4 ohm vs 8 ohm

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Adam Bluhm, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    Okay. I hope this is in the right place in the forum, as it is a pretty general question. My question is:

    Is there an actual sound quality difference when comparing a 4 ohm speaker/system to 8 ohms? Also, if there is, is it really noticeable?

    Thanks in advance. I'm just kind of curious.
     
  2. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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    No. Good speakers are made with both impedence ratings. However, 8 ohm speakers in general present an easier load for an amplifier to drive, which is an especially importatnt consideration if you are using a receiver. This is because receivers generally are not capable of delivering adequate power into 4 ohm loads.
     
  3. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    Okay, thanks. I just had someone on another forum (the forum has nothing to do with anything with HT [​IMG] ) telling me there is a huge improvement in sound with 4 ohm speakers and what not. I know it's easier to power through a 4 ohm system, but I figured that was it. Again, he said there was a, and I quote, a "HUGE" sound difference. [​IMG] With my little knowledge, I just wanted to disagree with him.
    Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    Can someone else throw their two cents in here? I'm being told that car audio is almost always better than home audio because of the use of 4 ohms.
    I know you guys have the knowledge of this. I don't really want to prove this guys wrong, I just want to know what the truth is. I enjoy learning things. [​IMG] Also, I don't believe him 100% to this point because he's based his facts off of 99% opinion.
    Please reply, I don't care how detailed it may be.
    «edit»
    Thanks for the reply, John. However, I'm a little confused with what you've said. Well, not confused, but curious. If there's no sound quality difference, why make anything less than 8 ohms if it's just more difficult to power? Is it just to "make more noise?"
    Sorry for my ignorance, fellas... just REALLY curious.
     
  5. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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    The reason to make something less than 8 ohms has to do with the compromises inherent in speaker design. Driver characteristics, crossover points and slopes, the tuning of the enclosure. All of these ultimately affect the rated impedence of a speaker. There are lots of good sounding speakers available at both impedences, but one is not inherently "better" than another.

    When dealing with lower impedence speakers the "synergy" between the amp and speaker will be more important because the amp will have to have more power and be more stable when driving difficult loads. One of my favorite speakers (and one that lots of reviewers use as a reference) is the Wilson WATT/Puppy 6, an 8 ohm speaker. It presents a pretty friendly load for an amp, but IMHO is the best sounding speaker I've ever heard. I think that the reason most car speakers are rated at 4, or even 2, ohms is that it is not possible to accurately control the impedence in the bass region, an area where both impedence peaks and lows will occur. Since the manufacturer has no control over they type of enclosure (read doors) than the speaker will be used in the conservative rating is proper.

    BTW, I have two fairly decent car stereos. One has a Sony head, Rockford amp and Boston's all around. I sounds OK, but not great. The other one has a high end Alpine head, an a/d/s amp and Focal Utopias up front with Focal 6x9 Polykevlars in the rear. This system sounds awesome once it has been equalized, but better than my home system? I think not.
     
  6. Adam Bluhm

    Adam Bluhm Supporting Actor

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    John, thanks so much for the reply!! That is just about exactly what I was looking for, in terms of an answer.
    BTW, would you happen to have a link to that speaker you speak of? [​IMG]
    Thanks again!
     

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