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Subwoofer wiring diagrams

Which wiring option will work best for you?

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. In this article, we'll help you find the best subwoofer wiring diagram for hooking up your system. 

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Just click on the "AMP" or "SUB" box below, answer a few questions, and you'll be presented with the wiring diagrams relevant to your search. You can find a glossary of terms below the interactive module.

Glossary of subwoofer terms

SVC

A Single Voice Coil subwoofer (or svc sub) has two wiring terminal posts, one marked positive and the other marked negative.

DVC

A Dual Voice Coil subwoofer (or dvc sub) has four wiring terminal posts, two positve terminals and two negative terminals. The extra terminals give you more options for wiring the speaker.

Ohms

The impedance of a subwoofer coil is expressed in ohms. Impedance is the amount of electrical resistance, or load, a sub puts up against an amplifier's output. 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 your subs 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. 

Note: 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.

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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 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. How to bridge the amp is usually indicated at the amp's speaker wire terminals. 

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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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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 cablescapacitors, 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 7/20/2021
  • steve from Peoria AZ

    Posted on 11/29/2021

    Hello...so i just purchased a set of the JL Audio 12TW3-D4....I plan on purchasing the Rockford Fosgate R2-750X1 to power these subs in a ported box within the specs for these subs. My question is what will be the best way to wire these subs and get the most out of the amp? I am a bit confused as to this amp being a mono block amp but has the connections as a 2ch amp would. Pls excuse my lack of knowledge as I am learning from past mistakes on junk gear! Money is a little tight and this amp seems to fit the budget. I have a 4ch rockford amp that is powering my door speakers, so this will be a second amp for the subs alone. Do I need a bigger amp for these subs? I have read that they can be wired to 1ohm, but i'm no expert. Any advice is helpful. Thanks in advance. Steve

  • Joseph foree from Eminence Kentucky

    Posted on 11/12/2021

    I have 2003 Ford ranger ext cab. I have a speaker box with two 12 inch fosgate R2's and 1600 watt amp. The box is made to fit truck and a friend tells me my speakers should be facing the floor. The speaker box seems to fit that way but my bass isn't carrying. Should my speakers be facing another direction? Thanks!

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/15/2021

    Joseph, You should put your subwoofer in the position that sounds best to you, not what other people say.
  • Aizak from Troutman

    Posted on 11/11/2021

    Do you guys have these diagrams but for regular speakers and not subs?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/12/2021

    Aizak, For speakers, use the wiring diagrams for SVC 4-ohm subs, as almost all aftermarket speakers are single voice coil 4-ohm devices.
  • Mike O'Neill from Spokane

    Posted on 11/7/2021

    Have a Alpine MRX v70 4 channel+mono power. Wanting to just run sub power connection using amp. Possible?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/9/2021

    Mike, You can use one channel of a 5-channel amp for your bass and leave the other four channels unused.
  • Jesus I Ramirez from Ukiah

    Posted on 11/2/2021

    Hi! I have a JL HD/750 amp with 2 12tw3-d4 subs. I'm having issues where the amp is going in to protect mode to early. Like I just burn it up a little get going and then it will just intermittently cut out. I'm wondering if this is because I have it wired incorrectly? How should I wire these subs to be proper? Thanks!

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 11/2/2021

    Jesus, Those subs should get wired to that amplifier like this diagram.
  • Jesus from Amarillo Tx

    Posted on 10/28/2021

    Hi there am looking for a amplifier that can handle my four 8s they are nemesis the NA-8h V.3 they are rms900/4 ohm any recommendations?If I need two amplifier what will be my best option? Thanks in advance

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/29/2021

    Jesus, You can power four DVC 4-ohm subs rated for 900 watts RMS each with a single amplifier that can put out up to 3600 watts RMS at 2 ohms, like a Rockford Fosgate T2500-1bdCP, or two amps that can each put out up to 1800 watts RMS at one ohm, like two Kicker CXA1800.1Ts. Give us a call and talk to one of our Advisors, so together we can help you choose the right amps and give you the right advice on how to install them.
  • Kaiden Wayne Monroe from Cushing

    Posted on 10/27/2021

    Hey guys! I'm wanting to hookup 4 12's as well as 2 8's in the bed of my truck, any advice on the best amplifier sub setups I can use? I have the Jenson CAR70V headunit with all around kicker 6 3/4" speakers. I want to build a custom bed rail that slants up to be flush with the roof of my truck and mount the amplifier(s) (2 if needed) to the front panel of my bed to protect it from weather. I know exactly how I'm going to do it I just need some help, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/27/2021

    Kaiden, With questions like this, it's always better to have a conversation with a real live human. Give us a call and talk to one of our Advisors. We can help you choose the right gear and give you the right advice on how to install it.
  • Ryan from Groton

    Posted on 10/8/2021

    Hi there, thanks for the article and diagrams. I understand I need to wire my subs like this - [diagram 2DVC_2-ohm_mono] I have a question... my enclosure has two connections, one for each sub. Would I be able to run a positive/negative wire to each terminal and then bridge each subs +/-, or do the two subwoofers need to be connected + to + and - to -?

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/12/2021

    Ryan, It depends on how each sub is wired inside its box. If they're each wire as a 4-ohm load, like in the diagram, then you'd wire both subs' positive terminals together or separately to the amp's positive terminal, and the negative terminals the same way. If each sub is wired as a 1-ohm load, then you'd wire the boxes in series: amp positive to sub 1 positive, then sub 1 negative to sub 2 positive, and sub 2 negative to the amp's negative terminal.
  • Greg Philley from Modesto

    Posted on 10/8/2021

    I just recently got 2 12" DVC 4ohm Kicker CVR's and I have an Alpine MRX-M100 Mono Amp....I want to wire these to be 2ohm stable (even though the amp will run @ 1ohm....I don't need it @ 1ohm).....but all I see for wiring is to do a 4ohm or 1ohm.....can you gimme a link to a diagram or something??? If this helps, it's running off a Jensen CAR710 deck.....anything would be helpful.....Thank You in advance....:)

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/8/2021

    Greg, 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. You know you can turn the volume down on a sub, if the amp makes it too loud and out of balance with the rest of the music.
  • Rick from Orlando

    Posted on 10/7/2021

    Good Day, I recently purchased a 2nd JL CS110LG-TW3 and I would like to add this to my pickup which has a JL RD 1500/1 mono. I want to confirm the wiring of the subs to be series-parallel arrangement to obtain a final impedance of 4ohm. The question is:- 1) Should I wire each sub in a series configuration. 2) Then connect the two +ve of each CS110LG-TW3 to each of the positive of the RD 1500/1 and for the -ve, connect to each of the -ve on the RD as the mono block is already wired in parallel??

    Commenter image

    Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    on 10/12/2021

    Rick, The only safe way to wire those two subwoofers to that amp is as follows: Wire the amplifier's negative output terminal to one sub's negative terminal, wire that sub's positive terminal to the second sub's negative terminal, then wire the second sub's positive terminal to the amplifier's positive output terminal. The result is that the two subs will be wired together in series, presenting a 4-ohm load to the amp, which will be able to send them a total of 750 watts RMS - just on the safe side of their top RMS rating.