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8 ohms or 16 ohms? sound different?

aceshigh025

Member
Messages
117
Yes, another ohm question...

Say I had a head that could run 16 ohms or 8 ohms. Should I buy a speaker rated at 16 ohms or 8?
(does running in 16 sound any better or run any more efficiently than running at 8?)
 

Rattle&Hum

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
281
does running in 16 sound any better or run any more efficiently than running at 8?
Nope - doesn't matter. Matching the amp's output impedence with the proper load ensures maximum efficiency. As far as tonal differences, that's debatable. There can be tonal differences between two identical speakers with the same impedence rating...

When it really comes down to it - it doesn't matter as long as you match output impedence with the load.
 

goodman

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
41
I find it makes more tonal difference if you wire the speakers in series or parallel rather then the switching between to ohm rated speakers.
 

Drifting

Member
Messages
1,050
Nope - doesn't matter. Matching the amp's output impedence with the proper load ensures maximum efficiency. As far as tonal differences, that's debatable. There can be tonal differences between two identical speakers with the same impedence rating...

When it really comes down to it - it doesn't matter as long as you match output impedence with the load.
This.

I've never listened to music and gone - "Ugh, what horrible 8 ohm tone!"
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
Yes, another ohm question...

Say I had a head that could run 16 ohms or 8 ohms. Should I buy a speaker rated at 16 ohms or 8?
(does running in 16 sound any better or run any more efficiently than running at 8?)
6L6's? Get the 16 ohm and run it at 16 or 8.
Anything else, get the 16 ohm and use the 16 ohm tap only.

Sound different? Yeah probably will, depends which tap the negative feedback is on if the amp uses negative feedback.
There are a bunch of variables, so it's hard to say how much of a diff it'll make for you in your application, but the CW is to err on the side of matching the speaker impedance to the tallest winding on the OT.
 

aceshigh025

Member
Messages
117
The amp I am getting will have a multiple impedence output transformer so I'm guessing I will be able to run 16 or 8 out of the head.
I'm just trying to decide now whether to get a 16 ohm greenback or an 8 ohm greenback....
 

kimock

Member
Messages
12,520
The amp I am getting will have a multiple impedence output transformer so I'm guessing I will be able to run 16 or 8 out of the head.
I'm just trying to decide now whether to get a 16 ohm greenback or an 8 ohm greenback....
What kind of amp is it, what sound are you going for, and do you think you're gonna double up on the speakers any time soon? 2x12?

Without any other info, I would still say 16 ohm.
 

Flameout12

Member
Messages
1,177
You need to find your favorite ohmage tap first IMO. The ohmage taps on amps will vary. On my favorite amp, the 8 ohm tap noticeably has a clearer and more defined tone than the 4 or 16 ohm taps. My other amps, not much difference.
And GBs are nice speakers...but they aren't always the best speaker for some amps. It's all a sum of the parts...start with the amp first.
 

Champ

Senior Member
Messages
250
When you go to sell a speaker I feel it's easier to sell an 8 ohm than a 16. Most 16's are bought in pairs to make an 8 ohm 2x12 cab. Also sitting in your basement A/Bing an 8 and a 16 you may hear a difference but in a band situation I doubt it.
 

Amp_Addicted

Member
Messages
775
I generally find a 16 ohm load to have a bit tighter low end than an 8 ohm load though this difference is subtle. This difference is way more noticeable between 16 and 4 ohm loads. I think the quandary is finding a proper match between speaker(or speakers) with the amp for your desired tone. The resistance plays a very small part in the tone in comparison.
 

SatelliteAmps

Member
Messages
6,170
There are a large amount of threads on here discussing this. I'll try to sum it up.

According to the speaker makers, there is no sonic difference between identical speakers with different impedances. There is no audible difference between the two. There is no additional low end to a 16Ω speaker. Sonically they should have the same low end between 4, 8 or 16Ω versions.

What an output transformer is doing is matching the output of the tubes to the speakers, while trying to achieve maximum efficiency. When properly matched, the output should be identical. (where the negative feedback tap is has nothing to do with the output impedance. The NF ratio remains the same no matter which output tap the speakers are on.)

Most times these discussions come up, most people will compare either what they heard in the past to what they are hearing now, or they are comparing different wiring schemes (series does sound different than parallel) or very different cabinets. The only way to truly A/B these things it set up a blind test, with two identical speakers with the only difference being the impedance (such as two Vintage 30s, one at 16Ω and one at 8Ω). Put them in identical cabs. Use only one amp. Have a second person switch between the two randomly and see if you can really hear the difference. I've done this many times and never once had anyone be able to tell the difference.
 
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sveinis

Member
Messages
13
Scott Henderson once stated something like "8 ohms speakers has more ass"....
Seems like some players prefer 8ohms speakers/cabs
 




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