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What are dual voice coil subwoofers?


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Dual voice coil subwoofers are a popular choice among car audio enthusiasts who want more flexibility in wiring their sound systems. While typical subwoofers have a single voice coil, dual voice coil (DVC) subwoofers use two separate voice coils, each with its own connections, mounted on one cylinder, connected to a common cone.

Rockford Fosgate subwoofer

Rockford Fosgate's DVC subs can handle lots of power, so you can enjoy bigger bass

The key difference between single and dual voice coil subwoofers is the multiple wiring options DVC subs offer:

  • Parallel: A dual 4-ohm voice coil subwoofer with its coils wired in parallel presents a 2-ohm load to your amplifier. Since an amplifier produces more wattage at a lower impedance, the parallel connection ensures you'll get the most output from your amp. In the same fashion, if you have a stereo amplifier and two DVC subs, wire both subs for 2-ohm impedance (one per channel) for maximum output.
  • Series: Series wiring lets you configure multiple woofers to one amplifier at an acceptable impedance. Wire both coils in series for an 8-ohm impedance, and then wire two 8-ohm subs together in parallel for 4-ohm total impedance (perfect for most 2-channel amps bridged to mono operation). Another example: if you have a high-powered 2-channel amplifier, wire four 8-ohm subs per channel (each channel sees a 2-ohm load).
  • Independent: You can wire each voice coil to a separate channel of your amplifier, if you prefer not to bridge your amp. Independent wiring is a nice option if you're wiring two DVC subs to a 4-channel amplifier — one voice coil per channel. Just make sure the signal going to each coil is exactly the same, or the differences will cause distortion.

DVCs and high-performance amplifiers

Rockford Fosgate T1000-1bdCP amplifier

Look for an amp that's stable at 1 ohm, like this Rockford Fosgate T1000-1bdCP.

Some amplifiers are designed with an unregulated power supply — these amps are favored by mobile audio competitors for their superior performance. An unregulated amp's power increases dramatically when it sees a lower impedance load. For example, an amplifier that produces 75 watts RMS x 2 channels at 4 ohms would double its power to 150 watts x 2 with a 2-ohm load. DVC subwoofers (particularly the dual 2-ohm models) give you the flexibility to wring every bit of power out of this type of amplifier.

Also, if you choose to add an unregulated amp as a power upgrade to your existing DVC subwoofer system, you can simply rewire your subs for optimum impedance. Remember that most car amps are stable down to 2 ohms in normal operation, and to 4 ohms in bridged mode. It's important to check your amp's manual for its operating parameters before hooking up a DVC sub that's wired for low impedance.

A DVC sub offers the same performance whether it's wired in series or parallel. Its power handling levels, frequency response, and other specifications do not change — the only difference is the impedance presented to the amplifier. As a result, you'll need to use the enclosure that's recommended for your sub, no matter how it's wired.

  • Fernando

    Posted on 8/25/2015 1:29:05 PM

    I have a 4 channel amp which is brigded stable at 4ohm only. But my subwoofer has two 4ohm coils. My question is: Can I use one coil only in order to connect my sub to my amp in brigded mode? Or what would you recommend in my case? Thank you

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/26/2015 9:12:30 AM

    Fernando, you could wire your sub that way, but you'll need to ensure that your not overpowering sub. Alternatively, you can wire your sub like this, using both voice coils. In this scenario, you'll want to make sure you're not underpowering your sub. You want to make sure the amp is capable of supplying from 75% to 150% of the sub's RMS rating.

  • Anna Kiphuth from Buffalo

    Posted on 9/15/2015 12:30:39 PM

    I have a boss mono amp 2800wt, cl D, 1 to 8ohms, 2 10in subs, 1100rms each, dvc 4ohm in a fitted sealed box, only .1cuft short on air space for speakers... wired in parallel.. had professional installed, had 2nd set of speakers burn up? please help. all wires are doubled up, all neg from amp to speaker and same with pos. all wiring diagrams show 1 leading to the other. ( 4 wires on amp pos/neg 2 leds to box port than doubled again to each coil 4 wires 2 leds each speaker.) amp has great THERMAL/OVERLOAD/SHORT PROTECTION,, But why is this happining, seems like amp is hot and speakers are if course if buring up. about 80°+ outside, hot and it happens when i turn it up and use the power ? this amp was made for low Independence at 1ohms?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/16/2015 9:17:39 AM

    Anna, take a look at this article. Depending on how you're wiring your system and for what impedance, it could be that you're actually underpowering your subs. Before you buy another pair of subs, work with your installer to make sure that your amp and the subs you want are a good match. Keep in mind that if you purchase from us, you have the benefit of lifetime tech support to troubleshoot your system.

  • Adrian payne from Fort Walton Beach,fl

    Posted on 1/17/2016 2:05:17 AM

    i have an 2 channel amp not sure of rating but it worked good bridged for my one 12"ported box i now have a 15"box same design if i use dvc sub at 4ohms should i look for a 8ohm sub if i have my amp bridged with 2 channels my amp is maybe 200-400 watts should my sub have a rms of bout 600-800 rms

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/18/2016 8:18:53 AM

    Adrian, based on the info here, it's hard for me to tell if you're looking to build a system with one sub or two. Check out this article. It's a great guide to help you match subs to your amp, but if you need a recommendation, just give us a call at 1.888.955.6000.

  • dylan virostek from lethbridge

    Posted on 2/17/2016 2:57:24 PM

    Ive got 2 p312d4 so the sub is 500 rms but its 250 rms per coil i need to run the both of them at 4ohms but with the full 500rms.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/18/2016 7:04:12 AM

    Dylan, if you already have an amplifier and need to know how to wire your system, check out this guide. If you're looking for an amplifier to power the subs, take a look at this guide, or just give us a call. An advisor will be able to help you find the perfect amplifier for your system.

  • antonio from SMITHFIELD

    Posted on 3/17/2016 4:58:14 PM

    would a 2000 watt amp be too much for a 2300 watt dvc subwoofer

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/18/2016 3:53:46 PM

    Antonio, to match amps and subs, you'll need to know your gear's RMS power rating rather than the peak rating. Take a look at this article for guidance.

  • Mary from San francisco

    Posted on 4/5/2016 4:06:50 AM

    Hi. I want to use. This Kicker 10CVR122 12 CompVR Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer. And. Kicker CVR124 12" Dual 4 ohm CompVR Series Subwoofer Do u think. This togeter will sound good. ..? I really dont understain The diference in This 2 speaker. Please can u help me

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/5/2016 8:27:35 AM

    Mary, I've passed your question along to our sales team. An advisor will contact you soon to help choose the subwoofer that's right for you.

  • Jonathan from Miami

    Posted on 4/23/2016 4:11:51 PM

    Hi Alex, Im powering my JL audio XR componentes with a JL 300/4 amp v1 and even if they sound amazing I still feel that low frequencies are missing. What type of Shall mount subwoofer would you suggest me considering that I can provide only 150watts rms fot that purpose? Thanks in advance

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/25/2016 10:04:57 AM

    Jonathan, I've passed your question along to our sales team. An advisor will contact you soon to help you find the right sub for your system.

  • KC from Clovis, Ca.

    Posted on 4/28/2016 3:54:21 AM

    Ok guys, I'm as green as they get at this stuff and my question is going to make you shake your head...but here it goes. I have 2016 mustang GT with a 12 speaker "shaker" audio system (1 sub). What happens if I add 2 more subs mounted behind the back seats. Does it screw up a perfectly good system? And which 10" or 12" subs should I use? Dual coil? What Amp? Extra power source? Wiring equipment?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/28/2016 9:23:38 AM

    KC, we haven't fully researched your '16 Mustang, but we should be able to help you. If you're interested in component subs, you'll need to install them in your trunk though. I've passed your question along to our sales team. An advisor will contact you soon to help.

  • Jesus from Phoenix

    Posted on 5/26/2016 5:44:54 AM

    i have a m2000.4 autotek amp im trying to connect 2 12" DVC Kicker compRT that are wired separately @ 2 ohms but im not sure how to connect them to the amp itself theres 2 places that say bridged. Do I connect both of them 2 one or both individually? Also has a option of 2, 3, 4 channel, which one would I pick I only have 1 set of rcas coming into the amp

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/26/2016 10:27:29 AM

    Jesus, if you have two 2-ohm dual voice coil subs that you want to wire to a four-channel amp, you'll be able to find the wiring diagram for that set-up in this article.

  • Jason from Vancouver

    Posted on 5/27/2016 5:04:21 PM

    I have a old Alpine MRV 1000 amp that has tested at 600W RMS but my Infinity 860W Reference is only rated for 250W RMS. Can these be paired up if I set my gain correctly?