Series Parallel debate - but different...

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by Nik Henville, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member

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    What is the "BEST" option for using two speakers to give 8ohm in one cabinet ?

    1) 2 x 16ohm speakers in parallel

    2) 2 x 4ohm speakers in series

    By "BEST" I mean most excellent sounding with a valve/tube amplifier and guitar setup :cool:

    The parallel option does mean there's still a load present even if a speaker goes open circuit. Also a number of "pundits" suggest the series option might be audibly ballsier sounding... whatever THAT means...

    :hippie::pirate::uk:
     
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  2. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Well-Known Member

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  3. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member

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    Gracias por su valiosa contribución al debate.

    Serious question, my Catalan amigo...
    4-ohm speakers are common in high-end audio but rare in mass-market audio - because they give a more "hi-fi" sound and better damping. Parallel seems to give better damping than series. I am also assuming that the 4ohm version of a speaker will have less coil turns / wire length / wire weight and potentially a different impedance to the 16ohm version - which has to give a different sound.

    I was wondering what more knowledgeable folk thought... so I asked.

    :hippie::pirate::uk:
     
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  4. ampmadscientist

    ampmadscientist Well-Known Member

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    I think parallel because when speakers are in series the phase alignment might have more error.
    Besides 16 ohm is more versatile you can add more speakers when the speakers are 16 ohm.
     
  5. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Theres not supposed to be a tonal difference between different ohms, I wouldnt bother with 4 ohm speakers cuz theyre just not so common today. :yesway:
     
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  6. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Well-Known Member Sponsor

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    Actually that's not what my clients found. Back when Weber was still making speakers for me a decade ago, I had clients get 4 ohm speakers custom ordered. When I got them I tried the dual 4ohm in series to an 8 ohm load. They just didn't sound right, in fact I thought they sounded awful. The clients insisted on trying them. I had about 8 made over a six month period. Every single one of them came back to be reconed as an 8 or 16 ohm.

    The wire is different, and maybe that's why you don't see many 4 ohm speakers from Celestion. I had two of their 4 ohm speakers for about a minute. They didn't sound right either.

    There's a very slight difference between 8 and 16 ohm speaker tone if they're the same model. 16 ohms seem to have a hair more bass and vintage feel, 8 ohm has a hair more mids and aggressiveness to the tone, but it's subtle.

    Most of my clients go with two 16 ohm speakers wired in parallel to an 8 ohm load for a 212 cab, although a few go for the dual 8 ohms wired in series to 16.

    I'm pretty sure you'll be happy with two 16's wired in parallel to 8 ohms. I know I am.
     
  7. GIBSON67

    GIBSON67 Well-Known Member

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    Nik, unless you have your eye on a pair of 4 ohmers, I'd look for a pair of 16 ohmers. Should be easier to find as well.
     
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  8. marshalltsl

    marshalltsl Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. I have a 4x12 cabinet with Arial speakers from '60. It was organ speaker that each speaker is 4 Ohms. I wired all speakers in serial. 16Ohms cabinet. Do I should wired It serial/paralel to get 4ohms cab? Will it sound better?
    Cabinet stock was 4 ohms cabinet. I wired 16ohms to use It with 2 1936 wired togheter.

    I used the three cabs on stage.:nuts:
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  9. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Use what you got in a combination that works best. All you can do is listen. If something else comes along that sounds better then use that.
    It boils down to choices and preference.
     
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  10. JohnH

    JohnH Well-Known Member

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    There's a possible practical issue too. If you have a series wiring, if for some reason one speaker goes out, then the whole cab is open-circuit, which might take your amp out as well.
     
  11. MarshallDog

    MarshallDog Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thats a great point, lower ohms is better than no ohms at all!
     
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  12. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    We don't allow that level of pragmatic thinking here at MF.
     
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  13. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    I place safety power resistors across the amplifier speaker output.
    Still, always turn amplifier OFF immediately when or if there is a blow out.
     
  14. MickeyJ

    MickeyJ Well-Known Member

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    this is a damn good question.

    does higher resistance = slightly more ' time' to extend the cone?

    my hunch is that 2x 4ohm speakers in series would be punchier, more alive sounding.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
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  15. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member

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    It's not (currently...) "a project".
    Neither is it to do with using anything, building anything, looking for anything, whatever...

    I literally wondered what folk thought about the tonal qualities of otherwise identical or similar drivers with different impedances, especially in terms of things like damping factor and the like.
    Basically a Gedanken-Experiment or thought experiment.

    The underlying "cause" - if there was one - was my increasing enjoyment of the 4x10 speakers in the Marshall open backed cabinet of my Club & Country combo. My problem is I cannot fairly compare them with my 4x12 cab (closed box) because there are too many other variables - and yes, I DO know the typical differences between the responses of closed-v-open backs and speaker physical size etc... which is why I was wondering about the differences in the responses of small coil / large coil, thin wire / thick wire, 4 ohm / 16 ohm etc, between otherwise similar drivers...

    All opinions on this are greatly welcomed - especially empirically based ones :cool:
     
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  16. junk notes

    junk notes Well-Known Member

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    Most likely, to use all the windings (simulates a stock 4x12).
     
  17. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Why yes it does.
    I have mentioned or described this in several ways many times.

    A higher impedance/resistance drops more voltage. Higher voltage equates to higher amplitude which in turn equates to more travel. The speaker cone follows the frequency’s amplitude.

    On the other hand lower resistance has higher current, less travel and more control. As I have mentioned before coils and magnets love current.

    Still each setup or combination has to be evaluated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
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  18. Nik Henville

    Nik Henville Well-Known Member

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    Sincere apologies for dragging it up again, then. I did sever searches to try and see if this had been discussed previously, but found very little - please point me at a couple of your mentions or descriptions.

    Trouble is, it's expensive to do, and pointless if someone has already done it. Do you happen to know if such "evaluation" HAS been undertaken ?

    :hippie::pirate::uk:
     
  19. Seanxk

    Seanxk Active Member

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    I have an early 70's 810 Ampeg Fridge ( 32 ohm CTS units wired for 4 ohms ), I always wondered why such a fridge like thing would sound so great, could it be some delay giving width to the sound, it's a long way to the last speaker. I'm sure I've seen more blown speakers in these at the top of the cab than the bottom.

    Lol ignore above, they're wired in Parallel, the only ohm's from top to bottom are in the speaker cables. I'll leave post up though as some parts do ring true to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
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  20. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    Blarmy.
     
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