The 12-channel CAN bus amplifier, first shown at the SEMA show last November, links into the Chrysler CAN bus and “knows if it’s in a 2-door, or 4-door” or if the vehicle has a soft top or hard top or if you have just taken the top off and then it adjusts its digital equalization settings to compensate, said Kicker’s Joe Gross.
It’s part of two Kicker vehicle specific systems (VSS) that replace the premium audio package for Jeep Wranglers 2007 and newer. The amp is rated at 600 watts.
Using digital signal processing (DSP), the amp also switches into an “auto-surround-sound mode” when it senses that a DVD is in use. And when the Wrangler goes in for servicing, the amplifier makes available full diagnostic report options to the technician.
A Kicker engineer said, “The amp gets the command [from the CAN bus] and then loads proper software based on 2 or 4 door and, more importantly, hard or soft-top commands. Hard-top commands change the EQ based upon a closed-up sealed cab, and soft-top or no-top commands change it based upon open air, wind and road noise.”
There are a total of four new vehicle specific systems available for Jeep Wranglers 2007 and newer from Kicker. Two include the 12-channel CAN bus amplifier and provide a plug and play replacement for models with a premium audio system. Two additional new Kicker VSS systems use a different amplifier and they replace Wranglers with basic audio systems.
All four systems include a powered 10-inch subwoofer in a molded enclosure that fits the vehicle. All are designed as replacement systems for consumers who want high end audio tailored to their vehicle with very little modification to the car.
Whether or not Kicker will offer standalone CAN-bus amplifiers (apart from its VSS systems) is still “do be determined,” said the company.