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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?

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    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

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    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

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/13/2017

    Antonio, you can use this guide when wiring your sub(s) and amp(s).

  • Antonio Gonzalez from Ammon

    Posted on 7/12/2017

    So.......if you hook up to dvc subwoofers in parallel on each coil, what would the final impedance be if the sub had two 4 ohm coils mounted in parallel on each of the coils?

  • Joe from Brownsville

    Posted on 6/4/2017

    I've read the article about dvc subs and see may wiring configurations and advantages using both coils. But my question is, is it safe to only use one voice coil (Bazooka DVC 4ohm or any other for that matter) from a 4ohm amp without damaging the sub. I dont have an amp to wire the sub to a 2ohm load.

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/24/2017

    LC, that mono amp will have a 2-ohm load. You can use our Subwoofer Wiring Guide for reference.

  • pat from LC

    Posted on 4/21/2017

    I have two dvc 2 ohm subs in separate boxes. If I wire each sub to 2 ohms then into one channel would the amp see 1 ohm???

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/17/2017

    Jim, you should be good! Enjoy the bass!

  • Jim from Erie

    Posted on 3/5/2017

    I own a old school carver M-2120 amp that is 120 W X 2 into 4-ohms and bridged mono mode is 240 W into 8-ohms. I am buying a single Rockford fosgate R2D4-10 sub to run of that amp using crutchfield's one 4-ohm DVC sub, bridged 2-channel amp: 8-ohm load wiring diagram. This should work great I would think. Is there a reason why it would not be ideal or is it better to get a 2-ohm stable amp and wire it for a 2-ohm load?

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/3/2017

    Cedrick, you'll find the diagram that you're looking for by using this article on wiring subs and amps.

  • Cedrick from Clinton

    Posted on 12/30/2016

    I have a GM-A5702 pioneer amp(1000) watts, 4ohms and (1) pioneer TSW3003D4 12" DVC sub in a sealed box (2000) watts, 4ohms ... What is the best way of wiring this amp to this sub?

  • Kean from Edmonton

    Posted on 12/22/2016

    I'm shopping for a dvc sub but one thing confusing me is the impedance per voice coil. Is a sub with an impedance of 2 ohms per voice coil considered a 2 ohm sub still? Or is the impedance changed due to the second voice coil

  • Eric from Creston

    Posted on 11/7/2016


  • Commenter image

    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 11/7/2016

    Eric, the Pioneer GM-D9601 supplies 1200 watts RMS at 1 ohm, so switching the T1D215 to 1 ohm will allow you take full advantage of the amp's power capacity. As a rule of thumb, your amp should provide power within the range of 75-150% of the speaker's max RMS power.

  • Eric from Creston

    Posted on 11/5/2016

    I have a question I have a rf t1d215 paired to a pioneer d9601amp the sub is on 4ohm now would switching the sub to one ohm make any difference

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/19/2016

    Christopher, you can use our subwoofer wiring diagram article to find the right wiring for your system.

  • Christopher Spiegner from Hueytown

    Posted on 9/14/2016

    I have 1000w Orion ztreet 2ch 2ohm and 4ohm mono amp & one 1600watt dvc maxp124d lanzar what is the best way to wire it for best performance

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/10/2016

    Jesse, this article will point you to the wiring diagrams you will need depending on your setup. Also, keep in mind that if you bought your gear from Crutchfield, you can call Tech Support for free help troubleshooting your system. If you purchased your equipment elsewhere, you can still get expert Crutchfield Tech Support - 90 days-worth for only $30. Check out our tech support page for details.

  • Jesse from providence

    Posted on 8/4/2016

    ok so I have 2 rockford fosgate 12s svc with 250 rms and 8ohm ea. and also I have 2 mtx 10s dvc with 200rms 4ohm ea. I am running them off a Kenwood class d mono amp that runs max power 2000.But 500x1@4ohm rms and 1000x1@2ohm rms. Im just trying to make this work for now till I can afford better. I cant think of how I could wire these to get to 2 ohm .I wasn't positive if I wired the 12s (8 ohm svc) in parallel and wired the 10s (4ohm dvc) in parallel, that will put the 12s at 4ohm and the 10s at 2 ohm,- is there a way to wire the sets together in parallel to get to 2ohm? If not what about 4ohm? and how would it b connected to the amp if either would work. Thanks in advance

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    Robert Ferency-Viars from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/5/2016

    AV, if your receiver has a designated subwoofer preamp output, you should be using that. If it doesn't, then you should see if your receiver has switchable outputs on that rear channel. You can designate those switchable outputs for either full range signal (Rear setting) or for a subwoofer, which means they'll only send out bass frequencies (Sub setting). If your receiver has neither, and the rear channel is only full range, then you should make sure to set the amp's crossover to Low-pass so that it will block the mids and highs.

  • AV

    Posted on 7/1/2016

    Hi I have a Focal FPP4100 powering a Focal 33V2 DVC sub in bridged mode, as in 1 channel per VC. However, my amp input is from the rear preamp-out on the head unit. I don't believe this was the correct way to wire it together. How would you recommend doing this please?

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/30/2016

    Jason, check out this article for steps on matching subs and amps. If the Alpine is supplying 600 watts RMS at 4 ohms, then no, that's too much power for the sub you have.

  • Jason from Vancouver

    Posted on 5/27/2016

    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?

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/26/2016

    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.

  • Jesus from Phoenix

    Posted on 5/26/2016

    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

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/28/2016

    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.

  • KC from Clovis, Ca.

    Posted on 4/28/2016

    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?

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/25/2016

    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.

  • Jonathan from Miami

    Posted on 4/23/2016

    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

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 4/5/2016

    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.

  • Mary from San francisco

    Posted on 4/5/2016

    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

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 3/18/2016

    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.

  • antonio from SMITHFIELD

    Posted on 3/17/2016

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

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 2/18/2016

    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.

  • dylan virostek from lethbridge

    Posted on 2/17/2016

    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.

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 1/18/2016

    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.

  • Adrian payne from Fort Walton Beach,fl

    Posted on 1/17/2016

    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

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/16/2015

    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.

  • Anna Kiphuth from Buffalo

    Posted on 9/15/2015

    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?

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    Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/26/2015

    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.

  • Fernando

    Posted on 8/25/2015

    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