Articles & Videos: Car Amplifiers

Car amplifier buying 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
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
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
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
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.

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
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?

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.

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.

Amplifier wire gauge chart
by Buck Pomerantz

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

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.

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
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
by Zak Billmeier

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

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.

When the stereo pulls too much power out of your car's electrical system, every part of the system suffers, even the amplifier itself. Here we discuss the most popular fixes for an underpowered electrical system: the big 3 upgrade, a capacitor, a larger alternator, and a second battery.

Find what fits your car