A popular addition to a car audio system is the subwoofer. Not only will a new car subwoofer enhance the overall sound and performance of your audio, but it also provides the necessary low frequencies and rumbling bass to make your system stand out. Gaining a general knowledge of car audio components will help you keep equipment running as it should while saving time and money from trips to the auto shop.
Sonic Electronix will walk you through the steps and tools needed to install a car subwoofer like a pro.
Prepare the tools you’ll need
Before unboxing your new subwoofer, make sure that you have the right tools and equipment you’ll need to detach the old subwoofer and attach the new one. Have these ready within your reach:
- Wire Stripper
- Electrical Tape
- Speaker Wire
- Panel Remover
- (Flathead & Phillips) Screwdriver, right angle Phillips
- Zip ties
- Soldering Iron
Having complete installation equipment when installing a new car subwoofer is important because it ensures compatibility between the subwoofer and the car’s electrical system, allows for proper wiring and grounding, and ensures optimal performance and safety. Using incomplete or incorrect equipment can result in damage to the subwoofer or the car’s electrical system, poor sound quality, and even safety hazards. Therefore, having all the necessary equipment and following proper installation procedures is crucial for a successful and safe subwoofer installation.
Step 1: Strip the wire and connect it to the subwoofer terminals
First, cut at least one foot of positive and negative speaker wire. Depending on how you wire your subwoofer – in Series or Parallel – you may need more than one piece of each type of wiring. You need to strip at least half an inch of the insulation off the ends of the wire using your tool. Take care to put the wire in the right-sized groove for its gauge or you’ll cut it instead of stripping it.
At this point, you will run the wire through the terminal posts. Turn the subwoofer on its face in order to access the wiring terminals. Place the right side up as soon as possible to prevent damage to the cone and any fabric covering.
Step 2: Wire the subwoofer
Consider the impedance and power ratings of the subwoofer and amplifier. To wire a dual voice coil sub in parallel, simply run a wire to connect both of the positive leads together. Then run another wire from one of the positive leads to the amplifier. You will also do the same for the negative leads. Run a wire to connect both of them together, then another wire directly to the amp. Wiring in parallel will lower your impedance. Since there is a lower impedance, your amplifier can output more power.
To wire a DVC subwoofer in series, run a wire from one positive terminal to a negative terminal on the other side. Now, run a wire from the remaining positive and negative terminals to the connections on the amplifier.
All single voice coil subwoofers will be run in series and you only need to connect a wire to each of the positive and negative terminals directly to those connections on the amp. These are very simple to do when you only are installing a single subwoofer.
Step 3: Mount the sub in place
Now you need to place the subwoofer in the precut.
To mount the subwoofer, line up the subwoofer’s screw holes along the diameter of the enclosure opening. Mark the screw holes with a marker. Remove the subwoofer and drill the holes into the enclosure. Now place the subwoofer back into the enclosure’s hole and use the drill to screw in the subwoofer.
Before screwing in the subwoofer, you can add Poly-Fill to the inside of the enclosure using spray adhesive. This further enhances the sound since adding Poly-Fill simulates a larger box.
If you do not want to bother with wiring and mounting a subwoofer, you can order preloaded enclosure packages. All you need to do is fasten the loaded enclosure and connect it to the amplifier using speaker wires. Powered subs are an even simpler option because they include both an amplifier and woofer inside an enclosure. Make sure to check out all of our other subwoofer blogs on our learning center so you will have everything you need when buying or installing them.