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Subwoofer wiring diagrams

How to hook up your subs for powerful bass

In this article, we'll help you find the best way to connect your subs to your amp. We begin with some basic – and important – subwoofer and amplifier terms. But if you want, you can skip straight to the wiring diagrams.

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There are many ways to wire subwoofers and amplifiers together. The ideal setup is when subs and amps match their impedance and power capabilities to optimize performance.

Power with care

The diagrams show wiring configurations for amplifiers and subwoofers that have already been matched for power capabilities. You should never connect subs to an amp that could give them more power than their total watts RMS power ratings. Doing so could damage the subs or the amp. See How to match subs and amps for further guidance.

Here's an example diagram for connecting two 4-ohm DVC subs to a mono-channel amplifier:

2 DVC-4

Wiring terms you need to know

The diagrams are below, but first let's explain a few important terms.

SVC

A single voice coil sub with two wiring terminal posts, one marked positive and the other marked negative.

DVC

A dual voice coil sub with four wiring terminal posts, two positive terminals and two negative terminals. This gives you more options for wiring the sub in different situations.

Ohms

The impedance load, or resistance against the amplifier's output signal, of a subwoofer coil. Subwoofer voice coils usually come in 2-ohm, 4-ohm, or 8-ohm impedances. The value is often found printed on the magnet, if you're unsure of what you have.

Series wiring and parallel wiring

These terms refer to two ways of routing the speaker wires to properly manage the overall impedance load. Whether you need to use a series wiring configuration, parallel wiring, or a mix of both, our diagrams will show you exactly the best way to wire your speakers, without using confusing technical terms.

When you wire dual voice coils and multiple subs together, the resulting total impedance is not always simple to figure out or practical to use. In the example diagram above, the voice coils of each sub are wired together in series, while the two subs themselves are wired together in parallel.

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Amplifier output

An amplifier will put out more power through a low-impedance sub than it will through a high-impedance sub. But a lower impedance also means more stress on the amp. Some amplifiers (marked “low-imp” in the links below) can even drive a 1-ohm load safely, and achieve maximum output. Refer to your amp manufacturer or owner's manual to determine whether or not yours can handle a low-impedance load.

Bridged mode

Bridging an amp combines two amplifier channels into one, to get more power. The disadvantage of bridging is that bridged channels can't drive impedance loads as low as they can when unbridged. The proper way to bridge the amp is usually indicated at the amp's speaker wire terminals. For more information, read our How to bridge an amplifier article.

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Wire

All the wires depicted in the Subwoofer Wiring Diagrams are speaker wires. For wiring subwoofers, we recommend using wires of 12- to 16-gauge in size.

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Woman installing a car amp

Find the right wiring diagram

Now, let's get those subs hooked up! All of our wiring diagrams are listed below. Select the diagram for the number and type of subs you have. Depending on your gear, there might be more than one way to safely wire the subs.

A note about multi-channel amplifiers

5-channel amplifiers are a popular way to get "full system" power in one box — four channels to drive your four speakers, plus a fifth, higher-powered channel for your subwoofer. 6- and 8-channel amps are similar and offer even more flexibility. When it comes to connecting subwoofers to these amps, keep it simple:

  • If you're connecting your sub(s) to the subwoofer channel, treat it like a mono-channel amplifier.
  • If you're bridging two channels of your amp, simply treat it as a bridged 4-channel amp.

Start building your bass system today

Now that you've seen how to wire subwoofers and amplifiers together, you can knowledgeably shop Crutchfield's extensive selection of subwoofers and amplifiers. We also carry amp wiring kits, speaker wire, RCA cables, capacitors, and much more.

Contact us by phone, chat, or email and an Advisor will help you get what you need. If you want to learn more about amplifier systems, check out our Amplifier Installation Guide.

Last updated 5/19/2022
  • Christopher Palacios from Mount pleasant

    Posted on 9/24/2022

    I have four kicker L7's 8 inch I want to wire them to 1 ohm stable amp a nemesis 1600 mono block what amp do you recommend? Or how do I wire to one ohm or what happens if I wire .8 ohms

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 9/25/2022

    Christopher, Kicker L7s come in DVC 2-ohm and 4-ohm models. Which you have will determine what total impedance they can get wired to and what amplifier will work best. Give us a call, so an Advisor can help you pick the perfect amp for your system.
  • Sirius Raycraft from Saskatoon

    Posted on 9/22/2022

    I have 2, 4ohm dual voice coil subs. And I want to wire them to 2 ohms of output from the amp. There wasn't a diagram to show how to do that. Is it even possible?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 9/23/2022

    Sirius, Two DVC 4-ohm subs can only get wired together to form a one-ohm load, a 4-ohm load, or a 16-ohm load.
  • Benjamin from Sailsbury

    Posted on 9/16/2022

    Why can't you wire one subwoofer positive to positive negative to negative and then the other subwoofer positive to positive negative then negative run that positive off the first one to the amp run the negative off the opposite sub to the end and cross from negative to positive between subwoofers to make two two ohm into one ohm breaking point at the amp and that creates a parallel series between the two 2 2ohm subwoofers down to a one ohm amp

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 9/17/2022

    Benjamin, They say one picture is worth a thousand words - and your verbal description is incomprehensible. The subwoofer wiring diagrams shown in this article have been carefully researched, and are the only safe ways to wire subs to amps. If you wire your subs together in a manner not described, there will probably be power-matching and impedance-matching issues that will make that sub system inoperable. In order to find the right diagram for your setup, you must identify your gear (DVC or SVC, for instance) in order to find the right subwoofer wiring diagram for you.
  • Michael Merritt from Pennsburg

    Posted on 9/15/2022

    Hello, I have a Skar Audio RP-800.1DM 800 Watt Monoblock installed in my boat and was wondering if the Clarion CM2513WL 10-inch Marine Subwoofer 250W RMS power handling Dual 2 ohm would be a good match and what is the best wiring setup. Also would it be possible to add another of the same sub later? Thanks

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 9/16/2022

    Michael, That amplifier will probably blow that sub to smithereens, no matter how they're wired together. The RMS power ratings for gear are there for good reasons - if the amp's RMS power rating exceeds that of the sub, it could damage it. That DVC 2-ohm sub is rated for 250 watts RMS, and can only be wired as a 1-ohm or a 4-ohm load. That amp can put out 370 watts RMS into 4-ohms, 600 watts RMS into 2-ohms, and 1200 watts RMS into 1-ohm. You'll want to look at another sub to go with that amp. Give us a call, so an Advisor can help you pick the perfect sub for your system.
  • Jamie from Lincoln

    Posted on 8/30/2022

    Hi I just bought a 4 ohm kicker 12inch subwoofer Q-class I have a 1000 watt Sony xplode amp 2/1 channel Xm-zr1852 I'm wondering if you could tell me the best way to wire this

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 9/1/2022

    Jamie, The best you can do with that gear is to wire them together like this diagram.
  • Hanu Manzano-Hill from San Mateo

    Posted on 7/28/2022

    I commented a few hours ago, now realizing i misspoke on what mids and highs im thinking of having paired w/my existing jl rd900/5. I mentioned C7's for mids, but i meant C3's. Would that work pretty good?

  • Hanu Manzano-Hill from San Mateo

    Posted on 7/28/2022

    Hey there. Im thinking of buying the q-customs dual subwoofer box for my 2003 Toyota Tundra [link to product page removed] I already have a JL RD900/5 amp. Im thinking of buying two Alpine SW8D2's [link removed] to fill that box with, wiring in series parallel for a 2ohm load. Does that look like a good pairing? Ive looked up replacing all the stock speakers too, but cant seem to find 6.5" mids stuff thats compatible to fitting both front and rear locations, as well as the front tweeters. Any suggestions? Would the JL C7's be underpowered? What if i just got the front ones filled, w/JL C7's? Thanks!

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 7/30/2022

    Hanu, Your speaker, sub, and amp selection looks good to me. Give us a call and an Advisor will help you get everything you need for your install, including lifetime Tech Support.
  • Colin W from Austin

    Posted on 7/27/2022

    I am going to be buying an amp that's 2000 at 1ohm, I have 2 dvc subs at 750 rms, they have no problem with 1000 but is this going to be enough and or to much?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 8/1/2022

    Colin, Without knowing precisely what amp and subs you're referring to, we can't help you with advice. If you want a question answered about a system, you must identify the gear by brand names and model numbers so we can get the right information to you.
  • Vishal from Klerksdorp, South Af

    Posted on 7/19/2022

    I bought yesterday a monoblock amp that comes with the high input level adaptor and connected it last night to my stock head unit but the power comes on only no sound from the sub, I used the high input level instead of the RCA. What could the problem be?

  • Jesse Muratovski from DIMBOOLA

    Posted on 7/13/2022

    Hello I have a alpine mono block xa90m and recently just ordered a focal e25kx. Would this amp be suitable for this subwoofer?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 7/14/2022

    Jesse, Not really. That amp will likely blow that sub when it's wired at 2-ohms, and will barely drive it at all if it's wired at 8-ohms.

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