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What are dual voice coil subwoofers?

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.

  • Alfredo Felix from Ontario

    Posted on 3/21/2021

    Will it be safe to wire two 600watt RMS (SWR-1243D) 12" alpine type R subwoofers to a 2200Watt Memphis 1CH amplifier?

  • Ryan Harrison from Ashland

    Posted on 3/12/2021

    When wiring the dual coil into your sub box do you need to wire up both sides into parallel? Or just the amp to the box in parallel?

  • Joseph Tyler Savage from Macon

    Posted on 4/19/2020

    Diagrams would be a big help for the electrical challenged like me.

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    Alexander H. from Crutchfield

    on 4/20/2020

    Joseph, totally understandable. You may find this wiring diagram article helpful.
  • sdJoe from san diego

    Posted on 2/25/2020

    I'm more visual... can u show a diagram for wiring?

    Commenter image

    Alexander H. from Crutchfield

    on 2/28/2020

    Joe, if you'd like to see wiring diagrams, check out this article.
  • Eric from Saint Louis

    Posted on 12/20/2019

    Is it safe to say a DVC model handles more power than an SVC since the power is split among two voice coils?

  • Robert Coffey from Riverton

    Posted on 6/11/2018

    I have one dual voice coil 4 ohm 10 inch Planet Audio 1500 watt speaker I want to know if I can still hook that up to my 2-channel 1200 watt amplifier bridged as a 4 ohm load

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/16/2017

    Shaun, this article will lead you to the wiring diagram you need, just follow the prompts.

  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/16/2017

    Evan, we don't have quite enough info here to help. Try this article to find the right wiring diagram for you, or if you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system.

  • Evan from Cherokee, Al

    Posted on 8/16/2017

    I have 4 memphis 10s (2 pr & 2 prx) and i have a 4k 1 ohm stable amp would i wire all 4 in parallel into each other and only have 1 set of wires come out?? Idk what to do.

  • Shaun rice from Marksville

    Posted on 8/15/2017

    I have 2 2ohm 15s dvc with a 2000 watt mono amp how should I hook them up to get the most power speakers are 1000 watts rms