Speakers Wired Parallel or Series and Tone?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Free, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. Free

    Free Member

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    Hello. Does wiring a 2x12 in series or parallel have any difference in tone? I know series or parallel effects total ohm rating, but I need 8 ohms total output for a 2x12 cab and need to know what ohm speakers to combine and how tone will differ with different wiring types? Thanks!!
     
  2. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Well, I'd guess like most things, it depends. It depends on the speakers, the cab and amp. I'd typically use two 16 ohm speakers parallel. I generally prefer the sound of speakers in parallel. Can't quite put my finger on it...usually they seem to sound a little clearer, un-altered.
     
  3. jimmy peters

    jimmy peters Member

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    If you are wiring in series---you total the ohms of each speakers-ie.
    2 speakers 4 ohms ea. in series= 8 ohms.
    If you are wiring in parrellel=--- 2 speakers@ 16ohms ea. = 8 ohms.

    I have wired both ways and have never noticed any difference in tone.
    There might be a difference in price and availability between 4and 16 ohm speakers.

    good luck
    jimmy peters
     
  4. jakins

    jakins Member

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    ive been experimenting with this a lot lately, here is what i hear:

    cant hear too much difference between 2 8 ohm speakers or 2 16 ohm speakers that are wired the same way.

    I do hear a big difference in parallel vs. series. i have a tophat king royale combo that runs series, 2 8 ohms for 16 ohms total, with 1 blue and 1 G12H30. I have been running that same amp into another tophat 212 open extension cab, with the same speakers, that are wired in parallel.

    I hear the series wiring to sound more choked in the midrange, and they break up faster...parallel sounds more open and seems to have more clean headroom...i do like the slightly quicker breakup since its a loud amp, but the cleans sound spankier and clearer with the parallel wiring. This is the best way i can describe the way i hear it.
     
  5. JJman

    JJman Member

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    I would go parallel. If one speaker blows, you still have sound. This also reduces the risk of blowing the OP tranny during such a failure (in a tube amp.)

    I also like the idea of each speaker getting its own set of electrons instead of feeding one of them sloppy 2nds.
     
  6. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    I think they sound very noticeably different, though I don't have the vast experience that your John Phillips' etc. have to tell you why. Series is more textured, but not necessarily in a defined way to my ears. Parallel, deeper and clearer. I think this has something to do with the lower ohm tap being used, and something to do with the wiring itself, but I'm in over my head at this point. ;)

    Whether that is good or not to me depends on the particular speakers. I used to LOVE my Cannabis Rex and Blue Tick Hound wired in series...just a mojo thing, I guess. Never tried them in parallel cause the amp used couldn't do 4 ohms. I liked two Wizards in series, but preferred them in parallel. The Wizard and Cannabis Rex sounded awful in series, and wonderful in parallel. I have basically decided I like speakers in parallel more, and have no more desire to experiment, so I have my 2x12s loaded with 16 ohm speakers in parallel to give them a more universally applicable 8 ohm total load.
     
  7. Free

    Free Member

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    Thanks very much for all these great insights, everyone. Much appreciated.
     
  8. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Whatever sounds better to you is better. So, you'll probably have to experiment with different speakers and wiring schemes to find the answer. Mathmatical calculations are great for figuring out impedences but the only way to calculate tone is with your ears.
     
  9. Free

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    Well said, Vaughn, but it's nice knowing the technical reasons behind the tones I will encounter with different wirings and impedences. It's all good and helpful, but the bottom line is indeed tone. It's just nice knowing that the tone you find you like best isn't going to fry your transformer in a few days or months!!
     
  10. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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  11. rockon1

    rockon1 Member

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    Recently rewired my 4x12 cab for 8 ohm stereo. Both sides are 16 ohm speakers in parallel.I did it for versility and so I could run my JSX at 4 ohms with all 4 speakers in parallel. Seems to smooth out the top end slightly. This has more to do with a 4 ohm load than series /parallel -I think.
     
  12. tbhuey

    tbhuey Member

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    I agree 100% with this...My experience exactly, only working with all celestion blues.

    Bob
     
  13. Free

    Free Member

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    Really enjoy the insights in this thead - thought I'd bring it back up if anyone's willing to comment more. I had a sort of epiphany actually - it seems pickups wired in the same way Parallel or Series have very similar tone characteristics - just clicked... the increased output and midrange of pups in series and that hollow midrange increased preceived bass and lowered output of parallel wired pups - very similar!
     
  14. daveg777

    daveg777 Member

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    Word of note: Always check to make sure the speakers in-phase. I have in past wired to speakers of the same inpedence that the cones moved opposite of one another! ZOINKS! Sounded like poo! This was more common in the past with speakers from the 50's and 60's, at least my expirience, maybe because of so many different manufactures? I have not had this happen with EMI's or Celestions,etc. This of course would apply to mixing speakers of different brands... The rambling stops.... :jo
     
  15. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    hehe :D

    I thought I was going crazy the first time I accidentally wired out of phase...I knew something was wrong, but it took a minute to figure out what. The give-away was I moved and the phase-cancelled frequency changed...AHA! It's actually a cool psychedelic effect, to run around the room playing through out-of-phase speakers....but I heard there's a pedal that does that? ;)
     
  16. Free

    Free Member

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    Good point, Dave!
     

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