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Amplifier wire gauge chart

How to determine the best size wire for your amp's power and ground

Buck Pomerantz was born and raised in Philadelphia. His parents bought their first television set when he was born. He figured out how to run it by the time he was two. Besides athletics, his formative interests included electronics, amateur radio, music, and stage crew work. He got his BA in writing from Brown University. Then he joined a rock 'n roll band as their soundman and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. After that venture failed, he spent time in Boston, New Orleans, and Berkeley. He worked in a music store in Austin manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems for recording studios, clubs, and bands. He moved back to Charlottesville, ran a little recording studio and finally joined Crutchfield as a copywriter. He has 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren, but after a good nap he can still rock out.

More from Buck Pomerantz

T-Spec power and ground wire

T-Spec wires and hardware ensure full current flow for your amplifier

In order to operate correctly, an amplifier needs its power and ground wiring to be large enough to accommodate its demand for electrical current. What wire gauge (thickness) to use for power cabling depends on how much current your system will try to consume, and on how long the wiring run will be.

Understanding the needs of your system can help you know when to choose 4-gauge wire instead of 8-gauge wire. Do a little bit of math and then consult our wire size chart below. Of course, if you're looking for a new car amplifier, we list the recommended amp wiring kit with each amp. 

The formula for current draw

To determine the approximate current draw (in amperes) of your amplifier, you must first calculate the total power of the system (multiply the number of channels by the number of RMS watts per channel). If you have multiple amps, add up the total power figures to arrive at a grand total. Next, double your grand total power figure. Then, divide by 13.8.

Total RMS Wattage times 2 (Inverse of Amp Efficiency) divided by 13.8 Volts equals Current Draw in Amperes (explanation below)

The resulting figure is your system's approximate maximum current draw. Compare this number to the numbers in the "Amperes" column in the chart below. Now figure out the cable length you'll need – that's the distance from your battery to the amplifier's mounting location. Cross-reference these two figures in the chart to determine which gauge of cable you need.

Please note that  the smaller the gauge number, the larger the wire. 1/0 ("one-aught") is the common name for a 0-gauge wire; 2/0 ("two-aught") for a 00-gauge wire.

Cable gauge chart

A more detailed explanation

Here is an explanation about the formula we use, in case you want more details. Calculating the amplifier's total power is straightforward, but the other two parts can be confusing.

No amplifier is 100% efficient

First of all, why do we double the total power figure? That's because the typical analog amplifier is about 50% efficient. That means about half of the power it generates is turned into audio output while the other half of the power is lost as heat.

So if your amplifier is putting out 400 watts, it's actually drawing about 800 watts of power from its source, and the amp's wiring needs to be big enough to handle that draw. (Class D amplifiers are much more efficient in comparison, but it's still safest to go with the larger wire size.)

Automotive voltage is neither 12 volts nor 14.4 volts

And the 13.8? Yes, vehicles have a 12-volt electrical system, but we're assuming that the vehicle is running — which means its alternator will bump up the system voltage to about 13.8 volts. This is a better real-world representation of the vehicle's electrical supply. Dividing by 12 results in a larger number, which could point to a larger wire gauge, but it's often in the same color range in the chart. Manufacturers use 14.4 volts, when they spec their gear, to exaggerate their power ratings.

Resistance increases with wire length

The reason different cable lengths bear different ratings is because the electrical resistance, inherent in all wire, builds up as the cable gets longer, until it forces the voltage to drop below a useable level. At that point, up-sizing the power cable will restore the voltage to its intended level.

Wire size matters for current flow

Finally, according to our tech support guys, the primary performance limitation in most amplifier installations is in the current delivery — either a weak ground or insufficient wire gauge. Installing too small of a wire gauge results in poor performance, potentially shorter service life of connected components (your amplifier and speakers), and a potential safety hazard.

On the other hand, installing too large a wire gauge doesn't really have any downside, and there is the potential for better performance. Obviously, there's no need to buy 2-gauge wiring when 10-gauge will do. That kind of overkill would be a waste of money. But if the chart could lean either way between two sizes, going with the larger wire size would be the smart choice.

Speaker wires

Speaker wiring matters too. The signal and power coming out of your amplifier must not be impeded on their way to your speakers and subs. When you replace or run new speaker wiring, we recommend using 18-, 16-, or 14-gauge wires for speakers and 16-, 14-, or 12-gauge wires for subwoofers.

Get the wiring you need

Now that you have some idea of how much amp wiring you need, shop our selection of amplifier wiring and accessories. We have amp wiring kits, distribution blocks, and everything else you need. And if you have any questions about putting together a shopping list, contact our advisors via phone, email, or chat — the info is at the top of this page. If you want to learn more about amplifier installation, read our amplifier installation guide

Last updated March 14, 2017
  • Hector Perez from United States

    Posted on 5/10/2015 9:37:09 AM

    how far I have to install my fuse to my amp?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/11/2015 10:06:53 AM

    Hector, The fuse in an amplifier's power cable should be installed as close to the battery as possible, within 6" ideally. In case of an accident, you do not want a live wire stretching throughout your vehicle - that could lead to a fire. Many people with multi-amp systems also fuse the individual power wires running to each amp. They most often do that with a fused power distribution block.

  • gregory from jamaica

    Posted on 5/13/2015 9:37:02 AM

    hey good day guys i just check my system using the calculator and from what i am seeing is i will be drawing about 400+ amps. i had run 2 gauge wire from my battery to my distribution block and on the chat its saying i should have 0 gauge wire,, could i run another 2 gauge wire from the battery to the distribution block or do i have to change it out and get the 0 gauge

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/14/2015 9:16:40 AM

    Gregory, I doubt any vehicle's electrical system will allow you to draw 400+ amperes from it without enhancements like extra batteries and a high-output alternator. This amount of current means your amplifiers are capable of 2,760+ watts RMS output. If this is truly the case, then even 1/0-gauge power and ground wires won't be large enough to safely pass this amount of power. I would suggest using 3/0-gauge (000-ga.) wire for this size application. Even two 2-gauge wires wouldn't be large enough for 400 amperes.

  • Blake from Colorado

    Posted on 6/17/2015 2:01:29 PM

    Great information here, but I am still not sure which gauge to use. I have an AudioBahn A4002T amp that will be going into a 97' Subaru Impreza Outback Sport. Its also about 14' long bumper to bumper so my length would prolly be much shorter than that. The Amp's manual says this: 800 watts ACH Power 100 watts x2 @ 4 Ohms RMS Power 200 watts x2 @ 2 Ohms RMS Power Also tho this website: [Link removed] said that it has an "Output Power / Total: 400 Watt" hence the confusion. Could you clarify on what gauge I would most likely need? Thanks, Blake

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/17/2015 3:55:13 PM

    Blake, This amplifier's power is right on the edge of two cable sizes, so it will depend on how you use the amp. If you want to drive two 4-ohm speakers: 100 watts RMS x 2 channels = 200 watts RMS total; 200x2/13.8 = 29 amperes; you'd need 10-gauge power and ground cables. If you want to drive two 2-ohm speakers, or want to bridge the amp to run a 4-ohm subwoofer; 400 watts RMS x 1 channel; 400x2/13.8 = 58 amperes; you'll want 8-gauge or 4-gauge wiring, depending on the length needed.

  • mike johnson from champlin, MN.

    Posted on 6/22/2015 9:25:56 PM

    I have installed a 500 watt amp that is 25 feet away from the CAP, it is driving two 12 inch subs and seems that i have installed the wrong power supply wire to the AMP can you help me? and do you have the wire size in stock? will need 30 feet

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/23/2015 11:14:52 AM

    Mike, I'm not sure you need a capacitor for a 500-watt system, but a capacitor usually gets installed as close to the subwoofer amplifier as possible to be effective, not 25-feet away. 30 feet is awful long - is this an RV or bus? If you don't plan on ever expanding the system or your amplifier uses Class D amp technology, then 4-gauge power and ground wires will do. Otherwise, I'd use 2-gauge power and ground wiring. Crutchfield presently carries 4-gauge wire, but not 2-gauge.

  • Joey from US

    Posted on 6/29/2015 10:46:14 AM

    I made the mistake of buying a cheap walmart brand wire, I originally ran my 1600 watt amp with a 1200 watt power wire, but i sold the wire along with that jeep, So i put my 15" L7 and 1600 watt amp in my truck and thought i could skirt by on that, I just blew 3 fuses in the last 5 minutes, 2 80 amp 1 100 amp. I figure it to be the wire cause the amp works just fine... So what gauge wire should I be using?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/30/2015 10:52:15 AM

    Joey, Without knowing the specific model amplifier I can't be sure, but if your amplifier really is capable of putting out 1600 watts RMS of power (RMS not peak), according to this article's formula and chart it needs either 2-gauge or 1/0-gauge wiring, depending on the length. You'd also need a 200-amp to 250-amp fuse to protect your wire and vehicle from fire in the event of a short circuit.

  • Ryan from missouri

    Posted on 6/30/2015 2:17:13 PM

    Should you rate the wires from the distribution block to the amp separately? For example, If you have a two amplifier system pulling 91 amps with 12ft of cable you need 4-ga from the battery all the way up to the distribution block. Once you branch off, the amps are pulling 43 and 48 independently. At 4 feet does this mean it only requires two 10-ga wires?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/30/2015 4:24:58 PM

    Ryan, You are correct. Running a 12-foot 4-gauge wire from the battery ensures that all 91 amperes of current will arrive at the distribution block. Running a 4-foot 10-gauge wire for each amp will also guarantee adequate power flow to each amp.

  • Dylan

    Posted on 7/8/2015 9:02:00 AM

    Just to let you guys know... you have "+ 13.8" not "/ 13.8" written for your formula

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/8/2015 10:40:20 AM

    Dylan, If you look a little closer at that symbol you should be able to see that it's an old-fashioned "divided by" sign - a horizontal line with a dot above and a dot below. Sorry if that's unclear.

  • David B from Phoenix

    Posted on 7/19/2015 8:14:16 PM

    I find it hard to believe the typo in the formula on the page. You might want to change the plus sign to a division sign ;)

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/20/2015 9:20:19 AM

    David, Seeing as you are the second commenter who read that "divided by" sign as a plus symbol, I am going to rewrite the formula in English, with no mathematical symbols. This way, even if someone should read it on a small screen like a phone, there will be no misunderstanding. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • neville from harare ( zim )

    Posted on 7/22/2015 4:09:37 AM

    Good day I got a 8000 watt amp and two 2000 watt sub's my distance from batt is about 3 meters can I use a 0 gauge cable with a 3.2 farad capasitor.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/22/2015 2:36:12 PM

    Neville, I suspect that huge power rating you quote is a peak or maximum specification, which is useless for planning out a sound system. You should use RMS ratings only. Ten feet (3 m) of AWG 0-gauge wire (50 square mm) should be able to supply adequate current for a 2500 watts RMS amplifier.

  • allen from lansing

    Posted on 7/26/2015 12:32:33 PM

    Okay I have two amplifiers in my car. I have one 2000.2 autotek amp. 1000 watts per channel or bridged 2000 watts at 2 ohm steady. I went through a lot of problems thinking I had smaller wire because my protect was going off. Now I have 2 gauge lead power with 4 gauge ground. ( turned out a speaker was blown. Second I have a old black lanzar 2100 optidrive competition and with a 45db boost. It is running bridged mono. That runs on same ground but a 6 gauge lead wire. I want to get rid of wires. Can I run both the amplifiers on the same 2 gauge wire running to there full capacity even if I have to But a capacitor and if so what fared? I have been told by a friend if I run both on the same 2 gauge the wire will not handle both amps. I want to split the wire into a snake tongue to each amp. I own a 2000 dodge neon manual 2.0l. The 2 gauge is 18 ft long.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/27/2015 12:37:38 PM

    Allen, I can get very little trustworthy information about your amplifiers, plus not knowing what you intend to run with them makes it difficult to give an exact answer. But I think running one 1/0-gauge power wire from your battery to a distribution block will work. From the distribution block you'll need to run 4-gauge power wires to each amp and 4-gauge ground wires from the amps to your chassis connection. If you think you need a capacitor, check out the 3.0 Farad model.

  • Ryan from Louisiana

    Posted on 7/28/2015 1:01:56 AM

    I have an amp and aftermarket door speakers that were already installed in my truck when i got it. No idea what brand, wattage, or impedance the speakers are. Amp is an outdated Alpine 4 channel that puts out 70rms/channel at 4 ohms and 100rms/channel at 2 ohms. I just ordered 2 P1 subs with 250rms and a 500rms amp that should push full power when wired at 2 ohms. My question is how do i tackle wiring these systems when I don't know what one really is but know exactly what I need for the other? And would it matter if the old amp is set at 4 ohms and the new one is 2? I know speakers of different impedance cant be hooked to the same amp but not sure if it matters that two amps are set differently

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/28/2015 3:22:39 PM

    Ryan, Almost all aftermarket car speakers have a nominal impedance of 4 ohms. You don't set an amplifier to an impedance - you hook up a 4-ohm speaker to an amp, and voila: the amp is pushing a 4-ohm load. Rockford Fosgate P1 subwoofers come in SVC 4-ohm and SVC 2-ohm models. Not knowing which ones you have, or what amp you have make it impossible to give advice on how to wire them together. If you want a question answered about your system, you must identify your equipment by brand names and model numbers.

  • Jason from Idaho Falls

    Posted on 8/3/2015 12:10:34 PM

    Just checking my math and making sure I'm not going to melt anything in my pretty black 2009 Impala LT. I have an AR1500M Boss amp rated at 1500w peak and 700w RMS running at 2ohms on an Infinity 12" sub with 2 voice coils at 4 ohms at 2500w peak. I'm not sure what the RMS is but I' was thinking it would be underpowered. I have a BOSS Audio KIT2 8 Gauge (sold bundled with the amp) run through the car and I didn't trim any yet but there is a good 6Ft of cable left in the trunk. Haven't hooked anything up yet... My question is this... Will that cable safely handle the power output of the Amp/sub combo Or am I looking at getting something a bit more substantial? Let me know if I missed any details.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/3/2015 12:48:41 PM

    Jason, Judging by that amp's single 30-amp fuse, I think that the 8-gauge kit it came with will be okay, in spite of the math using the published specs. You could upgrade to 4-gauge cable, so you wouldn't have to re-wire if you got a stronger amp in the future.

  • Jason from Idaho Falls

    Posted on 8/3/2015 2:05:08 PM

    Thanks, that was a far faster response than I had expected. I'm just adding a bit of punch to the already existing stock sound setup. I likely will sell the car with the amp in it. There were a lot of factors that went into picking something that would sound nice and not overpower the stock speakers. I will likely be using this amp at no more than 35% volume tuned in relation to the factory setup.I was thinking that Boss was being a bit generous with their spec but a second opinion doesn't hurt.

  • Joshua from Los Angeles

    Posted on 8/5/2015 12:33:04 PM

    I have two 4 Ohm Alpine Type R's, wired down to 1 Ohm with a 1900.1 Brutus Amp, with 4 gauge lead and ground wire , with a 300 amp circuit breaker , my amp only has two 60 amp fuses in it , should this give me any problems ? Or would it be fine as long as the amp isn't using the full 300 amps

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/5/2015 1:28:04 PM

    Joshua, The fuse or circuit breaker on your power wire protects the wire and your vehicle from fire in the event of a short circuit. A 4-gauge wire, under this circumstance, will burn your car to the ground before a 300-amp circuit breaker will trip. Please, for your safety, replace that 300-amp breaker with a 100-amp fuse or breaker as soon as possible. And be sure to mount it as close to the battery as you can.

  • Shawn from Columbus

    Posted on 8/6/2015 11:28:16 AM

    After reading this I thought about getting new thicker cable. But after doing some digging and getting specs on my amp fuse and fuse in the holder, my issue became no concerned. After some thought it wouldn't be ideal to run 0 Gauge wire. According to the steps to figure your amperage there is no way that calculation is correct. The calculation states in pulling 159 amps, if that is so, then my 100 anl fuse in my power cable would have 'popped', and or my amp fuse of 80 amps would've as well. This calculation is just a calculation, to accurately find your amperage being 'pulled' a multimeter is your best bet to find the truth. I am running a Hifonics bxr.1116.1d on 4 gauge wire, wired in a 1 ohm load powering two NVX VCW124's. I have two power capacitors an 8 farad Soundstream and a 1 farad NVX, but the capacitors won't affect amperage being pulled. Plus before I installed the Caps no fuse blowing was occurring. My wire is not cut down due to having the Caps and I actually added an extra 5 feet or power and ground to accomodate both caps for placement. So realistically I have approximately 23 feet or power wire.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/6/2015 4:45:20 PM

    Shawn, According to Hifonics, that amp should have two 60-amp fuses onboard, 120-amps total. This Cable Gauge article uses a typical 50% efficient AB amplifier as the basis for the formula for finding current draw. But your amp is Class D, which is more efficient. Instead of multiplying the total RMS output by two (the inverse of its 50% efficiency), for your amp we can multiply it by the inverse of 75% instead, and come up with a more accurate rating of 106-amps. If you play loud test tones constantly, your 100-amp fuse may become stressed. But if you play music, which only draws full power about one third of the time, then your 4-gauge wire and 100-amp fuse are A-OK.

  • Ragnar from Tórshavn

    Posted on 8/17/2015 12:39:49 PM

    I will be running a JBL GTO-5EZ with my factory head unit using a low line converter. On JBL's website it says that the peak power is 1935 watts. This means I will be running 280 amps, and would 2 gauge wire be enough?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/17/2015 2:31:22 PM

    Ragnor, Like this article says you should only use RMS ratings for system-planning, not peak ratings. That amplifier can put out four channels of 75 watts RMS and one channel of 500 watts RMS at 2 ohms. 4 times 75 equals 300; plus 500 totals 800 watts RMS. Now, using the formula for current, you'll find the amp will draw a maximum of 116 amperes. 4-gauge power and ground wires will work perfectly well for that amplifier.

  • cameron from richmond

    Posted on 8/22/2015 6:09:54 PM

    I have a question I have two 12 pioneer pro champion series subs there rated at 2500 watt peak an 1000rms I also have a 5500 watt power acustic amp not sure what it's rms is was woundering what wire I should use to wire it in correctly

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/24/2015 10:35:48 AM

    Cameron, That amplifier calls out for 1/0-gauge power and ground wiring.

  • frank from Riverside

    Posted on 8/26/2015 6:35:20 PM

    Question: I'm going to atemp to rewire my old car and go from 6volt to 12volt what gauge wire do I use or can I use the 14 gauge wire from when it was wired before?and just change the bulbs,coil,battery and to alternator.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/27/2015 10:05:11 AM

    Frank, If you're asking about the standard wiring in your car and not about an amplifier's power wiring, then I think 14-gauge wire ought to work just fine. However, keeping in mind that it's been about 60 years since American cars used 6-volt systems, the original wiring may need replacing anyway.

  • Ryan from edmond

    Posted on 8/29/2015 3:44:43 AM

    Hello, I am purchasing a new setup and I am interested in setting them up myself. see if my research is in balance. I purchased 2 Pioneer TS-W3003D4 Champion PRO 2000 Watt MAX 12" Dual 4 Ohm subwoofer + Pioneer GM Digital Series GM-D9601 2400 Watt Monoblock Class D Car Amplifier. Based on the chart I stand within the 4 gauge or 2 gauge wiring for my subaru wrx.

  • Josh Holohan from Isle of Man

    Posted on 8/30/2015 6:28:23 PM

    hi there i have a set of vibe qb69 at 200w rms each and a sony explode 12 inch sub at 350 watts rms and was going to buy an amp which is 1000watts rms (Lanzar HTG447) would a 8 guage wiring kit fitted with a 60A fuse be okay to power it the amp is fitted with 2 25A fuses Many thanks Josh

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/31/2015 10:43:36 AM

    Ryan, The owner's guide for your amplifier recommends 4-gauge power and ground wiring.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/31/2015 12:04:46 PM

    Josh, The owner's manual for that amplifier recommends either 8- or 4-gauge power and ground wiring. I'd go with the 4-gauge to ensure power delivery. Use whatever size in-line fuse that comes with your wiring kit. That fuse protects the wire and your car. The fuse on the amp protects the amp.

  • Ryan Reeves from Galveston, TX

    Posted on 9/4/2015 4:43:21 PM

    Mr. Pomerantz, I have installed a Rockford Fosgate R1200-1D pushing two Rockford Fosgate P3D4-12's wired at 1 ohm. I recently "melted" the power wire where it connects at the fuse holder. Not between the battery and fuse holder. But after the fuse holder leading out towards the amp. The fuse holder showed signs of heat and the wire in the clamping part/set screw of the holder was brittle and broken. The wire is true AWG A spec size 4 gauge for power and ground (Lightining Audio LA-4i Amp Kit). Could you please point me in the direction of potential causes? I'm positive that I have a good "solid" ground with all paint removed. Do I need to drop down to a -0- gauge kit, or larger if necessary? Thanks in advance for your wisdom.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/5/2015 3:36:25 PM

    Ryan, What you describe is often caused by a loose connection of a power wire. And it sounds like that connection is at the fuse holder. When an electrical connection becomes intermittent, cutting in and out, the resistance to the current flow creates great heat, sometimes even sparks - a dangerous condition. You need to tighten all your power and ground wire connections. Maybe you even need to replace that fuse holder too.

  • greg street from oronogo mo.

    Posted on 9/7/2015 8:18:59 PM

    i have an older 600 watt alpine mono amp. and i was wondering what size fuse should i use on the power wire. im just running a type r 12 in. comp sub. alpine also i am using the biggest power wire the stereo shop had which is big but not sure what gauge it was. its clear coating on wire

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/8/2015 1:30:23 PM

    Greg, The in-line fuse on the power cable is there to protect the wire and your vehicle, so you need to know the size of the wire in order to know what size fuse to use. You should return that power wire to your stereo shop and get a proper amplifier wiring kit with cable and fuse that match your amp. A 4-gauge kit will probably work.

  • Haden wilson from Eatonton

    Posted on 9/18/2015 9:37:04 PM

    I have 2 alpine type r 10's that are dual 2 ohm voice cool subwoofers run off a pioneer 2400 watt amp. Would 4 gauge be efficient enough to power the amp? Secondly I am thinking about swapping the 2400 to the planet audio 5000.1 to run at 2 ohms to send roughly 1250 watts to each sub, will I have to swap the wiring out to a larger/thicker wire?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/19/2015 10:30:11 AM

    Haden, If you're referring to the Pioneer GM-D9601 amplifier, 4-gauge will do. But that Planet Audio amp will need 1/0-gauge power and ground wiring.

  • James Shanley from Ballwin

    Posted on 9/21/2015 11:45:27 PM

    Ok I will list components and see what you think. I currently have a run of 2 gauge welding cable ran to the rear kinetik 2000 blue series. From that battery I have the same 2 gauge wire to the amps is this good enough? Second I just bought another t1000.1 and was wondering if the kinetic 2000 is enough and is the 2 gauge from the front battery good enough? I have a stock 130 amp alternator by the way

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/22/2015 10:41:52 AM

    James, I can't tell, by your description, how many batteries or amplifiers you have in your system, nor what exactly each amp is, so I can't help you with your wiring. Whatever you do, make sure to install an inline fuse on each power cable within a few inches of each battery.

  • Walker J from Kelowna

    Posted on 9/25/2015 11:16:08 AM

    Hey Crutchfield, thank you for all the awesome information. I am installing a Hertz HDP4 amp, it is a full 17 Ft cord length right now. I have 4 gauge Stinger True-Spec, so I think I'm good there. However if I adder another 600 rms Hertz subwoofer, would I still be okay? I'll distribute the 4 gauge at 17 ft, then run 8 gauge to the seperate amps. We can assume my new amp at 600w rms will be Class A/B. My other question for you guys is this, what gauge wire do I need for my Hertz 165XL door speakers? They run 150 rms. Thanks so much for your guys' time and efforts.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/25/2015 3:31:22 PM

    Walker, If you want to run those two amplifiers at the same time you'll need to use 1/0-gauge wire from the battery to a distribution block, otherwise they won't be able to draw full power. From there you should be okay with short runs of 8-gauge. As for speakers, 14- or 16-gauge wires are fine.

  • Andrew from muncie

    Posted on 9/29/2015 11:32:09 PM

    my amp is a mon block capable of 2000watts rms but the power input on the amp only takes 4 guage. makes no sense to me

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/30/2015 10:41:06 AM

    Andrew, Welcome to the world of car amplifier marketing, where the rating printed on the amp is often an exaggeration.

  • Brandon from Seattle

    Posted on 10/1/2015 12:21:44 AM

    Great article. I think I have this all correct in my head, but i'm not sure. I am now getting conflicting information out there on the WWW in car audio forums. Maybe you can clarify? I am running 2 amps, and driving all 4ohm speakers. One amp is 100x2 rms, and the other is 300x2 rms. The smaller amps says it has a fuse rating of 50a. The larger says it has a fuse rating of 140a. The primary power wire I have run, is a 0 gauge, and I Just need to figure out what size ANL fuse to put in the fuse box. From what I have read here on crutchfield, I simply add the fuse ratings together to arrive at my total, for the power wire up at the battery... which is 190amps. I can't buy a 190a ANL, so a 200 is what I am planning on putting in. Then between the distribution block and each amp, I have planned a 40amp ANL for the smaller, and a 150 ANL for the larger. Correct?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/1/2015 11:12:03 AM

    Brandon, The inline fuse on the power cable near the battery is there to protect you and your vehicle from a fire in the event of a short circuit. The size of the fuse depends only on the size of the power wire. Of the1/0-gauge amp wiring kits Crutchfield sells, one manufacturer includes a 300-amp fuse, and another includes a 250-amp fuse. Your 200-amp fuse will work as well. If your amps have onboard fuses, no other fuses will be necessary. If your amplifiers do not have onboard fuses, you should fuse each power line after the distribution block with a fuse as near as possible to the specified size.

  • Brandon from seattle

    Posted on 10/1/2015 1:03:11 PM

    Thanks for the information, Buck. Unfortunately, you guys have some conflicting information right here on your website. Here is a quote from your amp article where the question is asked "what size fuse do I need for my amp"? [Link to Car amplifier FAQ] Q: How big should the fuse be? A: If you're installing just one amplifier, the fuse at the battery should simply match or slightly exceed the fuse rating of the amplifier itself. Some amps don't come with onboard fuses - you have to find their fuse ratings in their owner's manuals. If you're installing two or more amplifiers, just add their fuse ratings together and install a fuse rated roughly equal to this sum. Generally, it's better to go slightly higher than lower, but a margin of five amperes is acceptable. Say you have three amplifiers, two with fuse ratings of 20 amps each and one with a fuse rating of 25 amps. In this case, you can safely go with either a 60 or 70 amp fuse. Of course, if your system is powerful enough to demand that you install a heavy duty fuse, it's important that your power and ground wire be of an appropriately heavy gauge as well."

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/1/2015 4:00:46 PM

    Brandon, It does look like you've uncovered a contradiction in my own advice. Although I think the information in the Car Amplifier FAQ may need updating, I am going to ask our Tech Department for their definitive answer. Stand by.

  • Mark Ford II from Montezuma

    Posted on 10/4/2015 12:50:41 AM

    I'm running a 3400 watt amp with three 4 ohm 12's. The manufacturer claims 2550 x 1 rms @ 1 ohm, 1275 ×1 @ 2 ohms, and 638 x 1 @ 4 ohms. It's a 2014 impreza hatchback (on the small side), so just with an estimated wire distance, can you help me out here?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/4/2015 10:03:58 AM

    Brandon, According to Crutchfield's Tech Support, either system of determining the proper size fuse to use in your power line will work. Pick the smallest number - in your case, 200-amps. There is a danger, however, in using the sum of the amplifiers' fuse ratings for the main fuse: when the power wire itself is too small. In your case, for instance, if you were to put in a 4-gauge power cable and then used a 200-amp fuse by the battery, the 4-gauge wire would catch on fire in the event of a short before the 200-amp fuse could blow.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/4/2015 11:14:20 AM

    Mark, Without verifying those astronomical power specs or knowing the Class or fuse compliment of the amplifier make it difficult if not impossible to help determine what wire for you to use. If your amp is Class D, then 1/0-gauge wire should work. If it's an AB amp, then maybe 2/0-gauge cables will be needed. It could be that the power ratings were exaggerated by the manufacturer, a common occurrence, and you won't need cables that large at all.

  • Valente Villicana from Vista

    Posted on 10/10/2015 4:26:08 PM

    I have a 2001 toyota corolla. I installed a no name brand 4 gauge power wire from the battery to my stinger non fused distribution block in the trunk. From there I have two 4 gauge wires my amps. I have an alpine 300.4ch and a 500.1 jl audio powering a 10inch w7. I also have AudioControl Epicenter hooked up. I recently melted my power wire right at the inline AGU fuse connector. So now Im debating whether using 2 gauge or 0 gauge from th battery to the trunk and using a 100 amp circuit breaker or clip style 100 amp fuse block. What do you suggest I do as far as install and gauge size? My downfall to my install is when I blow a fuse I lose all sound since Im only using one power wire with a distribution block for both amps. Thanks in advance

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/12/2015 10:26:30 AM

    Valente, What you describe is a very dangerous situation that needs immediate attention, before your car burns to the ground. If your power wire has melted without popping the fuse it means there's a loose connection that's arcing and putting out sparks and tremendous amounts of heat. You need to replace, repair, or tighten all the power connections, especially the inline fuse holder. Blowing fuses and melting wires are clues that something is very wrong with your wiring. True 4-gauge power wiring will probably be adequate, but I can't be sure without knowing the exact models of your amplifiers.

  • Valente Villicana from Vista

    Posted on 10/12/2015 10:40:21 AM

    Thanks for responding. I have a 500/1 Jl Audio Monoblock with a Jl Audio 10inch W7. And an alpine 300watts.4 channel..i was thinking of running 2 or 0 gauge from the battery to the distribution block in the trunk and from there keeping my true 4 gauge wires to the amp. As far as fuse I was thinking of replacing it with an 100 amp circuit breaker. What do u think? I feel like my 4 gauge power wire running out the battery is too small for all the current im drawing from both amps thats why it melted.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/12/2015 1:20:38 PM

    Valente, I will repeat what I said before: you are operating under dangerous conditions. If the amps you have are the Alpine MRV-F300 and the JL Audio JX500/1D then you don't need a main power cable larger than 4-gauge, you need to clean up and tighten the power connections you already have. The inline power fuse near the battery should be rated for 80- to 100-amps.

  • Valente Villicana from Vista

    Posted on 10/12/2015 1:42:01 PM

    I should have made myself clear. The fuse did pop and its been popping ever since. Im running a cheap 4 gauge wire to the trunk. Its not real awg wire thats why I figured I should go bigger with a 2 gauge to the distribution block and from there keep the 4 gauge to both amps. I have the 500/1 Jl Audio Slash series amp and the alpine MRP F 300. Can I run a circuit breaker instead of fuse?

  • Randy from Missouri City

    Posted on 10/12/2015 3:34:06 PM

    Hey Buck, Just wanted to verify my setup is correct. I am running two amps; Pioneer GM-D8604 and a GM-D9601. I am running Arc Audio xRi Components rated at 120w rms @ 4ohms and coaxials at 40w RMS @ 4ohms as well as an Alpine Type R 10" (4 ohm wired into 2ohm) with a rate of 800w RMS @ 2ohm. Now this may be overkill but I went ahead and redid all my wiring as I did not know much about the different types of wires 3 years ago when I installed all this. New setup is 1/0 (1') battery wire with a 200 amp ANL fuse running into a distribution block then to both a 4 gauge w/ 150 amp ANL fuse to the D9601 and an 8 gauge w/ 60 amp inline fuse to the D8604 as per manufacturer specs. On top of that the amps also have 3 (40 amp) fuses and 2 (30 amp) fuses plugged into them. Now my car was made with the battery located in the rear of the car. So my runs are not longer than 8' being the longest which is the 4 gauge for the sub amp. Thank you for your time.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/12/2015 4:34:33 PM

    Valente, Go ahead and replace your power and ground cables with true 4-gauge or 2-gauge wires and go ahead and use a circuit breaker if you want. But please, make sure all the connections are tight and secure and won't work loose and arc and possibly burn your car up.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/12/2015 4:45:01 PM

    Randy, That 1/0-gauge wire may be a little overkill, but it certainly will help with power flow. It sounds like you have a good grip on what will work and work safely.

  • Ryan from norco

    Posted on 10/14/2015 8:03:57 PM

    Hey Buck, I just recently installed my system in my extra cab Toyota pickup. I have two 12 inch kicker comp subs. I purchased a kicker dx 250.1 amplifier to run my subs with. I also have a a 350 watt ken wood amplifier running to two 6x9 speakers in the truck. I have about 7 feet of wire from the batter to the amplifiers. I have a friend with the Same system as mine and the only difference is wire size. Tried doing the math but got really lost in the mumbl jumbo any well you could help determine wire size for me? Also with two twelve inch kicker comps would you recommend a large or small box? Sealed or ported? The subs sound crisp but I'm looking for more low end hard bass.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/15/2015 12:46:23 PM

    Ryan, If your Kenwood amplifier is a KAC-5204, with a large "350W" printed on its label, it can put out two channels of 60 watts RMS each to your speakers; that's 120 watts RMS total. Add that to the 250 watts RMS that the Kicker can output and the total is 370. Using the formula in the article: 370 times 2 divided by 13.8 equals 53.62 Amperes. Plugging that number into the chart at 7-10 foot length shows that you can use 8-gauge power wire from your battery to a distribution block. As for your subs, you should put them in enclosures sized according to what the manufacturer recommends. Go to Kicker's website and look up the specifications of your particular subwoofers. There you'll find the maximum and minimum recommended sizes for both sealed and ported enclosures. Which of those you may prefer depends on your taste in bass. Check out Sealed or Ported for help deciding.

  • Innes from Kathu

    Posted on 10/23/2015 1:18:37 AM

    Good morning guys I have a question I just recently installed a system in my 2015 Vw Polo 1.2tsi hatchback I'm using the standard head unit so I used 2 audiobank high to low converters for the 2 amplifiers I am using. I'm using a 4 gauge wiring kit from Starsound audio the car is roughly 11ft long the first amplifier for my subwoofer is a TG-10000d1 Targa monoblock amplifier rated to 2500 watts RMS at 1ohm stable the subwoofer is a Targa TG-VM7000 dual 2ohm voice coils rated to 2500watts RMS 10inch the second amplifier is a XTC audio da brat series 3000 watt 4 channel amplifier which I'm using to run the standard door speakers and works perfectly but my problem is the mono amplifier if I plug in both RCA leads into the amplifier it totally stops playing the woofer the woofer is wired to 1ohm so that it can run if I remove 1 of the RCA leads it starts playing again is my 4gauge wiring enough or should I go to 0gauge because I veel it should be playing louder and stronger could you please give me advice as what to do

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/23/2015 1:08:17 PM

    Innes, Although it sounds like you may improve your amps' performance by up grading to 1/0-gauge power wiring, I don't think your problem has anything at all to do with your power cables. What you describe can occur when the input signals you're trying to combine to your sub amp's RCA connections are 180-degrees out of phase with one another, adding together destructively, resulting in no signal. In other words, one pair of the high-level leads of your Audiobank high to low converter for the bass amp has its polarity (positive and negative wires) reversed. Rewiring either one of pairs should solve the problem.

  • Wayne from Convent

    Posted on 11/24/2015 4:10:26 PM

    I have a 500watt Sony Xplod 4/3 channel (high/low) XM-504Z amp! I need to know the wiring size to connect one 10in Sony explode speaker 1100watts

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/30/2015 12:41:37 PM

    Wayne, This article's about sizing amplifier power and ground wiring. Wires that connect an amplifier's output to a subwoofer should be anywhere from 16- to 12-gauge in size.

  • Maxwell

    Posted on 12/10/2015 5:14:36 AM

    What if I have 2 amps and they are both connected to the battery through separate power cables? Would I calculate each one and see what gauge wire I need for each power cable for each amp?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/10/2015 10:04:15 AM

    Maxwell, In this case, yes, you should figure each amplifier's power and ground cable requirements separately. Don't forget to fuse both power wires near the battery.

  • Louis from Montreal

    Posted on 12/11/2015 10:23:58 PM

    Hi M. Pomerantz . I just bought a used amp in mint condition, it's an Alpine MRV- F450 . On Crutchfield website they recommends 8 size for this amplifier. Knowing that I do not intend to add another amplifier in the future and that all the speakers (4 x 6in + 12in sub) are at 4ohm , is size 8 will be sufficient for the amplifier . Also, what fuse resistance should i use near the battery pole. Thank you!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/12/2015 1:33:46 PM

    Louis, The in-line fuse on a power cable is there to protect the cable, your car, and you from catching fire in the event of a short circuit. Its size depends on the size and composition wire used and what the manufacturer says will work. It'd probably be a lot easier for you to pick out an appropriate amp wiring kit, which fits your amp, and comes with the matching fuse, hardware, and accessories you'll need for your amp's power and ground wiring.

  • Jim Davis from El Centro

    Posted on 12/16/2015 5:36:48 PM

    I' m wiring a 1970 Dodge Challenger for two smaller amps (320W RMS & 250W RMS) using 4ga cable according to the chart on this site. For added peace of mind I want to run a 4ga ground cable from the battery to the amps in the trunk. Are there any concerns with wiring things this way, or is it just good overkill?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/17/2015 9:42:22 AM

    Jim, Older cars like yours have solid metal bodies and frames that make good ground connections to the electrical system. However, it won't hurt anything to run a dedicated ground wire to the battery's negative terminal.

  • Tanner Christensen from Casper Wyoming

    Posted on 12/21/2015 6:58:23 PM

    This makes no sence to me, I have a Boss R3002 600 watt amp 2 channel what is the RMS and how do I find it

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/22/2015 11:14:08 AM

    Tanner, You are right to question that 600W max specification. When you go to Boss Audio's website and look up that amplifier's specs it states that the R3002 amp can put out 113 watts RMS x 2 at 4 ohms, 225 watts RMS x 2 at 2 ohms, and 450 watts RMS x 1 bridged at 4 ohms. Using the formula in this article and the amp's highest total RMS output (450 times 2 divided by 13.8) yields a potential current draw of 65 amperes. Checking the chart shows that you should use 4- or 8-gauge wire depending on the length of your install. The amplifier's owner's manual (available on Boss' website) says to use 8-gauge or larger wire. It never hurts to get power and ground cabling larger than your immediate needs so that if you were to upgrade your system later, you'll be prepared.

  • Benn from Toowoomba

    Posted on 12/26/2015 12:33:03 AM

    What gauge wire would I need from an amp to a 1600w speaker?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/28/2015 11:54:21 AM

    Benn, Any size wire from 12-gauge down to 16-gauge will work fine for a subwoofer.

  • Cedrick d spearman from Memphis tn

    Posted on 1/3/2016 3:19:06 AM

    I've sound ordnance b24 and I want to hook it up to a boss riot 1100 class a/b mono block,what gauge of wiring I need?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/4/2016 10:36:13 AM

    Cedrick, If you are asking about the wires from the amplifier output to the subwoofer, any size wire from 12-gauge down to 16-gauge will work fine. If you're asking about the amplifier's power and ground wiring, 8-gauge is what its specs call for.

  • Grant Cobbs from Raleigh, NC

    Posted on 1/6/2016 7:13:17 AM

    Hello, im running 2 860 watt subs on my 600 watt amp, my friend has the same setup and its working fine, i dont know if its my wiring or what but my amp goes into power protect mode. (Im pretty new to subs, so, bear with me)

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/6/2016 2:52:46 PM

    Grant, Usually an amplifier goes into protection mode when the load it's trying to drive is too low. What that means is the total impedance of the subs, in ohms, is lower than what the amplifier can handle. Without knowing exactly what amplifier or subwoofers you have make it impossible to give advice on how to wire them together. If you want a question answered about your system, you should identify your equipment by brand names and model numbers.

  • Jesus

    Posted on 1/22/2016 2:25:16 AM

    I have a 1,200W AP09512 SDX amplifier with 5 channels. I want to install it but i don't know what gauge to get.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/22/2016 10:47:15 AM

    Jesus, 8-gauge power and ground cables will work for that amp, although it wouldn't hurt to use 4-gauge instead, to ensure that any upgrades to your system can be accommodated.

  • Matt

    Posted on 1/24/2016 2:37:00 PM

    I have a 2006 Silverado it has a 145 amp alternator. I have a Kenwood KDC-X399 headunit- one Kicker 40TCWRT104 subwoofer hooked to a Planet Audio P300.3 Amp (specs, bridged power 4 ohms 600 watts/outout power 2 ohms 302 watts). The subwoofer is bridged-subwoofer is hooked to left channel negative-right channel positive. I have 6 gauge power and ground wire, the length of the power wire run is around 10-11 feet . My headlighs and dash light dim when the bass hits. I have tried to "tune" the headlight dim out using 0 for bass setting and the gain on the amp turned to 50% and subwoofer setting 0-5. Seems no matter what setting, if the bass hits to where the music sounds good the lights dim. While the lights dim I hooked a multimeter to the battery, and the voltage bounces from 14v to 14.8 volts. I installed a 160 amp alternator and still have the dimming lights. The battery is a ACDelco 600CCA, and currently the truck starts without any problems at 0 to -5 degrees so I think the battery is good. Any suggestions?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/25/2016 1:41:39 PM

    Matt, An amplifier that size should not overpower your electrical system. The fact that you measured over 14 volts when the lights dim show that it's not your charging system that's at fault. Check out this article for help with light-dimming. Start by checking all power and ground connections. You also may find that that amp will do better with 4-gauge power and ground wiring.

  • Matt

    Posted on 1/25/2016 6:03:21 PM

    All power/ground connections are clean and tight. The amp is grounded to the back of the cab.-amp is mounted to the cab behind the rear seat- Just to add, with the truck running the lights will dim. If i turn the engine off and have the key to the acc. position the light do not dim. Not sure why that would be? I hate to admit this but, the 6 gauge amp wiring is Scosche brand from Wal-Mart. Thanks

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/26/2016 1:43:38 PM

    Matt, If your battery alone can handle your vehicle's headlights and loud music at the same time but your alternator can't, it shows that there is probably something wrong with your alternator/charging system. You should have it checked out by a qualified auto mechanic.

  • DeAndre Wilson from Buffalo

    Posted on 1/29/2016 9:14:03 AM

    In my Lincoln mkz I'm running a aux to rca cable from my fiio m3 high resolution mp3 player to a distribution block in the trunk its 4 ga wire with a 150 amp fuse. From the block I have 4 ga going to an audiopipe apsm 1500 at 1 ohm doing about 1400 watts rms and from the block 8 ga going to an autotek 1000.4 with 4, 4 ohm door speakers. Sub amp has no external fusing and 4 channel has 30 amp fuse. I have fried my 2nd amplifier on my kicker l7 15 inch (powerbass asa 1000.1 first). I pulled over yesterday and both amps where scorching hot to the touch and now the sub amp is stuck in protect......any thoughts?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/29/2016 10:33:55 AM

    DeAndre, It's impossible to troubleshoot your system without knowing exactly what subwoofer you have nor how it's wired to your amp. The fact that you say you've blown an amplifier and now they're running hot tells me that you're trying to drive an impedance load lower than what your amplifier can handle. For starters, your amps probably need 2-gauge or 1/0-gauge power wiring from the battery to the distribution block in order to draw enough current to operate properly. If you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you could call Tech Support for free help with your system. Their toll-free number is on your invoice. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Click on this link for details.

  • Jeff from Gonzales, LA

    Posted on 2/2/2016 12:38:51 AM

    I have JBL 6X9's in front doors and JBL 6.5's in rear doors. These speakers are 2.3 ohm. They will be powered by MTX TE404 rated 65Wx4 at 4ohm stereo or 100Wx4 at 2 ohm stereo. So im guessing the door speakers will see about 90W each. So lets say 360W. Then i will have JBL GTX500 which is 350Wx1 at 4 ohms or 500Wx1 at 2 ohms. This will be pushing JL Audio 8w7 ported stealthbox which is 3 ohm. So lets say i split the difference and sub will see 425W. Each amp has 50A total on fuses. So 100A total. I also will have audio control LCQ1 to hook up and i want to hard wire a 400W power inverter. Question 1: What size cable should i use from battery to distribution block? Then from distribution block to amps, inverter and LCQ1. Question 2: What size fuse should I use at battery? Should i also have fuses at distribution block? Question 3: Should I consider usage of an external capacitor for the mono amp or is it unnecessary? If yes what size. Thanks for taking my questions.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/2/2016 1:08:29 PM

    Jeff, We can use the formula in the article to determine what you need. We treat the inverter just as if it was another amplifier, taking power from the vehicle system and outputting it to a device. So, you have an amp that can put out up to 360 watts RMS, one that can put out 425 watts, and another that can put out 400. That totals 1185 watts RMS. Multiply that by two and then divide by 13.8, and it indicates that when all the equipment gets powered to the top total RMS output, it will draw 172 amperes from the electrical system. Looking that up on the chart tells us that a 2-gauge or 1/0-gauge wire from the battery to a distribution block will work. Fuse the power cable as close to the battery as possible, using a fuse sized to protect the wire, usually 250-A, but any size from 175-A to 300-A will do. 8-gauge wiring should work for the short runs from the distribution block to each powered device. You would need to fuse those wires or use a fused distribution block if the amps and inverter have no onboard fuses of their own. I would not even consider getting a capacitor unless, after the whole installation was done, the headlights dim when the music hits hard. The rule of thumb is to use one Farad of capacitance for every 1,000 watts RMS of output power the system has.

  • Jeff from Gonzales, LA

    Posted on 2/2/2016 5:59:26 PM

    The MTX TE504amp has (2) 25A fuses, the JBL GTX500 amp has (2) 25A fuses. The LCQ-1 says to use 2A fuse because it only draws 350mA. I have decided to not hardwire the power inverter. I will just get a different one that plugs into cigarette lighter. So now i should only need 4AWG lead wire with a 125A fuse at battery according to chart. Correct? Im calculating 360W+425W = 785W (x2) = 1570W / 13.8V = 113.76A. The MTX amp is AB class and JBL is D class. Also i want to hookup a remote bass volume knob. Should i hook one up to JBL GTX500 amp or hook one up to the audio control LCQ-1? Thanks for your input Buck.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/3/2016 10:29:54 AM

    Jeff, Sounds like you have your power wire requirements covered. As for a remote bass knob, that amplifier has no remote capability, but the AudioControl does offer the ACR-2 remote as an option for the LCQ-1.

  • Chris from San Gabriel Valley

    Posted on 2/6/2016 6:32:48 PM

    Heyy I am running 2 kicker cs 4 ohm 100 rms each and hifonics be500.4 what kind of speaker wire should i use and going to use kicker Ks 6x9 in the rear deck i think they will be 150 rms but will wire them to 2 ohms to get more power or bridge ...soo what gauge speaker wire should i use?? Im planning to re wire everything!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/8/2016 10:51:30 AM

    Chris, When you replace or run new speaker wiring from an amplifier's output, we recommend using 18-, 16-, or 14-gauge wires for speakers, and 16-, 14-, or 12-gauge wires for subwoofers.

  • Juan from Orange County

    Posted on 2/9/2016 1:20:09 AM

    Hello so if I'm planning on installing a jl audio hd 600/4 and a jl audio 250/1 slash and both combined are 850 rms and according to the equation above I'm pulling about 123 amps. So would i be OK if I run 4 gauge fused main wire from the battery to a distribution block with another set of wires from the distribution block to the amplifiers? And if so what size fuse at the main wire? should I get fused or unfused distribution block? And last should I use 4 or 8 gauge wire from the distribution block to amps? Thanks

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/9/2016 1:27:35 PM

    Juan, In your case, 4-gauge power wire from the battery to a distribution block will work fine for those two amps. Make sure you fuse it near the battery with an 80-A fuse to protect it and your car. Since those amplifiers do not have onboard fuses, I'd use a fused distribution block for protection. The 600/4's specs call for a 50-A fuse while the 250/1 needs a 30-A fuse. If shorter than 4-feet, the wires from the distribution block to each amp could be 10-gauge, but 8-gauge will work just fine. You'll want to use 8-gauge for each amp's ground as well.

  • Mike from Salem , nh

    Posted on 2/11/2016 8:29:18 PM

    Hi , I am installing a Alpine CDE - HD149BT Receiver Alpine PDX - V9 5 Channel Pre Amp ------- 100 watts x4 + 500 watts rms for sub (2) Kicker 500 watts rms each subwoofers @4ohms (4) Kicker 6x9 150 rms each 3 way speakers @4ohms It's being installed in a new 2015 Silverado , so I am isolating this new system from the factory installed system. I have 2 questions for you Hector. I added up the watts for what gauge of wire for the battery and for the block . I came up with 4 gauge wire. I know you said going thicker is better. The amp is 6 feet from the battery. My second question for you would be , the two 12'' subs I bought are higher in watts rms vs my Alpine 5 channel amp , is that a problem , because I was thinking if I have to add a sub amp later , it could handle the rms . Thank you

  • Greg from Clarion

    Posted on 2/11/2016 11:14:00 PM

    Someone please help me!!!!!!!!! Okay listen I have 2 RE subs running at 2400 rms together! I can't find a single amp to run them unless I pay $1,400 which I refuse to do for an amp! So here is the deal guys I haven't found one good solid source of people for help!! Cruthfield has amazing diagrams I follow for everything so I'm praying there is help! I will be running 2 amps! I found an amp that is 6000 Watts (means absolutely nothing) 3000 rms but CEA rating at 1000 rms wired to 2 ohm which I am the subs are 2 ohm! So I need 2 amps I'm gonna run together so I get true 1000 rms cea rating for each sub! Question! What size power wire kit do I need?? With this chart I get confused on what rms power to go by the 3000 or 1000???? Which makes a huge difference! Would I go with a 0 gauge kit or 2-4??? Ill be running a fuse from the battery to a fused distrubtion block to run the amps so I need to know what size wire and also what would be the best fuse size??? Sorry so long just wanna be detailed in case someone can give me a straight answer which I've had absolutely no luck on!!!! If you can please give me any of this information it would be truely amazing!!! Thanks!!!!!!

  • Greg from Clarion

    Posted on 2/11/2016 11:43:14 PM

    Greg again!! I also forgot to ask about the REM wire from my head unit and the RCA cables!!! Someone said I can't run a memory wire from my head unit and split it to both amps cause I'll burn out my turn on circuit in my head unit? True? If so what else can you do? Also the RCA cables from the head unit the amps do have input and out (slave and master) so I can run the RCA from my head unit to the input (master) to one amp then with a second set of RCA cables run from output to the input (slave) on the second amp? Correct?? I believe that is it! If anyone could answer these it would be so greatly appreciated!!! Thanks!!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/12/2016 1:30:47 PM

    Mike, 4-gauge power and ground wires will work fine for that amplifier, although its proximity to the battery and Class D operation should allow 8-gauge to work as well. There is never a problem running a speaker or sub with less power than its rating, as long as you don't send it over-driven distorted signals attempting to get more volume out of it than the amp can deliver.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/12/2016 2:00:12 PM

    Greg, Not knowing exactly to which amplifier or subwoofers you're referring make it impossible to give advice on how to wire them together. If you want a question answered about your system, you must identify your equipment by brand names and model numbers. When designing and putting together a system, use RMS ratings only. As for the remote turn-on lead, you can run it from your receiver, to one amplifier, and then to a second one, but that's about it. Any more amps and you would need a relay to deliver switched power for turning them on. I think your last question is about the pair of preamp outputs on one of your amplifiers. You indeed can use those for RCA connection for your second amps' input.

  • Brett

    Posted on 3/3/2016 9:52:46 PM

    I have a Kenwood KAC-8104D Mono subwoofer amplifier rated at 300 watts RMS x 1 at 4 ohms (500 watts x 1 at 2 ohms). It recommends 8-gauge power and ground leads but if I did the calculation right I need 4-gauge because I will be wiring it for 2 ohms. Im using this amp to power a JL Audio 12W6v2-D4. Should I use 8-gauge like it recommends or bump up to 4? -Thanks

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/4/2016 4:49:57 PM

    Brett, This Class D amplifier is much more efficient than a typical AB amp, and so you will be fine using 8-gauge power and ground cables for it. Of course there's no harm in using larger wire if there's room.

  • Jose from Va Beach

    Posted on 3/14/2016 1:07:44 AM

    Im planning on running a dual amp system an Alpine MRV-F300 (4x50rms @4ohm) and a Rockford Fosqate 1,200 watt amp (1200rms @1ohm). My question is will a 4 gauge power wire at 6 feet hooked up to a distribution box and splitting with 8 gauge going to the 1200 watt amp at 2 feet and 8 gauge 5 feet going to the Alpine MRV-F300 amp will be sufficient? if not, what do I need to change?

  • DJ from Newport News

    Posted on 3/14/2016 2:55:46 PM

    I'm running two apms. One under the passenger front seat & the other under the driver seat. One amp is a Power Acoustic GT4-900. That's a 900w 4ch amp. 4 x 75w @ 4 ohm 4 x 95w @ 2 ohm 2 x 190w @ 4 ohm bridged I'll be running (4) 6.5" Power Acoustik mid Bass drivers that are 4 ohm 300w peak each & 100w RMS. The second amp is a Memphis Audio 16-MC1000D mono block RMS Power (4 ohms) 300 watts x 1 channel RMS Power (2 ohms) 600 watts x 1 channel RMS Power (1 ohm) 1100 watts x 1 channel Peak Power Output 2200 watts I'll be running 2 shallow mount 12" SD-2 Sundown Audio 2ohm rated @ 500w RMS. Also, will be running a distribution block. Any help on what gauge wire to run from battery to block & block to amps??

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/14/2016 4:40:54 PM

    Jose, It seems to me that you've got it all worked out correctly. Rock on.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/14/2016 5:00:26 PM

    DJ, You didn't say how long each wire run will be, but I think you'll be safe running 4-gauge power wire from the battery to distribution block and 8-gauge wires to each amp. Don't forget to install a 100 to 150 amp in-line fuse near the battery.

  • Clay from Gallatin

    Posted on 3/15/2016 7:54:19 PM

    Is there a Diffrence in sound quality between using thhn 8awg vs fine stranded car audio 8awg wire? Other than being flexible,Are there any other advantages of using fine stranded cable? Thank you!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/16/2016 4:46:02 PM

    Clay, For power wires of the same size, I don't think the fineness and amount of stranding makes any difference at all. However, you should be aware that some brands of wire don't meet the same standards and over-state the size of the conducting wire inside the insulating jacket.

  • DJ from Newport News

    Posted on 3/16/2016 6:45:27 PM

    Buck, my apologies. Front the battery to the seats I'm guessing 3 to 5ft but no more than 5ft. And from amp to amp no more than 2ft. I don't have exact measurments.

  • Christopher Ramirez from La puente

    Posted on 3/17/2016 6:23:30 AM

    Please i need a response to this question. For my amp i am using 2 gauge power wire and 0 gauge ground because i had it laying around. Will this affect anything?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/17/2016 9:26:33 AM

    DJ, Like I said before, you'll be safe running 4-gauge power wire from the battery to distribution block and 8-gauge wires to each amp. Don't forget to install a 100 to 150 amp in-line fuse near the battery.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/17/2016 9:55:13 AM

    Christopher, Like the chart indicates, what size wire to use is entirely dependent on the power of the amplifier and the length of the wire run. If your amplifier requires a 2-gauge power wire, using a larger, 0-gauge wire for ground won't hurt anything.

  • Chris from Texarkana

    Posted on 3/26/2016 1:23:55 AM

    I am pushing a Rockford T0 4ohm with a Rockford punch 500 mono, the speaker is rated 600 rms, the speaker is wired to 2ohms so I think the speaker is getting 250-300 watts.Should I go with a bigger amp? And if I did would I really notice the difference? Thanks

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/28/2016 12:15:06 PM

    Chris, If your subwoofer is set up as a 2-ohm load and your amplifier is a Rockford Fosgate Punch 500 watts RMS rated mono amp, then it should be sending up to 500 watts RMS to the sub. If that's not enough bass for you, then you should look into getting a larger amp and more subs.

  • Colin Neighbers from St Augustine

    Posted on 4/26/2016 11:20:39 AM

    So I have a 400 watt two channel amp for my mids, 300 watt two channel for my highs, and I will be getting a 2400 watt mono for my subs. I plan on getting a new alternator, around the 220-270 amperage range, and maybe even a second 12 volt battery. I know that I also need to do the big 3 upgrade and I'd like to use 1/0 for that. What do I need to do? Still sort of just getting into car audio. I want to be able to push my subs to their full 2400 watt capacity without causing damage to my alt or battery(ies). Any help and suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/26/2016 1:47:40 PM

    Colin, If those huge power ratings you quote are truly RMS power ratings, then I doubt any aftermarket alternator and battery setup will safely support the system. But I suspect those numbers are peak, or max power ratings, which are useless for system-design. Always use RMS ratings and the results will match real world performance.

  • Jone Yohannes from Beltsville

    Posted on 4/30/2016 3:11:53 PM

    Hello, I have infinity primus 6.5 and 6x9 as well as a infinity 1260 subwoofer. I think my math might be off but I arrived at 460 amps which isn't listed. Could you please advise? Thanks.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/2/2016 10:23:00 AM

    Jone, This article is about what size wire to use for power and ground connections for amplifiers. The ratings of the speakers and subwoofers are irrelevant to that discussion - only the amplifiers' total RMS wattage output ratings are. For that, start with the amplifiers' brand names and model number numbers and do a web search for the specs.

  • George from Gallatin

    Posted on 5/8/2016 1:02:37 PM

    How does the calculation change with D class amps, for example, If I run a Pioneer GM-D860, what is the calculation change then? Do you just go one step down or is there a conventional position for the conversion number? (ie. instead of 100%, 50% for the addition.)

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/9/2016 1:35:23 PM

    George, The formula here uses a typical AB amplifier's 50% efficiency in order to play it safe with all amplifiers. If you want to be more precise while dealing with Class D amps, you can use an estimated efficiency as high as 80%. So, the formula becomes: total RMS wattage divided by 0.8 efficiency divided by 13.8 volts equals current draw in amperes.

  • Mike Greenwood from Bryant

    Posted on 5/18/2016 9:43:17 AM

    My receiver block has like 18 gauge wire. Can I use 14 or 12 gauge wire to take it to the fuse box or should I just by some 18 gauge wire and keep it the same? I'm just hooking up a basic system with 6 x 9 speakers for now.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/18/2016 3:59:29 PM

    Mike, If you are replacing the receiver in your car you need a wiring harness to connect between the new receiver's harness-plug and your vehicle's harness-plug - there should be no need to run any wire to the fuse box. If you had purchased your receiver from Crutchfield, the correct harness for your car and receiver would have been included for free or at a good discount. Getting all the right parts for an installation is one of the benefits of shopping at Crutchfield.

  • james from Romance

    Posted on 6/4/2016 5:17:13 PM

    I have a 4000 watt rms massive audio amp and a 800watt pb 4 channel for mid and highs 300 amp alternator and 1 100ahr battery what Guage do I need to use battery is in trunk next to big amp 0 Guage running from alt to battery 17 ft mid amp is running of starter batt 4 Guage wire

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/6/2016 2:43:49 PM

    James, Without knowing the exact models of your amps, I can't tell for sure, but you'll probably be alright using 1/0-gauge wire from the battery to a distribution block. From there, 4-gauge to each amp ought to work.

  • Jimmy from Glendale

    Posted on 6/6/2016 4:53:40 PM

    I bought the RF Prime 300x4 amp and the Kicker 8AWG kit (OFC wire) and when I received the amp, it had a sheet from RF inside saying it actually tested at 403 watts. Now I am concerned I need the 4AWG kit rather than the 8AWG. I am running the power wire approximately 7 feet.

  • JD from Poteau

    Posted on 6/6/2016 8:32:24 PM

    Hello Buck. I will just try to describe how I hooked up my little old school set up and see if you see any issues. As I am kinda new at this at the ripe age of 54. 4 gauge from battery to fuse block @12" to Rockford Fosgate 400 A4 and a 4 gauge ground to body. I had to reduce this down with a block at the amp because the amp only takes 8 ga wire in the terminals Amp is rated at rms50watts @ 4 ohms or 100 @ 2ohm and thats hooked up to 4 channels of 1ch each l &right to rms100watt 4 ohms mids and 2 tweets in front and 2 100amp 4x7 4 ohms in rear doors on the other 2 remaining channels I then used passed through to a second Rockford Fosgate 250a2 amp in back (about 4 ft) with 8 gauge power wire. I bridged both channels into one and use 4 -8inch 8ohm subs wired parrallel to I think 2 ohms(might be 4ohm). I used all 12guage speaker wire throughout. Did I get it right or need to change a wire size? I think with both amps I am about 625watts total and they are about 57% & 59% efficient. This gets confusing to me sometimes. Stock battery, no capacitor and a 105amp stock generator.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/7/2016 10:15:27 AM

    Jimmy, Even if that amp were to put out a total of 403 watts RMS, drawing 58.4 amperes of current, an 8-gauge wire will handle its power needs just fine, especially through a short, 7-foot run.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/7/2016 10:53:46 AM

    JD, Perhaps this amplifier wiring diagram will help. It sounds like you're using a bridged 2-channel amp for your sub, your 4-channel amp has pass-through RCA connections providing input for the sub amp, and you don't use a capacitor - which is all fine. What's not-so fine is that four 8-ohm subs wired together in parallel form a 2-ohm total load, and your 2-channel amp isn't supposed to handle that properly in bridged mode. For power, you have a 50 watts RMS x 4 amp plus a 125 watts RMS x 2 amp, for a total potential output of 450 watts RMS. Using the formula (65A current draw) and chart, you can see that an 8-ga or 4-ga main power wire from battery to distribution block will work, depending on the length of the wire run.

  • Jerry from Poteau

    Posted on 6/8/2016 12:04:51 AM

    Thanks for your reply buck. I guess I need to rewire the subs to maybe 4 or 8 ohms then. Ill get right on that as I have not pushed it in the slightest yet. And thanks for your help. I used to be good at this stuff when I was 16 but now? geeze.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/8/2016 11:52:36 AM

    Jerry, Try wiring your subs to that amp like this.


    Posted on 6/9/2016 2:45:22 PM

    Hello Buck, I have POLK PA D4000(125RMS @4OHM) and JVC KS-AX3101D (400RMS @2OHM). So, as per the calculation 900RMSx2=1800/13.8=130. As per the chart, I may need to go ahead with 4 gauge considering the length of wire. But the recommended gauge for the POLK amp seems to be 0 gauge. Can you please help me with which one should I go ahead with? Thanks so much!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/9/2016 3:55:18 PM

    Shaun, The owner's manual for the Polk Audio PA D4000.4 amplifier recommends using 4-gauge power and ground wires. For your two amps, 4-gauge wire should work fine between the battery and a distribution block, especially if the run is shorter than 13 feet.

  • Ahmed from Sydney

    Posted on 6/21/2016 7:05:30 PM

    Hi There, I have 12 AWG speaker wire, is it safe to connect these to my sound system: AMP: JL Audio XD700/5 v2 Components: Jl Audio ZR650CSI Components Sub: JL Audio 10W3V3-2 Just wondering if this will cause any harm to my sound system

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/22/2016 2:02:55 PM

    Ahmed, Crutchfield recommends using 16-, 14-, or 12-gauge speaker wires in all car audio applications - so yes, 12-gauge wire will be safe to use. Remember, in the American Wire Gauge (AWG) system, the smaller the gauge, the larger the wire. Using the metric system, 12-gauge wire (excluding the insulation) measures 2.05 mm in diameter and 3.3 square mm in cross sectional area.

  • Derek from San Jose

    Posted on 6/23/2016 8:31:04 PM

    I am trying to figure out the correct gauge wire to connect a single 4 ohm 400rms subwoofer to a crunch gpv1100.2 amplifer that has these specs 2 x 250 W at 4 Ohms, 2 x 500 W at 2 Ohms, 1 x 1000 W at 4 Ohms Maxx Power. I am not sure how to wire the speaker to set the correct ohms to make sure it will run properly with the amplifier I have, and I am not sure what gauge i need .

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 6/24/2016 10:11:22 AM

    Derek, Like this article says, for a subwoofer, use 16-, 14-, or 12-gauge speaker wires. A single voice coil (SVC) 4-ohm sub (if that is what you have) gets wired to a 2-channel amplifier like this. That amp's specs call for 4-gauge power and ground wiring.

  • George from Concord

    Posted on 7/10/2016 8:35:28 PM

    Hey Buck, hoping you can help clarify something for me. I'm installing an Alpine MRV-M500 that will be driving 2 JL Audio 10's wired in parallel to present 2 ohms to the amp, so 500 Watts RMS. I'll also be running an Alpine MRV-F300 for my front and rear channels, which will be 50 Watts RMS x4 channels so 200 Watts RMS. Based on the formula above, I'm looking at total current draw of 101.4 amps which means that for up to a 16' foot run, I should be fine with 4 gauge from the battery to the distribution block. My issue is, Alpine is recommending 2 or 1/0 AWG for any run over 3 feet for the MRV-M500 and 4 or 2 AWG for longer than 3 foot runs feeding the MRV-F300. Based on the chart and formula above, I would think I should be able to run 4 AWG to the distribution block, then feed 4 AWG to the MRV-M500 and 8 AWG to the MRV-F300 but that contradicts what Alpine has in their manual. Which one is correct in this scenario?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/11/2016 10:58:26 AM

    George, Looking at the owner's manual for those amps, I see the source of the confusion. Alpine says one thing on page 7, another on page 8, and then reverts to what it said on page 7 on page 9. I'll throw another curve your way. For consumer safety reasons, this article uses calculations based on a typical Class AB amplifier, which are usually about 50% efficient. Your Alpine amps are Class D, which typically run at 75% to 80% efficiency, and together won't draw more than about 65 amperes from the electrical system. You'll be fine running 4-gauge wire from the battery to a distribution block for those two amplifiers.

  • Brandon from Dallas

    Posted on 7/15/2016 12:54:26 AM

    What kind of wires do I need for 2 sundown Zv5 15s 2000w rms rated, and and an Ns-1 6500 watt rms amplifier? I'm going to get an XS battery but I'm still deciding which I should get

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/15/2016 9:41:40 AM

    Brandon, Ordinarily I'd recommend using 12- to 16-gauge speaker wire for subwoofers, but you have something special (huge power) and I think 10-gauge or 12-gauge speaker wire will work best. That amplifier calls for three pairs of 1/0-gauge power and ground wires, in order to feed it power correctly. Sundown recommends a high output alternator and additional battery for this amp, and goes on to say "a factory electrical system is NOT capable of supporting [this amp's] current draw demands."

  • Chris from Boise

    Posted on 10/6/2016 9:19:00 PM

    I am getting ready to install 3 amps in my 97 Ford Explorer. I am going to be running an Orion Cobalt 8001 to drive a pair of 10" 4 ohm subs. An Orion Cobalt 3002 to drive a pair of 4 ohm components in the rear doors and a Rockford Fosgate P200-2 to drive a pair of 4 ohm components in the front doors. According to my calculations, 300+120+148=568x2=1136 divided by 13.8=82.32 total amp draw. At a distance of 12 ft. it shows I should run 6g or 4g. Since I already have 4g on hand, I'm going to run the 4g. My question is, should I run 4g off the distribution block to each of the amps as well as from the battery to the distribution block?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/7/2016 10:14:40 AM

    Chris, I don't think you've used the correct values for your amplifiers' RMS outputs. If your Orion CO800.1 is to run two 4-ohm subs, it'll probably see a 2-ohm total impedance load and could put out 400 watts RMS. That Rockford Fosgate amp will put out a total of 100 watts RM (50 x 2) to two 4-ohm speakers. This makes your amps' potential total output power 620 watts RMS, and potential power draw of 90A. For a 12-foot install, 4-gauge wire is good. As for the rest of the power and ground wiring, I'd use what each amplifier's specs call for, in this case, 8-gauge wire all around. Each amp will require at least that size for its ground, and you may as well match that for the short power wire from the amp to the distribution block. But 4-gauge will work fine, if it fits.

  • Pankaj

    Posted on 10/9/2016 5:14:15 AM

    How can I know the power and speaker cable size (awg) of my stock car wiring to its connector? Is a Ford Aspire 2016 (Indian Model) Is there commonly used stock wire sizes in cars? I plan to use a 110W RMS amp (without any head unit) and I doubt I need additional power wiring. But want to be sure instead of planning to fry my car wiring.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/10/2016 11:31:52 AM

    Pankaj, Most stock vehicle system have about 15 watts RMS output per channel and use 18-gauge (1.02 mm diameter) wiring. If you plan on adding an amplifier with a total output of 110 watts RMS, then you will need a 10-gauge (2.59 mm diameter) or a 12-gauge (2.05 mm diameter) amp wiring kit, depending on the length of your installation. A good kit will include the proper fuse, for the safety of your car and system.

  • Shawn from Orange

    Posted on 10/13/2016 9:37:11 PM

    I am running an Alpine PDR F50 to my JL components and a PDR M65 @ 2 ohms + JL line driver to a SWR 12D4. I have some 1/0 power wire that is CCA instead of OFC. Am I ok using the cheaper wire in a larger size such as this? Is the chart you provide for OFC or CCA wire? Will be running about 10-12' of the CCA wire to a dist. block and then 4 ga OFC wire to the amps.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/14/2016 2:58:59 PM

    Shawn, Using that over-sized copper-clad aluminum wire should handle those amps' current draw just fine. Just be aware that CCA corrodes pretty quickly when exposed to the elements so be sure to protect and coat all connections.

  • Gavin from Mountain ranch

    Posted on 10/20/2016 6:40:19 PM

    I have a 2400 watt 2 channel amp for 15"s .what gauge power wire should I use.I currently have a 6awg wire that enough

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 10/21/2016 10:51:14 AM

    Gavin, I suspect that 2400 watts spec is a peak rating and not useful for planning an installation - I know of no 2-channel amp that can put out 1200 watts RMS per channel. But if you really do have an amp that can put out a total of 2400 watts RMS, then it'll need 1/0-gauge power wiring if it's a Class D amp, and 2/0 wiring if it's Class AB. If you want a more accurate answer to your question, you'll need to identify your gear by brand names and model numbers.

  • Nathan Johnson from Clewiston

    Posted on 11/30/2016 5:00:47 PM

    If I'm running a 12 inch sub that produces 400 watt RMS and 1500 watts Peak with a 450 watt amp. Will 8 gauge wire be ok?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/1/2016 11:38:26 AM

    Nathan, Subwoofers do not produce power (watts), they produce sound and heat. Amplifiers produce power. If you have an amplifier that can produce 450 watts RMS (important: RMS, not max or peak) it will require 4-gauge power and ground wiring. As for the speaker wire, between the amp and sub, 12-gauge or 14-gauge will do.

  • Chris from Texarkana

    Posted on 12/12/2016 2:05:16 AM

    Buck, I recently purchased 2 of the Rockford TOd412 subs, I will wire them for 1 ohm impedance to the amp, according to the Rockford power cube test the Power series t1000 at 1ohm will provide 1390 watts of power and the t1500 power series amp would do 1712 watts of power. The RF T0d412 is rated at 700rms/1400 peak, my question is which amp would be more sufficient to power this pair of subs? I'm afraid if I get the t1000 running those subs at 1ohm would overburden the amp, on the other hand the t1500 would be 125 watts over their rims.thanks for your help

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 12/12/2016 1:20:46 PM

    Chris, Going by those "power cube" specs you provided, the T1000-1bdCP will be a better match for those two subs. Going by what Rockford Fosgate lists as their nominal specs, the T1500-1bdCP would be better. In any case, either amp will work well with those subs. Subs don't pull power from amplifiers - they take it - so a subwoofer can never overburden an amplifier.

  • Leon from Duluth

    Posted on 1/1/2017 3:02:32 PM

    I have 2amps I'm installing sub amp is R500X1D prime and my doors is is planet audio RC800.4 I ruining 4 gauge from battery to distribution block would it be ok to run 8gauge from block to amps runs from block to amps is less than 2'' also do I need to fuse each amp from distribution block to amp on my 4 gauge to battery is 100 is this sufficient or do I need go larger

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/2/2017 4:43:36 PM

    Leon, Your 4-gauge power wire and 100-amp fuse will work fine and using 8-gauge power wire from the distribution block to each of those amps will be okay. The Planet Audio amp has an onboard fuse so it wouldn't need a fuse after the distribution block. The Rockford Fosgate amp, however, will require a 50-amp fuse between the block and amp in order to be safe.

  • cody from Plymouth

    Posted on 1/26/2017 8:56:20 PM

    So I am looking at an Ascendant Audio Havoc 15 inch 1500W, dual 2 ohm, will wire in parallel to produce 1 ohm, planning on using AMPERE AUDIO AA-2000.1D amp; single channel, 1-ohm stable @ 2 KW. Firstly is this a good match up? Secondly, what are your recommendations in regards to vehicular upgrades, if necessary? All is stock as of now. (Vehicle is 2005 Toyota Rav4) more thing, I planned on a ported box tuned to 32 hz, again, any recommendations...I love SQ, but I do like volume as well. Input from someone as knowledgeable as yourself would be a blessing, thank you!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/27/2017 11:49:24 AM

    Cody, That amp and sub should work together just fine - just be sure to set the amp gain so no distortion ever plays. If the amplifier's power consumption is beyond the capacity of your automotive electrical system, you may require an electrical upgrade that could include a high-output alternator, a second battery, or both. I'm not sure what it's tuned to, but a Memphis Audio 15-PE1X15V2 ported enclosure might work for you and your sub.

  • katlego from sasolburg

    Posted on 2/15/2017 6:17:11 AM

    Good day I just bought a 7000w Targa sub and 10000w amp,so need to make a good sound what cables,fuses and capacitors should I buy in order to get the best sound and good power so my sound can be clear and good

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/15/2017 10:58:36 AM

    Katlego, I suspect those huge power ratings are exaggerations, otherwise I know of no wire size that can support such massive current draw. I also don't know what car stereo equipment or even what model vehicles are available in your country. An online search ought to bring up at least one car stereo dealership somewhere near you. Sorry I can't help.

  • Zach from Ocean springs

    Posted on 2/16/2017 1:18:06 PM

    I am running two 12's rms 700 watts each and 1200 peak. I am running off a mono block amp into one input inside my box then it runs from one speaker to the next. What gauge speaker wire should I use for this setup?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/16/2017 3:10:46 PM

    Zach, Crutchfield recommends using 16-, 14-, or 12-gauge wires for subwoofers.

  • Kelcey from Fort Leonard Wood

    Posted on 2/21/2017 9:43:25 PM

    By my calculations I need 1/0 gauge wire because my number was 289. Could I run 4 gauge from my alternator to my second battery then 0 to my capacitor and amp from the battery ?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/22/2017 9:55:51 AM

    Kelcey, If you expect a current draw of 289 amperes, you'll need to use 1/0-gauge wire everywhere in the power circuit, not just in one section.

  • Luis Guzman from New Britain

    Posted on 2/27/2017 1:06:45 PM

    Quick question just to male sure my math is correct. I'm planning on running 2 rockford fosgate power 1000a2 @2ohms bridged (1100rms×1 per), Rockford Fosgate power 800a2 @2ohms stereo (400rms×2) & another rockford fosgate power 800a2 @4ohms stereo (200×2rms) in an excursion (20ft long bumper to bumper). Using your equation 1100+1100+800+400=3400×2=6800÷13.8=492.75 1st; is this correct? 2nd; there's nothing higher than 300 so?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/1/2017 11:12:06 AM

    Luis, Your math is correct. If the specs are correct, I don't think there's a single alternator in existence that can handle that much current, so running multiple alternators plus multiple batteries sounds like your solution. And running multiple power wires for your amps as well. The reason the Wire Gauge Chart doesn't show more is that systems larger than 300 amperes are rare and usually involve using multiple power wires, batteries, and high-output alternators. We try to make our charts and articles work for the majority of our customers.

  • Steve from Joliet

    Posted on 3/8/2017 10:59:41 AM

    Can I use a 8 gauge wiring kit for for the kicker zx550.3? Will be running Rockford fosgate prime 5.25 in doors, one JBL GT5-15 in trunk. Run from battery to amp less than 4 feet away, battery is under back seat of a 2000 Buick lesabre.

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/9/2017 9:59:19 AM

    Steve, For that short of a run, an 8-gauge kit will work just fine.

  • Justin from Irvine, CA

    Posted on 3/16/2017 11:00:37 PM

    THIS is a proper write up for wiring car audio. I did my homework in high school so I wouldn't catch someones car on fire. But this was an amazing refresher! Thanks Buck!!

  • Shawn from Providence

    Posted on 3/25/2017 6:09:47 PM

    What gauge speaker wire would you run from a 2500 watt amp?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/26/2017 4:35:52 PM

    Shawn, It would depend on whether those watts are RMS or peak. If you really do have an amp that can put out 2500 watts RMS, 14- or 12-gauge speaker wire will work just fine.

  • doug from phoenix AZ

    Posted on 3/28/2017 9:52:07 AM

    Mr. Pomerantz, your articles are pure gold. That is all I wanted to say. Thank you for such clear and excellent writing.

  • Jacub from Missouri

    Posted on 4/4/2017 2:04:53 AM

    So if it's a monoblock power acoustik RZ1-2300D amp I'm unsure the size wire I have run it's rated at 1600w but I also bought a different wire gauge that's 4g but it's 2800w but it's smaller than the wire I have now would you recommend using the thicker wire and saving the 4g for future use I'm pushing 1400w at 2-ohms ATM to one speaker but I'm about to add another speaker so would you reccomend recalculating my amperes even though it's a 1-channel amp or keep it the same calculations since I'm gonna be running 2 speakers at 4-ohms. The amp runs 900w rms at 4-ohms not sure if I should double that showing there is 2 speakers would they be pulling 900w each or together?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/4/2017 10:20:58 AM

    Jacub, That amplifier's Owner's Manual calls for 8-gauge power and ground wiring. The number of subs the amp is powering is irrelevant to its maximum potential current draw.

  • Matt from St. Peter's

    Posted on 5/16/2017 1:00:08 AM

    Mr. Pomerantz, I just ordered speakers that are 100w continuous rms/200w peak and will be running an amp at 4ohm 125w per channel (4 chanels). If my battery is about 4 foot away from the amp, will 8 gauge be efficient? Also will I need to replace the factory speaker wire for these more powerful speakers or will I be able to re-use them and just purchase an amp wire kit to install my new amp? I bought all the equipment, just need to figure out all the wiring I need to buy. Thanks!

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/16/2017 10:17:12 AM

    Matt, If the wattage you quote is watts RMS, then 8-gauge power and ground wires will work in your application. 125 watts RMS is a bit much for thin factory wiring. We recommend installing new 18-, 16-, or 14-gauge speaker wires.

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