Series or Parallel Wiring for Speakers???

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey all,

    in my guitar speakers, i know i can wire them in series or parallel, and get a difference in sound.

    i.e. with a 2x12 cab:

    wiring in series, makes for a brighter, somewhat crunchie sound due to the signal having to travel thru one speaker at a time. this vs. wiring in parallel, which makes for a smoother more balanced sound due to the signal coming out of each speaker equally.

    is this true for bass setups, too? thinking about getting an empty 2x10 from Avatar, and loading it up with some Tone Tubby 10" speakers.
  2. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    Your hearing must be a lot better than mine. I never noticed a difference.
  3. Rockbobmel

    Rockbobmel Supporting Member

    Joker, Ithink if you are using a SS amp, you will lose a lot of power.. But I think some tube amps can put out the same at different impedences. I have a Sunn 2000S that has 1) speaker out 8 ohms, 2) 16 ohms. So If I had 2-8 ohm cabs, I would wire the speaker plugs together so they would run in series.
  4. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    You can't just throw any speaker into a sealed or ported bass cab. From the looks of it the tone tubbys probably won't work in the avatar cab.
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    really? why is that?

    also, i know there are impedence differences with the different wiring with the same speakers. i havent even bought the speakers yet.

    and joe,

    my experience is limited to a pair of Celestion V30's in a closed back Top Hat 2x12. wired in 16 ohm series, sounded like CRAP with my Dr. Z Route 66. all reedy and raspy sounding. then, rewired the cab in 4 ohms parallel, and juuuuuuuuust perfect. balanced, fat low end, and bold.

    the opposite happened with a pair of Tone Tubby Hemp 12"s. parallel, much too dark and muffled. wired the pair up in series, and they were much brighter, and open sounding.

    i guess, YMMV.
  6. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    joker was the dr z a tube amp or SS? and if it was tube did it have a selector for 16 and 4 ohms so it put out the same wattage into the 16 ohm load and the 4 ohm load?

    what you are describing sounds like my observation with different wattage levels driving speakers. i always found using lower wattage to sound more open and articulate, and higher wattage to sound fuller and thicker.

    however, i'm guessing that you were using a tube amp and were putting the same wattage into those speakers regardless of impedance in which case i dunno why that happened. :confused:
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    btw, my amp like most amps have a 16, 8 , and 4 ohm tap in the back. just plug into whichever one is most appropriate and you're golden.

    in the guitar world, they also say that 16 ohms makes the most use of an amp's transformers, and tend to sound brighter. but that i have yet to really hear. still, i guess i'm in the minority who hears these things in guitar amps.
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The reason for the tonal difference is twofold. First,series wiring versus parallel raises the impedance by a factor of four, so the power from the amp doesn't flow as freely. With a tube guitar amp that can cause more compression at high power levels,which accentuates bass tones and attenuates highs.

    The other reason is that series wiring raises the inductive load of the voice coils, which also attenuates high frequencies. In both cases the sound coming from each speaker is the same. No amp is capable of putting out the same power with all impedance loads; the different ohms taps on tube amps are for load matching.You still will get more wattage from lower impedance loads than high. Using different impedance taps can alter the tone as well, since transformers are also inductors, and altering the inductance of the load will alter the tone.
  9. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    bill, you are the man.
    thanks again for an education.