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What sounds better?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by whatever4, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. whatever4


    Dec 12, 2012
    I read the FAQs, but didn't understand all the technical information enough to answer this question:

    You have a choice between two 50-watt combo amps, but one uses an 8-ohm speaker while the other uses a 4-ohm speaker. Which would you choose, and why? Which would sound better?

  2. lakefx


    Sep 14, 2012
    The question doesn't make sense. The impedance of the speaker has no impact on the sound. Listen to both and pick the one that sounds better.
  3. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The difference in sound (if any) will be negligible.

    Two questions......
    1) Does the amp have an external speaker out jack? In other words, is it set up to run another speaker?
    2) What is the ohm rating of the amp itself?

    Of course, if you just tell us what combo you are looking at that will clear it up pretty quickly.
  4. The impedance of the speaker has so little to do with sound it is not even funny.
  5. whatever4


    Dec 12, 2012
    I'm not really choosing between two actual amps. This is a hypothetical question about two amps identical in every respect that are designed to put out the same decibel level, but one uses a 4-ohm speaker and the other uses an 8-ohm speaker. Would there be any difference in sound between the two speakers?
  6. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    the amp with the 4 ohm speaker could lend itself to swapping in an 8 ohm speaker so you could add a jack and 2nd 8 ohm cab... Whole involved project there, though. That's one reason I could see choosing one over the other, but for 50 watts, meh.
  7. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    The amp design makes that a yes or a no. Most solid state amps would be louder through 4 ohms, but through the same amount of cone, not by a huge amount of volume.
  8. Impedance is the least important facet of the speaker assembly/operation. It matters most to the amplifier driving it and is affected by other mechanical parameters including the box the speaker is mounted in.
  9. tjh

    tjh Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    I like hypothetical questions ... drives people nutz!!

    1) a 50 watt bass combo amp is going to be very limiting as to usage, it is really not going to matter (unless those are tube watts, then see answer #2)

    2) I would choose the 8 ohm speaker, for two reasons ... generally less strain on the power amp, and IF there is an external speaker jack, and IF the power amp can accept a 4 ohm load, I will be able to add a similar (<note I said similar, meaning the same) external speaker ... (not going to help a lot probably on a 50 watt amp though, unless it meets the exception in #1 ... and then you get to ask another question, because you may need to consider matching impedance to the tube amp) :)

    3) without the 'extension' speaker that is mentioned in #2 (and the exception mentioned in #1), there is going to be virtually no sound difference as each of the previous responders has noted ... if several should jump on the wagon here and say you should get the 4 ohm because you will be getting 'all the available power' from the amp ... just smile and say thanks ... nobody is going to hear that difference .. JMHO
  10. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    I'd choose the cheaper of the 2.

    Why? Enjoyment would be the same for either, but enjoyment/$ spent would be higher for the cheaper one.
  11. teh


    Oct 26, 2012
    The one that tilts back sounds better. :hyper:
  12. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    When people say it's negligible, what they're really saying is no. Not any sort of perceptible difference, especially with all other things (including dB level) being equivalent.
  13. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    What is the difference between a duck?
    Makes almost as much sense as the original question.
  14. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Thanks, I lol'd :hyper:
  15. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
  16. whatever4


    Dec 12, 2012
    Sorry if it sounds like a dumb question, but I'm not an electronics engineer, and I don't know if one speaker would be more likey to clip or distort.
  17. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Are both speakers the same make and model, one being 4 &#937; and the other being 8 &#937; ? If that is the case no difference paired with the proper amp.

    But amps are different as well. They both may be 50W but they will not sound the same. One could be louder than the other. One could distort more than the other.

    Now if the speakers are different makes and models, they will perform differently and could have different distortion characteristics.

    You have to try each amp and listen for what the differences are. You can't generalize based on their specifications.
  18. There are other specs of a speaker that will tell you those things. The resistance of the speaker is NOT one of them though....

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