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Series / Parallel wiring question (speakers)...

Riscchip

Member
Messages
2,047
Greetings:

I've done some poking around online looking into series and parallel wiring. Found a lot of explanations on how to do it, but I'm not running into too much info on why to do it one way or the other. What's the advantage of series vs. parallel wiring? Specifically, I'm insterested in wiring a 2x12 cab with new speakers.
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
There's a difference in sound. It can be a bit difficult to compare though, because if you change from one to the other, the cab's impedance changes, so you have to reset the amp, which also affects the sound (different amounts of winding on the OT in use).

Even if you were to compare two 4-ohm speakers in series vs. two 16s in parallel to give 8 ohms in both cases, even with the same model of speaker, it's not a simple comparison because the inductance of a 4-ohm speaker is different from that of a 16 as well as the impedance...

If your head now hurts, there's a good generalization which is that series sounds peakier and more complex, parallel sounds fatter and smoother, all other factors being as close to the same as possible. It's not a 'night-and-day' difference, but if you have a leaning in one direction or the other it can't hurt to go for the one which is closer to what you want.

If it matters, dissimilar speakers are generally thought to be better wired in parallel.
 

StevieRaveOn

Member
Messages
64
Originally posted by John Phillips
There's a difference in sound. It can be a bit difficult to compare though, because if you change from one to the other, the cab's impedance changes, so you have to reset the amp, which also affects the sound (different amounts of winding on the OT in use).

Even if you were to compare two 4-ohm speakers in series vs. two 16s in parallel to give 8 ohms in both cases, even with the same model of speaker, it's not a simple comparison because the inductance of a 4-ohm speaker is different from that of a 16 as well as the impedance...

If your head now hurts, there's a good generalization which is that series sounds peakier and more complex, parallel sounds fatter and smoother, all other factors being as close to the same as possible. It's not a 'night-and-day' difference, but if you have a leaning in one direction or the other it can't hurt to go for the one which is closer to what you want.

If it matters, dissimilar speakers are generally thought to be better wired in parallel.
Hey,
Is this due to how the reactances affect each other in each combination? And how about in the series connection, isn't the voltage and current thrown out of phase by the first coil before it hits the second coil? I'm just curious what causes this. I'm affraid of an answer that'll make my brain explode. :D
 

John Phillips

Member
Messages
13,038
Do you mean the bit about dissimilar speakers being better in parallel?

If so, it's relatively simple - to put it very crudely, the impedance peaks in one speaker can 'block' the other slightly if they're in series. If they're in parallel, both are connected directly to the amp, and although they do still interact, the effect isn't as drastic.

That's a very primitive descripition but it shouldn't make your head explode... :)

I'm not even sure I understand the full in-depth analysis myself...

... but Randall Aiken does. :D
 




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