Car Amplifier Wire Gauge Chart
Helping you select the right wire size for your amp installation + we sell wire by the foot in our store
How to use the amp wiring gauge chart:
Select the column for the length of wire you need at the bottom of the chart. Then select the row with the number of amps (current) that your amplifier will use at max power. Follow the row and column you selected until they intersect. The color of the rectangle where the row and column intersect represents the gauge size you need for your amp install. Example, need 16-19 ft. of wire for my install column + amp requiring 70 amps max current draw (choose the 65-85 Amperes row); the 16-19 ft. wire length column and the 65-85 amp row intersect in a purple rectangle which indicated a 4 gauge wire required for the amplifier installation.
Note: This amp wiring gauge chart gives the acceptable wire gauge required, however it is always O.K. to use the next size up. Bigger is better, and there is always the possibility that you may decide to either upgrade your amp later for a larger one or add an additional car amplifier in your car audio system. In car wire gauge sizes, the smaller the number of the gauge, the thicker the wire and the more current it will carry over a longer distance with less loss due to the internal resistance of the wire itself. Too small a cable will reduce the power getting to your car amplifier and thereby reduce the amplifier’s performance, causing it to overheat or shut off. Also a car amp may distort prematurely if it is starved for current and voltage. (Distortion is a speaker’s greatest enemy. Car amplifier distortion is the chief cause of car subwoofer failure. Distortion overheats the subwoofer’s voice coils causing them to eventually melt or burn up.)
Now a days many of the amp install kits you buy have copper coated tin wire which is not the same quality as the pure copper wire once used. As a result it’s not a bad idea to either buy a premium wire or upgrade the size of the wire in the amp kit to the next larger size to insure adequate power delivery to your amp. Also, some of the cheaper amp kits use a heavy thick insulation over the center wire conductor, the actual wire, making the wire appear heavier and thicker than it really is. All these manufacturer’s of the cheap amp kits have done is play a marketing game to make the wire appear thicker than it is by using artificially thick jackets masking a small wire inside the jacket. The cheaper the amp kit, the cheaper and thinner the wire even if the wire jacket looks thick.