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Thread: 8 or 16 Ohms?

  1. #1
    Top Of The World stratogibson's Avatar
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    06.24.09 @ 01:54 PM
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    Everyone,
    I have an old Ampeg v3. The speaker is shot, or at least close to shot. I have the option to run the amp at 16 or 8 ohms, and I can buy a speaker rated for either. What are the pros and cons of each? I am of course looking for that VH tone, Crazy Horse tone, raunchy rock tone.

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    I don't think it's either pro, or con, but I have an old marshall 4x12 cab. with 25 watt greenbacks. It's 16 ohms, and I know all those old cabs were 16 ohm cabs. including the one Ed used. I used to use a 5150 combo, which I know was also rated at 16 ohms. I've used 8 ohm cabs, and just don't care for the sound as much as the 16 0hm cabs, which have a warmer kind of distortion. I don't use any distortion effects at all, prefering natural head distortin, so I can't say what it would sound like with ditortion added. I know there's people who'll say there's no difference, but I don't buy that. Everyone's ear is different though, so I guess it's personal preference.

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    05.28.08 @ 07:33 PM
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    As far as sound goes, you're not going to hear any difference between a 16 or 8 ohm speaker. All that means is an 8 ohm has less of a load than a 16 ohm on your power amp. If your amp is built to handle both, then use either one you want. Some amps have little switches on the back so you can select whatever load you speaker is and maintain the same amount of power. However, some amps don't have this function, and if you had been using a 16 ohm speaker or cab, then switch to an 8 ohm, you'll be cranking more watts. For instance, I had an amp that was rated at 210 watts @ 4ohms, if I had put an 8 ohm speaker in there it would have only been 130 watts. What do you gain from this? Not much in my opinion. So pretty much what I'm saying is since you can use either, flip a coin.

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    Little Dreamer
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Yup. Ohms is nothing but a measurment of resistance. You could have four 8 ohm speakers in a Marshall cab but the total impedance will depend on if the speakers are wired in series or parallel. If you are playing a tube amp the impedance of the power tubes is much greater than that of the speaker cabinet. The output transformer matches the impedance of the tubes to the speaker cabinet. You want to always match the impedance correctly or you could burn out your power transformer, fry the tubes, or worse. By matching the impedance you get the most efficient use of the speaker and transformer. If you own a 5150 amp you can even fine tune this relationship by using the resonance and pressence controls. I highly recommend reading the Hartley Peavey interview at Van-Halen.com. It should answer some of your speaker questions

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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    While I have to agree with you guys on the fact that 4 to 8 to 16 ohms is just an impedance factor, and it's the way the head distributes the power to the speakers, I have to dissagree on the fact that there's no diff. in sound or tone from a 4 to an 8 to a 16 ohm speaker. I think there is a difference in sound between an 8 ohm and a 16 ohm speaker.

 

 

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