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200 watt head 2 cab - one is 4 ohms and other 8 ohms - sound difference?

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by tildeslash, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    Say I have a 200 watt head and 2 cabs.
    If I individually (not together or chained) play them - is there a sound difference? If so why?

    I am asking because I have a 4 ohm 2x12 already and have a choice now to but the same cab in 8 ohms.

    Pros/cons?
  2. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    More information is needed.

    What head, what cabs, how loud do you need to be with the rig?
  3. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    I don't need to be loud but it's for home use.
    One cab is Gallien Krueger 212MBE 4 ohm neo cab
    the other cab is the same cab but 8 ohms.

    I have several heads. I interested is in really knowing how two exact cabs with different ohms differ in sound or otherwise.
  4. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    Well they are different speakers, so they may have slight differences but I wouldnt expect a huge difference. Where you will notice a difference is how they are powered depending on the amp you are using. If you are using an amp that provides 300 or more watts at 8 Ohms and ~500 at 4 you will not notice a difference. The amp will have enough power to push either cab to its limits. Depending on how similar the speakers are, they should have similar max SPL as well.

    Now if you are using an amp that is 200 watts at 4 Ohms and 120 at 8, you may notice a difference. You will be amble to push the 4 Ohm cab harder, and you will have more clean head room. With the 8 Ohm cab you will hit the amps limitations before you find the cabs.

    The benefit to the 8 Ohm cab is you will be able to add a second one, netting you a significant boost in volume over the 4 Ohm cab.
  5. jungleheat

    jungleheat

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    I mean, we're talking about neo 2x12s. So how hard are they to transport back and forth really? Is it really worth however many hundreds of dollars you would spend just to not move a light cab back and forth to rehearsal? Because that is really the only benefit you would get out of it. You wont be able to pair it with the 4ohm cab for more volume, and with your maybe somewhat underpowered head, you'll get slightly less volume out of the 8 ohm cab on it's own.

    If anything in your case, I would either get the 8ohm cab and another one and sell the 4 ohm cab, so you can use 1 or 2 as necessary and also leave them in 2 places for more convenience, OR keep the 4ohm cab by itself and put the money you would spend on the other cab on a higher powered head.

    But for having both the 4 and 8 ohm cabs, the cost benefit analysis doesn't really make sense.
  6. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    Before I even get to cost benefit - I was just curious as to sound or otherwise of a cab between 4/8 ohms.

    I plan on only using one cab - either 4 or 8 but I was just curious.
    Even if I have both a 4 and 8 ohm - I just want to know the differences.
    Also knowing the differences might drive my decision on what to buy.
    So just trying to learn, that's all.
  7. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    If you are looking to buy, then always go with the 8 Ohm cab. The ability to expand will net you way more sound than trying to "get all the watts out of your amp" with a small 4 Ohm cab.
  8. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

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    Am I missing something from the OP and the replies?? ... we are looking at the same cabs, same drivers, only difference is the impedance of the drivers .... will they sound different than each other??

    ... only accurate, intelligent and highly technical answer would be ... ' I dunno'

    ... what I mean by that, is same cab voicing, same driver, should = no difference other than a slightly noticable difference in perceived volume from the cab that is 4 ohm because of the increased power draw from the head

    ... give GK a call and ask them the same thing .. 209-234-7300 ... with the testing they do on their cabs, they may be able to answer that first hand... if no one has them side by side, it would be impossible to answer definitively ...
  9. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

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    There will be no difference in sound, only a difference in how many watts your head will put out when plugged into each cab. When plugged into the 8 Ohm, it'll put out about half the watts as it will when plugged into the 4 Ohm. Note: This doesn't necessarily mean you'll be able to play louder with the 4 Ohm cab. Just that you won't have to twist the amps volume knob as high to reach the cabs maximum volume.
  10. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

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    Good advice ^
  11. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    Depends on the head. The Carvin BX500 will go down to 2 ohms so you could run both Cabs. I think it would be cool to have 2 2X12 Cabs. Maybe even swap one driver from each Cab if possible to Equalize the resistance of each Cab if possible.
    The 4 Ohm Cab will be considerably louder than the 8 ohm with any given head.
  12. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

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    You need to call the vendor. The question can't be answered without first knowing whether the speakers in both cabs are the same make and model (with the resistance difference being the way the cabs are wired)?

    If that is the case then it should sound the same, tonally. However, if the drivers are a different model, then who knows, time to go buy an A/B box and let your ears decide.
  13. Bass_Pounder

    Bass_Pounder

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    Bad advice...........

    NEVER mix speakers of different impedance in a mutli-speaker cab

    The 4 ohm cab WILL NOT be considerably louder.

    Even if an amp doubled it's output going from 8 ohms to 4 ohms, you would at best get a +3db change. However, most amps do not double their wattage so you may be looking at a +1 or +2 db gain at best (and that is even if the 4 ohm cab can make use of the extra wattage and not just burn it off as heat).
  14. dmusic148

    dmusic148

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    The 4 Ohm version will be a tiny bit louder. I have a cab with a switch on it, wired such that I can run it at 4 Ohms or 16. Throwing the switch while playing makes a surprisingly small difference in output.
  15. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    I have seen it in action. 2 cabs..1 4ohm & 1 8 Ohm at a gig. The 4 ohm could keep up & the 8 Ohm could NOT. I speak from real life not numbers from a book. +3db is actually very significant to the Human ear.

    as Far as mixing speakers in Cab's that's why I said "if possible". I realize that one speaker in each cab would be slightly louder than the other but I don't believe It would ever harm anything.
  16. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

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    ... yes, good advice in most cases, but the OP already has the 4 ohm cab in this case ...
  17. tildeslash

    tildeslash Supporting Member

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    I guess I should have phrased the question simply as this.
    I don't need or care to have a choice of needing expansion to additional cabs.
    I just want to and will stick to using one cab only and......
    If I have a choice to buy only one cab (Gallien Krueger 212MBE) and the choices are 4 ohm or 8 ohms.

    Tonally is one better than the other? I understand with 4 ohms I can use my head fully or get more power/volume. I also understand with 8 ohms I can add another cabinet.
    But if the flexible of the 8 ohm was not an issue or we eliminate that choice in this selection process. Which cab tonally will be more musical? yeah that's it that is what I was really asking.

    4 or 8 ohms - which is more musical?
  18. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

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    ... as advised above, call GK and ask if they have found a different voicing in the cabs with a change of impedance ... they could probably answer that based on their testing ...

    ... the immediate reaction has to be ... same drivers + same cab (except for impedance) = same musical reproduction response (with the exception of volume)
  19. CL400Peavey

    CL400Peavey Supporting Member

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    The two cabs use different but very similar drivers. I bet you could get them to sound exactly the same with a little tweaking of the eq.
  20. cchorney

    cchorney Supporting Member

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    Tonally they should be the same, but check with GK.

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