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4 OHM Speakers (1 Viewer)

Chris Laporte

May 7, 2002
Right now my main speakers are 4 ohm. I have a Sony 900ES so I have the 4/8 ohm switch set to 4. I have been looking at new receivers and only Sony and JVC offer the 4/8 ohm switch. Will I harm the speakers if I purchase a receiver that runs at 8 ohms? The speakers will be replaced in the future but I'd hate to send then to any early death. Thanks for the info and the previous help.

Kevin P

Jan 18, 1999
Check the ratings or owner manual for the receiver you're interested in to make sure it can safely run a 4 ohm load. I know Yamaha and Outlaw receivers have the switch and can run a 4 ohm load, although they don't really "like" to.

Even if you get a 8 ohm rated receiver, you should be ok as long as you don't play it loud. Low power levels should be ok, but when you crank it the amps could overheat or the receiver could go into a thermal shutdown mode. It shouldn't harm the speakers though, unless the amp clips (reaches its power limit), sending high frequency noise to the speakers.

The best solution is separates--pre-pro and amps, as outboard amps are much more robust than the amps built into receivers.


Joe Tilley

Supporting Actor
Jan 1, 2002
Chris,The little switch on your receiver is to pass UL testing for heat when running a lower load.You can run 4ohm rated speakers on the receiver with the switch set for 8ohm (which is how mine is set)without any problems whatsoever.The switch actually cuts some of the power to the amp section to allow it to run cooler to pass the UL tests,My suggestion would be to set it at 8ohm just keep a eye on heat when playing at high vol levels for extended periods,or run a cooling fan on it just to be sure it will stay cool.

By the way your receiver will generate quite a bit of heat either way you have the switch set,I have the Sony DA5ES & it runs pretty hot without my fan,but with it I can play it for hours at high vol without getting very hot at all,& I'm using 4ohm speakers with my switch set for 8ohm.


Jun 4, 2002
This is generally not a good idea. While it can be done, it more than likely will shorten the life of the receiver, and definitely voids warranty. The ohm rating is a measure of resistance. 8 is greater resistance than 4, so when a 4 ohm load is placed on a device that is designed for 8 ohms, it produces too much power and generates a lot of heat due to the fact that it is running at half of its rated load. It might work, it might even work for a while, but it is definitely hard on your equipment.


Stunt Coordinator
Jan 29, 2002
If I can chime in with a question. Why would my speaker manual suggest I use 4 OHM instead of 8 OHM. I have Def Tech SM350's and the manual suggests I use 4 OHM. Thanks

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