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Unread 03-13-2010, 04:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

I'm sure this has been asked but please bear with me Im new here.

I Have this amp that only has an 8 OHM output, and a cabinet that has a 16 OHM rating (2 speakers x 8 OHMS), can I use them together?. The amp doesn't have any kind of switch, only this output.

I believe the only option would be to use just one of the speakers alone?

Thanks!
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Unread 03-13-2010, 05:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

If it's a tube amp, don't do it, the impedance mismatch will likely blow the output transformer. If you got another 16 ohm cab you could connect them in parallel for an 8 ohm load.
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Unread 03-13-2010, 05:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Wait a minute 2 8ohm's does not make a 16, dude. If you got a meter just check and see what you got at the tip of the cable that goes into the head.
If you can get to the back of each speakers. See what they are marked or check each with a meter.
You just might have 2 16ohm speakers and if so, you can just rewire the speaker leads to make 2 16ohm speakers a 8ohm load.
If they are 8ohm speakers. I'm not sure but I think your out of luck. That will get-cha 4omhs. Don't think you can get 8ohms out of 2 8ohm speakers but again I'm not sure and anyways I've never heard of an amp that only has an 8ohm tap. It might be capable of running 4ohms, then you would be alright.
I'm just a guitar player. Dont really know. Maybe you might want to wait for someone else to reply.
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Unread 03-13-2010, 05:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

No!

Listen to Adwex. 16 ohms + 16 ohms in parallel = 8 ohm load.

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Unread 03-13-2010, 05:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Make and model of the amp and the cabinet would helpful, but it sounds like he has two 8 ohm speakers wired in series (16 ohms)... that's not going to work.

See also: All About Ohms
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Unread 03-13-2010, 05:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

So 2 8ohm speakers in series will give-ya a 16ohm load?
Can you wire 2 8ohms for a 8 ohm load? or is it only possible to get 4ohm's & 16ohm's with 2 8's?
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Unread 03-13-2010, 06:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

8+8 series = 16 ohm load
8+8 parallel = 4 ohm load
these are the only two possible combinations from 2 8ohm loads
as Adwex pointed out if your amp is a valve amp then bad idea
if it's a solid state amp you should have no problems
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Unread 03-13-2010, 06:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adwex View Post
If it's a tube amp, don't do it, the impedance mismatch will likely blow the output transformer. If you got another 16 ohm cab you could connect them in parallel for an 8 ohm load.
Thanks for the heads up, the head in question is an all tube Crate Palomino V32, with only an 8ohm output, and I've got a cabinet with two celestions at 8ohms each in series for 16 ohms total.

I guess I'll have to buy another cabinet, oh poor me

Peace to all
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Unread 03-13-2010, 07:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

you can always run one of them till you get what you need
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Unread 03-13-2010, 07:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Those are Sweet. Is it a Blonde one? I know where there is one for sale.
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Unread 03-13-2010, 07:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buggs.Crosby View Post
8+8 series = 16 ohm load
8+8 parallel = 4 ohm load
these are the only two possible combinations from 2 8ohm loads
as Adwex pointed out if your amp is a valve amp then bad idea
if it's a solid state amp you should have no problems
Well Buggs, we are done with your math lesson for today. Now it's time for your German language lesson.

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Unread 03-13-2010, 08:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Kommen Sie ein und machen Sie die Tür zu! Sie sollen nicht hier essen, aber Sie können dem Fernseher einen Mantel geben! Ich habe zum Frankreich gegangen, aber sie haben keine Würstchen!


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Unread 03-13-2010, 08:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Wow.

Konnten Sie das bitte erklaren. Was bedeutet das in Englisch?
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Unread 03-13-2010, 09:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Y/A.....i hope i phrased this right
Come in and shut the door. You may not eat here, but you can give the TV a coat. I have gone to France, but they have no hotdogs!
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Unread 03-13-2010, 11:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Nice, I always wanted to pick up a second language. Know any Chinese?
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Unread 03-14-2010, 09:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buggs.Crosby View Post
8+8 series = 16 ohm load
8+8 parallel = 4 ohm load
these are the only two possible combinations from 2 8ohm loads
as Adwex pointed out if your amp is a valve amp then bad idea
if it's a solid state amp you should have no problems
How about rewiring the speakers in parallel to have a 4 ohm load, with the 8 ohm amp, would this work?

Danke!
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Unread 03-14-2010, 09:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Hell no....even in solid state you always match your impedance. but it is safer to have a 16ohm load into an 8ohm amp than a 4ohm load
i hope i say this correctly.....with impedance you can push uphill not downhill
and always match it on a tube amp or pay for it later
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Unread 03-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

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Hell no....even in solid state you always match your impedance.
No.

Solid state you can go over with the only effect being not using all the power available. PA's do this all the time, by design. My PA puts out about 700 watts RMS at 2 ohms. We run 8 ohms (or maybe 4 come to think of it; I'm not the techie!) so we don't go deaf. They even list the power vs. load on the back.

NEVER go under with SS though...like running 4 ohms in an 8 ohm load. This will fry the amp.

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Unread 03-14-2010, 12:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

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No.

Solid state you can go over with the only effect being not using all the power available. PA's do this all the time, by design. My PA puts out about 700 watts RMS at 2 ohms. We run 8 ohms (or maybe 4 come to think of it; I'm not the techie!) so we don't go deaf. They even list the power vs. load on the back.

NEVER go under with SS though...like running 4 ohms in an 8 ohm load. This will fry the amp.

Ken
is that not what i said....only with not as technical?....like my 8280 combo
it's 80 watts a side into 8ohms....but 100 into 4
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Unread 03-14-2010, 12:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

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is that not what i said....only with not as technical?....like my 8280 combo
it's 80 watts a side into 8ohms....but 100 into 4
You said "safer" implying a risk. Mismatching a tube amp is a real risk, albeit small if you don't do it all the time and the mismatch is slight, and you have a good output tranny (unlike many Marshalls!). But mismatching a tube amp is never recommended even though personally I'm not afraid to occasionally run a 5.333 ohm load in a 4 ohm setting.

In a SS amp the risk is ZERO if you have a higher impedence output than the speaker load. Zero. You just don't get the full power the amp can deliver.

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Unread 03-15-2010, 02:07 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

I have a current mag which, in the tech talk section, has Mr Kendrick stating that running a 16 ohm load on an amp set for eight ohms will result in slightly less output, with the tubes tending to compress more. Ohms is a measurement of resistance. If you have equal to or more resistance connected to your amp than it is expecting, i.e what it's set for, the amp will be more or less happy, albeit some tonal and/or output differences may occur. However, connecting a lower resistance than your amp is expecting will shorten your output valve and transformer life-possibly in spectacular fashion. I personally like the idea (the idea!) of a 16 ohm load with an amp set for eight...more tube compression at a lower vol sounds alright.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 07:25 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

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I have a current mag which, in the tech talk section, has Mr Kendrick stating that running a 16 ohm load on an amp set for eight ohms will result in slightly less output, with the tubes tending to compress more. Ohms is a measurement of resistance. If you have equal to or more resistance connected to your amp than it is expecting, i.e what it's set for, the amp will be more or less happy, albeit some tonal and/or output differences may occur. However, connecting a lower resistance than your amp is expecting will shorten your output valve and transformer life-possibly in spectacular fashion. I personally like the idea (the idea!) of a 16 ohm load with an amp set for eight...more tube compression at a lower vol sounds alright.
Mr. Kendrick has it backwards.

On a tube amp you can theoretically short the output and be okay; it's no speakers that blows the tranny. Therefore, too high an ohm load is where the danger on a tube amp lies: 16 ohms on an 8 ohm output is asking for trouble, and while it will be okay in the short run (maybe), it's going to shorten the life of your OT. While mismatching a tube amp is never a good idea, given the choice I'd rather have 8 ohms in a 16 ohm output than the opposite.

SS amps are the opposite of a tube amp. If you short the output it will blow. Therefore one can see the logic that more ohms is fine, in fact no speakers at at all is not nearly the problem it is on a tube amp. It's when there's a mismatch to the low side that you are in trouble. A 16 ohm load in an 8 ohm output cuts the power but does no harm to a SS amp while 8 ohms in a 16 ohm output will fry the amp in time, if not immediately.

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Unread 03-15-2010, 09:18 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

OK to settle this debate once and for all...and the very explanation I've tried to avoid but some people just can't accept a simple answer (oh...cause if I just accept a simple answer I might be missing out on great tone and never know it ) seeing as how this topic comes up on a nearly daily basis...bust out your calculators and prepare to go for a ride -

It's not the output transformer that can't handle either open or shorted loads. The transformer could care less. It's the devices controlling current flow through the OT (i.e. the valves) that don't like the reactive properties of an OT with an open/shorted load when the amp is under signal.

An output transformer is just like a power transformer. If your OT wires were completely disconnected from the amp circuit, you can even plug the primary of it into your wall socket and make a power supply out of it so long as whatever draws power from it doesn't exceed the current draw rating of the transformer. It's just a simple step-down transformer that steps high voltage/low current down to low voltage/high current. Furthermore, you could leave that transformer plugged into the wall with no load on the secondary all day long. It doesn't care...no primary current flows with no load on the secondary with it connected to a wall socket and the transformer could care less.

However...not quite like that in a valve power amp circuit.

Let's take a normal loaded condition with a 16 ohm load on the 16 ohm tap with a Z ratio of 106.25 -

Reflected Primary Z (impedance) = Z ratio x Secondary Load Impedance

106.25 x 16 = 1.7K reflected plate-plate load

Now let's take the same transformer with an open load condition -

106.25 x Infinite ohms = Infinity ohms reflected

With an infinite load, current sees the screens as the easier path back to the return (+) side of the supply. Screen current increases, screens go into meltdown. Plus the kickback voltage across the primary winding skyrockets. This action will cause the valve to short and if it happens to short in just the right way and your HT fuse doesn't catch it in time, the shorted valves will take out the OT.

Now let's look at a shorted load condition -

106.25 x 0 = Zero ohms reflected

Zero ohms would be a short. In reality, the valves see the DC resistance of the OT primary, which is A LOT lower than the normal reflected impedance, which is actually a lot worse than running a lower load than what the amp is set for. Just like if you were to short the secondary of a power transformer, this would cause plate/primary current to skyrocket. Again...valves overheat and eventually short, and if they short in just the right way and the HT fuse doesn't catch it, there goes the OT.

So it's not the transformer that is the problem. It is the fact that the valves cannot handle the increase in screen current in the case of an open load or the skyrocketing plate current in the case of a shorted load. Since the valves are in series with the OT primary, anything that can cause a valve to short can/will take out an OT if the HT fuse doesn't blow in time.

That being said...in terms of mismatch, it depends on where your datum is. Some amps were built with OTs that had the primary plate load spec'ed in the middle of the range. In this case you would have some wiggle room, plate current allowing. However, if your OT primary load is spec'ed on the low side, it would be unwise to mismatch any further down. Conversely, if the OT were spec'ed on the high side of the allowable range, you would be unwise to mismatch any further up.

Here's the catch...how many people know exactly what the impedance ratio of their OTs are or where in the acceptable range of plate loads for the valves they run their OT plate load is spec'ed? Chances are none of you do, so for this reason it is best not to mismatch if you can avoid it.

In terms of the 5.33 ohm load -

MOST EL34 Marshall 50 watters use a 3.4K ohm plate-plate load while MOST EL34 100 watters use a 1.7K plate-plate load. Let's find the impedance ratio of the 4 ohm tap for both. We'll start with the 50 watter -

Zratio = Reflected Primary Z / Secondary Z

3400 Ohms / 4 ohms = 850

Now multiply our Zratio by 5.33 ohms -

850 x 5.33 ohms = 4,530.5 ohms

Difference between that and the original reflected plate-plate load -

4530.5 - 3400 = 1,130.5 ohms

Not much of a difference. Now let's go for the 100 watter -

Zratio = Reflected Primary Z / Secondary Z

1700 Ohms / 4 ohms = 425

Now multiply our Zratio by 5.33 ohms -

425 x 5.33 = 2,265.25 ohms

The difference between this and 1.7K ohms -

2,265.25 - 1700 = 565.25 ohms

So for most Marshall EL34 amps using these plate loads, you can see that using the 5.33 ohm mismatch only gives a difference of between 500 - 1.2K...not enough of a mismatch to matter all that much and in some cases, depending on the plate voltage the amp runs at can actually benefit the amp seeing as how Marshall never compensated the plate load for the plate voltage they ran.

So to sum things up...shorted valves are what actually take the OT out. Open and shorted loads as well as mismatched loads are a few things that are under the control of the user that can cause power valves to short, which is what takes out the OT.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 09:40 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

I can run my Monza's 8ohm tap into a 16ohm load. It's amp builder said so. Whadda ya think about those apples brozouski's!?

Going the other way would be problematic. I always match anyways but its nice to know I can run my Monza into my 412 16ohm GB cab. The Monza only has 8 & 4 ohm taps.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 09:45 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Quote:
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I can run my Monza's 8ohm tap into a 16ohm load. It's amp builder said so. Whadda ya think about those apples brozouski's!?

Going the other way would be problematic. I always match anyways but its nice to know I can run my Monza into my 412 16ohm GB cab. The Monza only has 8 & 4 ohm taps.
More than likely because they either spec'ed the OT primary plate load somewhere in the middle of the acceptable range or lower than that, which gives you wiggle room in favor of the increase in plate load. Can't say for sure, but if the builder states that it's OK to mismatch up, then go ahead. The way I see it in that circumstance, the builder is liable for any failures that occur as a result of the mismatch that they claimed was OK.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 09:50 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

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More than likely because they either spec'ed the OT primary plate load somewhere in the middle of the acceptable range or lower than that, which gives you wiggle room in favor of the increase in plate load. Can't say for sure, but if the builder states that it's OK to mismatch up, then go ahead. The way I see it in that circumstance, the builder is liable for any failures that occur as a result of the mismatch that they claimed was OK.
He assured the whole forum board it was fine so if shit does go wrong he won't be able to get out of saying otherwise thats for sure.
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Where the hell is dirty ole Joe at?
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Unread 03-15-2010, 09:53 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Here is what Dr. Z stated:

Going into a higher load, 8 ohm tap to 16 ohm cab is OK, the OT will run cooler and won't reach full power OHMS LAW.

But the other way running into a smaller load will overheat most OT's and can cause damage after some time.


Z
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Where the hell is dirty ole Joe at?
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Unread 03-15-2010, 10:02 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

To be clear though I match always. Its the best thing to do IMO.
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Where the hell is dirty ole Joe at?
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Unread 03-15-2010, 10:06 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarburnDSL50 View Post
Here is what Dr. Z stated:

Going into a higher load, 8 ohm tap to 16 ohm cab is OK, the OT will run cooler and won't reach full power OHMS LAW.

But the other way running into a smaller load will overheat most OT's and can cause damage after some time.


Z
And something that was left out that I'll add in - this statement ONLY APPLIES TO Dr Z amps. Dr Z knows where they spec'ed the load and as such they know if their amps are built to take that or not. He is in no way implying that you can mismatch on any valve amp other than the amps he manufactures.
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Unread 03-15-2010, 10:21 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Can I run a 8 ohm amp on a 16 ohm cabinet?

+1

Thanx for clarifying Jon.

So guys don't use this as an all amp scenario. This was just a conversation and input for a Dr. Z amp like Jon stated.

Who wants to blow tubes and take your OT out? Not me!
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Where the hell is dirty ole Joe at?
Its "Boo-tique" fellas cause that price scares the tone out of my fingers...
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