, but I think it is mainly because I like my McIntosh MX406 deck and Morel Integra 6.5" speakers. My Zapco amp just lets them sing.
Similar Products Used: Soundstream D100 amp (back when made in USA)
ADS P80 amp (18 years ago when they made awesome speakers)