How Do I Choose the Best Amplifier Power Cable?

Troy Holmes

There are many types of power cables available for stereo amplifiers. Choosing the best cable depends on the amperage needed and type of amplifier being powered. Car amplifiers are best powered with a four- to eight-gauge electrical wire. Home units should use an amplifier power cable that maps directly to the amperage power rating for the specific amplifier.

A guitar amplifier requires a special power supply that ensures the amp has adequate power and proper grounding.
A guitar amplifier requires a special power supply that ensures the amp has adequate power and proper grounding.

Electrical power capacity is directly related to both cable width and cable length. It is better to choose thick power cables that are short because this type of cable can provide cleaner, clearer power to the amplifier. The best amplifier power cable is typically less then 5 feet (1.5 meters) and should use at least 10-gauge electrical wire.

Amplifiers are often used at live concerts.
Amplifiers are often used at live concerts.

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Installing a car amplifier requires some basic knowledge of electronics and stereo equipment. The amplifier power cable should be connected directly to the positive batter terminal of the vehicle. This wire should also include an in-line circuit breaker, which protects the amplifier from accidental short circuits.

An indoor audio amplifier requires specific amperage rating amplifier power cables. It is best to select a power cable that matches the amperage input specifications of the amplifier. This ensures the unit will be properly powered and the wire will not overheat.

It is important that any amplifier power cable be wrapped in a protective jacket or casing. This ensures raw power cables are not exposed to other wires, which could result in a short circuit. Most power cables are made from durable copper wire and are wrapped in protective solid rubber jackets. This design reduces power distortion, which can happen when ground wires are near the power wire.

A small amplifier power cable can directly affect the performance of an amplifier. Small-gauge wires limit the power available to the amp and typically become hot when used with large amperage amplifiers. In time, this small wire will become a fire hazard because the wire will get hot and melt the protective outer jacket.

A guitar amplifier is another type of audio amplifier. This is a musical amplifier that is used by professional bands at live concerts. This type of amplifier requires a special power supply that ensures the amp has adequate power and proper grounding. These plugs include ground wires that are designed to limit short circuits and provide ample power to the unit.

A car stereo system is typically made from a combination of speakers, receivers, speaker wire, and hi-fidelity amplifiers. The amplifier is the power unit for the car stereo system and requires proper grounding and electrical current. A good amplifier requires a thick-gauge wire for the power. This unit should also be grounded to a solid part of the car body.

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