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Unread 09-09-2010, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

If my amp has the ability to plug into it a 16 Ohm or 8 Ohm speaker, why would I choose one over the other? Advantages? Disadvantages?

I've heard some people say it doesnt matter, and others say one has better response over the other. I just dont know. Lets hear what everybody has to say at Marshall Forum
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Unread 09-09-2010, 12:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

The only thing that matters is that you match the impedances. 8 ohm speaker into 8 ohm amp plug, etc. There is no difference, given the exact same speaker, between a 16 ohm version and an 8 ohm version. Just match up the impedances to keep your OT from melting down.
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Unread 09-09-2010, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

The only advantage is if you're making a stack and only have another 8 or 16 ohm cabinet. Nothing else matters as far as I'm concerned.

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Unread 09-09-2010, 12:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

There's no advantage to running either 16 or eight. As long as the impedance of the amp and the speaker match then you'll be fine. The 16 ohm impedance is a British thing. You can look it up, I'm not going to explain here.

Some people believe that if you use a 16 tap that you are engaging the full winding of the secondary, therefore getting the full spectrum of the audio. I don't know if this is true or if someone actually said it was true I don't know that I would believe them.
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Unread 09-09-2010, 12:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

I just read Gerald Weber's third book "Tube Guitar Amp Essentials". Very informative book. He advocates what you are describing about the whole winding theory. While I can see that maybe in a laboratory environment, with super accurate measuring equipment, you might be able to tell the difference, no dude in a full band scenario is really gonna tell if there is any noticeable difference. I doubt recording wise you could tell either. I think the only difference you would see anyway is slight increase or decrease in total output, and that would so minor, the human ear probably could not hear it.
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Unread 09-09-2010, 04:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

yeah i only would ever care if one could make me louder
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Unread 09-10-2010, 07:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

There you go. Now that's a hardcore forum member right there.
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Unread 09-10-2010, 07:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

I like this argument. There are many people on the forum that have been playing electric guitar for decades. Plus all the players that they have met. If there was an Ohm setting that sounded the best, it would be common knowledge by now.
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Unread 09-10-2010, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

Once, about 15 years ago, I experimented with switching back and forth from 16 to 4, and I didn't notice any difference.
I stuck with 16 ever since.
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Unread 09-10-2010, 08:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pedecamp View Post
If my amp has the ability to plug into it a 16 Ohm or 8 Ohm speaker, why would I choose one over the other? Advantages? Disadvantages?

....
The only reason to use one over the other would be the quality/sound of the speaker, not the impedance.
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Unread 09-10-2010, 10:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

Two identical cabs, both with say greenies...or g12m-70's...or whatever...but identical except one cab is 8 ohm the other is 16...there is zero difference between the two cabs so long as you match the amp's impedance to the cab. As far as OT winding, you are just changing the amount of winding engaged so to speak to limit the power output exposure of the power tubes to be the same at a given impedance.
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Unread 09-11-2010, 10:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

In the early '70s, I experimented with building my own cabs, speaker configurations and models of speakers available at the time (which is why I still stick with Celestions for guitar amps, even though some speaker manufacturers who made pure crap back then apparently have nice stuff nowadays). Unfortunately I no longer have the tools, cash or motivation for such experiments - so I lurk around forums and ask stupid questions in hopes I will make intelligent purchases to get on with music production; eking out a living from my little studio without wasting more money (and thanks to all for sharing such knowledge).

I have to bow before the superior technical knowledge of the more scholastic members here who have obviously done their research... but I will also share the opinion of an old rocker who is possibly crazy as a sh*thouse rat by now.

Short and sweet - 4ohm configurations seemed to provide more clean volume (which is how I wire my PA speakers), 16ohm provided more breakup and smoother distortion while allowing me to drive the amp harder with less resulting volume. 8ohms felt closer to the 16ohm cabs than the 4ohm.

While I was not alone in this opinion back in the day, from what I've read here it is probably pure BS - but I still hear the difference, and it makes me happy - so I thought I would share a different viewpoint.
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Unread 09-13-2010, 01:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

Speakers wired in series can intermodulate each other. I think it's more likely to make a difference with a high powered subwoofer system than a guitar cab.

As for the speakers themselves, there are some guitar speakers with different parameters for the 8ohm vs. 16ohm model. I think this is because the 8ohms are mostly getting installed in open back combos.
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