Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
Imae source Skar Audio
After buying your amplifier, the next thing to focus on is the wire selection. You should always use the right gauge of wire for your amplifier.
Amplifiers are usually rated by their wattage while wire are rated by their sizes(gauge)
In this case, we are looking at the 1200 watt amp. What is the right gauge wire for it?
The most probable answer that you are likely to receive is the 4 gauge or 8 gauge gauge wire for a 1200 watt amp.
But there is more to it.
In this guide, we are going to do a complete breakdown on choosing the right wire gauge for a 1200 watt amplifier.
We will even go ahead to give you tips on where to buy perfect wires and other accessories for your amplifier.
The formula for calculating current draw
To choose the right wire gauge, you will first start by calculating the current drawn from the source to the amplifier.
And to determine this, you will first calculate the overall power of the system. Once you get the power, you will multiply the number of channels by the number of root mean square (RMS) per single channel.
In situation where you have several amplifiers, you will have to add the total RMS so that you get the final current to the amplifier.
While doing this calculation, you should know the basics of wires and amplifiers which include:
-AWG: AWG stands for the American Wire Gauge. The gauge are calibrated by the numbers such that the smaller the number, the larger the wire. For example, a 4AWG wire is larger than a 8AWG wire.
Load capacity: This refers to the current-carrying capacity of the wire. Generally, the larger the wire, the more the capacity to carry the electric current. However, while looking at the ampacity of the wire, the distance factor will also come in. You will have to consider the distance to be covered by the wire.
How much wire do I need for the amplifier
Back to the main issue of the 1200 watt amplifier. Since you already know the wattage rating, choosing the right wire gauge will be the next major test.
There is a basic rule of thumb that will help you find out this.
For amplifiers rated up to 500 watts, 8 gauge wire is ideal.
If an amplifier is rated between 500 to 1000 watts, you will need a 4 gauge wire.
2 gauge wire is ideal for an amplifier rated above 1500 watts.
From this rule of thumb, it is clear that a 4 gauge wire is a perfect solution for the 1200 watt amp.
Not all wires are the same
Now that you know the right size of wire, what next? Do I proceed to buy and use on my amplifier?
No, you need to take your time and know the right wire that will work perfectly with the amp. This is vital because it goes beyond the wire size.
The quality of the wire matters
Some wires are of premium quality and others are not.
If you are using the right quality of wire, you will only choose the right size and go ahead to connect it to the amplifier.
On the other hand, even if it is of the right size (4AWG) a low quality wire will still end up failing you big time.
So, this will determine the reliability of the wire that you will use on the amps.
But how can I tell that the wire is of good quality?
First, buy from reputable and reliable brands. Ensure that the wire manufacturers and suppliers have impressive approval ratings.
Identify the wires by their make
You can also distinguish the quality of the wires for the amps basing on how they have made and manufactured.
Cheap wires tend to have silver strands mixed with other metals such as aluminum and copper. It is obvious that such a mixture will impact the conductivity of the wire.
Chances are there will be some power loss or leakage of current when using such wires.
This will end up affecting the overall performance of the amplifier.
Shielding and weight are other factors that will give you hints about the quality of the wire.
Cheap and low-quality wires have minimal shielding. They also tend to have minimla weight than the high-quality wires.
Use the right fuse
The buck does not stop at using the right size and quality of wire. You should also be careful with the kind of use that you are using on your 1200 watt amplifier.
Fuses come in different amp ratings and also different styles.
If you have two 30 amp fuses on the side of the amplifier, you will need a single 60 amp fuse on the power line. For the 40 amp fuses, you will connect the source to the 80 amp fuse and so on.
A good rating for the fuse will protect your amplifier from damages in case of power surge.
Most of these fuses come with holders and connectors onto which you can connect your 8AWG wire for the amplifier.
The length of the wire
Now you know the right wire size for the 1200 watt amplifier. It is a 4AWG wire. The next thing that you need to think about is the length.
The length is a vital topic as it may determine the quality of power transmission to the amplifier.
If the amplifier is in an average car, an 18 feet wire will be ideal for power and at least 3 feet for the ground.
If the amplifier is in a larger SUV car,you should consider using a 20 feet size 4AWG wire for power.
Keep in mind that the size of both the power and ground should be the same.
From this guide, you know the perfect wire size for your 1200 watt amplifier. Regardless of the purpose of the amplifier, a perfect size will not fail you.
And ensure that you get high quality wires from reputable suppliers in China.
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