Getting A Good Amp Wiring Kit – What To Look For

What to Look for In A Good Amp Wiring Kit

A good quality amp wiring kit is essential to ensuring you get the very best sound delivered to your speakers from your amplifier.

When you’re ready to upgrade your sound system and install a new amplifier, you really need to make sure you have a good quality amplifier wiring kit.

But as is life, not all amp wiring kits are created equal. And even if your new amplifier came with its own, you might be better off getting a better one. If you really appreciate loud and clear music, that is.

It all depends on the materials the standard of the wiring, so let’s look at what makes a good one…

What makes a good amp wiring kit?

As with everything there is a range of different qualities when it comes to amp wiring kits, and when you’re on the lookout for one, make sure yours includes most of the following:

Inline Fuse Holder with Fuse
Main Power Wire
Ground Wire
RCA Cables
Speaker Wires
Remote Turn-on Wire
Connector Plugs – For Head Unit, Amp and Speakers
Rubber Grommets
Zip Ties

Some amp wiring kits won’t come with everything above, so you might need to get a few extras, but all of the above is important, so make sure you get good quality equipment.

Getting The Best Equipment

A Good Quality Fuse Holder and Fuse

A good quality fuse holder is an essential part of an amp wiring kit. You need to make sure you get the right one as it can make a huge difference to longevity of your fuse and the performance of your amplifier.

You need something that offers resistance to vibration, heat and moisture, and with cheap amp wiring kits you won’t get this, so be careful.

Your fuse will be located close to the battery, and its main use is to cut the power in case anything blows. Without it, power could still keep running through the circuit and cause some serious damage, with your wires possibly setting on fire.

ANL and AGU Fuse Holders

Rectangular (ANL) fuse holders and rounded (AGU) glass-type fuse holders are the best and have a larger conductive area for current to pass through.

Unlike most cheaper fuse holders, with these you can easily see the fuse and will be able to tell if something is wrong immediately if you ever need to check on your fuse.

They’re both excellent and I highly recommend either, but the AGU holders are more compact, making them a bit easier to install than the ANL fuse holders.

Any good quality amp wiring kit will have either of these, but if you decide to get everything separately, it’s important to get the right one.

The fuse will be different depending on the amplifier you have so make sure to check your amplifier guide and get the right size fuse.

If you use a fuse that’s too small, it will blow while your amplifier is running, while getting a fuse that’s too big, could damage your system and even cause a fire.

The fuse will typically be a clear translucent plastic tube that holds a barrel fuse, but the brand isn’t really important, and to be honest as long as you get the right size fuse, the fuse holder is more important.

Make sure your fuse holder meets or exceeds the rating of your fuse. For example, if you intend to install a 60A inline fuse, make sure your fuse holder isn’t rated any less than that.


 


Main Power Wire

With all your wiring, it’s important to get good quality. There’s a variety of reasons for this, which I will go into, but do not think that wire is just wire, and that it must be good if it looks like the right size.

Getting the right size wire is important, but make sure you don’t cheap out on this because some wires are more insulator than wire, and the cheaper the amp wiring kit, the more likely this rings true.

Your main power wire should be the size specified by the manufacturer. It’s usually 4 gauge or 8 gauge (AWG) wire, and you’ll usually get between 16-20 ft with a good quality amp wiring kit.

Recommended Wire Size Gauge

You can use a bigger gauge wire. For example, if you have a 350W amp, an 8 Gauge is usually recommended, but you can use a 4 Gauge if you prefer. This might be a better option for some, just in case you upgrade your car amplifier in the future.

Ground Wire

The ground wire will be the same size gauge as your main power wire, although it’ll be much shorter. So, if you decide to put your own amp wiring kit together, you shouldn’t need more than 3 ft of ground wire.

The ground wire will be your grounding, which connects your amp to the chassis of the car through your own ground point.

Whichever way you get the amp wiring kit, it’s important to make sure the wire you get is good quality, and that the size you want is actually mostly wire.

oversized insulation wire is a ploy by companies to make cheaper wire, so be careful

Some cheaper amp wiring kits give more plastic insulation than wire, and this is something you really need to be careful of if you’re putting the kit together separately.

For example, after stripping the insulation of cheaper ground wires, you might notice there’s more insulation than wire, and what claims to be an 8 gauge wire might really be 10 gauge.

It’s a gimmick used by scammy manufacturers to fool people into thinking they’re getting a bargain, when really they’re not. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for…

Wire sizes are standardized according to the American Wire Gauge (AWG) chart, so wire sold will be labelled along this standard sizing. But some are not, so be careful, as trying to save a few dollars could result in you getting something that won’t produce the results you expect.

See how in the picture, the better-quality wire has more wire conductor than insulator and vide versa. The one with more wire is more expensive and of course will give you the results you expect.

Cheaper amp wiring kits will also likely contain the wire with more insulator, too. This is why they can sell their kits for cheaper.

RCA Cables

Your RCA cables connect the back of your car stereo and your amplifier, and it’s important to get good quality wiring, which I discuss further down.

RCA cables

It’s better to run your RCA cables on the opposite you run power cables just in case anything gets overheated.

For RCA cables, however, it’s not just about the wiring. The connector plays a vital role both in terms of signal quality and durability.

The connectors are usually made of copper, and sometimes silver or gold plated. Silver has the most conducting capacity so it is considered best for retaining signal, but it is susceptible to oxidization.

Therefore, gold plated connectors are usually the best option as this will protect them from corrosion over time and it is an excellent conductor.

Speaker Wires

Speaker wires are used for the electrical connections between speakers and the amplifier. A good quality amp wiring kit will have the same length as the main power cable, about 16-20ft.

Speaker wires are commonly made with copper thanks its low cost, low resistance, and it being a good conductor of electricity.

Pure Copper vs CCA in amp wiring kit

Costs of copper have skyrocketed in recent years, however, and some manufacturers have started using Copper-Coated Aluminum (CCA) wire.

As the name suggests, CCA wiring is made by using a combination of copper coated around aluminum wire. Of course this works, but aluminum doesn’t conduct electrical currents as well as copper.

The best quality amp wiring kits will have pure copper wires, but try and look out for Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) wire. There’s a lot of debate whether OFC is actually better than standard copper, but I believe it is.

Speaker wire and RCA Cables that are made with OFC wiring might not perform better than standard copper wiring when everything is brand new. However, oxygen corrodes copper over time, so OFC wiring will last longer and perform better over a length of time.

Another thing to look out for is stranded conductors (wires). This is basically wire that is made up of many thin cables wrapped around each other rather than one solid wire. This doesn’t improve performance, but it does help with the flexibility of the wire.

Remote Turn On Wire

The amp remote turn on wire connects to the head unit, and its sole purpose is to turn the amplifier on and off. It does this by tapping into a power source in your car stereo receiver, so your amp switches off when the car stereo is switched off.

Connector Plugs

The connector plugs you need might vary from system to system, but a good amp wiring kit will have a variety of different connectors, including ring terminals and spade terminals.

gold plated ring and spade terminals

These are made from a variety of materials, but the best conductor is gold plated, because as with gold RCA connectors, it will protect them from corrosion over time and of course gold is an excellent conductor.

The connectors make the connection from A to B more secure, giving you a much more reliable connection for all of your wiring.

You can get crimped terminals too, which will give you an even sturdier connection. For these you will need some crimpers to crimp them securely on to the end of the wires.

Rubber Grommets

Your amp wiring kit should include these, but if not, you should get them if you need them. These are used for feeding your wire through the firewall of your car, giving the hole a smoother texture so it doesn’t chaff your wire over time.

You might even find a place in your car where there’s an existing rubber grommet not being used. Car manufacturers tend to put more in, so if you can find a hole with a rubber grommet, try and use it.

Zip Ties

Zip ties will be included in most wiring amps, but if they’re not, it’s a good idea to buy some. They are extremely useful for many things, and when you install your amp in your car these will help you keep the wiring nice and compact.

Typical amp wiring kit

Getting The Best Amp Wiring Kit

Getting a good quality amp wiring kit is essential for the longevity of the quality of your amplifier and car stereo system.

If you get a good quality car amplifier, you should get a good quality car amp kit with it, but if it lacks in anything but the best materials, it’s worth replacing at least that part.

And if you decide to put your own together, it might cost a bit more, but at least you can ensure you get all the best parts made with all the best materials.

Whichever way you decide to get it, a good quality amp wiring kit is as important as a good quality amplifier.

If you have everything in place, and want to know how to install your amplifier, check out this article for a step-by-step instruction. It’s not straightforward, but with all the right pieces and tools, anyone can do it.


LEIGESAUDIO 4 Gauge Amp Wiring Kit

LEIGESAUDIO 4 Gauge Amp Wiring Kit Ture 4 AWG Amplifier Installation Wiring Kit

20ft 4 AWG Red CCA Power Wire
3ft 4 AWG Black CCA Ground Wire
18ft 16 AWG CCA Speaker Wire
17ft 18 AWG CCA Turn-On Wire
17ft Twisted RCA Cable (Oxygen Free Copper OFC)
1 x Premium Heat Durability Inline Fuse Holder
1 x 100A Fuse
2 x Gold Plated 8 AWG Ring Terminals
5 x Gold Plated 14_16GA Spade Terminals
Zip Ties

TOPSTRONGGEAR 8 Gauge Complete Amp Kit

TOPSTRONGGEAR 8 Gauge Complete Amp Kit

17ft 8 AWG Blue CCA Power Wire
3ft 8 AWG Black CCA Ground Wire
20ft 16 AWG CCA Speaker Wire
17ft 18 AWG CCA Turn-On Wire
17ft Twisted RCA Cable (Oxygen Free Copper OFC)
1 x Heat Tested Water Resistance Inline Fuse Holder1 x 60A Fuse
2 x Gold Plated 8 AWG Ring Terminals
5 x Gold Plated 14_16GA Spade Terminals

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