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Author Topic: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!  (Read 4996 times)

Ian Coughlin

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The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« on: January 05, 2011, 04:19:49 pm »

Subsare RCF S4012 with a nominal Impedance of 8 Ohms rms/program/peak is 400/800/1200 respectively.

Scenario I have a "bar" zone where I would like 6-8 subs and a "dance floor" zone where there should be 10.

Current amp rack is populated with Crest CD Series so acceptable amp combos would be Crest, QSC or any other back to front cooled amp.

Currently wired with two Crest CD3000's running the dance floor zone (about 10 subs)

How many can you wire off a two channel amp?

These are the only criteria, no price tag, no weight limit, no rack space limit.


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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 04:54:41 pm »

If you use enough wire nuts, you can wire a lot of things off one amp.  Should you?  That depends.

If the music you play is hours on end of continuous sine waves, then the "rms" number is what you want to allow for in your amp calculations.  If what you play is actually music, the program number is a good starting point, with headroom being a good thing if you know your system and its limitations.

On many amps, the power sweet spot is 4 ohms per side, so an amp with a 4-ohm capability of 1600 watts per side would be a good fit for 4 subs - two per channel.

There are many variations on the theme - if you like to run things hot, you may be able to bridge your amp into a 4-ohm load (either 2 subs if your amp is small, or a series-parallel combination of 8 subs if your amp is enormous), but this is harder on the amp, and potentially harder on wall current.

If it were me, I would get amps large enough to run in 2-channel mode, each side powering 2 subs at or above the program rating.
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Ian Coughlin

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 05:03:55 pm »

Its an install so power is not a concern as I have 600 or 800A 3phase.

Primary music will be dance (house, tech, db), rap, couple live acts and a weekly piano act.  So i was thinking the 800 program power.

Normal bar hours apply (9pm-4am).
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TJ (Tom) Cornish

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 05:37:28 pm »

I stand by my power recommendation, but would strongly recommend getting rms limiting capability either in a separate DSP or in the amps, since it sounds like you won't be the only operator of the system.
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Chris Gruber

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 07:21:45 pm »

I can almost guarantee that without a HP filter, 800 watts with "Dance" music will roast those poor little things. RCF lists 45hz as the -10dbu point so son't expect anything real low out of them. Dubstep will probably be the death of them.
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Arthur Audio

"It never ceases to amaze me how many sound guys think the measure of their work is solely defined by whether or not their subs are capable of sonically vaporizing squirrels from 20 meters."

Ian Coughlin

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2011, 07:44:05 pm »

Sorry guys, I was asking it as a basic question in its simplest form, variables being Impedance, wattage, and number of subs thats it.

but if you must know processing is being handled by a Rane RPM88
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2011, 07:56:26 pm »

I would not run more than 2 per channel, or 4 ohms, assuming the amplifier is capable of 2 ohm operation.
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Ian Coughlin

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 08:19:37 pm »

Even with some fancy series and parallel wiring?
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Jonathan Kok

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2011, 08:26:39 pm »

To your question, 'How many can you wire to a single, stereo amplifier', the answer is, 'All of them'. As TJ mentioned, you can series/parallel the wiring until you reach your required resistance.  Heck, you could run all 16 off a single channel of amplifier...don't even need a stereo one.  It'd be one hell of an amplifier, though...

Frankly, the number of amplifiers you require has more to do with what you need to do in the DSP than anything else...especially regarding phase/delay.  The more scattered the subwoofers, the more amplifiers you'll need (and the larger the DSP).
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Bennett Prescott

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Re: The Subwoofer Wiring Game!
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2011, 08:33:22 pm »

Ian Coughlin wrote on Wed, 05 January 2011 20:19

Even with some fancy series and parallel wiring?

Sounds like a great way to waste a lot of your time troubleshooting, or level matching... or to not even know that several subs are providing little or no output. I once "fixed" a client's large sub rig by essentially flicking a few switches and moving a few wires... to the tune of 6dB of output!
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-- Bennett Prescott
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Cell: (518) 488-7190

"Give me 6dB and I shall move the world." -Archimedes
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