Estimated wait for next available agent :. All of our representatives are currently chatting with other customers. For Tech Support, call I belong to a culture of fine sights and sounds, and I like spreading the word. I've been tinkering with electronics ever since I was a kid - starting with taking apart and putting back together televisions and radios. I always got them back together again and working. I took courses in radio and electronics as a teenager, and became a ham radio operator.
I worked in my high school's stage crew, running sound, lights, and a movie projector. After college, I ed a rock 'n roll band as the soundman and learned how to lug around and operate the gear that helps make music sound good and loud. Working in a music store in Austin, Texas, I spent a few years manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems.
Our customers were recording studios, nightclubs, and touring bands. Eventually I moved back to Charlottesville, Virginia and opened a small demo recording studio. InI finally came to my senses and got this job at Crutchfield. They actually pay me to ramble on, rant, and explain the things I love about music, electronics, and getting good sound.
Given my background, they put me to work writing about some of the most complex electronic products Crutchfield sells: car amplifiers, digital al processors, wiring, professional sound mixers, and PA systems. A: Read this article! We cover all of the basics of where to mount and how to wire the amplifier.
And we'll walk you step-by-step through the installation process. We'll also share a few expert tips and tricks along the way.
How to properly hook up a car amplifier inside the house
This installation guide offers examples of amplifier installation and layout. Installation specifics will depend on the make and body style of your vehicle and the equipment you purchased. Before going through this more-detailed guide, you might want to watch our amplifier installation video to get an overview of what's involved:. Car amplifiers don't come with any wiring included. You must supply the amp's power and ground wiring, an inline fuse, a remote turn-on wire, RCA cables, and speaker wires.
The power and ground wires need to be thick enough to accommodate the amp's demand for electrical current or the amp won't operate properly or put out its rated power. Your amp's instructions will include a recommendation on what size wire to use. Or, you can check out How to determine the best size wire for help doing it yourself. Don't forget to measure all distances first, so you'll know what lengths of wire to get. The in-line fuse on the main power cable, mounted within six inches or so of the battery connection, is essential for protecting the wire, your car, and you from a catastrophic fire in the event of a short circuit.
Each wire manufacturer rates their wire's current capacity differently, but as a general rule, for a typical to foot run, you'll be safe using a:. The easiest way to get these items is with an amplifier wiring kitwhich will include matching power, ground, turn-on wires, and fuse. Amp wiring How do you hook up car amplifier often don't include al wiring. Your amplifier gets its input als from the receiver's output typically via RCA cables. RCA cables come in stereo pairs, in various lengths. When running new speaker wires from your amplifier's output to the speakers, any size wire from to gauge will work fine.
The lower the gaugethe thicker the wire. For subwoofers, use to gauge wires.
Use these guidelines to choose a location for mounting your amplifier. A smart mounting location will help your installation go smoothly:. A compact subwoofer amplifier mounted in an out-of-the-way nook in a trunk with plenty of air space for cooling. All system wiring should be concealed for safety, and to give your installation a nice, finished look. Wires should be secured so that they do not interfere with safe vehicle operation.
Depending on the location you choose for your amplifier, the wiring may need to be run under the dash, door scuff plate, pillar trimpanel, or kickpanel. The instructions below address, in general, which panels may need to be removed and how they typically come off. Often, panels can be pried up at the edges. You'll probably also need to remove some screws and retaining clips. To prevent damage, always use care when removing panels — a panel tool is helpful. The plates are usually removed by prying up the edges to release clips. Some vehicles will have screws present which will need to be removed.
How do you hook up car amplifier seat belt may be located on a panel that needs to be removed. Most seat belt anchor covers pry off. The seat belt anchor is secured with a large nut or bolt.
Remove the seat belt if present. Remove screw covers, screws, and plastic retaining clips if present. Pry up the edges of the panel to remove it.
How to install an audio amplifier in a car ?
Look for screws and pry-out retaining clips to remove. Pry out the edges of the panel to release and remove it. When routing wire behind or under the dash, always secure it with plastic wire ties. Be sure that the wire doesn't interfere with any moving parts to ensure safe operation of the vehicle.
With that background stuff covered, it's time to get to work. Gather up your gear and tools, maybe a friend and a soda, and give yourself plenty of time.
Set the parking brake and disconnect the negative terminal from your battery to prevent any electrical shorts or shocks. The power wire from your amp wiring kit usually feet in length needs to run from the battery, through your car's firewall, through the car's body to the amp. Find an unused grommet in the firewall or one that already has wires or cables passing through it and that has enough room for the power wire to fit through too.
Route the power wire from your amp wiring kit through a hole in your vehicle's firewall, using a grommet or bushing to prevent the insulation from scraping against metal. If you can't find an existing grommet, you'll have to drill a hole through the firewall. Make sure you don't drill into any electrical or gas lines — check both sides of the firewall.
Use a grommet to protect your wire from fraying and shorting as it passes through the hole. The power wire from your amp wiring kit may have a fuse holder installed. If so, go to Step 5. If not, find a good spot close to your battery to place your fuse-holder included in the kit — less than 6" from the battery is best. Be aware: even after a fuse blows, the short stretch of cable between the battery and the fuse holder will still be live and a potential fire hazard in the event of an accident.
Anchor the fuse holder to a suitable spot with a screw or cable tie, so it won't hang loose or bounce around. Cut a short piece off the end of the power wire to cover the distance from the battery to the fuse holder locationand strip the insulation off both ends with a wire stripper.
Crimp the terminal ring included in the kit onto one end of the short piece of wire, and attach the fuse holder onto the other end. Strip the insulation off the end of the power wire that le into the passenger compartment, and connect it to the other end of the fuse holder. When powering multiple amplifiers, you run a single heavy-gauge power cable from your battery to a distribution blockand then connect a lighter-gauge cable from the block to each amplifier.
This arrangement minimizes potential noise problems and keeps your installation looking neat.
Make sure the main power cable is thick enough that it can handle the total current draw of all the amplifiers. Check out our amplifier wiring diagram to see how the wiring gets connected in a typical 2-amp system. Attach the power cable to the positive battery terminal not directly to the battery post itself. For top-mounted battery posts, the most common way to do this is to crimp a ring terminal onto the end of the power cable many cables in wiring kits come with it already attached.
Remove the battery terminal's nut, slip the power cable's ring over the bolt that secures the battery terminal to the battery post, and replace the nut.
How to connect a car amp to a home stereo (with diagrams)
For GM vehicles with a side-mount post, we offer terminal adapters that work nicely. A wire loom provides added protection for your wire against the high heat inside the engine compartment. If your kit includes a wire loom, thread it over the power cable until it reaches the firewall and cut to fit. Thread another piece over the short power wire running from the fuse holder to the battery. As near to the amplifier's location as possible, find a bolt to your vehicle's metal frame to use for ground. If you can't find a convenient ground screw or bolt, drill a hole for one — be careful not to drill How do you hook up car amplifier any wiring, the gas tank, or a gas or brake line.
Crimp a ring terminal usually included with the amp kit to the short piece of ground cable also in the kit. Scrape away any paint and clean the bolt location thoroughly, and then bolt the terminal tightly to the vehicle's metal chassis so the ground connection will be bare metal to bare metal.
Use a lock washer, a star washer, extra screws, and any other technique or device that'll keep this connection tight, clean, and electrically conducting. Many people even coat the final connection with silicone caulk to prevent corrosion.
How to connect & power a car amp in your home + diagrams
Improper or loose grounding is the 1 cause of amplifier problems. The turn-on wire also called the remote wire is located behind the stereo. On aftermarket stereos, it's usually a blue and white wire. The remote wire will "tell" your amplifier to turn on whenever the stereo is powered up usually, whenever the vehicle is turned on.