Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research on car audio (being that I am one of the newest team members here at Sonic Electronix) and even though I highly recommend you get this done by a trained professional, there is always an opportunity to learn something new and try it yourself. Stereo systems are at least as simple as most other single accessory electrical systems, but they are still electrical systems. Physically wiring the system is the easiest part of installation. The rest of it is knowing what you’re working with and figuring out what to connect to what and in what way. But once you know what all those numbers and ratings on the amps and speakers mean, the process pretty much explains itself.
First and foremost you need to determine your amplifier’s minimum stable impedance in ohms of resistance. You’ll typically find the stable impedance rating between 1 ohm for a powerful amp and 5 to 10 ohms for a less powerful one. The lower the amp’s stable ohm rating, the more power it can transmit through a single channel without frying. For this blog, I’m going to explain this if I were using an amplifier with a 2-ohm minimum staple impedance.
Now go ahead and check your subwoofer’s ohms of impedance. This works the same way as the amp does; a massive, powerful subwoofer has large coil windings that provide little resistance to power flow and a smaller speaker provides more resistance. This will determine whether you need to wire the subs in parallel or in series. Compare your amplifier’s ohm rating to the speakers. If the speaker ohm reading is lower than the amp’s, then connecting that single speaker directly to the amp output will fry your amp. You’ll need another speaker and you’ll need to connect the speakers in a series circuit instead of a parallel circuit.
Connect a parallel circuit in just the way you’d think ( positive to positive and negative to negative). As long as none of the speakers in your system have a lower ohm rating than the amp, then you’ll want to connect them directly to the amp terminals. This will give you the best chance at nailing down the ground pounding power you are looking for.
Connect the first part a series circuit by wiring the positive lead of one speaker to the positive terminal on your amp. Connect the negative terminal on that speaker to the positive terminal on the next in your series. If you only need two speakers to meet your amp’s minimum impedance, then connect the negative terminal on the second speaker to the negative terminal on your amp.
Wire as many speakers into the series as you need to meet your amp’s minimum amp impedance. Connect them all positive to negative with the positive and negative terminals on the speakers on the ends of your series connected to the appropriate terminals on your amp.
Now do remember that every car is different, so if you have any questions feel free to contact us here and Sonic Electronix and we’d love to help you out. Of course it’s going to be a little intimidating, but please make sure that you never work on your cars electrical system unless you are absolutely comfortable with it.
Make sure to check out all of our subwoofers here at Sonic Electronix, our Subwoofer Olympics Event, and look into starting your next project now!