Thank you for purchasing a JL Audio amplifier for your automotive sound system. Your amplifier has been designed and manufactured to exacting standards in order to ensure years of musical enjoyment in your vehicle. For maximum performance, we highly recommend that you have your new amplifier installed by an authorized JL Audio dealer. Your authorized dealer has the training, expertise and installation equipment to ensure optimum performance from this product. Should you decide to install the amplifier yourself, please take the time to read this manual thoroughly so as to familiarize yourself with its installation requirements and setup procedures. If you have any questions regarding the instructions in this manual or any aspect of your amplifier’s operation, please contact your authorized JL Audio dealer for assistance. If you need further assistance, please call the JL Audio Technical Support Department at (954) 443-1100 during business hours.
Protect Your Hearing! We value you as a long-term customer. For that reason, we urge you to practice restraint in the operation of this product so as not to damage your hearing and that of others in your vehicle. Studies have shown that continuous exposure to high sound pressure levels can lead to permanent (irreparable) hearing loss. This and all other high-power amplifiers are capable of producing such high sound pressure levels when connected to a speaker system. Please limit your continuous exposure to high volume levels. While driving, operate your audio system in a manner that still allows you to hear necessary noises to operate your vehicle safely (horns, sirens, etc.). Serial Number In the event that your amplifier requires service or is ever stolen, you will need to have a record of the product’s serial number. Please take the time to enter that number in the space provided below. The serial number can be found on the bottom panel of the amplifier and on the amplifier packaging.
Installation Applications This amplifier is designed for operation in vehicles with 12V, negative-ground electrical systems. Use of this product in vehicles with positive ground and/or voltages other than 12V may result in damage to the product and will void the warranty. This product is not certified or approved for use in aircraft. Do not attempt to “bridge” the outputs of this amplifier with the outputs of a second amplifier, including an identical one. Planning Your Installation It is important that you take the time to read this manual and that you plan out your installation carefully. The following are some considerations that you must take into account when planning your installation.
Filter Slope Selection (pg. 11)
Power Status Indicator (pgs. 14-15) Filter Mode Selection (pg. 10)
Chassis Ground Connector (pgs. 6-7) +12 V Power Remote Turn-On Connector Connector (pgs. 6-7) (pgs. 6-7)
+12 VDC Ground
2 | JL Audio - HD1200/1 Owner’s Manual
Input Sensitivity Control (pg. 10) Filter Frequency Selector (pg. 11)
Left & Right Input Jacks (pg. 9) Jack for Left & Right Preamp Remote Level Control Knob Output Jacks (pg. 13) (pg. 12)
Cooling Efficiency Considerations: Your JL Audio amplifier employs an advanced type of heat management, called RealSink™. This feature takes advantage of convection and radiation effects to remove heat from the amplifier circuitry. For optimum cooling performance, the vertical heat sinks located at the sides of the amplifier should be exposed to as large a volume of air as possible. Enclosing the amplifier in a small, poorly ventilated chamber can lead to excessive heat build-up and degraded performance. If an installation calls for an enclosure around the amplifier, we recommend that this enclosure be ventilated with the aid of a fan. In normal applications, fan-cooling is not necessary. If mounting the amplifier under a seat, make sure there is at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space above the amplifier’s outer shell to permit proper cooling.
Safety Considerations: Your amplifier needs to be installed in a dry, well-ventilated environment and in a manner which does not interfere with your vehicle’s safety equipment (air bags, seat belt systems, ABS brake systems, etc.). You should also take the time to securely mount the amplifier using appropriate hardware so that it does not come loose in the event of a collision or a sudden jolt to the vehicle. Stupid Mistakes to Avoid: • Check before drilling any holes in your vehicle to make sure that you will not be drilling through a gas tank, brake line, wiring harness or other vital vehicle system. • Do not run system wiring outside or underneath the vehicle. This is an extremely dangerous practice which can result in severe damage to your vehicle and person. • Protect all system wires from sharp metal edges and wear by carefully routing them, tying them down and using grommets and loom where appropriate. • Do not mount the amplifier in the engine compartment, under the vehicle, on the roof or in any other area that will expose the amplifier circuitry to the elements.
Product Description The JL Audio HD1200/1 is a very powerful and compact monoblock (single channel), wide-range amplifier utilizing patented Single Cycle Control™ Class D technology. This groundbreaking technology delivers referencegrade sonic performance while requiring far less current from the vehicle’s electrical system than a conventional amplifier. Unlike most monoblock amplifiers, the HD1200/1 is a wide-range design, so it can be used as a subwoofer amplifier or as a very powerful mid-bass or mid-range amplifier, using a second 1200/1 to form a stereo pair. Its effective frequency response is from 6 Hz (very low bass) to 8 kHz (lower treble range). JL Audio’s exclusive R.I.P.S. power supply design optimizes the output the amplifier for any impedance between 1.5 and 4 ohms, allowing you to get full use of the HD1200/1’s performance capabilities with a wide range of speaker systems. The tightly regulated power supply design also means that the HD1200/1’s clean power output capability remains stable over a wide range of vehicle voltages, resulting in enhanced fidelity. A flexible input and crossover section permits operation with a wide variety of source units and system configurations. The HD1200/1’s preamp output can send pass-through signals from the inputs to feed additional amplifier(s).
4 | JL Audio - HD1200/1 Owner’s Manual
Typical Installation Sequence The following represents the sequence for a typical amplifier installation, using an aftermarket source unit or OEM Interface processor (like the CleanSweep® CL441dsp). Additional steps and different procedures may be required in some applications. If you have any questions, please contact your authorized JL Audio dealer for assistance. 1) D isconnect the negative battery post connection and secure the disconnected cable to prevent accidental re-connection during installation. This step is not optional! 2) R un power wire from the battery location to the amplifier mounting location, taking care to route it in such a way that it will not be damaged and will not interfere with vehicle operation. 2 AWG or larger is recommended for wire runs greater than 72 inches (180 cm) in length. This 2 AWG wire needs to be reduced to 4 AWG within 36 wire inches of the amplifier using a distribution block. Use a 1/0 AWG or 1/0 AWG main power wire with a fused power distribution block when additional amplifiers are being installed with the HD1200/1 and are being powered from the same main power wire. 3) C onnect power wire to the positive battery post. Fuse the wire with an appropriate fuse block (and connectors) within 18 inches (45 cm) wire length of the positive battery post. This fuse is essential to protect the vehicle. Do not install the fuse until the power wire has been connected to the amplifier. 4) R un signal cables (RCA cables) and remote turn-on wire from the source unit or interface processor to the amplifier mounting location. 5) R un speaker wire from the speaker systems to the amplifier mounting location. 6) Find a good, solid, bare metal grounding point close to the amplifier and connect the negative power wire to it using appropriate hardware. Use minimum 4 AWG power wire, no longer than 36 inches (90 cm). In some vehicles, it may be necessary to upgrade the battery’s ground wire as well. (See pages 6, 7 for important notice).
7) S ecurely mount the amplifier using appropriate hardware. (See page 8 for detailed mounting instructions). 8) C onnect the remote turn-on wire and the positive and negative power wires to the amplifier’s power connector plug. Then insert the power connector plug into the amplifier’s power connector receptacle, pushing firmly. 9) C onnect the RCA input cables to the amplifier. 10) C onnect the speaker wires to the speaker connector plug and insert the plug firmly into the speaker connector receptacle. 11) C arefully review the amplifier’s control settings to make sure that they are set according to the needs of the system. 12) I nstall power wire fuse (100A for a single HD1200/1) and reconnect the negative battery post terminal. 13) T urn on the source unit at a low level to double-check that the amplifier is configured correctly. Resist the temptation to crank it up until you have verified the control settings. 14) M ake necessary adjustments to the input sensitivity controls to obtain the right overall output and the desired balance in the system. See Appendix C (pages 18, 19) for the recommended input sensitivity setting method. 15) E njoy the fruits of your labor with your favorite music.
Power and Turn-on Connections Before installing the amplifier, disconnect the negative (ground) wire from the vehicle’s battery. This will prevent accidental damage to the system, the vehicle and your body during installation.
+12 VDC Ground
Please note that lower AWG numbers mean bigger wire and vice-versa (1/0 AWG is the largest, 2 AWG is smaller, then 4 AWG, then 8 AWG, etc.).
L Inputs R
+12V Battery Connection You will need to connect a power wire to the vehicle’s positive battery terminal, using an appropriate power ring or specialized battery terminal connector, such as the JL Audio XB-BTU or XD-BTS. This connection must be tight and corrosion-free to ensure proper connectivity. This wire MUST be fused appropriately for safety. Any power wires run through metal barriers (such as firewalls), must be protected with a high quality insulating grommet to prevent damage to the insulation of the wire. Failure to do so may result in a dangerous short circuit. Power Wire Requirements The HD1200/1’s “+12 VDC” and “Ground” connections are designed to accept 4 AWG power wire. 2 AWG or 1/0 AWG pure copper wire is recommended for any power wire run longer than 72 inches (180 cm). This larger wire should be reduced to 4 AWG using a distribution block within 36 wire inches (90 cm) of the amplifier’s “+12 VDC” connector. For runs shorter than 72 inches, 4 AWG pure copper power wire is acceptable. If you are installing the HD1200/1 with other amplifiers and wish to use a single main power wire, use 1/0 AWG pure copper wire as a main power wire. This 1/0 AWG power wire should terminate into a fused distribution block mounted as close to the amplifiers as possible and should connect to the HD1200/1 with 4 AWG pure copper power wire.
6 | JL Audio - HD1200/1 Owner’s Manual
We do not recommend the use of “copperclad aluminum wire” or “CCA” wire because L this wire is significantly less conductive than Preouts pure copper wire. Only useRemote pure copper power Level wire, such as JL Audio’s Premium Power Wire. Control R Tinned copper wire (silver color) is acceptable as the tin-plating is only a very minor component of the wire. Fuse Requirements The installation of a fuse on the main power wire, within 18 wire inches (45 cm) of the positive battery terminal is vital to protect the wire and the vehicle from fire in the event of a collision or short-circuit. The fuse value at each power wire should be just high enough for all of the equipment being run from that power wire. Do not use a fuse with a value that far exceeds the total fuse rating of the electronics connected to the wire. If only the HD1200/1 is being run from that power wire, we recommend a 100A fuse be used. MaxiFuse™ (big plasticbody fuse) types are recommended. If other amplifiers are also being powered from a main power wire and all the amplifiers together exceed 100 amps in total fuse rating, we recommend the use of an ANL (large-blade) fuse and holder at the battery plus a fused distribution block near the amplifiers. Each amplifier must be fused independently at the outputs of the fused power distribution block. We recommend appropriately rated MaxiFuse™ fuses and a JL Audio fused distribution block. Please consult with your JL Audio dealer to make sure that the wire, fuse holder and fuse ratings are appropriate for your system’s needs. The safety of your installation depends on appropriate power connections and fuse protection.
Ground Connection The chassis ground connection must be made using 4 AWG pure copper wire and should be kept as short as possible, while accessing a solid piece of sheet metal in the vehicle. The surface of the sheet metal should be sanded at the contact point to create a clean, metal-tometal connection between the chassis and the termination of the ground wire with a brass or copper power ring. For optimal grounding, we recommend the use of a JL Audio master ground lug (XB-MGLU). Alternatively, a sheet metal screw or bolt can be used with a star washer.
Many vehicles employ small (10 AWG - 6 AWG) wire to ground the battery to the vehicle chassis and to connect the alternator’s positive connection to the battery. To prevent voltage drops, these wires should be upgraded to 4 AWG pure copper wire (or larger) when installing amplifier systems with main fuse ratings above 60A. Turn-On Wire The HD1200/1 uses a conventional +12V remote turn-on wire, typically controlled by the source unit’s remote turn-on output. The amplifier will turn on when +12V is present at its “Remote” input and turn off when +12V is switched off. If a source unit does not have a dedicated remote turn-on output, the amplifier’s turn-on lead can be connected to +12V via a switch that derives power from an ignitionswitched circuit.
The HD1200/1’s “Remote” turn-on connector is designed to accept 18 AWG – 12 AWG wire. 18 AWG is more than adequate for this purpose. To connect the remote turn-on wire to the amplifier, first back out the set screw on the bottom of the Power Connector Plug, using the supplied 2.5 mm hex wrench. Strip 1/2 inch (12mm) of wire and insert the bare wire into the receptacle, seating it firmly so that no bare wire is exposed. When using smaller wire, it may be necessary to strip 1 inch of insulation from the wire and fold the bare wire in half prior to insertion. While holding the wire in the terminal, tighten the set screw firmly using the supplied 2.5 mm hex wrench, taking care not to strip the head of the screw and making sure that the wire is firmly gripped by the set screw. Amplifier Power Connector Plug To connect the power wires and the remote turn-on wire to the amplifier, unplug the power connector plug from the amplifier chassis (pull back firmly) and back out the set screws on the connector plug, using the supplied 4 mm hex wrench for the “+12 VDC” and “Ground” connections and the supplied 2.5 mm hex wrench for the “Remote” connection. Strip 3/8 inch (10 mm) of insulation from the end of each wire and insert the bare wire into the receptacle on power connector plug, seating it firmly so that no bare wire is exposed. While holding each wire in place, tighten each set screw firmly, taking care not to strip the head of the screw.
Never make power connections with a “live” wire. Always disconnect the negative battery post before making any connections or adjustments to a 12V power connection! 7
AMPLIFIER MOUNTING OPTIONS The HD1200/1 has two mounting options to ease in installation. Standard Mounting
ConTROL PAnel SECURITY CoVER The HD1200/1 features a Control Panel Security Cover. When installed, the cover ensures that your amplifier settings are not accidentally changed while creating a clean aesthetic for the amplifier and your installation. The control panel security cover is pre-installed at the factory and must be temporarily removed for access to the controls described throughout this manual. +12 VDC Ground
The standard method of mounting requires removal of the four corner caps with the 4mm hex wrench included with your amplifier. Using appropriate mounting screws (not included), secure the amplifier in all four corners and replace the corner caps. Lateral Mounting Feet
Lateral Mounting Feet are also included with your HD1200/1 to provide an alternative mounting option. Each mounting foot should be attached to the bottom of the amplifier by screwing the provided bolt into the bottom of the amplifier and up into the corner cap with the supplied 2.5mm hex wrench. Next, using appropriate mounting screws (not included), secure the amplifier by its four Lateral Mounting Feet.
Check before drilling any holes in your vehicle to make sure that you will not be drilling through a gas tank, brake line, wiring harness or other vital vehicle system.
8 | JL Audio - HD1200/1 Owner’s Manual
The security cover is secured by a single 2.5 mm hex-head screw at the far right of the panel. Loosen the hex-head screw to release the security cover (it is not necessary to completely remove the screw). To re-install the security cover once all adjustments have been made, insert the tongue on the cover’s left edge into the groove where the leftside heatsink meets the control panel, hinge the panel closed and secure the screw using the supplied 2.5 mm hex wrench. Do not overtighten the screw.
AMPLIFIER INPuTS The HD1200/1 has a single input section consisting of a pair of RCA-type input jacks on the Connection Panel of the amplifier and a pair of input controls on the Control Panel of the amplifier: an “Input Voltage” switch and an “Input Sens.” rotary control.
The HD1200/1 features stereo inputs, even though it is a mono amplifier. This has been done to permit the amplifier to sum stereo input signals to mono, which is particularly useful for driving subwoofers. Even if you have a dedicated mono subwoofer signal available or are feeding a left channel only or a right channel only into the amplifier, you must feed both inputs of the HD1200/1. Connection of only one RCA input will result in reduced power output, increased distortion and can cause the amplifier to overheat. To connect a mono signal to both inputs, use an RCA “Y-Adaptor” (sold separately).
INPUT CONTROLS On the amplifier’s control panel you will find an “Input Voltage” range switch and a rotary control labeled “Input Sens.” (Input Sensitivity). These controls are designed to match the input sensitivity of the HD1200/1 to the specific signal source that is feeding it and must be adjusted, with care, following the procedures outlined in this manual. Failure to make correct adjustments can result in weak output, excessive distortion and/or undesirable noise in the audio output of Remotethe amplifier! Level Control
“Input Voltage” Switch A wide range of signal input voltages can be accommodated by the HD1200/1’s differentialbalanced inputs (200mV – 8V RMS). This wide range is split up into two sub-ranges, accessible via the “Input Voltage” switch. The “Low” position on the “Input Voltage” switch selects an input sensitivity range between 200mV and 2V. This means that the “Input Sens.” rotary control will operate within that voltage window. If you are using an aftermarket source unit, with preamplevel outputs, this is most likely the position that you will use (regardless of what voltage output capability is claimed by the source unit). The “High” position on the “Input Voltage” switch selects an input sensitivity range between 800mV and 8V. This is for use with speaker-level outputs from source units and small amplifiers found in many OEM (factory-installed) systems. To use speaker-level sources, splice the speaker output wires of the source unit or small amplifier onto a pair of RCA plugs for each input pair or use the JL Audio ECS Speaker Wire to RCA adaptor (XD-CLRAIC2-SW).
The output of the amplifier decreases for a given input voltage when the “Input Range” switch is placed in the “High” position. The output increases with the switch in the “Low” position. While this may sound counterintuitive, it is correct as described. “Input Sens.” Control Located to the left of the “Input Voltage” switch is a rotary control labeled “Input Sens.”. Once the appropriate “Input Voltage” range has been selected, this control can be used to match the source unit’s output voltage to the input stage of each pair of amplifier channels for maximum clean output. Rotating the control clockwise will result in higher sensitivity (louder for a given input voltage). Rotating the control counterclockwise will result in lower sensitivity (quieter for a given input voltage). To properly set the amplifier for maximum clean output, please refer to Appendix C (pages 18, 19) in this manual.
CROSSOVER CONTROLS Crossovers are groups of electronic filters designed to control the frequency ranges that each speaker in a system will be tasked with reproducing. Proper crossover setup is critical to sound quality and reliability. The HD1200/1 has one filter, which can be configured as a high-pass filter (attenuates low frequencies) or as a low-pass filter (attenuates high frequencies). Additionally, the user can select from a shallow (12dB/octave) filter slope or a more aggressive (24dB/octave) slope.
1) “Filter Mode” Control: this switch allows you to defeat or configure the filter into one of two filter types: “ Off”: Defeats the filter completely, allowing the full-range of frequencies present at the inputs to feed the amplifier. This is useful for systems utilizing outboard crossovers or requiring full-range reproduction. After using this procedure, you can then adjust the relative level by adjusting the input sensitivity downward, if it requires attenuation to achieve the desired system balance. Do not increase the “Input Sens.” setting for any amplifier in the system beyond the maximum level established during the procedure outlined in Appendix C (pages 18, 19). Doing so will result in audible distortion and possible speaker damage.
10 | JL Audio - HD1200/1 Owner’s Manual
“ HP” (High-Pass): Configures the filter to attenuate frequencies below the selected filter frequency. Useful for connection of component speakers in a bi-amplified system. “ LP” (Low-Pass): Attenuates frequencies above the selected filter frequency. Useful for connection of subwoofer(s) in a bi-amplified system.
2) “ Filter Slope” Control: This switch allows you to select from two filter slopes: “12dB”: Configures the filter to attenuate frequencies above or below the selected filter frequency at a rate of 12 dB per octave (Butterworth alignment).
INFRASONIC FILTER The “Infrasonic Filter” is a 24 dB/octave highpass filter, with a fixed cutoff frequency of 30 Hz. This filter is designed to conserve amplifier power and protect subwoofer systems, without audibly degrading the sub-bass output.
“24dB”: Configures the filter to attenuate frequencies above or below the selected filter frequency at a rate of 24 dB per octave (Linkwitz-Riley alignment). Depending on the speaker system and the vehicle, different filter slopes may be required to produce a smooth transition between the sound of different speakers in the system. In high-pass mode, the sharper “24dB” setting will do a better job of protecting small speakers with limited power handling. In low-pass mode, the “24dB” setting can also help by more aggressively removing lower midrange output from a subwoofer system. The shallower “12dB” octave setting allows for more output overlap between the speakers being crossed over. In many cases, this will result in a smoother “blend” or transition between speaker systems. Experiment to find the slope or combination of slopes which best matches the acoustic requirements of your system.
With ported enclosures, the use of the “Infrasonic Filter” is highly recommended to protect the speaker(s) from excessive excursion below box tuning. With sealed enclosures, the use of the filter is less necessary, but can still help protect the speaker system from excessive excursion. The “Infrasonic Filter” can be completely defeated by selecting the “Off” position on its switch. This bypasses all signal from flowing through the circuit.
3) “Filter Freq. (Hz)” Control: This control selects the frequency at which the filter begins to attenuate the signal and refers specifically to the frequency at which output has been attenuated by -3dB. The filter frequency markings surrounding this rotary control are for reference purposes and are generally accurate to within 1/3 octave or better. If you would like to select the filter cutoff frequency with a higher level of precision, consult the charts in Appendix B (page 18) of this manual.
OUTPUT POLARITY CONTROL Depending on the distance relationship of the mid-bass speakers and the subwoofers in a system, it can be desirable to reverse the polarity of the subwoofer system in order to produce a better transition between subwoofer and midbass speaker output. This is normally done by swapping the positive and negative wires connected to the subwoofer(s). +12 VDC Ground
Preamp Outputs The HD1200/1 incorporates a pass-through preamp output section, so that additional amplifiers can easily be connected to the same signal(s) feeding the HD1200/1. These preamp output signals are accessible via a stereo pair of RCA-type jacks, labeled “Preouts”, on the Connection Panel.
+12 VDC Ground L
+12 VDC Ground
The “Output Polarity” switch on the HD 1200/1 allows you to quickly peform this polarity inversion without touching any wires. Simply flip the switch from the “0” (normal) to the “180 deg.” (reversed) position. Neither switch position is “correct” for every system. Experiment to determine which polarity produces the best overall bass performance in your system, listening in particular to the mid-bass smoothness and impact to make your determination. If you change crossover slopes or crossover filter frequencies, you may need to revisit this control as these can affect the phase of the speaker systems in the overlap region.
12 | JL Audio - HD1200/1 Owner’s Manual
Remote Level Control
The term “pass-through” refers to the fact that the Preamp Output signals are not affected by any crossover filter or input sensitivity setting selected on the HD1200/1 (if the input signal is full-range, the Preamp Output will be full-range). These preamp output signals are buffered to prevent noise and are always preamp level, regardless of the level of signals feeding the HD1200/1’s inputs.
REmote level control (OPTIONAL) With the addition of the optional Remote Level Control (HD-RLC), you can control the volume of the HD1200/1 from the front of the vehicle. This is particularly useful for subwoofer level control. The HD-RLC connects to the jack labeled “Remote Level Control” on the Connection Panel of the amplifier using a standard telephone cable (supplied with the HD-RLC). If desired, multiple HD amplifiers can be L HD-RLC controller controlled from a single using a simple phone line “splitter” and multiple Preouts Remote phone cables (not supplied). Level R
Speaker CONNECTIONS The HD1200/1 employs JL Audio’s exclusive Regulated, Intelligent Power Supply (R.I.P.S.) design. This sophisticated power supply allows the amplifier to produce its optimum power (1200 watts x 1) over a wide range of supply voltage and speaker impedances.
Remote Level Control
When connected to the amplifier, the HD-RLC operates as follows. At full counter-clockwise rotation, the audio will mute completely. At full clockwise rotation the level will be the same as if the HD-RLC was not connected at all. In other words, it operates strictly as a level attenuator.
The RBC-1 Remote Bass Control used with JL Audio Slash, Slash v2, e-Series, A-Series and G-Series amplifiers is NOT compatible with the HD Series amplifiers. If you attempt to connect an RBC-1 to an HD amplifer, the control will not work. You must use the HD-RLC controller.
Unlike conventional amplifiers that require a specific impedance to produce optimum power, the R.I.P.S.-equipped HD1200/1 gives you the freedom to use a variety of speaker configurations that achieve final nominal impedances between 1.5 – 4Ω (without sacrificing power output or sound quality). The operation of the R.I.P.S. circuitry is entirely automatic and adjusts itself every time the amplifier is turned on. There are no user controls to configure. The system operates through multiple stages of impedance optimization, choosing the stage most appropriate to the actual impedance of the speakers you connect to it.
If you connect a load higher than 4Ω nominal, power will drop by half with every doubling of impedance above 4Ω stereo. If you connect a load lower than 1.5Ω nominal, the amplifier protection circuitry activates a “safe” mode which reduces amplifier power to protect the circuitry from failure (the LED status indicator on the control panel will light up amber to indicate that this has happened). See page 14 for details.
Speaker loads below 1.5Ω nominal are not recommended and may cause the amplifier output to distort excessively. Speaker Connector Plugs To connect the speaker wires to the amplifier, unplug the speaker connector plug from the amplifier chassis (pull back firmly) and back out the set screws on the connector plug, using the supplied 2.5 mm hex wrench. Strip 3/8 inch (10 mm) of insulation from the end of each wire and insert the bare wire into the receptacle on the speaker connector plug, seating it firmly so that no bare wire is exposed. While holding each wire in place, tighten each set screw firmly, taking care not to strip the head of the screw.
You will notice that there are two sets of “+” and “–” connections on the plug. This is to facilitate multiple speaker wiring to the HD1200/1’s mono output. The two positive and two negative connections are connected in parallel inside the amplifier. Connecting two speakers, each to one set of positive and negative terminals, will result in a parallel speaker connection. If only connecting one pair of speaker wires, it is not necessary to use both sets of connections.
“Status” LED / Protection Circuitry There is a single multi-color LED on the control panel of the amplifier to indicate the amplifier’s operating status. This LED’s behavior is as follows: 1) Flashing Green: amplifier is powering up, audio output is muted. 2) Constant Green: amplifier is on and functioning normally, audio output is active. 3) Constant Red: lights to indicate that the amplifier has exceeded its safe operating temperature, putting the amplifier into a self-protection mode, which reduces the peak power output of the amplifier. The red light will turn green and the amplifier will return to full-power operating mode when its temperature returns to a safe level. 3) Constant Amber (yellow): lights to indicate that the impedance of the speaker load connected to the amplifier is lower than its optimum load impedance range. When this light is on, a protection circuit engages and reduces the power output of the amplifier. The amber indicator will also light when a short-circuit is detected in the speaker wiring (this can be a short between the positive and negative speaker wires or between either speaker wire and the vehicle chassis).
4) Alternating Red and Green: lights to indicate that the amplifier is experiencing a fault that may require service of the amplifier, its wiring or the vehicle’s charging system. Audio is muted when this fault occurs. The most likely cause of this fault is a low supply voltage condition. If battery voltage drops below 8.5 volts at any point, the amplifier (except for the “Status” LED) will shut itself off to protect itself and the vehicle’s charging system. If the voltage drops below 6 volts, the “Status” LED will also turn off. The amplifier will turn back on automatically when voltage climbs back above 9 volts. This shut-down and turn-on behavior may happen in a rapid cycle when bass-heavy program material causes a weak charging system to momentarily dip too low. If this is happening in your system, have your charging system inspected to make sure it is working properly. If no problem is found with the supply voltage to the amplifier and you are still seeing alternating Red and Green on the “Status” LED, it is likely that the amplifier is suffering from an internal fault that requires factory service.
Servicing your JL Audio Amplifier If your amplifier fails or malfunctions, please return it to your authorized JL Audio dealer so that it may be sent in to JL Audio for service. There are no user serviceable parts or fuses inside the amplifier. The unique nature of the circuitry in the JL Audio amplifiers requires specifically trained service personnel. Do not attempt to service the amplifier yourself or through unauthorized repair facilities. This will not only void the warranty, but may result in the creation of more problems within the amplifier.
If you have any questions about the installation or setup of the amplifier not covered in this manual, please contact your dealer or technical support. JL Audio Technical Support: (954) 443-1100 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (Eastern Time Zone) Monday - Friday
For more information on troubleshooting this amplifier, refer to Appendix D (pages 20, 21).
Do not chassis ground any speakers connected to this or any other JL Audio amplifier. Doing so will cause the amplifier to go into protection and mute the output.
Appendix C: Input Sensitivity Level Setting JL Audio amplifiers utilizing the Regulated Intelligent Power Supply (R.I.P.S.) allow delivery of their rated power when connected to any load impedance from 1.5 - 4Ω per channel and when connected to a charging system with any voltage from 11 - 14.5V. This design is beneficial for many reasons. One of these reasons is ease of setup. Because each JL Audio amplifier will always deliver the same amount of power within its operational range of impedances and supply voltages, the maximum, unclipped output is very predictable. This makes setting the gain structure via the input sensitivity controls very simple. Following the directions below will allow the user to adjust the input sensitivity of the amplifier(s) simply and easily in just a few minutes using equipment which is commonly available in installation bays. Necessary Equipment • Digital AC Voltmeter • CD with a sine-wave test tone recorded at 0 dB reference level in the frequency range to be amplified for that set of channels (50 Hz for subwoofer channels, 1 kHz for a midrange application). The CleanSweep® Calibration Disc contains the appropriate test tones and is available for sale at http://store.jlaudio.com Do not use attenuated test tones (-10 dB, -20 dB, etc.).
Do not increase any “Input Sens.” setting in the system beyond the maximum level established during this procedure. Doing so will result in audible distortion and possible speaker damage.
The Nine-Step Procedure 1) D isconnect the Speaker Connector Plug. 2) T urn off all processing on the source unit (bass/treble, loudness, EQ, etc.). Set fader control to center position and subwoofer level control to 3/4 of maximum (if used to drive the HD1200/1). Disconnect the HD-RLC Remote Level Control temporarily (if one is being used). 3) S witch the “Input Voltage” to “Low” and turn the “Input Sens.” control all the way down. 4) Set the source unit volume to 3/4 of full volume. If the amplifier is being driven by a source unit’s dedicated subwoofer output, also adjust the source unit’s subwoofer level control to 3/4 of maximum output. This will allow for reasonable gain overlap with moderate clipping at full volume. 5) Using the chart below, determine the target voltage for input sensitivity adjustment according to the nominal impedance of the speaker system connected to each set of outputs.
6) Verify that you have disconnected the Speaker Connector Plug before proceeding. Play a track with an appropriate sine wave (within the frequency range to be amplified by each set of channels) at 3/4 source unit volume. 7) Connect the AC voltmeter to the Speaker Output contacts of the amplifier. 8)Increase the “Input Sens.” control until the target voltage is delivered. If excessive voltage is read with the control at minimum (full counterclockwise), switch the “Input Voltage” switch to “High” and re-adjust. 9) Once you have adjusted the amplifier to its maximum unclipped output level, reconnect the speaker(s). The “Input Sens.” controls can now be adjusted downward if the HD1200/1 requires attenuation to achieve the desired system balance.
HD 1200/1 (mono)
It will be necessary to re-adjust the “Input Sens.” for the affected channels if any equalizer boost is activated after setting the “Input Sens.” with this procedure. This applies to any EQ boost circuit, source unit tone controls or EQ circuits. EQ cuts will not require re-adjustment.
Appendix D: TROUBLESHOOTING “How do I properly set the input sensitivity on my amplifier”
Please r efer to Appendix C (pages 18, 19) to set the input sensitivity for maximum, low-distortion output. “My amplifier doesn’t turn on”
Check t he fuse(s), not just visually, but with a continuity meter. It is possible for a fuse to have poor internal connections that cannot be found by visual inspection. It is best to take the fuse out of the holder for testing. If no problem is found with the fuse, inspect the fuse-holder.
Check t he integrity of the connections made to each of the “+12VDC”, “Ground”, and “Remote” terminals. Ensure that no wire insulation is pinched by the terminal set screw and that each connection is tight.
Check t o make sure there is +12V at the “Remote” connection of the amplifier. In some cases, the turn-on lead from the source unit is insufficient to turn on multiple devices and the use of a relay is required. To test for this problem, jump the “+12VDC” wire to the “Remote” terminal to see if the amplifier turns on.
“I get a distorted / attenuated sound coming out of the speaker(s)”
Check t he speaker wires for a possible short, either between the positive and negative leads or between a speaker lead and the vehicle’s chassis ground. If a short is present, you will experience distorted and/or attenuated output. The “Status” LED will turn amber (yellow) in this situation. It may be helpful to disconnect the speaker wires from the amplifier and use a different set of wires connected to a test speaker.
Check t he nominal load impedance to verify that the amplifier is driving a load equal to or greater than 1.5 ohms.
Check t he input signal and input signal cables to make sure signal is present at the “Amplifier Inputs” and the cables are not pinched or loose. It may be helpful to try a different set of cables and/or a different signal source to be sure.
Reset t he amplifier by removing the power plug, then wait ten seconds and reconnect the power plug. “My amplifier’s output fluctuates when I tap on it or hit a bump”
Check t he connections to the amplifier. Make sure that the insulation for all wires has been stripped back far enough to allow a good contact area inside the connector plugs.
Check t he input connectors to ensure that they all are making good contact with the input jacks on the amplifier.
20 | JL Audio - HD1200/1 Owner’s Manual
“My amplifier shuts off once in a while, usually at higher volumes”
Check y our voltage source and grounding point. The power supply of the HD1200/1 will operate with charging system voltages down to 9V. Shutdown problems at higher volume levels can occur when the charging system voltage drops below 9V. These dips can be of very short duration making them extremely difficult to detect with a common DC voltmeter. To ensure proper voltage, inspect all wiring and termination points. It may also be necessary to upgrade the ground wire connecting the battery to the vehicle’s chassis and the power wire connecting the alternator to the battery. Many vehicles employ small (10 AWG - 6 AWG) wire to ground the battery to the vehicle’s chassis and to connect the alternator to the battery. To prevent voltage drops, these wires should be upgraded to 4 AWG (or larger) when installing amplifier systems with main fuse ratings above 60A. Grounding problems are the leading cause of misdiagnosed amplifier “failures.” “My amplifier turns on, but there is no output”
Check t he input signal using an AC voltmeter to measure the voltage from the source unit while an appropriate test tone is played through the source unit (disconnect the input cables from the amplifier prior to this test). The frequency used should be in the range that is to be amplified by the amplifier (example: 50 Hz for a sub bass application or 1 kHz for a full range / high-pass application). A steady, sufficient voltage (between 200mV and 8.0-volts) should be present at the output of the signal cables.
Check t he output of the amplifier. Using the procedure explained in the previous check item (after plugging the input cables back into the amplifier) test for output at the speaker outputs of the amplifier. Unless you enjoy test tones at high levels, it is a good idea to remove the Speaker Connector Plugs from the amplifier while doing this. Turn the volume up approximately half way. 5V or more should be measured at the speaker outputs. This output level can vary greatly between amplifiers but it should not be in the millivolt range with the source unit at half volume. If you are reading sufficient voltage, check your speaker connections as explained below.
Check to ensure that the speaker wires are making a good connection with the metal inside the Speaker Connector Plugs. The speaker wire connectors are designed to accept up to 12 AWG wire. Make sure to strip the wire to allow for a sufficient connection with the metal inside each terminal.
Limited Warranty - Amplifiers (USA) JL AUDIO warrants this product to be free of defects in materials and workmanship for a period of two (2) years. The warranty is extended to three (3) years total if installation is performed by an authorized JL Audio dealer using a JL Audio Premium Power Connection System for power wiring. This warranty is not transferable and applies only to the original purchaser from an authorized JL AUDIO dealer. Should service be necessary under this warranty for any reason due to manufacturing defect or malfunction, JL AUDIO will (at its discretion), repair or replace the defective product with new or remanufactured product at no charge. Damage caused by the following is not covered under warranty: accident, misuse, abuse, product modification or neglect, failure to follow installation instructions, unauthorized repair attempts, misrepresentations by the seller. This warranty does not cover incidental or consequential damages and does not cover the cost of removing or reinstalling the unit(s). Cosmetic damage due to accident or normal wear and tear is not covered under warranty. Warranty is void if the product’s serial number has been removed or defaced. Any applicable implied warranties are limited in duration to the 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, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state. If you need service on your JL AUDIO product: All warranty returns should be sent to JL AUDIO ’s Amplifier Service Facility freight-prepaid through an authorized JL AUDIO dealer and must be accompanied by proof of purchase (a copy of the original sales receipt). Direct returns from consumers or non-authorized dealers will be refused unless specifically authorized by JL AUDIO with a valid return authorization number. Warranty expiration on products returned without proof of purchase will be determined from the manufacturing date code. Coverage may be invalidated as this date is previous to purchase date. Nondefective items received will be returned freight-collect. Customer is responsible for shipping charges and insurance in sending the product to JL AUDIO. Freight damage on returns is not covered under warranty.
For Service Information in the U.S.A. please call JL Audio Customer Service: (954) 443-1100 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (Eastern Time Zone) JL Audio, Inc 10369 North Commerce Pkwy. Miramar, FL 33025 (do not send product for repair to this address) International Warranties: Products purchased outside the United States of America are covered only by that country’s distributor and not by JL Audio, Inc.
Single-Cycle Control™ (U.S. Patent #6,084,450) is used under exclusive license for mobile audio from Power Physics, Inc. - Newport Beach, CA