Amplifier wiring diagrams
How to add an amplifier to your car audio system
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
Some people think that installing an amplifier in their vehicle is hopelessly complicated and best left to a professional. That's an option, sure. But Crutchfield has been helping people realize they can do it themselves for over 40 years.
To that point, here are diagrams for a couple of typical amp installations to help you see how all the separate components fit together to form a car audio system.
The first diagram shows a total system upgrade using an aftermarket receiver, two amplifiers, and a subwoofer. The second is more specific. It shows you how to add a subwoofer to a factory system.
How to wire a full car audio system
This wiring diagram shows how a full-blown car audio system upgrade gets wired in a car. The system depicted includes new speakers, an aftermarket receiver, a 4-channel amp for the front and rear pairs of full-range speakers, and a mono amp for a subwoofer.
The extra gear you'll need for wiring the amps includes:
Capacitors aren't usually necessary in a car stereo installation but we included one here to show how it would get wired into a system.
How to add a subwoofer to a factory stereo
A lot of folks want to add bass to their system without replacing the factory radio, either because it looks good or is impossible to replace. The following wiring diagram shows the additional wiring you'll need to add a subwoofer to a factory system.
- Use wire taps to get signal
- An Add A Fuse connector plus a 2A to 10A fuse to get the amp's remote turn-on voltage
- An amp wiring kit and some speaker wire
Start building your system today
Now that you've seen how all the components and parts fit together, you can knowledgeably shop Crutchfield's extensive selection of car audio gear and start building your system.
Give us a call at 888-955-6000 and an Advisor will help you get what you need. If you want to learn more about installing amplifier systems, check out our Amplifier Installation Guide.