Are all amp wiring kits equal?


Unregistered guest
I notice places like Circuit City and Best Buy sell them for $40-60, but they're a lot less online at and also at the humble neighborhood walmart.

Aside from the gauge and gold-plated tips, aren't wires all just about the same? Just like USB cables for your computer will cost 3 times more at Best Buy or CompUSA than at Walmart, and work exactly the same? My suspicion is, these places make their profits from gouging people on the parts.

New member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 762
Registered: 12-2003
there are some subtle differences.
strand count on the power cables (electrons travel around the outside of each strand, so the higher the strand count, the better the current flow will generally be, but we'll avoid getting into things like skin-effect for electron flow and what not)
the number of strands also affects the flexibility of the wire. Particularly true as the wire gets larger in diameter. I've seen 4AWG cable that was stiffer than a boy at a strip club and let me tell ya, it's a real b*tch to route that stuff through a car from the engine to the trunk. The good stuff is very soft and pliable.
As for interconnects, the gold helps a lot in cars, because unlike the less costly copper, gold never oxidizes to cause a bad connection due to moisture which you can't avoid in a car. (this isn't a big deal in home audio really if your house is climate controlled.) Also the shielding quality of the cables will affect how well they reject noise. The better cables are copper or aluminum braided thriple-shielded, twisted-pair RCA interconnects, and they'll use split-end RCA adapters for a solid connection at the ends. has a pretty well-made 4AWG amp wiring kit for $30. They also have distribution blocks and such for fusing and splitting down the connection for multiple amplifiers.

Unregistered guest
my other question concerning wiring kits: if an amp's specs say it requires 8 gauge wire, is there any advantage to going with say, a 4 gauge wire? I mean, would a non-audiophile like me really be able to hear any difference?

New member
Username: Glasswolf

Post Number: 785
Registered: 12-2003
the advantage is that if you get a bigger amp later, or add another amp, you won't need to pull that 8AWG and run 4AWG later.
sufficient gauge power cable is for one reason. if the power line is too small for the amount of current being drawn through it, the wire will heat up, melt the PVC insulation off the outside of the cable, and short to the car, starting a fire.
it'll also choke the amplifier(s) from getting all the current they need, which will cause clipping.

you can always run 4AWG, and get a distribution block, with fuses built into it, and split down th 8AWG at the amplifiers.
looks nice, too.
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