Clarion XC2510 Compact Amplifier Review

If you’ve ever found yourself faced with the seemingly impossible challenge of installing high quality, high power, multi-channel amplification in a system where there is little room and even less budget, Clarion has a solution.

With the introduction of the new five-channel XC2510 power amplifier, you can now work the impossible when the car or boat is tight on space and so are the finances.

Designed to be compatible and withstand the harsh environment of automotive or marine applications, the ultra compact multichannel Clarion amp should prove to be a problem solver for a lot of demanding applications. With a U.S. MSRP of under $350, it’s also going to make your bank account happier as well.

FEATURES
Clarion XC2510 Compact Amplifier: Features

Clarion XC2510 Compact Amplifier: Measured Performance Specifications

Measuring only 11 x 4.3 x 1.5 inches, the XC2510 will fit almost anywhere. Thanks to the highly efficient Class D topology, it runs cool without the need of internal fans while providing excellent power. The amp is rated at 50 watts x 4 channels and 200 watts x 1 channel into four ohms, or a whopping 75 watts x 4 channels and 300 watts x 1 channel when driving two-ohm loads. Think about that for a minute: that’s 700 watts from a chassis that’s small enough to fit inside most glove boxes.

Along with this amazing power density, you also get all the usual features and controls. The XC2510 is equipped with high and low level inputs, making it OEM or aftermarket source unit friendly. It also has fully adjustable high-pass crossovers for the four full range channels, with an adjustment range from 15 Hz to 250 Hz. The sub channel crossover can be dialed in to any frequency between 35 and 250 Hertz, and like the main channels, has a second order (-12 dB/Oct) slope. A variable bass boost control is also included, providing up to 12 dB of boost at 50 Hz.

The amplifier is built on a high tech four-layer PCB, and then conformal coated for maximum reliability in harsh environments. A MOSFET power supply provides the energy to drive the five channels, which can also be configured as three channels by bridging the two pairs of full range channels. In three-channel mode the amp is rated for an impressive 150 watts x 2 channels and 200 watts x 1 channel into 4 ohms.

A ground loop isolation circuit improves immunity from unwanted charging system noise, and there is even a soft mute circuit to ensure the amp turns on and off quietly.

Power and speaker output connections are found on one end of the chassis, while the controls and input wiring resides at the opposing end. There are slotted sheet metal tabs on each corner of the the amp for mounting.

LISTENING
The Clarion XC2510 sounds very good when driving my component speakers and a 12-inch woofer. It has plenty of push when needed, and easily drives my loudspeakers to higher levels than I would have expected from an amp this size. Overall sound quality is very good. The amp sounds quite transparent and has strong, authoritative bass and plenty of detail and clarity in the top end. During my full hour of enthusiastic listening, the amp gets good and warm but shows no signs of the distress or imminent shut down, which has happened with amps of similar power density.

ON THE BENCH
The XC2510 proves to be an able performer on the unforgiving test bench. The amp exceeds all of the published power specifications by a healthy margin, and other critical parameters such as signal-to-noise ratio and frequency response also measure favorably. Distortion comes in well under one-tenth of a percent, and the gain pots used on the stereo channels track within 0.4 dB left to right.

Input signal range measurements confirm that the XC2510 is compatible with virtually any aftermarket or OEM source unit.

The amp is well protected too, as I find out when I test it for thermal shutoff, over/under voltage conditions, and shorted outputs.

4 OHM Power vs THD+N @ 100Hz (14.4V Battery) 2 OHM Power vs THD+N @ 100Hz (14.4V Battery)
4 OHM Power vs. THD+N @ 100Hz (14.4V Battery) Sub Channel Max Flat - Frequency Response
Crossover Adjustments - Frequency Response Bass Boost - Frequency Response THD+N vs. Frequency

CONCLUSION
The Clarion XC2510 is a quality amplifier made to last in the most demanding conditions. With plenty of power on tap and well-planned installation flexibility, it may be one of the best multiple high-power channel amps I've seen that can fit both tight spaces and tight budgets. Check it out for yourself at a Clarion dealer near you, and visit them online at www.clarion.com.

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