Parallel wiring, Series wiring, what does it all mean?
Find the information you need to wire your subwoofer in parallel and in series here.
Do you need to pay attention to impedance specifications when you’re buying subwoofers and amplifiers?
And what’s the deal with dual voice coil subwoofers? Are they better than single voice coils?
Dual Voice Coil Subwoofers
It is important to know what your subwoofer’s impedance is, as well as what your amplifier’s stable impedance is.
If you plan on buying an amplifier and two Dual 4Ω subwoofers, you’ll need to know whether or not your amp is stable at 1Ω.
And if it isn’t 1Ω stable, you’ll be able to wire your system with a 4Ω load. All SoundQubed monoblock amplifiers are 1Ω stable.
Why do you need a dual voice coil subwoofer?
There’s not a huge difference between single and dual voice coil drivers. One distinction between the two is that dual voice coils have double the winding length of single voice coils, which means greater motor force and power handling.
Single voice coil subwoofers have 1 set of leads, which limits wiring options.
Dual Voice Coil subwoofers have two sets of leads.
The extra leads you’ll find in a dual voice coil subwoofer are there for your wiring ease.
Most of the car audio subwoofers you’ll find today are dual voice coil subs.
With dual voice coil subwoofers, your wiring options open up. They allow you to add more drivers to the build and take advantage of the impedance of the amplifier.
This enables you to raise or lower your subwoofer’s impedance. Depending on your amplifier and the number of subwoofers in your build, you may want to adjust the impedance to optimize voltage flow.
For instance, if your two subwoofers from the previous example had single voice coils, there would be fewer options in terms of wiring.
Why does that matter? We want as much bass as our systems can safely and reliably provide.
The greater the impedance, the less voltage is reaching the voice coils. The less voltage that is reaching the voice coils, the lower the total output of the system is.
To get the most out of your car audio system, you’ll want your subs and amp to perform at their best.
Utilizing series and parallel wiring allows us to get voltage to the subwoofers.
It is important to keep track of both voice coils polarity for each component and driver when wiring. We do not advise wiring drivers of different impedances together.
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How to Wire Dual Voice Coil Subwoofers in Series
Wiring in series combines the coils to increase impedance. The flow of voltage in series connections is the sum of the impedance of each component, as they are connected in a single circuit.
Like old Christmas lights, when one component was removed, all of the lights down the line would turn off because the lights rely on the precedent light to pass voltage along the circuit.
Need to wire a dual voice coil subwoofer in series?
- First, connect the positive lead from Voice Coil 1 to the positive speaker output from your amplifier.
- Next, connect the negative lead from Voice Coil 1 to the positive lead on Voice Coil 2.
- Finally, connect the negative lead from Voice Coil 2 to the negative output of the amplifier.
Need to wire more than 2 dual voice coil subwoofers in series?
If you are wiring two or more dual voice coil subwoofers in a series, wire as described above, adding the next voice coil by connecting the negative lead of Voice Coil 1 to the positive lead of Voice Coil 3 and so on.
To determine the impedance after wiring voice coils in series, just add the impedance of the loads together.
How to Wire a Dual Voice Coil Subwoofer in Parallel
Parallel wiring reduces impedance. When subwoofers are wired in parallel, they are connected to the amplifier in parallel paths and the voltage is split up so the same voltage is sent to each driver.
Need to wire a dual voice coil subwoofer in parallel?
- Connect the positive voice coil leads together and wire them to the positive output terminal of your amplifier.
- Next, connect the negative voice coil leads together and wire them to the negative output terminal of the amplifier.
Need to wire more than 2 dual voice coil subwoofers in parallel?
Simply repeat the process described above, connecting the positive leads and negative leads.
To determine impedance after wiring voice coils in parallel, divide your subwoofer’s impedance by the number of subs you are using. For instance, if you have (2) 4Ω DVC subwoofers wired in parallel, 4Ω divided by 2 Subwoofers provides a 2Ω load.
Series and Parallel Wiring
If you have (4) 4Ω dual voice coil subwoofers, you may need to wire the voice coils in parallel and the subwoofers in series to achieve optimal impedance.
Wiring these voice coils in series would increase the impedance of each subwoofer and then wiring the subwoofers in parallel would then reduce the impedance as it is spread across the drivers.
Depending on your amplifier’s stable impedance, the impedance of your voice coils, and the number of subwoofers in your build, you may need to wire in series and in parallel.
If you only have one dual voice coil subwoofer, you will either use series or parallel wiring.
When using a single 2Ω dual voice coil, wiring in parallel will reduce the impedance of the driver to 1Ω. Our amps are 1Ω stable.
While some individuals will wire Q Series amplifiers lower than 1Ω, doing so increases the likelihood of amplifier failure and is not covered under the warranty terms.
Need help wiring your dual voice coil subwoofers? Use our handy Online Wiring App.
Wiring batteries, circuits, or other electronics? The wiring practice will be fundamentally the same.
Next time, we will cover some of the more common reasons why subwoofers can break.