How to Buy an Amplifier Kit

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How to Buy an Amplifier Kit

Amplifiers boost the sound quality in cars, at home, at live events, and various other events that may require loud sound. Home television and sound systems benefit greatly from the installation of an amplifier.

Amplifier prices vary drastically depending on the brand, type, and the accessories included. To avoid this expense, buyers can instead build an amplifier inexpensively by purchasing an amplifier kit. Basic tools are required, and understanding how amplifiers work is very helpful. Detailed instructions are provided with the kit, or can be found online if not included. Be sure to follow the specific brand's instructions when building the amplifier. To avoid damaging the equipment, seek guidance from professionals if it becomes too complicated.

Because amplifiers are used in a variety of different settings, with lots of different features, the buyer should understand the types and different power capabilities of amplifier kits, before purchasing. Kit builders should understand wire gauges, and should be aware of how difficult the construction is. It is important to look choose a quality kit. There are lots of different brands to consider, with different pros and cons.

Types of Amplifier Kits

Amplifier kits require different levels of expertise to assemble, so buyers should be aware of their own abilities before purchasing the kit. Soldering requires more technical skill than a kit that does not require soldering, so buyers without soldering experience might consider selecting a solder-free kit. However, even these require specific tools to assemble. Check the kit instructions to see what tools are necessary for construction.

Both low-power (or low-voltage) and high power kits are available, so buyers should determine the amount of power necessary before choosing a kit, to make sure it produces enough power. Low-power amplifiers are units that amplify sound at low wattage. The wiring on these models is thinner and less rugged, since it need not handle as powerful of a load.

The two types of amplifier wiring kits available include  the complete kit and the power kit. The complete amplifier kit includes cables, speaker wire, and all accessories are needed to install the amplifier. Power amplifier kits include only the power and ground cable, and various other accessories needed to power the amplifier.

Car Amplifier Kit

Complete kits and power kits are both available for car amplifiers. The type of kit needed depends on the materials already purchased and the sound desired. The procedure for installing a car amplifier varies not only by kit, but also by car. Be sure to have the car owner's manual handy. Seek help from the dealership or an electronics store if the assembly seems overly complicated. This avoids damage to the car or amplifier.

Audio Amplifier Kit

Audio amplifier kits generally include the amplifier, the heat sink, a power switch, resistors, capacitors, screws, and wire cables. A udio amplifier s are a low-level amplifier suitable for record players, mp3 and compact disc players, and record players.

Guitar Amplifier Kit

The guitar amplifier kit comes with the basic wiring and tools needed to build the amplifier. To finish the speaker setup for a performance, it may be necessary to buy other parts (e.g. a loudspeaker) in addition to the kit. Because of this, be sure to check the contents of the kit to see that it has all the required components.

Guitar amplifiers are designed to amplify the music over a loudspeaker. This changes the tone of the music, to emphasise certain frequencies. While acoustic guitars utilise a microphone to send the sound to the amplifier, electric guitars send the signal by electromagnetic induction.

Tube or Valve Amplifier Kit

The tube or valve amplifier kit comes with the necessary valves and wiring. It is a popular option for amplifier kit enthusiasts. Valve amplifiers use vacuum tubes to increase sound signals. Valve amplifiers are generally used for guitar amplifiers, audiophile amplifiers, and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) television transmitters. The valve amplifier continues to be a popular option for professional musicians because of its tone and pitch. The difficulty level of assembly depends more on the type of kit than on the amplifier type.

Amplifier Wire Gauges and Wattage

The wire gauge is a measurement of wire thickness. Watt wattage is the amount of power the amplifier can produce. Below is a chart that displays the approximate maximum wattage for each gauge of wire.

Wire Gauge Size

Approximate Size

Total Amplifier Wattage

0/1 AWG

7.62 mm

1000+ watts


7.21 mm

1000-1500 watts


6.04 mm

400-1000 watts


5.15 mm

600-800 watts


4.19 mm

200-400 watts

10 AWG

3.40 mm

100-200 watts

The above table lists the approximate gauge and wire sized for each wattage level. Be sure not to deviate too much from recommended size, for that can jeopardise sound quality, and also put the amplifier and speakers at risk.

Amplifier Classes

There are six different classes of amplifiers; classes are based upon amplifier "efficiency", or how much of the input electricity is transferred directly into speaker output energy. More efficient amplifiers cause a change in the sound, called distortion. Class A amplifiers are very inefficient and are typically used in small signal setups, or for low-power amplifiers. Class B amplifiers are more efficient, but create more distortion in the sound. Class AB is a blend of Classes A and B; it is more efficient than A, but has less distortion than B. Class C is a somewhat efficient but highly distorted amplifier, and is not commonly used in audio applications. The first four classes are all analogue amplifiers, while Classes D and E can be controlled by both analogue and digital circuits, and are extremely efficient. Be sure to check the amplifier for the efficiency, class, and distortion information.

Amplifier Kit Construction

Be sure to follow the kit instructions closely when constructing a kit. It is especially important to pay attention to any safety advisories. If the kit manual is not available (i.e. if it has been lost or damaged), most manufacturers post their manuals online.

Amplifier Kit Quality Standards

Some amplifier kits have seals of approval from Compliance Engineering (CE), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and/or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). These seals of approval signify that such kits have met a certain quality standard that others have not. Check to see if the kit being purchased has a seal of approval to ensure it meets these organisations' standards.

How to Buy an Amplifier Kit on eBay

Buyers should determine how the amplifier is used before purchasing a kit. Knowing the speaker's power needs and capabilities is important. Once this is determined, buyers can navigate to eBay's homepage and begin a search. Enter "amplifier kit" into the search box, then select any subcategories to narrow down the search results.

To make sure the item meets your needs, be sure to read detailed item descriptions, and make sure you understand all the details of the amplifier kit. It is especially important to make sure the speaker system and the amplifier are compatible.

Get to know the seller by reading feedback from previous buyers. Buyer with a lot of positive feedback are a good bet, and are more likely than not going to provide a great product and conscientious customer service. Also, check the sellers other auctions to see if they have other items that you may be looking for. Buying multiple items from a seller can reduce your per-item shipping cost. To this end, also look for amplifier bundles for sale. To find sellers in your area, type your postcode into the box located under the "Distance" tab.

A variety of different sellers are available for each type of amplifier kit, so if you do not feel comfortable with a seller, you can keep browsing and select another seller.


Amplifiers can be a pricey purchase. Purchasing an amplifier kit can reduce the coast. It can also be a lot of fun. Power capabilities, types, and brand are all things a buyer should consider. There are two main types of kits. The complete kit comes with everything necessary to build the amplifier. The power kit, on the other hand, comes with wires, power cables, and other required accessories.

Amplifier kits come in many types. Car kits come with items necessary to install the amplifier in a vehicle. Be sure to follow instructions for both the car and and amplifier kit to avoid doing damage. Audio amplifier kits are suitable for compact devices, mp3s, and home audio systems. Tube, also referred to as valve amplifier kits, are suitable for larger scale amplification, including guitar and television amps.

Basic amplifier construction requires following detailed instructions and safety guidelines to ensure a proper setup. Amplifier kits come with a guide that should be read thoroughly before the user attempts to build or install the equipment. Amplifier kits are available in a variety of electronic stores, music outlets, and are also sold online at marketplaces like eBay. eBay has a large selection of amplifier kits available for many different needs.

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