A Guide on How To Set Gain on Amplifier with Multimeter

A Guide on How To Set Gain on Amplifier with Multimeter

Imagine this: you are cruising all around town in your slickest ride with your stereo booming with your favorite chill music, now isn’t that cool? However, what do you do when you can’t get the most out of your car’s stereo system and amplifier? If you don’t want your fun and funky music to reach an end, check this guide out! 

Setting your amplifier’s gain is a vital step to obtain the most remarkable performance and secure and protect your equipment. A way to properly ensure your amplifier’s gain is to correctly set your stereo by equalling the stereo’s output level with the amps the amp’s input level. We can do so using a multimeter. 

In this article, we will show you how to do just that. So go forth and keep on reading!


Step 1: Get a Measurement of the Speaker’s Resistance

The first step to be done is to grab your multimeter and take a resistance measurement of the stereo you’ll be connecting to the amplifier.  Set your multimeter to measure the ohms. Carefully put one wire probe of your multimeter on the positive side and the other wire probe on the negative side of the stereo. Once the result has been displayed, take note of the ohm resistance.

Step 2: Take Out Your Amp’s Manual 

Once you’ve taken the ohms’ resistance, grab your amplifier’s manual and check out the suggested wattage output of the resistance ohm info you found your stereo to have. This is crucial to ensure that you don’t sabotage your stereo system. You certainly wouldn’t want an odd-sounding stereo! 

Step 3: Do some Calculation

The next step is somehow the tricky one, so be careful when doing the calculations. Begin by calculating your needed AC voltage output for the amp. 

This process can be solved as the voltage is equal to the wattage’s square root times resistance. 

For instance, if your  amps manual guide  mentioned that the amplifier should give out 50 watts at 4 ohms (your stereo’s resistance), answer the given equation by multiplying the 50 watts by 4 ohms you’ll arrive at 200. Next, utilize a calculator to check the square root of the 200, which is 14.142. So 14.142 is the desired AC voltage output for your amp. 

Step 4: Set Your Speakers 

After getting the answer to the needed voltage, disconnect your subwoofers and speakers from the amp you’re aiming to set up the gain for. 

However, the amp must still be connected to an electrical power source. Once done, set the stereo to 85-90 percent of its max volume to clearly hear how it’ll sound later.

Step 5: Set up Your Probes

Once everything is set, Put your multimeter’s probes into the amplifier’s output terminals. Remember to place the positive wire probe in the positive terminal and the negative wire probe in the negative terminal.

If you’ve done everything right, a low voltage will be shown on the voltmeter, typically 6V or below. However, If you do get a high voltage right away, repeat steps 3 and 4.

Step 6: Do Some Testings 

Play a 60 Hz tone test CD on your stereo.

Try adjusting the amp’s gain knob; simultaneously, keep an eye on your multimeter. When your multimeter shows the desired AC output voltage (the answer to the math equation), stop turning the gain knob. Your amplifier’s gain is now ready and correctly set.

You may now enjoy playing your stereo to your heart’s content! 


Now that you know how to set the gain on your amp using a multimeter, you can now enjoy driving around with a car stereo that’s of high performance! The process might be a bit challenging, but this kind of knowledge will undoubtedly help you in times of need, so make sure to recheck this guide when required!

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