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Car Amplifiers: Articles & Videos

Car Amplifier Shopping Guide

Car Amplifier Shopping Guide

by Buck Pomerantz

This guide will help you choose the right amplifier - number of channels and how many watts per channel - for your sound system.

 
Video: Car Amplifier Power

Video: Car Amplifier Power

by Zak Billmeier, Ken Nail

We describe the basics of deciding how much power an amplifier should have when you're trying to match it to your speakers or subwoofers.

 
Video: Car Amplifier Channels

Video: Car Amplifier Channels

by Zak Billmeier, Ken Nail

One of the first steps in choosing an amplifier for your car audio system is to decide how you intend to use the amplifier, and thus how many channels it should have. This short video gives you a quick overview to help answer that question.

 
Video: Car Amplifier Build Quality

Video: Car Amplifier Build Quality

by Zak Billmeier, Ken Nail

If you can get the same amount of power from two different amplifiers, is there any reason to buy the higher-priced amp? What are you getting for that extra money? We'll discuss the differences in build quality and performance between lower-priced amplifiers and more-expensive options.

 
Video: Car Amplifier Features

Video: Car Amplifier Features

by Zak Billmeier, Ken Nail

This short video describes some of the common features you should look for when you're shopping for an amplifier for your car audio system. Not every amplifier will have all of these features, so make sure the amp that you get has the ones you need.

 

Car Amplifiers FAQ

by Buck Pomerantz

Where should I mount my amp? What wiring do I need? Does any of it come with the amp? What size power and ground wires do I need for my amplifier? How much air space do I need around my amplifier? What's the biggest amp I can hook up to my car's electrical system? Plus more.

 
Amplifier Wiring Diagram

Amplifier Wiring Diagram

by Crutchfield Writing Team

Take a look at a typical amp wiring scheme.

 
Car Amplifiers Glossary

Car Amplifiers Glossary

by Crutchfield Writing Team

Learn about the features and technical specifications found in today's amplifiers.

 
Video: How to Choose an Amplifier

Video: How to Choose an Amplifier

by Zak Billmeier, Ken Nail

This in-depth video walks through the major points to consider when choosing a new amplifier. It answers the questions: How many channels do you need? How much power should you get? What are the important features to look for? And why do some amplifier brands cost more than others?

 
Using Test Tones to Set Amplifier Gain

Using Test Tones to Set Amplifier Gain

by Buck Pomerantz

Setting amp gain correctly matches your amp's input level with your receiver's output level, resulting in maximum distortion-free music and minimum background noise. Here's a method for setting amp gain fast and accurately using test tones.

 
Amplifier Installation Guide

Amplifier Installation Guide

by Crutchfield Writing Team

Step-by-step guide to amplifier installation.

 
Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams

Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams

by Buck Pomerantz

With the wide variety of subwoofers available, it's easy to get confused about the best way to wire up your system. These wiring diagrams will help you find the configuration that'll get the most out of your subs and your amplifier.

 
Cable Gauge Chart

Cable Gauge Chart

by Buck Pomerantz

Need to know know which size of wire you need for installing an amplifier? Use our handy cable gauge chart to find out.

 
Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, part 2

Video: Upgrading Your Factory Stereo, part 2

by Robert Ferency-Viars, Ken Nail

Just because you can't replace your vehicle's factory stereo doesn't mean you have to live with a poor sound system. In this short video, Crutchfield experts take a look at how a fellow employee created a high-performance car audio system.

 
Video: Installing the Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack

Video: Installing the Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack

by Robert Ferency-Viars

This video demonstrates how easy it is to install the Alpine KTP-445 Power Pack amplifier module. The Power Pack gives you the power and improved sound of an external amplifier at a fraction of the cost and with a much easier installation.

 
Tuning Your Subs

Tuning Your Subs

by Buck Pomerantz

Having a subwoofer in your car is a good thing, but if the subwoofer isn't properly tuned, it won't sound as good as it should. This article describes how to adjust your amplifier so that your subwoofer will sound just the way you want it to.

 
Video: Focal FPS Amplifiers

Video: Focal FPS Amplifiers

by Zak Billmeier

For the best amplified sound in your car, turn to Focal. This brief video introduces the Focal FPS series of amplifiers.

 
Video: Sound Ordnance Amplifiers

Video: Sound Ordnance Amplifiers

by Video Guest

Make your music sound lively and vital with a Sound Ordnance amplifier. Watch this Crutchfield video for a quick overview of what these amplifiers have to offer.

 
Video: Kicker IX Amplifiers

Video: Kicker IX Amplifiers

by Video Guest

Crutchfield Advisor Mac takes a look at Kicker's IX amplifiers — powerful but small amplifiers perfect for tight spots.

 

Gain Settings: Sometimes Less is More

by Ken Nail

I just learned a valuable lesson about amplifier gain settings — sometimes less is more. I recently put a new head unit into my truck, and I was having a bit of trouble getting the...