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How to wire a subwoofer

Updated on October 11, 2016

The first step in figuring out how you want to hook up your subs is too figure out your amps peak power and more importantly the amps rms power rating. You also want to take note of how many channels your amp is, ex. monoblock, 2-channel, 4-channel, and if more than one channel, is the amp bridgeable. Once all of those specs are found and recorded, you want to do the same with your subwoofers. Find their peak and rms power ratings. If you have not bought any of these, then I suggest researching amps first and picking one out you like and then matching the subwoofers to the amp you buy. If you buy an amp that is rated at 500 rms power, then you want a subwoofer(s) that are rated at 500 rms. Rms power rating is a way better power judge than peak power when it comes to matching an amp and sub(s). Another important factor is the impedance your amp can safely run on. Some amps can safely run on impedances as low as 1 ohm, while others cannot safely run anything below 4 ohms. This is important when it comes to wiring, because the subs may play at impedance lower than your amp can handle, but this may cause damage to the amp and possibly the subs.

Once you have your sub(s) and amp, then you must acquire some supplies. You will need speaker wire. I suggest between 12 and 16 gauge speaker wire. This will allow for maximum power transfer efficiency and will not hold back your subs. Some tools you will need are a pair of wire cutter/strippers, some needle nose pliers, a screwdriver or Allen Wrench depending on your amps terminals, and dielectric grease (optional). The dielectric grease is conductive yet keeps the exposed speaker wire ends from corroding. Another optional addition to your sound system is poly fill of poly fiber. This is used to stuff your speaker box. Enough poly fill to fill the box completely is sufficient. Poly fill has an effect on your subwoofers sound if the sub is placed in a rather small box to save space. Poly fill basically tricks your sub into thinking it is in a bigger box, by slowing return sound waves inside the box.

Source

One 2 ohm dual voice coil sub wired at a 1 ohm load

In order to wire one 2 ohm DVC speaker at a 1 ohm load, you must run a wire between the positive terminals of the sub and then run a wire to the positive side of the amp. Next, run a wire between the 2 negative terminals of the sub and run a wire from one negative terminal to the negative terminal of the amp.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

One 2 ohm dual voice coil sub wired at a 4 ohm load

In order to wire one 2 ohm DVC sub at a 4 ohm load, you must run a wire between one of the subs positive terminals and its negative terminals. Next, you must run a wire from the sub's left over positive terminal to the amps positive terminal and run a wire from the sub's leftover negative terminal to the amps negative terminal.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

One 4 ohm dual voice coil sub wired at a 2 ohm load

In order to wire one 4 ohm DVC sub at a 2 ohm load, you must run a wire between the 2 negative terminals on the sub and then run a wire from one of the negative terminals to the negative terminal on the amp.Then, you must run a wire between the positive terminals on the sub, and then run a wire from one of the positive terminals to the amps positive terminal.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

one 4 ohm dual voice coil sub wired at an 8 ohm load

In order to wire one 4 ohm DVC sub at an 8 ohm load, you must run a wire between 1 of the sub's positive terminals and 1 of the sub's negative terminals. Then, you must run a wire from the sub's leftover positive terminal to the amps positive terminal and from the sub's leftover negative terminal to the amps negative terminal.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

Source

One 4 ohm single voice coil sub wired at a 4 ohm load

In order to wire one 4 ohm SVC sub at a 4 ohm load, you must run a wire from the sub's positive terminal to the amps positive terminal. Next, run a wire from the sub's negative terminal to the amp's negative terminal.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

Source

Two 2 ohm dual voice coil subs subs wired at a 2 ohm load

In order to wire two 2 ohm DVc subs at a 2 ohm load, you must run a wire between a positive and negative terminal on each of the subs. Next, run a wire between leftover positive terminals on each sub and between the leftover negative terminals on each sub. Now run a wire from one of the sub's positive and negative terminals to one of the amp's positive and negative terminals.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

Two 4 ohm dual voice coil subs wired at a 4 ohm load

In order to wire two 4 ohm DVC subs at a 4 ohm load, you must run a wire between a positive and negative terminal on the sub. Repeat the last step on the other sub. Next, you must run a wire from the leftover negative and leftover positive from one sub, to the leftover positive and negative terminals on the other sub. Lastly, run a wire from the positive and negative terminals you bridged on one sub to the positive and negative terminals on the amp.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

Source

Two 4 ohm single voice coil subs wired at a 2 ohm load

In order to wire two 4 ohm SVC subs at a 2 ohm load, you must run a wire from the negative terminal and positive terminal of one sub to the negative and positive terminal of the other sub. Then, run a wire from one of the sub's positive and negative terminals to the amp's positive and negative terminals.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

Two 4 ohm single voice coil subs wired at an 8 ohm load

In order to wire two 4 ohm SVC suba at an 8 ohm load, you must connect the negative terminal of one sub to the positive terminal of the other sub. Next, you must run a wire from the positive terminal on one sub to the positive terminal on the amp, and run a wire from the negative terminal on the other sub to the negative terminal on the amp.

Detailed Diagram Pictured Above

SUBS!!!!

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    • profile image

      DENNIS 4 years ago

      HOOKING UP 3 3OHM SUBS TOGETHER

    • uncagedshadow profile image
      Author

      uncagedshadow 5 years ago

      richard-

      it would be possible to wire these subs together and have them play flawlessly. However, to my knowledge these 2 ohm rated subs cannot be wired at 1 ohm but wire like the 1 ohm setup would net you the lowest ohm rating possible.

    • profile image

      richard 5 years ago

      how to make 2 ohm single subwoofer and 4 ohm single subwoofer into 1 ohm

    • profile image

      Lyla Burns 5 years ago

      Thank you for this post. My boyfriend just installed some amp power steps to his truck. http://www.amp-research.com/ For his birthday I want to get him a subwoofer. He is pretty handy so hopefully he can install it himself. Thanks again!

    • uncagedshadow profile image
      Author

      uncagedshadow 6 years ago

      Thanks. That was the intention of this hub. Glad to see people reading it as well as learning.

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