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Video: Kicker car amplifier power wire

Maximize your amp's power with quality wire

Most of the people appearing in our videos are employees at Crutchfield. We pull in folks from around the company to share their expertise. A lot of our on-camera stars come from our Advisor Group — they help people choose the right gear via phone, email and chat every day, so they're good at explaining the products and technologies.

Top-quality power wire is an essential part of getting the best performance out of your amplifier. Check out this demonstration of Kicker oxygen-free power wire at the Kicker booth at CES 2014, and you can see just what you'll give up by going with lower-quality wire.

Video Transcript

Logan: Here at the Kicker booth at CES 2014 — I've got Aaron from Kicker here to explain some differences in power wire.

Aaron: Thanks for coming in Logan. We've got this great display this year that shows a customer what really happens when you use cheeseball wire. If you buy a great Kicker amplifier, or any brand for that matter, and you buy the cheapest amp kits you can, you're not getting all the performance you paid for.

Let me show you how this works. This meter shows you the battery voltage, just like in your car. This meter shows you the voltage at the amplifier after it's gone through 12 or 17 feet of power wire, and this meter shows you the actual wattage coming out of your amplifier.

So I've got a Kicker amp, it's a 400.1 — 400 watts RMS. I've got twelve feet of cheeseball wire, also known as copper-clad aluminum, and I've got twelve feet of oxygen-free Kicker wire. The first thing I'm gonna do is click on the Kicker amplifier with the Kicker wire. Check out your battery voltage. This is normal. You look at the voltage at the amplifier after going through twelve feet of wire, and you've lost about a half a volt — not a big deal, right? We're actually getting just under 500 watts RMS continuous power from a 400 watt Kicker amplifier.

Now we're gonna re-wire this system using the copper-clad aluminum wire. Watch what happens. Battery voltage, just as you'd expect, but look at this. We've now lost a volt and a half after going through twelve feet of wire. Now that doesn't sound like a lot, but look at this number. You've lost over a hundred watts from your amplifier just because of the cheeseball wire. So you paid for 400 watts, you're getting 400 Kicker watts, but you lost a hundred watts because of the wire. So that's why you need to buy quality wire.

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