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Philosophical debate: 4 vs. 8 ohm

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bino, Jan 12, 2006.


  1. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    I've found both versions of the 2x10 Epi cab I'm after. A used 8 ohm and NOS 4 ohm. Trying to decide whether I should save some cash by taking the 8 ohm. The cab is rated to 500 watts and I'm running a WT550 which is actually 2 ohm capable, but I doubt I'll ever use that feature. So, I'll be pushing either 300 or 500w into the cab.

    I've spoken with Jorg of Schroeder before about this and even with his high wattage cabs, he thinks the difference is minimal at best. I'd like to here some more opinions on this? I guess one + for the 8 ohm is if I ever change amps in the future.
     
  2. Originally I bought a 4 ohm Avatar cab for my SWR 350X head.
    I soon kicked myself for that decision as I should have opted for the 8 ohm version so I could use two cabs for more air movement. I now have two 8 ohm cabs and love them. I can use one cab running 285 watts rms or both using 350 watts rms. There is a slightly noticable difference between running a 4 ohm cab at 350 watts and an 8 ohm cab at 285 watts.
     
  3. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    I have a WT550 and had both an 8 ohm and 4 ohm 212XLT. The difference (300W vs 550W) is significant, and the power match will be ideal with the 4 ohm cab. No brainer.
     
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    The general principle is to go with a 4-ohm cabinet if you're committed to using only one cabinet, you want to draw the maximum amount of juice from your amp (leaving aside the 2-ohm option, which is often less feasible), and you're certain you won't want/need to use any additional cabs in future - thus making this a closed-end rig.

    If there's any possibility you'll want/need to add one or more cabs in future, then you close down your options by getting a 4-ohm cab - definitely go for an 8-ohm cab instead. When planning a rig, it's important to consider not only your immediate needs, but also your likely future needs - then carefully choose components that can serve as a foundation for the flexible development of your rig over time.

    Generally speaking, the cornerstone of such a system is a high-quality, relatively high-powered power amp or head - preferably a stereo amp to allow both bi-amping and bridged operation options. If there's any one component where you should buy as much functionality as you can possibly afford, the amp would be it...

    MM
     
  5. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Philosophically, existentialists usually go for 4 ohms. Kant was known to prefer 8. Other than that, it's a matter of choosing what best fits your amp and your future plans.
     
  6. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Your reasoning is sound, but in bino's case he has a great amp that will run all day at 2 ohms. Adding another 4 ohm cab in the future will draw 750W from the amp, and he would still be powering the 4-ohm Epi with 375W.
     
  7. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    But what if he wants a different amp one day that won't do 2? 4 ohms has its merits, but 8 is more versatile in the long run.
     
  8. K Dubbs

    K Dubbs Just graduated from OSU, Go Bucks!

    Mar 16, 2002
    Toledo, Ohio
    Not to be a jerk, but in what way is any of the question at hand a philosophical matter as opposed to a pragmatic one? That is, unless you're actually meaning to ask one of the following:

    1. Do 4 ohm cabinets possess more intrinsic value as compared to 8 ohm cabinets or visa versa? If that is the case, what about the impedance can be held as intrinsically valuable at all?

    2. How do we know that picking either an 8 or 4 ohm cabinet in virtue of one being "better" is a true, justified belief?

    3. Would you be a more knowledgeable/just/efficient person by way of the fact that you've chosen either the 4 or 8 ohm cabinet?

    4. Would choosing one over the other result in a better or worse life for you or those effected by you?

    5. Do you really have any such thing as a choice between the two? Or perhaps this is an inevitable/deterministically probable course of action which will in turn effect the mechanics of further probabilities in your future?
     
  9. permagrin

    permagrin

    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Quite so, but of the two cabs it'd be foolish to stay away from a fairly optimal match, that is still expandable, just in case it wouldn't match up to some unknown, future amp.

    bino, how satisfied are you with the WT550? If you plan to build with it, then get the 4 ohm. If you know that ain't your amp, then the 8 ohm will allow more versatility.
     
  10. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    Kant was a wanker. Didn't DeCartes prefer 0 Ohms? I think he did... Smart guy.

    Jason, I have the 4 Ohmer FWIW and I feel that I made the right choice because I use it alone most of the time, and I have a 2 Ohm capable amp so I'm not in a bind if I wanted to pair it up.
     
  11. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Thanks guys.

    I dig it, but I also have fond memories of my Ashdown AMB.

    it will if I don't go out and blow more money.

    I'm not a fatalist. It's all my choice.


    Pete, I'm with you. But then there's that cheap SOB in me rooting for the used cab.

    Let's put this another way... if I cheap out and get the 8 ohm cab and never need a 2nd cab (most likely), will I miss those 200w?
     
  12. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    which epifani cab are you checking out? if its the 410, i would say go with the 4 ohm, just because you'll never really need to at another cab to it. if its the 210 or another small cab, go with the 8 ohm, because at some point you may want to add something - and you might not always have that eden which can handle 2 ohms.
     
  13. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Yup, a 2x10. I'll never be a huge gig machine. If that train accidently came in, I'd likley just indulge in a 2nd big cab. That's my dilemma... I can argue this either way.

    So, it's all about today. Will I miss those extra watts today? Are they worth $100+? Better question, is the peace of mind owning a new cab worth $100-$150?
     
  14. As usual, Kant had his head in the sand. :spit: Now Hume would say to experiment with both 4 ohms and 8 ohms. Of course Nietzsche would advise setting it on fire and hammering it with the bass to impress the audience with your dominance and Machiavelli would advise a careful analysis of your audience in order to discern which ohm rating would be most likely to corrupt them and unscrupulously curry their favor. Ludwig Wittgenstein, the mathmatical engineer in this crowd of philosophers, would advise you that if a lion could speak he would have been tutored by Ernst Mach rather than Georg Simon Ohm.:crying:
     
  15. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    You guys are a freakin' hoot! :)

    MM
     
  16. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    DesCartes preferred impedance curves plotted on an X-Y scale. Bode took credit for it. ;)