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hen most enthusiasts
think about historical
car audio companies,
our thoughts tend to gravitate
towards the iconic American
brands. So, it may come as
a surprise to some that one of
the oldest car audio companies
on the planet began in Japan in
1940. Long before even I was
born, the Hakusan Wireless
Electric Company began
manufacturing battery-operated
household radios. Known since
1970 as the Clarion company, the
brand boasts a long list of
technological achievements and
industry firsts.
Continuing that tradition,
the good folks at Clarion
Canada have sent me one of its
latest four-channel amplifiers
– the XC6410 – to put through
its paces.
The Clarion XC6410 is a class D full range,
four-channel amplifier designed around a very
compact, classy looking two-tone brushed
aluminum chassis. And, when I say compact,
I’m not kidding. Measuring only 8.75 x 6.8 x 2.2
inches, it’s hard to believe the amplifier is rated
at 85 W x 4 at four ohms, and a whopping 125
W x 4 at two ohms. But, thanks to the effi-
ciency of a well-executed class D topology, the
heat dissipation of the amp is easily managed
and the power is very real.
Of course, the amplifier can be used in
bridged mode where you can create four,
three or two channels, depending on the
architecture of your system. Special signal
steering switches configure the amp for four-
channel stereo, three-channel stereo/mono
or true two-channel stereo output.
There are quite a few handy and welcome
features you won’t find on many competitive
products. For example, the ability to turn on
the amplifier with high level input signal when
a remote wire doesn’t exist; or, being able to
have bass boost applied to all four channels
or only two. Convenience features like these
make the XC6410 easy to install in a wide
variety of applications and can really come in
handy. Speaking of a variety of applications,
the XC6410 is also fully treated with confor-
mal coating and nickel-plated hardware for
complete compatibility in marine applications.
Connections and controls are all found on
the front edge of the amplifier and accessible
by removing two small screws holding an alu-
minum trim panel in place (it normally hides
and protects the connections and controls).
In addition to the aforementioned stereo/
bridged/mono switches, there are more
switches for using one or two pairs of RCA in-
puts, the “auto sense” feature and, of course,
the usual crossover-type and range switches.
On the XC6410, channels one and two can be
set to full range, high pass or low pass with
a frequency range of 50 to 500 Hz. Channels
three and four are the same, but add a 10
times (x10) range switch for a frequency span
of 50 to 5kHz.
Terminals are basic terminal blocks with
nickel-plated Phillips screws. The RCA input
connectors are also nickel-plated. A special
high level-to-RCA adapter is included to drop
the input voltage down before it enters the
amp to allow connection directly to speaker
level signals.
The XC6410 scores
very high in all
with exceptional
response, signal-
to-noise and
stereo separation