4 gauge or 8 gauge for my amp Situation? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, long story short, I have been saving for an upgraded system on my Dodge Charger. I had done a lot of homework since i'm not an expert with audio equipment. Anyway, did my homework and worked the best prices for a kicker setup. I have a Dodge Charger 2007 and have saved for this system for over 2 years. I ended up going with 2 kicker amps, 1 for the sub, the 750.1, and then for the front and rear speakers, the 350.4.

I got a solid deal on a buy 1 get 1 free with free shipping CVR COMP 10'' 2 ohm dual voice coil subs.

I just wanted to post my setup just in case it was needed. The thing is I did a lot of reading and most people said for dual amps to go with "4" gauge wire. That is what I discussed with my setup last week when I was checking around for knowledgeable installers and a reasonable price. When I brought the car in this morning the guy mentioned that since my battery is in the "back" there is no sense in running 2 feet of 4 gauge wire and he is gonna use "8 gauge." I had mentioned that we discussed 4 gauge initially and he was explaining that he didn't realize or think about the battery being in the back at the time and again, running 2 feet of wire for each amp seperately (or something to that extent) makes no sense so 8 gauge is what he'll use.

I'm not sure how big of a thing this is....but before this guy gets started I thought i'd ask the experts here on their thoughts with my setup. Any info/advice/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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anyone? Maybe my post was too lengthy...basically I am trying to find out whether or not 4 gauge vs. 8 gauge makes a difference with the amps on the backseat and the speakerbox for the 2 10'' 2ohm subs right next to the amps and the battery not far from either being in the trunk.

Does it make any sense to go to a distribution block with 4 gauage and run 8 from there? I read 4 gauge is better for independent amps but that may of meant from the battery being further away....so I'm just trying to find out before I go with 8 gauge and see I should of gone with 4 even in my situation....thanks again for any input or suggestions here.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 04:02 PM
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I would use 4ga to a distro block (preferably fused) and then 8ga to your amps. I believe the maximum amperage for 8ga wire is ~50amps, which would likely be exceeded by 2 amplifiers. If I am correct, this would mean you'd blow the inline fuse if you cranked your volume enough to be over 50amps for an extended period of time. Or, if your fuse was too big, you'd set that wire/car on fire. There IS something out there about shorter wires presenting a different resistance than longer wires, but I'm not an engineer and know nothing of how that works.

You could of course run 2 separate 8ga wires to each amp, but then you'd need 2 inline fuses, and it'd be easier to upgrade later had you done 4ga->distro.

I owned a 350.4 which I recently sold, and had it powered with an 8ga wire. But I would have used 4ga to a distribution if I would have done 2 amps.


This site has a lot of great info, I found it while reading up for a somewhat similar situation. I sold the 350.4 to purchase an Alpine PDX-5 (as soon as I find a used one...), but I'll be going 4ga to a distro because I'm going to build a carPC to power as well.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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TF COMMANDER,



that is EXCELLENT INFO.....I think it comes a little late as I think the install is done or nearly done. Interestingly enough, I think the guy is doing what you said, 2 inline fuses, but i'm gonna print out what you wrote and go over the options with him for now or in the future regarding the fuses,etc, and this is good for me to know in general, anyway.

That's funny you sold the 350.1 to go with the PDX-5 b/c I was originally gonna get a PDX-5 NEW AT A GREAT DEAL to power all my speakers including subs, but read around that with DUAL SUBS, dual AMPS was a better option so that's the route I went. I know that PDX-5 is a small, compact amp but it has VERY high ratings.....so does the 350.1, though. How did you like your 350.1 overall?
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 05:20 PM
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Hah, you can go ahead and PM me where you found the PDX-5 at a great deal, the lowest I can find is ~370 New on eBay, and even then you don't get an alpine warranty. Might as well save another 80-100 and buy used.

My ZX350.4 was a nice amp while I had it- no major complaints. It had enough power, but it seemed a little harsh. I was/will-be using Pioneer D series 6.5" components front and polk DB691 (or something to that effect) 6x9 for rear fill with no sub. I also couldn't get a decent blend, and I attributed a little of that to the 350.4. Mids lacked up front, bass was somewhat flat. I've heard each set of speakers sound better in other cars than they did in my car. There are so many variables though that its hard to pinpoint a real culprit. My biggest complaint was that it didn't fit under my passenger seat! Although that wouldn't be a problem in my new corolla.

I suggested the order Battery-Inline fuse-4ga->fused distro-dual 8ga->amps because you can often get a distro that can take 4ga or 8ga output. Then, if you decided to upgrade to a more powerful sub amp or full range amp, you only need to switch out a small piece of wire between the amp and distro, and up the fuse. As it is, you've paid for 2 separate inline fuse holders, one or both of which may need replacing in upgrade, and decent ones are generally 20$ or more.

It will of course work fine using 2 separate lines/fuse holders as they have wired it, and you will have no noticeable difference in power or any other term of measurement by changing to a distro block. The only possible difference as it exists today would be if the wires look cleaner run as you/I suggested.

The biggest nugget of info I got out of that site is the importance of fusing where wire gauge gets smaller. For instance you have 4ga going to distro, if you output from a non fused distro with 8ga wire, that wire is protected at too high an amp rating, meaning it would go up in smoke long before that initial fuse was tripped. Having said that, a 4ga wire would still be properly protected. Its about protecting the wire, not protecting the electronics at the end. They have their own fuses


As for dual amps for dual setups, it likely follows home stereo equipment protocol: Its better to have things that do individual tasks than an all-in-one. You used to have a tuner, amp, preamp, now you have a receiver. It didn't necessarily go that way for SQ, its more about space, simplicity, and affordability for people. Look at the popularity of HTIB systems. For me and the PDX-5 its about space. Stealthy, under the seat, powers everything and does it with class. If you use mono amp output you have to wire in series or parallel accordingly to achieve the proper resistance for the amp. If you've wired properly, I think things would still go according to plan even with a 5 channel. That is, after all, what you are doing with the 750.1. The kicker will be affording you with more power than the output of the PDX tho, possibly resulting in more headroom, and higher attainable volume levels with less distortion, if the amp can hack it.

Sorry for the rambling post.... So your battery is actually in the trunk? Convenient!
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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hey Commander...great post and very informative! Sounds like you've got yourself a hell of a setup! As far as the PDX-5 goes, the deal was about $400 locally, if you got it shipped it's probably the same as if you bought it somewhere else and got the Alpine warranty as you mentioned.

I had room behind my box for both amps to go without taking up much room so I was definitely happy. A local installer I know raves about the PDX-5 AND he has one in his "porsche"...go figure...I'm in the wrong biz! : ) But yeah, for convenience, I agree it's great from what i've read.

Anyway, I now have a new problem. I was hoping to get a head unit down the line and use my factory unit for the time being while I saved more money. I got my car and noticed that I'm hearing a clicking/static/hiss noise coming from my dash speakers even when my stock/radio is OFF!

I am gonna bring it back tomorrow but I'm gonna post a seperate question here to see what anyone thinks. This sucks...lol. I did a lot of homework on places to get the install done and this place has been around a long time and this guy has been doing installs 9 years.....something is screwy though...that's for sure.
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 10:47 PM
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That reminds me- with my 350.4 I had difficulties because of a bad ground that caused alternator whine. The pitch of the noise would rise and fall with the engine- a pretty common problem. I would guess yours is more likely just a gain on the amp that is set too high, causing you to hear the power that is flowing to the speakers. Some amps just have distortion because of a lower quality design or because of extreme power handling. Perhaps you could turn off both and see if its gone, if so turn on one and see, turn it off and try the other, and then try turning down the gains on the amp. My kicker's were set very low, 30-40% I believe. Even at those settings, I never had to turn my HU up all the way.

And yes, I believe my system will be quite nice! I have the speakers, I just sold some electronics so I'll be buying my amp whenever I feel decisive. Then its a To Be Determined shallow sub for added bass with which I'll be attempting my first box. Then I'll be selling my Pioneer avic-f700bt gps in favor of buying the pc parts. All for a recently purchased 2010 Corolla S.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 11:08 PM
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Here is useful Wire Gauge Calculator, from none other than Rockford Fosgate.

Solution: FREE. Explanation: I will have to charge$ you.

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post #9 of 11 Old 10-02-2009, 11:36 PM
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I have multiple friends with chargers and those things have terrible electrical systems

i suggest u run 0 to the distro then 4 to the amps...

big 3 would help too
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-29-2009, 01:01 PM
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nice post--lots of useful info. where's a good place to get hq amp wire cheaply?

Denon AVR 1709 + B&W 683s floors + B&W HTM62 center + Energy ESW-8HG Sub
Yamaha HTR-6050 + JBL Studio 530 + Studio 520C
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-29-2009, 03:29 PM
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if you are just looking for power wire, go to menards, lowes, HD, etc. it is not fancy shiny blue or red color, but does the job just as well.

if you are looking for an enitre amp kit, i recommend www.knukonceptz.com
great prices and quality gear. I have used them on most installs that i have done over the years when needing the entire kit.
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