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Make your music sound fantastic with an amp

Some essential tips for installing an amp

In the 1950's, I'd take the family television's vacuum tubes down to Willow Grove Radio and TV Repair, check them with the giant tester machine, buy new replacement tubes, and reassemble the repaired television, so my mom and dad could enjoy their precious, respectively, Dean Martin and Red Skelton shows. In the 1960's, I studied radio and electronics at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. After college, in the early 70's, I joined a rock 'n roll band as the soundman, learning how to operate the electronics that make music sound good. Then, I worked in a music store in Austin manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems and components for recording studios, nightclubs, and touring bands. I moved back to Charlottesville permanently in 1984 and opened a little demo recording studio. I also attempted to put to practical use the creative writing degree I had picked up along the way. In 2006, I finally came to my senses and got this job at Crutchfield where they actually pay me to ramble on, rant, and explain the things I love about music, electronics, and getting good sound.

More from Buck Pomerantz

Installing an amp can be fun

An amplifier is your key to enjoying the best musical experience you'll ever have in your car. Installing one is a cool project — getting to know your car inside and out is often fun and satisfying. And the results will be well worth it: giving your music the power to overcome road noise has the potential to bring you joy every time you travel.

Here are the basic elements of any installation, including some tips from our tech support specialists aimed at preventing the problems customers most often call about. These tips will help you install your amplifier successfully the first time around, and enjoy it for a long time to come.

When you install an amp, you'll need to focus on these four areas:

  • Providing the proper size of power wire, ground wire, and fuse
  • Passing the power wire from your vehicle's battery to the interior through your vehicle's firewall
  • Connecting speaker and signal wiring to the amp
  • Mounting the amp with plenty of space
Car overhead
  • Andrew from Woonsocket.

    Posted on 8/12/2015

    Is my amplifier okay in my trunk of my sedan during summer? I live in Rhode Island and during peak summer it gets to anywhere between 80-100F on an average day. Ive have an amp in my suv before in a well vented position, this"ll be the first time going in my sedan, in the trunk. Awesome company and customer service!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/13/2015

    Andrew, As long as your amplifier is uncovered by luggage or gear and has a few inches of airspace all around it, you will be fine with it mounted in the trunk.

  • Darrin from Stanley

    Posted on 12/28/2016

    It's been years since I've messed with car stereos and amps. Can you or is it OK to connect a amp to a head unit that pushes wattage (50x4)?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/29/2016

    Darrin, Most car amplifiers feature speaker-level inputs capable of accepting the powered outputs of a receiver.

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