How To Wire 5 Channel Amp: Simple Step By Step Guide

Adding a car amplifier is considered one of the most efficient ways to improve the sound quality of the audio system in the car. The primary job of the amplifier is to boost the signal given by the head units, which improves the quality of sound you experience. A 5 channel amp is considered as the ideal choice.

But, you need to learn how to wire 5 channel amp in your car.


What Is A 5 Channel Amp?

5 channel amplifier

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But first, what is a 5 channel amp? This 5 channel amp will offer ample options and is considered perfect for powering the entire sound system. These amps have four channels which are used to power both the rear deck speakers and front speakers, and the fifth speaker is a dedicated channel that will power the subs.

Pros Of A 5 Channel Amp

These amps are not just versatile, but they are also easy to install. They represent a significant investment for your hard earned money, particularly if you have the intention of upgrading the the sound system.

What Sound Systems To Use With A 5 Channel Amp?

So, 5 channel amps are designed for a surround sound system which uses four speakers and a subwoofer. With this, you could get the ultimate music experience - especially if you know to wire 5 channel amp correctly.

How to Wire 5 Channel Amp?

Let's find out how to wire 5 channel amp here.

Things Needed: Parts And Preparation

How To Wire 5 Channel Amp


Before you remove a panel or screw from the car, you need to assemble all the parts and tools required for the process. Some of the things needed are the following:

  • Torx, Phillips and Allen screwdrivers with different sizes or a universal screwdriver with interchangeable tips.
  • Wiring tools would also need a socket wrench and inserts, self-tapping sheet-metal screws, combination wire stripper and crimper, rough grit sandpaper and a cordless drill.
  • The installation parts would include RCA cable that is long enough to reach from the radio up to the designated mounting location, together with insulated T-tap connectors and crimp rings, 4-gauge power, and ground wire, 4-inch plastic zip ties, inline fuse holder with fuse and 16-gauge primary wire and 16-gauge speaker wire.

Step 1. Preliminary Steps

First, inspect the internal fuse values of the 5 channel amp. You need to buy a fuse for snapping into the inline fuse holder. The fuse will protect the power wire leading to the car, therefore, preventing a fire if there’s a short circuit.

You need to find a mounting spot for the amp, away from foot traffic as well as seat rails, and also provide at least 3 inches of space around the unit for ventilation.

Locate the wire bundle under the hood leading from the engine bay to the cabin of your car, and also find where it comes out under the dash. You will use this for the power wire.

It is also a good idea to get a schematic of the car, detailing where every panel clip, screw, and wire is located in the car.

Step 2. RCA and Remote Leads

Now, you have to consult the wiring schematic of the car to find the screws holding the radio to the dash bezel. You must remove the screws then set them aside in the cup holder or a zip-top baggie.

Pull the radio from the dash carefully. Then, detect the RCA output jacks on the back of the radio. You have to slide the RCA cable at the back of your stereo from behind your radio cavity.

Get rid of the side sill panels to secure the edges of the carpet. Feed the RCA cable through the wire channel in the gap to the chosen amplifier mounting spot.

Look for the blue accessory wire that leads from the wiring harness of the radio labeled ACC. Cut a length of the primary wire long enough to reach from the mounting location of the amplifier to the accessory lead.

Strip a half inch of the insulation from the both ends of a primary wire. You have to crimp a spade portion of a T-tap connector into the bare wire. After that, you have to clip a hinged part of the connector over the ACC wire that leads from the radio.

And now, slide the spade into a slot on the hinged connector and then route the wire along the same path taken by the RCA cable.

Step 3. Power Wiring

Power Wiring


You now have to open the hood of the vehicle. Remove the nut that secures the black ground wire from the battery. You also need to remove the nut holding the red positive lead, but don’t remove the wire from the battery.

Cut the length of the power wire which could reach without tension from the battery terminal to the mounting location of the 5 channel amp. Cut a smaller length 18 inches long and strip an inch of the insulation from the both ends of the shorter cable and on the end of the long lead.

Crimp the ring terminal, slide the ring over the post and secure the nut. Insert the other end of the short lead and also the stripped end of the long one to the opposite ends of the fuse holder. You need to shelter these wires through the use of Allen screws and tightening inside the holder above the wire strands.

Now, secure the other end through a grommet and pull the power wire carefully. You need to route the wire under the opposite door sill that is used for the RCA as well as remote turn on lead to the mounting spot.

Step 4. Ground Wiring

And for ground wiring, you have to look for a section of sheet metal within 18 inches of the mounting location of your 5 channel amp. The bare metal until it is shiny and clean, sand the paint at the said spot. Then cut a length of ground wire with 18 inches or even less.

Strip an inch off the outer insulation from one end of the wire and crimp the ring terminal into the wire. Screw a ring terminal into the bare sheet metal with the use of a Phillips self-tapping screw.

You must not use a welded location or a seat belt bolt since these wouldn’t offer proper continuity and might cause ground-loop whine or malfunction.

Step 5. Speaker Wiring

For speaker wiring, cut two lengths of the speaker wire, enough to reach the amp. Find the speaker wire leads on the harness of the radio with the use of the label affixed to the top of the unit, or in the manual.

You have to have the T-tap over every speaker wire. Strip a half inch off the insulation from both ends of the conductors on every speaker wire. Crimp the spade portion of this T-tap connector and slide into the slots at the base.

Route the speaker wire from behind through the wiring channel that is occupied by the RCA and the remote will turn on leads to the 5 channel amp.

Step 6. Final Steps

Finally, screw the power, the ground and the remote wires to the respective terminals on the amp. Screw the speaker wires to the amplifier terminals that match the polarity observed at the radio. You now have to slide the RCA cables to the matching white and red amp inputs.

Screw the 5 channel amp to the projected mounting location. After that, reinstall the radio in the cavity and reverse the steps taken to remove the unit. You need to snap all the sill plates back into their places, thereby covering the wires that lead to the amp.

Now, lock the underhood fuse holder to the existing wire bundle with the use of the pair of 4-inch zip ties. Snip off the extra with the use of the tips of the wire strippers. Turn on your car and stereo. Turn the amp gain all the way down. You now have to turn the radio up to the ¾ volume point or turn it to the point where audible distortion is heard, and slowly reduce the gain up until it disappears.

Final Thoughts on How To Wire 5 Channel Amp

For some, wiring a 5 channel amp and installing it in the car could be a daunting task. But you can do it if you follow these steps. I hope this information will help you.

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General FAQ

What Is A 5 Channel Amp?

A 5 channel amp is an amplifier which has 5 channels. Four channels are used to power both the rear deck speakers and front speakers, and the fifth speaker is a dedicated channel that powers the subwoofer

Why Use A 5-channel amp?

If your car has 4 doors and a sub you will probably need 2 amps, one for the speakers and one for the subwoofer. With a 5 channel amp this is all you need, since it's much more cost effective.

What Sound Systems To Use With A 5 Channel Amp?

5 channel amps are designed for a surround sound system which uses four speakers and a subwoofer.


“Hi there! I’m Jordan, chief editor of and I’m a self-confessed automative fanatic. Cars or vehicles has always been a passion of mine and will always be my favorite pastime. Now that I am married and has one adorable son, I have the time to write and share my personal experiences with other automative enthusiasts like me. Welcome to my fantastic blog!”

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