are 4 ohm cabs technically "better" than 8 ohm cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bushy, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. bushy


    Mar 8, 2018
    I'm just wondering if the Eden EX410SC (4 ohm) is technically "better" than the Peavey Headliner 410 (8 ohm).
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    That's a completely different question than the thread title. To answer the thread title, no. Your specific question, I can't answer, but it has nothing to do with the impedance rating of the cabs.
    TomB, todd burns, pudgychef and 15 others like this.
  3. Thread title: No

    Actual Question: Maybe?
    Amano and Pbassmanca like this.
  4. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    When it comes to cabinet ohms, a 4 can simply accomidate a more powerful amp than an 8. And, they accomplish this with higher rated components such as circuitry that can handle more electrical current without overheating and speakers that can tolerate more physical pounding without over heating or tearing. Generally, the 4 can get louder. So, in a sense, they are technically better.

    Note: anytime you ask a ‘which is better’ question on a forum be prepared for the purists to twist it 9 different ways and criticize your question.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
    jastacey, mohrds, Kriegs and 4 others like this.
  5. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    Define "better", then maybe we could answer a question.

    The quality of a cab has absolutely nothing to do with whether it is 4/8 ohm.

    Now if you have a cab that is identical with the exception of ohms, then it is up for you to decide which is better.

    I have a Gallien-Krueger CX410. It comes in 4 and 8 ohm versions. I opted to get the 4 ohm version because I wanted to get the full 800W from my MB800 into one cab, so that was "better" for me. If I wanted to stack 2 410s so I could have a full 810 stack, then obviously the 4ohm version would not be "better" for me in that scenario.

    What amp are you planning on using? The Eden can handle 400W @ 4ohms. Amps will put out more power with a lower ohm rating, so if you have something like me, you would run the risk of damaging the cab if you use an 800W amp with a 4ohm cab that can handle 400W. The Peavey can handle 800W @ 8ohms. More than likely you aren't going to have an amp that puts out more than 800W at 8ohms. So you would probably be able to use any amp you want, and can probably pair another 8ohm cab with it.

    It all depends what you want.
  6. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Beware of mechanical limits as well.
    dbsfgyd1 and Pbassmanca like this.
  7. Rune Bivrin

    Rune Bivrin Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Huddinge, Sweden
    Say what?

    That's a bit like saying "A 12 volt lightbulb is better than an 120 volt light bulb", when in fact either will work better, depending on how it's connected.
  8. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam

    Is that so?
  9. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Because they use 4 ohm plywood.
  10. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    The impedance rating has ZERO to do with power handling capability.

    And has ZERO to do with the quality of the components used.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I'm pretty sure that post was a joke. At least I hope it was.....
  12. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    What kind of amp are you using?

    I'll just pick an amp to use for reference.

    The Mesa D800+ is rated a 400W @ 8ohms and 800W @ 4ohms.

    So, with a single 4 ohm cab you will be able to run that head at 800W.

    Now, most amps and speaker cabs have parallel connections (as opposed to series). And, in parallel, ohms math is kinda funny... almost backwards. Two 8 ohms cabs run in parallel will give you a 4 ohm load. So, you could run TWO cabs and get the full 800W.

    The volume difference you would hear in running an 8 ohm cab and THE EXACT SAME model 4 ohm cab would be minimal.

    My advice? If you are getting one larger cab... and you know FOR SURE that you would never get a second cab, get a 4 ohm.

    If you are getting a more compact cab, or you play in a really loud band (meaning you need to leave the door open for the idea of a second cab) get the 8 ohm cab.

    Also, some cabs are designed more efficiently than others. So an 8 ohm cab of one design might be louder than a 4 ohm cab of another even with all knobs in tje same position.

    How's THAT for enough information to cloud the issue? :D

    Edited to fix half a dozen thumb typos.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
  13. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Sorry, but your post is incorrect. You can have a 4 ohm cab rated for 500 watts and an 8 ohm cab rated at 1000 watts. The 8 ohm cab will handle a more powerful amp in this situation.
    Higher rated components can be put in either, so that has no bearing.
    A 4 ohm cab doesn't necessarily handle more current, but when you lower resistance, voltage goes up.
  14. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    This is simply untrue.
    TomB, basscooker, fdeck and 20 others like this.
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Harke Hydrive 112 has a switch for 8 or 4 ohms
    It has taps on the voice coils

    You get to pick which impedance is better for the situation. It's a gimmick.

    Amps can be designed to put out max power into an 8-ohm driver. Combo's and Powered Cabinets do this. If the cab designer determines an 8 ohm is the driver for the application, that's what they'll do. The combo and powered cab makers don't have to publish the driver impedance because it doesn't matter.
    Pbassmanca and bushy like this.
  16. bushy


    Mar 8, 2018
    If it's a gimmick, is it even functional or useful at all?

  17. bushy


    Mar 8, 2018
    Peavey minimax 500 watts into 4 ohm. Does this mean a 4 ohm cab would pair with it better than an 8 ohm cab or it doesn't work that way? Will this amp be 1000 watts into an 8 ohm cab?

  18. Rick James

    Rick James Inactive

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    The 8 ohm cab can take twice the power before the voice coils burn out, but most cabs are displacement limited at half their thermal rating or less, while a few have displacement limits equal to or higher than the thermal limits. That means you can have a 500 watt rated cab that will actually handle more power and go louder than a 1000 watt rated cab.

    When you lower the impedance load current goes up, voltage remains the same. A 4 ohm driver will go louder than an 8 ohm driver that's otherwise identical, but only at small signal levels. At full power they'll be equally loud.

    OP, the only advantage to a 4 ohm cab is that it might, and that's a very big might, go louder with the same amp than an 8 ohm cab at the same settings, which might be an advantage if your amp is rated a lot lower than your cab. The disadvantage is that most amps won't take a pair of 4 ohm cabs, so all things considered get an 8 ohm cab.
    dbsfgyd1 likes this.
  19. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Nope. Roughly half. More like somewhere in the 250W range. I told you, the math is backwards. :wacky:

    But, watts are misunderstood as well. Twice the wattage does NOT mean twice the volume. Half the wattage does NOT mean half the volume.

    I think I read somewhere that it takes roughly ten times the wattage to gain one dB of volume. (I might be remembering that incorrectly.... but it's close.)

    So, if you are planning on running one cab forever, it really doesn't matter. Get either.

    But, if you think you will be getting a second cab later, get the 8 ohm one. If you get the 4 ohm cab and want to add another later, it will get into uneven power distribution or go below the 4 ohm minimum rating of the amp... which will do damage to the amp. (The math gets more complicated with one 8 ohm and one 4 ohm.... but it comes out to roughly 2.67 ohms I think.... which is still below the 4 ohm minimum.) Anything less than four is bad.

    Ohm's law math is weird but these are the basics for the bass world.
  20. diegom

    diegom Supporting Member

    What cab impedance is better for metal??!!?? 4, 8, or the mighty 16 ohm??!!?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 13, 2021

Share This Page