Best Amp Wiring Kit: 3 Products that Will Help Blast the Roof Off your Car
Every car comes with an included audio system, but many audiophiles feel that the default option is not always up to their standards. Since most built-in systems don’t get too loud, it’s natural to understand why the main complaint revolves around overall power.
But the problem can be easily fixed with an amplifier. This device literally takes the audio signal produced by the car’s system and amplifies it without creating sound distortions. However, installing an amplifier (or an amp) is not such an easy job as you need to get into the dashboard and wire it in.
So, if you think the upgrade is really necessary, you’ll also need the best amp wiring kit. These kits come with all the cables, wires, and elements needed to install an amplifier, which makes the job easier – especially if you want to do it yourself. Still, it may take a bit of research to find the best for your needs as the wiring is different for various situations.
So, to save you the research time, we reviewed the most popular products on the market right now. Also, if this is your first time using an amp wiring kit, make sure to read our instructions and guides (right below the reviews).
Our top pick, this kit is reliable and comes with all the elements you need to install an amplifier into a regular-sized car. The cables are thick and durable, and the length is appropriate even for larger cars. This means that the kit will fit comfortably into a personal vehicle as well as into a van or truck.
In terms of price, the amp kit is not the cheapest, but it is affordable and brings a lot of value for the price. Not to mention that the copper-coated aluminum (CCA) power and ground cables are 20% longer than the standard.
The kit comes with:
- One 20-feet red cable and one 4-feet black cable
- One twisted and shielded RCA cable (18 feet) with machined metal connectors
- 100-amp Mini-ANL fuse with heavy-duty fuse holder
- 13 feet of 10 AWG red and black speaker wire
- Fasteners – copper lugs, gold plated spade terminals, firewall grommets, sheet metal screws, blue remote wire, and zip ties
As you can see, the kit is extremely well-equipped and is available with a 0/1, 2, 4- and 8-gauge wiring kit.
If you’re looking for a low-budget amp wiring kit that will still deliver the best quality, this is one of the best choices.
The kit comes with the following items:
- One 20-feet 4 Gauge red power cable
- One 3-feet 4 Gauge black ground cable
- One gold plated Competition AGU fuse and gold plated AGU in-line fuse holder
- 16-feet of 18 Gauge blue remote turn-on wire
- 30-feet of 16 Gauge speaker wire
- 17-feet of high-performance RCA Interconnect Cable
- One 6-feet split loom tubing
- Fasteners (wire ties, rubber grommets, and more)
- Other elements: 5/16″ gold-plated ring terminals, 1/4″ gold-plated ring terminal, (4) gold-plated speaker terminals
While you may have to purchase some additional elements and you may need to go deeper with the research (the instructions are not as clear as you may want it), this amp wiring kit brings a lot of value for its price.
The Rockford amp wiring kit gets to occupy the premium position in our list of reviews because it comes with amazing materials and performance.
The wires feature full American Wire Gauge (AWG) and each item in the kit was carefully designed to last for as long as possible. For starters, the wires are made with 100% oxygen free copper and all the parts are designed with high-quality brass. Moving forward, the wires’ length is just right for almost all types of vehicles.
Among others, the kit comes with 30-feet 16 AWG speaker wire, one 17-feet 4 AWG power cable, two twisted signal cables, and a Maxi fuse holder that works up to 100 amps. The result is impressive as, when you put all these items together, they deliver fantastic sound quality.
So, if you are prepared to invest in a high-end amplifier, there’s no point to be stingy when it comes to the wiring kit! It may cost a bit more, but it is worth it for a fantastic driving experience.
Best Amp Wiring Kit Buying Guide
Regardless of the type of car you own, if you’re not happy with the current audio system, an amplifier is the best solution. However, the installation of such a device is a bit more advanced than regular upgrades people do on their vehicles.
This is the reason why you must find a wiring kit that will fit your unique amplifier and vehicle combination. Evidently, the materials included in the kit would have to be of premium quality (that if you don’t want to be bothered by frequent maintenance/replacement works).
For this, follow the guidelines mentioned below and you should be able to find a high-end kit that will satisfy your needs
The element available in the kit are crucial for the success of this task, so make sure everything is there before making the purchase. For instance, high-end kits will always have (among others) good RCA cables, positive wire, ground wire, remote and speaker wires, fuse holders and fuses, and fasteners.
Power & Ground Wires
These connect the amplifier to the car battery, so they must be thick and well insulated. The power wire needs to be long enough to reach the battery safely (the typical length is about 18 feet), while the ground wire can be shorter (it doesn’t go all to way to the battery). In most cases, a 3 or 4 feet ground wire is enough.
Keep in mind that not all kits come with an RCA cable. As such, you can either buy the kit and get the cable separately or find a different kit that already includes this cable. In our opinion, it’s best to buy it with the kit, but the choice is yours.
Whether you buy it separately or not, the RCA cable needs to be long (about 15 feet) in order to accommodate the road from the car’s subwoofer to the amplifier. Because this requires some twists and curves, it’s best to have a longer RCA cable than the distance between the two devices.
This cable transmits the subwoofer output to the amplifier input, in order to increase its power and volume without distortions.
As the name says, this wire connects all the speakers in your car to the amplifier. This way, the sound will be powerful and strong in all directions.
Since the car’s speakers are positioned in all four corners (and more), the wires need to be long enough to reach the amplifier without any tugging. Keep in mind that you will have to hide this wire under the upholstery or the vehicle’s inner layer, so don’t be stingy when buying it!
Moreover, the speaker wire needs to be of the best quality, so the sound is transmitted without distortions or additional sounds.
Keep in mind that speaker wire is not found in all amp kits, so you may have to buy it separately.
Fuse Holder and Fuse
Just like with the speaker wire, these two elements are not available in all kits. Still, you can buy them separately.
The fuse holder and fuse work together to keep everything together. First, the fuse is the piece that maintains the connection and makes sure the right amount of power gets to the amplifier. Second, the fuse holder does exactly as the name says: holds the fuse and protects it against wear and tear. That’s why both pieces need to be of premium quality, even though this may seem a bit expensive.
The fuse’s durability is highly influenced by environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, but the vibrations produced by the engine can also produce some damage. As a result, if you want a durable fuse, you should invest in a durable fuse holder.
This includes zip ties, ring terminals, crimp connectors, and other similar elements that help users fasten the amplifier and secure the wires. Fasteners are included in most kits, but if they are missing, you can always go to the local electronics store and buy some. However, they are a bit pricier when bought separately.
Copper or Copper-Coated Wires
When you first start researching amp wiring kits, and if you read our reviews, you’ll notice that some products come with copper wires, while others only feature copper-coated aluminum ones.
So, what’s the difference between the two?
According to specialists, oxygen free copper wires are slightly better conductors, which means the overall quality will be better. Also, pure copper wires are more resistant to corrosion, so they’ll last longer than copper-coated ones.
On the other hand, copper-coated aluminum wires are made using thin strands of aluminum wires, coated with a layer of pure copper. This way, even if aluminum is not the best electrical conductor, the copper helps improve it. As a result, both wire types have almost similar performances when it comes to transmission speed. This means that the difference in quality is insignificant for the regular consumer.
Still, the cost for copper wires can get to four times higher which is why most kits on the market come with copper-coated aluminum wires. So, if you have the budget and want a prime solution, make sure to check if the wires in the kit you selected are copper-coated or not.
How to Install an Amp Wiring Kit
If you’re a beginner in the world of electronics and cars, we don’t recommend that you do the amplifier installation by yourself. Still, if you decide to do so, make sure to get a high-end amp kit, read the instructions carefully, and do some research when you don’t understand how things should be.
Also, have a look at the steps we listed below (these will guide you through the process):
- Make sure the amplifier is mounted on a solid surface that doesn’t conduct electricity. Also, it should be at least 3 feet away from the stereo.
- Disconnect the negative from the battery.
- Drill a hole into the firewall (if you can’t use one that’s already there) and pass the power wire through it.
- Attach the power wire to the battery – Since it goes through the entire body of the car, you’ll understand why this wire needs to be so long. Also, it’s best to hide it under the carpet or other car elements, so you won’t tug to it by mistake.
- Install the fuse holder, next to the battery.
- Run the RCA cables through the car, as you did with the power wire.
- Connect the power wire to the amplifier’s positive terminal and attach the RCA cables.
- Connect the speaker wires (which also need to be run through the car) but make sure to keep them away from the power wire (to avoid interferences).
- Now, it’s time to use the ground wire (the shorter one) and connect it to the amplifier’s negative terminal. This connects the negative to the ground of the chassis.
- Check all your wires – everything needs to be tight and secure and cables should be tucked away under the carpet or under the panels.
- Reconnect the negative on the car’s battery and fine-tune your amplifier.
- Go crazy with your new-found sound!
Quick note: if you need to drill holes into the chassis or metallic panels, make sure to use rust protection! Otherwise, you may have to use a rust converter as the time goes by!
Now, if you need more guidance on the matter, here’s a video guide that goes through the same steps:
Overall, the kit will make installing the amplifier a breeze, but you need to have some basic knowledge on how the wiring goes and what happens under the dashboard of your vehicle. Still, with proper guidance and good manuals (provided with the kit), most beginners should be able to figure this out.