How to hook an amp up in a car
Last Updated: February var, References. This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Hunter Check this out. He has more than three years of experience writing for and working with wikiHow. There are 24 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewedtimes. Learn more Start by finding a flat spot inside your vehicle and screwing your amplifier down to mount it.
That may turn out to be not using all of the voice coils available, not getting the full read article possible from your amp, or not being able to use all of the subwoofers you want to. Since there are lots of different car amps out there but most fall into a few similar categories. It makes a big difference how you wire your speakers to your amplifier or car stereo. Wiring multiple speakers can be confusing because if the speaker Ohms load is too low your amp will run hot and is subject to shutting itself down or even suffering permanent damage. That also means each speaker will get a lot less power too. Parallel speaker wiring hoo generally best for audio speaker systems like in the car or ni. They can also have somewhat different behavior and lower heat handling depending on the design when using only yook set of speaker terminals.
Hook up car amp indoors, Step instructions for wiring an amplifier in your car
Adding a 4 channel amp is a great idea. Very nice! This causes the speaker to receive a voltage audio waveform that is the difference between the two channels — resulting in more available power to speakers. It means 2 channels are sharing the workload of one speaker between them and therefore and drive it with more power. A 4 ot car amp is basically an expanded version of a 2-channel amp.
Last Updated: April ccar, References. This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff tp, Hunter Rising. He has more than three years of experience writing for and working with wikiHow. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewedtimes. Learn more While these gauges may not be included in the dashboard, you can always add the gauges on your own with some wire and tools.
You can also click here to view the. You can bundle speaker wire together with wire ties to keep it neat and make the installation easier. Estimate the length of speaker wire you need to reach the amp or line level converter for each audio channel. To do so, run a length of wire from the radio to where the amp will be installed, then allow a little extra and enough length to run around curves and interior parts. I recommend connecting to speaker-level outputs using crimp connectors and a crimp tool for a reliable, solid connection.
Blue connectors are normally the right size for gauge wire. A great resource for that is The12Volt. Cut the speaker wires, leaving enough length to move the wire and to have enough length to connect to the wire freely. Then connect the 4 pairs of wire to the speaker wiring in the harness.
Alternately, you can twist together wire, solder it, and carefully wrap it with electrical tape or use heat shrink tubing for insulation. If using speaker level inputs on your amp, also connect 4 pairs of wire to the output of the stereo. Once all wiring is connected, bundle it up using wire ties or, optionally, a little bit of electrical tape wrapped around.
Connecting RCA cables to an aftermarket non-original stereo for running to an amplifier. In some cases, white, clear, or some lighter color can be used to represent the left channel. If the front and rear RCA cables are the same, you might want to mark front and rear using some masking tape and a marker or pen. You may also have good luck finding an existing wire color from vehicle wiring diagrams I mentioned earlier or from a Google search. You can connect a head unit car stereo with only 2 channels left and right to a 4 channel amp easily.
Ordinarily, all you need is 2 RCA Y adapter cables. Likewise for the right channel. If using speaker level inputs on the amp, use the connections shown above. Never connect both types at the same time! Speaker-level outputs will damage RCA connections. As shown in the above diagram, you can connect 2 channels to a 4 channel amp using either the speaker level inputs wired in parallel or by using simple RCA adapter cables.
The sound quality will be exactly the same. The amplifier will receive exactly the same signal, with the same quality, in the front channels as well as the rear. An amp wiring kit like this one will make installing your 4 channel amp much easier. A good-quality one like this Belva 8-gauge complete kit includes not just wiring but much more. Your amp wiring kit will also include a fuse holder that should be installed near the battery as well most kits include instructions, by the way.
As it also applies to 4 channels amps, for the amplifier installation you can follow my guides here:. In this image, you can see the adjustable crossovers for both front and rear channels. Turn on the high-pass crossovers and adjust to a setting close to Hz, to allow good bass for music but block low-end bass that distorts.
Most sold today have that. See my recommendations at the end for some great models. Gain control is the amount of signal amplification the amplifier performs. When finished you should have enough volume available from the stereo but noise should be minimal.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, using high-pass crossovers will allow more volume with less distortion and will help protect the speakers from heavy bass.
For both front and rear channels turn on the high-pass feature and, if an adjustable dial is available, set it near 50 to 60Hz. Once installed, test and tweak your amplifier as needed. A great way to mount your 4 channel amp is by using a board mounted to the car, covered with speaker box carpet or other material.
Considering buying an amplifier? Hi Steven, I had an alpine 4 channel amp hooked up to all 4 door speakers. Im guessing the speaker outputs are backwards. I appreciate your feedback as I work quite hard to put out helpful articles. Connected in bridged mode while also using left and right speakers, one per channel, for the front.
Any bridgeable, lower-power 2ch. You can get those for a good price used on eBay or also some similar Pioneer models. A center channel is normally derived from the stereo signal for the front channels rather than just adding them together which can mess up the front staging. Hi Marty, thanks for the info, that is very helpful! If at all possible, I would really like to keep the front center mid as it does enhance the overall sound. However when connected that way the front center speaker is louder than the door and rear deck speakers.
To your point above, I think that is why it is louder when it is plugged in. Option 3… purchase a different Amp that supports the 5 speaker setup I have. Does one even exist since the front center speaker is a mid range speaker. Option 4… something else. Hello there Farrell. Based on what I get checking with my speaker L-pad calculator here. Hopefully this helps. Hi Marty, what about adding a subwoofer into the mix? I have a multi channel amp, but my head unit only has front and rear.
The amp has a sub channel, will this automatically filter out the non bass tones? Thank you for the great article. Hi, if the amp has a built-in low pass crossover then yes.
I assume you mean you have a 5 channel amp? Or some amps also have pass-through RCA jacks to do the same. Thank you for the article. I bought a set of RCA Y-splitters. When I connect the splitters and plug into all 4 input channels I have no sound. If I remove the splitters and only connect to 2 channel inputs I am able to hear sound from 2 speakers. Am I missing something? How do I get all 4 speakers to work with a 2 channel head?
Any help or insight is appreciated. Hello Karl. That is a very, very unusual problem. Does this amp even have that I just assumed all 4 channel amps are… wow! Hi, yes when I checked the SPL features it should be stereo. I would check to be sure. I can hear both sides come out from both speakers at the same time. I had played a left and right audio test. Hi Adrian. However, anything is possible as we say. You can definitely try using a different LOC, but I usually prefer to start at the amp to eliminate that as a problem just in case something funny is going on there.
Sometimes weird defects happen in electronics! Hie Marty, Please help me out, l removed my Car Amplifier because it was nolonger going out of protection mode. So please help me out how do l reconnect the speakers? Hi, well it depends on how it was installed. So I have to run another amp to my highs to get more power to my door speakers is there any other way besides doing that????
Hello Hector. What type of stuff are you dealing with? A lot of amps 2 ohm stable can power both tweeters and the front door speakers from just 2 channels. Hi, Marty having read many of your articles after I stumbled across your site via a google search looking into crossover settings, I must say they are extremely detailed well written visually informative and most of all very helpful.
My questions are any idea what voltage output would the head unit be to the amp I know it is very low! Hello there. So probably about the same as an average aftermarket head unit. Adjustable line level adapters allow you to increase that if needed. This means if you really crank it up you can drive them with more volume and clarity.
Blocking subwoofer bass prevents the small speakers from distorting heavily they almost always cannot handle low bass well. Even inexpensive speakers can be driven to their limit and excellent volume if the high-pass filters are used. Many thanks for your reply information and link! I do intend to keep the subsonic filter at 15Hz as that is sounding great for an 8 inch I was just curious about the head unit voltage the unit is 25 years old this year model number 4B0 made in Japan assembly by matsushita communication Germany thanks again Mark.
If you ever have a very weak signal from a head unit that requires you to turn the amp gain up very high to hear it, there are ways to boost the signal before the amp. Thank you for all the information, however, I do need a little more assistance. I am installing an aftermarket stereo and an external 4-channel amp with 4 speakers.
I make all connections from my aftermarket wire harness power, ground, remote, illumination, etc. The speaker leads on the aftermarket harness I want use the factory wiring for the speakers go the the speaker leads coming coming from my amp which then connects to my trucks harness giving power to the speakers…..
Best regards! Great Article Marty! I am in the throws of upgrading a project car and love to hear your thoughts. The car is a Miata with the Bose Audio. Each door has a woofer and tweeter, there are 2 small speakers in between the two seats, and a center channel speaker in the middle dash.
In general it was pretty awful and plan to upgrade in waves. I started with a Sony HU and things were dramatically better. I bought the mini 4 channel Sony amp, and plan to do the swap out one day with better speakers, but here is my question. I appreciate your feedback. Hi Ausin. The rears? You can always add that later though. Factory systems sometimes used built-in EQing to make up for poor speaker performance.
Better speakers resolve a lot of that especially better tweeters. The volt gauge will use 1 hot red wire and 1 green grounding wire. Pull the insertion tool out from the grommet so the wires stay in place. Hold the wires in place with your nondominant hand and continue pulling the tool backward so the wires slide through the middle. Crimp ring terminals on the ends of the wires inside your vehicle. Ring terminals have a circular port so wires can easily slide over bolts or terminals.
Slide gauge ring terminals over the ends of the wire so they cover the uninsulated portions. Method 2. Look for the terminal on your battery that has a black cover or a negative symbol - next to it.
Use an insulated wrench to loosen the nut holding the wire to the terminal until you can easily pull the wire off. Secure 1 red and 1 black wire to the S and I terminals on the gauge respectively. Look at the back or bottom of the amp gauge inside your vehicle so you can find the terminals labeled with an S and an I.
Loosen the nuts on the terminals and remove them completely. Take the red wire and feed the S terminal through the ring before screwing the nut back on.
Attach the black wire to the I terminal on the gauge the same way. Attach in-line fuses to the ends of the wires in the engine bay with butt connectors. In-line fuses are built into wires to prevent shorts and protect wires from getting too hot.
Place the end of the red wire and 1 end of a amp in-line fuse into opposite ends of a butt connector, which looks like a small tube, and crimp it in the middle. Repeat the process with the black wire and a second in-line fuse. The alternator is a silver, barrel-shaped device that has a fan inside attached to the front or side of the engine. Guide the ring terminal from the in-line fuse attached to the red wire over the bolt and slide it down.
Retighten the nut so the wire has a firm connection with the alternator. Loosen the nut on the terminal holding the smaller wire against the battery and pull it off. Slide the ring terminal of the in-line fuse attached to the black wire over the bolt with the small wire before tightening the nut again. Check that the gauge dips negative when you turn on just the headlights. Check the gauge to see if it drops into the negative side, which means the lights are drawing power from the battery.
When you start your engine, you should also see the gauge spike up into the positive range, which shows a positive current charging the battery.
Method 3. Secure the red and green wires to the positive and negative gauge terminals. Remove any nuts from the terminals on the back or side of the volt gauge. Take the remaining red wire and slide the ring terminal over the positive side of the gauge. Put the green wire on the negative terminal of the gauge to use as your grounding wire.
Retighten the nuts so they hold the wires firmly against the back of the gauge. Attach ring terminals onto the ends of the wires in the engine bay. Slide gauge ring terminals over the ends of the wires so they cover the uninsulated portions. Grip the ring terminal in the middle with a pair of crimpers and squeeze the handles together so the pieces are firmly attached.
Repeat the process with the other wire so you can easily attach them to bolts. Use the same bolt on the positive battery terminal that you used for your amp gauge. Loosen the nut with a wrench and remove it completely from the bolt. Slide the ring terminal for the red wire onto the bolt and secure the nut again so it has a firm connection with the battery.
Look for an empty unpainted nut and bolt somewhere underneath your hood along the outer edges. Loosen the nut with a wrench and slide it off of the bolt completely. Guide the ring terminal of the green wire onto the bolt and press it down against the metal. The volt gauge will not work if you attach the grounding wire to a painted bolt. Check that the volt gauge reads between 12—14 V while your vehicle is running.
Reattach the negative terminal back onto your battery and tighten the nut that held it in place. Can I just use the two wires from my amp gauge to hook up to my new volt meter gauge? The voltmeter will cause a slight draw on the battery so I would recommend using a wire that is hot with the key in the "on" position.
Not Helpful 4 Helpful Mike Lenci. Most cars and trucks have a 12 volt "ignition on" access terminal at the fuse box. Look for an unused male or female terminal and test it with a test light when the ignition is turned on. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 4. Because you're putting the wrong wires on first or you didn't disconnect the battery. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 3. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
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