Kicker | Impulse Four-Channel Amplifiers | Owner's Manual | Kicker Impulse Four-Channel Amplifiers Owner's Manual

Kicker Impulse Four-Channel Amplifiers Owner's Manual
IX254, IX404, IX704
Four-Channel Power Amplifier
Congratulations! You have just purchased one of the latest in a long line of
exceptional car audio power amplifiers from Stillwater Designs. Your KICKER
Impulse was designed and engineered by the same team which created
many other international award winning KICKER components like the ZR, ZX,
and XS-Series amps. It contains a number of cutting-edge features to give
you outstanding performance
Thanks for buying KICKER. Enjoy.
A set of RCA output jacks on your KICKER Impulse four-channel amplifier allows you to
build multiple amplifier systems without using RCA splitter cords to distribute the signal.
Now it is simply a matter of bringing one set of RCA cables into the first amplifier, then
using the output RCA jacks as a feed to the next amplifier. A rear channel input switch
allows four-channel output operation from either one or two inputs.
Amplifiers are stable at 2 Ohms stereo and as low as 4 Ohms in mono.
Input connections are included for high and low level signals for use with radios that
have either RCA or speaker level outputs.
An electronic crossover is built in for convenience and allows you to select high pass for
satellite speakers, low pass for subwoofers, or bypass for full range operation. In full range
configuration the KICKER Impulse amplifiers will operate stereo and mono and at the same
Auto-resetting short circuit and overthermal protection circuits are incorporated to protect the amplifier from failure due to extreme conditions.
State of the art circuit including MOSFET power supply and glass epoxy circuit boards
are used to ensure many years of trouble free operation.
Wiring Instructions
The preferred method of bringing input signal in to the amplifier is with RCA cables
from a quality tape or CD player. A high (speaker) level input signal may also be used if your
factory deck or aftermarket source does not have low level RCA jacks. Regardless of which
input is used the output RCA jacks on your KICKER Impulse amplifier will provide a low level
signal for multiple amplifier configurations.
Some of the system possibilities are shown in the System Diagrams section of this manual.
When working with power connections always hook up the ground wire first and disconnect the ground wire last. Never make any wiring changes with the amplifier powered up.
The chassis mounted fuse(s) are in place to protect the circuitry of the amplifier in the
event of major trouble. An in-line fuse must be installed within 18 inches of the battery to
protect the power wire used to supply current to the amplifier. This fuse has to be at least
as high of a value as the amplifier is supplied with. In-line fuse and recommended wire size
are as follows:
IX 254
10A fuse
IX 404
30 A fuse
IX 704
60A fuse
Any time that power wire goes through a metal panel such as the firewall, or if there is
any chance of abrasion, it is necessary to use a grommet or other suitable form of protection to avoid shorts.
The ground wire should be as short as possible and attached to the body of the vehicle.
The ground point must be free from paint and corrosion. Use the same size wire for
ground connection as is used for power.
Mounting the IMPULSE Amplifier
After determining an appropriate mounting location
which provides good air circulation and access to the end
panel controls, use the supplied screws and washers to
firmly mount the amplifier. The amplifier chassis can be
used as a template for the screw locations. Check to
make sure that the mounting screws will not damage any
components on the back side of the chosen mounting
If a vertical mounting surface is chosen, we recommend that the heatsink fins run vertically as shown for
improved cooling.
For chassis isolation and to prevent engine noise from
entering your system, it is important to use the plastic
stepped washers and rubber isolators when mounting
this amplifier.
Input Options for the IMPULSE Four-Channel Amplifiers
The Rear Input Selector switch allows you to select one or two inputs
(low level or high level).
Input Option 1: Using One Pair of RCA Cables
Set to 'ON' for
4 channel output
from single input
Input Option 2: Using Two Pairs of RCA Cables
Set to 'OFF' for
4 channel output
from two inputs
Input Option 3: Using Stereo Pair of High Level Inputs
R +
Set to 'ON' for
4 channel output
from single input
Input Option 4: Using Two Stereo Pairs of High Level Inputs
LF +-
RF +
Set to 'OFF' for
4 channel output
from two inputs
Basic Systems for the IMPULSE Four-Channel Amplifier
Stereo Four Channel
Internal Crossovers Off
Bi-Amp Hookup
using Internal Crossovers
More Systems for the IMPULSE Four-Channel amplifiers
The LED mounted on the end panel of the amplifier lights up in two different colors
depending on the condition of the amplifier. Green indicates that the amplifier is turned on
and no trouble exists. When it turns red this indicates that the protection circuit has been
engaged. The LED on the top of the amplifier chassis indicates that the amplifier is on.
When the protection circuit is engaged, this LED turns off.
Green power indicator off, no output:
• With Volt Ohm Meter (VOM) check:
1. +12v power terminal
2. Ground terminal
3. Remote turn-on lead
Green power indicator on, no output:
• Check RCA connections
• Test speaker outputs with known good speaker
• Check function of source unit
• With VOM in AC volts position check RCA for signal
No output from one channel:
• Check RCA and speaker connections for that channel
• Swap RCA connections from left to right
• Swap speaker connections between channels
Red LED protection indicator is lit and there is no output:
Case 1: Amp is very hot
• Thermal protection is engaged. Check for proper impedance at speaker
terminals. Also check location of amplifier to ensure proper air flow
around heatsink.
Case 2: Output resumes momentarily when system is
turned off and back on.
• Short circuit protection is engaged. With VOM check for short between
speaker positive and negative, and between speaker terminals and ground.
Alternator noise (a whining that varies with engine RPM)
• Make sure that the ground for the source is as short as possible and
connected to bare chassis metal. The stock radio ground may not be sufficient.
• Check RCA cable routing and condition. Keep RCA cables away from all
power wires.
Adjustments and Controls Setting Gain Control
The gain control is provided for level matching purposes. The control does not give
the amplifier any more power by turning it up. Its purpose is to adjust the sensitivity of
the amplifier in relation to the output level provided by the source.
Start with the amp gain set to minimum by turning the control counterclockwise. Turn
the source level up until distortion is barely audible. Then turn it down slightly. This will
typically be about 85% to 95% of full volume. Raise the amplifier gain until distortion is
just audible. The gain is now set correctly. Check the level with cd/tape and tuner to make
sure the adjustment is correct for all sources.
Setting KICKEQ™ Controls
The Bass and Treble controls on your Impulse Amplifier are provided to help tune your
system for ideal sound quality. After the system is installed and the vehicle is put back
together, do the listening test with music that is typical of the type you normally listen to.
Initially set the tone controls on the source unit to flat and turn the KICKEQ™ controls
fully counter-clockwise. Depending on your personal taste and the speakers used in the
system, you may want to increase the high or low frequencies by turning the KICKEQ™
controls clockwise. Remember that once the vehicle is in motion there will be apparent
loss of bass due to the masking effect of road noise. Do not attempt to make
adjustments while the vehicle is in motion. It is safer to pull off the road to
make changes.
Never change the crossover settings while the amplifier is on. A loud pop
will result which could destroy speakers or cause hearing loss.
RMS Power (Watts/Channel) @12.5V, 4Ω Stereo
0.085% THD, All Channels Driven
RMS Power (Watts/Channel) @12.5V, 2Ω Stereo
0.2% THD, All Channels Driven
RMS Power (Watts/Channel) @12.5V,
4Ω Bridged Mono, 0.2% THD
Dynamic Power (Watts/Channel) @14.4V,
4Ω Stereo, 0.085% THD, All Channels Driven
Dynamic Power (Watts/Channel) @14.4V,
2Ω Stereo, 0.2% THD, All Channels Driven
Dynamic Power (Watts/Channel) @14.4V,
4Ω Bridged Mono, 0.2% THD
Dimensions (In., MM)
(All Models 2.5”H x 9.5”W x ...”L,
63mmH x 241mmW x ...mmL)
Frequency Response
Input Sensitivity
Signal-to-noise Ratio
Active Electronic Crossover
KICKEQ™ Bass Boost
KICKEQ™ Treble Boost
70 x 4
40 x 4
25 x 4
105 x 4
60 x 4
35 x 4
210 x 2
120 x 2
65 x 2
100 x 4
55 x 4
30 x 4
140 x 4
80 x 4
42 x 4
280 x 2
160 x 2
85 x 2
13.8, 350
11.4, 289
7.8, 198
20Hz-20kHz ±0.5dB
High Level 1V-10V, Low Level 150mV-3.0V
>95dB, a-weighted, re: rated power
18dB/ octave, selectable @70Hz or 110Hz;
Variable to +18dB, centered @ 40Hz
Variable to +12dB, centered @ 18kHz
Stillwater Designs warrants this product to be free from defects in material and workmanship
under normal use for a period of three (3) years from date of original purchase when installed by
an Authorized KICKER Dealer or one (1) year from date of original purchase if not installed by
an Authorized KICKER Dealer. If this product is labeled “B Stock”, it is warranted for one (1) year
from date of purchase, regardless of place of installation. Should service be necessary under this warranty for any reason due to manufacturing defect or malfunction during the warranty period,
Stillwater Designs will replace or repair (at its discretion) the defective merchandise with equivalent
merchandise at no charge. Warranty replacements on “B-Stock” merchandise may have cosmetic
scratches and blemishes. Discontinued products may be replaced with equivalent products.
This warranty is valid only for the original purchaser and is not extended to owners of the product subsequent to the original purchaser. Any applicable implied warranties are limited in duration to a
period of the express warranty as provided herein beginning with the date of the original purchase at
retail, and no warranties, whether express or implied, shall apply to this product thereafter. Some
states do not allow limitations on implied warranties, therefore these exclusions may not apply to you.
This warranty gives you specific legal rights; however you may have other rights that vary from
state to state.
Defective merchandise must be returned to your local Authorized Stillwater Designs
(Kicker/Impulse) Dealer for warranty. Assistance in locating an Authorized Dealer can be obtained by
writing or calling Stillwater Designs direct. You can confirm that a dealer is authorized by asking to see
a current authorized dealer window decal.
If it becomes necessary for you to return defective merchandise, call the Kicker Customer Service
Department at (405)624-8510 for a Return Authorization (RA) number. Package all defective items in
the original container or in a package that will prevent shipping damage, and return to
Stillwater Designs, 5021 North Perkins Road, Stillwater, OK 74075
The RA number must be clearly marked on the outside of the package. Return only defective components. Non-defective items received will be returned freight collect.
Include a dated proof-of-purchase from an Authorized Dealer. Warranty expiration on items
returned without proof-of-purchase will be determined from the manufacturing date code. Coverage
may be invalidated if this date is greater than one (1) year previous to the date item is sent in. Freight
must be prepaid; items received freight collect will be refused.
Failure to follow these steps may void your warranty. Any questions can be directed to the Kicker
Customer Service Department at (405)624-8510.
This warranty is valid only if the product is used for the purpose for which it was designed. It
does not cover:
• Products purchased from an unauthorized dealer.
• Damage due to improper installation
• Damage caused by exposure to water, excessive
heat, chemical cleaners, and/or UV radiation.
• Damage through negligence, misuse, accident or
abuse. Repeated returns for the same damage may
be considered abuse.
• Freight damage.
• The cost of shipping product to Stillwater Designs.
• Items previously repaired or modified by any
unauthorized repair facility.
• Items returned from unauthorized individuals or
• Return shipping on non-defective items.
• Products with tampered or missing barcode labels.
• Products returned without a Return Authorization
(RA) number.
Stillwater Designs maintains a goal of 24-hour service for all returns. Delays may be incurred if lack of
replacement inventory or parts is encountered.
Contact your International Stillwater Designs dealer or distributor concerning specific procedures for your
country’s warranty policies
P.O. BOX 459 • STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA 74076 • 405 624-8510
.KICKER components are capable of producing sound levels that can permanently damage
your hearing! Turning up a system to a level that has audible distortion is more damaging
to your ears than listening to an undistorted system at the same volume level. The
threshold of pain is always an indicator that the sound level is too loud and may permanently damage your hearing. Please use common sense when controlling volume!
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