16ohms sound different than 4 ohms? Is it my ears ..or???

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by shawntmartin, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. jcmjmp

    jcmjmp Well-Known Member

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    I'm very impressed. You've played through more than a million amps? that's more than 1'000'000'000 amps? Impressive indeed.

    The reason why your solid state amp sounds different through 4 vs 16 ohms is that the amp is delivering more power when connected to a 4ohm load (solid state amp deliver the same voltage regardless of load and the load draws current, hence the increase in power).

    Because in 4 ohms, there's more power, its slightly louder and with more loudness, your ears will hear things differently. If you ran your amp louder while using the 16 ohm cab, the sound would be identical.

    If the claim was made with a tube amp, I would say that its the placebo effect. Same speakers, same power output, same dispersion, same tone.
     
  2. jcmjmp

    jcmjmp Well-Known Member

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    +1
     
  3. diesect20022000

    diesect20022000 In Memorandum VIP Member

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    actualy they don't all produce the same power. My H&K triamp is 100 watts in 16 ohms and 80 watts in 8 and i'm pretty sure 4. i have to double check the manual for the 4 ohm load but, i know the other two are as stated. can't say that for any other amps i own but, that's what the triamp's like. I've noticed with most amps though it's nominal if at all tonaly unless it's ss as well so maybe my triamp's a freak of nature,lol but, i took mental note of that when i read it cuz frankly....i never heard of that before this amp.
     
  4. guy

    guy New Member

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    I may be wrong but I believe a majority of the difference in sound is due to phase cancellation and speaker coupling.
    To hook a 4x12 cab with 4-16 ohm speakers to 4 ohms total you are running the speakers in PARALLEL.
    To hook a 4x12 cab with 4-16 ohm speakers to 16 ohms total you are running the speakers in SERIES.

    In parallel mode (4 ohm operation) all the speakers are moving the same. ie: When one speaker is moving outward, they all are moving outward. Or inward, they all are moving inward.

    In series mode (16 ohm operation) some speakers are moving oppisite of each other. ie: when two speakers are moving outward, two are moving inward. and when two are moving inward two are moving outward.

    Now since the speakers are moving air differently between parallel and series wiring (4 and 16 ohm wiring) different PHASE CANCELLATION occurs. Basically, nulifying some of the frequencies. Which would change the way your cab sounds. Maybe dramatically.

    Also, when speakers are moving together as in 4 ohm operation and are as close together as they are in a 4x12 cab you get an effect referred to as COUPLING (or speaker coupling, or bass coupling) which makes it sound like it has more low end.

    I believe these principles are part of the reason some people prefer straight cabs VS. slant cabs and vice vera. The different angle of the slant cab cause the PHASE CANCELLATION to be different and slant cabs won't COUPLE the low end as well.

    Sorry for the long post and for putting words in CAPITAL LETTERS, but I believe if you google these terms if you don't know them it might help give a better understanding.
     
  5. Ken

    Ken Well-Known Member

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    What about using one 4x12 at 16 ohms vs. a full stack at 8 ohms?

    Ken
     
  6. Clammy

    Clammy Well-Known Member

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    That really hasn't got anything to do with the impedance of the cabs. There are a lot of things that can affect how a given amp/cab rig sounds. EQ'ing, tubes (quality, age, etc...), speakers in the cabs (again, age plays into it), etc... hell even 2 of the exact same model amp can sound vastly different

    Cheers!
    :dude::dude::dude:
     
  7. jcmjmp

    jcmjmp Well-Known Member

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    Total mis-information there.

    As long as all the speaker are wired with the + and - properly, there is no phase cancellation.

    Series/Parrallel has NOTHING to do with phase and your series/parrallel math is wrong. 16 ohms total is not all speakers in series.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  8. Clammy

    Clammy Well-Known Member

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    A properly wired cabinet will not have speakers out of phase not matter if it's parallel, series or series/parallel. If they did, they would sound like absolute crap.

    Cheers!
    :dude::dude::dude:
     
  9. guy

    guy New Member

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    :( How embarassing! Yep, I'll agree right now and apologize humbly for anyone I misinformed about the series phase cancellation part in my post. It is not correct and if anyone post this or says this in a conversation you too will be humbly apologizing. SORRY!!

    As a token of my regret for being an idiot, I did some more digging.

    2×12 cab wiring: Parallel versus Series | Pick Roar

    Let's Talk Speakers

    Go to Gerald Lopez's question on the Weber page. Ted helps to answer this dilema.

    Hope this helps and makes up for a wrong answer.
     
  10. AudioWonderland

    AudioWonderland Active Member

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    Not correct. Four 16ohm speakers would have to be either parallel/series or series/parallel to have a total load of 16ohm

    Four 16ohm speakers in series would be a 64ohm load if my math is correct
     
  11. guy

    guy New Member

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    I apologized for the other part of my post but this is splitting hairs. My point was (now proven wrong) that I thought running speakers in parallel and not in series was adding to the coupling together of the low frequencies of the speakers. Of course, you're are abolutely correct in your math and you are corrrect that the wiring would be called series/parallel. My point was not to give a lesson in wiring speaker cabs, I assumed people knew how to wire speakers together to get to different ohm outcomes. My point was that (again now proven wrong) I believed having speakers hooked in series, series/parallel or parallel/series had an effect on phase cancellation and bass coupling.

    But fine, I'll apologize for this too. But all in all, the point in the 16 ohm operation of the cab I was trying to make, was that the series appears in the explanation of the way the speakers are connected to each other. Thus giving me an improper belief that the speakers were interacting with each other differently. ,,1,/
     
  12. AudioWonderland

    AudioWonderland Active Member

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    Lighten up Francis. No one asked you to apologize for anything. Thats not at all necessary. Just a correction.
     
  13. guy

    guy New Member

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    Nope. I'm light, but it is necessary to apologize. My Mom told me you can't believe everything on the internet and I don't want to be one of them people putting up false information. Was not my intention, thus the link trying to help out came with my asking for forgiveness. And, you were technically correct.
     

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