Installing an aftermarket amplifier into your car? Here are some of the best car amp wiring kits on sale today.
Why do you need a wiring kit for your car amplifier?
Making big wattage power in cars is a nightmare, which isn’t great news for your subwoofer. According to the laws of electronics, you need a lot of current to make a lot of watts at 12V. The current (Amperes) is the flow and a big current needs a fat pipe. So, if you’re running a big car audio amplifier, you’ll need a thick wire to feed it – thicker even than the mains electricity feed to your house!
As such, before you install a car audio amplifier, you must budget for the installation costs. That means wire prices must be factored in, as well as checking if your electrical system can cope. Cars have a margin on their alternator power, for the ‘cigar lighter’ accessories sockets; an ancient and stupidly easy-to-short system. However, some external devices, like cooler boxes – or powerful car amplifiers – can begin to sap energy.
That said, unless you need over 500w, and are sane in the use of your bass knob, you should be OK without an alternator upgrade. In which case, you can crack on straightaway with a car amp wiring kit. These amp wiring kits take the brain ache out of learning about all the parts and assembly, and are often pitched at a keen price. They vary by power and current ability, so here’s a broad selection ranging from starter kits to much mightier hardware.
How were the best car amp wiring kits chosen?
The products below, although not thoroughly tested, are recommended by Adam Rayner, an audio expert with over three decades of experience. Starting his career helping bands load equipment, he moved on to building car speakers and eventually reviewing audio equipment for a number of big brands. From home cinema subwoofers to the world’s craziest in-car entertainment setups, Adam has lived and breathed it all.
Best Car Amp Wiring Kits
RRP: $10.00 / £9.99. Buy it here.
What You Get: 5m 10 Gauge CCA red power cable: 1m 10 Gauge CCA black earth cable: 5m RCA cable: 6m 0.75mm speaker cable: 5m 18 Gauge blue remote cable: 1 x ATC fuse holder with 40 amp fuse: 2 x ring terminals: 2 x spade terminals: 2 x butt connections: 1m convoluted tubing.
Quality/Comprehensive? This is a set of good quality wire for the money, despite being the cheaper CCA or Copper Coated Aluminum type. They thoughtfully include some protective tubing for the cable section within the engine bay. You do not get a grommet for going around the main wire as it goes through the bulkhead from engine bay to cabin, though. The wire is rated by the AWG, American Wire Gauge system. This means 10 gauge is thinner than 8. As Watts equals Amps times Volts, this set is good for up to 480W or roughly 500w.
● Main power wire: 10 Gauge, 5m/16ft
● Fuse Rating: 40A supplied
For a slightly higher end product, check out the price comparisons for the Autoleads PC4-20 package below:
Vibe Slick VSAWK4
RRP: $45.00 / £39.99. Buy it here.
What You Get: 5m 4 Gauge red power cable with spade end fitted: 1m 4 Gauge black earth cable with spade end fitted: 5m RCA cable: 2x5m 16 Gauge flat speaker cables: 5m 18 Gauge blue remote cable: 1 x AGU fuse holder with 80 Amp fuse: 2 x spade terminals: 6 x cable ties.
Quality/Comprehensive? A lot less parts as many are ready fitted, like the spade connectors fixed to the serious 4 Gauge cable. This is all about an amp that can deliver a thousand watts. The fuse holder is the heavy duty type, and while you get no grommets for going through bulkheads, nor under-bonnet wrapping stuff, it’s good quality, weighty wire. This may be all you need to add a phat dual voice-coil driving bass amp with beefy 4Ga power inputs.
● Main power wire: 4 Gauge, 5m/16ft
● Fuse Rating: 80A supplied
Audison Connection FSK 350
RRP: $90.00 / £86.00. Buy it here.
What You Get: 5.2m 8 Gauge ‘Energy Flow’ red power cable with ATO fuse holder with 60A fuse: 1m 8 Gauge black ‘Energy Flow’ earth cable: 4.5m FS2 450 RCA cable: 10m speaker cable: 5.2m 18 Gauge blue remote cable: Includes all required ring and fork terminals/cable ties: 1.5m split-loom tubing.
Quality/Comprehensive? Rated conservatively for a true 350W RMS, this 8 Gauge based kit is from the high quality Audison Connect range. It features truly flexible cables and very well designed accessories, as you’d expect from one of the high end brands. You get some engine bay protection stuff but no grommet for going through the bulkhead. Their bigger wires use blue and sliver instead of red and black as their main colors.
● Main power wire: 8 Gauge, 5.2m/17ft
● Fuse Rating: 60A supplied
RRP: $125.00 / £110.00. Buy it here.
What You Get: 5.2m 4 Gauge ‘Orange-Flex’ power cable: 2.1m 4 Gauge “Black-Flex” earth cable: 5.2m twisted pair triple shielded braided RCA cable: 5.2m 16 Gauge ‘Orange-Flex’ speaker cable: The 18 Gauge blue remote cable is not listed but it is clearly pictured! 1 x ANL clear acrylic covered fuse holder with 80 Amp fuse: spade terminals in the right sizes: cable ties: 2.1m of black flex loom tubing.
Quality/Comprehensive? Sold as a premium product, the big deal is the superbly snug bend radius of the wire. This means that unlike some cheaper wires, it can go round corners. It conforms better to the cable’s run path, looks better and is easier to install. Plus, these wires brag about quality metallurgy, and having more flexible insulation. The metal within this set is the posh stuff, called OFC or Oxygen Free Copper, hence the higher price. Cheap wire will heat up more easily than thicker wire or wire with higher quality conductors, in fact, there have been studies done about the power consumed by bad 12V mains installs – and it doesn’t make for pretty reading.
It’s worthwhile getting quality power delivery to a real HiFi amp. Its power supply needs it to make those cymbals sing in your tweeters. This is a big wire at 4 Gauge, so you will be using this for a big bass amp up to a kilowatt. Or perhaps something like the JL Audio XD800 Class D 8ch amp.
● Main power wire: 4 Gauge, 5.2m/17ft
● Fuse Rating: 80A supplied
Rockford Fosgate RFK4D two-amp kit
RRP: $259.00/ £250.00. Buy it here.
What You Get: 5.2m 4 Gauge red power cable and 2.1m of 8 Gauge red power cable, with spade fitted to 4 Ga: 1m 4 Gauge black earth cable with spade end fitted: 2m of black 8 Gauge earth cable: 2 x 5m twisted pair RCA cables: 10m 16 Gauge speaker cable: 6m 18 Gauge blue remote cable: 2 x Dual 8 Gauge to single 4 Gauge power distribution blocks: 1 x MAXI fuse holder with 100 Amp fuse: spade terminals and bulkhead grommet.
Quality/Comprehensive? This is high end. PC-OFC stands for Pure-Crystal Oxygen Free Copper. The fuse holder in the main power line is ready-installed. The MAXI fuse that plugs into it is rated at whopping 100A. Made to install two amplifiers, you get two gorgeous distribution blocks. One big 4 Gauge wire goes in and two 8 Gauge come out, used to feed both power and earth to two amplifiers adding up to as much as 1,200 watts at 12V. A beefed-up power system will be able to run at 14V. That means this kit can serve up the DC power to make 1,500 watts of amplifier muscle. This is great for a classic 4Ch + Bass Amp dual box system install. Your amplifiers will still need their own fuses, though.
● Main power wire: 4 Gauge, 5.2m/17ft
● Fuse Rating: 100A supplied
RRP: $279.00 / £270.00. Buy it cheaper at Walmart here.
What You Get: 5.5m 1/0 Gauge matte red power cable c/w SPD5201 ANL fuse holder with 250A fuse and fitted spade: 1m 1/0 Gauge matte black earth cable with fitted spade end: 5.2m 18 Gauge blue remote cable: 2 x SPT5101 1/0 Gauge ring terminals: cable ties and bulkhead grommet.
Quality/Comprehensive? Designed for the big systems. This is the pure delivery of lunacy to the boot: the wire your electrician couldn’t imagine – the mighty 1/0 AWG or one over American Wire Gauge. It has a big purple 250A fuse, meaning this is good for just about three and a half kilowatts. With that kind of draw you really need a second battery, split charge system and the ‘Big Three’ wire upgrades under the bonnet. Those are all about big flow of power to your system and a superbly free earth connection.
The little blue wire is sweet but you will be likely using this kit to go to a beefy distribution block and could run a big active three way system with multiple channel amplifiers and active crossovers and even a processor or two on a distribution system with secondary fuse boxes. The sort that end up as features in show systems. You will have the power delivery if you can make the current to deliver. Quality kit for the price from a brand most famous for these power system products.
● Main power wire: 1/0 (‘One Over’) Gauge, 5.5m/18ft
● Fuse Rating: 250A supplied