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Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams and Charts

Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams:

One of the most common questions in the car audio field is usually "How do I wire up my subwoofers to my amplifier(s)?" This is not easy to explain because there are so many options and variables to consider when making the purchase and wiring up your sound system. Subwoofers have different impedances (Dual 4 ohm, Single 2 ohm, etc) that change your wiring options when you add or subtract woofers. Amplifiers also have limitations on your final impedance, so the subwoofers and amplifier must have the same final impedance to be connected. To most of us, none of this makes any sense at all, so Sonic Electronix created a Subwoofer/Amplifier wiring diagram tool to make sure you connect them right the first time! Just give it a whirl and let the configuration begin!

 
# of Subs: # of VC (Voice Coils): Impedance (Ω): Amp Type :  
         
 

Subwoofer Wiring FAQ:

1) What is the difference between dual and a single voice coil?

The voice coil of a car subwoofer is the coiled wire that is wrapped around the “former”, or cylinder inside the subwoofer. The two voice coil configurations allow for different wiring options. For more information on voice coils, please refer to our Knowledge Base.

SVC (Single Voice Coil):

  • One layer of wire wrapped around the former
  • One set of speaker terminals
  • Wired at the impedance of the voice coil
DVC (Dual Voice Coil):
  • Two layers of wire wrapped around the former
  • Two sets of speaker terminals
  • Multiple wiring options at different impedances

2) What is the difference between parallel and series subwoofer wiring?

Parallel Wiring – This is a wiring configuration that applies the same voltage to all the connected components. The current from the amplifier is then divided equally among all the drivers according to their respective impedances. When wired in this manner, the overall impedance of the system drops. As more speakers are added to the parallel configuration, the lower the impedance.

Series Wiring – This is achieved by creating a single electrical current path across all the components. When multiple speakers are wired in series, the total impedance of the system increases. Series wiring is realized by connecting the positive (+) speaker terminal of the amplifier to the (+) terminal of speaker A, the negative (-) speaker terminal of speaker A to the (+) speaker terminal of speaker B, the (-) speaker terminal of speaker B to the (-) negative terminal of the amplifier. Any number of speakers can be inserted into the series of speakers that are wired together.

3) What are the signs of bad subwoofer wiring?

If your woofers are wired incorrectly, the wire is cheap or below the recommended gauge, or one of your wires is not making full contact to the terminal a few things could happen. A few signs of bad woofer wiring are less bass output, distortion or clipping, a burning smell which indicates burnt voice coils and potentially a blown subwoofer. Occasionally, your car amplifier could overheat or catch fire if it does not have safety features programmed into it. Some amplifiers can detect incorrect subwoofer wiring, and will go into protect mode until the problem is fixed