Hi guys, my friend is trying to hook up an amp into his car, and was wondering whether he should use ring or fork connectors to connect the power and speaker cables to the amp and crossovers? He is running 8 gauge for power, 12 gauge speaker cable from the amp to the crossovers, 12 gauge from crossover to woofer, and 16 gauge from crossover to tweeter. Can we just pick up some ring connectors at Radio Shack, or do we need gold plated ones? Where do you recommend buying them from? Do we need ring/fork connectors for the crossovers too?
Actually that is a good idea as long as you crimp them properly. Whether it's gold plated or not, is your choice. Unless they're high quality, it won't make much difference. I find, most cheap ones are just colours, nothing special. Fork would be easier to put on and off. What I did in my system, was get one of those multi terminal connectors and on one end, connect all the speakers/crossovers, and on the other, connect wires from multi amps. Looks much cleaner. If possible, use some heat shrinking wire tubes.
Isaac, thanks for the response. I ran by Radio Shack and picked up an assortment pack of fork and ring connectors, but it looks like the ones which crimp onto 12-gauge cable (yellow in color) are too large to fit into the holes in my amp. Only the red ones, which crimp onto 16-gauge cable will fit, but this obviously won't work. Are there ring/fork connectors made specifically for hooking up amps, which will crimp onto 12-gauge cable, but still have a small ring/fork to fit into the amp's connection hole?
Yes Julie, some of the ends come with very narrow fork/rings. I've seen them. The only problem is, Radio Shack doesn't sell them. You'll have to shop around the car audio stores. You might even want to try the audio installation shops. I know they have some. Almost all of them do. You might even get it cheaper than going to stores. Have you seen one of those crimp ends that's shaped like a thin bar? They might work better than a fork/ring (they come in 3 shapes, fork, ring, and bar). It'll fit amp connectors that use screws and the ones with holes. Just a thought.
Just bend one "prong" in to make the thing narrower or break/cut one side off(I've done it before). If your amp/xovers have the lil square "washer" underneath the screws you really don't even need those fork connectors. Just twist the end of the wire real tight, shove it in there on one side, and hunker it down.
Or spend the money on the narrower, "good" stuff. Personally I'm cheap when it comes to speaker and power wiring and would try the former option first.
"real tight, shove it in there on one side, and hunker it down". For a sec there, I thought you were showing us how to squeeze as much clothes into the washer as possible. Something lot of college guys do with limited funds.
Isaac, thanks again for the response. I'll check with Tweeter and Myer-Emco this week for thin fork connectors. That bar idea sounds even better...the hole in the side of my amp (Soundstream Van Gogh 400.2) looks like it could accept a metal cigarette-sized tube.
Fishy, I think I will go with your idea of crimping the wire directly into the crossover if I cannot find suitable forks. I would prefer the forks, however...just to keep it clean looking. I'm kinda uptight
If you're going to spend the money on some good connectors don't scrimp on your crimping tool. Nothing suxxorz worse than having a wire pull out of a connector and not having a backup. There's no reusing a connector once its been squashed.