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Long story short, I'm looking for a monoblock amp in the roughly 400-500W range to run a single sub. Being that said, I already have a Kenwood Excelon X301-4 running my dash/door speakers, so the X501-1 would be its brother and match. Problem is that the X501-1 is running about $50 high right now in my opinion, and there are other newer alternatives. I was looking at the newer Kenwood models, specifically the X502-1 and then I came across the KAC-511 on Best Buy's website for $50 less. Appears to be an identical amp spec wise, with the only difference I see being the color. I guess this is a hard question to answer without opening them up, but do you think this is the same amp? Excelon might use some more premium components, but I wonder if they just slapped a different color on it for Best Buy. Thanks for the input! From their respective manuals:

275774

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275781

275782
 

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This is a know tactic of Best Buy. They have enough purchasing power to make special orders. Usually they only change the part number slightly you you can't price match with other retailers. However, here they also selected a slightly different shade of heat sink anodizing. They typically do this so they can charge a little more. However, here the case is opposite. Go for it. They have a decent return policy if you don't like.

Ge0
 

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An even more common tactic is building something with the same specs, saving money by using the same tooling as a higher end product, and then using cheaper components inside it.

That said, Kenwood products are typically pretty good. You might be getting some slightly lower quality components inside, but I suspect by the time that ever rears its head, if ever, you'll be ready to move on anyways.
 

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This is a know tactic of Best Buy. They have enough purchasing power to make special orders. Usually they only change the part number slightly you you can't price match with other retailers. However, here they also selected a slightly different shade of heat sink anodizing. They typically do this so they can charge a little more. However, here the case is opposite. Go for it. They have a decent return policy if you don't like.

Ge0
I second this - While Excelon is their top of the line brand, I doubt theres anything you will miss out on if any changes at all. Bestbuy ALWAYS does this with items so you cannot price match them. So does walmart. Many times Its the same product with just a slightly different model #. I was told Wal-Mart would not price match a TCL TV I found on Amazon because walmart has a specific model # exclusive to Wal-Mart that is one digit off even though everything else was identical....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input guys! I suppose it might be a worthwhile gamble. Would be nice if someone like Williston Audio Labs had already done a test on youtube and dyno tested along with showing the guts. Maybe I’ll be the first to open it up and post some photos in case the next guy looking to buy one is curious!
 
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