Pro Auto Talk is reader-supported. When you purchase through one of our links we may earn an affiliate commission (at no extra cost to you).

Bass Knob Wiring Diagram: A Nifty Quick Guide For Beginners

Last Updated on: May 11, 2024

Technology can be confusing indeed.

The good thing is…

We’re here to help you out every step of the way. We’ll guide you through your bass control knob wiring and make sure to answer all our questions to ensure quality car audio.

Let’s get started!

How To Install A Bass Knob In Four Steps

1. Choosing The Best Compatible Bass Knob

Bass Knob

Before tackling the bass knob wiring diagram, let’s gather the correct equipment to ensure success.

As you may already know, there are various types of bass control knobs, and you can find them almost anywhere.

These differences are not just in their brands or designs, but also in how they operate. Each knob type attaches to the amplifier differently.

An example of these would be that some knobs use an RCA cable, and some have a direct path of connection to the car amp.

On the other hand, car amps also vary in operation — they have different connection types from one another.

This only means one thing, you need to find the most compatible one. Your bass knob type must match your amplifier connection type.

You can either purchase a knob of the same brand as your amplifier or purchase many types for more options.

2. Linking The Connectors (Bass Control Knob Wiring)

File:Nintendo RCA Cables (16886521698).jpg

Now that you have your amplifier and knob settled, let’s do a little recap on our RCA cables before we get started.

RCA cables are electrical connectors, and they were made to carry signals for both audio and videos.

But, these cables also double as connectors for loudspeakers, radio frequencies, and direct currents.

Most bass knobs already come with RCA connectors; however, the question is, are they good enough?

Cables like these are either too short or poorly made.

You’re gonna want to purchase additional cables in order to increase their lengths depending on where your amp is in your car. And, while you’re at it, select a high-quality, thick, and durable cable.

That’s because the quality and compatibility of these cables will directly define the sensitivity of the bass knob, prevent or encourage sound distortion, and impact the final bass quality.

Now that you’ve got enough knowledge on what you want your RCA cables to be, let’s start the wiring.

RCA wires are known to be color-coded, and you’re in luck because the signals are color-coded as well!

Make use of the table below to properly wire your connectors:

ColorSignalWhere to attach
RedRight Audio ChannelCar Head Unit
YellowComposite Video
White/BlackLeft Audio ChannelAmplifier
OrangeDigital Audio
GreenCenter Audio ChannelCar Head Unit

If you bought high-quality or branded cables, you can rest assured that this color coding guide will match your cables.

But, if you’ve plugged them correctly and it doesn’t work, your cable’s color-coding may differ from the standard colors. 

In this case, you will have to either look for a user manual, look if there are labels on your wires, or do a trial and error process.

3. Connecting The Turn-on Cable

Turn-on Cable

What is the turn-on cable?

The turn-on cable is a remote wire that you can find in the location of your car’s head unit. It’s usually a blue and white cable located behind the stereo harness (color and location may vary depending on the vehicle’s model).

This cable is important since it acts like a rotary push switch, it is what provides the power and signal to the amplifier the moment you turn on your car’s engine. It also turns off your amplifier at the same time you turn the car’s ignition off by withholding current.

All you need to do is to hook up this cable from the back of your stereo by connecting the blue wire to your amplifier and the orange wire to your bass control.

Remember that when the turn-on cable is connected to the wrong wire, it will leave the amp on even when the car engine is turned off.

You can even see for yourself that when using a digital voltmeter, the voltage from your car’s battery will flow continuously. Yikes!

4. Configuring To Avoid Distortion


Since it’s called a bass knob, it pretty much suggests the idea of adjusting and configuring.

Once you’ve successfully wired your bass knob, you will now only be able to adjust the bass of your car stereo system from it. The amplifier and the car head unit’s knob will no longer be functioning.

And because of this, you will have to set your bass to medium.

Here are six steps you’re going to want to take to ensure your car audio has no distortion:

  1. Minimize the gain (in your amplifier) while increasing volume (in the head unit) until you hear distortion
  2. Minimize the gain (in the head unit) while increasing the gain (in your amplifier) until you hear distortion
  3. Increase both amplifier and head unit gain and turn bass (in your amplifier) as low as possible, then increase bass (on the bass knob) to the highest
  4. After, increase the bass (in your amplifier) until you hear distortion
  5. If the distortion appears before you’ve turned the bass (in your amplifier) halfway, set it at the centerline.
  6. Lastly, slowly turn up your bass boost

And there you go, all done! Congratulations on successfully wiring your bass knob!

Pro Auto Thought: Not all wires are created equal — that is, they have gauges revealing what type they are and how much current they could hold. If you’re into DIY wiring, then you must read this post we wrote — Speaker Wire Vs Electrical Wire.

Watch This!

Frequently Asked Questions

What cable does a bass control knob use?

Most bass knobs use an RJ-11 wire. The type of wire does not really affect the output as long as you identify the bass knob and its pin.

Can bass boost lead to clipping?

Bass boosts are highly beneficial to car audio quality. However, they can also ruin your amp (especially if it is a mono amp). Bass boosting tends to make the sound clip when the amplifier raises its power output.

Can I use any bass knob for my amplifier?

No. We highly recommend that you purchase a bass knob from the manufacturer of your amplifier just as other sites suggest.

As a recap of the first step on properly wiring your bass control knob, let’s talk about how bass knobs differ. Although they are a piece of universal equipment, some knobs are not compatible with some amplifiers because they operate differently.


We hope we’ve helped you understand and apply the bass knob wiring diagram, and we’ve also answered the questions you’ve had that the other sites did not mention. If you find yourself having trouble with your bass control knob in the future, then it’s best to call a technician.

Now it’s time for you to enjoy it and give yourself a pat on the back for doing the bass control knob wiring on your own!

Leave a Comment

© 2024 Pro Auto Talk - All Rights Reserved is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.