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

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

  1. BowerR64

    BowerR64 Well-Known Member

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    The question was why choose one over the other and that was what i was trying to point out.

    If one speaker say the 8 ohm had less windings with a thicker gauge wire on the coil over more windings on the coil with thinner wire i think ide want which ever stays cool during high power for longer periods.

    I would think a hot coil would sound sloppy and loose and a cool one would sound more tight and articulate?

    but its all just guessing on my part
     
  2. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    There is no real wieght difference for carry ability between a 16 ohm and 8 ohm coil. That is far less than an ounce.
    The choice for coils is for mixing and matching multiple or sets of speakers.

    It also depends on impedance matched outputs versus normal minimal impedance outputs.

    As Micky mentioned earlier the heat is equated to how much power is dropped at the speaker whether 16 or 8 ohms. 30 watts at either impedance produces the same heat theoretically.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  3. Tihomir Stoyanov

    Tihomir Stoyanov New Member

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    Good day, djents!

    I am an electrical architect for the last 3 decades since i made my first amp when I was 7yo. By call.
    The advantage of having 16ohm over 8ohm speaker is that the THD is somewhat less. Because of the inherent architecture of a class A and AB amps (which are best quality and mostly used by djents like us), reducing the load of the amp (using smaller ohm speaker) is doing two things. Firstly, less resistance means more current flow and more magnetic force generated at the voice coil, other words - louder. But also this increases the distortion of the channel. See the datasheet of LM4780. I used this as part of an old project. Look for the graphics of THD vs frequency. They are given for 4, 6 and 8ohms of load, but nevertheless, clearly you can see the tendency of reducing the THD with increasing the resistance of the speaker. Simply put: 8ohms should be a bit louder, but not so clean, 16ohms should be a bit softer, but more clarity. The rest is highly subjective, as you all have different amps with different architectures and so on.
    I hope I was helpful. Just don't forget the basic rule never to connect lower impedance to any amp then its design. This would very probably lead to arising the urgent need for bying a new amp....
     
  4. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    The output transformer windings on the secondary’s controls the power to the speaker so the power tubes see the same thing on all ohm setting .
     
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  5. Gutch220

    Gutch220 Well-Known Member

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    Because it gives you flexibility, some people have one or the other. Plus it gives you the option to use two 16ohm speakers. Or four 32 ohm speakers should the need arise. Or eight 64 ohm speakers. or sixteen 128 ohm speakers.
     
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  6. El Marin

    El Marin Active Member

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    My small experience

    -Marshall Origin 50 H
    -Marshall 1922 (G12-75 whitelabel 16 Ohms + English Vintage30 16 Ohms)

    The cab can go 8 Ohms mono or both 16 oms stereo

    I plugged it one cable 8 Ohms and then two cables 16 Ohms.

    Even the DRUMMER said it was better at 16 Ohms stereo. Less compressed.

    But is subtle nevertheless
     
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  7. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    The impedance was 8 ohms either way. One single speaker is 16 ohms, but if you use two cables and plug them into the amp's parallel outputs, all you did was move the parallel connection from the cab's jacks to the amp's jacks.

    If it sounded different, there may be a problem with the cab's switching jacks.
     
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  8. El Marin

    El Marin Active Member

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    What you say seems right and logic. If it is that way, It should sound exactly the same

    I will check that
     
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  9. mickeydg5

    mickeydg5 Well-Known Member

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    Your speaker cables would have to be identical twins. The jacks would have to be too.
    Most people do not go into depth with cables and jacks but a simple dirty contact or solder connection at the cable or jack can make a significant difference in output sound.

    Not all cable are created equal nor remain equal.
     
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  10. Till

    Till New Member

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    I was searching for this topic and just sign up to say thank you for the very competent answer.
    So my Harley Benton Tube 15 will get a 16Ohm Creamback (not 8).

    Till
     
  11. CityguyUSA

    CityguyUSA New Member

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    I'm really starting to hate the tech world it's becoming so overly hard to know how to hookup one thing to another with HDMI 1 2 3 orv whatever version we're on now, USB 2.0 or 3.0 and plug ends of a 1000 types. I had to replace a hard drive the other month and it wouldn't detect the actual size of the disk. I was told because by the seller I didn't have a USB 3.0 connection powering the drive. That turned out to be wrong. The real problem was it needed to be connected to a sata connection don't ask which version I don't remember it took me a bit to figure out the problem.

    Anyways a new flatscreen comes into the house and I decide that the bigger screen should go in the living room rather than my bedroom which has more wall space.

    AT&T already destroyed the HDMI connection between my amp and my TV. Which caused my DTV to fail throughout the house and stop working except on the main screen and ultimately destroyed my account and my cost per month it all went whacky over an HDMI mismatch so I cut the cord.

    Tonight I thought I'd hookup the new TV to the amp but the TV lists all the HDMIs as ins and yet they say in the docs that the HDMI(arc) can be used as an out. I tried various connections but no love yet.

    As I was doing this I was reminded about ohms and impedence and when I bought the amp a while back it wasn't even listed in the ad and it's so involved assuring that you have the correct connections for everything I never thought about it until tonight. My amp says any speaker beteeen 6 & 16 ohms. I never heard of a range before but I went to check my speakers which are 20 some years old and they also list a range. Not what I was expecting. My last receiver was only listed at 8 ohms as I recall my speakers are 4 to 8 ohms. There's a 2 ohm miss on the low end and and 8 ohm miss at the high end. That doeen't even address the 2 rears which I think are 4 ohms. I have to look tomorrow.

    I hear what you are saying about various sounds are at different hertz and ohms although it's a hard concept to grasp as to how that started the whole pairong of speakers with what used to be matching ohms. And that less resistance will allow more power to flow.

    But what should I be buying? Should I go for higher ohms because it doesn't take as much power to output the sound or is that higher resistance going to distort quicker because you don't have the power to reproduce those lower sounds?

    And then how do I navigate the shifted ranges between my speakers and my amp? I could add a speaker in parallel to increase each channel from the 4 ohms to 6+ ohms and similarly if I find out that my rears are strictly 4 ohms I could do the same to increase the resistance or I could just replace them with 6 to 16 ohm speakers to match the amp but them when I get a new amp is it going to be 16 to 32 ohms and why are they usualky inn multiples of 4 excluding my dumb amp with it's 6 ohm starting point? What about wire length resistance do we not care?
     
  12. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Is this a copy/paste from a HiFi forum? :facepalm:
     
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  13. tschrama

    tschrama Well-Known Member

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    But we are talking about guitar amps, with tubes, output transformers and love distortion
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  14. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    A Google search with sections of text show it's all original!

    I am sorry @CityguyUSA, but you seem to have us confused with a Home Cinema forum.
    Very extensive and thorough first post though.

    Do you play guitar?
     
  15. Doug S.

    Doug S. New Member

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    Hello,

    My first post, currently don't own a Marshall amp but want to thank thread participants for clearing up things I've wondered about for years regarding how 4, 8 and 16 ohm loads interact with amps and how it might impact tone. There is surprisingly little informed discussion regarding this subject online.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
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  16. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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  17. JBA

    JBA Well-Known Member

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    I’d pick a 16ohm cab leaving me the possibility of a second cab in the future. There are other more complex (specific) scenario’s I can help with if you have a want to let say have 3 speakers, or control the balance of volume between certain speaker/cab combinations etc...

    Now hold my beer... I’m about to challenge some of the “interesting” advice you have received in past post. ;-)
     
  18. Crikey

    Crikey Well-Known Member

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    I pay no mind to those settings. Plug and play. I just stay off of four
     
  19. JBA

    JBA Well-Known Member

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    Well.... we can say they are very similar. An 8 ohm equivalent model in 16 ohms is not the same speaker by design. They use almost every same component therefore they sound very close. Some test very close to each other and some models are a little further apart (but not sounding like a completely different model). Also due to the design and interaction of the output transformer you can notice the 16 ohm usually has a bit more upper and lower frequency extension. For this reason ( if you are a very fussy guy) I recommend an 8 ohm for really fizzy amps and 16 ohm for a mid strong amp. But all and all, just pick for flexibility and use the knobs on your amp to address this much more effectively. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
  20. JBA

    JBA Well-Known Member

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    What you guys heard is absolutely correct and it’s due to the interaction of the 16ohm speaker with its high transformer tap vs the 8ohm with its lower impedance matching tap.
     

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