Estimated wait for next available agent :. All of our representatives are currently chatting with other customers. For Tech Support, call I belong to a culture of fine sights and sounds, and I like spreading the word. I've been tinkering with electronics ever since I was a kid - starting with taking apart and putting back together televisions and radios. I always got them back together again and working. I took courses in radio and electronics as a teenager, and became a ham radio operator.
I worked in my high school's stage crew, running sound, lights, and a movie projector. After college, I ed a rock 'n roll band as the soundman and learned how to lug around and operate the gear that helps make music sound good and loud. Working in a music store in Austin, Texas, I spent a few years manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems.
Our customers were recording studios, nightclubs, and touring bands.
Eventually I moved back to Charlottesville, Virginia and opened a small demo recording studio. InI finally came to my senses and got this job at Crutchfield. They actually pay me to ramble on, rant, and explain the things I love about music, electronics, and getting good sound. Given my background, they put me to work writing about some of the most complex electronic products Crutchfield sells: car amplifiers, digital al processors, wiring, professional sound mixers, and PA systems. Sending the audio al from a receiver to a 4-channel amplifier 's inputs via RCA cables or the amp's speaker-level inputs is straight forward and simple enough, but getting the amplified al back to the speakers—well that's another matter.
This article discusses adding an amplifier to an aftermarket stereo. For tips on connecting an amplifier to a factory stereo, read this article instead. The speakers are usually in four different corners of your vehicle, and running separate new speaker wires to each one presents many challenges, including how to get the wire past the car door hinges to the front door speaker locations.
Normally, when you install a new stereo, all the wires from the stereo would connect to the car wiring adapter. The wires would run from one black connector to the other the right side of the photo below.
But since we're using an external amplifier for the speakers, the speaker wires from the car get diverted to the amp — that's the bundle of wires on the bottom plug heading left to the amplifier. The speaker wires from the new stereo aren't used. You can either cut them off like we did in the photo below or just tape them up — each wire individually — so that none of the wire ends can touch anything else. Meanwhile, the RCA cables carry the audio al to the amplifier and the blue wire from the stereo turns on the amp whenever the stereo is turned on.
And yes, fade and balance controls will still work fine, so long as you connect the RCA cables correctly. Running the amp's output wires to the speaker wires on the stereo's adapter harness is how you avoid having to run new speaker wiring throughout the car. That's the bottom side of the triangle in the photo above — speaker wires from the amp connect to the speaker wires on the adapter harness. Then that harness plugs into your car. The diagram below is a more detailed depiction of the layout. For 4-speaker systems, you'd need to make eight connections — a positive and negative wire for each speaker.
This means, you just need to run the eight speaker wires from the dash to the amplifier, just like you do the RCA cables. In fact, when you're installing the amp, it's smart to run the RCA cables and new speaker wires at the same time. Our favorite option is the Crutchfield 9-wire cable shown above because it helps simplify running eight speaker wires plus a remote turn-on lead from your amplifier to the rear of your receiver and each set of speaker wires is color coded.
We also carry a small selection of highly conductive, pure copper speaker wireavailable by the foot, that will also work well, if you don't want the 9-wire, all-in-one solution. A multi-pack of Posi-Products Car Stereo Connectors could come in handy here, so you can make all the speaker connections without having to solder anything. For amplifiers with more than 75 watts RMS of output per channel, it may be better to go ahead and run new or gauge speaker wires directly from the amp to each speaker.
Factory speaker wires are very thin, with high electrical resistance, so they can cause noticeable power loss when higher wattages try to get through. But amplifiers of watts or less aren't really affected by this, so running their outputs through factory wiring remains a practical and convenient solution. This article focused on a way to simplify the speaker connections when using an aftermarket stereo.
If you're connecting an amplifier to a factory systemcheck out this How To guide for tips. For information about other aspects of amplifier installation, like power and ground wiring, check out our Amplifier Installation Guide. If you have any questions about connecting a new amplifier to your speakers, contact our advisors via chat or phone.
They'll take the time to answer your questions and explain the details, then get you set up with whatever you need. I'm getting ready to install a blue tooth smp in my 92 jeep yj. Earlier today I was quoted I was responsible for installation. Thank you so very much!!!! Your sight is the easiest to follow and understand. I will follow it and complete the installation. With peace mind thst it was done correctly. Thank you. I have a Chevy Impala 3.
Meet buck pomerantz
I have a aftermarket radio, new amp, and I replaced all of the speakers. Unfortunately, I bought 3 different harnesses and none of them work. I decided to disconnect the factory amp. I haven't did anything else yet. I just want to know which wires from the factory amp do I connect to my new amp?
I was going to connect my rear speakers, and tweeters directly to my aftermarket radio.
Meet ken nail
I just need a little more Advice. What is your assumption regarding the stock speaker wires? Hi Buck! I recently got an Infinity Primus a amp to add to my Mazda 3. Can I still use the factory wiring in this case or should I run all new wire? I'm also adding Infinity Primus and Reference speakers. I can't find which wire is my speakers wire behind my head unit and I'm trying to run the wire to my IC2i pro can i just use the door speaker and run a wire from that speaker to my IC2i pro?
Question here I have a acura tl. Right now i have a 12" kicker sub powered by a kicker amp.
I was wondering what would be the best way to hook up the speakers to the amp, at the head unit or individually wiring them to the amp. Now, here's the problem, all is in and working but the head unit no longer shows the fader option, only balance L-R. What happened and how do I fix it?
LC7i is wired directly from speaker wires off the factory head unit and then to the JBL amp. I have a crunch 4 channel w amp im using for my stock mitsubishi outlander sport es speakers. Is it going to sound louder or would it not make a difference since In this article it said anything past 75 it would cause power loss.
So I should wait to install it until I get aftermarket speakers? Recently, I wired up the harness supplied by the JVC head unit to a Metra harness, including the various wires for the door speakers. If I'm reading this correctly, the output wire from the amp, instead of the head unit, should be connected to the Metra harness?
Also, my speaker has an external crossover. How do I know which wires carry the full range al?
Planning on adding a Jensen 4 channel amp I already have; 4x75W rms. Front two speakers are Pioneer 2x30 rms, w max Rears are mid woofers; not worried about them. Ideally, I would like to upgrade front speaker wires; but I'm not willing to go through the trouble of opening panels, and trying to fish through door harness for clean look.
Are there any huge drawbacks of hooking this amp to the front oem speaker wires? Not sure what oem gauge is, but car is 95 Accord LX. Slightly concerned if the increased power will burn out the oem wires or anything like that. I'm planning on running 2 8inch skar mid range speakers rms each and 2 6.
Which amp s should i get for this setup, which size wires for speakers and whats the best way to set this up in terms of how can i run wires to each one. I plan on installing an entry level watt planet audio 5 channel amp and an 8" planet audio sub in a small sealed enclosure.