16 Ohm vs 8 Ohm Speaker. Which? and Why?

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by pedecamp, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    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? :confused:

    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 :)
     
  2. chuckharmonjr

    chuckharmonjr Well-Known Member

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    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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  3. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Ken
     
  4. MajorNut1967

    MajorNut1967 New Member

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    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.
     
  5. rjohns1

    rjohns1 Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  6. thetragichero

    thetragichero New Member

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    yeah i only would ever care if one could make me louder :naughty:
     
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  7. MartyStrat54

    MartyStrat54 Well-Known Member

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    There you go. Now that's a hardcore forum member right there.
     
  8. manktelow

    manktelow New Member

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    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.
     
  9. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    I'm not sure.
    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.
     
  10. Adwex

    Adwex New Member

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    I'm not sure.
    The only reason to use one over the other would be the quality/sound of the speaker, not the impedance.
     
  11. chuckharmonjr

    chuckharmonjr Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  12. Moose Lewis

    Moose Lewis Well-Known Member

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    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. :wave:
     
  13. el zilcho

    el zilcho New Member

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    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.
     
  14. CraigP

    CraigP Member

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    Old post still helpful. Was just having a discussion on this topic earlier this afternoon.:monkey:
     
  15. Micky

    Micky Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    The ONLY time I would choose a specific impedance would be when building a cab.
    And then, only in order to provide maximum versatility and to match my amps.

    For example, a single 1X12 or a 4X12, I would choose 16-ohm speakers.
    For a 2X12, I would choose 8-ohm speakers and wire them in series.
    (if I had to, I would use 16-ohm speakers and wire them in parallel...)
     
  16. FabioPol

    FabioPol Member

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    I absolutely hear a difference when I change the impedance setting, I do much prefer when my amps are 8 ohm and the cabs 16 ohm, I hear more headroom, 16/16 too distorted, 4/16 bleah....some guys I know they like the sound of the 8 ohm mesaboogie vintage 30....my bandmate bought a quartet and loaded in his Marshall cab because once he tried a mesa cab....it is quite chaotic in the case of vintage 30 because not all are the same ( as far as I know there are 3 production line )....I have 2 1960 vintage cabs each loaded with vintage 30 ( Marshall labelled) with different codes.....and they sound slightly different ( one quartet darker then the other)....so someone could like one speaker more then the other thinking it is because the ohm's but could be because the difference in voicing....then I've never compared 16 to 8 ohm speaker so I cannot say more
     
  17. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    6 years later I still have no clue...
     
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  18. dreyn77

    dreyn77 Well-Known Member

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    I'm NOT supprised about that.
    16 years and now I know all about the JCM2000 amp. I've heard all the 'so called' experts for all that time and so, now I know I've wasted 16 years of my life listening to total dummies.

    its a loudness effect if you want to think of it that way. but even now, those 'louder' ohm'ed speakers have been reworked and are now built to be louder than they use to be. Everything is now exployted to the max, cause that's how they make NEW sounds.
    so if you want to findout what happens with ohm's then you'll need mixed vintage speakers.

    so now, in 2016, nothing makes any sense in this technical talk, cause it's all been pushed to the max, and backed off just a small amount. (sound familiar?)

    in the past, 1 of the 3 speakers was louder sounding than the others. now the quiet designs have been boosted and are no longer quiet. they're super loud these days.
     
  19. dreyn77

    dreyn77 Well-Known Member

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    the more resistance the 'brighter' the tone. so the sound of the notes seem higher in pitch. the lower the ohm's the lower the tone of the notes. but even this aspect nolonger applies cause it's just another way for them to exployt the whole guitar buyers pockets of money.

    guys like leo fender were concerned with how a signal gets effect going through a pot. so he made his signal go through a pot in a different manner than what gibson did. all this stuff was important to the designers, but isn't worth thinking about for us guitar users.
     
  20. dreyn77

    dreyn77 Well-Known Member

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    have a listen to how dark kirks sound is and how bright michaels sound is. its what you're actually asking about.
     

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