Learning, Wiring,

What Gauge Wire for a 2000 Watt Amp? (Guide With Photos)

You might go through a lot trouble to buy the perfect 2000 watt amp. But, all that effort might go to waste if you don’t pick the correct wire size since it may not fit the rest of your setup or you may have to painstakingly reorder parts. So, for those who are facing this issue, I have put together this article to help you.

Today, we will go into more detail and really cover what gauge wire to use for a 2000-watt amp.

In general, picking up the right wire gauge depends on the distance. For most cases, 4 gauge to 00 gauge wires is a good fit for a 2000 watt amp. For instance, if the distance ranges from 0-4 feet, using a smaller wire will be enough. Anything above 4 feet will need a thicker wire. For 10 feet, use 2 gauge wire.

Which Number to Go By

Before deciding on the wire size, you should learn a few things. For instance, the wire gauge varies according to the distance of the wire. There is a complete chart for this. We’ll talk about that later in the article.

12V Battery Voltage When the Engine is Running?

Even though we labeled the car battery voltage as 12V, depending on the situation, the voltage value varies. When the engine is turned off, a fully charged battery will give you a voltage of 12.6V. But, when the engine is on, the voltage ranges from 13.5V to 14.5V. For calculation purposes, we estimated this value as 13.8V.

Tip: When the engine is on, the alternator charges the battery to the above voltage range. So, the 12V increased between 13.5V to 14.5V. If that doesn’t happen, then that is an indication of a faulty alternator or a bad battery.

Class D and Class AB Amplifiers

You already know, for this article, we are going with a 2000-watt amp. But, do you know what kind of amplifier to buy? There are two types of amps in the market; Class D and Class AB. (1)

The main difference between Class D and Class AB is efficiency. Class D has 75% efficiency, and Class AB has 50%. So, to find the total RMS Wattage follow these calculations.

Keep in mind: These percentages of efficiency might change according to the different types of amplifiers.

For Class D,

Total RMS Wattage = 2000W ÷ 0.75 = 2666.67W

That means the amp produces 2666.67W and 666.67W lost due to heat. However, the wire you choose should be able to handle 2666.67W, given that the amp is Class D.

For Class AB,

Total RMS Wattage = 2000W ÷ 0.50 = 4000W

That means the amp produces 4000W, and 2000W gets lost because of the heat. However, the wire you choose should be able to handle 4000W, given that the amp is Class AB.

Tip: At this point of the article, you might get confused. You might think, do I need to calculate the Total RMS Wattage. To calculate the amperage of the amp, you’ll need the Total RMS Wattage.

How to Calculate Amperage from Watts?

The amperage value is equal to, the number of watts divided by the voltage. In other words, the current is equal to power divided by voltage. Here is the equation for that.

According to Joule’s Law,

Amps = Watts/Volts

So, if we consider our 2000W amp and assume the amp is Class AB,

Total Amps without considering the efficiency = 2000/13.8 = 144.93 amp

If we consider 50% efficiency,

Total Amps = 144.93/ 0.5 = 283.86 amp

So, the 2000-watt amp draws 283.86 amps from its source. The wire you choose should be able to handle 283.86 amps.

Voltage Drop

You now have a good understanding of how to find the amperage of any given amplifier. But, when choosing a wire, you need to consider one more thing; voltage drop. voltage drop directly connects to the distance of the wire. When the distance of the run increases the resistance of that particular wire increases too.

According to Ohm’s Law, when the resistance increases, the voltage drop increases too. Eventually, you’ll end up with a lesser voltage than the required value. Dealing with such voltage can cause damage to the amplifier or your other electrical appliances.

So, you should always choose a wire that keeps the voltage under an acceptable level.

Acceptable Voltage Drop

For any given circuit, the acceptable voltage drop should be under 3% for lights and 5% for other appliances. Running a circuit under this rule is the safest option for appliances.

What Thickness Wire?

Now you are all set to decide the thickness of the wire. Use the below chart for any situation. In the chart, you can find how the wire size changes according to the amperage and the distance. So, calculate the amperage and measure the distance of the run. Then, choose according to the below chart.

However, for our 2000W amplifier, we already know one value; the current is 283.86 amps. So, if you plan to run a 2000-watt amp 0-4 feet, you’ll need a 4 gauge wire. If the distance is above 4 feet, you’ll need a 2 gauge wire.

For a 10-19 feet run, you’ll need a 1/0 gauge wire. Anything above 19 feet will require 2/0 gauge wire.

Keep in Mind: When using AWG wires, remember that 1/0 is the 0 gauge wire, and the 2/0 is the 00 gauge wire.

Also, depending on the amperage value, the above result might vary. So, always follow the chart.

The Gauge of Sound Wire

sound wires

Speaker wires range from 12 gauge to 18 gauge. Your choice should depend on the distance of the speaker wire. So, here is a table that can be very useful.

Gauge4 Ohm Speaker6 Ohm Speaker
12 AWGMax 60 FeetMax 120 Feet
14 AWGMax 40 FeetMax 75 Feet
16 AWGMax 25 FeetMax 50 Feet
18 AWGMax 15 FeetMax 30 Feet

  • For 4 ohm or lower speakers, 12 or 14 gauge speaker wire is the best option.
  • For an 8 ohm speaker under 50 feet run, 16 gauge speaker wire fits perfectly.

Whenever you buy a speaker wire, follow the above guidelines.

Wrapping Up

Whether you choose a wire for the amplifier or the speaker calculate the amperage and always check the measurement twice before cutting the wire. If you follow the instruction correctly, you’ll get a clear answer for what size wire to use for a 2000-watt amp.

Always remember the above range of 4 gauge to 00 gauge wires is excellent for a 2000 watt amp. However, depending on your amplifier’s efficiency, you’ll get varied results. (2)

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

(1) market – market – https://www.britannica.com/topic/market
(2) efficiency – https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/strategies-to-improve-work-efficiency

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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