-Run the 12v power wire (usually the longest wire in the
kit, mostly red, typically ranges from 8 gauge to 0 gauge) from the
battery through the firewall and then to the amp
. You can find a
hole somewhere in the bottom right of the firewall. Don't connect the
power wire to the battery or the amp just yet.
-Find a solid metal ground somewhere near the amplifier
You'll need to stay within 2-3 feet of the amplifier to maintain the
best ground connection. A way you can do this is pull up the carpet and
scrape the metal until it is bare metal with no paint left on it. If the
amplifier is to be mounted in the trunk, many times bolts from the
suspension can be found directly above one of the rear wheels. These
suspension components usually bolt directly to the frame, making them an
ideal grounding point.
-Pull the aftermarket CD player out of the dash
is a blue wire with a white stripe hanging out of the back of the deck
known as the remote wire. The remote wire is a simple 12v signal that
the cd player outputs to tell the amplifier to turn on.
-Take your remote wire that came in your amp kit and
splice/solder it onto that blue-whitestriped wire and run it through the
dash and then along the door jam
-While you have the CD player removed, plug the RCA white and red plugs into the back of the deck where it says "Subwoofer Output
If your cd player does not have a "Subwoofer Output", or if you are
using a stock cd player, you will need a device called an inline
converter. It's a small box that has 4 input wires and the 2 necessary
RCA output that will run to the amplifier. It takes the high level
speaker voltage and drops it to a low level signal the amplifier can
process. The 4 input wires can be connected to the rear speakers (+ and -
for left and right).
-Run all the wires straight back to the amplifier
should run the power and remote control down the right as factory
speaker wires run down the left due to fire risks if the power cable
shorts out and you have your speaker cables down the same side it will
blow your headdeck (cd player). RCA cables should be run down the center
of the car as RCA cables can pick up sounds from wire looms and also
air con vents power wires.
-Use Speaker Wire to connect sub-woofers to amplifier
Gauge isn't extremely important here, as long as the wire is copper, the
resistance-per-foot is in the million range, meaning there will be
miniscule, if any, voltage drop across the wire.
-Hopefully by now you have a subwoofer box/enclosure
There are many different types of enclosures (sealed, vented, bandpass,
infinite baffle, etc.). There are numerous articles explaining the pros
and cons of each type of enclosure, far too many to list in this
article. If you really want the best response possible, your subwoofer
manual will list the ideal enclosure volume for each type of enclosure.
If you don't want to go through all of the volume calculations, just buy
a box slightly bigger, and stuff it with pillow stuffing from walmart
until the subs respond the way you want them to.
-Be sure to know the impedance of the subwoofer(s) you are using and try to match the amplifier's impedance accordingly
For example, if you have an amp that is [email protected]
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you'll want to try to run your speakers at 2 ohms. 2 4ohm subs can be
wired in parallel to achieve this. If you're new to the impedance
calculations, many amplifiers will have specific wiring diagrams in
their manuals to assist.
-Put a fuse into 12v wire in the engine bay no more than 0
away from battery. If your amp kit came with an "inline fuse holder",
you'll want to find a nice location to mount it in your engine bay. Once
it's secure, cut a length of the power wire to reach the fuse, and
connect it to one side of the fuse holder. The other side (the side you
just cut) is stripped and connected to the other side of the fuse
-Connect the power wire to your battery
. There's nice
ring connectors and even new battery terminals you can buy (and
sometimes come with the amp kit), that make the battery connection much
more solid, and looks better too.
-Lastly, connect the battery cable to the amplifier
Then under the hood clamp the wire down to the battery. A word of
warning, sometimes you'll see a nice big spark the first time you touch
the power wire to the battery. Don't worry about it! This is the
amplifier charging the huge capacitors contained inside.
-Do not turn up the volume or gain too high or you may produce clipping in the subwoofers
This is where the output of the amplifier peaks and stays there for a
split-second. This is bad for the subwoofer because it holds the cone
(the big circle part!) in it's fully extended or fully compressed state
for the duration of the clip. Not only are you not producing a single
decibel of sound during this microsecond, but you're also working the
voice coil very hard and damaging it. A good rule for beginners is to
play a nice loud song of your genre at your cd players 3/4 volume
setting. Now, with the gain at zero, turn it up until it's obvious that
it isn't getting any louder. The gain knob isn't a "volume" knob by any
means. A gain knob should usually never be at it's full position.