How to install a 4-channel amplifier?
There are two ways to wire a 4-channel amp. The first method involves using a line-level converter to convert your stereo signal into a signal that can be used by your amp via RCA connections. The other involves two RCA cables that can be connected to corresponding inputs at the front and rear.
Many people believe that wiring an amplifier should be left to a professional. However, today, we will guide you on how to wire a 4-channel amp yourself and rock along to thunderous sounds.
Table of Contents
- How to install a 4-channel amplifier?
- Things You Will Need
- STEP 1: Ground the Amplifier
- STEP 2: Install the Power Wire
- STEP 3: Connect the RCA Cable and Wire
- How to wire a 4-channel amp to 4 speakers and a sub?
- How to wire a 4-channel amp to 6 speakers?
- How to wire a 4-channel amp to 8 speakers?
Things You Will Need
You will need a few tools to wire a 4-channel amp. If you wish to install it yourself, you need to have the necessary tools. Alternatively, you may hire an expert, but this will increase your costs.
It is essential to plan your approach before you start so you can keep track of everything and make the installation go smoothly.
Because it is a four-channel amp, it will differ significantly from a standard amp wiring kit.
Tools you’ll need in a 4-channel amp wiring kit
- Zip ties
- Ground wire
- Two top-quality 18’ RCA cables
- A fuse holder and fuse
- One high-quality remote wire
- Crimp ring terminals
- A positive wire with good quality, stranded conductors of around 18’ length
Speaker wire is included in some amp wiring kits, but it may also be purchased separately. The quantity of speaker wire you will need depends on the method you will be using. As a general rule, it is preferable to have a bit extra speaker wire than you think you will need.
Tools you’ll need if stereo missing RCA inputs
- A digital test meter for measuring voltage
- An amp wiring kit
- Cutting pliers
- 120’ of speaker wire
- A crimper tool
- Wire crimp connectors (25 or more)
- Electrical tape
- 6” wire ties (100 or more)
- X-Acto blade
Tools you’ll need for stereo with RCA inputs
- Same as above plus two 18’ RCA cables
STEP 1: Ground the Amplifier
Disconnect the negative connection on the car battery for your safety. To remove the terminals on most car batteries, you will need a monkey wrench. Next, put the amp somewhere dry and well-ventilated, like your car’s trunk.
Connect the ground wire to the amplifier. How you connect some wires varies with the amplifier, so check your amplifier’s wiring handbook for instructions. Most likely, all that will be required is a screwdriver.
To ground the amplifier, choose a stable metal structure in your vehicle. A nut or screw on the inside is often the ideal place to ground an amplifier. Unscrew a nut and position the ground output at the nut’s base. Replace the nut over the ground output.
STEP 2: Install the Power Wire
Attach the amplifier’s power wire plug-in. The power input on the amplifier should be labeled “Power” or something along that line.
Look beneath the dashboard for a hole through which to feed the power cable to the automobile battery. With an X-Acto blade, you will probably have to scrape out carpeting and maybe make a hole in the firewall.
Run the power cable to the front of your automobile and into the engine area through the opening. Connect the output lead of the wire to the positive battery connector of the automobile. If required, zip-tie the wire to solid metal items (no wires) within the engine compartment to keep it tight.
Connect the power cable to a fuse. Make sure it is within 18 inches of the vehicle’s battery. Check the user manual that comes with your power wire or fuse. Some fuses are clipped onto the wire, while others must be assembled.
Seal the engine opening to prevent water from dripping down the power line and into the automobile. Use a rubber grommet or caulk to seal the gap.
STEP 3: Connect the RCA Cable and Wire
You need to plug in the RCA cable to connect it to the amplifier’s input. “RCA” should be properly labeled. Use the unit removal equipment that came with your deck to remove the head unit. Connect the other end of the RCA wire to the head unit’s RCA output. You can avoid static by running the RCA cable on the other side from where the power line ran.
Connect the speaker wire to the rear terminals of the speakers you want to use with your amp. Using wire cutters, cut about 3/8 of an inch off the speaker wire to uncover the copper wire behind the wire cover.
Attach the speaker wire terminals to the amp on the other end, stripping them as you did in step three. Make sure the speakers are connected to the right channel. A speaker mounted on the driver’s door, for example, should be connected to the amp’s left channel.
This should do the job—you have now successfully wired a 4-channel amp. However, you may still want to know how to wire a 4-channel amp to 4 speakers and a sub, to 6 speakers, and 8 speakers. We will briefly answer that next.
How to wire a 4-channel amp to 4 speakers and a sub?
Firstly, it is important to know that there are three types of systems in audio setups.
The 1st system allows you to obtain 2ohms x 2 + 1 wired subwoofer impedance by joining 2 speakers in a parallel configuration. The back-end channels are 4 ohms in this case. It is a system that is highly recommended for use.
System 2 connects two speakers in a parallel configuration with a total impedance of 2 ohms x 2 + 1 as a connected subwoofer for a total impedance of 2 or 4 ohms at the other–end channels. However, it is not very common.
System 3 connects two speakers in parallel to achieve an impedance of 4 ohms per channel + one wired subwoofer.
For system 1, you can attach or wire the channels to the two speakers at the front of each channel’s terminal. It indicates that two speakers can be connected in a parallel configuration. You’ll obtain an impedance of only 2 ohms per channel in this manner.
After that, attach the positive end of the subwoofer to the amp’s left terminal and the negative end to the amp’s right terminal to link it to the rear channels.
The wiring for system 2 is identical to that of system 1. Attach the speakers in a parallel configuration to make the connections. However, when it comes to a subwoofer, you have numerous alternatives.
For instance, a single 4-ohm sub or a twin 4-ohm sub can be joined. In this setup, the speakers are also connected in parallel to achieve 4 ohms per channel. However, in this arrangement, the resistors should be connected to the speakers. It will protect the wire from any potential danger. The resistors keep the circuits from blowing up or becoming overheated.
How to wire a 4-channel amp to 6 speakers?
6 speakers can be connected in series or parallel to a 4-channel amp. When you connect two 4-ohm speakers in parallel, your head unit receives a 2-ohm load. When two speakers are connected on one channel, four speakers are connected on two channels. The four speakers are wired on two channels, and the remaining two speakers may be connected to the other two channels. This implies you have 6 speakers linked to 4 channels.
The wiring series is a safer and more dependable approach to wire a 4-channel amp to 6 speakers than parallel. While wiring your stereo in series is safer, it may not provide the best sound quality when listening to music.
When two 4-ohm speakers are wired in series, the head unit is subjected to an additional load of 8 ohms. This approach is considerably safer than the series method.
On one channel, you will have two speakers connected in series. Four speakers are now linked to two channels, and the two remaining speakers may be connected to the other two channels. This implies you have six speakers linked to a 4-channel amp.
How to wire a 4-channel amp to 8 speakers?
8 speakers can be connected to a 4-channel amp by wiring in parallel. When three speakers are connected on one channel, six speakers are connected on two channels.
The six speakers are wired on two channels, and the remaining two speakers may be connected to the other two channels. This implies you have 8 speakers linked to 4 channels.
If you’re unable to get the hang of these methods, you may have to call in an expert. It will cost more but you won’t have to worry about mistakes.